Briar Glen Farms

Breeders of Ragalong Ragdoll Kittens and Cats
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home from France

Got home from France the day before yesterday and have to report that I had an absolutely fabulous time.
Paris - smog, smog, smog. Drivers are insane, but had a blast throwing myself wholeheartedly into the fray when I missed a turn and had to go back. The French do not observe green lights or red lights. They just go and consequently you have chaos which can be likened to a video game of who squeezes who out of the line at an intersection. I had to bone up quickly on my obscene gestures and foul language to compete properly. Great fun and very liberating!!!
On to Orleans where the Southern European Regional Awards were being held. Imagine....900 cats competing in both TICA and Traditional judging (which is another story). The line ups were incredible and the French were lined up for miles to check in, shivering in the cold. Fortunately for me, coming from Canada, it felt just fine even in short sleeves. Their passion for their cats is phenomenal. Post check in you then line up again to have a vet go over your cat and check its papers and microchip numbers. Quite an experience!! The people are fabulous. Warm, friendly and welcoming. I had two kittens with me, Bree and Showgirl. Bree was already sold to a party down in the South of France who could not get to the airport, so poor me, had to drive to the South of France to deliver Bree after the show. A tough job, but someone had to do it. There was a Ragdoll Specialty in the Traditional Division and both Bree and Showgirl got good finals and I was left with the dilema of how to pack all the awards to fly back home.
The awards banquet was fabulous and the TICA best cat, a Ruddy Abysinnian was there along with his cheering section. All in all a wonderful experience with wonderful people and judges. On the advice of one of the Ragdoll breeders, went to Amboise to see the castle where the King of France installed Leonardo Da Vinci for a few years before he died. Did a cute hotel right inside town with the narrow streets and walking a spell to get to your parking, but all part of the experience.
On to Nice to deliver Bree. Being a country girl, did not really enjoy the Cannes/Nice scene too much with things like numerous signs showing you to watch your handbag at all costs all the ime or!!! Took a couple of pictures of obscenely large yachts and headed to Marie Sur Mer in the Camargue. Now that's my kind of place. Small town on the Mediterranean complete with horses, horses, horses and wild black bulls. Wonderful Bed and Breakfast 150 meters from the sea and 3 minutes in to the town center for 50 euros a night. Complete kitchen, sitting area, washing machine and wonderful comfy bed in the loft. 2 days there and off to the Pyrenees for 3 days at Laytoure Bed and Breakfast. A 17th century restored farm home in the country. Couldn't ask for more. All the heritage atmosphere with a completely modern bathroom and kitchen. 50 euros a night with a great breakfast. Had to decide if I was going to do two days there and make a run up the freeways at the usual 150 KMs an hour to visit Metz where I had lived for 4 years as a kid, or ..... stay in the 17 century farm home. No contest, laid back and relaxed. Did a few sojourns to Carcasonne and the surrounding towns taking pictures of "cows". Blonde D'Aquitaines, Simmentals, Limousins, Gascons and some Friesians. Saw caverns etc. but really enjoyed the country scenes. Back up to Paris after having some fabulous meals, "lots" of Regional wines and try to find the bloody airport which would not compute on the GPS I had. (I need a 6 year old with me to run these machines). I was not alone, however as there were lines of cars parked outside the terminal 1 asking the same question I had. Where do you park the rental cars???? I got lucky in that I was leaving from terminal 1 and previous to that had no idea from any of my tickets or car documents, which bloody terminal (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) I was leaving from but had stopped for my inquiries at terminal 1 first. Parked the car and was glad I had it over night as it was a quiet place to sleep. My sojourns in to the airport at night (trying to get my biological clock back to our time) showed poor passengers trying to get comfortable on chairs while the sounds of jack hammers went off all night long. Good little car!!! Home again and happy to see Corky and will check up on all the kids. Love to see the cats and dogs and farm. We are very lucky to live in Canada, as everywhere I went, they all want to come to Canada. That's all folks.

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