Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011
a 15 day course of antibiotics, for a undiagnosed infection of all four paws,
and a disinfectant foot wash for every other day;
a five day course of medicine for an ear infection
(which made him ill between 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock every night for 5 nights!),
sterilizing ear wash and ear drops;
plus his annual vaccination against rabies.
to replace the tears his poor old eyes have ceased to produce.
As you can imagine with all of the above to deal with
plus those 5 nights without much sleep
there hasn't been too much time left over for blogging.
So, I thought I'd let you know
that my very good friend Sarah @ Hyacinths For The Soul
has written, today, about her visit to us here in Normandy.
Maybe you'd like to pop in and see us all there?
My November Book Reviews are on my other blog
if you're looking for something to read during the holiday season.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
As today is the First Sunday in Advent I'd like to share a little of my story with you, and introduce you to a wonderful friend of ours.
In 1984 Mr B's career took us to Bavaria, Germany.
We left all our family and friends behind in the UK to start a new life in a new country. Scary.
We threw ourselves wholeheartedly into our new surroundings, making many German friends in our neighbourhood and amongst his work collegues, but the most important friends we made were our landlords and next door neighbours Herr & Frau Wilde.
Frau Wilde (never Traudl, never "du") sort of adopted me as the daughter she never had.
She taught me many things, like how to play bridge, she is a fanatical bridge player and to this day, if I ever get the chance to play, I always find myself bidding in German! (Vier pik!)
We spent many an afternoon sitting in her "winter garden" as she helped me improve my embroidery, knitting, and German conversation skills all the time enjoying her "kaffee und kuchen".
From top right: Our house
a favourite woods where we walked our dogs,
The snow season in Bavaria starts around the beginning of December and during our first winter in Pöcking she taught me how to cross country ski on the local golf course in Feldafing.
Did I mention that the lady was born in 1918?
Frau W & me 1991
Perhaps the one thing that Frau Wilde taught me which touched me the deepest was how to celebrate Christmas the Bavarian way,
Her Weihnachts Plaetzchen (Christmas biscuits) such as Zimtsterne and Springerele were legendary.
And so on this First Sunday in Advent and in honour of a much loved lady, I'd like to invite you to "kaffe und kuchen" my way.
My Adventskranz 2010.
Sadly, fresh evergreen wreaths are not easily found here in rural Normandy and so once again this year, a "faux" wreath decorated with white poinsettia flowers and silver pine cones surrounds four classic white Church candles.
The china service is Rosenthal's "Classic Rose" in white, which with its silvery grey design and gold trim complements the Adventskranz beautifully.
Napkins: Spode Christmas tree. (was sonst?)
For you to enjoy during the Adventszeit
old fashioned mincepies
and lebkuchen, a very simple iced biscuit similar to gingerbread.
Joining the Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday # 76
with this nostalgic look at Christmas past.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
It seems that she had come across a post that I wrote back in May about the day the Senior Partner and I had attended the BRCSGE 2011, at Hampton Court Castle in Herefordshire.
Here's a link if you would like to see it: here.
If you google BRCSGE 2011, my post is #6 in the list, who knew?
In 2012 the event is to be held at Berrington Hall, Herefordshire and Ms Tritton very kindly invited me to get in touch with her should we decide to attend the event there.
The Senior Partner and I have already made plans for a vacation next May and it won't be the UK, so sadly we won't be able to go to Berrington and revisit that amazing National Trust property and enjoy one of their amazing cream teas.
I took another look at the May post and enjoyed the event all over again and realised that although I promised to show you the inside of Hampton Court Castle (click on the link to go to the HCC website)I never did write that post.
The first room that you enter is the Great Hall (pix 1-4)
There are long corridors filled with suits of armour,
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Imagine my delight when I got back home to find a bucket of apples by the front gate.
After picking them over and washing off the leaves and grass I seperated them out, some for eating and some for cooking.
Chutney is something that I enjoy making especially at this time of year, so I gathered the rest of the ingredients together and got peeling!
The French word confit can mean any type of food that is preserved.
A tomato confit goes well with chicken and an onion confit is great served with goats cheese, a balsamic vinegar will deepen the sweet/sour flavour of both.
The English word chutney, derived from the Indian word chatni, has become one of the UK's favourite condiments and is never far away when a curry is on the menu.
Here's my quick and easy recipe for a spicy apple chutney, equally good with English cheeses such as cheddar, cheshire and white stilton or a French cheese like camembert or brie.
It also goes well with ham/gammon, pork, cold roast chicken/turkey, ideal for Christmas leftovers.
Here's what to do..............
8oz onions, chopped
2lb apples, cored & chopped but not peeled
4oz sultanas, raisins or dates, chopped
half a teaspoon each of ground coriander, mixed spice, paprika and salt
12oz granulated sugar (I used half white, half golden)
three quarters pint (or one and a half cups) of vinegar.
(I used a special pickling vinegar this time but you can use malt vinegar in this recipe also).
all the ingredients into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan (if you have a preserving pan all the better!) slowly bring to the boil and cook until the sugar has melted.
Then simmer for two hours on a low heat (keep an eye on it from time to time, so it doesn't burn on the bottom) until it is thick and sticky.
To test if a chutney is ready, I always follow Delia's advice.
a wooden spoon and draw it quickly along the bottom of the pan if it leaves behind a channel that doesn't fill up immediately with liquid then it's ready!
If you like your chutney a little less spicy you can amend the quantities of each spice but don't leave out any one spice completely or it will upset the balance.
Decant the chutney into sterilized jars, seal and store in a dark, cool place for 2/3 months before eating.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
|What a great way to see the countryside!|
Joining Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday
Bunny Jean for Wednesday's Bunny Hop.
Friday, 11 November 2011
|Poppies flowering this week in my Normandy garden|
|Click here to see a recent post about the Cathedral|
Local dignitaries, ex service men and women from all of the services, members of the Royal British Legion and Boy Scout and Girl Guide troops, will lay poppy wreaths of remembrance at their local War Memorial.
The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall is a unique expression of national homage devoted to the remembrance of those who have given their lives in war. It was originally conceived as a commemoration of the war dead of the First World War but after the Second World War the scope of the ceremony was extended to focus on the nation's dead of both World Wars, and in 1980 it was widened once again to extend the remembrance to all who have suffered and died in conflict in the service of their country and all those who mourn them.
The service at the Cenotaph is framed to ensure that no-one is forgotten. The wreath laid by The Queen and the other tributes placed on the Cenotaph are dedicated to all who have suffered or died in war. Members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers and certain other Ministers and the Mayor of London are invited to attend the ceremony, along with representatives of the Armed Forces, Merchant Air and Navy and Fishing Fleets, and members of faith communities. High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries also attend the ceremony and lay wreaths at the Cenotaph.
Source: The Royal British Legion
In June of this year I was lucky enough to spend an evening in the company of two World War II veterans, at an event to mark the 67th Anniversary of the D Day landings.
Click here if you would like to see that post again.
Their Calendar of Special Events and Celebrations is extensive with categories covering Daily Life, Customs and Traditions and Etiquette in the UK, to name but a few.
It is a wonderful source for everyone, not only children, and describes what Remembrance Sunday means to us all.
Thursday, 10 November 2011
|clockwise from top left:|
bombarde & biniou musicians on Quimper faience
|clockwise from top left:|
broderie decor on Quimper faience
@ off on my tangent
Click on the link to join in the fun.
In 2010 my B post for Alphabe-Thursday was all about our dogs.
Click here if you'd like to meet the gang.