Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Well, it is that time of year.  A time when everyone thinks of family and friends and settles in for 2 months of eating and drinking.

So, I am off to Australia for nearly 2 months of family, friends, eating and drinking.

I may update the blog while I am gone, but cannot guarantee taking time out from all the visiting and adventures in order to do so.  As this is a personal blog.... there will be no guest bloggers/ holiday competitions/trite electronic postcards etc... sorry if that disappoints

What I will promise is lots of photos on my return and time to once again blog every week.

Today I sent in my dissertation for the course I have been doing.  A huge relief and a huge burden from my shoulders.  It is not due till mid december, but I have worked extremely hard to finish it before my trip.  I thought that the last thing I would want to do is hide away in a room and write and study, not when there is the beach and people I love to spend time with.

On the home front, the garden has been put to bed for winter.  All tender plants are under a covering and the trees have been pruned to keep them snug till spring.  We have had so much sunshine and blue sky that it hasn't felt like winter yet.... although the temperature has been low and no matter how inviting the sunshine looks - it is NOT warm.

I have a successful hedgehog shelter.  Already 3 hedgies are in there all curled up and cute.  Due to the warmth they come out for food each night still.  So I have been feeding them up so they are nice and fat to hibernate while I am away.  Very pleased with that project.  The pic above is my new hedgie.  No name yet.  He had just tipped the dish of cat croquettes upside down on to his head and I found him underneath grunting and muttering away as he scoffed them down.  Not quite used to pats yet, but have explained that if he doesn't let me pat him then he can't live here.... he remained unimpressed.

One visitor which we have seen evidence of - although not the actual animal - is a badger.  He has helped himself to hedgehog food a few times, and left a little "present" by way of thanks.  In fact it was his little calling cards which enabled me to identify which animal was visiting.  (Wayne was laughing that I borrowed a book on animal faeces from the library.  My response was that if there was a book available to borrow, it was not a strange thing to do.)  I spent quite a few days examining evidence and comparing to pictures and descriptions in the book before deciding that it might have been a member of the weasel family (the books said probably a marten) and most probably a badger.

Also on loan from the library was a book on the native plants of the region.  Fascinating stuff.  I have all the good plants in my wild meadow patch.  I was thrilled!  So have followed instructions for best propagation and self seeding and left it to wait out winter.  Hopefully next year I will have an even better wild meadow area.

The owner of our house called by a few days ago.  It was nice to meet him and put a face to the name on our lease.  He was a charming man and made a point of asking if we would stay for a long time please.  I laughed and said that we were happy in his house and so had no plans to move soon. (Besides that - after all the struggle to get everything here from Paris and Australia, I don't think I could face another move for a few years yet!)  One thing we he said was that he was extremely happy with the garden and house under my care.  He said it had never looked so good before.  A nice compliment. 

The boys are loving the house, and really loving the fireplace.  Guy has claimed a spot on a cushion in front and he sits there in anticipation each day until I finally light the fire.  Eric doesn't care.  He waits till I sit in the recliner to have a half hour break in the afternoon, and then claims my lap. Starting to be a snuggle puss now.  Salameche is growing day by day.  Still thinks he lives with us and tries to spend the night more often than not.  In the morning our bedroom is flooded with sunlight.  Of course all the cats are to be found sprawled across our bed basking and snoozing in the light and warmth.  This pic is of the paws of Salameche.  If the size of his feet are any indication, he is going to be a good sized cat when fully grown.

Since the summer we have really settled in here.  Friends have been made that we will treasure for a lifetime.  My days are full and we are living in a beautiful area that always offers something new to experience.  Sunday afternoon was lovely and sunny, so we went with neighbours to an area about 20minutes away and walked along the river.  A gorgeous spot and I was annoyed that I left my camera at home.  We have promised that we will go back again with them as it was so beautiful and a lovely thing to do on a sunday afternoon.

