Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Spring bulbs

Very pleased with this pot of bulbs - there is another identical pot on the other side of the door, but to get the picture, I had to take FIVE like this one:

The trouble with our animals, they are all so nosy and always want to see what I'm pointing the camera at!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Picnic area at Chateau d'Eveque

We had to drive down into the Dordogne this week - to Perigeux in fact.  Because OH can't always get the food he needs (type2 diabetes) we sometakes take sarnies/yoghurts/fruit etc when going on a little drive.

En route, we saw this little picnic area, just off the main road and stopped to eat.  It was a gorgeous little haven, with a running stream - clear as a bell as you can see.  It is lovely to be able to stop in such a pretty and clean area - although in this part of France, the countryside is just glorious and it's always neat and pretty - but sort of always taken for granted.  This area has been provided as a picnic stop and also for camper vans to sort out their, ahem, arrangements

We had to stop at the level crossing to let a train pass - unusual to actually see a train for us - and although I didn't get a shot of it, here is the ticket office, which shows the name of the village nearby.

 The translation of Chateau d'Eveque is Bishop's Palace, and next time we are down that way, we'll investigate the village. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

French voting - local elections

For the the first time, OH and I took part in the French local elections - we thought it about time after 12 years!

Arriving a little nervously, we made the first faux pas - sailing into the village hall, bonjouring everyone in sight, which is normally very polite but not at such a serious event - and certainly not as loudly, passing the ballot papers set on a little table in the entrance.

We went straight to the stern woman with the big transparent box - second mistake...we should have voted first.  This means picking up a ballot paper, going to the little booth behind the curtains, reading the list of representatives on the ballot paper, crossing out the one/ones you don't like leaving only 11, although you can cross out more if you like, and putting the papers into a little blue envelope.  Not a cross or tick at all. 

Mistake number three - didn't bring a pen. 

Fortunately, one of the officals lent us a pen and guided us through the process;  we showed our voting/electoral card to prove we had the right to vote, and placed our blue envelope in the big transparent box in front of the stern woman.

Then, we showed our passports as ID to the third offical, gave him back his pen, and signed the list, getting the pen back again.

I wondered what would have happened if we had no ID - it would have been too late!  We had voted - would they have opened up the box to find our envelopes and destroy them?

And, this is only round one...

On the plus side, we both feel a little more French, and we'll now get an offical invitation to the village Christmas party.


NB - I checked this morning with the local newspaper and the results for our village are in.  Only, we have to pay to see the results.  I'll wait until they are pinned to the noticeboard - that's free..

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Hamster House

Now, I'm so handy-useless, I can't sew a button on straight, so it always surprises me when my daughter  takes to her screwdriver and hammer and in ten minutes, produces something both useful and beautiful.

She adapted an old pine dolls house into a new home for her hamster - and she left the old coat pegs for him to hang up his coat!

Scrabbles is apparently very pleased with his new home.  I wonder if I could get my daughter to put up some shelves...

Monday, 17 February 2014

A few recent sales, and some new stock

A beautiful antique French cotton nightdress, with handmade ruffles and embroidery, and to finish, a monogramme 'MM'on the front -  Sold. 

A sweet little 'Vichy' spa glass, in its own carrying basket -  Sold

 A little of this crafting fabric 'Montagne' - always sells well - the colours are very popular, and the fabric has a rustic, tactile quality -  Sold, with just one little remnant piece left.

And now for some new stock:

No, not a bridal veil - it's a bed curtain, ciel de lit, perfect for a cradle or single bed - in spotty voile, with a bow at the front, adjustable at the top

 Here is a close-up of the fabric

  These are two white cotton bowties for boys - dating from around 1930, worn for first communion and kept as a souvenir by a doting Mamma or Grandmere.

Some rather lovely and decadent black Chantilly lace, quite wide, perfect to trim lingerie or crafting

Or, how about this salmon pink lingerie lace?

And finally, something to keep the hands cosy in this awful weather.

Hope you are all keeping warm and dry - or cool and damp - according to which part of the world you're in!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

He's got the key of the door, never been 21 before...

Last week, our son Jono turned 21, and to celebrate, we went off to the local Chinese restaurant, where they played 'Happy Birthday' extremely loudly - and in Chinese, which was rather bizarre as we are English and live in France!

Needless to say, everyone else in the restaurant - and it is a large resto and was packed with French families enjoying Sunday lunchtime - all turned to look and clap.  Poor lad!  He really is one of life's gentleman, fairly reserved and certainly hates being the centre of attraction (unless playing his guitar on stage, but that's another story). 

Anyway, he enjoyed himself, and we did too, and reflecting upon the last 21 years, I can't say where those years have gone - flown past in a flash - but he is such a wonderful son, a great person and of course, we wish him the very best for the future.

Now, what went on behind the scenes was that the cake, complete with candles and secretly hidden in a bag on the table, was munched on by Charlie the poodle while my back was turned for ONE minute.  I could have cheerfully strangled him!

Fortunately, birthday boy and his Dad had popped out for 20 minutes , and with some speedy use of some butter and sugar and my trusty old Kenwood Chef, I managed to dollop some butter icing on the top to disguise the three large missing chunks!  (Having carefully cut out all traces of dog munch for hygiene reasons).

So I turned this pathetic offering:

into this slightly better, if very amateurish, offering:

OK, it would never win prizes in a beauty contest, but decorating cakes is not my finest point, and I did have only 20 minutes to do the repair.  Jono thought it was hilarious when I told him and didn't care at all - he loves fruit cake, and has been happily tucking in all week apparently - I packed him off with it back to Uni on Monday.

I am now speaking to Charlie the poodle, but I have told him that if he does it again, I will have all his teeth removed.

(only joking Charlie...)

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Cat's cradle

You know the saying 'a cat's cradle'?  Well, I'd never seen a real one until this morning.

And the culprit?  Little Minnie.


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