Thursday 9th November
Amazing! This weather is something I will never get used to! Only 46 shopping days left to Christmas, and I have spent the day outside in the garden in shorts and t shirt, sweating like a pig. I would estimate the temperature as well into the 20s – clear blue sky and hot, low sun. Olivier has headed back off to Leeds to pick up my Dad and bring him back for a little sunshine therapy so you can be sure the temperature will drop by ten degrees and it will be bucketing it down by Sunday! While the cat’s away…… so I am going to make the best of it (I do miss him though already and he’s only been gone for three hours) and do some painting in a calm environment with nobody around to take the p–s!

Monday 13th November 

Autumn has crackled in, crisp, warm and dry, and the colour that suddenly surrounds us is far better than any hot summer scene. Warm reds and vibrant oranges flaunt themselves, tart-like, as they shimmer against a bright blue sky. Wild yellows and cornflower blues parade along a catwalk of wild flowers and brashly twist and turn in the light breeze. No sad winter colours for us yet – the PO may be shaking off its summer finery but it is still adorned in a scintillating jewellry of precious rainbow hues.

As expected, the evening temperature dropped five degrees for the arrival of my dear old Dad but the sky has remained stubbornly blue during the day and by midday the sun has actually lead to some “phew”s and several brow moppings. Here are a few views from our house, taken today, mid November, and wow!

The extension is finished now, all building works have stopped, and decoration is underway, carried out by Olivier and supervised from afar (usually armed with a glass of red) by me. <doc3637|left><doc3639|right>I am quite good at the “….a little more to the left” or “you’ve missed a bit” – constructive criticism which all workers need in order to improve their output. For some reason, my dear husband doesn’t seem to appreciate the valuable help that I regularly offer him from the safety of the chaise longue……! Anyway, here are some photos of the outside of the extension, still to be crazy paved by Olivier when he finishes the painting, decorating, plastering, electricity, plumbing, tiling, gardening, ….. (at which point I’ll post some photos of the inside!!)<doc3638|left>

Thursday 30th November

Just time to squeeze in a last entry for November before December whooshes in, screaming Christmas ‘à haute voix’!
I returned from Leeds yesterday, having delivered my dear old Dad, registered package-style, to his partner. He is a man in his eighties, looks like a man in his sixties, and acts like a man in his thirties (on a good day that is of course!) He reminded me several times a day that he was ‘getting on a bit’, as he headed home towards a gin and tonic or two, after a five mile hike during which I had to jog to keep up!<doc3648|left><doc3649|right> Long may you continue mon cher Papa.
He didn’t do the ‘Hell’s Grandpa’ bit on Lulu’s scooter this time (photographic reminder attached) but he did pinch my car and paint Le Boulou red – well pink. Let’s just say that the ‘Le Boulouians’ all know to duck out of the way when they see a white golf approaching the roundabout. ‘Nuff said eh Dad!

We returned to Leeds via Barcelona, taking the train to the airport. It was so easy thanks to a friend who pointed out a new airport train which leaves PASSEIG DE GRACIA from the same platform at which the Figueres train arrives, and heads directly for the airport. Figueres to airport cost me 19€ return and there was no hanging around as the airport train arrives five minutes after the Figs train so it was literally a question of getting off one train, jumping straight onto the next et voilà! have proved to be a reiable airline, clean and comfortable (although to the man with the egg sandwich, sitting on my left in row 9, may I now tell you that you were very stinky!) and my fare was 0.25 centimes plus airport tax, totalling 12 pounds. Cheap at half the price! I really would recommend them to anybody flying to Yorkshire.

we had a slight frost last night but the days are dry, crisp and sunny. The vignerons are busy in the vineyards, trimming the vines – it really does seem to be an all-year-round job producing wine, which is why I feel obliged to help out on the drinking front – if the making is so hard it’s the very least I can do!

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