Building works beside the farm (about 100metres from our house) has thrown up a layer of undisturbed geology which has provided hours of enjoyment for a few others and myself.  Last saturday we were finding pieces of ammonoids - some very large ones too!  It is not surprising as every time I disturb the soil in the garden I find fossils.  I put them aside and examine them afterwards, then pass most of them to a child in the lane who is really interested in fossils and rocks.

Well, time to finish this long update.  We have an apero with the neighbours tonight.  A bon voyage drinks party that promises to be a lot of fun.

For those that celebrate, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  For everyone else, see you after the holidays.

This is one of my photographs which I have made part of my panel for my photography course.  A pastel pink rose from my garden, edited into monochrome. No other editing needed.  It was the most perfect rose at the perfect stage of opening.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Raining and pouring

Wish I was snoring....

It is perfect stay in bed weather.  Autumn seems to have given way to winter a tad early.  We have had hard frosts already and everything has gone into hibernation - animals and plants. This week has seen heavy rain, and more heavy rain.

The fire has been lit from lunchtime every day.  The cats are most appreciative of this.  It does make the house lovely and cosy, and I like the look and feel of a fire as opposed to electric or gas heating.

No real news.  I am still working away at my photography course as well as my other projects.  Wayne is still working hard and travelling from time to time.

Looking forward to our Christmas in Australia.  Eight years is far too long.  Also to see all the family - including all new children in the family - and to catch up with old friends.  We have less than three weeks together in Australia, but cannot complain.  It will just be good to be there.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Saffron season

It has been a busy few weeks.  Working away from home, catching up with friends, studying and - of course - watching the rugby.

With the change of season I am embarking on new adventures in the garden.  Our first autumn and our first time clearing the leaves and cutting back trees and shrubs ready for winter.

One exciting thing is that my saffron crocii have bloomed!  I planted them a few months ago and carefully mulched the spot so I would be able to remember that I had planted there.  Whilst I was away the bulbs sprang forth and bloomed. 

It is painstaking work, but I think the end result is worth it.  The hardest part is getting up really early to pick the threads before the sun hits them.....supposedly the best flavour and colour that way.  Each red thread must be hand picked from the flower, which contains three threads in total.  A few petals and stamen did fall victim to my picking, but were easy enough to discard later.  To process the threads I placed them for a few minutes on paper towel to absorb any early morning dew, then into a jar and semi covered to dry for a few weeks.

I have a few ounces of saffron threads drying slowly, and am hoping that I will have more flowers in next few days.  There are a few gaps in the spot where I planted, so hopefully they are just late bloomers - not dead bulbs.

How perfect that the saffron is harvested at this time of year when warming casseroles, rissottos and other hearty meals are craved.  I am looking forward to using it to add colour and depth of flavour to my autumn dishes.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Well, autumn has arrived and with it the crisp cool days and grey weather.

We lit our first fire in the fireplace yesterday.  Took a bit to get it going.  These european woods are not like the Aussie ones.... a different tactic is needed.

This is my effort of today.  Not perfect, but it has been burning all afternoon and the lounge and dining (as well as our bedroom upstairs) are toasty and oh so comfortable.

The boys are discovering the delights of a wood fire too.  Eric has not left his post on the armchair beside the fire since he realised how warm it was.  Guy keeps enticing me back in to the lounge so he can toast in front of the fire.... but being my shadow, he has to leave it each time I do.

Off for work for the next week, then back home and time to get on with the autumn chores in the garden.  The apples are ripe and I have already had a bucketful from the wild tree in the wood. Delicious, crunchy and tart.  Makes fabulous compote too!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

How many pieces can a crystal jug break into?

The answer is lots..... and lots.... and lots......

In this image you can not see the hundreds of miniscule fragments which had worked their way through the entire carton and embedded themselves into my arms and hands whilst unwrapping all of the other objects in there.  Aaaargh! 

So far only four items broken out of the hundred or so boxes I have unpacked.  A good result, even if two of those four items happen to be very special pieces and irreplaceable.

