Towns that smell of chocolate*

To be honest I think I’ve only ever been to the one, although both Edinburgh, my home of nearly thirty years, and Carlisle, smell of biscuits.**

The chocolatey town? Oloron Ste Marie  in the south of France, where we visited the Lindt factory. Actually that’s a bit misleading, I don’t think you can take factory tours. What you can do is visit the FACTORY SHOP.


chocolate similar to that available

A bit of a disclaimer, that bar of chocolate was not bought in Oloron. I mean really what were  you expecting? That I’d saved a bar of chocolate for over six months? I think I do quite well giving it up for the six weeks of Lent.

And I wrote about what happened to my virtuous plans of avoidance yesterday.

The pretty bag on the other hand is genuine. You can buy Lindor boules in a huge variety of flavours. More than shown in that link. Arrayed as a massive Pick’n’Mix. And then there were the boxes of chocolates, bars of all sizes, bags of rejected misshapes, and end of line flavours that didn’t fly.  I really was quite good, several boxes of chocolates and most of the pick and mix came home with us. And a fair quantity of that made its way to others as a gift. But I did enjoy a “lucky dip” into the misshapes as we travelled about.

There’s a lot more to Oloron than chocolate. It’s a pretty place to wander around with its two mountain rivers or “gaves” which merge to form the “Gave d’Oloron”.


this is the Gave d’Aspe

And the church of Sainte Marie d’Oloron is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth a visit when that’s possible.


It’s also one of the few places where traditional French berets are made. We found them in this beautiful traditional shop, Souviron Palas.


I decided against a beret but we found some good Christmas presents there.


The weather wasn’t so great on the day of our visit to Oloron-Ste-Marie,  but we did enjoy some Autumn sunshine while we were in the area. And glimpses of the Pyrenees.


A demain

Marina xx

*It really did

**Edinburgh’s Sighthill district is home to Burton’s biscuits and the smell of shortbread often fills the air. In Carlisle the scent is  Carr’s water biscuits


Getting dressed up

Whether for stage or fancy dress


that’s me in my black wedding dress, and as a guest.

Or just for the heck of it.

Though I wasn’t all dressed up just for a paddle. MrS was attending an event.

But no excuse except sunshine and a summer fair for the second pic.

And that sliver of fruity dress?  A coral island.

I’m fond of a hat

Sadly both these old favourites are now lost.

Other accessories

And a (not so) little black dress*

And sometimes have fun with wigs

achieving  a passing resemblance to Kay Moggie aka The Glamour Puss and the dress up queen.

At weekends MrS and me sit down to a nice supper, and I put on a frock and do my make up. No photos of that though, I’m more likely to capture the food.


Or the table setting.


Actually I wear make up; sunblock, lip and eyebrows every day**. And so I’ve kept this up during lockdown. In fact I’ve tried to make sure I put on decent clothes for at least part of the day even though I may have been scrabbling about in the garden for most of it.

I’m not trying to be all smug saying that, it’s just the way I am. I’ve always loved clothes and dressing up. And while I’d love to look chic in a white shirt and jeans, elegant in slouchy trousers, and adorable in pyjamas,  my broad shoulders (and hips) and short legs mean that only happens in my minds eye, never the mirror.  So my default outfit is a dress. And I’m always on the lookout for the holy grail. Loose but not shapeless, bracelet length sleeves, and pockets.


“Pfft! I don’t need adornment “

And depending on how long lockdown lasts I may be wearing more and more hats, or experimenting with scarves. Two weeks overdue at the salon, my hair, which I’ve been growing has left the “growing out quite nicely” stage ,but hasn’t yet reached ponytail. And as for the colour …… I haven’t seen my natural hair colour since my early teens, forty years or so ago.  And it’s not going to be any shade I remember.

Ha! The earliest ones are black and white, no help there. Unless…..

So until tomorrow



Marina xx

*I’ve only once been let down wearing one of these. A drinks party where it seemed every other woman wore tailored jeans, pearls and pretty flats. I felt I should have been handing round the snacks.

**A habit I inherited from my mother.