From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Sunday 15 January 2012

A routine takes shape

The three human members of the Wanderly Wagons team are falling into a nice routine now, and the four-legged team members are following suit.

We're all up sometime between 7 and 8, and take our dogs out first thing.  We frequently meet on these early morning outings, which results in a frenzy of tail-wagging in the early morning gloom as our three recognise Anne and whichever of her dogs is accompanying her.

Then it's time for breakfast, usually just fruit, yoghurt, cereal and a cuppa.  The intention is that George & I then go for a fairly decent walk before he starts work at 10, but between one thing and another (mostly this rotten cold I've had), we've only managed to accomplish this twice.  However I think I'm finally starting to shake it off, so there'll be no excuses soon!
Me with the Hyper-terriers and Poppie

If George is serious about doing the Three Peaks Challenge this year, he'll have to get a bit more diligent about his walking - he's also threatening to drag me along for the Three Peaks thingy, but we'll see about that....

One of us (mostly Anne) goes up to feed the horses at about ten.
Anne lugging bales while we spy from the nearby hillside!

Later in the morning Anne & I meet up to give Poppie and Roxy a good run - they both really enjoy this and burn off loads of energy chasing each other around.  Cookie and Fionn regularly come too, but I've decided not to bring Cinnamon any more as the "big girls" are too energetic for her and she really doesn't enjoy it - she spends the entire walk off-leash but as close to me as she can possibly get so she doesn't get bowled over!

Then it's lunch time, followed by time to ride and of course, spend quality time with the horses!

Temperatures have been up to 13-15C by the middle of the day for the past few days.  This is warm enough to have the very furry Flurry just breaking sweat while doing nothing, so he sweats up quite a bit even with the very gentle hacking that we are doing.  GiGi is not so hairy, so at worst she is just a little warm after our hacks.

We are starting to find our way around a bit better now and have worked out a couple of hacks that suit our barefoot horses.  Yesterday we were able to ride through the fields alongside the road for most of the way, but even so GiGi was particularly tender footed by the time we got back so we really need to be careful not to overdo it.

We followed the road on the left for a couple of kilometres :
you can see the track inside the field that we're allowed to ride on
We can't wait til we can put their boots on and start doing longer hacks - there's a lovely two hour hack up the mountains behind us to the village of Montjustin that we have ear-marked as our first long one!
Montjustin is at the very far end of the ridge.  Our route will take us all the way along the crest of the ridge
After riding, it's back home, time for a coffee usually, then take the dogs out for a wee (the hyper terriers have been a bit leaky in the past, but they're behaving at the moment!) before starting dinner.

At some stage most days we have to squeeze in a visit to a local market or the shops - it has to be during the morning for the markets, as they all finish by lunchtime.
On Tuesdays, there is a small market in Apt with all local producers.

On Saturdays, Apt hosts a very big and vibrant market, where there is all manner of stuff on sale, from foodstuffs to leather goods to household wares to touristy stuff.  There's a great buzz in the town and it's well worth a visit.  

Cereste has it's own little market on Thursdays, and the nearby village of Reillanne has a small but busy market on Sundays, which is a regular meeting place for all the local ex-pats.

There's a fantastic range in all of these markets of local and fresh foods to buy, but it's very easy to overshop because it all looks so good!

We've now found a nice saddlery, in Manosque, half an hour away, and a pet superstore, also in Manosque, as well as the SFR (a French mobile network) shop in Apt and several good wine-shops.
Hmm, must start planning some vineyard visits soon!

Finally, here's a shot of the tree-lined road on the way into Cereste, just because it's so quintessentially French!

PS Just remembered I'd better credit George Greenlee for some of the photos here!


  1. Lovely update Martine. You appear to be settling in well.Sounds, and looks, very nice.

  2. Well for one minute we thought you were getting lazy, nothing for a few days then, wow what a great blog; beautiful pics that make me feel quite home sick; Poppie looks very very happy, which is so fabulous. Thank you all and please continue to enjoy it all. We are loving NZ and I know Angela is very happy here as am I;

  3. Sounds like perfect days! And the scenery is absolutely beautiful!

  4. Love the picture of Martine and the dogs - how great to see Poppie looking so happy and relaxed with her friends.

  5. What a great update! We love the sound of all those markets!

    Lovely to read that everyone is well settled in now and enjoying the new routines!