All Posts · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Landscapes and trees

Views to wake up to

I still feel exhilarated every time I wake here in France. In fact I have to pinch myself sometimes. The morning light is amazing and filters softly through our trees creating long shadows across the lawns. The air is slightly damp as we live on top of a plateau that drops away South to the… Continue reading Views to wake up to

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Garlic

A bit late but the garlic started showing signs of shooting and we hadn’t really planned to plant much this year given the building projects taking up so much time. But the awful virus arrived and we realized what bad timing. We had seeds but hadn’t really prepped the beds. A long slog in the… Continue reading Garlic

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Le Sapin de Noel

My first home was in Chatham, Kent, on a steep chalk hill with views to the historic dockyard and the downs that follow the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury where the famous Thomas Becket was martyred during the rein of Henry II. I loved my little home and after moving in with my long term bachelor… Continue reading Le Sapin de Noel

All Posts · Animal tales · Cheese tales · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Recipes and allotment

Fridge

I opened my fridge today and realized it represented all my plans and resolutions for 2020. There is fresh cooked chicken joints with a rich jelly for our cats. Tired of uneaten tins of cat food and mountains of rubbish created from pouched food, we decided from now on we are making our own cat… Continue reading Fridge

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The mundane and the magnificent

A homestead is a isolated dwelling, especially a farmhouse, and adjacent outbuildings, typically on a large agricultural holding such as a ranch or station.  A homesteader is a lifestyle of self sufficiency. A year ago we would not have called ourselves homesteaders, but by the close of this year, we actually feel we are heading in… Continue reading The mundane and the magnificent

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Mowing

No rain today. The clouds scudded past all too quickly. Its been almost two and a half months with all but three days of rain. We are desert. The air is filled with choking dust from the combine harvesters. The river near our home is dry and our farming neighbour has to travel further every… Continue reading Mowing

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Mad Englishwoman goes out in the midday sun

I looked it up. Is was important. That confusion between Celsius and Fahrenheit. Today it’s an oven hot 102 Fahrenheit. It’s a larger number written that way. It represents the searing heat today and we are not even in July.What do I do in this canicule? I don wierd garb reminiscent of an 18th century… Continue reading Mad Englishwoman goes out in the midday sun

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Cutting flower garden

The world needs more flowers…it certainly does and with the welcome banning of pesticides that harm our bees and other insects in many countries, including here in France, I have been planning for many years to create a wild flower garden where the bees can hang around the tall Scottish thistles and snapdragons and the… Continue reading Cutting flower garden

Garden in the meadow · Renovation work · The farm

Backbreaking work

A week ago we signed for our farmhouse just north of the barn, in a lovely forested area full of lakes and rocky outcrops.Typically when you move in, the remnants of the previous owners lives are left unloved in cupboards, under beds, chucked in garages and garden outbuildings. This house is no exception.The van is… Continue reading Backbreaking work

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Update on the barn project

The sun is finally shining and I got a chance between sniffing into my hankie (I have a cold) and trying to stop Bonnie goose from pecking me (she has hormones!), to do a quick video. It’s countdown to signing for our purchase of the rear stone barn to ours, complete with the large hey… Continue reading Update on the barn project

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Poop and Feathers: Books about chooks

In these cold and wet wintry days, there is nothing better than taking some time out from muddy chores and wet wellies, to catch up on reading. In a couple of months we sign for our farmhouse and begin a huge planning session, working out where the new chicken coop and runs will be and… Continue reading Poop and Feathers: Books about chooks

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All change – French property plans

I have been a little too quiet on this blog.  Life’s ups and downs as they are.  But today in December was wonderfully windy, autumnal and the bright golden leaves looked like the sun had been scattered to the ground ready to swept up for a winter slumber. The chickens were out – the coop can get… Continue reading All change – French property plans

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Decorating girl

I was always daddy’s girl and from as long as I can remember I helped my dad with everything – gardening, decorating and building work.  Neighbours still on my mum’s estate from the 60’s, remember the little girl with the pony tail, sitting high up in the skip with her dad, eating sandwiches.  I loved… Continue reading Decorating girl

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Chicken day

Smart little Plumb escaped from the chicken pen-again! An escapee on a mission and no amount of meal worms would entice her back. Two owners clucked and waved worms and occasionally were within fingers reach of that naughty chickens tail feathers, but she knew and smugly wiggled her way further into our overgrown forest patch.… Continue reading Chicken day

All Posts · Animal tales · Chickens · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Renovation work · Tony Costin

Team soul mate – notes and plans

I often refer to Tony in my posts. He is my rock, soul mate, breakfast and tea maker, solid sharer of life’s stresses and calming problem solver in a crisis. I haven’t met anyone who works as hard as he does nor with such enthusiasm. I am more tetchy and vulnerable to doubt. Hard labour… Continue reading Team soul mate – notes and plans

