It’s been a busy week.  Granny arrived last Tuesday, to be told “Byeee I’m off to give a class tonight.”  On Wednesday morning I abandoned her again while I went to yoga, and I spent the rest of Wednesday writing up stuff for my class.  Early on Thursday, I had to take the LSH to Manosque to pick up a rental car – he was going to Nice for two days – got back, quickly walked the dogs and spent the rest of Thursday preparing for Thursday night’s class.  It was worth it though – you should have seen my handout.  It was great.  Pictures, diagrams, instructions… the works!!

To avoid further neglect, Granny came to class with me that night, but she joined in with an English conversation class in the other room and spent the evening entertaining the French ladies in that class.  Just as well; my class was mayhem.  We had a lot to get through… checking up the homework assignment… discussing how to jazz up blogs… how to generate traffic… how to use Facebook and Twitter to generate traffic.  We got through it all but I think there were a few scrambled brains in the classroom by the end (mine included!).

The moral of the story?  I need three classes to cover my material and that’s what I’ll plan on next time.

So that was Thursday.  On Friday we went shopping in Apt and then I wrote up notes for my class and sent them out.

You will notice the horses haven’t been mentioned.  I was in need of a horse-fix on Friday, so I dropped in to see them on the way home from shopping and we swapped apples for hugs.  Tomorrow, I said…

But on Saturday the rental car had to be returned and there was talk of spending time doing something with my nearest and dearest.  The LSH is about to go away for a week (he’s off to Paris Photo, very exciting!) and won’t see Granny again before she leaves.  How about going to Sisteron? I suggested.  The YD and Ash went there during the summer and came back raving about it.

So the horses were put on hold again and we went off to Sisteron.

What an utterly stunning place.  The town of Sisteron rises from one side of the flat, wide valley of the Durance river and climbs up a steep hill which is topped by an impressive Citadel.

DSCN4597On the other side, an other-wordly crag sweeps down to the river, creating a natural gate across the valley.  You can see why it’s been a critical defense point for centuries.


We ate lunch with the above view and then went exploring through the town, finally making our way up to the Citadel.  Granny opted to stay in the car – a wise move, as it turned out.  The citadel is like a cross between a set from Lord of the Rings and an Escher print.  There are stairs and tunnels everywhere – not a good environment for an arthritis sufferer.

It was at this point that I started thinking of Escher :

DSCN4606The battlements at the very top :


Looking North towards Grenoble :


Looking down at some of the military buildings.


This tunnel was amazing.  Every little spot of light is from a tiny window and every tiny window contained a cannon once-upon-a-time.  There were lots and lots of stairs, too.


We want to go back again soon, before winter really sets in.  We’d like to spend more time exploring the Citadel and have a good wander around the town itself, so we’re hoping to go for a weekend.  Not sure when, though!

So that was Saturday.  Sunday I was absotively, posilutely going to ride, no matter what.  I headed off to the farm at 9.30am.  There was light rain falling in Céreste.  By the time we got to the top of the hill, where the farm is located, it was coming down in sheets and it was grey and foggy and windy.  Two wet, muddy horses looked at me in horror when they saw me.  I could practically hear “You must be joking, Mum!!”

I agreed with them.  It would have been anything but fun.

Finally, on Monday morning, I got my horse fix when I rode out with MC.  It was a beautiful morning, with the first snow of the year visible on the distant Alps.


We did a new route that I hadn’t seen before – part of it passes along the edge of a little gorge.  It was all very scenic and the trails were comparatively un-stony.


We even managed a little canter at one point!


I felt good afterwards!

Now my plan is to ride either Aero or Flurry every day for the rest of the week.  Fingers crossed it doesn’t fall apart, but there’s yoga on Wednesday, taking Granny to the airport on Friday and spending quality time with her between now and then…

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