Office day, so to speak.
Nothing planned as such for today apart from making a couple of appointments, work on my projects, sent my best Chinese New Year wishes to my Chinese friends.
I also have to prepare my speech “Immortal memory” for the “Robert Burns” dinner we are invited to next week.
Much rain is announced starting later this afternoon and for the next 48 hours so I guess staying at home is in order. In the nearby mountains it will be snow falling down and that is good news ahead of our scheduled skiing holidays.
Amsterdam at the end of March
I have been to Amsterdam quite a lot over the years for business or for pleasure. From my last house in northern Germany it was a mere 4 hours leisurely drive, the speed limit on motorways in Holland is 120kph. Another favorite method to travel there was by train. Also 4 hours and the main station is very central. Parking your car is always an issue in Amsterdam and frankly you do not need one. Everything is reachable on foot or by tram. On this particular occasion we were meeting my friends Chris and Julia from the UK.
Plenty going on even at this time of year. The party boats are out. This is an aspect of life in this town I have not tried yet.
One of goals was to visit the Keukenhof Tulip Garden which opens around March 20th till the end of May. It is certainly worth a visit. On many occasions I flew into Amsterdam usually to catch a transatlantic flight and a few times we flew over the garden. It is an amazing sight of clours and patterns.
We played the tourists which much involve a boat tour on the canals. The 2 photos below bring back a lot of memory because on another occasion I actually stayed on that boat for a few days. I remember having my morning coffee sitting out next to the fake palm tree with boats full of tourists passing by. On this occasion, I was one of the tourists.
Chicago in May
Starting point of our car trip down south to New Orleans
A nice spot by the Chicago river.
Life in Carcassonne
The big day arrived yesterday. The weather was a bit warmer than last year on the same day which meant that the procession starting on time at 10:15am place Gambetta could proceed through town in a very comfortable manner.
There were of course the usual stops en route starting with the one in front of the house where Mr Prosper Montagné lived rue de Verdun. The French horns followed by the choir gave the right tone to start the event in particular since the song which was interprted was “L’Hymne au Cassoulet”
(short video available here)
Next stop a few hundred yards later was on Place Carnot where the weekly market was in full swing and the shoppers were treated to a couple of renditions from the French horns as well as the choir.
Literally around the corner we were all invited, for the 1st apéritif of the day, at the “Club Taurin”. Delicious wine and of course a couple of songs from our unwearying choir.
From there it is 400 yards to the next stop through the busy shopping street and a brief stop in front of the Eglise des Carmes for yet another rendition. Finally we arrive at the Saint Vincent church for the ceremony of bleesing the wine. We must not forget that Saint Vincent is the patron saint of the wine-growers. We are all welcomed in the church by the superb sound of the organ as well as the French horns.
The service over, the procession forms up again and we walk to the Halles Montagné where lunch will be served after the obligatory aperitif. A total of 400 guests in a very convivial atmosphere.
A small selection of people who make this event possible and pleasurable and we must not forget all those who work behind to organise and prepare things.
All photos and videos (more to come) are available in the cloud when following this link. All photos are copyright © Michel Marsenac 2020 © Jean-Jacques Sauvaget 2020
December in Singapore
Another year end business trip. I had to be in Malaysia / Kuala Lumpur for January 1st. It was quite obvious to me I should make a bit of a holiday of it all and flew to Singapore a couple of days earlier and drove from there to KL in time for the 31st.
New Year’s Eve in South East Asia
In front of Raffle Hotel’s entrance
October in the Caribbean
Point à Pitre – Guadeloupe
Between 2 business trips holiday time in the Caribbean region.
First on the Guadeloupe island followed by Martinique island. Despite the fact I was feeling somewhat frail I had a good and relaxing time. I was a bit disappointed by the food though. My expectations of French flair with local products were quite unfounded.
I had to fly out to India within 24 hours of my return to Germany. That proved near fatal because when I returned a week later I had a heart attack. I should have seen it coming.