Long time no see- I haven’t updated this blog in a while, due to a family death and dealing with selling the house, legal matters and other life stress. In the meantime I’ve been to Austria and Germany and organised a few gigs and a small festival. More on that later.

In July I went to Kitzbühel in Austria for work. I was there to run a workshop in the local middle school, and the mayor gave me and my three co-workers tickets for the local ski lift. The weather was pretty bad the week I was there, but was fine enough one day to go to the top of the Hahnenkamm, one of the local peaks. Kitzbühel is 700m above sea level, the ski lift takes you to 1200m and then there’s a fairly easy walk up to the 2000m height of the Ehrenbachhöhe.

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Bienvenue à Lassay les Châteaux

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My mother lives in a small town in Northern France called Lassay-les-Châteaux. For a few years she’s had a holiday caravan in a park nearby, and at Christmas she bought a house in the town. The English version of wikipedia has practically nothing to say about Lassay-les-Châteaux other than showing photos of two of the three local castles- one in the town centre, the other two just outside. (The town’s name also sounds like it means “leave the castles” in French). The French entry doesn’t tell you much more, except that a lot of people were guillotined there in the Revolution, the local mayor doesn’t belong to a political party (after a long line of right-wingers), and that Victor Hugo visited once. It’s just not a place where things happen. If you want the quiet life, you can find it in Lassay.

There’s a small town square with a pharmacy, bakers, convenience store, two bars, café, florists, hairdresser and an antique shop that’s rarely open, and a post office a short walk away. There’s a small supermarket and a vets just outside town, but for anything else you need to drive to the next towns, which are just over the border in Normandy.

The picture above is my mum’s street, just off the main square- Rue du Champ de Foire- Fairground Street (the green where they used to have the fairs is a short walk away). Her house is on the left. An old man lived there before, so builders are currently updating it, so no interior pictures yet. There’s steep wooden stairs up to the attic, and a nice walled garden with apple trees in.

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