Online travel agency Exoticca bags $4.1M for market expansion

Online travel agency Exoticca bags $4.1M for market expansion

Barcelona-based online travel agency Exoticca — which sells “affordable luxury” holidays to popular destinations such as India, Kenya, Brazil, Thailand and South Africa — has closed a €3.5 million (~$4.1 million) Series A to expand into more markets. The lead investor is early-stage Madrid-based VC K Fund, with existing investors Sabadell Venture Capital and Grupo Palau also participating, along with new investors Nero Ventures, Palladium Corporate Venture and Smartech Capital. Exoticca was founded in 2013 and currently operates in three European markets: Spain, France and the U.K. The new funding will be put…

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Goodbye green flocked wallpaper

Goodbye green flocked wallpaper

Time to say goodbye to the green flocked wallpaper in our Gite. Decorating tastes of course vary around the world (witness the enthusiasm for Scandinavian minimalistic for example), but to my knowledge there hasn’t ever been a fashion craze for French decorating.  When we were house hunting to buy our Gite in September 2003 we saw a number of “interesting” wallpaper styles in the properties we viewed, and fortunately the Gite we eventually did buy was relatively “normal”. Except for the little girl’s bedroom in pink and purple that is,…

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Stepping up without sliding down

Stepping up without sliding down

I had to look it up, but it was back in August 2010 that we had a new set of railway sleeper steps built from the pool up to the garden and climbing frame. For some reason I never took any photos of the construction of the steps, so at the bottom of this posting I’ll correct that and share what I do have. But the topic in hand was improving those steps.  The steps were made of used railway sleepers so they were as tough as anything and certainly…

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Tiling the downstairs bathroom (part two)

Tiling the downstairs bathroom (part two)

Following on from fitting the new shower cubicle, the next job in the downstairs bathroom was to tile the other walls to match those of the shower cubicle. Here’s how it looked at the start, on the opposite wall is the toilet, vanity unit and washing machine, with tiling part way up the wall beside the toilet and behind the basin.   First job was to cut the silicon sealant off from around the sink, disconnect the taps, and carefully remove the sink.  If I had of dropped it then…

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Hole in the fence

Hole in the fence

The garden of our Gite is (or rather, was) fully fenced in. Here’s a photo taken from the country lane that passes by the Gite in 2016 after Toby and I had spent a week cutting down the pine trees at the end of the garden: Unfortunately that’s what things used to look like. This morning I received a text and series of photos of the garden today. Looks like someone has come down the hill, lost it on the bend, perhaps due to ice, then straight through the fence,…

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Meme star “Hide The Pain Harold” takes trip of lifetime to Manchester, England

Meme star “Hide The Pain Harold” takes trip of lifetime to Manchester, England

If you want to express a uniquely compelling mix of superficial happiness and deep melancholy, there is nowhere better to go than Manchester, England. “Hide the Pain” Harold (AKA Hungarian model András Arató), internet-famous as the star of the meme by that name, seemed to have a nice time traipsing around the city, enjoying its legendary footballing culture: “I think the red side needs some help to hide the pain.” Also, wait, is that square video? Hell for every orientation.Read full story

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Church buys controversial statue in nearby Ploërmel

Church buys controversial statue in nearby Ploërmel

I was amused to read a news article on Connexion France about a dispute over a statue of Pope John Paul II in the town of Ploërmel – which is only 20 miles from our Brittany Gite. According to the Connexion article, a dispute had arose because the statue of the Pope had a cross on the top – a symbol that broke France’s 1905 law of separation between Church and State. The town council has agreed to sell the statue to the Catholic Church for €20,000. Buy buying the…

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