Yes, I have spent many hours on the internet trying to find a replacement for this jug for insurance purposes.  It literally is irreplaceable.  The modern version is ugly and does not resemble the original in any way shape or form.

Oh well, c'est la vie as they say.  One of the pitfalls of shipping stuff halfway around the world.

Let's hope the bar-be-que made it through ok.  Now that really would be a catastrophe!!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Monkey business

What an exciting week!

Thanks to the generosity of my brother and sister in law, I had the company of our nieces for a week... and what a fun week we had.

Lots of swimming, eating fresh juicy stone fruits, feeding chooks and collecting eggs, cuddling cats, picking fruit and veg from the garden, and learning new french phrases and behaviours.

They did really well in learning french and picking up the etiquette of the area.... and Tati Deb being who she is, they learnt a LOT of history and culture as well.  Poor things...lol  They thought it was school holidays, and wound up in holiday school.

One of the days we went to the Vallee des Singes.  A monkey zoo outside of Poitiers.  It was fabulous.  I highly recommend it.  The larger primates are kept in moated enclosures, but the smaller ones are all around you.  I love lemurs and was thrilled that one of them used my foot as a resting spot on his way to the feeding area.  The tiny monkeys were so cute and full of character as well.  The little one above was determined to see what was behind the camera and I had a hard job keeping him in the lens!

Our belongings did not arrive last week...... cancelled by the company as their driver was injured and could not drive (what international company only has one driver on call???).  Getting a bit fed up with them and will be writing to the removalists board when this is all over.  Hopefully they will be delivering tomorrow.  No time given, just between 8am and 6pm.  Please all think of us and think of the delivery going ahead. 

I will be learning to stack firewood next week.  Our winter stocks have been ordered and are due on wednesday afternoon.  There is a method to stacking the wood, which I will be learning and having to accomplish in order to get it all ready for winter.  Ten steres due, which is a lot of wood!  Think it may take me a while.  Watch this space.....

Anyway, could go on for weeks about the fun week with the kidlets, but know they will be chatting to, emailing and postcarding everyone, so will not spoil their news.

No other news from me.  Will update in next week after firewood delivery.  Must remember to tell you about the peach bbq sauce that I made.  Absolutely delicious!!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Not quite fluffy dice.....

But you can find fluffy cat bottoms in there. 

Yes, he is inside my car.  The penalty for leaving the hatch open while unloading things.

Now of course it is a fun game to have one in and one out and to attack each other through the windscreen.

.....and yes, they do walk all over the car at will....grrrr.   My cute little red car is always covered in grubby cat paw prints.  Even though it is parked in the garage and is washed and kept in good condition - I always have their sweaty little fat feet leaving calling cards across the bonnet, windows and roof.  Nothing deters Guy, and of course what Guy does, Eric copies.

Friday, 29 July 2011


I am quite excited about this.......

Today I dug my first batch of potatoes from the garden.

Aren't they so beautiful.  All knobbly and golden and perfect.  No chemicals, just good clean sunshine, earth and water.  They are such a satisfying crop.  No fuss or effort for a large yield.

Think I will steam some of them in their skins and top with fresh butter and parsley.  I want to know what they taste like first before I  decide what I will make with them.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

What is this?

Lots happening here in the Poitou-Charentes

I am in the process of getting my french drivers licence.... which means that I have to go to driving school every day to do theory lessons.  Then after I finish that I am allowed to do 20 hours of supervised driving with the school, then I can get my licence.  sigh  Really not a happy girl.

We have had so much rain that I think I am getting webbed feet.  If I start to quack, start worrying....

Had a quick trip to Paris/London with a girlfriend for shopping.  Badly needed new clothes, and we were so disappointed that we found almost nothing we liked.  Oh well, that's life.  So I am still wearing my too large clothes for a while till I find things I like.

Our shipment was transhipped... which means we are still waiting on it.  Starting to get a bit annoying now as we are desperate to furnish and have a proper home.  The company is very bad at keeping us up to date and I am having to chase them constantly.