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The feathered dozen

Our garden had been planned to some extent…an outdoor kitchen, a herb garden, a pergola, a grassy space to lie down upon and watch the clouds scud by. The old over grown bramble patch been reclaimed by pasture and with mowing and tree pruning, the structure of the garden was on its way. But. You… Continue reading The feathered dozen

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Plants for pollinators

Quick post as I am still on chicken coop duty, chief painter and trying to get a flower bed prepped for wild flowers. Saw one bumble yesterday as weather warm nut as yet flowers sparse. But a question for you, for all you gardeners. I have a criteria: Plants to grow to a maximum height… Continue reading Plants for pollinators

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Taming the wilderness

Arriving back from England was another shock to the system. Leaving your home for a month seems to throw your well being out of kilter for quite a few days. Maybe exhaustion from the the two day journey including a cancelled train and a detour to another French town didn’t help, but London is as… Continue reading Taming the wilderness

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The patter of tiny feet

Rubbery feet actually, not little pinkies – so no baby showers please. I have to thank Alison of Through Rose Tinted Glasses for this post.  We were commenting back and forth about my long cathartic post about changes in my life and she mentioned chickens.  I read her post, link above, and given she is a… Continue reading The patter of tiny feet

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Frosted Winter mornings

This week I woke to beautiful white frosted views.  These are from my garden.  The garden itself is in winter slumber.  The grass is covered to ensure the grass dies back for Spring when I will be creating a wild flower garden. The wildflowers need barren earth, they need harsh, they need the support to… Continue reading Frosted Winter mornings

All Posts · Animal tales · Floral Photography · French Life · Garden in the meadow

Summer floral and visitors

I always love taking photos of flowers and yesterday I was sorting photos, realising so many were in my old computer and yet to be released.  Here are a selection from spring and Summer, many in my local area of Creuse and some from London where I lived before arriving here in March. It is… Continue reading Summer floral and visitors

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A Glut of Tomatoes

This spring we turned a bramble infested piece of land that lies at the end of our tiny hamlet, into the beginnings of an ornamental garden. At first it was going to be an allotment, in memory of my Dad who always wanted one, but never got round to it – the house decorating, the… Continue reading A Glut of Tomatoes

All Posts · Floral Photography · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Ion Syrup · Making and crafting · My Company Projects · Recipes and allotment · The Barn · Writing and Illustrating

Foraging Future

From 2013 to early this year I had invested a huge amount of time and finances on bringing to commerciality a conifer syrup that originated from a recipe my husband’s father made from the pine cones and fir tips he collected whilst walking the local mountains. He was a mountain man – both in his… Continue reading Foraging Future

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My garden bench

After many months of cutting down an overgrown wilderness, a garden appeared.  The birch trees flourished with a bit of tlc, shading their roots, mulching and a lot of watering when the heat was extreme in August.  But something was missing.  A garden bench.  I wanted a quiet spot to sit, to write notes for… Continue reading My garden bench

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Neighbours

We have a very small community here at Auge and even smaller our side of the road, as the motorway cut the village in two. Our side kept the cows and the other side kept the church. Winding down a small lane between the pastures you come across a huge couple of barns belonging to… Continue reading Neighbours

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Room with a view

When it rains, as it did today, I hole up in my office and tackle all the outstanding letters, accounts and papers that I procrastinate about.  An easy option when the sun is out, cool breezes and the garden calling for me to potter – any excuse not to stay inside.  Now into our first… Continue reading Room with a view

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Vegetarian

One of the long term plans in coming to France was health.  Fed up with rainy grey days in England and longing for long summers, we found our barn in cow country, rolling hills and meadows, where the weather changes by the hour.  A temperate area with fierce storms and gales followed by three solid… Continue reading Vegetarian

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Teasing times

As a child in the 1970’s I loved the dried Teasels every woman seemed to have in her home and as time went by they became dustier and one day as time moved, they were no longer loved and dried teasels became unfashionable. It is a shame as I still love these cruelly prickled seed… Continue reading Teasing times

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Fun in the Woodshed

Every girl needs a woodshed to have fun in and if it isn’t quite the way Lady Chatterley would have had in mind, I am going to enjoy mine just as much, well once we have put the door on anyway! For clarity, Lady Chatterley of DH Lawrence fame, would meet her game keeper for… Continue reading Fun in the Woodshed

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Wild and wonderful

I had a garden five years ago which I had to abandon when I divorced.  It wasn’t a large garden, more a Edwardian pocket handkerchief, but I had started to fill this with flowers I could cut, dry and bring into the house. Even when they faded and dried, they were re-cycled into linen bags… Continue reading Wild and wonderful