We're all up sometime between 7 and 8, and take our dogs out first thing. We frequently meet on these early morning outings, which results in a frenzy of tail-wagging in the early morning gloom as our three recognise Anne and whichever of her dogs is accompanying her.
Then it's time for breakfast, usually just fruit, yoghurt, cereal and a cuppa. The intention is that George & I then go for a fairly decent walk before he starts work at 10, but between one thing and another (mostly this rotten cold I've had), we've only managed to accomplish this twice. However I think I'm finally starting to shake it off, so there'll be no excuses soon!
|Me with the Hyper-terriers and Poppie|
|Anne lugging bales while we spy from the nearby hillside!|
Later in the morning Anne & I meet up to give Poppie and Roxy a good run - they both really enjoy this and burn off loads of energy chasing each other around. Cookie and Fionn regularly come too, but I've decided not to bring Cinnamon any more as the "big girls" are too energetic for her and she really doesn't enjoy it - she spends the entire walk off-leash but as close to me as she can possibly get so she doesn't get bowled over!
Then it's lunch time, followed by time to ride and of course, spend quality time with the horses!
Temperatures have been up to 13-15C by the middle of the day for the past few days. This is warm enough to have the very furry Flurry just breaking sweat while doing nothing, so he sweats up quite a bit even with the very gentle hacking that we are doing. GiGi is not so hairy, so at worst she is just a little warm after our hacks.
We are starting to find our way around a bit better now and have worked out a couple of hacks that suit our barefoot horses. Yesterday we were able to ride through the fields alongside the road for most of the way, but even so GiGi was particularly tender footed by the time we got back so we really need to be careful not to overdo it.
|We followed the road on the left for a couple of kilometres :|
you can see the track inside the field that we're allowed to ride on
|Montjustin is at the very far end of the ridge. Our route will take us all the way along the crest of the ridge|
At some stage most days we have to squeeze in a visit to a local market or the shops - it has to be during the morning for the markets, as they all finish by lunchtime.
On Tuesdays, there is a small market in Apt with all local producers.
Cereste has it's own little market on Thursdays, and the nearby village of Reillanne has a small but busy market on Sundays, which is a regular meeting place for all the local ex-pats.
There's a fantastic range in all of these markets of local and fresh foods to buy, but it's very easy to overshop because it all looks so good!
We've now found a nice saddlery, in Manosque, half an hour away, and a pet superstore, also in Manosque, as well as the SFR (a French mobile network) shop in Apt and several good wine-shops.
Hmm, must start planning some vineyard visits soon!
Finally, here's a shot of the tree-lined road on the way into Cereste, just because it's so quintessentially French!
PS Just remembered I'd better credit George Greenlee for some of the photos here!