We have had visitors to our empty home.  The poor things had to sleep on fold out beds.  At least they were good fold out beds, but still I feel a bit embarrassed that our home is not finished yet.

I really enjoy when we have visitors.  It is a bit isolated here during the week.  Everyone is at work in our little lane, and it is just me, the cats and the chooks.  Hedgehogs and red squirrels don't count as they don't play during the day...lol

Our latest visitor is a woman after my own heart.  She is like a sister to me and we think so alike on so many things.  I have really missed her since we moved from Paris as we used to see each other almost every day.  We had a great time.  I think the highlight for me was having someone to go foraging with.  We walked along the River Clain and picked wild plums, elderberries and I took cuttings of local weeds for the garden.

It may seem strange picking weeds.....  but these are pretty to look at, and are essential for butterflies.  We have had a lot of butterflies, and I want to ensure that our garden is very insect and wildlife friendly.

So after our walk and gathering of the fruits of nature we spent hours preparing the fruit.  I have since spent days making the fruit into lots of delicious treats... and have the purple hands to prove it! lol

Yes, the photo is elderberries, and they do have an amazing ability to dye everything they touch.  The raw juice washes off with no problems.  When you cook the berries it releases compounds which turn it into a pretty and very effective purple dye.  Squeezing the juice from the berries has left me with purple hands and strange purple/black rimmed nails.  I look a bit like I have decided to draw on my hands with permanent marker.  Pity it is not halloween as I could do a great costume starting with my hands as inspiration...lol

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Delectable Drinks

As promised.....  A few recipes for drinks that I have been making over the past few weeks.  Unfortunately, not many photos.  Was so busy making that forgot to stop and pick up camera.  Ooops.

I have so many cookbooks and cooking/food magazines.  Watch a lot of food tv and talk about food with all my friends and the marchands at the marche constantly.  Yes, I am a little obsessed with food and cooking or preparation of food.  

I love having people come for dinner and to make everything from scratch.  In Paris I could cook almost everything in our small appartement, but did not have the room to do any brewing of beverages.

Now of course, things have changed and we are living in a lovely big house in the countryside.  The garden is overflowing with produce and I have a huge cave to store my goodies in.  Life is good!

One of the first things I made when spring finally arrived was strawberry ratafia.  It is basically strawberries macerated in alcohol till the alcohol has all the flavour and colour and the strawberries are a colourless mush.  You can use eau de vie or grain alcohol to do this.  I am a vodka kind of girl, so I used a decent vodka.  Not the cheap and nasty one that strips paint, but not the top shelf one either.  Just a vodka that you would be happy to drink.  I used gariguette strawberries.  You want the most perfumed and flavourful berries you can find - in perfect shape, no bruises!  Then the fun begins....

Strawberry Ratafia
A large sealable glass jar (I use the ones with a rubber ring and metal lock)
Half to three quarters of the jars volume in strawberries
Bottle of vodka

Make sure berries are very clean and remove calix (green bit at top).  Weigh them and figure out what one fifth of their weight is in white sugar.
Mash strawberries roughly with sugar and leave to rest overnight. You do not want a puree! Chunks please.
Place in dry sterilised jar
Pour in vodka till strawberries covered by a few centimetres
Seal jar and place in a cool dark place

Every few days give jar a gentle shake and tip upside down to redistribute fruit and get the vodka moving

When vodka is dark pink and berries are pale pink almost white, you are nearly done.  This should take a week or so.

Gently decant into a strainer with a very fine mesh, or a strainer lined with filter paper or muslin.  Pour into sealable bottles and leave in a cool dark place for a few weeks before enjoying.

We drink it mixed half and half with lemonade which is very nice on a hot day.

After reading many recipes for this drink, I worked out a recipe that I liked.  I do not like sweet drinks very much and love anything lemon flavoured, so I reduced the amount of sugar and upped the amount of lemon.

