Sunday, December 12, 2010

Marche de Noel Franco-Allemand 2010

The 27th and 28th of November 2010, the French-German Christmas Market took place in Argenton Sur Creuse.  Here are some photos.

Liqueurs and wine from the Charentes

Martinelli's Christmas cakes

Martinelli's cakes

Fresh Oysters
oysters on the spot

buying crepes

An Ukranian Stall
and yet, more wine!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Beaujolais Nouveau

The wine we were all waiting for...
Finally the 18th of November arrived, the day when corks pop around the world as lovers of Beaujolais nouveau mark the start of a new French vintage by enjoying large amounts of the popular drink.

At one past midnight on the third Thursday of every November over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau start their journey from little villages through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipping to all over the world.  For a few short days, banners everywhere proclaim “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive”

Once a local tradition, has now become an international race to bring the Beaujolais Nouveau to markets all over the world.  When you read this more than 65 million bottles representing nearly half the region’s total production, will have been distributed and drunk around the world.


What is so special about the Beaujolais Nouveau?
When the tradition started, the wine producers of the area created a “wine of the year” to celebrate the end of the harvest.  The wine was only fermented for a few weeks, as was meant for immediate consumption.  But then just before the Second World War it was established an AOC for the Beaujolais Nouveau and the release date for the Beaujolais Nouveau became fixed each year. 

With time, wine producers began to see the marketing potential of the Beaujolais Nouveau and by the 1970s its release and the race to get the first bottles to Paris became a national event.  The race to deliver the first bottles soon spread all over the country and to other European countries.  In the 1990s the race extended to Asia and North America.  The race to deliver the first bottles is so tight that one year even a Concorde was used to deliver the Beaujolais Nouveau. 

Is a Beaujolais Nouveau “that” especial? 
Not really...  Many people agree that the Beaujolais Nouveau comes from the region’s worst vineyards; a wine barely removed from the fermentation vat; a wine that is just pleasantly tart. 

However, I still run to my nearest wine provider yesterday to be able to get a few bottles of the Beaujolais Nouveau 2010.  I was a week late last year and I couldn’t find a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau left in my local wine provider’s cave.  I didn’t make that mistake this year, I was there right on the spot the 18th of November, I had a try at several bottles and came out triumphantly with my load of Beaujolais Nouveau ready for this weekend degustation party.

I find that it is not much about the taste but more about the game.  I am sure plenty of us will still enjoy getting caught up in the ritual.   It is always fun to meet at the local restaurants and bars to try a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau with friends.  Cheers! 

Wine: its therapeutical uses:

Wine has been used to relieve conditions such as anaemia, hypertension, hypotension, rheumatism, gout, obesity, dyspepsia among many other things. Unlike modern medical advice, the French used to drink wine even during pregnancy due to the richness in minerals of certain wines such us the rouges from Bordeaux.

You can learn more about wine's therapeutical uses here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Museum for Male Fashion

The Musée de la Chemiserie et de la elegance Masculine is a museum dedicated to the shirt and male fashion. We had been there many times but, little as it is, we always find something new in this museum. Located in the Indre department, in the town of Argenton Sur Creuse, the shirt museum rends homage at an industry that lead the lives of the locals during the 1900s.

Why a museum of the shirt in Argenton Sur Creuse?

The museum opened on 1993 to the public thanks to an incentive started by the French ministry of culture. At the time, Jean René Gravereaux ex industrial in the fashion world and his wife had the idea to create a museum dedicated to the shirt and textile industry as it represented a professional activity created and exploited heavily in the area. This is how they created an association and looked for the input from ancient workers and anyone who had to do with the clothes industry in the area.

During the past few years, thanks to local subventions the Musée de la Chemiserie et de la elegance Masculine has been able to improve its collection, buying more items.

The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 12 at from 2pm to 6pm.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chateau Guillaume

Chateau Guillaume: "Castles in France:

 Last May we visited Chateau Guillaume during a special day called Journee du Patrimoine. The Journees du Patrimoine are held twice a year, in May and in September. It lasts two days during which castles, museums, churches and gardens are open to the public free of charge. The program aims to be an incentive to visit and discover the area.

Last May there were 73 sites open to the public in the region, plus 13 concerts offered free of charge in historical buildings.

 If you are planning to visit Chateau Guillaume free of charge, you would need to go during one of the journees de patrimoine. 
Otherwise, the chateau is open for a small fee from June to September from 2pm to 6pm. 

