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Mezzanines

This week the mezzanines arrived from Spain. The French delivery guys had no idea about health and safety and appeared to have no safety boots or understanding about using truck hi-abs without the risk of loosing their pallet truck in the process. I couldn’t watch. After a lot of groaning and levering, the three very… Continue reading Mezzanines

All Posts · Chickens · French Life · The Barn

Poop and Feathers: Chicken Coop Tour

I have always found my London slash Essex accent somewhat annoying, but there are times that trying to put into words what pictures do better, means I will have to subject you all to my first video. It’s not perfect but I hope you enjoy my little guided tour of the coop and an intro… Continue reading Poop and Feathers: Chicken Coop Tour

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Chicken Licken day

We have had a spoiling ourselves time looking for little colourful household goods for our barn and farmhouse. We both inherited heirloom kitchen equipment from our parents – Brown Betty teapots, blue and white stripped milk jugs, Judge enamel pans, wicker baskets, pie dishes and cast iron griddles amongst them. We have a mixture of… Continue reading Chicken Licken day

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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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Wash Day the old fashioned way

A quick pre-new year post. As we transition from our few years of basic living to a bright new future of domestic bliss of owning the modern appliances known as a washing machine and a water boiler; what better way to spend the last day of 2018 washing in the old fashioned way. Not that… Continue reading Wash Day the old fashioned way

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Christmas Jumpers and Children’s books

La Grange has it’s tree and its Christmas jumper time for us. It seems Hippo and me shopped the same design! Our collection of stuffed friends in the background…Lob-i-ster, Alfred the pig, Chicken and La Loup. Don’t worry, forever a child at heart and writing stories. You should see the other shelves! In Paris I… Continue reading Christmas Jumpers and Children’s books

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House Mouse

There is a little mouse in the house.  He lives near our log burner – sensible guy – and although we shouldn’t, we leave him French bread and sometimes cheese.  Once the barn is finished, he will have to move his little home to the hay barn at the back, but for now we indulge… Continue reading House Mouse

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Big House – Little House: Water

Starting as I mean to go on – a promise to start a regular update on our renovation projects in Limousine, France; we finally had a water supply installed at the barn. Our properties seem to have an habit of providing us not with just one building, for example our barn, but two.  The new… Continue reading Big House – Little House: Water

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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

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

All Posts · Cheese tales · Recipes and allotment

Curds and whey

A quick skim through Waitrose magazine over a coffee in-store and a small article on getting out and learning a new skill, caught my eye. Arundel – Cheesemaking Not far by train..maybe a stay over in a hotel, a break from hospital visits and some me time.  The course run by a very enthusiastic and… Continue reading Curds and whey

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Angst, rethinking and making a home

Angst Its been a bad morning. I shouted at my mum, her illness has stressed me. Somehow in the UK dealing with cancer is a hit and miss affair and much of it just people spouting words. They don’t really talk with you, but at you. Cliche but true. But my point is, my mums… Continue reading Angst, rethinking and making a home

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Go to work on an egg

Go to work on an egg… a UK 1970’s maybe advertising strapline before the Brits panicked about cholesterol and stopped eating an egg a day, but then realized how silly that was and it was typically politicians playing games, as usual, with the publics well being. Well I think we need to go to work… Continue reading Go to work on an egg

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One acre and a dream

I am following Leigh Tate’ s great blog and just purchased her self published book “5 Acres and a dream- The book” as I am starting a new journey in France when I return. Homestead has a wide conitation of ideals and already we have our list that is priority to us: Simplification of life… Continue reading One acre and a dream

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Homestead highly recomended

I have been scouring the internet for common sense tips on bringing up chickens, from coop building, run maintenance to favouite foods to foot problems. I have learnt a  lot and with a huge dollop of common sense, the garden is now chicken heaven. But along the way I came across this wonderful book by… Continue reading Homestead highly recomended

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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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Project Farm

From last March, I have been stalking round my neighbours farm, snapping nervous cows, yapping dogs and farmer too.  The seasons brought work to the farm – feeding, ploughing, hay making and calves to birth.  Its a lonely job being a beef farmer and most days Christian is on his own, doing what he does,… Continue reading Project Farm

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La Nourrice affinage

Our tiny little commune is known as La Nourrice, meaning wet-nurse. It is a strange name and I have yet to delve into its history, but in essence a wet-nurse breast feeds another woman’s baby. It was common practice in days gone by, but I am not so sure today, well not in this neck… Continue reading La Nourrice affinage

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Happy New Year

Plans are afoot for 2018.  Whilst in London I have had time to reflect and know that my new life in France is going to be rewarding.  Many bloggers this season have regaled us with humorous stories, tales of Christmas books, making seasonal decorations and walks in winter forests. Its been a delight to read… Continue reading Happy New Year

All Posts · French Life · Recipes and allotment · Writing and Illustrating

Which direction?

When I finally came here to France in March I came with a baggage of old business ventures, ideas, some creative like writing – eight stories in draft and a huge A4 file packed with notes and ideas to complete them – and illustrating the stories too – I hadn’t picked up a paint brush… Continue reading Which direction?

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Washing days and making do

I follow a blog by The Thrifty Campers – two brave souls heading out into the wilds to live – well – wild.  Its a great site and full of humour.  Go have a look and give support.  Last month there was a great post about hand-washing.  Yes when living out you still need clean… Continue reading Washing days and making do

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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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La Mason Femme

This post turned out to be a little technical, but I was fed up spending hours searching the internet on “how to point a French barn”, and finding unhelpful comments. So to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, I decided to write a post.  Bare with the length of this article… Continue reading La Mason Femme

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Mad dogs and Englishwomen…

As the song goes…Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…”, well coming from the constant dreary grey drizzle of England, even in July and August, this English woman had a nasty shock two weeks ago after a few pleasant days working outside. It was not one of those extremely fierce heat days,… Continue reading Mad dogs and Englishwomen…

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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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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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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

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Garden Of Eden before the fall

After two months in Romania working on our conifer syrup project, we arrived back in France to Eden. Our garden represented what Nature provides when man makes no intervention.  The wild flowers fight for their positions amongst the rampaging brambles.  The wild grasses grow tall towards the sun to hold their little seed children in… Continue reading Garden Of Eden before the fall

All Posts · Floral Photography · The Barn

A bike and a camera

I have been away from France for almost a year now.  Pressing work in London meant abandoning the barn, photography and the sunshine for wet and windy England.  Another few months in Romania making our pine syrups and now it is June and I am finally heading back to the meadows and cows and six… Continue reading A bike and a camera

The Barn

The Barn and The Boys

What could be better than fulfilling a wish you have had for as long as you can remember – to buy a barn in France, with a garden, surrounded by fields with cows grazing and town nearby to get your daily fix of French stick loafs. We chose a very rural part of France, the… Continue reading The Barn and The Boys