Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Wow look at this ceiling! It is hard to capture the wonderful cute/chic/ stylishness of this shopping arcade in Nantes. Truly delightful and the mouthwatering delights of chocolatiers, shoes and sundries are too much for a girl to take!

I had an appointment later in the day so decided to go early and have a look at what this place had to offer. All of Nantes centre was just fab and anyone interested even only everso slightly in French clothing and shoes, oh the shoes,,,,I would defy them not to be drawn in by the wonderful items on offer

There were fabulous restaurants and cafes to choose from and around one of the main squares with a fabulous fountain and statues is a great setting to have lunch, or just a coffee and people watch. You will be seeing more pics of this great place.

I diverted my gaze and did not go into one shop!! I do intend to go back again sometime very soon with my funds are a bit more inflated!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Family visitors - cookery writer

A bit of a scant effort at the blog recently as we have had visitors. Sis in law came over with her husband for 5 days to view the renovation project. She is a wonderful cookery A bit of a leave of absence from my blog recently. Sis in law came over with her husband for 5 days to view the renovation project. She is a wonderful cookery writer and food stylist and I always get a bit nervous w lhen cooking for her.! My nerves are always unfounded though. Her brother is a trained chef and restaurant/ hotel manager and has managed some very high profile restaurants. Help I am surrounded by cooking talent!

The weather was dire. Such a shame. They were hoping to help in the garden but realised the work was far more labour intensive than just cosmetic chopping and pruning. There is nothing left to prune almost. We did manage to cover some ground in the tourist trail.
Auray,Vannes, Trinite sur Mer ( link here)Carnac all in one afternoon
Lamor Plage, on another raining day for lunch though I meant to get to Erveden Plage. No matter!
Hennebont market 10 mins from the mud bath project was busy. We had a rustic lunch complete with artery clogging rillettes and my brother in law made a fabulous dent in uncovering some stone ready for me to repoint. Not bad for a chap who freely admits he cannot even put up a shelf to be let loose with a stonking great big electric concrete bashing tool.

Prawn curry and dhal was cooked courtesy of my brother in law ( he is a dab hand at making his own sausages and his pork pies, well!) in one night with The Apprentice and 2 other nights we went to local eateries. Crêpes out in one of the many in a local establishment was a little unatmospheric!. Was us 4 and 2 others. Not the best foriestiere but after nearly 3 bottles of vino between 3 of us whilst waiting for the other half anything tasted good.!!

We had some laughs as we always do with them despite the weather and they will be back in August but not able to stay with us as there will be no spare bedroom but they will see progress already a week after their departure and so, I hope to show them alot more by then and maybe they can deadhead some pansies or something more relaxing than bramble hacking!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Evening sounds

Look at me aren't I beautiful?
Yes you are Mr Peacock
This is not the best pic but it is rare to get to see this fella. He lives down the drive, turn right and up the road a bit.
I have only seen him once before but did not have my camera on me then.
I hear him every night 'calling'.

When I was a child I went to a place called Brownsea Island with the Brownies and the place was full of these wonderful birds. I fed one an Opal Fruit, or Starburst to you youngsters. I never forget seeing this square sweet going down his throat whole!
Us naughty Imp patrol chased them to get them to put their tails up. They did. Cruel children!
Peacock feathers someone once told me are bad luck!

I did not forfeit any brownie badges for my act of naughtiness and I continue to be amazed and appreciate the wonderful colours that nature bestows on us.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Le Creuset

A gorgeous mini Le Creuset that sis in law bought me on her visit from a fab kitchen shop in Vannes. She understood how frustrated I am getting at not having all my tools and utensils to hand. We need to start adding to the collection to make numbers of these little darlings at least up to 6. They are not the cheapest cooking pot in the shop but wonderfully adaptable. Paté, mini bourguignon, cassoulets etc. I love them. Cannot wait to use it.!!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Eating at the Mole place

I am thinking there are so many crepes one can try. I have a few more on the menu to experience.

However I spotted this sign for one in Vannes. I must try it seeing as it is my nickname!!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Nothing in particular

Been a bit busy to write and still a.m. A new posting has gone into wrong date order so I have indeed done one since last Sundays post box pic. It is underneath the post box.

Just a quick line for today. Have got sis and bro in law staying and been busy. Not much fun in this awful rain for them but we have had some good laughs so far.
My back has gone 'out' and trying to find a miracle worker to help me walk. I don't have time for things like this. Got too mcuh to do and am sure the husband is worrying I won't be fit enough to repoint the upstairs landing to be and would much rather be doing that than waddling like a duck.

This pic is one of the fallow cows in the field opposite the house. A peaceful life. Walking from one end of a field to the other grazing. They all made me laugh as when we called them, all of them lined up in a row at the fence. I failed to have my camera in my pocket at the time!

I am not writing about the Hameau at the moment as it is no longer a hameau but just a pile of stones maurading as a house with a half finished roof no 1 ( the roofer has disappeared) a septic tank and all in a mudbath of terrain minus numerous lovely trees and hedges. I am in mourning and am desperate to find some order and make the land pretty again. We need it to stop bloody raining first.!! Progress is being made but it is just getting a whole lot worse before it can get better and I need to get some plants/shrubs in to get on the case of establishing some flora and fauna.
My friends daughter calls it the 'Broken House'. How very accurately observant of her!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Hand made

Voila, here is my new post box that my husband made. I love it! I did not want a standard metal box on a pole and am determined to keep everything as rustic as possible and, of course important that I have one as I redirect the mail for the 3rd time in 7 months!. He came up trumps indeed.