For more information and group visits you can call 0033 254 25 62 81

If you want to read more about Chateau Guillaume and see more photos before you visit, I suggest you visit this site where I wrote about our family visit, with loads of photos of Chateau Guillaume.

Another good time to visit Chateau Guillaume would be during the local festivities the last Sunday of July.  During the Saint Christophe festivities you can enjoy a little brocante (antique outdoor market), a small parade and a fair.

Also a good time to visit is during the “Fête de château Guillaume” the first Sunday of October and near Christmas time when  there is a Christmas market where you can find local produce.  

Chateau Guillaume

For more information about family holidays in France click here

Monday, September 27, 2010

Laser eye surgery in France

France has excellent medical care and the World Health Organisation rated it as number 1 out of the 196 countries it accredited. If you are considering having laser eye surgery in France, then many of the same rules that apply in the UK also apply in France. As is the same in the UK, there are 2 main types of laser eye surgery and they are Lasik and Lasek (also called PRK). 

Lasik is likely to be your first choice as the recovery period is quicker and more comfortable. As well as this, you will be offered two additional treatment options which are:
  • Intralase  and 
  • Wavefront (also called custom-laser eye surgery). 

Intralase is a type of Lasik and it has slightly fewer complications. It is also a bladeless procedure which appeals to the more squeamish people amongst us! 

The following are things you should consider when choosing your clinic and surgeon:

  • Ensure your surgeon is a qualified surgeon who had undergone the full 11 years training.
  • Ensure your surgeon is registered with the French Medical Council.
  • Check your surgeon has a low complication rate. Complication rates should be less than 1%.
  • Check to see what percentage of the surgeon’s patients achieve 20:20 vision. The higher the better and you should expect it to be over 90%.
  • Make sure you have a good rapport with your surgeon and that you feel comfortable with them carrying out your treatment. You need to be able to ask them questions if you are unsure or uncomfortable about any part of the procedure.
  • Depending on the size of the clinic, your laser eye surgery consultation may or may not be carried out by the actual surgeon. If you are considering a smaller independent clinic then you are more likely to be seen by the actual surgeon. The larger multiple chains often employ an optician to do your initial checks.
  • Check you clinic is fully accredited by the Autorité de Santé (French Health Authority).

 If you are a Brit living in France then you may feel more comfortable using a clinic that was founded in the UK. Optical express are a company that you could consider as they have clinics throughout France and the rest of Europe. The most important thing when it comes to choosing where to have laser eye surgery is to go with your instinct. If it feels like the right clinic and surgeon for you then the chances are it is! 

If you would like to read more about laser eye surgery you could visit

If you would like to know more about Laser eye surgery you can read this interview with an optometrist and specialist in laser eye surgery to have all your questions about laser eye surgery answered. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Taste of Italy in Argenton Sur Creuse

At the start of the Summer I discovered with delight that a new Pizzeria had opened near my home. What it used to be a shabby café has in no time transformed into a true taste of Italy in the outskirts of Argenton Sur Creuse.

People say that the best advertising a place can have is through word of mouth and that was the case with Cinecitta. In only a week I heard several stories from friends recommending the new pizzeria. Obviously, a lover of good cuisine like me had to go and try this new place, so off we went in a family night out to eat at the new pizzeria.

Much to my surprise when we arrived at 8pm all the tables in the improvised terrace on the street were already taken. So while we waited for a table we met Emilio. Emilio is the Italian cook and owner of this Italian jewel. With the characteristic friendliness of a Southern Italian Emilio greeted us like old friends and invited us to wait for a table to be set for us. We immediately clicked on once we told him that not long ago we had visited his hometown in Calabria, and that was it, we were friends!

The menu at Cinecitta is composed of around twenty different pizzas, a few pasta dishes and three veal dishes. My little princess and I went for a Capri pizza composed of goat’s cheese, fresh cream and honey. My little hooligan chose the old classic Margarita while my husband more adventurously chose a Calzone. The wine list only has a few Italian wines, but they are all very carefully chosen and for around 16€ a bottle you can enjoy a very good Italian wine. The desserts are typical Italian ice creams, and homemade cakes, tiramisu and crème caramel. After our meal we were delighted with our choice and closed the night with a Limoncello. A delicious night on a balmy evening, and all for under 60 euros for 4 people.

