Monday, 25 April 2016

Brrrr it's cold

Today the weather has changed back to winter, it is so cold my toes are curling, what on earth is going on, my poor old aching body needs some sun and the warmth that it brings, I have this desire to hang bunting and warm up the barbie, when oh when shall I be able to do this.
I popped into La Maison ( a DIY shop ) for some wood strips that hubby has a job for somewhere or other, he doesn't feel the cold at all and is in short sleeves while I am snuggled here with the fire on and a blanket round my shoulders, well they say "don't cast a clout until May is out" So, I thought no time like the present to do some French learning, I am at the moment looking at duolingo which is a very good free site but also I find Memrise good also, it is my blogging friend Paulita  at click here to read her blog
Our rhubarb is growing out of control so I have purchased some foil containers so that I can make some crumbles to freeze (John's favourite)

In the meantime here are some pics from our village yesterday when hundreds of bikers travelled through to make people aware about giving blood, of course as brits here we are not allowed to do so here, they are too scared we will give them mad cow disease.


Please comment and leave a link to your blog if you have one :) I love to hear from you

Sunday, 24 April 2016

You know when the summer is ready to appear

You know when the summer is ready to appear.

It is a good job we were not in a hurry ( well we are retired ) we live in a rural part of France and sometimes just go out for a drive to see different area's, and hopefully to stumble upon a little cottage for sale, it is surprising where you find these little treasures.
And as we say "You know when the summer is ready to appear" when around every corner, lurking ready to jump out in front of you is one of these ->

And I mean jump out at you, they seem to wait until you are there then come out instead of letting you go by but that is the beauty of living in the country and we love it,

Last evening we had a curry evening with some dear friends. this is our regular event at each others house and each of us contribute, one couple brought samosa and garlic bread and another brought dessert.

 I had made my own naan and they turned out great, every bit was gobbled up.

Loving life x

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A big thank you

My last post was somewhat a call for help with my French, I hadn't intended it to be but sometimes the mind meanders a little, but you my dear readers rose to the challenge in your wonderful comments and in a strange sort of way you have inspired and motivated me into actually doing something about it on a daily basis, in short you have kicked my butt and made me realise it is up to me, I know this but sometimes it takes others to give you a bump start,.. therefore I would like to publicly give credit to you all. below is a list of people whose help has been fantastic along with a link to their blog, please take a look at  them as they are all very interesting in different ways and of  different interest.

A Taste of France -

Kiwi - Paris Secrets

Paulita - An Accidental blog 

Janet Brockman 
No blog but a good and faithful friend who said to drink wine to become fluent - good advice in any situation.

Jenny & John - Renovation of a derelict house

Vagabonde - Recollections of a Vagabonde 

Once again many thanks for your comments, they are very much appreciated

A Bientot - see you soon

Monday, 18 April 2016

I must try harder

Hello dear readers,

I have to tell you about the house next door, it used to be occupied by a lovely lady who sadly died, it was inherited by her only Daughter, Martine Dijon who is of the Dijon mustard dynasty, now Martine and her husband Dominique (yes that is how he spells it) live in Niort in the deux Sevre and use the house next door for a holiday home... what has all this got to do with me trying harder I hear you ask, well we pretty much hibernate during the winter and although we live in a fairly big village we could go months without seeing anyone, needless to say I don't get much chance to practice my French which is awful at best, my biggest problem is the understanding of the language, the long and short of it is - I must try harder - 
Saturday our part time neighbours came for a visit and I must say we have stayed out of the way to avoid the embarrassing language problem but today I said to John " we must go and speak to them as they are in the garden" out we went and although I struggled we did manage a conversation and enjoyed a glass of red wine with them but I want to be much better than I am hence I must try harder, it seems that it is the story of my life as all my school reports said the same.
I want to be able to converse with my neighbours and everyone else, it is important to our well being in a way, so any spare time I have now I am going to devote it to my French.

I will take any advice I can on this one.


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Frugally French

Hello dear readers.

In an attempt to be a little more frugal and live a little cheaper life I have been trying to get a bit more organised by meal planning and in the course of doing this there is a knock on effect happening, it has inspired me to organise other area's, first off someone, (now someone is a person who apparently lives in our house but we have never seen,) this someone left the freezer door open and it had started to defrost and so it was a mad rush to save the food and get it defrosted, which we did, this lead to me wanting to clean and sort the fridge which in turn started me on sorting all the kitchen cupboards, this is not like me and John asks "am I getting OCD?" well something is happening but I think it is just me coming out of winter hibernation plus I accidentally came across a video about how people organise and clean their homes, now I am inspired and hope it continues

The fridge is nice and clean and tidy and now I will do it once a week before I go shopping, that way I will know exactly what I have, I also chop things up like peppers and courgettes and put into Tupperware as you are more likely to use them and they last longer.I must say I have less wastage doing this and it cost's me less, win win.

