Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Michelin House

This is Michelin House on the corner of Fulham Road and Sloane Ave. It opened in 1911 as the headquarters of Michelin tyres in the UK. When opened it used to have fitting bays where the cars were driven in to have their tyres changes. Over 30,000 tyres were stored in the basement

I'm not sure what style you would call this except eye catching. No longer owned by Michelin it was bought jointly by Sir Terence Conran, the retailer and Paul Hamlyn, the publisher.

They restored some of the original features and put in a restaurant and Oyster bar called Bibendum as well as offices and a Conran shop.

There are three large stained glass windows featuring 'Bibendum' the Michelin man/ Unfortunately these are not the original windows which were taken down for safe keeping during the war and sent to the Michelin factory in Stoke on Trent. When it was time for them to be returned they could not be found. A mystery that has still not been solved.

At the front of the building are these two pinnacles made to look like tyres.

A ceramic tyre has been used elsewhere in the decoration.

On both sides of the building just above head height are decorative tiles showing famous racing cars that used Michelin tyres.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Last day in Canada

Had a reasonable night but the room was as dark in the morning as it was at night.  The owner, who was very chatty and amiable, made us some delicious waffles for breakfast. Afterwards we walked down to the river. It was very misty but the water was hardly moving, creating some beautiful reflections.

We returned to the hotel which you can see in the background. Today we were returning to Ottawa where I would be catching my flight home and M would be staying on for a couple more days to visit family.

It wasn't a long drive so we had time to visit Gattinaux Park for a couple of hours. Unfortunately the weather was not so kind and it poured with rain.

I loved the park, only sorry the weather wasn't better so we could go for a walk. Time passed very quickly and it wasn't long before I had to go to the airport. A sad goodbye to M but all being well we'll meet up for another adventure in a country new to us both in 2018.
Sharing with James at

Monday, 13 November 2017


More blue skies and sunshine as we left Montreal.

Once on the Highway away from the traffic jams of the city we settled down for a pleasant drive to Montebello. I was fascinated by this truck in front, which had metal wheels that could be lowered for use on railway lines.

It wasn't long before we were travelling by the banks of the River Ottawa.
We needed to cross the river via a ferry.

We were the only ones on the ferry but it only took a few minutes.

Once across it was a short drive to the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello.

Known as the largest log cabin in the world we decided we would have lunch here.

Historically this was founded as a private club in 1930. It took just four months for this massive cedar Chateau to be built. Hundreds of craftsmen used 10,000 red cedar logs to build the resort's three main buildings, all cut and set by hand.

For 40 years after its completion it remained the private retreat of the Seigniory Club whose membership included Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco as well as Canadian business men and politicians.

 In 1970 the resort was taken over by the Canadian Pacific Hotels who opened it to the public and renamed it Le Chateau Montebello. Now known as the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello it attracts visitors from all over the world including myself! Historic meetings have been held here including a G7 International Economic summit attended by Ronald Regan, Pierre Trudeau, Francois Mitterand and Margaret Thatcher. So this was the obvious choice for lunch. We had  the buffet lunch and I am just sorry I didn't take any photos. It was fine dining at its best and considering it was a buffet which included lobster and other shellfish, variety of meats, vegetables, salads and numerous desserts it was the best value for money I've had in a long time. To eat as much as you want cost £20 and they refunded the parking fee!

Afterwards we we strolled around the grounds which were extensive and beautiful.

There are lots of things to do here including swimming, curling, cycling, cross country skiing etc. I decided to follow one of the trails through the grounds.

It was a beautiful, peaceful walk.

Light was beginning to fade so it was time to find M

I didn't have to look too far.

We went back inside to sit near the giant fireplace and enjoy a drink.

Another first for me - table ice hockey.

Eventually we had to go and find our hotel - regretting that we hadn't booked to stay at the Fairmont for the night. On reflection we probably did the right thing. A room at the Fairmont would have cost approx £250 for the night without breakfast. We were paying £95 for a room in the town with breakfast. Other than going for a swim I don't think we would have used any more of their facilities during an overnight stay.
We were staying at the Auberge, a large 3 storey hotel with a view of the river. I think there were about 50 rooms. As it was the end of the season only three or four were occupied. It felt very spooky to me. The room was very clean but was long, narrow and dark. In the evening we went out to the local bistro but being a city girl I felt ill at ease walking along the dark, empty streets of the town. M on the other hand, being a country girl, was very much at home. The bistro was full when we got there- obviously the place to be on a Saturday night.