We have been back several times after that. Emilio and his girlfriend are always welcoming and their little restaurant is always busy. Not a surprise considering the good quality offered.

To know more about other restaurants in Argenton Sur Creuse you can click here.

Argenton Sur Creuse

Monday, August 2, 2010

Skydiving my new passion

Skydiving my new passion

Last year while visiting the resort town of Royan on the French Atlantic coast I made several friends from Royan’s school of parachuting. They invited me to see them skydiving.  It was great to see them performing all sorts of acrobatics in the air. Since then I went back several times just for the pleasure of seeing my friends jumping and of course for enjoying the parties afterwards. I loved the environment; it is like a big family where everybody knows each other.  Every body gets dressed and undressed in the same open hangar which also serves as a living room, parachute folding area, bicycle garage and nursery for the children.

My children too, loved the place, running around the aeroplanes, seeing the skydivers land with their colourful parachutes, playing around while waiting for their parents to jump, barbeques at the fall of dawn and much more.

Skydivers come here from all over France and Europe, some to experience the thrill of their first jump while others come to improve their skills.

That is how for more than a year I faced the temptation to skydive. I had attempted to do it a couple of times before but I always got “cold feet” at the last minute. But finally my time came and I did it. Much to my surprise all my fears had disappeared and I was very reassured about the jump as my Tandem “jumpmaster” Francis Joinville, is the best at the sport. With more than 22000 jumps under his belt, an experienced Army man, and the experience of having captained the French Skydiving team for several years I gathered that I had nothing to fear with him.

You can learn more about my first skidiving experience here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Living in France, an Interview with gite owner Brian.

This is the first of a series of interviews that I’ll be having with foreigners living in France.  I want to give you a hint of what it is really like for a foreigner to live in France on a day to day basis.  For this purpose I have gathered a few friend writers from HubPages who have agreed to let us have an insight into their life in France.

For the first interview I invited Brian who bought a lovely former watermill in France and turned it into a gite, Le Moulin de L’Argentouire, A spacious and comfortable gite situated in the Aude region of Languedoc-Roussillon in the South of France, midway between Carcassonne and Toulouse.  The perfect destination for an action packed holiday or simply a relaxing vacation.  

How long have you been living in France Brian?
We first bought our house in the Easter of 2007 and moved into it permanently in March 2008. So doing the math it means we will have been here living for 2 years in March 2010.

What inspired you to come to France?  Why France rather than an English speaking country?
If I am honest when I first thought about coming to France it was with a view of getting a job with Airbus and living close to Toulouse. We probably first thought about doing this about seven years ago when I read an article in a magazine about Toulouse describing the industry of the area and everything else Toulouse had to offer. I worked for a technology company that had a lot of synergy with the aerospace industry and at the time there were quite a few jobs available for English speaking ex-pats. That all changed rather rapidly and the jobs available with Airbus suddenly disappeared, causing us to re-think our options. 

Both my wife and I had a long term desire to work and live abroad and my wife was very interested in running a bed & breakfast or self catering business. So that became the focus of our attention and with the property prices in France it seemed to us that we should be able to find a property that was large enough to offer part as holiday accommodation and retain part as our accommodation. It was certainly more feasible than buying a property in the UK for a similar arrangement or many other places for that matter. So adding up all that France had to offer, affordable property, Mediterranean climate, mountains, skiing, proximity to the UK for family and a potential business that could be set up to provide a basic income, the fact we didn’t really speak French seemed to be a compromise worth making. 

Add to that, many holidays spent and enjoyed in France from teenage years to the current time; then it really did become a question of ‘pourquoi pas’, why not indeed. Lets face it when you get older then you do not want to be asking yourself too many of those ‘what if’ questions. Life is about living and taking reasonable risks and yes it was and still is a risk.

Does the dream match reality?  Did you find in France what you were expecting?
Good question, honestly, no dream matches reality there are some days when I would happily go back to my mother country. But there are many more days when I have to pinch myself to remind me about what I live in and where I live. France is a truly beautiful country with a history and culture to match our own; the days I do think I would like to go back to my own country are nearly always related to the frustration of not speaking French fluently. I would just love to be able to have a proper conversation with the French people we meet, who are nearly always friendly, helpful and welcoming. I think properly integrating into the community would be much more easily achieved for French speakers.

