Here is a succinct look at our region through the eyes of the NYT. Worth reading for a quick overview.
Every Saturday morning in Dormans, 8km in the direction of Epernay, a little open air market in the square attracts many locals. Fresh fruit and veggies (this cheerful lady), cooked meat dishes from a caterer I buy for lunch or dinner, cheeses, clothes, you name it.
Excellent for local colour, and for picking up fixings for weekend picnics at the B&B.
Wenche Bakke owns a rather special restaurant in His, Norway - a bit east of Oslo from what I understood. This is a sixty seat eatery where there is ONE menu per day. If it's not full guests can participate in the making of the meal. They stayed with us for a full week to rest up before the "season" hits them. We had a delightful time with her and Bjorn, a Norwegian gendarme - good stories all around. And if you want to know how tough those Vikings are, they took our bicycles off at dusk to eat at Chez Nanou, 4km down the road, in near freezing drizzle !
If you know people going to Norway put her in your favorites http://www.hjemmehoswenche.no where the photos give a sense of what fun they have up there. Needless to say everyone speaks English!
The Sarazin shop on the square of Dormans, 8km from the Champagne B&B, rents five bicycles to tourists. He also sells all manner of lawnmowers, scooters, hedge clippers, chain saws etc. More importantly for me Monsieur Sarazin fixes all this stuff and has for nearly 50 years. He admitted his love affair with bicyles started when he was 5 years old!
Recently we had two French guests from Paris who took the train to Dormans from the Gare de l'Est, rented bikes (11 euros the day), cycled 40km to Reims, then 30km to Epernay and returned 40km to spend the night chez nous before returning the bikes the next day and catching the return train to Paris. Need I say they were in good shape.
We also have three bikes which we're happy to loan for free but with no guarantees. Bike fixing is not one of my talents!
From the New York Times
Published: March 26, 2012
BELIZE CITY, Belize — Among conservation biologists, Rachel Graham is sometimes called the aquatic Jane Goodall: She has developed new information about the lives of her research subjects and, like the famous primatologist, she has successfully deployed science to create a constituency for their preservation...
So says the Times writer but we did not need that to know she is easily the most accomplished of anyone in the family. See NYT link below for the interview:
Recently married, Kate and Alex were with us two nights on their way to run in the Paris Marathon. He is a geologist, she teaches 6 year olds in an international school. Did I mention they are very fit!
Although Zambia is home now they are typical Aussies - a bit rootless. After leaving us they headed south to see more of France before joining the other 39,998 runners in Paris, Sunday 15 April. Kate with her freckles is a delight for the lens - "my parents have even more" she says. I'll put her up with my portraits at cerf.book.fr
...but not mine! On their way from UK to Italy these guests spent a night with us. The Porsche was new. Her husband having recently retired, Lorraine told him, "If not now, when! Go for it" And so he did. Beautiful car.