Thursday, April 17, 2014

THE RIVER



With weather like this, southwest France turns out to be paradise. I went for a walk along the river this afternoon and you can see all the activities happening much earlier this year. The local house boat company is getting their fleet ready for what could be a very long season. 

We watched a private house boat make her way through the locks of Jarnac, always a spectacle. Enjoy the pictures




A GREAT SPRING

HIS FAVORITE RIVER


 A HOUSE BOAT

GOING UPSTREAM

INTO THE LOCKS

IT TAKES A WHILE TO FILL THE LOCK


OPEN THE GATES


NICE AREA TO TIE UP THE HOUSE

LEISURE BOAT

SHE'S BEEN SITTING HERE FOR A FEW YEARS

GETTING THE FLEET READY FOR THE SEASON

RENT A BIKE FOR THE BOAT

BUG FOR SCALE

WHAT A DAY

THE LOCAL TOUR BOAT

RENT A KAYAK

THE BOAT SLIP BY COURVOISIER

STEVE'S YACHT



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GREAT PIZZA IN ANGOULEME


When that frequent craving for a Pizza hits, I have no more in house options. All GF shells are gone and we are keeping the house free from.
Not really the end of the world, in Jarnac alone (Pop. 4800) I can choose from six different places that offer Pizza. From a food truck by Intermarche to a wood fired pie next to Maxim's on Place du Chateau.
Problem is, I tried 5 out of 6 and they all use an industrial type, flat shell to make their Pizza.  After baking the Pizza at high temps, this crust reminds me of a Soda Cracker more so than a Pizza. The sixth place is up for sale, and I doubt it's any different there.  There is a top sales guy for Pizza shells roaming the area.

Angouleme is not that far really, so when I have something to do in the city we usually stop in at ANFITEATRO, a restaurant in Gond Pontouvre (right behind the BMW lot). A very large place with a nice terrace and the all important wood fired oven.  If you go for lunch and arrive later than 12.15, it's getting pretty tight to score a table. Good food brings good business.
Aside of Pizza, I tried a handful of their Pastas over the years and have yet to find one I did not enjoy. A solid place if you find yourself in that city and want some Italian food.

They fixed their website (as good as most in France), but their WiFi has not worked since 9 month....not that important if you have company. http://www.restaurant-anfiteatro.fr/















Tuesday, April 15, 2014

50



April 15th. Tax day in the US, last date to file your income tax. So no more reason for the Americans who read this Blog to forget my birthday in the future. Thank you.

Fifty. A milestone for most. Last year we went to a couple of bashes celebrating someone's half century mark and a few of them we had to pass on for geographic restrictions. Always fun, if not for the forced happiness on display at these celebrations, but for the inevitably cool retrospectives you talk about. Shared memories and adventures, missed opportunities and could have beens. Friends you meet again after decades. My favorite at these parties is usually the cake. It's your 50th birthday, you better feed me a cake better than that piece of sawdust at your wedding....

As for myself, I had a mental countdown starting last April 15th, from 365 to zero today. I've done all the contemplating and talking since then already. No big party. Just thankfulness for a varied fifty year long path that let me experience things and places, meet all the people I hoped to meet and still remain fairly sane after all the tumult.
Gratitude to those who stuck around, family and friends that still rotate in a narrow orbit around me. Friendships are forged in youth. Reinforced with age. 

One of the drawbacks if one chooses a Nomad's life is the lack of  a coherent visual storybook to show. At every relocation we throw out stuff we thought we don't need any longer, to find out eventually that most memories remain in your head only.  But I did find some images from over the years.......



GOOGLE KNEW?

A POPPY SEED CAKE OF COURSE


1966 OLDEST EXISTING IMAGE I FOUND

1968 THE EARS ARE FIXED NOW

1974 WITH A RADIO DJ

1984 IN ROYAN, JUST AROUND THE CORNER WHERE I LIVE NOW....

1985 "I'LL NEVER GET MARRIED. NEVER!"

1986 THE CLUB MED YEARS

1988 MY FIRST US VISA 


1989 THE CRUISE SHIP YEARS



1993 THE YACHTING YEARS


1994 I MOVED TO CALGARY

1999 MARRIED 

2003 THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT. I STILL HAVE IT



2014