Sunday, 23 December 2012

A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Joining Floss @ Troc, Broc & Recup for a Pause in Advent
Mary @ the little red house for Mosaic Monday

Celebrating 100,000 Normandy Life page views with some images and collages of Christmas past.

Wishing all my friends and followers a
very Merry Christmas
a Peaceful, Prosperous & Healthy New Year.

See you in 2013!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The easiest way to make a live wreath - Stone Gable

When I saw the "easiest way to make a live wreath" tutorial that Yvonne @ Stone Gable posted on Tuesday I immediately pinned it to my "stuff I want to make" board on Pinterest.
Click here to see the tutorial for yourself.

Following Yvonne's instructions I took an old faux wreath, pretty baubles and some plaid ribbon from my Christmas stash.
I don't have a stand like the one Yvonne used whilst creating her wreath so to make working on the wreath as easy as possible I hung it on a window handle inside.
As you can see through the window there's no snow in Normandy, yet!

Armed with a pair of secateurs I went foraging in the back garden where I cut several small branches of ivy, cypress and box.

As my wreath wasn't as "snarly" as the one in the tutorial is, it was very quick and easy to simply thread the branches through the wreath, no hot glue gun needed!

Then using small wire hangers I simply attached the baubles to the wreath, tied a bow at the top and voila!

The easiest live wreath ever!

Linking this post to Mrs Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday
where our class assignment this week is the letter E.

Jenny Matlock

BREAKING NEWS..........................

Since I posted the above photos this has happened.....

I honestly only snipped a few small branches for my wreath, sometime since yesterday afternoon
this stately evergreen was torn asunder and fell to earth without us being aware 
that anything was amiss.
If you need some foliage, for your own wreath, you're all welcome to come and help yourselves!!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Pause in Advent

My beautiful handmade Christmas nest created by
the very talented & gracious Vicki Boster.
Click hereto visit the blog of a woman I am honored to call my friend.

I’m sure that I am only one among many on this third Sunday in Advent to be pausing, for more than just a minute or two, to think about the heartbroken, devastated families of the women and children murdered inside Sandy Hook Elementary school, Connecticut on Friday morning.
The media is full of reports of the tragedy; I read in the Sunday Times this morning some incredible stories of bravery shown by the teachers whilst shielding their charges from the gunman. 
They hid them in cupboards, closets and bathrooms.
Over the coming days more details will emerge about what happened to those beautiful six and seven year olds.
First graders who were expecting their parents to arrive at the classroom door very soon, to build gingerbread houses together.
But the only question on my mind right now is why, in the name of everything that is holy did the mother of murderer Adam Lanza who also died by his hand, feel the need to possess a semi-automatic assault rifle and keep it in her home?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sky Watch

A Sunday Sky Watch in Normandy
click here to see more stunning skies from around the globe

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Marais du Bessin

 this week 
some shots of the flooded fields
 that are part of the Marais du Bessin.

Des marais, entre deux mers.

The marshes, between two seas.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas cards, cake and catching up.

Life at the Presbytere has moved into the slow lane this month.
Not for us the hurly burly of Christmas shopping, bright lights and parties, we’re hibernating indoors where it’s cosy and warm and the air is scented by wonderful aromas of baking cakes and pies, mingled with the delicious smell of wood smoke.
Instead of an elaborately decorated Christmas cake, this year, I've opted to bake a lighter, less dense Dundee cake.

Packed with cherries, currants, raisins, cranberries and orange and lemon peel, (soaked overnight in Scotch Whiskey) and simply decorated with whole blanched almonds it will be the perfect light bite to serve for afternoon tea.
Delia’s recipe of course.

We recently had two new wood burning stoves installed, one in the sitting room and the other in the library/tv room.

The SP is in charge of keeping the home fires burning and he has named them Big Bertha and Mini Me.

Outside, a winter’s worth of logs stand stacked and ready.
Cards from family and friends wishing us “Happy Holidays” & “Seasons Greetings” are arriving daily.

I always enjoy catching up with their news if there’s a letter included with the card.
Whose daughter or son has married this year, who has become a grandparent for the first time, or the seventh in the case of one set of friends! Vacations enjoyed; homes bought and sold, sitting quietly with a mug of hot pomegranate tea and a bite of spicy Lebkuchen, whilst listening to a CD of Christmas music, I'm content to absorb it all.
Not all the news comes via La Poste.
I catch up with the younger members of my extended Northern family on Facebook.
Cousin Kay who was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of this year, she had her final chemo last month, posted this on her Facebook page on Friday.

Love you, Kay.

Linking this post to Mosaic Monday with Mary @ the little red house 
and Floss at Troc, Broc and Recup for a Pause in Advent.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A Sunday walk on the wild side.

Today was one of those days when you thank goodness that you had your camera in your pocket.

Strolling with Ben down a favourite path, I had stopped to take some shots of the flooded fields when who should come splashing across them but Bambi, or could it be Rudolph?
He was too far away for me see how red his nose was!

I'll let the pictures tell the story.

As you can see I've been playing with the PicMonkey again, trying out the different effects and editing tools.

It's unusual for the fields to flood this early in the winter, January/February are the months when we're used to seeing scenes like this, but I've never met Bambi in Normandy before!

Linking this post to Mary's Mosaic Monday @ the little red house
Watery Wednesday.

Driving home we were surprised to see this cow ambling along the verge.
Well they do say the grass is always greener..................................
Bon dimanche à toutes et tous.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Skywatch Friday

I recently discovered picmonkey, do you use it?
There's so many editing tools available to enhance your photographs, I chose "gritty" to create the effect below.
I like the way the bare branches of the tree stand out against the clouds in the sky.

Looking over our garden wall to the village church in the distance.
Linking to Skywatch Friday for the first time, click here for more sky views.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Grateful for Ben's reprieve.

If you've visited my blog at all over the past four + years you will probably have met Mr Ben, my English Cocker spaniel, and know that he is a very important part of my life.
Today I'm posting even more photographs of Ben, photographs that just two days ago I thought I would never get the chance to take.
You see in the wee small hours of Friday morning Ben suffered a massive seizure.
As the Senior Partner steered us through the dark, deserted roads to the emergency veterinary clinic in Bayeux I tried to prepare myself to say goodbye.
Matty, Ben's favourite medic, was on duty that night and he suggested that the reason for the seizure and the smaller episodes that have been occurring recently would suggest that Ben has a brain tumor but the clinic did not have the scanner needed to confirm that diagnosis.
We would have to go to Paris for that.
He administered an anti inflammatory and a mild sedative and we decided to leave Ben at the clinic for the rest of the night.
As you can imagine, back home, we didn't get much sleep. when we returned to the clinic at 10.00 am imagine our amazement when Matty brought Ben out to us in reception.
Bright and alert (Ben, not Matty who had been on call throughout the night!) he was ready to come home with us.
We decided not to go to Paris for the scan but did take with us some medication that apparently aerate's the blood, allowing the brain to function better, which Ben will take for 12 days.
After that he'll have a check up to assess the situation.
Since being home, Ben is more or less back to his normal self.

Ready to go home now!

His appetite is good and, as these photographs show, well up for a Sunday walk through our beautiful Normandy countryside with us today.
This is what we are giving thanks for this weekend.

Linking this post to Mrs Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday
where the letter B is in the spotlight this week.

Jenny Matlock