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October for Isabella

October for Isabella

October was a very significant month for Isabella, she was crowned Queen of England on 8 October 1200, aged about twelve. Her first child, a son who became Henry III was born on October 1st 1207, and on 19th October 1216 her husband King John...

Guinguette

Guinguette

A long hot summer in 2018, although France Meteo says it was not as hot as 2003. However night time temperatures stayed in the mid-20s, which is uncomfortable without a fan. At least no one had to wear layers and layers of clothes as they did in...

25 August 1200, Angoulême

25 August 1200, Angoulême

25 August 1200, Angoulême. On this day King John married Isabella of Angouleme. She was about 12 and he was 33. At that time it was canon law that a girl could be married at 12, and often they were, and even younger. But the marriages were not...

Gasping for Gazpacho

Gasping for Gazpacho

It gets very hot indeed in SW France. In June the temperature rises to 33-37 and often there are days of nearly 40. If we are lucky it is cooler at night but if the heat doesn’t drop for more than five days it is officially a canicule. A canicule...

Summer Reading

Summer Reading

There was a debate or a discussion a couple of summers ago where people became irritated with the idea of a beach book. Rather like an airport book these were considered light weight, throw away, books that somehow didn’t count. Certainly in my...

From Balcony to a Garden

From Balcony to a Garden

In Hong Kong I had a balcony, several floors up in a high rise. The first one was like an opera box with glass sides and always felt scary. The second one was deep with its own stout walls, an extension to the room but a haunt of huge wolf...