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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I've been very lazy with the old blog this week - too busy with the new greenhouse (ex-swimming pool).  I spent four days last week stripping off the old paint from the inside walls, then had to scrub the lot with soap and water, then rinse down.  I've started repainting, but it'll probably take a while.

Meantime, Thursday night Eric's band had a gig in Carcassonne, which is about two hours east of here.  The deal included a free room for the night, but as I didn't fancy sharing with the rest of the band we decided to take the camper van.  The pub was right in the centre of Carcassonne and it turned out to be a real nightmare driving through the narrow streets in a camper, especially when there were cars parked at the side of the road and we had to mount the (very narrow) pavement to get through.  Then when we got there we couldn't park to unload so ended up driving out again and getting one of the other band members to come and collect both us and the gear.

The Celt is an Irish pub and was having a week of celebrations for St Paddy's night.  It's a really nice place which made us all feel we'd just walked into a pub in the UK.  I've not posted any photos of the band as they all start to look the same, especially as Steve was wearing the same shirt as last time!!  They played until just after 1 a.m. and after we'd packed away all the gear, Eric decided it would be a nice idea to walk back to the camper . . . only 15 minutes away (ha ha!).  When we got outside there was a light drizzle, and after walking for about 10 minutes we realised the directions given to us by the bar staff weren't exactly accurate.  We eventually found someone to ask and they put us on the right road.  Or so we thought!

By this time we could see the mediaeval city up on the hill, and knew we'd parked the camper in one of the car parks outside the old city walls.  Well, what do you know, we only walked the wrong way around it, i.e. we walked three quarters of the way round the outside of the walls when we could have gone the other way and just walked around a quarter of it.  And if you've ever walked around Carcassonne old city at 2:30 in the morning, you'll realise just how spooky it was!  Anyway we finally found the camper just before 3 a.m. after walking for over an hour!  And we were soaked.

(If you ever find yourself driving past Carcassone on the autoroute, keep an eye out for the old city - it's an absolutely magnificent sight from the road and one I'd love to have a photograph of.  One day!)

Next morning we'd arranged with Steve that he would bring the gear back for us in his car - luckily - as we'd just found that our battery was flat and we weren't going anywhere in a hurry.  Aren't jump leads a wonderful invention?

We had been planning to go down to Spain and spend a night there, but with the battery being a bit unpredictable we came home instead.  Bliss!  I got to spend the whole afternoon spinning.  I finished spinning a merino/silk mix for a secret project, then spun another ball of camel wool for Sarah's sweater (which I still haven't finished).  Then this morning I dyed up the secret wool and plied and washed the camel wool.  I need to get all my projects finished so that I can spend some time with my new 1 kg bag of baby alpaca which arrived on Thursday - lovely, lovely, soft-as-clouds white alpaca.  I don't think I'll need to card it, just spin straight from the locks.  But I can't start yet, got to finish Sarah's sweater and the secret project, otherwise they'll never get done.

By the way, when we tried the camper this morning, it started first time!!  Sods law, or what?

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