Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.

Cesare Pavese

St Martin de Ré

St Martin de Ré

A lazy morning followed by a lazy afternoon in a quiet town and an early night. Zzzzzzz.
The Big Barbeque

The Big Barbeque

We had to wave goodbye to Granny and Granddad, and then consoled ourselves with a beach and some ice creams.
A Lot of Not a Lot

A Lot of Not a Lot

On this day we reached a new peak of inactivity. It should probably be a trough of inactivity
Châtelaillon-Plage

Châtelaillon-Plage

We needed a relatively relaxed day, so we took the kids to the beach for a plodge in the sea.
New Friends

New Friends

Today we resolved to do nothing much in particular. We were successful. Apart from the bit where we went out for dinner.
Île d’Aix

Île d’Aix

The Île d'Aix is a small island of the coast a little south of La Rochelle which is accessible only by boat, and where there are no cars.
Roche Courbon

Roche Courbon

From the outside, the Château de La Roche-Courbon looks like it was designed by someone who owns a lot of Disney Princess dolls. It's very photogenic.
The Aquarium

The Aquarium

La Rochelle's aquarium is definitely the best I've been to. It can be rather busy, especially when the weather isn't great, but the displays are brilliantly done and there's plenty of them.
Chilling Out

Chilling Out

This post could have been called "Not a Lot Happened" but it was quite busy with swimming, domestic disasters, and a bit of DIY.
Île de Ré

Île de Ré

A day on one of the most scenic parts of the area, the Île de Ré, somewhat spoiled by erratic behaviour from both myself and the kids. Tiredness, huh ?
The Two Towers

The Two Towers

One of the best bits of La Rochelle is its old harbour, the Vieux Port, where the harbour mouth is dominated by two massive old stone towers.
Settling In

Settling In

A day during which the kids explored the pool, and everyone explored some extra sleep, followed by a dash into town for dinner.
French Motorways

French Motorways

French motorways tend to be uninteresting in a good way. Maybe the tolls keep all the numpties away.
Leaving England

Leaving England

The much anticipated trip to France began with a morning of cleaning the car and loading it up with enough stuff to equip Napoleon’s armies for a tour of Russia.
La Rochelle

La Rochelle

A repeat visit for a couple of weeks to one of my favourite locations. This time we had two children and two grandparents with us.
Northumberland

Northumberland

A week enjoying the spectacular coast of Northumberland, again.
Brussels

Brussels

Ahhhh, Brussels, the home of the sprout. Kas and me made a trip in February 2007 when it was still the depths of winter and it was pretty cold.
Meribel

Meribel

Skiing in Meribel. Well, I skied. Kas, Ami, Dennis and Linda did a lot of swimming, sitting in cafes and meeting me at the tops of mountains.
Cornwall

Cornwall

A week down at the very bottom end of England, enjoying the last vestiges of the summer.
Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

Time to wave bye bye to our adopted home of one week and get ourselves back to Milton Keynes again.