Sunday, 30 October 2011

Halloween in Normandy 2011

Here in France Halloween isn't celebrated as exuberantly as it is in say the USA, or Canada.
However, when I find this little slip of paper in my letterbox

I know that I have to get ready for Trick or Treat Night.

The night when wizards, monsters and witches chauffeured and chaperoned by their parents
 invade the lanes of our village.
In order that they don't haunt us for too long we are advised to have "bonbons" ready
 and an outdoor lamp shining.
If we don't want to play be disturbed we just leave all the lights off.
Monstres & Sorcieres 2011
To get us in the mood inside the house
a few Halloween touches here and there.

On the library mantlepiece - witches, ghosts and pumpkins.

HB Henriot Quimper plates
 on either side of the fireplace .
HB Henriot Quimper Witch Plate 2010
HB Henriot Quimper Witch Plate 2010
Joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday.
Click on the link or sidebar button to visit other participants,
I'm sure there'll be lots more ghouls and ghosties there.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Pink Saturday

Last week the Senior Partner and I celebrated 32 years of wedded bliss, aahh!
We marked the occasion with a little retail therapy
followed by lunch at a favourite restaurant in Bayeux.

We also purchased mouthwatering deli treats
 (tuna stuffed sweet peppers, artichoke hearts and onions; three cheese ravioli; buffalo mozzarella and sun dried cherry tomatoes filled with delicate ricotta cheese) 
for a special "couch picnic" in front of the TV that evening.
Mr B - chef, gourmand, bon viveur and
 the love of my life
Joining Beverly @ How Sweet The Sound for Pink Saturday.
Click on the link or sidebar button to be in the pink, too.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Reality Shot Thursday - That Cupboard!

Do you have one of these?

A cupboard where you shove store all your Tupperware and other storage containers.
Every time I need a container I can never find the corresponding lid and so have to take most of it out, or else it falls on the floor of its own accord, whilst I rummage search through them all.
And why is the one I want always at the back?
Just thought I’d ask, I can’t be the only one?

Joining Claudia for Reality Shot Thursday #5 @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage.
It's an easy group to join no fluffing or primping required!
You just have to be brave enough to take the shot
and then share it with the world!

Sharing this post also with Bunny Jean for her Wednesday Bunny Hop

Why not hop on over and meet some new bloggers?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday - Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux.

Joining Tracy for Shadow Shot Sunday # 179
@ Hey Harriet
this week.

A friend from Maine, USA. recently came to visit us in Normandy
 and together we spent some quiet time in the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux.

The stained glass windows created amazing shadows
across the Caen stone walls.

The simple cross panes of this window
created a checked pattern high up
on the vaulted roof.

A place of quiet reflection.

More stained glass jewel colours play across the floor.

Down in the crypt a shard of light breaks through.
It is an ancient site, the present Cathedral was consecrated in 1077.

A fitting memorial.
To the one million dead of the British Empire
who fell in the Great War 1914-1918
 and of whom the greater part rest in France.

I hope you've enjoyed this tranquil space as much as we did.
Click on the link to see wonderful shadow captures from around the globe.

There are new posts this week on my other blogs.
My October book reviews can be found on just books
there's a Quimper Witchy themed post on Collecting Quimper

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Reality Shot Thursday.

Autumn is a wonderful season, full of mellow fruitfullness.
Early mornings are crisp and clear, the sun sits low in the sky
 and the trees cast beautiful shadows across the grass.

We love to be outdoors in the garden at this time of the year but
 clearing leaves, acorns and horse chestnuts off the lawns is not a job we enjoy!

Hidden away in three of the four corners of the back garden are our compost heaps,
 out of sight but sadly not out of mind.
This is the reality of being the present caretakers of
 venerable silver birch, ancient oak,
 massive horse chestnut and stately sycamore trees.

Joining Claudia for Reality Shot Thursday #4.
a new but fun weekly gathering
 where those of us brave or silly enough
share the less than glamorous side of daily life.
Click on the link or sidebar button to participate.
Go on I dare you!

Also linking to The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sundays gathering this weekend.

Teatime treat - Apple and Sultana Cake.

We've had a good crop of eating apples this year
from the trees espaliered against the garden wall.

As a thank you for staying home with the dogs, whilst I swanned off to Paris last week, I baked an apple and sultana cake to make teatime a little bit special for the Senior Partner.
(he's partial to fruit cake) 

It's a very simple cake to make, especially if you have a KitchenAid Mixer.

