Wednesday 29 February 2012

Alphabe-Thursday - O is for Odetta

Here's a type of Quimper pottery that might be new to you: Odetta.

Manufactured by the Grande Maison de la Hubaudiere 
between 1922 and 1960
Odetta stoneware was named after the River Odet 
which flows through the town of Quimper, Brittany.

Over 60 models were produced during this time.
Many of the pieces were signed by the artist
 and are much sought after by collectors today.

If you are interested in learning more about this very different type of Quimper pottery 
you may want to look for a copy of
"Odetta" by Bernard-Jules Verlingue.

Joining Jenny for Alphabe-Thursday,
Jenny Matlock

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Monday 27 February 2012

Monday Doorways

Joining Louis La Vache in beautiful San Francisco
with this stunning entrance to an elegant mansion 
spotted whilst touring Savannah's Historic District in 2010.
How I would have loved to look inside, but sadly could only capture the beautiful facade.
As Mammy said to Scarlett in Gone With The Wind
Savannah would be better for you. You'll just get in trouble in Atlanta.

Have a great week everyone.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Sunday walk.

The weather is still dank and dreary, grey skies and no sunshine.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed our walk through the Normandy countryside this morning where I found some interesting trees to photograph.

Back home, the wet weather isn't dampening the spirits of our daffodils, thank goodness.

They are beginning to brighten up several flower beds now, beautiful Heralders of Spring!
bon dimanche.

Linking to Mosaic Monday @ the little red house. 
Mary has a wonderful vintage themed mosaic today that everyone will enjoy.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Nostalgic in New York City.

Last week whilst preparing my review of "Emily and Einstein" by Linda Francis Lee for my other blog just books (you can read the review by clicking here ) I spent a pleasant hour or two looking through photographs taken on our trips to NYC.

So, settle back for some more armchair travel - stroll through Central Park, shop for souvenirs in Times Square followed by a boat trip out to see the Lady herself.

Jenny Matlock

Joining Mrs Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday @ off on my tangent with this nostalgic look at NYC.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Angelina's Rue de Rivoli, Paris.

Angelina's, Paris.
Famous for hot chocolate and mouthwatering patisserie.

Linking to Monday Doorways a weekly meme found
@ San Francisco Bay Daily Photo
and to

Friday 17 February 2012

Somewhere in Spain

In 2007 the Senior Partner and I enjoyed a short vacation in a rented villa, high above Spain's Costa Blanca, within the exclusive residential resort of Monte Pego.
We took three days to leisurely drive down through France and into Spain, 
staying at small hotels along the way.
Our favorite was Les Vinyes, a rural spa retreat, in the Catalonian countryside, which the SP had found online. 

our small sitting room
our delightful bedroom

"The Ardidam" restaurant is only open to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings, we were the only house guests on the mid-week evening that we stayed. At the chef/owner's suggestion we ignored the menu and sat back with a glass of full bodied red wine whilst she prepared for us a selection of tapas and a delicious dinner using fresh ingredients from her garden and the local market.

our private balcony with a view over the rooftops to the vineyards below

We only had one night there but what a wonderful experience, we hope to return one day for an extended stay.

Linking this post to

Beverly's Pink Saturday @ How Sweet The Sound
and to

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Memories of Montmartre

This week for Alphabe-Thursday some shots of La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre and the surrounding streets.

You may remember the photo of the macarons from my post last October, click here to see it again.
I couldn't resist buying some to send to a friend.
I did resist the ice cream though, too rich for my blood.
There are many talented artists working in the open air in the Place du Tertre but you do have to be careful of the people who pester you to draw your portrait.
Head over to Jenny's blog
 to see who else is participating this week.
Jenny Matlock

Saturday 11 February 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday

Some shadows captured during a recent walk with our dogs.
 You may be able to spot them and the Senior Partner, way in the background in the last shot.
Joining the newly revamped Shadow Shot Sunday 2 

Thursday 9 February 2012

Pink Valentine & A Giveaway Winner!