Large sealable glass jar
Rinds of 4 lemons (as little pith as possible as it is bitter)
approx 2 cups of vodka

Place lemon rinds in dry sterilised jar and cover with vodka.
Leave in cool dark place for 2 weeks or so.  Every few days give jar gentle shake and tip upside down to redistribute the lemon in the liquid

When liquid is yellow and rinds looking a bit pathetic, 

Bring one and a half cups of white sugar and 2 cups of water to the boil.  Gently boil for 5 mins till thick and syrupy but do not let burn or colour!  Allow syrup to cool
When syrup is cool add to lemon rind and vodka, seal jar and give a gentle shake.
Let this mixture steep for another 2 weeks, gently shaking jar every few days.

After 2 weeks strain the mix and pour into dry sterilised bottles.  Chill in fridge or freezer and serve straight up as an aperitif.

That is all for now.  Will post Rhubarb recipes end of next week.  Am off to the Jura for a geology trip now.  More on that at a later date.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Absence makes the heart grow fonder


Things have been a  little hectic around here lately.  Between an overly productive fruit and vegetable garden, house guests and the usual daily tasks, I have not had time to post for a while.

The cherry harvest has finally slowed to almost nothing.  In fact after the high winds of yesterday and today I think there will be none left on the tree at all.  Sad, but I cannot help heaving a sigh of relief.  It feels so wasteful to not make the most of the bounty offered up to us by good soil and lots of sunshine, but it is exhausting to try and keep up with.

I did not think to weigh the cherries as we picked them.  A shame, as I am sure we had over 10kgs from our half of the tree.  I will be better prepared next year - and not so naive.....

My rhubarb decided to turn into a monster and overtake the raised garden beds.  A lot of picking and processing was needed to bring it back to a manageable plant.  Luckily I adore rhubarb so I was not too stressed about what to do with all the largesses.

The gariguette strawberries, wild strawberries and the others (type unknown - alright, but not fabulous flavour) also decided to put forth masses of fruits.  A friends' children helped out by foraging and feasting one sunday afternoon.  They were enchanted with the tiny wild strawberries and think they liked them best of all.

There has been plenty of home brewing happening as well.  I have limoncello (second batch - first batch decimated by visitors one sunday afternoon), strawberry ratafia, rhubarb liqueur and rhubarb syrup, cherry pineau, cherries in ginger wine and cherry liqueur all sitting nice and cosy in the cave.

Recipes for all the above will follow this afternoon - or tomorrow morning - depending on time.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Cross Cultural Communication..... or miscommunication

As promised last post, I have some recipes to share.  I am going to start with the latest project and work backwards... just for fun.

Easter is fast approaching and one of the things I really miss living in France is hot cross buns.  The closest thing that we can get to them here is a panettone - yes, before you say it, I agree - not even close.

Try explaining hot cross buns to someone French.  The best translation of the name I could come up with at an instants notice was "petit pains de croix chaud" (small rolls of hot crosses).  Some things just do not translate.

The flavour however, well that is another kettle of fish... or dough.  So far those I have (force)fed the buns have marvelled at how light and tasty they are.  I may not have this cross cultural communication thing down pat, but I surely can cross the cultural divide with a soft, warm, spicy bun spread with local butter.  These are delicious hot with fresh butter, and if you have any leftover I imagine they would be fabulous toasted too.  I need to bake another batch to test this theory though as none left of the first batch.  Gannets, what can I say.

I read a few blogs each morning, dipping in and out of them as the mood takes me.  One that I am especially impressed with is an Australian blog 120dollarsfoodchallenge.  Sandra is a creative cook who is trying to make meals for the family on a tight budget.  There is a whole story about the creation of her blog, and a lot of controversy.  Personally, I think what she is doing is great and kudos to her for encouraging people on limited incomes to feed themselves and their families healthfully and without missing out on treats and flavour.

Anyway, whilst browsing her blog the other day I saw a recipe for hot cross buns.  My heart skipped a beat.  My mouth watered.  The little voice in my head went "Oh yuck, fiddly and complicated".  (Really need to trade the little voice in my head for on a new one someday).