 What is it that you like the most about living in France?
The diversity of the environment, I can be in the mountains skiing in an hour and a half, likewise I can be on the Mediterranean coastline, even closer we have amazing countryside, scenery and views. The cities are also absolutely amazing, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier, Beziers, Narbonne  all have architecture that has to be seen to be believed and a history that underpins everything that has formed the character of the places and the people.

If you want to find more reasons why living in France is a dream come true don’t forget to check Brian’s article on Moving to France

 What has been so far your worst experience living in France?
Not sure I have anything that I could report as a worst experience, I got pretty ticked off once when I bought a chainsaw that seized within a couple of months and I was told I hadn’t put oil in the fuel so the warranty would not be honored. Now I know I put oil in the fuel and argued my case vehemently, but to no avail. So having paid a small fortune for the saw in the first place I then had to pay a small fortune for the repair because apparently the damage was my fault; now there is no way a retailer in the UK would have got away with that one, I would just have blinded them with my technical knowledge (English of course). But all in all still pretty trivial and I guess I am over it now, well nearly.

What advice would you give to any foreigners who want to come and start a new life in France?
Just to be sure they want to do it really, and understand that there will be some fairly serious challenges and obstacles to overcome e.g getting a job if you don’t speak French. Learning the language is a must, just to be able to function normally, and if anyone is really not sure they want to make the move, then they would be wise to think long and hard before committing; especially if they are leaving friends and family behind. That said if you are truly committed and sure you want to do it, then you will cope with the challenges and obstacles and you will realise that the reward of a life in the France Lane was worth the effort. 

If you want to be guided by Brian in how to by a property in France, you can read his article How do you actually buy a house in France 


You too can start making money now writing for HubPages, Publish your insights and expertise online with easy-to-use, non-techie tools.  It is easy to sign in  and get started publishing and earning money.  

Friday, July 16, 2010

La Palmyre zoo

La Palmyre zoo  A French Zoo

Looking for entertaining and educative attractions, my latest discovery has been a Zoo located in the heart of the wild Côte de Beauté and the beaches of the Charente Maritime, not far from one of my favourite holidays destinations in the Atlantic coast, Royan; it is one of the best known zoos in Europe: The Palmyre Zoo.

The Palmyre zoo houses around 1600 animals from all over the world, all living comfortably in the same environment. And to prove the success of the Palmyre zoo as a zoological park every year this zoo registers between 200 and 300 births, an astoundingly successful birth rate for a zoo.

This are some of the pictures from a fantastic day at the Palmyre zoo

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Easy and quick recipes with Roquefort cheese

About 5 years ago I would have never eaten a piece of Roquefort.  I found even the smell of such a strong cheese pungent.  Little did I know that only a few years later this blue cheese would become one of my favourite cheeses and that I wouldn’t mind travelling for hours to get to the famous Roquefort region just to buy a piece of Roquefort straight from the caves.

Considered a European luxury product in the United States, in France a piece of Roquefort along with a freshly baked bread is staple food for farmers!

What is so special about Roquefort Cheese?
The Roquefort is a blue cheese made exclusively with raw ewe’s milk and produced in the Roquefort region of the South of France.  Like many other products in France and Europe Roquefort cheese is protected by legislation to conserve the quality and uniqueness of the product.  Thus, since 1925 Roquefort cheese benefits from a protected designation of origin (AOC Appellation de Origin Controllé) which means that only the cheese aged in the natural Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon can be called Roquefort.  

Some Roquefort Cheese Recipes:

One of the main things I like about French cooking is that unlike what most people might think, French traditional cooking can be rather easy, relying mainly in the quality of the ingredients to achieve delicious results quickly and without too much fuss.

To be able to prepare quick, easy and delicious dishes with only a few ingredients, something I have learned from my French friends is that you need to carefully choose your ingredients. Even if sometimes carefully choosing your ingredients means travelling several kilometres to get to the source of that magic ingredient that will enhance the flavour of your dish.  You can find here some Easy and quick recipes with Roquefort cheese

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Aromatic Gourmet Oils

I live in Central France, in what is known by the French as the Campagne Berrichone, meaning the Berry countryside, or as Parisians would say « the middle of nowhere, the land that time forgot”.
It is true that living in the countryside can be rather basic but that is one of the things that I love about living here. Waking up in the morning to pick up some fresh raspberries from the garden for a hearty raspberry smoothy, or popping round to see the next door neighbour to get some fresh honey that is just being extracted from their own bee hives, are some of the gastronomic delights of living in the countryside.

