at last… my folks came to town!

31 Jul
the aussies came to town

a visit …all the way from home

They came, they saw, we drank – woohooey!

It was meant to have been a BIG surprise, but in the end we knew.  But that didn’t change ANYTHING in the way of how excited I was to have my parents – for the first time in 12 years!!- come and visit us.

My lovely brother had tried as hard as he could to keep it a surprise until the very last but, with all sorts of things popping up on his end and ours,  had to tell us that he was heading our way with two of his kids and da da da daaaa…  Ma and Pop in tow!

Since we moved here 14 years ago I’ve been enormously lucky to have had so many friends and family stay – and each time is so special as you get to enjoy each person on their own and usually over an extended time (hey, this is no quick side trip on the itinerary – if you’re going to travel from one side of the world to the other you’d better make it a decent trip!).  I adore going back to see everyone in Oz, but it can get hectic trying desparately to catch up with everyone at once.  This way, when people come to stay on our turf, I can relish every minute of their company and not have to juggle with a social diary.

So this was Jan and Pete’s – and Mark, Ruby and James’s turn to finally drop their bags and hang out (in the home that my parents hadn’t seen until now!)

I took them to all the places they’d rememebered vividly from twelve years ago,  dined in a few lovely bistrots, cooked my favourite meals for them, introduced them to our mates and even snuck in a few drinking sessions, bien sur,  with Benji’s wines (yes I’ll make it clear you don’t drink the stuff Mum).

I can’t tell you how good it was to have everyone here at last.   I’m still smiling.  Thanks big bro Mark for making it happen!

ps – a word of warning!  there’s a few pics down below, sorry – but hell, this trip was twelve years in the making!

waking up on the first morning

the view on the first morning

lilas' classroom

showing Ma and Pop the classroom

La Cite - aka Kevin

La Cite in Carcassonne – or ‘Kevin’ as we like to call it.
The original hill site dates back to the 6th Century BC, with the Romans fortifying the hilltop in 100 BC. The Visigoths claimed the land from the 5th and 6th centuries. It was held by various different leaders from the 11th century onwards and underwent a complete renovation in the 19th century.

the dunny

an elegant entry to the dunny

inside Kevin

inside Kevin

outside the Cite walls

outside Kevin

buying turkish delight

buying ‘Loukoum’ (Turkish Delight) at the Olonzac market

Acca Dacca rules

the Aussies at the Olonzac market – with a bit of Aussie culture thrown in


lunch at L’Estagnol in Narbonne

in the cloitre in Narbonne

after lunch stroll in ‘le cloitre’ (the cloister) of the Cathedral of ‘Saint Just et Saint Pasteur’ of Narbonne – built during the 14th and 15th centuries

view from le cloitre

view from le cloitre (cloister)

2CV in Narbonne

a happier Citroen 2CV in Narbonne

dad and junior at the stove

Dad and ‘Junior’ at the stove making the family favourite, Osso Buco (YES Phillip, one more time!!)

mark, lilas and pop

Mark, Lilas and Pop (keep working Mark)

AOP St Chinian

Benji’s juice, Nicki’s artwork…

working hard

working hard on the terrace with Who and the Australian Woman’s Weekly, direct off the plane from Oz

going where?

off to Minerve


Minerve – this fortified village is perched above the Brian and the Cesse rivers and earliest writings on it date back to the 9th century. It is famous for being a Cathar stronghold until the early 13th century.

Chateau Minerve

Chateau Minerve

dunny view

one of the best views in Minerve – located from the cafe’s dunny.
Love the wallpaper

romeo and juliet on the bridge

Romeo and Juliet on the bridge

fruits of the season

a wine producer selling some other fruit!

swimming in Minerve

a great way to finish the visit… swimming in Minerve

canal du midi

one of the folks’ faves, the Canal du Midi

family portrait

happy campers

12 Responses to “at last… my folks came to town!”

  1. Ros Eime at 3:04 am #

    Really enjoying your blog Katrina and especially seeing Pete’s happy face. Pass on my regards Ros Eime.

  2. Evonne at 2:17 pm #

    Kat, so happy for you to have had this special time with your family. You look ecstatic! Gorgeous photos as always, love to you all, Evonne xxx

    • The vigneron's wife at 3:43 pm #

      Yes it was a great time Evonne. Made the most of every minute of it.
      Lots and lots of love to you and your little ones xo

  3. Simon Fisher at 10:33 pm #


  4. Nickers at 5:02 am #

    LOVED seeing the Livesey’s in action in the Languedoc, brought back loads of memories of touring with Jan & Pete. Let’s go 2013!!

    • The vigneron's wife at 11:09 pm #

      Yooheey Nick, hey ho let’s go 2013 I agree!!
      Glad you enjoyed seeing the folks. Still can’t believe it – so happy to have had this time.

  5. kevin gleig at 11:36 am #


    I’m outraged – you see a crumbly old city, huge and falling to bits; and you see a knock-kneed knackered old nosebag of a car, no longer of any use nor ornament, and what name do you give these ruins? (ok, I know, I should be flattered)



    • The vigneron's wife at 11:15 pm #

      Oh Kevin, beauty is in the eye…
      But sorry, can’t say it’s an ode to you. It’s an old thing from way back… to do with the Robin Hood film with Kevin Costner being partly filmed there. An old joke between some Aussies!

  6. Kirsty Heysen at 2:02 pm #

    oh Kat
    beautiful family time and everyone looking so happy – love it xx

    • The vigneron's wife at 11:16 pm #

      Yes it was Kirst – a really special time for us. Loved it all.
      When can you come again??!? Bedroom’s always ready!

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