Monday, 30 May 2011

Holidays in June Courtesy of Le Moulin

Just thought I would draw your attention to the special offer at Le Moulin for a holiday in June. Prices have been reduced from £900 per week to £750 per week.

There are 2 weeks still available starting the 20th and the 27th of June 2011, so still time to make some last minute arrangements. If you prefer to start your vacation mid week, for example Wednesday to Wednesday, then we have dates available from the 15th June, or we are open to suggestion.

It doesn't hurt to ask.

Don't forget that you can find cheap flights and car hire on the travel advice page, to make sure you are not only saving money on your holiday, but on the other aspects of your holiday as well.

For a brief excursion into a Painting Day or perhaps you would like to take a short Photographic Course well you are here, then you can use these links to check out your options.

To make the necessary arrangements just drop us a line at and we will get straight back to you.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Gorge Walking Moulin Style

Well I say gorge walking, but actually it was more of a paddle in a stream. Gorge walking just sounds better and grabs the attention a little more.

I know you want to know why we were 'gorge walking', stick with me on this, it's good copy writing. The reason is that there has been a major clean up of our little river. These French guys turned up with great big trucks, huge chainsaws and matching mechanical arms that were capable of picking up a fully grown oak tree. Then they set about clearing the river for as far as the eye could see.

Now we had been warned about this, when I received a letter stating that they were going to do the job and asking if we wanted the wood disposed of or did we want to keep it. Now naturally I said we would like to keep it. Buying a few stairs of wood over here can be a pretty expensive pastime, so there was no way I was going to look this gift horse in the mouth. This was despite the small print that said all the wood had to be cleared away within a couple of weeks following the completion of the work. I mean after all how much wood could there be clearing a few branches and a bit of brush.

Needless to say there followed a period of complete panic as we witnessed the felling of several fully grown oak trees; and a few other varieties as well. I was eying my arsenal of two wheelbarrows and the phrase 'we are going to need a bigger boat' from that famous film 'Jaws' sprang to mind. Only in my case it was a tractor and trailer that was the necessary specification.

You can imagine my relief when a couple of the guys came over to see me and asked me where I would like to store my wood. Phew!! I rather naively suggested that near the river might be a good place, not realizing that they meant anywhere on the property would not be unreasonable. So after a bit of pigeon French, where they told me that my suggestion was too close to the river. And I said to them 'you can put it there?' or 'vous pouvez le mettre là-bas?', not thinking for a second they could, it was agreed that the wood would be placed in a very convenient location not a million miles from the house. Big smiles all around.

So following all that panic and relief it was felt an exploratory 'gorge walk', see it does work, was the order of the day. Off we set, dog in tow, to explore the countryside and examine the fruits of their labour. It has to be said they did a pretty good job all in all and the river was exactly what they said it would be; clear of wood. And you can lay testament to that by watching the video I have carefully crafted together to share the event.

I haven't got away scot-free however, there was still a little bit of brush to deal with, in fact enough to warrant the purchase of a nice new trailer to go behind my mower, and in a matching red colour to boot. You have the keep the wife happy, she is into colour coordination after all.

So there you have it, another adventure from living in the France lane,pretty exciting I have to say. Might have to go and lie down now, oh no I can't, I've got wood to cut :-)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

What's On In And Around Carcassonne 2012

So what's going on in the South of France this year? Quite a bit actually and I have made a start with listing some of the main events and will add more as the information becomes available. So don't forget to bookmark this post as I will be updating it as more events and details come to light.

Listed by date

May 2012 - there is a big day approaching for our little village of Issel, the Fete Medievale Des Potiers Et De L'Artisanat is due to take place on the 27 May. The streets will be dressed in medieval style and the festival will be going all day. There will be a 13th century hangman, knights, fencing demonstrations and ancient crafts. Artisans will be displaying their glass, pottery, embroidery and more. Should be a good day out for the locals.

June 2012, three days of feasts and music in the streets of Gruissan. All ages come together in this festive environment known as 'Les Festejades Gruissan'. More detail available via the link, but in French I am afraid.

22nd June - 5th August 2012, the festival of Carcassone offers a variety of entertainment and cultural events that take place both in the medieval walled city and the 'Ville Basse' throughout the summer months. These include 80 free modern music, jazz, circus, theatre and classical music shows. For a full program of musical and other events, the paid variety, which includes Texas, Bryan Ferry, Tom Jones, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and many more you can use this link to the Festival of Carcassonne Program. They describe the events much more eloquently than I can and it is in English.

13th July 2012, Fireworks display in the 'Grande Bassin' Castelnaudary, a precursor to Bastille Day and La Cite ablaze in Carcassonne. As far as I can tell the fireworks start after the parade at 10.30p.m. in honour of National Day, but probably worth getting there at 10.00p.m. just to make sure, or earlier if you want to see the parade. It is followed by the Spotlight Orchestra playing in the main square at around Go to Castelnaudary Tourist Office for further details.

July 2012, Festival of the Bastide in Carcassonne, this revolves around Bastille day the 14th July. A fabulous experience for anyone interested in French culture. The festival of the Bastide runs alongside the Festival of Carcassonne well known to the arts scene for its combination of opera, dance, theater and music events that take place throughout the summer months.

14th July 2012, La Cite Ablaze in Carcassonne is the big event of the Festival of the Bastide where you can see one of the best firework displays France has to offer and it commemorates the original burning of La Cite back in 1898. The banks of the river Aude will be awash with spectators and every viewpoint available will be taken by the time the display starts at 10.30p.m. It's best to park on the outskirts of the town and walk in to facilitate a reasonable exit time when the show is over.

21st August -26th August 2011, the 12th fete du Cassoulet will take place around this last week of August with 7 days of celebration and eating of cassoulet a haricot bean based casserole with Toulouse sausage, duck and pork as the usual ingredients. Everyone will be getting out their blue and white striped shirts for the festivities. This is the official website for the Fete du Cassoulet

Tourist Offices

Carcassonne: 04 68 10 24 30

Soreze St Ferreol: 05 63 74 16 28 email:

Revel St Ferreol: 05 34 66 67 68 email:

Castlenaudary: 04 68 23 05 73 email:

Vide Greniers

You can find all the planned Vide Greniers for Aude and any other department in France using this link. Also you can visit our other page on this blog for information on all the local French food markets that operate throughout the year.

Boat Trips

For a nice easy boat trip down the Canal du Midi you can hop on a 'bateau' down at the quay in Castelnaudary, the boat leaves daily at 2.30p.m. for a quiet chug along the canal and back that takes about 2 hours, but there are a number of other options available which you can find out about at Bateau Promenade "Le Saint-Roch" or by phoning +33 (0)4 68 23 49 40

Incidentally right next to the boat there is now a snack bar operating that hires out bicycles as a sideline, you have to put down a deposit on the bikes, which you get back as long as you don't run off with them, and the hire rates are very reasonable. So if you fancy a morning or afternoon cycling along the Canal Du Midi, you know where to go.

If you prefer to hire your own boat for a short trip then boats can be hired from Castel Nautique for 2 to 8 people on an hourly basis or for 1/2 days. Visit the website for more details or call on +33 (0)4 68 76 73 34. they are located near to Bram which is about 30 minutes drive from Le Moulin.

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