Let’s Get The Holiday Snaps Over With

I think I mentioned we were off on our holidays and, as I signed off with ‘hasta la vista’, most of you realised we were going to Spain – unless your Spanish is even worse than mine.

If you’ve managed to get this far after seeing the words ‘holiday snaps’ in the title, well done and thank you for persevering especially as, although I did take my iPad and tried to read my emails occasionally, when I got home, I still had over 400 waiting for me so, if I haven’t commented on your blogs, please forgive me but I did read them all, honest.

We went to Empuriabrava which with nearly 24 kilometers (15 miles) of canals, and 5,000 private jetties is, apparently, the largest residential marina in the world.  It is only about 40 years old so if you want quaint fishing villages or picturesque bays you would need to nip up the road to Roses or Cadaques (which we occasionally did) but it has a fantastic large sandy beach, lots of restaurants and many millionaires’ boats to gawp at so what else do you need on holiday?

We stayed in a villa meant for twelve people – there were only five of us but we booked late!

Empuriabrava Villa

This was the barbecue provided!!

Barbecue for 12

It stood out like a sore thumb in an otherwise immaculately presented property.  Luckily, we had our own bar – imagine Mr. T’s delight – (I know you can Sheila Sewchet 😉 ) which also housed a chimney and, once the security shutter was up, it looked out onto the pool so was a semi-outdoor barbecue and we were able to cook more than two burgers at a time.

Empuriabrava Villa Bar

We hired a boat for an hour.  None of us have a Skipper’s licence so we could only go at 3mph around the canals – no sea-faring adventures – which is just as well as I get seasick.

Mr. T, Mlle. T. the elder and her boyfriend went and collected the boat and arrived to pick up me and Mlle T. the younger up at the bottom of the garden.  As you do.

Empuriabrava Residential Marina

Empuriabrava is also home to Europe’s most famous skydiving school, considered to be among the three best in the world.  They have the equipment (don’t know the name) where you enter a vertical tube with a powerful fan in the floor and it simulates freefalling from an aircraft which we saw people doing practically constantly every day.  Eek!!   I didn’t try it out myself because I was accompanied on my holiday by an enormous infected swelling just underneath my eye which meant I had to wear sunglasses all the time – even at night! – in case I put people off their food.    However, Mr. T., one of my madamoiselles and her boyfriend all had a go – albeit briefly as you pay by the minute!!

We had never met ‘the boyfriend’ before and it was perhaps a bit rash to go on holiday with him for a week but he proved to be a lovely chap and, although I also have photos of  my husband and daughter in the wind tunnel thingy – the one taken of him best expresses the thrill and joy the experience apparently gave them.



Just as well they didn’t try it earlier in the week otherwise all our holiday funds would have gone on this one activity!

Anyway, that’s the holiday photos over with – you certainly wouldn’t want to see any of me and my eye.

Just before we left, I decided to make more practical use of the space in my workroom.  I asked the Depot-Vente down the road if they wanted to try to sell my big, lovely oak cupboard and, even though they take 30% of the sale, she said she didn’t want it as it was not ‘à la mode’ and why didn’t I paint it.   I had to laugh as the place is full of crap and I can’t imagine that much of it is ‘à la mode’ but I didn’t really want to paint it the ubiquitous chalky grey that is trendy at the moment, firstly because it’s oak and quite old and it seems a shame and, secondly and more to the point, there are gazillions of carved pieces and twisty turny bits which would be a complete pain in the arse to paint.


So, we manhandled it down two flights of twisty stairs and gave it – sort of on loan so that no money had to change hands – to some friends of ours who have a holiday home here.

I replaced the object of beauty (or not depending on your taste) with some ‘à la mode’ stuff from Ikea which is definitely not beautiful but is eminently more practical.

Ikea Sewing Room

It looks so ‘fit for purpose’ now I feel as if I should be running classes or holding crafty ‘get togethers’ but, if nothing else, it should encourage me to get a move on with all the projects I have in hand so that, next post, I should be able to show you some finished work.




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  1. #1 by katechiconi on September 8, 2016 - 10:06

    I’ll keep the comment short so you don’t have so much reading to catch up on:
    Nice holiday pics, love the oak cupboard but Ikea more practical, sorry about the eye, hope it’s better soon 🙂
    PS: you didn’t go to Spain, you went to Catalunya! It considers itself a different country, one where I spent nearly every holiday staying with my father for 25 years before I emigrated…

    • #2 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 10:29

      O.K. Miss Picky 😉
      I’ll pretend that’s the reason they didn’t understand much of my (Castilian) Spanish.

