Spring Offer

Spring has sprung. So we have a special offer to celebrate!

Three nights

Gite at Hameau Tranquille. £120.00 for up to 4 people.

B&B Pierreville. £150.00 for 2 people.

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Ethylotests obligatoire – breathalysers must be carried!!

From the 1st July 2012, all vehicles in France should carry a new breathalyser. This actually means that you need to have 2 breathalysers in your car, as if you are stopped and required to use one, you will not be allowed to move the car without an unused breathalyser in the vehicle!!

The law is in force from the 1st July; though thankfully sanctions (an on the spot fine of 11 euros) will not be applied until the 1st November. Having bought sufficient we lent some to a friend, and now can not buy anymore – latest news is that they are not expected until the beginning of August!

If you buy them anywhere other than France, pleae make sure that the conform to French norms, as indicated on the package

Norme Francaise

So that’s the new law – but what of the things that are already law?

Warning triangles are obligatory and should be used in the event of breakdown or accident

Warning Triangle

Reflective, or high visibility vests are also obligatory, and there should be enough for all passengers in the vehicle

Reflective vest

Country of origin plates are also required by international law – most number plates these days include these as standard, but if not you must have one.

Seat belts are compulsory, as are special seat restraint systems for children.

Radar detection equipment is prohibited; so if you have this as part of a GPS system, it needs to be switched off.

Headlamp adapters for English cars – dazzling continental drivers could invalidate your insurance.

Not obligatory, but recommended are –

First aid kit – European Law requires drivers to stop and provide assistance in the event of an accident.

Spare bulb kit – on the spot fines for non-working lights!

Spare bulb kit

Happy – and safe – motoring; and happy holidays

Bob & Marjory

Bon Anniversaire Normandie – Happy Birthday Normandie

This year is the 11th centenary of the founding of Normandie.

In the autumn of 911 the Treaty of Sainte-Claire-sur-Epte was signed by Charles the Simple, King of France, effectively signing over a vast part of the north-east corner of France to Rrolf Gongu (“toutes les terres de l’Epte jusqu’a la mer”), a viking leader. After years of viking raids and pillaging along this coast, there came a time of peace and rebuilding by the descendants of those raiders, and the “Kingdom”(actually a duchy – self-governing, but owing allegiance to France) of Normandie was founded.

This year there are major celebrations of the 1100th anniversary. For details why not visit http://www.happybirthdaynormandie.com/

For the summer, the vikings make a welcome return to Surtainville – see our posting last summer; and there are many events within the regions listed on the website above.

Happy Birthday Normandie

Bob & Marjory

“Mad March Offer!!”

Spring has sprung early in the hedgerows of Pierreville. The primulas are already in flower, before the snow-drops are finished

The catkins are already hanging from the branches

There are even some early daffodils

So why not think about an early spring  holiday?

For March we have a special gite price from £200 – follow the link below to our website –

http://www.hirondelleholidays.com/specialoffers.htm

Brittany Ferries also has a special offer for March for the relaunch of the Poole-Cherbourg service – £59 each way.

http://brittany-ferries.co.uk/offers/ferry/poole-cherbourg

So you can have a week in Normandy for two for just £318!! 

Hope to hear from you soon

Bob & Marjory

New Year, Galette des Rois and on to Chandeleur . . .

31st January already, and the winter celebrations almost over. Today is the last day for wishing people a happy new year – so  “Bonne Annee; et bonne sante a tous”

Christmas came and went – bitterly cold, but no snow. New Year we celebrated here with french friends

A great time was had by all – including this little character

Made by one of our guests out of a slab of butter (and perhaps after a little too much to drink!), it’s supposed to be a statue of me. Now I know I’ve put on half a stone over the holiday season, but if that’s what I look like, then the New Year’s diet had better be undertaken in earnest.

We finished the evening – or morning – after celebrating both French and English New Years, with a little champagne

And so on to Epiphany and the galette des rois. Epiphany is celebrated the first Sunday after Christmas, as is also the patronal festival of Piereville – St. Genevieve – in the church. But the galette can happen anytime in January. So the 19th the hall was set for the club celebration

the galettes were brought in

the crowns set up

and the galettes shared and enjoyed (love the taste of the frangipane!)

3 people – Marjory being one – were crowned king (or queen) for the day having found the figurines

And so to Chandeleur (Candlemas) on the 2nd February. Last weekend was the Candlemas Fair at Montebourg – unfortunately we weren’t able to get there – perhaps another year. Traditional food for Chandeleur seems to be pancakes !! always thought they were for Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Carnival – but that’s something else to follow in about a month.

So Happy Candlemas, however you celebrate it, and best wishes for this year.

Bob & Marjory

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,300 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 13 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 70 posts. There were 111 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 32mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 15th with 53 views. The most popular post that day was Le Terrible.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were hirondelleholidays.com, search.conduit.com, en.search.wordpress.com, latestcheapelectricscooters.com, and langkawicentre.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for cyclist, le terrible, swallow, christmas house, and la toussaint.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Le Terrible March 2008

2

Le Mont St Michel March 2008

3

“One Swallow doesn’t make a summer” April 2008
3 comments

4

All Saints and the chrysanthemum (La Toussaint et le chrysantheme) October 2008

5

Christmas House January 2008

Will it? Won’t it??

… be a White Christmas, that is.

The snow of a fortnight ago vanished almost as quickly. Christmas lights are going up in the local communes.  “Christmas” events, like the “Marche de Noel” at Pierreville that had been cancelled have been programmed in again –

As the snow melted, there were some surprising survivors

Not sure of their name; but I’m told that they’re not edible. Quite striking as they emerged from the melting snow. Also emerging, though showing some signs of frost damage were the chrysanthemums

Even some of our vegetable garden came through virtually unscathed

Last Sunday we were at the Surtainville’s “Marche de Noel”; and then Tuesday was the Pierreville Club “Buche de Noel”, so Christmas began for us this week, in quite balmy daytime temperatures of getting on for 8 degrees.

The tables were set

 

 … the room laid out, and the tree decorated

… and even Santa put in an appearance

… the buche, amongst other things, was eaten

… there was drinking, and singing

… and so the first celebration of Christmas is done.

Within the last 24 hours the cold air that has brought snow to England has also reached here; at present with just a smattering of snow this morning. The local forecast is for it to hang about for a couple of days before warmer, wetter weather establishes for next weekend.

We’re keeping an eye out to see whether we do get to spend Christmas with family in England. Whatever your plans, and whatever the weather, we wish you a very enjoyable holiday season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
 
from
 
Bob & Marjory
 
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