Over here, most people have their own vegetable garden and we are used to eating seasonally. Do not be surprised if you come here at lunch time and the restaurant’s waiters cannot tell you what is on the menu for the day because they are waiting for the head cook to come back from the local market with whatever fresh produce inspired him that day.

As I said, most people have their own vegetable garden or potager and often they end up with surplus vegetables that they have learned to keep in the form of richly flavoured conserves prepared either with oil or vinegar. I am not talking about ordinary oils or vinegars here. I am talking about vinegars and oils flavoured with anything from rose petals, herbs and fruits to hot chilli peppers. You would be amazed at the variety of oils and vinegars that you can find for sale, and even more at the creations that the locals make according to their seasonal ingredients and refined taste.
Here you will find some Aromatic Gourmet Oil recipes to tickle your taste buds.

Friday, May 14, 2010

France travel information: Hubtrails Capstone

France is my favourite country in the world. Here I have found most of the things I ever wanted: great cheeses, delicious food, good wine, awesome scenery, a good education system, a helpful health care system charming men, outstanding architecture, history and much more.

Here in France travel information: Hubtrails Capstone I have gathered the best articles in HubPages about France. They are written by people who have either visited France, or like me, people who overtime fell madly in love with France and moved here to follow their love affair. They call us Francophiles, I call us bonne viveurs...


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mother's day chocolate gifts

Mother's day chocolate gifts :Show mom your love her with Ghirardelli chocolates

When I don’t know what to buy as a present for my mom, grandma and aunts who live in a different country from me then I always get them a Decadent Chocolate Gift Basket. Sweet toothed as they are, chocolates are their favourite gift and thanks to the internet I can buy chocolates online from the comfort of my seat at any time of the day and have the chocolates delivered to my relatives doors perfectly wrapped and even with a personal note.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Skiing in the Auvergne

Friday 22nd January

Last week I went to ski with friends for a few days in the Auvergne.  We choose the skiing resort of Le Lioran in the Cantal Mountains or as the French call it, the Massif Cantalien.

We left for the Auvergne at 9am. We were a caravan of 3 cars with a total of 12 people. This was my first time stopping to ski in the Auvergne. After a 3 hour trip mostly on motorway, we arrived at our destination, Le Lioran.

Le Lioran is a family winter resort in the heart of the Cantal mountains. To get there after you leave the motorway you need to take small roads and pass through picturesque little villages. We arrived at Le Lioran at midday, and headed straight for the first decent restaurant we saw. After a kir (white wine and liquor de cassis) we had one of the specialities of the region, Auvergne ham with truffade.
The truffade is basically potatoes cooked in the pan with onions, once ready you add tomme cheese and cream. Of course the main course was followed by some regional cheeses, dessert and coffee.
Truffade with ham.

We spend the afternoon skiing until dawn when we decided to go on a cheese hunt. One of our friends knew a cheese farm and promised to take us there to see how the cheeses were made. We drove through the Cantal mountains, climbed up snowy roads and just made it down sloppy ice roads for about two hours, we saw foxes, snow and more snow, but we never found the cheese farm! Disappointed we return to our rented chalet without cheese. Later that night we went out again, this time for dinner. We had booked in a little family restaurant where we had enjoyed some hot mulled wine earlier during the day. The dinner was delicious, some of us had a raclette and the others a foundue. Both dishes are made with cheese. The raclette is basically a piece of cheese which is heated on a special apparel, the “raclette”. The melted cheese is then poured over potatoes and hams. The fondue is melted cheese with white wine; it is served in a little pan with a source of constant heat to keep the cheese runny. To eat a cheese fondue you use special sticks to grab old pieces of bread and dip it in the cheese. The dinner was delicious, followed by baked apples in caramel sauce and a glass of calvados.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Detox finally finished

Yesterday was my last detox day. After 3 days only drinking water, herbal teas and fresh fruit juices, I am feeling better. It was hard to be on liquids only for 3 days, but I think it was worth it.

As promised, my friend came yesterday to prepare me a vegetable broth. She used:
2 large potatoes
4 celery sticks, including leaves
2 carrots
2 uncooked beetroots
1 leek
2 medium onions
1 clove of garlic
An unknown quantity of obscure fresh herbs and spices from which I could only recognize parsley, root ginger and chillies.

