So after that whole palaver with the energy companies and the bills, this weekend I also managed to lock myself out of my flat from Saturday afternoon until this morning when the agency that manages the property opened again and I also managed to get an official caution for travelling on an expired railcard (how is it a whole year since I got that thing?!)
Cue the worst Saturday of the academic year so far and lots of tears being swallowed as I was told that anything I said could and would be held against me in the train station. Scary times.
I stayed at my friend Sophie's and spent Sunday eating burgers, wandering the Christmas section of John Lewis and binge watching Game of Thrones (I've always been a GoT reader not a watcher as I'm terrified of gore and sex scenes make me cringe but I actually enjoyed it!)
Needless to say I'm feeling much better and more on form today! Especially now that I've got my keys back and have finally changed into some fresh clothes. Yum.
I'm finishing off my French pictures now and who knows, maybe next time I'll get around to talking about that bloody amazing month-long trek across Canada that I did this summer?
First, au revoir to the Dordogne...
Our last full day began as a cloudy one. Seeing as I have a track record for visiting beautiful gardens exclusively when it's raining, the obvious choice for the day was les Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac.
It was a bit of an impulsive choice made that day - lounge around eating buttery croissant or get out and do something? - but one that we all really appreciated. In fact, I think it was the best day out we had all week.
Mum, Jess, Andrew and I set off and left Michele and Dad to have a lazy day at home. Which was a huge mistake on their part but nevermind.
I drove us there in our little rental Lancia (which I absolutely loved - it drove like a dream all the way to Sarlat from Milan and back!) and we spent the morning having a really good stroll through the gardens.
The gardens are situated right at the top of one of the impressive golden cliffs that meander alongside the river and are so huge that at times you can easily kid yourself that you have the place all to yourselves. From below, all that can be seen is a mass of trees; from above, you're enveloped in a forest of green.
Until you come across one of the amazing viewpoints.
Where you can see for miles and miles and miles.
^Look how teeny the canoes are! That was us a few days before!
We headed back into the woods and started making our way back down towards the main gardens. There were huge canvases everywhere depicting fairy scenes - I think it ruined the ambience of the gardens a little but you could definitely see where they were coming from by injecting a little of the mythical into our walk.
Now, we were supposed to go home for lunch. But I mean, come on.
There was a terrace cafe and the food looked good and then the sun began to suggest it might come out for lunch too and before we could stop ourselves we were sitting down and ordering, hardly casting a thought for the two guys at home.
Quick, tasty and with a view to die for.
And they also had really good taste in icecream decoration!
There isn't much to see of the house itself but a couple of rooms are open to the public. The only thing I wanted to know is when are they going to put the place on Airbnb?!
It was beginning to get late and we felt a little guilty by this point, having had lunch without telling the others and all, so we took one last little walk around to admire the view before heading home.
And it would have been rude to end the holiday on such a high note without including Michele and Dad so we headed into Sarlat for the evening to have a last dinner all together.
We ate at La Rapiere in the town centre which turned out surprisingly delicious food for such a touristy area (snob, moi?)
You know that feeling you get when your meal's ending and you don't want the food to be gone, even though you're absolutely stuffed? Then you know how it's so much worse when you're on holiday and you don't want to have to pack up and leave in the morning?
Yeah.. we had that.
So we decided to go into the main square for one last luminous drink and one last watch of the hilarious and brilliant street performers (including this guy who fanned his dog ALL OVER whilst he was setting up - so strange!)
I love family holidays!
Now, back to Autumn...