      • #3 by katechiconi on September 8, 2016 - 10:43

        I had the difference drummed into me more times than I care to remember 😉

  2. #4 by nanacathy2 on September 8, 2016 - 13:09

    Keeping it short tow, ditto Kate’s comment,and I could be her Dad giving that lecture!

    • #5 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 18:00

      I have noticed that Etsy have changed the location of my shop from ‘Toulouse, France’ to ‘Toulouse, Occitania’. No wonder sales are a bit slow. People in the U.S. are already wary of buying from France, let alone somewhere they’ve probably never heard of.

  3. #6 by Mary S Rickles on September 8, 2016 - 14:49

    Glad to hear you had such a nice holiday. Your posts always give me a good chuckle with my morning coffee. Good that “the boyfriend” was a lovely chap and all went well. :))

    • #7 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 17:58

      Thanks Mary – it’s nice to know I can make brighten up somebody’s morning.

  4. #8 by jendavismiller on September 8, 2016 - 16:13

    Lovely post (except for the tricky eye issue, that sounds unpleasant). Love shot of boyfriend skydiving, such a happy moment. The ikea system does look very organized and helpful (pity nobody is interested in the old cabinet…)

    • #9 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 17:56

      Poor boy, he reminds me a bit of Wallace (from the Wallace and Gromit animations) in that photo – though nothing like him in real life, thankfully.
      The cupboard has gone to live in an appreciative home so I’m happy.

  5. #10 by poshbirdy on September 8, 2016 - 16:33

    Shame about the eye thing. We tried the indoor skydiving in Singapore and it is SO much fun. I was a bit rubbish though and was outclassed by my husband. That’s got to be a first and last!!

    • #11 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 17:54

      Funny you should say that because my daughter came out of there looking a bit disappointed and I think it was because she found it quite hard to keep her body flat so didn’t do as well as her Dad or her boyfriend and that really annoyed her. On the plus side, caught in the uprush of air, she looks as if her cheekbones have been carved from alabaster in the photos. For no other reason than that I might have to give it a go next time I get the opportunity.

  6. #12 by lilbitbritlit on September 8, 2016 - 16:42

    The craft room looks great.

    • #13 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 17:47

      Thank you.
      What happened to your embryonic WordPress blog?

  7. #14 by Dartmoor Yarns on September 8, 2016 - 16:58

    Sounds like you had a great hols apart from the eye issue 😦 Sorry to hear about that. Love the new workspace, although the oak cabinet is lovely and definitely not for painting!

    • #15 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 17:46

      So annoying – I’ve never had a stye or any other nasty thing in my eye before and it chooses my holiday week to attack me. All my nice holiday outfits didn’t help me feel any less hideous and I must tell you that wearing sunglasses in restaurants at night breeds suspicion :/

      • #16 by Dartmoor Yarns on September 8, 2016 - 18:32

        I’m sure you didn’t look half as hideous as you thought you did, but it is so horrible having something like that on your face. We’re lucky we don’t have anything permanent. As for sunglasses indoor, LH banged his head on a low beam in a pub today, because he was wearing sunglasses indoors. So they don’t just make people suspicious, but a health hazard too.

      • #17 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 18:41

        I shouldn’t have laughed, but I did!

      • #18 by Dartmoor Yarns on September 8, 2016 - 19:37

        Oh you should – the doorway was low too and as we sat in the garden we saw three people bang there heads on that and began amusedly keeping a tally. I went in very carefully when I went to the loo, expecting karma to get me.

  8. #19 by Hila on September 8, 2016 - 18:11

    Your craft room is definitely looking Pinterest -y now (its a huge compliment :-). Hope your eye is better. About the boyfriend – I was once the girlfriend who met the parentals for first time while joining them for 7 day holiday prance around the coast which culminated in a big family get together for their 35th wedding anniversary. I remember being so incredibly nervous most of the time wishing I could have only had to have a dinner with them and be gone :-). It all worked out well as I am now their daughter in law. So you never know……

    • #20 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 18:44

      I might have to buy a hat!! 😉 (Not quite yet though I hope as she’s only 22 and just started work after graduating this year.)

  9. #21 by sewchet on September 8, 2016 - 20:06

    Lovely holiday round up. It reminds me of when I went to Monte Carlo with the girls and we people watched at the marina with all those super-yachts moored up. Brave you to invite a new boyfriend for a week’s holiday! Hope your eye is better soon. Can I have the cabinet? I do a mean paint job on old furniture, lol.

