Monday, May 03, 2010

Not such a quiet weekend finalement

Castellas de Montpeyroux
Last weekend I thought I'd be really lazy. The boys were kicking up a storm about not wanting to do either their mountain biking sessions or the competition on Sunday so I decided to let them off. Sunday would require a really early start to get to Laudun near Avignon, complete with picnic lunch and all biking stuff and I frankly couldn't be fagged.

In the end though, far from being lazy, it was jammed packed with activities.

We'll gloss over Saturday morning chores and go for the jugular visit to the 11th century Castellas de Montpeyroux. My youngest is very keen on visiting ruined castles. He loves the Medieval period and has much of the kit and weaponry (much of it bought from Weobly Castle, Gower). I'd seen it on a bike ride so when he asked if we could do something in the afternoon, I suggested going to the castle. It's not far from St Guilhem le Desert, perched above the tiny village of Le Barry.

Unfortunately, when we reached the ruins, they were all closed off for restoration so we could only walk around the perimeter and look at the stunning panoramic view over the Hérault valley. I thought it was terrific, he thought it was nul so we walked back down, through the village with its lovely stone houses and Nintendo 64 game noises emanating out through a window somewhere.

On Sunday, I took him to le Grand Bleu, pool complex in La Grande Motte because he has to pass a 25m swimming test and definitely needs a bit of training to smarten up his strokes. I got in several lengths too. My eldest is now way too cool to want to do things with his mum and little bro. He was mooching around with his mates back home somewhere.

In the afternoon I took my youngest and his pal to the fête Medieval at Les Matelles. I've been before and it's great fun, but this time I was there in time to see the jousting show complete with 3 knights, 2 damsels; fighting, jousting, combat, baddies, romance, brawling broads. We shouted for our favourite, booed the others, along with several hundred other people watching from the slope which overlooked the show-ground. 

We visited all the stands; my youngest bought another knight's tabard (white on red) and an axe with his birthday money. I bought wine, including a stunning white apero wine based on a medieval recipe full of spices from the Silk Route produced by the Chateau d'Exindre at Villeneuve les Maguelone. It's one that Henry III ordered for Christmas 1251 from that very same producer (several generations ago).

There's living history for you.

So, not such a quiet weekend, but certainly one that was more amusing than attending the usual vtt activities. Lots of fun and quite a bit of exercise thrown in too. I'm feeling quite energised!


  1. Spontaneous weekends can be the best - too many plans and obligations just make me tired thinking about them.

  2. Now I know that I should have had kids because it would have got me out more. It sounds like you have been out and about really doing different sort of things.

    I love the idea of your youngest being a knight at home. Does he have a special name - are you allowed to share it with us?

  3. It's the children's activities that really get in the way, I find, PG. They only do vtt and footie but between the two, it's often the whole weekend that's taken up. This is all very well if they love what they're doing, but mine have lost interest in vtt so it's exhausting getting them to where they have to be.

    Last weekend, I just couldn't be fagged with them, and they got to do exactly what they wanted to do in the end.

    FF, he doesn't have a special name although when he was very little my mother called him C the Barbarian... That's a good question though, I'll have to ask him.

  4. Sarah, apologies, I meant to get in touch earlier today! MG did get your e mail, but on Monday his computer crashed, caput! He has just literally walked in the door, with a new computer, which he is just setting up, sorry to be a pain but could you please re-send the email, to this address:


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