two-penneth of Lord help us on a workhouse door step

The expression “two-penneth of Lord help us on a workhouse door step” was one of my Gran’s sayings.  Bella just epitomised that expression for me today.  She is still feeling so sorry for herself.  It’s sad to see her not being her usual bouncy, doggy, greedy self.

two-penneth of Lord help us on a workhouse doorstep

two-penneth of Lord help us on a workhouse doorstep

We did manage to get her out on a short walk around the village and saw some  little chèvres and some lovely Wisteria.IMG_3278IMG_3280




les mauvaises herbes

Set off at 8am from home and well 26 hours later and we’re back en France.


Callum’s happy, he’s playing with Matthew and Nathan, the neighbours children. I’m happy, Callum’s happy AND my little fig tree survived the winter.


Grandmas happy the internet is working. The only one down in the dumps is Bella.


She’s been off it all week. Took her to the vets on Thursday tea time and he couldn’t find anything obvious so gave her antibiotics. But she’s still not eating properly and was sick in the hotel room during the stopover in Tours. If she’s no better I’m going to have to take her to the vet here in Duras. The vets assistant at home is bilingual, so she wrote out Bella’s symptoms for me to give to the vet here. Just boiled some rice to see if she’ll eat.

A little bit of French “mauvaise herbe” – WEED, and we have a few.  I love the translation “bad grass”.  Here’s a beauty!


Have some not so bad grass too.

IMG_3267Grandma thinks these gorgeous little purple flowers are Common Vetch.

IMG_3268But also lots of Daisies and Dandelions.


Bella now snoozing and seems a little better:)


Dune du Pilat

Dune du Pilat

Dune du Pilat

My main fear about setting off for this tourist destination was “can I take Bella, the dog?”.  I couldn’t find any information on the web that told me whether dogs were allowed or not.  So we set off anyway.  Bella had to come with us, as it would be an all day trip.

Getting to the Dune du Pilat takes about a couple of hours from where we are.  It is a straight route apart from navigating the Bordeaux ring road.

On getting closer we were slightly confused by the use of two differently spelt names for the dune. 

Signs Dune du Pilat

So Dune du Pilat or Dune du Pyla?  In official/historical documents the spelling is Pilat.  For example the official document “Mise en place du suivi de l’évolution récente de la Grande Dune du Pilat”, (Implementation of monitoring the recent developments of the Great Dune of Pilat), (Décembre 2010).

Pilat comes from the Gascon word Pilhar, which means a heap or mound.

The term of Pyla appears to come from the proximity of the seaside resort of Pyla sur Mer, which was founded in 1920 and is to the north of the dune. So the Dune has also come to be called Dune du Pyla.

Good news, as we headed out of the car park and towards the Dune there was a sign.  Dogs on leads are allowed on the Dune.

Dogs on leads are allowed on the Dune

Dogs on leads are allowed on the Dune

Steps up the Dune du Pilat

Steps up the Dune du Pilat

Climbing the Dune du Pilat

Bella , Cal & Ad climbing the Dune du Pilat

The Dune

The Dune

According to Wikipedia, the dune has a volume of around 60,000,000 m³, and is approximately 500 m wide by 2.7 km in length. It’s height is around 110 metres above sea level and it has more than one million visitors per year.

Cal mounts Dune

Cal mounts Dune

Cal descends Dune

No dog on the beach

No dogs on the beach

No dogs again

Bella enjoyed the climb up the Dune and having settled ourselves down for a sunbath on the beach to the other side of it, we were disappointed to be told that we couldn’t be there with the dog.  Shame, long walk back up.  But despite this I would recomend this destintation as a great day out.

Bella digging on the Dune

Bella digging on the Dune