Sunday, 15 January 2017

Mosaic Monday # 23. Talking to horses.

Thanks for all the interesting comments on last week's Mosaic Monday post.
It seems that many of us gravitate to the great outdoors with our cameras.

Sallie said " We are always drawn to the water.... rivers, marshes, lakes, oceans....and my pictures ( the keepers and the ones I delete) reflect that."
Pat had this to say "I seem to take a lot of deer photos and mountain photos now that I live in Colorado. When I lived in NYC it was photos of buildings and the skyline."
Linda combined both in the Shenandoah National Park, "Skyline Drive where I go frequently. Often I see deer there,".
As I made my way around visiting your blogs I noticed many of us are also interested in wildlife as a favourite subject to photograph. I saw some wonderful captures of wild birds enticed to feeders and bird tables at this time of year.
The up side of photographing birds in the garden is that it's possible to do it whilst still staying warm and cosy indoors. I must say I was impressed by the clean windowpanes, not sure I'd get the same high quality captures through mine.
It has been well documented on this blog that one of my favourite subjects to photograph are cows, seriously! And yes, I do know that they don't come into the "wildlife" category!
Each year from the beginning of March to the very end of October the three fields which surround the Presbytere are home to small herds of Normandie heifers.

Seeing them through my bedroom window in the morning always starts my day off well.

Whilst out walking M'selle Fleur we often stop to chat with this group of horses and donkeys, they're usually very happy to pose for the camera if we feed them some of the long grass from the roadside.
On Saturday we took a different route and met this horse and donkey duo just hanging out together. They seemed like they were good pals.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Mosaic Monday # 22. A favourite location to photograph.

One task I really dislike doing is trawling through the zillions of photographs on my PC hitting the delete button.
I always get sidetracked, reminiscing about times, places and friends captured by my point and shoot.
I can spend ages marvelling at all the wonderful places we've seen when what I should really be doing is ruthlessly discarding the blurred snaps, out of focus arty shots and those inadvertent captures of my foot or hand that just happened to get into the frame!
But needs must as they say and so during a quiet afternoon recently I sat down to do just that.
What I discovered in the process is that one of my most favourite locations to photograph would seem to be the beaches of Normandy.
I wonder if you have a favourite location that you return to over and over again, one that changes with the tide, the season or even the time of day?

Colleville sur Mer beach
Sunday 08/01/2017

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Mosaic Monday # 21. Inspired to travel?

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends around the world.
May 2017 be ridiculously amazing for us all!

About the most amazing thing that I like to do is travel, luckily so does the Senior Partner.
During our almost 40 years together we have travelled far and wide across the globe.

2016 was a very good year for new sights and adventures - expanding our horizons wider and further.

As the New Year begins I've been reflecting on our experiences - combining images and some favourite inspirational travel quotes.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Mosaic Monday # 20. Finally feeling festive.

It's hard to feel festive when the sun is shining and the skies are blue, a quiet walk on an empty beach yesterday felt a million miles away from Christmas card scenes of snow, robins, fir boughs and Santa.

yes, there are people wading through the water!
and yet.......

it is beginning to look like Christmas around the Presbytère.

The small tree in our cosy sitting room this year is dressed in red, green and gold and showcases an eclectic mix of treasured ornaments collected over the years starting with a bauble commemorating our "First Christmas Together" (1978). The multi coloured lantern lights also date back to that first Christmas and I'm always thrilled that they still light up after all this time!
a mosaic of some shelf vignettes scattered throughout our home,
with a little bit of snow for effect.
This year I decided to decorate the library tree in red and white with a touch silver.
It was late afternoon, Saturday, by the time I was ready to take my photographs and I was very pleased to be able to capture the elusive "blue light" in the sky outside just before it disappeared.

You may remember that in last weeks Mosaic Monday post I mentioned that I would be giving away a copy of the beautiful "Best Of Campagne Décoration" special Noel edition to one lucky person who left a comment on that post.
After the link up closed, with 19 comments left, I went to to choose our winner who was # 7 - Snap @ Tales From Twisty Lane.
Snap, please send me your address so that I can pop the magazine in the mail to you and hopefully it will arrive before the holidays.