After reading the recipe and thinking about it, I realised that it really was simple.  Rather than the complicated, fussy instructions normally found, Sandra has given a clear and easy to follow recipe with no tricks or extra steps.  Wonderful.

I have given you Sandra's blog link, and will give you the recipe that I wound up creating from it.  Take your pick between them, or adjust again for your tastes.  One great thing with Sandra's recipe is that she gives you instructions for making in a breadmaker.  Still waiting for mine to arrive from Australia with all our goods and chattels, so I made mine by hand.

Thanks to Pestoman and Pamela who gifted me two Historic New Orleans Collection mugs.  The perfect size for an afternoon tea time drink, and lovely to look at as well.

Hot Cross Buns - A Debbie Version

1/3 cup fine sugar (caster sugar if you have it)
2 teaspoons dried yeast (or 2 5g sachets)
1 and 1/2 cups warm milk
600g flour (plain not self raising)
1/2 teaspoon salt
good grind of cinnamon
big shake of 5 spice
good grind of nutmeg
60g unsalted butter melted
1 egg lightly beaten
as many sultanas as you want (no more than 1 cup though)

Mix sugar, milk and yeast in a bowl till well combined.  Set aside 10 minutes till yeast activates and the mix goes frothy

Put flour salt and spices in huge bowl.  Add wet mix, butter, egg and sultanas.  Mix till combined but do not over mix.  Leave in warm spot till doubled in size (can take 30-45 mins).

Once risen, turn onto floured board and knead gently until smooth and elastic.  This may take a few minutes.  Do not knead heavily or you will break up the fruit.

Divide dough into 16 pieces and fashion each piece into a ball.  Place balls in a greased and lined tin with small space between each one.  Leave 10-15mins till balls double in size.
Bake 20 mins at 220C, or till browned on top and lovely and big and fluffy.

Glaze with a teaspoon of homemade peach jam and splash of water heated till liquid.  Cool on rack

Eat immediately they cool enough to touch

  • The original recipe calls for a 30 X 30cm cake tin to bake these in.  I used a small roasting tray instead.  So long as it has high sides you can basically use whatever size tin you want.  Next time I will  put 2/3 of balls in one tin and the rest in another.  I felt they were too cramped and did not rise or bake as well as they could have.
  • We do not have plain and self raising flour here.  I used an organic flour (think it was type 65??)
  • Yeast comes as sachets of 5g or fresh here in France.  I used 2 sachets of dried which is slightly more than 2 teaspoons.
  • Caster sugar is not available here, so I used a fine grained sugar instead.  It is being melted into the milk and yeast mix so it is not a huge stress if you don't have caster sugar.
  • The original recipe called for precise measurements of cinnamon and mixed spice.  I love nutmeg and did not have mixed spice, so went with my own pantry spices.
  • Original recipe called for 1/3 cup of currants.  I put in the same amount of sultanas (currants not available here) and it looked paltry, so I added more till it looked right for me.

Normally these buns should have a flour paste cross and a clear glaze on top.  Personally I think the flour paste cross is a tasteless, nasty addition and the clear glaze the same.  Why ruin a delicious treat with things I do not like.  So I glazed with homemade jam instead and it looks pretty as well as tasting great.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Blossoming in Buxerolles

Long time no news.  Sorry.  The move has taken a lot of energy and time and I have had nothing left for other activities such as blogging and emailing.

We are all moved in now and awaiting the arrival of our possessions from Australia.  It will be so good to have our "treasures" around us.  I will never again take for granted photographs, books and the assorted memorabilia that makes a house a home.

The past month has flown by.  When we arrived it was still very wintery and cold.  Heavy frosts each morning and the trees were completely bare.  Within the month spring has gradually forged its way into being and we are seeing more sunshine each day (and more rainy days.... but that is another story) and an increase in temperature.