She washed all the ingredients but did not peel the potatoes or beetroots. I was really wondering whether she really new what she was doing or if this was one of her culinary experiments. While she was preparing the vegetables, she kept lecturing me about the cleansing virtues of every single vegetable she was using. Eventually I just switched off and saw her chop the vegetables and put them into a large pan with water. Once her concoction boiled, she covered the pan and left it simmering while she kept lecturing me, this time about the virtues of slimming soups. After 45 minutes suffering her lectures and rotten cups of tea –I haven’t had a coffee in 3 days- she switched the fire off, strained the soup and poured me a big bowl of vegetable broth.

Then she sat there in front of me waiting for me to drink the soup while she was peeling the potatoes and beetroots with which she made herself a luxurious salad with plenty of vinaigrette, pieces of cheese and roasted chicken that I had in the fridge from the day before.

I felt miserable with my broth in front of me while she was enjoying her salad with a glass of red wine. Bois ta soupe ma petite is all she said and continued enjoying her salad and wine. Next time I'll buy one of those ready made detox soups and I won't tell any one I don't know how to make a vegetable broth!

Going to the cinema

Wednesday 20th January.

Another non-school day.  I am wondering whether to take the children to the cinema instead of taking them to the library like any other Wednesday.

We have a small cinema in our town.  It is actually very cute, none of these horror massive cinemas that you find in the city.  Our cinema is a little cute hall that resembles one of those cinemas that you see in very early films.  The seats are modern and comfortable, but the hall and the décor are very old fashion looking.   You won’t find any popcorn or drinks in this hall.  Here people come to see the film; the eating is done before or after.    

Going to the cinema in my small town is not as easy as you might think.  It requires strategic planning.  For a start, they are only open certain days during the week, from Wednesday to Monday.  On Wednesday there are always two shows one in the afternoon, usually at 14:30 and one at night around 20:30.  For some reason on Wednesday you only pay 5 euros a ticket, instead of the usual 6 euros.  Usually on Thursdays and Fridays, the cinema is only open for one show at 20:30.   Saturday is a funny day, it really depends on how the cinema operator is feeling because sometimes they offer only one show and other times two.  Sunday is a big day with 3 shows.  Mondays, we go back to only one film a day, unless of course it is a holiday week, then we have the right to 3 films.  Of course, living in a small French village, there are also days that the cinema is supposed to be open but it is either too hot or too cold, so the cinema operator decides to keep the cinema close for the day.  You never know here…

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Detox plan and an encounter with a flock of sheep

Tuesday 19 January,

After a busy weekend I had a very slow start to the week. I had eaten and drunk far too much during the weekend and I was feeling with the energy of a snail. Not even a sunny Monday could “wake me up”. I had planned to do a million things. At the end of the day I had only achieved to start a 3 day Detox plan and set up the HubMob for the week. Maybe not too bad for a Monday…

My Detox plan started with a glass of hot water and half a lemon. The rest of the day I only had herbal teas and plain water. I managed to do one set of crunches with my Swiss ball but that was all the exercise I did. I was so tired that by 10pm I was already in my bed.

Today, I felt more energized. It is my second day of my Detox plan. Again I started the day with a glass of hot water an half a lemon and then I went for a 2 hour walk in the countryside.

I felt a bit dizzy at the start but after the first few kilometres I started to feel like if I had wings! It is incredible the energy that I can draw from nature. Just walking at a brisk pace in the countryside, feeling my body warming up in a bitterly cold morning; seeing all the vibrant colours around me, feeling the smell of the damp wood, feeling the ground changing under my feet whenever I step on dry leaves, mud or stones… I used to be a city girl, now things have changed. I love walking and cycling in the countryside. You never know what surprise you will find. Today I was face to face with a flock of sheep. They were absolutely gorgeous, almost half of them were babies and they were so cute that I stopped to take a few photos. The lady herding the sheep was very friendly. We had a short chat and I had to pull myself away to continue my walk because if I had accepted her invitation for a hot drink I know I would have spend there at least the rest of the morning!

After my two hour walk I arrived home full of energy, directly to do a few crunches with my Swiss ball and then I went off for a body brush before I showered.

I am taking it easy the rest of the day. I still have another Detox day to go. Tomorrow I should be able to start adding some vegetables and fruits to my diet. A friend of mine suggested I should make a vegetable broth. I told her I have never made one, so she is coming tomorrow to make me one. We’ll see!