(Don't forget there will be no MM for the next two weeks.
MM # 21 will be bringing in the New Year 2017 January 2nd)

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Mosaic Monday # 19. A seasonal treat (or two?).

My favourite French lifestyle magazine is Campagne Décoration and you may recollect previous posts featuring styles and ideas from it's beautiful pages that have inspired me.
Click here and here  to see those posts.
Whist out shopping early last week I came across a special Christmas edition "Best of Campagne Décoration".

114 pages full of decorating and entertaining ideas for Christmas and New Year celebrations, creatively showcased in a collection of stunningly beautiful "maisons d'hiver" (winter homes), each and every one a work of art.
Decoration: Baroque, Ventoux.

Photos Eric de Herouville,
Best of Campagne Decoration 2016.

Terroir Charentais: filets de truite confits.

Photos Nathalie Baetens,
Best of Campagne Decoration 2016.
A luxurious Alpine chalet in Megève.

Photos Jo Pesendorfer,
Best of Campagne Decoration 2016
Now it wouldn't be fair to tease you with just a few images of some of the delights to be found in this issue of Campagne Décoration so to celebrate the season of goodwill I am giving away a copy to one lucky reader.
Just leave a comment on this post and after the link up closes I'll use to pick a winner.
The result will appear in next week's Mosaic Monday post which by the way will be our final Mosaic Monday of 2016.

Mince pie, anyone?
I'm sure that like me you are all very busy preparing for the holidays and could do with a blogging break.
MM # 21 will kick off the New Year on Monday January 2nd 2017.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Mosaic Monday # 18. Seasonal preparations.

Eating home made mince pies is a British tradition that the SP and I have kept up ever since we left Merrie Olde England over 30 years ago.
Whether we celebrated in the snowy wonderland of Bavaria or a rural backwater in Normandy there have always been mince pies to eat at Christmas.

Over the years I have tried Delia's, the Hairy Bikers and Jamie Oliver's recipes to name just three but the basic list of ingredients - dried fruits (raisins, sultanas & currants), suet, sugar, candied peel, mixed spices and brandy always remains the same.
One other thing that stays the same is the bowl that I mix my ingredients in, a classic cream coloured stone ware T G Green "Gripstand" bowl.

With Christmas fast approaching I decided that it was time to start preparing this years batch, so on Saturday afternoon I gathered all the ingredients together ready for the first stage.
After weighing, measuring and mixing everything, except the brandy, together I covered the bowl and left it to stand overnight on the kitchen windowsill.

On Sunday morning I added 2 tablespoons of Cognac and at the SP's suggestion 2 tablespoons of Cointreau to enhance the zest and juice of the oranges and lemons before placing the bowl in a low oven (120C) for about 3 hours.
After the mince meat had cooled a little I spooned it into clean warm jars before storing them in the pantry.

As the mixture slowly matures the flavours will continue to deepen until I'm ready to make the pies.
If the sweet and spicy aroma pervading the kitchen yesterday is anything to go by I'm guessing there'll be a request for some pies by next weekend at the latest!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Five On Friday - IKEA festive 5

This week Storm Angus has been battering our little corner of Normandy, most mornings have seen us returning home from walking Fleur looking like drowned rats holding useless umbrellas blown inside out by strong gales. Some areas of the Marais are starting to flood already.
Clearing up in the garden has had to take a back seat (shame!) instead we've stayed indoors enjoying log fires, good books and lots of tea.
You can have too much of a good thing though and eventually cabin fever did set in so on Thursday we headed over to IKEA in Caen for a little retail therapy and lunch.
For my Five On Friday with Amy this week five things that came home with me from the blue box store.

A pair of table topping Christmas trees, faux of course.
Apologies for the terrible photograph.

Fingertip towels for the downstairs cloakroom; stylish black and white paper napkins for tea time.

Lots of scented candles.

Bright shiny red baubles for the two new faux trees.

That's my Five, click on the link below to see what Amy's been up to this week.