the gentle bucolic ramblings of an English rose, blooming in rural Normandy

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Walking through IKEA


Last week I persuaded the Senior Partner to come for a walk with me through IKEA, it's that time of year when large "SOLDES" signs appear and you never know what bargains are to be had at Sale time.
I also wanted to replace the mattress toppers from our individual single mattresses and needed a guinea pig to lie down in the store and test them.


Stepping off the escalator you walk straight into new and trendy room settings.
As anyone who has ever visited an IKEA store knows it isn't easy to go directly to the department that you require since you have to follow the one way system through many sections to reach your destination.


Storage boxes and suggestions in all sizes and colours.
So, grab a coffee, cup of tea or your beverage of choice and come for a stroll through IKEA with me and see if I managed to get those toppers.


I really liked the look of this colourful kitchen/dining room but the SP wasn't keen.


This one was more to his liking, and to be honest I could be persuaded.


Kelims, carpets and rugs, I could spend ages just looking at all the different designs and patterns.


Isn't this a great way to display the variety of seat cushions available?


At last, the bedroom department.


Just 4 toppers to choose from and we decided on the second from the top: "SULTAN". To spare the SP's blushes no photographs were taken of him testing them out.
On the way to the self service check out we had of course to pass through the candle, glassware, kitchen utensil, office, gift wrap and garden departments.


Bright and colourful picnic wares.


Everything a girl needs for the office or craft room.


I need a gift wrapping station just like this one. A friend who lives in Dallas, TX has a small room devoted just to gift wrap!


Wouldn't this be a lovely outdoor place to sit with an aperitif and watch the sun sink below the horizon?


All that walking left him feeling quite tired so the SP takes 5 whilst waiting for our delivery to be brought from the warehouse.
Hope you've enjoyed your virtual walk around IKEA with me, today. I had planned on sharing the shopping trip when we got back home on Wednesday afternoon.
It was going to be my "What I Saw Today" weekly post.
However, a call from the Immobilier had us running around fluffing the house and tidying the garden instead ready for an early morning viewing the following day. No feedback yet from the clients so I'm not holding my breath.
Before you go, there's one last thing I'd like to talk to you about.
I was chatting yesterday with my very good friend Sarah @ Hyacinths For The Soul and she mentioned that lately she has been running out of inspiration for things to blog about.
Like me she has been blogging for several years now and has found that her blogging mojo has gone walkabout.
I shared with her an idea that I've had about maybe starting up a "What I Saw Today"  Linky party, a place where we can share with each other once a month what happened during that day.
Sarah liked the idea saying  "it makes it easy to come up with something about which to post".
It doesn't have to be a special or fancy event that you blog about - just show us what makes up "daily life" in your part of the world, as seen through your eyes.
Here's a link to my first "WIST" post in case you missed it.
Do you think it's a good idea, dear reader?
Leave a comment and let me know.
bon weekend a tous

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

What I Saw on (Mon) Day


I'm calling this post What I Saw on (Mon) Day but it could just as easily be titled What I Saw on Bastille Day.
no treasures uncovered today, just the usual mix of bric a brac, toys and children's clothing
We celebrated in our own little way by mooching around a vide grenier in the nearby village of Bernesq in the morning.

insde the village's church of St Vigor


As a special treat I baked a Strawberry & Almond Cheesecake sponge from a recipe featured on the cover of the June 2014 issue of BBC Good Food magazine.
You can find the recipe here.

my cake on the left - not a bad "look a like" even if I say so myself!
Sitting on the terrace looking out over the garden with a large slice of cake and a good magazine, what a perfect way to spend the afternoon!

I found the vintage blue and white "Asiatic Pheasant" plate (one of a pair)
at an Antiques market in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. May 2014

Vive La France!

Joining Patti & Paula for
What's It Wednesday
@ Ivy & Elephants

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Bargain hunting for Quimper and other treasures.............................


We're in the middle of a holiday weekend here in France, Monday is Bastille Day and many towns and villages in Calvados and Manche are holding antiques/brocante fairs, my local paper has pages and pages full of listings.


It's the summertime when everyone becomes a chineur (bargain hunter) enjoying the search for a vintage treasure or veritable antique piece.
On Friday we headed for one of the more upmarket antique fairs taking place over 4 days in the impossibly pretty village of Beuvron en Auge, in the heart of the Pays d'Auge and slap bang on the cider route of Normandy.


