Its a lazy sunday morning; Liam is out cycling, the rest of the family is still asleep. We’re having a lazy day because… yesterday, we went to Lourdes!!!! Its been on my to do list for a very long time and not because I’m a Catholic (I’m not), but because I love ritual, churches, history. This did not disappoint 😆 

Fittingly, we stuffed a quick Lidl picnic into our mouths before arriving. Travelling as a pack of five is considerably more expensive than two. For example, six drinks in a caff in Lourdes was €22!!! Fittingly, because Lourdes is, in places, staggeringly grotty. The main drag to the Sanctuary is an explosion of glow in the dark giant rosaries and lime green Madonnas. Its kitch with bells on. And I loved this aspect of it, although, interestingly, didn’t buy anything. We are looking for a religious icon to go in our alcove, but it wasn’t to be found in Lourdes. But what was there was atounding. 

There’s so much bling and pomp, it makes your eyes pop!

We were staggered by the sheer volume of people there…nuns all in white, volunteers pushing people in wheelchairs, delegations from Ireland and Salford…all of a very specific strip of humanity was there and it was very impressive. We followed devout ladies into the sacred grotto, filing past a priest doing a huge outside mass and also touched the smooth, dripping sacred wall. We didn’t see St Bernadette, but we had a lovely, albeit boiling hot day. 

We took ourselves back into Auch for dinner one night. Its such a pretty place and we always manage to find somewhere to park.Look at this artwork on a high up window:

And see how pretty it is at night:

We went back to the same pizza place as on Bastille night, because they are darned fine pizzas and the owner looks like Iggy Pop. 

Its on Rue La Fayette. As a family of non meat eaters, its a great place to eat. My favourite is goats cheese and honey and rocket, drizzled with lemon oil. 

I made jam this week with the hard, yellow plums:

and will be making wild damson gin today:

And the peaches are nearly ready to be munched:

A baby lizard stayed still long enough to be papped:

But what wasn’t good this week was finding out that our new little garden friend, Harry the hairy caterpillar is actually a very dangerous critter, that poses a very real danger to pets and humans 

So serious is this pest, that we need to summon pest control and notify the Marie (our town hall). Torching the nests and cutting down branches has been mentioned. I will keep you informed.

I am about to be presented with beans on toast, so shall sign out for now

A bientot 😄

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