    • #22 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 20:31

      The prices of some of those yachts are astounding aren’t they?
      I went to the doctors about my eye today and she said I should have gone on antibiotics when it started (around 10 days ago) but because the pharmacy in Spain had given me antibiotic ointment, I can’t now take pills so it might take a bit longer. When I was reading your blog about your lovely shawl/cardigan, I noticed you were also wearing sunglasses indoors. Not for the same reason I hope 😉
      I did think of you when I considered painting the cupboard but, imagine trying to get into all those nooks and crannies and, anyway, I don’t think I could bring myself to do it and it still wouldn’t be as practical a use of space as what I have now. I would have put it somewhere else in the house – and trust me I tried – but I have expanded into the available space and I certainly could never be called a minimalist so there was just no room.

      • #23 by sewchet on September 8, 2016 - 20:39

        Ha ha, no – the sun was blinding me through the open French Windows, hence the sunglasses! I was using the self timer and the only surface high enough for the camera was the kitchen worktop with a bucket on top. At least the cupboard has gone to a good home, but I still can’t believe they wouldn’t sell it for you.

      • #24 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 20:54

        Aah! The things that go on the other side of the camera’s lens.
        In this part of France at least, young people don’t want the furniture their parents had and beautiful old houses full of original features are left to rot (unless the Brits and Dutch buy them) while modern, easy to maintain bungalow type houses are proliferating. In the end they will see the error of their ways and be begging me to give back all the antiques they flogged off cheap in their equivalent of boot sales. It’s probably different in Paris.

      • #25 by sewchet on September 8, 2016 - 21:07

        Is it still like that? The last time I went to France was 1998 when the first batch of kids were young. We dreamed about buying a house then when prices were around £12,000 for a doer-upper. We saw so many gorgeous old buildings just left to rot because all the French wanted to live in new builds.

      • #26 by tialys on September 8, 2016 - 23:03

        Depending on the area and how much of a ‘doer upper’ it is – it’s still a bit like that.

  10. #27 by Susan on September 9, 2016 - 03:02

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation with us! I really enjoyed the pictures. The BBQ made me laugh, too. It’s too bad that you couldn’t sell that piece, it’s so beautiful. I grew up with things like that, and I still like them – but they are heavy! Oh, wait, you already know that. =) Your room does look … perhaps more functional?

    • #28 by tialys on September 9, 2016 - 07:42

      It is very functional now – just need to remember where I’ve put everything.

  11. #29 by sew2pro on September 9, 2016 - 09:34

    Just looked up Empuriabrava to find out more about Spain/Catalonia. It looks very close to Carcasonne (from here anyway). Glad you enjoyed. Loved the barbecue, confess I’m a bit creeped by the oak cupboard but wouldn’t have minded an eye picture. When my friend told me she had an allergic reaction to hair dye and her head ‘swelled up like a pumpkin’ the first thing I said was ‘did you take a picture?’ Some friend, eh?

    I hope the eye is better and that everyone mistook your for a celebrity. Anna Wintour?

    • #30 by tialys on September 9, 2016 - 11:11

      It is about 1.5 – 2 hours drive from Carcassonne but that would nearly all be motorway and we take the more ‘scenic’ route i.e. the twisty turny, stomach churning route which is why my daughters always request I drive as I don’t fling them round the corners all the better to induce car sickness. Once you’re over the border into Spain (Catalonia!) it’s about a half hour drive. The French in this region (aka Occitania) often nip down to do their shopping – quite a bit cheaper and no duty to pay.
      The eye isn’t quite as spectacular now and, anyway, I refuse to pander to your weird tendencies 😉

  12. #31 by Kim Hood on September 17, 2016 - 20:06

    That looks like it was a great holiday. I hope your eye is better so you can spend lots of time in that gorgeous room 😃

    • #32 by tialys on September 19, 2016 - 09:10

      Thanks Kim – it’s much better now, at least I can go out without wearing sunglasses which is just as well as the weather has suddenly changed and it would look a little strange in the rain.

  13. #33 by Thimberlina on October 23, 2016 - 03:31

    A bit late, but I had a lull when I didn’t have chance to read many posts. Your holiday sounded fab, though it’s probably a distant memory now. And your work room – I’m soooo jealous! Is it still so tidy tho? I bet productivity has increased up since the upgrade. 😃

    • #34 by tialys on October 23, 2016 - 10:56

      It is still tidy actually – I’m determined not to let it get into the state it once was. Productivity isn’t bad but haven’t had chance to blog about it lately as my Mum’s been over on a visit so we’ve been spending quality time doing some mother/daughter bonding over a bit of knitting.

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