We are lucky enough to have three forsythia in the garden, which heralded the arrival of spring with a profusion of bright golden yellow blooms.  So bright that it almost hurt your eyes to look at them after the long grey and bleak days of winter.

I have discovered wild strawberries, violets and cyclamens throughout the garden.  In fact, our lawn is more of them than grass!  Oh well, at least they are pretty.  I have given the lawn a good feed, weeded and added grass seeds.  Hopefully by summer we will have a nice lawn to enjoy.  The scent of the violets has been amazing and the lawn has more purple flowers than green at present, so I am not too stressed.  Yet.

The native annuals have popped up everywhere in the edges of the garden and it is a very pretty sight.  I have been holding off on cutting the grass in certain patches so that they can flower and seed for next year.  It gives a sort of wild meadow effect, which is not tidy and groomed, but a haven for bees and other insects and attracts the birds.

Our neighbours have many fruit and nut trees which overhang our boundary.  We are going to enjoy almonds, hazelnuts and cherries courtesy of them.  The picture above is of the cherry tree in full bloom.  Really beautiful against a blue sky and with a lovely perfume too.  It overhangs our terrace area, so will be convenient for sitting around and plucking fresh cherries for dessert after a bbq.

The vegetables are planted in raised garden beds and are flourishing.  I have picked my first crop of rhubarb and made compote to eat with homemade yoghurt.  A herb bed will be going in this week, and tomatoes after the weekend.  There is still the occasional frost so cannot go crazy with the softer, less hardy plants yet.

We are really enjoying our new home and the area.  The neighbours are all welcoming and kind, and it has been a pleasure interacting with people in our day to day lives.  None of the stress and angst that you face in Paris.

More photos and posts will follow.  I am in the midst of brewing strawberry ratafia, limoncello, and other goodies.  A set of six art deco dining chairs is also in the process of renovation.  Lots to do.  Will try and keep you up to date with it all.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Art in Montmartre

The countdown is on for our move and, as you can imagine, we are frantically busy and stressed....but organised.  Believe it or not.  Only 2 weeks to go before we are country mice.

Our departure date from Paris is set as 23 feb.  There is farewell drinks on 18 feb.  Email me for details if you wish to join us.  As it is highly unlikely we will have internet immediately upon moving into our new home, please be patient and I will update as soon as we are connected.  In this case no news will be good news.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed with concerns about our family in Australia.  Everyone is ok.  A bit soggy and sick of the extreme weather, but ok.  Torrential rain, flooding and cyclones up north... extreme heat and bushfires - and flooding (!) - down south.  Crazy times.

One thing I did not want to forget to tell you about in all the rush to move is a friends art expo that is coming up.  If you are in Paris at the time, it will be worth going to.  Who knows, you may even pick up an original piece for yourself.  I am going to try and be back in Paris for the expo as it promises to be fabulous.  Am also hoping I can pick up one of the pieces to grace the walls of our new place.  The link to the website is here .emmapauline.com   It is under construction, but you can already see a few paintings and all the details for the expo.  One of her paintings is below.
There will also be an exhibition of some of my photographs at the BCWA in Paris during april and may.  Details will follow closer to the date.  If you are a woman of British or Commonwealth nationality (or married to someone who is) you should know about this organisation in Paris.  I have had some great times there and have some wonderful memories thanks to the BCWA.  As you all know reading is one of my passions, and without this club and its english language library I would have gone bankrupt buying books whilst here.  Please check out the link here http://bcwa.paris.online.fr/

Whilst I am sharing links and favourite things, I must mention the Musee de Montmartre.  It is my favourite museum in all of Paris.  I will miss this place more than you can imagine.  It is constantly evolving with the needs of the quartier and is always interesting.  If you are in the quartier, please make sure you visit.  For more details see the website http://www.museedemontmartre.fr/

Well, after all that I feel a little like an infomercial....

The photo at the top is of a "tutti frutti" frangipangi in the neighbours garden at Nelson Bay.  I thought we could all do with something fresh and sunny and bright to look at.