350g self raising flour
150ml sunflower oil
175g golden brown sugar
3 eggs (beaten)
1tsp ground cinnamon
75g golden sultanas
3 medium sized eating apples (peeled, cored and diced into small pieces).
Preheat oven to 180C /350F/Gas 4
Lightly grease and base line a 21cm/8" deep cake tin.
Pour the sunflower oil into a bowl - add the sugar and beat together until well blended.
Gradually beat in the eggs until the mixture has increased in volume, then add the sieved flour and cinnamon and stir gently into the liquid, until fully incorporated.
Add the diced apples and sultanas and mix well, don't worry if the mixture is stiff.
Transfer to the baking tin and bake for about an hour or until golden brown.
Check for doneness by testing with a wooden skewer, if any uncooked mixture sticks to the skewer, continue to bake the cake for a further 10 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack until completely cool.

Linking this post to Weekend Cooking @ Beth Fish Reads
click on the link to see Beth's review of
The Mozza Cookbook
 Nancy Silverton

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Paris Love Locks Mosaic

The Passerelle de Solférino a footbridge over the River Seine close to the Musee D'Orsay, is festooned with Love Locks, symbols of eternal love.

It isn't the only Parisien bridge to be covered in padlocks which couples wishing to celebrate their relationship inscribe with their names and sometimes the date, before locking them onto the bridge and throwing the key into the river below.

In June 2011 The Independent newspaper reported the return of Love Locks to the bridges in the city of love.
 Click here to read more.

Sharing the love with Mary @ the little red house
and all the bloggers participating in Mosaic Monday
this week.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

White Pumpkin Vignette.

One of my favourite blogs to visit is The Tablescaper.
She has such wonderful ideas, not to mention the china, pottery, accessories, linens and silverware collections that she owns.
Well, I guess the clue is in the name of the blog!
Although I personally don't "tablescape" (is that a verb?) I often find inspiration there for ways to decorate our home, especally at this time of year - Autumn.
A recent post featured a collection of gorgeous white pumpkins and brown ceramics, you can see it by clicking here.
Suitably inspired, I went "shopping", through my home, to create a fall vignette for the top of the wood burning stove in the sitting room.

I gathered together a large faux white pumpkin (TJ Maxx 2009), a white ceramic cake stand, rattan tablemat and faux fall wreath (Michaels 2009).

I added a tall lantern (a recent purchase from La Redoute), which I placed on a couple of hardback books for extra height, before lighting the "Cashmere" candle inside.
Then for added interest and texture, a log which I unearthed from the outdoor wood pile, "enhanced" with real horse chestnuts from the garden.

I really like how it evolved, however the chimney sweep called by the house on Friday morning to clear away any debris which might be blocking said chimney.
Soon there will be wonderful log fires to sit beside, with tea and books, so I think I'd better find a safer place to relocate this vignette to, very soon.

Joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Marty @ A Stroll Through Life for Tabletop Tuesday # 86
click on the links or sidebar buttons
 to see who else is particpating this week.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Pink Saturday in Paris

Joining Beverly for Pink Saturday @ How Sweet The Sound with this poster for an exhibition
which, sadly, finished in May.
Click here to visit the La Pinacothèque de Paris to see what's currently showing.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Reality Shot Thursday - Parisien Tablescape

I couldn't resist sharing these photographs of the table
after our lunch on Tuesday at La Boheme in Monmartre.

John and I both chose an omelette with a side dish of French fries
 and Susan had her favourite salad
buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil.

Not the most elegant of tablescapes I know but the people watching was fantastic!

Linking to Claudia's Reality Shot Thursday #3
 @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage
and to Tablescape Thursday @ Between Naps On The Porch.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

24 hours in Paris

Wow! What a great time I had with our friends Susan & John in Paris.

We packed so much into twenty fours hours,
sightseeing, shopping, eating.
Hotel d'Alba this way.

Ready for some retail therapy?  Want to see some shops?

Across the road from our hotel is this great shop which specialises in vintage posters.

Further along the street -  "Nonna Bakes"

Cakes like these!

Whilst we're talking cakes.........
fancy a coffee?

How about some fresh flowers to take home?

Not a great shot......perhaps you can see our reflections in the window?

This fabulous shop is angelic

a close up of a miniature shop in the window
We found this beautiful place just off the Place du Tertre, Montmartre
look at the window display!
just couldn't resist those macarons
Next time..........sightseeing