Yes you have guessed it, the next thing I must organise is the ironing, 

Tune in for next episode by clicking on the right "join this site "

Speak soon


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Special Saturday treat

Dear readers, I thought I would share with you a little treat we had yesterday.

But let me digress a little first, our Saturday evening meal is usually if not always a curry ( my dear John's favourite) I like them but not too hot, another favourite accompaniment of John's is Naan bread, now I have searched here in our little bit of France but as yet have not found them so, Saturday just after lunch I decided I would find a recipe and try and make them, Now my track record with dough of any sort is not good, I never seem to be able to get it to rise, my old Gran used to say to make bread you must have lots of patience and I do not have it in mounds if you get my drift, as in I can't wait for it to rise enough and the resulting bread is flat and hard in fact even the birds have been known to snub my bread. anyway I am following a video see here  and have made the dough putting it into a greased bowl to rise when the phone rings...
It is our dear friends from another village who are inviting us to afternoon tea and cake, well we have never been known to refuse an invite especially when it involves cake, the reason behind the invite is that some other mutual friends are visiting and it seemed a good time to get us all together, We had to quickly make ourselves presentable and start out on our journey thinking only of what wonderful cake our friend had concocted (she loves to bake and never disappoints) When we arrived the table was laid and the display of cakes was amazingly mouthwatering, sadly I was so glad to see our friends and chat over so many things that I forgot to take pictures, I am cross with myself for this as she had made so much effort and I would have loved to give her photographic credit, I will apologise and suggest we have a re-run in order to do so.
We stayed until 18h30 mulling over times gone by and times to come, it is so nice that the visiting friends are only really young and we are old fogies but we get on so well, on the drive home I was thinking of my dough and the hours it had to rise with visions of it meeting me at the door, my forced patience had paid off, the dough had risen so well it actually looked like the one in the video, I make the curry (that's another blog me thinks) and start to prepare the Naan bread for cooking, well let me tell you they were so light and fluffy and so much better than any bought ones previously consumed...the moral of the story is have patience when bread making.

Sorry it was almost too late when I thought about the pictures but it's better than nothing.

Needless to say I had mentioned the Naan bread making and all our friends insisted we do a curry night and I promise to take lots of pictures.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Is she talking to me

Hi Dear Readers.

I was today sitting and thinking about the whole Supermarket experience in France and one thing that came to mind was the fact that most French women talk to themselves while shopping, I have now got used to it to a certain extent but I must say it still takes me by surprise when the woman standing next to me suddenly starts talking out loud, well you would think she was talking to you, right, and as I don't always catch what they are saying first time I always end up saying " Désolé, excusez-moi" well they just look at me as if I have just encroached on a very private moment and walk away, needless to say I am left feeling quite stupid. (no comments on that subject please) 

I am thinking that I have shrunk back to the British way of shopping, you know going to the supermarket once a week and ending up buying stuff you don't really want or need and I have to ask myself why did we move to France, the answer is that we loved the French way of life, sort of a hark back to times when we were a lot younger and life was so simple, it is very much still like that here in rural France and I feel we should do everything we can to preserve it before it is lost in the name of progress, so our little bit will be to start going to the market once a week and buying bread from the boulangerie just as we used to do, living the French life instead of mirroring our life in UK that we escaped.

A Bientot mon Cher x

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Our French life - write it down.

Write it down !

I am not the sort of cook who follows a recipe as I like to be creative in the kitchen, that said there have been many times when I have been creative with a meal and it has been very successful only to find that I can't remember what I did... so now it is my intention to have a notebook as my side kick when my creative juices are flowing so that I can jot it down as I go along and therefore avoiding the disappointment when I try a meal for the second time only to find it is nothing like the delightful meal we experienced first time.

Do you like my little book - well why have a boring notebook when you can have a pretty one.

I am in the process of getting myself organised and trying to do a weekly meal planner, originally the plan was to do a monthly meal planner but we shop weekly, not sure if I want to shop for a whole month, and where would I put it plus I am pretty sure that over a month I would run out of something ( there are some things you can't buy a month's worth of)  I would then have to make an unscheduled trip to the Supermarket, I have never been able to just walk into a shop for one thing without coming out with a dozen others.
So I am doing a folder that will house all my recipes, there will be a list of all the meals we like that will enable me to write up a weeks meals, I can then see what I need for the weeks meals and write a shopping list accordingly, plus I can check what I have in the freezer already.
My memory is getting bad so it means that if it isn't on the list I don't buy it, this is helpful and it means also that I can save some money.

Happy Sunday everyone, I will show you my folder when I have finished it and make sure it works.