Well, Albi

This gardener is en vacances this week. Hence the absurd long wait between posts. Remember when I used to write daily? And then thrice weekly? You would think that this sort of discipline would be a cinch for an old pro journo like me.


Still, let’s crack on, shall we? And try not to insert too many Well, Albi Damned. Amazed. Pleased puns.

A river town. In the middle of France. Slap back en route for our trip to the Pyrénées.

And as it was unexpected (we needed to break our journey across France somewhere, this turned up).

And what a delight. I do love a town that has eschewed traffic in the old quarter. It feels the way Girona does. That hum of happiness when you can wander the old streets and not have to dodge vehicles.

Monster fish in the river below the sluice gates. Medieval bridges to amble over, history dripping from every street. Greenery everywhere. Happy gardener.

And what an extra. The LaPerouse museum to tickle the Australian tourist.

That’s the aristo Jean Francois Galaup de LaPerouse (1741 to 1788) to you. And quite cleverly, the museum made an amalgamation of the many explorers of LaPerouse’s time to fill out the exhibit.

There is a whole novel to be written just in this list. Fascinating.

This won’t mean much to anyone who hasn’t been around Sydney harbour. But these are the original depth measurements taken by someone on the French ship who docked just a bit too late after Captain Cook.

The watercolours are so deeply satisfying. And I particularly like the track at Botany Bay which describes French Man’s Road which leads to Sydney Cove. And that perky little British flag.

I know it has nothing whatsoever to do with gardening. Nor does standing below the sign that reads Square Botany Bay. But I bet every visiting Australian tourist does it, so why miss a bit of visual continuity?