Friday, 31 May 2013

That was May......

The weather's been pants but all the rain meant we did discover a small cobbled stone floor when we took up the nasty concrete one outside the new kitchen. The quails were laying well but have now stopped again.....fickle little things. The rainbow moss stitch blanket progresses and we are still on Orange March wool but like I said the weather has been bad so who could tell the difference? We've had endless flowers from the garden and a lizard visiting in the back hallway. Thanks May.....

Thursday, 30 May 2013

First Food Swap in France!

The first event for South West France Food Swappers is being held on Friday 28th June 10am near Jonzac in the Charente Maritime. Its the first event of its kind happening in France and I am very excited.

Remember its FREE! All you have to do is come along armed with your own garden produce, vegetables or flowers, eggs, homemade chutneys etc and swap it for other scrummy homemade or homegrown goodies. We will be hoping to do some great swapping and people are already offering some lovely herb plants and other such delights. If you are in the area please pop along to swap any produce you may have. Leave a comment including your email address below and I will get back to you with the address.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


The first small harvest of strawberries from the garden. Hurrah! These guys have beaten all the odds and ripened through the recent bad weather so were especially delicious.
(What you cannot see in the shot are the little hands waiting to pounce!)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Photo dump

Enormous yellow bowl brought from the Baignes brocante this morning for 10 euros.

Sunset over the garden wall.

Cobbled stone floor we discovered outside the kitchen door after all the rain

Pretty moss.

Sunday night spent knitting a rainbow.

Jonzac market

I cannot believe we are still having to light the wood burner in May. I know, I know, everyone is moaning about this but it's just so annoying. To make matters worst after the sunshine arrived in April I put all my winter clothes away thinking I wouldn't need a big jumper until autumn. Now, I could just go and find that bag of clothes in the cupboard but I'm so far trying to ignore the weather (and layering t-shirts on t-shirts like crazy)

In other news, I visited the Jonzac food market on Friday morning. it's only five minutes down the road and never fails to disappoint a foodie like me. It's an absolute riot of colour and stacked high with delicious produce, much of it local. So much fun but as I have learnt in the past I definitely have to a take a shopping list with me as little old French ladies have sharp elbows and a tendency to queue jump so you need to be focused or the shopping can take hours.

I've finally reached the next colour in my Bluefaced Leciester Rainbow blanket. I'm two months behind as this is March's colour but the moss stitch is looking great. Photo's to come.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Gerald Durrell in the making....

One little boy + One lizard (caught hanging out in the back hallway) = a good 20 mins of quiet time for Mummy to catch up with the washing up. Brilliant.

Has anyone come cross Insect Lore? Google it if you haven't and have kids under 10. I've just bought a butterfly kit for my daughters birthday complete with live caterpillars so that she can watch the whole process and then set them free at the end. How awesome is that?

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Mixed bag

It's been a mixed bag of a week weather-wise here in the Charente Maritime. Blue skies and sunshine one minute quickly followed by bruised ones and down pours. It always seems to rain when we are concreting so I blame my husband. Anyway, the last floor of phase one of the gites went in yesterday so I'm forecasting better weather for next week.

The next door farmer seeding our small field with grass. I have plans to plant olives here (maybe)

We made banana milk shakes to cheer us up on a wet afternoon. (Please don't be under the illusion the sparklers come out for every milkshake this was a break glass in emergency pick-me-up situation) seemed to do the trick.

Someone has a big 5 birthday coming up and we are planning a pirate themed birthday. So we cracked open the face paints and discussed party games in full pirate banter.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Boys toys

A moment of craftiness this afternoon allowed me to try out an idea I've had for while. I fixed the tension problem I've been having with my sewing machine (hurrah!) and then set to work on trying to make my little boy a wrap up for his toy cars. Now anyone with a little boy knows toy cars and trucks are very important and they seem to be taken everywhere. So having a handy little thing that keeps the cars neat and not just thrown into my handbag or on the floor of the car would be really useful. Here's my first attempt.

It seems to work well. Folding over the flap keeps the cars inside and the big popper holds them all tightly wrapped together.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Saturday strawberries

Praline Pavlova ready for tonight from a gem of a book Good HouseKeeping Dinner Parties. Hope my guests enjoy it. (I will)

Friday, 10 May 2013

Purple haze

More wonderful flowers from the garden. This time anemones and the first alliums. When I first starting planting the bulbs I wouldn't have believed just how many full vases of beautiful flowers I would be bringing into the house. It's already exceeded my expections. I just hope I can keep the momentum up. (But i guess any gaps I have can always be filled in next year)

A stowaway. Now back in the garden.

Another week of not much crafting. The sewing machine is being pesky tension wise and I need to fiddle with it when I have some free time but with all the extra bank holidays here in France it has meant the kids have been off school since Tuesday and I have been doing my best just to tread water.

On a crafty note though I have been inspired to whip up one of these lovely tanks  after reading this blog. I love the idea of making my own clothes. I mean, really, it's just so cool to drop this into a conversation. "Oh you like my top. This old thing, I MADE it last week". Although if it actually turns out well I will be so proud of it i will be telling everyone I meet I made my top. French farmer neighbours included :)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


The red head in her gunder-doos (dungarees to you and me)

Gathering a good stash of quail eggs for a dinner we have planned for Saturday night.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Rabbits: Part One

Meet the Dad: Earl Grey

Meet the Mum: Chai

Meet the babies. All eight.

It's a very French thing to do to keep rabbits for meat and these are BIG French meat rabbits (they look more like hares to be honest) It takes around eight months to get a rabbit to a weight where they are ready and I try to give them a good standard of living with an outdoor pen and plenty of fresh grass and carrot treats. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

You will find me in the garden.....

Loads going on as normal. Concrete being laid in the gites, the sweet peas are stepping up a gear ( as is the garlic), wonderful anemones and we have been trying to tame the weeds in the garden over the weekend.