Filterijng the digestif artisanale de vanille (= vanilla liqueur). The vibration from the washing machine under the kitchen counter seemed to help the progress through the filter.
Centre bottle is filtered digestif, the outer bottles are ready for filtration after a period of maceration.
Initial tastings have been encouraging. A sweet reminder of the French Îles of the Indian ocean: La Réunion, Seychelles and Mauritius (Île Maurice) and less alcoholic than rhum arrangé artisanale.
All ingredients sourced from sustainable sources.
I’ve been up in the mountains these past few days and reached the summit of Mt. Thabor (3178 m.) in the High Alps of Provence, not far from Briancon and the road to the Col du Galibier. This was the biggest hike I’ve attempted since the 1990s when Arlen and I backpacked and hiked up Square Top mountain (13,794 ft. / 4204 m.) above the Green River in the Wind River mountains in Colorado.
I took four nights out: one night in a CAF hut up and a night on the way down, plus staying in the Refuge Mont Thabor hut at 2520 m. to be sure to get to the summit of Mt. Thabor early enough in the day before the clouds gather around the high peaks.
Fine granite underneath crumbling limestone. The arrows show the summit of Mt. Thabor and the views are of the Écrins: the Meije (3,984 m.) and the Barre des Écrins (4,102 m.), which need ropes and ice equipment so I won't be up those any time soon.
This area has changed nationality several times between Savoy (Savoie), Italy and now France. The varied culture in the CAF (Club Alpin Français) huts and a number of antique frontier boundary posts reflect the many changes.
Now you see it - now you don't!
Marseille is benefiting from lots of investment but it comes at a cost. The view from where I stay has been reduced by a new block, blocking the view of the mountains. We enjoyed that view a lot, the photo of the rainbow after a storm was just one of many.
The neutral grey colour of the new building - even viewed by the light of the setting sun, so literally viewed in the most favourable light - doesn't help it fit in with the traditional sand colours of Provence. Presumably the grey is meant to indicate the progressive new technology town. I'm not convinced...
Same problem as with Not sure I like blue and End of the Rainbow for St Andrews, Fulham Fields, London
French democracy sounds great "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité) sounds great until you want to change something. The "non" response isn't so great when it's against you. That's one reason there are so many strikes in France.
Anyhow despite the lack of possibility of objecting to loosing one's view, Marseille in August still has the fine Provence weather, the open windows of apartements in classy Haussman style streets ring out with music from Carmen to Soprano and the food and wine remain incomparable.
Salad of charcuterie with edible flowers from Terry’s garden, grown by him from seeds. And a clafoutis of mirabelles (yellow cherries/plums/prunes) from my parents’ garden in Long Ashton, Bristol. Each dish prepared by Terry and enjoyed outdoors by us both.
We had a tourist day walking around Clifton and Bristol in brilliant sunshine today. Of course the Clifton suspension bridge across the Avon gorge but also the SS Great Britain, the largest ship ever powered by steam. Both engineered by I. K. Brunel. I used to cycle across the suspension bridge after school in Clifton and there was one Sunday where we saw the rusting hull of the old ship come back to the dock where she was built for restoration. Now her six masts tower over Bristol's floating harbour that has become a truly attractive waterfront.
Another big hike in the Lake District: I had an early start yesterday and got up Grizedale Pike from Whinlatter. That's a serious straight climb for more than an hour solid. Bimbled around a bit at Grizedale Pike waiting to see what the weather would do: just dark clouds, no rain so I went on to Grasmoor, which overlooks Crummock Water and Buttermere, where we were on Saturday.
I came back via Grizedale Pike, I had planned to drop down to pick up a bus but I reckoned that, having got to Grasmoor, I couldn't comfortably make the 1503 bus at Lanthwaite farm.
Nice touch: I saw an oldish lady with a white stick and an assistance dog walking the low level tracks in the forest as I walked in to the trailhead. I think she and the dog were enjoying the cool morning air and sounds and smells.
That was a big hike, about 750m up and 750m down. There's a significant descent and reclimb between Grizedale Pike and Grasmoor.
So I'm hiked out for the moment. Whatever the weather, I won't be hiking today. There are a couple of fronts on their way as well for Wed & Thursday.
Here in the North, a day of tourism by car yesterday to Dumfries and Galloway. Interesting to see the profiles of the Lake District massifs from the opposite direction across the Solway Firth. No duty-free allowance and no passports yet but there's an old toll house at Gretna Green which would be ideal if the Scots do vote to split from the rest of the UK and join the Schengen group.
Apart from that... very scenic but a lot of not a lot. Reminded me of Wyoming or Colorado.
Here's my postcard from Thursday's hiking. One of these is a sheep! That was an exceptional day both for the weather and also it is many years since I have hiked 750m up (and down) over 8 hours. That's what happens if you train in the Alps (last week) and then try the Lakes.
On the picture bottom right, I hiked up the valley on the left, around the ridge to the peak High Street, 828m, which is on a Roman road, though not much trace now remains of the Romans, and scrambled down the ridge on the right, Riggindale.
I hiked Haweswater, Gatescarf Pass (666m), Mardale Ill Bell (750m) and High Street (828m).
And not forgetting my physio exercises for my triceps. Some gym views are better than other though I need to progress from a 1l water bottle to a heavier weight! And not my best form.
A few days of good hiking in the mountains with Pascal and Hervé from Marseille. We stayed in Hervé's flat in Embrun, a cathedral town on the banks of the big river Durance as it comes down from the Ecrins and the Alps to the Mediterranean near Marseille.
The big lake is the Lac de Serre-Poncon, one of the series of waterworks that supply Marseille with plenty of water from the Alps. The little lake is at 1460m altitude and supplies just the village of St-Apollinaire, whose church you can see in my picture top left. The GR50 is the long distance footpath tour of the Lac de Serre-Poncon.
The rocks are the Aiguilles de Chabrières, 2403m. We didn't get that far as the weather was building to a storm for that afternoon and we had to descend after enjoying lunch at just over 1900m.