This is the most finished item in the whole place.!!!!!!! We are experiencing a few delays.

I was rather shocked to return from my trip to see 2 rows of trees have disappeared to make room for the septic tank, there is a better view of the Blavet though and the JCB had churned up lots of land besides. Argh, my lovely terrain! I knew it was going to happen but not quite so prepared for how it would affect the layout of my dreamed for land. Forget the saying 'I cannot see the wood for the trees', I cannot see the land for the lack of them ! I will attempt to take some cuttings from the leylandii and the rest will be used for firewood. I really don't like to demolish living things unless totally necessary but if we want running water to the house it had to be!

Roof no 1 is nearly finished but I am struggling with vision for the overall project!! But in the words of George Michael ' You gotta have faith'

Repointing of a wall is my next job in what will be the landing, very necessary in the process of trying to get us moved in I am told as it is near where the staircase is going to go. The hole in the ceiling is there waiting expectantly for the wooden hill to semi sanity.

The cows in the field opposite are providing an element of tranquility and a Woodpecker tapping away is a charming sound to work along to. Helps to make it all worthwhile! If only he could peck out some stone in the wall to give me a hand!

Watch this space.....................................!

Bon Amis

I thought it most fitting that I looked up and saw this sign in Beziers whilst showing a friend a new eatery to add to her list. She is a lunch Queen! 'La Table Bretonne' restaurant is near the impressive cathedral and is run by two lovely people that I met through a local friend. A bit like coals to Newcastle for me these days eating at the creperie.

After my few days in the UK - staying with a friend and her husband with whom I went along to a wedding party with and met some very talented and fun people, catching up with 2 work colleagues who are friends who cemented their relationship at our wedding and have a gorgeous little boy as a result, and then time spent in between wedding planning with the Languedoc amis, I thought this sign represented how lucky I am to have such lovely friends.
I wish I could see more of the ones spread further afield in lovely places such as Brazil and Bermuda, and some not so lovely ones like war zones but they are always in my thoughts.
I remember this little saying was written in my autograph book when I was younger. However I consider all my friends new or old platinum quality! It is often said us Leos are very loyal to all we meet.
Make new friends but don't forget the old
The new ones are silver and the old ones are Gold

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Poul Fetan - of days gone by

Poul Fetan is about 10 minutes away from the Hameau and is a well known tourist attraction. voici! It is a working museum with a traditional baker, potter and farm. The thatched buildings from the 14th to 16th Centuries and have been lovingly restored. The “villagers” are dressed in traditional costumes and you can watch them dying and spinning wool, butter-making, washing linen in the river Blavet and carrying out other tasks of yesteryear. You can also try the delicious breads and cakes cooked in the traditional community bread oven.

It opens on a more regular basis from April. I will be taking my sister and brother in law there when they come over in a few days time.


Easter looms, I remember in my childhood collecting primroses to decorate the windows at the local church and I always used to get a mug with an egg in it. My husband loves the Easter Bunny in chocolate form though also did used to have 2 real bunnies of his own too. Choccie bunnies are less maintenance except when working the result of too many of them off your tum!

I was doing a bit of research on tradtions here in France. This was a new one to me....

Poisson D'Avril (French Easter Fish)
Everyone knows of chocolate rabbits, but did you know the French delight in chocolate fish? Although not directly related to Easter, poisson d'Avril are enjoyed throughout the entire Easter season. These fishy little friends start appearing in shops on April 1st, when children use paper versions to play an April Fools type trick. The 'trick' is to stick a paper fish onto the back of as many adults as possible, then run away yelling, "Poisson d'Avril!" (April fish!). The tradition is several centuries old. Some say it evolved from a silly 'fish trick' where one would send an unknowing person to market to buy freshwater fish when it was not in season. In French culture, food follows season, and even children know when (and when not!) to buy oysters

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


The beautiful array of flowers sold Friday mornings in Beziers down South.


Brittany and Normandy are known for their cider production. I have tried a few. They certainly have a sophistication that differs from teenage cider tasting days! The taste of the Breton cider is generally quite creamy and I buy the BRUT, trying various producers slowly but surely. I must observe what producer they serve in the local creperies.

I came across this sign advertsing the cider from which regions they stock ( yep another one!) in the old walled town of St Malo.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Alot of my time in the Minervois recently was spent in Narbonne

It is such a pretty place with the Canal de Robine running through it, Les Halles indoor market and wonderful cathedral with a fabulous unfinished organ loft. It is a manageable town to navigate. I don't like sprawling cities or massive malls.

The cobbled side streets are cute and colourful and the beautiful central square displaying an ancient Roman road as one of its attractions is one of my favourite places to take a coffee and people watch. When the sun is shining all the better.
9 day trip, 4 different beds, 5 modes of transport, no internet access so hence posts are behind, watch this space, more to come!