the gentle bucolic ramblings of an English rose, blooming in rural Normandy

Saturday, 25 April 2015

cherry blossom time


This week despite cooler temperatures
 (or maybe even because of ?) 
our ornamental cherry tree has blossomed into magnificent glory.


I spent some time earlier today arranging some branches into various vases.


Then even more time photographing the delicate pale pink flowers.


another hour or so playing with the images on picmonkey


before finally creating some mosaics using picasa, picmonkey and photoscape.


Linking to
Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday
and
 Judith @ Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday.

bon weekend!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

what's behind the door?


For Mosaic Monday this week 
some more photographs taken on our trip to Cyprus in February.


A collection of doors and shutters that captivated my imagination as we walked through the ancient cobbled streets and alleyways of Omodos, nestled in the beautiful Troodos Mountains.


The colour blue is synonymous with the Greek Isles of course, 
a different shade on every door.


Weather beaten and faded.
Always closed, sometimes padlocked. 

 The gardens behind them overgrown.
Rusting ironwork. 
Handles and hinges hanging off.
Each one beautiful in it's own way.


What stories could they tell?

Joining Judith @ Lavender Cottage

Sunday, 12 April 2015

early morning in a normandy garden

Whilst waiting for the coffee to drip this morning I was gazing out of the kitchen window and suddenly became aware of how much newness had appeared, seemingly overnight.


I grabbed my lumix and headed out the door to capture the blossoming fruit trees 
and a beautiful blue hyacinth for the soul.



Quote.....
Spring is nature's way of saying "let's party!"
the late, great Robin Williams.


This pretty blue and white variegated primula with a bright yellow eye
could get any party started!

Joining Judith @ Lavender Cottage
for

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

spring trilogy. #1 Plants

Regular followers will know that every spring three things happen here at the Presbytere 
to mark the season.

 #1. New plants for the potager.


When the sun starts to shine this girl's thoughts turn to the garden and all things veggie.
This morning I played in went to the garden centre.
This afternoon I got my hands in the dirt!
The plants that I bought were all pot bound with straggly white roots emerging from the bottom
 so into larger pots they had to go.
Sean the Gardner will be here on Friday to prepare the potager 
ready for planting out these beauties.


Courgettes/zucchini 3 varieties
cherry tomatoes
choux bruxelles 
(sounds so much fancier than brussels sprouts)
and
Belle de Fontenay early potatoes.


To add flavour to the herb garden new ciboulette/chives and persil/parsley plants
will go in alongside the thyme and rosemary which have overwintered just fine.
Have you been out planting and got your hands dirty yet?



Friday, 3 April 2015

Canadian magazines and coconut lime cupcakes

magazines from H
The magazine swap continued throughout our vacation 
with the arrival of these glossy Canadian magazines 
sent to me by Lorrie and H (a.k.a. Pondside).
Thank you, ladies.

 magazines from Lorrie
One recipe that I couldn't wait to try once we got back to Normandy
was the one for coconut lime cupcakes from style at home.


The frosting was very rich so I omitted the white chocolate 
and as there's only two of us chez nous I halved the quantities.


Seven pretty cupcakes for the SP and I to enjoy this Easter weekend.



Joining Michael Lee @ Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday and Everything Else.



Wednesday, 1 April 2015

foodie chat .........

Before I begin to share some vacation memories 
 a quick disclaimer - to all Francophones following Normandy Life
 for every reason you love to visit France I probably have a similar one for Hilton Head Island!
The grass is always greener - so the saying goes.
We're just back from our twenty something visit to the Low Country and over the years we've developed certain tastes and habits.
anchors away @ Hudson's
As self confessed foodies some of our long time favourite restaurants include ......
Hudson's on the Docks for their fish and chips
 and Gruby's New York Deli where we like to split a NY Reuben.

We both love to cook and are always 
overwhelmed by the vast array of produce available at The Fresh Market.
Choosing which coffee to buy can sometimes take a while as there are so many blends to savour.
I mentioned in the previous blog post that my fave one this time was 
This trip we also experienced Whole Foods Market
which has replaced dear old Piggly Wiggly in Shelter Cove since our last visit. 


Searching out where the locals like to eat is a favourite thing of ours to do.
A Lowcountry Backyard
The Low Country Backyard serves up great food. 
We liked the flatbread sandwiches:
 Charleston fried green tomato; crab cake; and meatloaf (the SP's personal favourite).
 The homemade mushroom soup was also delicious.
(We weren't greedy, we dined there twice!)


Another HHI institution, but a new to us restaurant, is Annie O's serving "southern" food.
I tried the tomato pie which was so good.
 I've been all over Pinterest to find a recipe to replicate it. 
I think I've found one that comes close and plan on fixing it at the weekend.


The final place we discovered is a real hidden gem of a place.
which really should remain a closely guarded secret.
The only problem is that last week I wrote a tripadvisor review for it 
and it's already received 256 views!

just looking for another new restaurant to try!

Linking to Foodie Friday and Everything Else with Michael Lee @ Rattlebridge Farm

Thursday, 19 March 2015

latest from the lowcountry

 

After the rain came blue skies and sunshine, perfect weather for the St Patrick's Day parade last Sunday.


We enjoyed seeing all the participants, especially the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Wildlife sightings continue.
In the early mornings wild deer make their way along the shore line, crossing through the sand dunes beneath our balcony into the sea pines forest behind.

I even spotted an alligator sunning itself next to a creek close to the golf course yesterday afternoon, no time to take a photograph I'm afraid though.


Today the rain has returned with a vengeance but thanks to my very kind and generous friend, Mary who was my partner during Lorrie's recent Spring edition magazine swap I have the perfect way to spend  the day.


Mary sent me three wonderful magazines, House Beautiful; Country Living and Traditional Home each brimming over with ideas and inspiration to revamp, refresh and makeover a home.

The pretty note card with its shell design inspired me to look around our condo for props to complete my magazine photo shoot, I have the homeowner to thank for the pretty starfish and seashells. Mary also included a lovely tag with a bird motif which I'm sure will appear in one of my scrapbook layouts in the very near future.
Enjoy your day, everyone, wherever you are.
Me? I'll be here on the squishy couch sipping a mug of my latest coffee crush - Charleston Coffee Roasters "Organic Sumatra" bold roast watching the rain pour down and planning a room makeover.

Sunset over Calibogue Sound, St. Patrick's Day 2015
P.S. I can't seem to figure out how to include links to Mary and Lorrie's blogs in this post from my Kindle but there are links on my sidebar that will take you straight to Lorrie's Fabric Paper Thread blog and  A Breath of Fresh Air where Mary has already blogged about the magazine's which she received from me.