A delightful blog which I recently discovered, at Beverley's Pink Saturday gathering, is Over the Rainebeau. A wonderful place where talented artist Lorraine showcases her gorgeous altered art creations and shares vintage images every Friday.

I saw these beautiful vintage Valentines there and knew they would be perfect for a scrapbook page I had planned.

I used them in my take on the February Sketch Challenge layout over at The Scrapbook Haven and I'm chuffed to say that it has been chosen to feature in the gallery this week.

Now, drum roll please.....................
it's time to announce the winner of 
The World of Downton Abbey giveaway!!
Everyone who answered the question "How did Pamuk die" answered C - which is correct,
so give yourselves a pat on the back!
but there can be only one winner and that is
Riet @ Riet's photoblog

Riet is a very talented photographer who lives in the Netherlands
where she finds inspiration all around for the beautiful mosaics which she creates.
If you haven't already met Riet then do take a few minutes to check out her blog, I'm sure you'll be glad that you did.
Linking this post to the mega Valentine's Par-tay @ Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie
sweet Beverley @ How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday.
The Tablescaper just stopped by 
and asked me to link this post to Seasonal Sundays. too.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

L is for Lego Liberty Bell

In November 2010 heading back home after our Hilton Head vacation we were on our way to catch a connecting flight to Paris CDG when we passed this amazing sight situated between gates A15 and A16 at PHL, Philadelphia PA.

A life size Liberty Bell created from white lego,
 perfect in every detail including the crack!
I don't know if it's still there 
but if you ever find yourself in Terminal A at PHL 
you really should go and take a look.
It is amazing.

Joining Jenny @ off on my tangent for Alphabe-Thursday
where the letter L is lording it today.

Jenny Matlock

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Saturday 4 February 2012

The World of Downton Abbey - a Giveaway!

“Welcome to the world of Downton Abbey a place that has captivated an audience of millions, all following the lives of one family and their servants against a backdrop of a fading Edwardian society. All of us can recognize a familiar character amongst them; Violet the Dowager Countess, the old fashioned grandmother; Mary Edith and Sybil, the squabbling sisters; Robert and Cora, the loving parents; or Rosamund, the interfering sister-in-law.”

Jessica Fellowes the author of The World of Downton Abbey is an established writer and editor. She has worked for the Mail on Sunday and for four years was Deputy Editor of Country Life magazine.
"Downton Abbey portrays a world of elegance and decadence, a world of duty and obedience and a world of romance and rivalry: this companion book, full of rich historical detail, takes fans deeper into that period than ever before.
Step inside one of the most beautiful houses in Britain, past Carson the butler at the front door and into the grand hallway. Catch a glimpse of the family having drinks in the drawing room before dinner, dressed in their evening finery, whilst Lord Grantham finishes writing a letter in his study. Then climb the grand sweeping staircase to the maze of rooms upstairs and peak through Lady Mary’s open door to see Anna, her maid, tidying scent bottles and jewellery on the ornate dressing table. Follow Anna down the servants’ stairs and into the kitchens to watch Mrs Patmore frantically preparing dinner. Mrs Hughes keeps a watchful eye from her study and the world of Downton comes alive before you.
Experience the inner workings of the downstairs life and be dazzled by the glamour of upstairs life with profiles of all the major characters, interviews with the actors, behind the scenes insights and in-depth information on costumes and props."
Amazon review.

When Downton Abbey first appeared on British TV screens on Sunday evenings during the autumn of 2010 it was a huge success and received many awards and nominations and I was hooked!
The second series which aired last autumn and the Christmas special that followed were even better (no spoilers but who doesn't love a happy ending?) and I’m very happy that a third series has been commissioned and will be shown later this year.
To receive this beautiful book on Christmas morning was the icing on the cake.
The photographs throughout are wonderful and it is packed with historical facts and information about life in England before, during and after the First World War, and the changes wrought as a result of it.

