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

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

have some decorum - let me introduce you to Ellie

Have you met Ellie?

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas wrote these words and I cannot help but think of anyone for whom they are more relevant than the wonderful Ellie, who I have come to know through her blog which she calls “have some decorum”.
I thought I would have had plenty of time once I got back into blogging to introduce you all to Ellie, but not so.
Ellie is coming to the end of her fight with ALS and sadly will not be on this earth for very much longer.
So I urge you please go visit Ellie’s blog and get to know her whilst there’s still time.
Ignore the angry language.
She is angry, she has every right to be angry and those who are proud to call her friend are angry too.
Look back through the posts that she has written over the years and you’ll meet the real Ellie, if some of the things she's said don’t make you laugh out loud (or worse) I’ll be very surprised.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Slipping quietly into blogging again.

Hello friends, it’s me - dipping my toes gently back into blogland with a post touching on some of the things I’ve been doing since I stopped blogging in July last year.
Quite a lot of travelling went on during the hiatus. Some of the highlights.
In September we spent a week in a pretty little cottage on the outskirts of Malvern, Worcestershire, UK.
We visited the Morgan car workshop and marvelled at the beautiful handmade cars that they create there.

Mooched around antique shops, had cosy pub lunches and wonderful cream teas in riverside cafes and reminded ourselves just how beautiful our home country still is.

In October we returned to Halkidiki, Greece to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary.

As a pre-Christmas treat we enjoyed a second visit to the Columbia Beach resort, Pissouri Bay, Cyprus where the weather was gloriously warm, such a treat after a cold and wet autumn in Normandy.

So taken are we with CBR that we went back again last month where spring had already sprung.
In the spaces between our travels life in Normandy moves gently along.
A surprise visit from a cousin and his wife was a treat, they loved our home so much they wanted to buy it but that’s just a dream of theirs for now.
Our Sunday walks are mostly taken on the beach these days, a favourite haunt of M’selle Fleur, the wide open spaces and the calming influence of the tides speak to my very soul.

As my last post linked through to Lavender Cottage and Mosaic Monday
it's only right that this one goes there too!
Click here or on the sidebar link
to join in too.

à bientôt

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Pink & Blue flowers for Mosaic Monday.

For Mosaic Monday with Judith this week
a collection of images
 taken on Saturday evening just as the sun was going down
 using my Kindle HDX

Many of these plants were already here when we moved into le Presbytere almost 19 years ago.
I had never seen a blue hibiscus until this beautiful shrub bloomed a year later.

This hortensia cannot decide if it wants to be blue, pink or purple.

No mistaking the colour of these specimens.

The photograph on the left shows the blue hibiscus growing alongside a pale pink hortensia.

Special effects, title, frames & collages provided by that clever little PicMonkey.

Linking to Mosaic Monday with Judith @
Lavender Cottage

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Houses, fences and gardens - oh my!

The small market town of Trévières in the Bessin region of Calvados boasts some wonderful examples of 18th c. homes built by wealthy merchants and farmers as outward displays of their prestige and position within the Commune.

Situated close to Omaha Beach Trévières is not only the place where I shop at the market on Friday mornings but also where I buy my bread, croissants and pâtisserie,  mail letters at La Poste, have my hair styled by my friseuse, browse for antiques and vintage items in the brocante and collect the latest issue of Campagne Decoration my favourite French magazine.

The town houses have wonderful wrought iron gates and fences.
These gates are all in one street, some shabby chic others newly painted but each one beautiful in their own way.

Linking to Good Fences #70
 hosted by TexWisGirl @ the Run*A*round Ranch report.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Normandy staycation

During the "summer" months we prefer to enjoy the delights that Normandy has to offer and save our more far flung travels for when the weather is not so good.
We like to take what we call "staycation days", visiting local beaches, exhibits and the like.

We always enjoy eating outdoors 
but sometimes even the best laid plans go awry
 and we end up drinking our coffee and nibbling on a croissant or two inside the car 
instead of on the beach.
Luckily the weather was fine yesterday
 and we were able to enjoy a delicious lunch of moules & frites 
at a popular seaside bistro.

Linking to Judith's Mosaic Monday @ Lavender Cottage.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

God's Fence

In most small villages and towns in our region you will find a "calvaire", 
a monument erected by the inhabitants which depicts Christ's cruxifiction.
The calvaire above is situated by the roadside
in the tiny "hameau" (hamlet) of La Folie, Normandy.
 I particularly like the rustic fence of interlocked XXX at it's base.

Joining TexWisGirl @ Run*A*Round Ranch Report

Monday, 13 July 2015

Strawberries & cream

Once again this week I've been transfixed by Wimbledon 
which culminated yesterday with an amazing Men's Singles Final
 between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovik.
What better way to celebrate this incredible match 
than with the quintessential Wimbledon treat of strawberries and cream?
The strawberry tart came from our local patisserie and was the SP's choice.

I was in the mood for something a little fancier 
so quickly whipped up a glass of Eton Mess for my afternoon tea delight.

I couldn't resist adding a melt in the mouth raspberry macaron to my plate,
 well it was Wimbledon!
Eton Mess (traditionally served after an Eton College, Windsor cricket match)
 is the simplest dessert to make.
Simply wash & hull some ripe strawberries.
 Break up some light as a feather meringue into bite sized pieces.
Gently mix them together with whipped cream or creme fraiche et voila!

Joining Judith for Mosaic Monday