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Nearby is Montélimar another pretty town of around 30,000, again with more Roman ruins. 

The local art gallery is presently hosting a very interesting exhibition of well over a hundred works by six contemporary artists.  It’s amazing how much time energy and resources are expended on art in France.  Photographs were prohibited but I got a couple before being informed of the ban.


Montélimar Montélimar2
Montélimar3 Montélimar4




It was a great exhibition and I was disappointed not to be able to record it in more detail, so I purchased the catalogue (more weight to my bag).




We had planned to have a quiet lunch at Mornas where there is a medieval (12th-century) fort that might be interesting.

According to the guidebook:


During the Wars of Religion in the 16th century there was vicious fighting for control of the fortress. In 1562, The Calvinistes of the Marquis de Montbrun captured it, massacred the women and children, and threw the garrison over the cliff onto the spikes below; they allowed only a single person to escape. In 1568, Mornas was retaken by François de La Baume, and the same fate was inflicted on the Protestant garrison.

The strategic importance of the site diminished over the years, and the fortress was already abandoned by the time of the French Revolution.


But now as we approached it was anything but quiet.  The place was packed.  Cars lines the roadside for a kilometre.  Luckily for us a car was just leaving as we approached, allowing us to park very close to the centre of activity.

We had serendipitously arrived in the midst of the annual medieval festival of Mornas.   

It was like a fete, the streets strewn with straw; adults dressed up as knights, matrons and maidens, medieval crafts being demonstrated, and activities including jousting with real lances and horses;  archery for the kids; medieval food; various animals on display, even ferrets;  everyone having a great time.


Mornas Mornas2
Mornas3 Mornas4
Mornas5 Mornas6




Lunch was as one might expect at a fete, a baguette with cheese and ham - but we didn’t mind one bit.

It was a lovely day and we set out again passing through the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on our way to Avignon.

They must still hand pick here.  The vines are like little bushes, not on trellises, as in most wine districts these days.



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USA - middle bits






In September and October 2017 Wendy and I took another trip to the United States where we wanted to see some of the 'middle bits'.  Travel notes from earlier visits to the East coast and West Coast can also be found on this website.

For over six weeks we travelled through a dozen states and stayed for a night or more in 20 different cities, towns or locations. This involved six domestic flights for the longer legs; five car hires and many thousands of miles of driving on America's excellent National Highways and in between on many not so excellent local roads and streets.

We had decided to start in Chicago and 'head on down south' to New Orleans via: Tennessee; Georgia; Louisiana; and South Carolina. From there we would head west to: Texas; New Mexico; Arizona; Utah and Nevada; then to Los Angeles and home.  That's only a dozen states - so there are still lots of 'middle bits' left to be seen.

During the trip, disaster, in the form of three hurricanes and a mass shooting, seemed to precede us by a couple of days.

The United States is a fascinating country that has so much history, culture and language in common with us that it's extremely accessible. So these notes have turned out to be long and could easily have been much longer.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Stace and Hall family histories


The following family history relates to my daughter Emily and her mother Brenda.  It was compiled by my niece Sara Stace, Emily’s first cousin, from family records that were principally collected by Corinne Stace, their Grandmother, but with many contributions from family members.  I have posted it here to ensure that all this work is not lost in some bottom draw.  This has been vindicated by a large number of interested readers worldwide.

The copyright for this article, including images, resides with Sara Stace. 

Thus in respect of this article only, the copyright statement on this website should be read substituting the words 'Sarah Stace' for the words 'website owner'.

Sara made the original document as a PDF and due to the conversion process some formatting differs from the original.  Further, some of the originally posted content has been withdrawn,  modified or corrected following requests and comments by family members.  






Stace and Hall family histories

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Opinions and Philosophy

The Origin of Life - according to God




Back in April 2013 I had another visit from our neighbourhood Jehovah's Witnesses,  a pretty young woman and her husband, recently married.   Like Daniel (mentioned elsewhere on this website) before them, they had brought copies of The Watchtower and Awake; which I agreed to read if they were prepared to read my paper: The Prospect of Eternal Life.

I keep a couple of copies of The Prospect of Eternal Life for just such occasions and have also given a copy to the local Anglican minister and to various other active proselytisers in the area; with similar conditions.  Of course I know it will not change their position but I do like to have the debate and amazingly so do they; it beats the usual reception they get; and they get some practice in trying to convert un-believers. 

When the couple asked my position I quickly summarised that in The Prospect of Eternal Life

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