Gardening at Versailles

"The story I want to tell is one of a simple, intimate, and I think, unknown Versailles - a gardener's Versailles." ~ Alain Baraton.

After a wonderful house sit not far from, and many happy hours spent at, Chateau Versailles, we came home singing it's praises. A dear friend tucked our stories into her memory banks, and surprised me with a copy of The Gardener of Versailles by Alain Baraton for Christmas.

Have a little insight into a gardener's day

Some of our memories from Versailles.

None of our hedges are safe, and are now trimmed a la Versailles. BTW Alain, I would love to have a potter in the gardens, if you invite us to house sit!

I've been having a wonderful time in my imagination wandering the gardens again with the Gardener of Versailles. How lucky we were to have spent so many hours there wandering the gardens, exploring and getting a sense of the 'enchantment' that Alain speaks of in his book. What a life you have had to have spent so many years living in Molière's former home within Versailles.

And I can imagine taking my glass of champagne to various areas in Versailles.

like Marie Antionette's Hamlet - although it could get a tad creepy on the walk back.

Alain is such a natural story teller, he weaves his story enchantingly, much like Versailles enchants many of it's visitors. It would be very entertaining to be at a dinner table with him.

Tour with Alain around Versailles, the video is in French, English subtitles are available by clicking on the cog at the bottom right hand side of the video. Enjoy.

Alain, if you ever want us to house sit, we'll be there in a minute - well actually a few hours that is given the distance from our home to yours. Thank you for the stories Alain - from our garden to yours, santé

A very Aussie Day

Is it just me or has January flown by? We are starting to get back into our routine and thinking about house sits for the year. With the humidity so high here in Port right now, we've been having some lazy days, and a little pottering in the garden. I've been doing a bit of much needed pot plant care, while Kevin restores some outdoor furniture. A little bit of journalling fills in my days, as well as long swims in the pool and walks on dog beach late in the day. It's a very Aussie start to the new year and we've had some gorgeous visitors that I thought I'd share here.

I so love it when the koalas make an appearance in the trees adjoining our yard. I can sit for hours watching their sleepy antics, them moving so quickly from branch to branch, reaching out to touch another koala's hand. I hope you enjoy sharing our view of them.

Hope you too got to have a good chew, and a snooze on Australia Day.

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year. May it be one full of adventures, health, happiness and fun. Now all I have to do is to remember to write 2018 instead of 2017!

December 2017 - A Farewell - And a Celebration

No house sitting for us for a few months now,
as a family member's illness has kept us close to home.

We've had some lovely moments and some very tender ones.

This December we said goodbye to a dearly beloved member of our family. A couple of weeks prior to Christmas, my brother, sister and I held our dear mum's hand, as she passed away.

She was always one who loved creating a beautiful Christmas for her family, and so this year we carried on the tradition with her in our hearts.

A Hui Hou Kākou (Until We Meet Again)

Take care, kiss the ones you love.
As this year draws to an end, we wish you joy,
and time with those who matter.

House Sitting - random moments...

"Mostly we don't remember the days, we remember the moments."

Some random moments from our recent trip home. The Ballina Mermaid is still looking quirkily gorgeous...

Mosaics outside a home near Shelly Beach.

View from our room at The Ramada Ballina

We decided to start going slow on our trips back and forth to Queensland and this time stopped off at Ballina and Coffs Harbour. If you're headed through Coffs, stop off at Coffs Yachties at The Jetty for a treat. Great view, food, service, can't speak highly enough of it.

Pompeii and a visit with an old family yacht, Rival

Facebook does come in handy for some things, a friend posted something she had seen at The Pompeii exhibit, and I was glad she did as I wanted to visit that while we were in Sydney. So we headed off to Darling Harbour. The Maritime Museuem is really worth a visit if you have time, we were so impressed with the area.

The exhibit, as is all of the museum, very well curated. We were a little disappointed to see only a few actual treasures from Pompeii, but the way it was displayed, was excellent. We discovered that a lot of the items were plaster casts of the original. However still an excellent exhibit.

Amphora from Pompeii

Cooking pots with recipes, perhaps you'd like to try Duck with Turnips,

or Fish Liver Pudding.

Amazing to think that this glassware survived.

I don't go oo and ah over a lot of jewellery
however I wouldn't mind this coming to live at my house.

Water fountain heads - original.

Fell in love with this ancient metal box

A bit of artistic license with the sea monster we thought.

Pliny the Elder was featured for his philosophical messages.

Time to wander on and out to see if Kevin's grandfather's boat was still at The Maritime Museum...

The James Craig at Darling Harbour

We found out that the Historic Boats are at Wharf 7

so we wandered in, and there she was still sitting there.

Rival was in Kevin's family for many years. Rival is a 16' skiff built in 1928 by Harold Griffin at the Spit Middle Harbour, she sailed for more than 40 years at Middle Harbour Skiff club.

It held the record for the most wins in any season, and earned the title of 'ghost ship' for it's uncanny ability to overtake the rest of the fleet in light airs.

In her true home, on Middle Harbour.