A longtime favourite with locals and tourists alike it has stunningly beautiful architecture, great restaurants and shopping.

statement chairs ?
I took masses of photographs around the village but this post is dedicated to chineurs everywhere, on y va!
I may have to go back for some of these as I've just spotted the embroidered SP in the bottom left.
These might just inspire the Senior Partner to help with the dishes!
Before we entered the chapiteau where the antique items were to be found I mooched around outside among the brocanteurs.


I'm on the lookout for a handmade wooden tuffet/stool (tabouret) after falling in love with the one in the sitting room of Button Cottage, our digs when visiting Derbyshire, UK in May.


Loved the look of this vintage enameled railway sign, a quirky display piece for any outdoor space such as a patio or hanging on the wall of your potting shed.


Great looking bench, table and chairs to place beside the potager, weary gardeners do need to rest from time to time.



Inside the tent I stopped to admire this beautiful display of Christofle and Lalique items.


Did you notice the sweet little pots au chocolat in the corner, bottom left? The vendor was willing to split the set which I thought was a shame, each pot was priced at 35 euro.



Beautiful serving platters, bowls, candlesticks, knife rests and so much flatware, what a feast for the eyes.
Turning a corner we were delighted to come across a longtime dealer acquaintance of ours, he once was our "go to" man when searching out exquisite Porquier Beau, HB and HR, Quimper faience.


The green on yellow acanthus/rinceaux border on this Porquier Beau jardiniere is a particular favourite of mine.


I'm quite partial to the green on white, too!


The detail on this large footed compote dish is exquisite, a classic Porquier Beau piece from the late 1800's.


Before heading back home the SP walked Mamselle Fleur down by the river whilst I went after one last shot, or three!


Beuvron en Auge, a picture postcard village with it's beautiful half timbered houses, one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.

à bientôt


A Portrait of Nicholas. Personal Photo Challenge, July.

When I visited one of my very favourite blogs earlier today - Mary's "A Breath of Fresh Air" I was blown away once again by her amazing photography.
In this case a set of three portraits which she had linked to the monthly challenge hosted by Donna @  "A Personal Photo Challenge".
On clicking through to Donna's blog I noticed several other bloggers whose blog's I follow had also linked to the challenge and I was inspired to join in with this portrait of my youngest nephew, Nicholas, which I took during a visit to Normandy in August 2011.


I'm not a very accomplished photographer.
I use a Panasonic DMC-ZS3 which was handed down to me by my husband and I have it set to IA mode (Intelligent Auto) ready for me to simply point and shoot.
To crop, enhance, resize and generally modify my photographs for blogging and scrap booking I always use Ashampoo Photo Commander 11, and Picasa and Photoscape for collages and mosaics.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

What I Saw Today...............................

La vie quotidienne (daily life) has once again been diverting me from blogging and weeks have passed since I picked up my metaphoric pen to write.
I got to thinking, just what is it that is filling my days and keeping me away from blogland?

our daily bread, first stop before walking the dog!
Ever since the Senior Partner retired last year we certainly are doing more together "as a couple" and it was whilst I was sat in the car, waiting for him to finish an errand this morning, that the germ of an idea for a new blog post one that could possibly become a regular feature came to me.

the lambs belong to the Jacques, the shopkeeper and live in the field next to the shop
I'm calling it "What I Saw Today", (my take on something that many of the bloggers that I follow already do brilliantly) sharing our Normandy Life with my followers one photograph at a time.


On the agenda this morning was a visit to the Veterinary practice in Bayeux as M'selle Fleur has been suffering with a painful ear for a few days. Today's vet was new to us and according to the SP was a little afraid of Fleur, insisting that she be muzzled during the examination. I didn't attend but apparently Fleur took this in her stride and behaved impeccably.

the clinique equine with Bayeux Cathedral as a backdrop
85 Euro later they emerged with lotions & potions and strict dietary instructions, no more chicken for Fleur!


Back home we found our farmer neighbour had arrived to feed the cows, so I leant over the garden wall to have a chat with "les girls" as they munched away.

these girls know all the latest gossip
Whilst chatting I couldn't help but notice how well the plants and shrubs by the wall are looking after the recent rainfall.

hortensia

wisteria

old fashioned rose

even when the petals are gone the clematis flower head is fascinating to see
After a short potter around the garden we were off again.

This time for a walk along the riverbank before lunch in our favourite local restaurant.



On our way home I stopped to take a photograph of one of the village's WWII memorials, one that I thought my Canadian followers might enjoy seeing.


That's some of what I saw earlier today. I hope you've enjoyed seeing it as much as I've enjoyed sharing it with you and finally................ my next project - sitting on my desk - a scrap booking layout that's still a work in progress.


à bien·tôt