“Before the First World War, 1.4 million people were employed as domestic servants. It was one of the largest single employment groups – just outnumbering agricultural workers and coal miners – and was largely made up of women. Around 15 – 20 per cent of this number would have been working in the houses of the nobility and the landed gentry”.

To win a brand new copy of The World of Downton Abbey (I’m keeping mine!) all you have to do is answer this question correctly.
In series one Kemal Pamuk, the son of a Turkish Diplomat, was a guest at Downton - how did he die?
Was it:
a) He was thrown from his horse whilst out riding with the Hunt
b) He choked on a fish bone during dinner
c) He suffered a heart attack whilst making love to Lady Mary

To receive 1 chance to win just leave a comment, answer the question correctly and your name will be entered into the draw twice.
The winners name will be picked at random and announced in my post when I join Laurie's Valentine's par-tay on Friday, February 10th.

Friday 3 February 2012

Pinterest pinks

I'm sure that plenty of my blogger friends have been pinning away for ages.

I just signed up today and although I'm still a nervous pinner I am getting the hang of things, I think!

Sharing some pinks, 
that I discovered whilst finding my way around Pinterest, 
with Beverley @ How Sweet The Sound 
and all the other Pink Saturday participants.

Tomorrow I'll be posting my Downton Abbey giveaway, be sure to come back then.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Alphabe- Thursday - K is for Kedgeree

For Alphabe - Thursday this week with Mrs Matlock a dish you might not have tried - Kedgeree.
Kedgeree is an Anglo – Indian dish of onions, basmati rice, cooked smoked haddock, peas, hard boiled eggs, curry powder, parsley, cream and butter which was introduced into Victorian Britain from colonial India.

It is a very simple dish to make and perfect for brunch or supper.
In series one of Downton Abbey kedgeree is one of the first dishes that Mrs Patmore prepares for Lord and Lady Grantham and "the girls".

Some people make kedgeree using leftover rice and fish but like Mrs Patmore I make it from scratch!

Using the ingredients mentioned above, this is what you do……………..
In a large pan poach 250g undyed smoked haddock (+ 2 bay leaves) in 250 ml of water for about 5 minutes, drain and reserve the cooking liquor.
Discard the bay leaves and flake the fish into bite size pieces.
Put 100g basmati rice in a small saucepan with the reserved cooking liquor, simmer until rice is cooked. Remove from the heat and allow to stand until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice.
Meanwhile place 2 (or 3 if you’re hungry) large, free range eggs in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for about 8 minutes.
Remove the eggs when cooked and plunge into a shallow bowl of ice water, when they are cool enough to handle peel the eggs and cut each one into quarters, set aside.
In a small saucepan cook 50g of frozen peas, whilst this is happening melt 20g of butter and 1 table sp sunflower oil in a large frying pan. Add a finely chopped onion and fry gently until cooked and slightly golden in colour. Add 1 tablesp of curry powder and fry for another couple of minutes.
Tip the cooked basmati rice and drained peas in with the curried onions.
Next add 2 table sp chopped parsley, 2 table sp crème fraiche, flaked haddock and quartered hard boiled eggs.

Pop a lid on the pan and cook gently until the eggs and fish are warmed through.

Transfer to a serving dish or dot some butter over the top of the kedgeree, cover with foil and place in a preheated oven to keep hot until needed.

Serves 2 if they’re hungry and 3 if they’re not.

Talking of Mrs Patmore…………….are you a Downton fan?
Do you prefer upstairs or downstairs?
Do you know which character asked:
 “A weekend. What is a weekend”?
Or who said:
 “Friends? Who does she think she’s fooling? We’re not friends.”

Whether you’ve only just met the Cawleys, or can find your way around Downton as easily as Thomas the footman, call back here at the weekend for a chance to win The World Of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes.

The Rivalry and Romance Revealed and the Secrets and History unlocked. 
Jenny Matlock

Joining Jenny Matlock @ off on my tangent
for  Alphabe-Thursday
where the letter K is our subject this week.