lundi 27 décembre 2010


And next on to the catwalk is this years most divine model, Doci, wearing the latest winter "must have" coat by Versace........................

...perfect ski wear for the girl about town.............................
Sadly not made in a larger size for the more bootylicious and flumptilicious Madame Edith

But with such a naturally thick winter fur she is more than happy to be "au naturel" and pose in the snow

These two plumptious top models will fly to Milan tomorrow for the Chanel catwalk show where they are modelling the Spring bridal collection.
Tough at the top!

Shot on location - St Moritz
Styling- Fendi
Photographs - Vogue
Hooves -Louis Vuitton
Ears -Prada
Hair- John Frieda
Tails- models own

samedi 25 décembre 2010


Forgot to prick the chestnuts.......they exploded......blew the oven door open..........
............................................major mess!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


jeudi 23 décembre 2010

Patisserie Mathilde

Opened in the early 1900s Patisserie Mathilde is a wonderful decadent delight!! It has hardly changed since the day it opened. Twinkling chandeliers, white gilded marble pillars and beautiful painted frescos. The pictures of this sugar filled paradise speak for themselves..............

Boxes of hand-made "chocolats maison" tied with silk ribbons

Macaroons,nougats,viennoiseries and marzipan fruits.

Each gateau a work of eat in or take away ( I did both!!)

My cup of steaming velvet smooth chocolat chaud was accompanied by a "chalet"

Patisserie Mathilde .......Christmas starts here.....
Bonne Noel mes belles!

mercredi 22 décembre 2010

Bayeux at Christmas...............

Christmas is NOT Christmas for me without a shopping trip to Bayeux - and a visit to my favourite place, Patisserie Mathilde!
Bayeux is simply divine.  I spend most of my time looking upwards at the old buildings above the shop fronts! Click on the photographs to enlarge them for a closer look!

Tucked away in the high street is the prettiest old watermill.
I wonder how anyone will climb that wall to put that old shutter back in place?

So many divine little side streets to explore.....

............and some 19th century features that stop me in my tracks

Are your initials GD ? Wouldn`t you just love these gates?

 And a little last minute gift shopping in the delicatessen.....

......and, as we made our way through the town it was freezing cold, it started snowing again and then......... along came Pere Noel!

We arrived at Patisserie Mathilde feeling very festive.

I`ll show you tomorrow why a visit to this very special Patisserie is a real Christmas delight!!
A demain mes belles................

mardi 21 décembre 2010

A pair of madames!

Our two mares, Madame Edith and the "Dowager Lady" Docile, are having a wonderful retirement in total luxury on a friends' farm. They are both Cob Normands, the French equivalant of the English shire. They are gentle giants and quite a pair of "madames"!

Edith is Mark`s "grand amour"  - and I know I come a sad second to her! Huge, gentle and absolutely adorable, she has the most beautiful big brown eyes with long sweeping lashes and she gets quite girly when Mark is around! She is a rich, bright bay with a light muzzle that almost glows in the dark.

Doci is my girl and is such a grand old dame. 21 this year, she is haughty and  aloof and obviously thinks she is better than any of us! She was born in Paris and is quite a diva probably due to the fact that, when much younger, she was the lead in a team of four for carriage driving. She is a rich, very dark bay with gorgeous dapples. She hates the camera, however, and pulls a face everytime I try to get a shot of her.

The girls are absolutely inseparable which is wonderful - but it sometimes can also be a pain. If they are separated for even a moment  all hell breaks loose - and two 600+ kilo girls become very 'un-necessary'!!
Today we travelled down to the farm to give them their Christmas treats ( Vichy mints and carrots!). They currently have their huge furry winter coats on and look like enormous teddy bears! Both had been rolling in the mud and looked as happy as can be!
When they come up to the farm yard each day to be groomed and fed they have the two sister lurchers for company together with the friendly goat who likes to  mingle with them. It doesn't seem to bother them at all.

That`s one half of our animals sorted for Christmas.........just Diggers and the Baron to sort out now!

dimanche 19 décembre 2010

Dreams of orange blossom.............

We are snowed in yet again and its freezing cold. But with old Hercule the wood burning cuisiniere on full blast its quite cosy tucked away inside. I start my Ebay listings tonight so have been photographing my latest finds.
The waxed orange blossoms in this 19th century wedding tiara instantly made me think of summer................
I found it a few weeks ago tucked into its original box wrapped in an old foxed lace trimmed handkerchief. The handkerchief has a beautiful hand embroidered name Louise. I wonder who she was and who she married all those years ago?

When we woke this morning and saw the blizzard of snow we knew we`d be trapped again! Charles who is the most bizarre cat loves the rain and snow so I wasn`t too worried when he mewed at the cuisine door to go out. I assumed the heavy snow would mean no hunters today but I was wrong. Three men right at the bottom of the garden shooting anything that moved.
With visibility so bad and Charles too much the colour of a fox we soon had him back inside much to his disgust. He has had to spend his day watching the blue tits on the windowsill and wishing.

I have baked a loaf, made chocolate and cranberry cookies, the house is bedecked for Christmas and  the presents are wrapped.
LET ME OUT..................................cabin fever on the way.....................

jeudi 16 décembre 2010


Only 9 days till Christmas................................................
Must put the sprouts on to boil today so they`ll be nice and soft for Christmas dinner!

mercredi 15 décembre 2010


Okay - lets talk menopause! I am 52 (ouch!), my boobs hurt and my bicycles have stopped ( menstrual cycle-mens cycles-womans cycles = bicycles....come on keep up, I won`t wait for you again!!) So.... I did the quiz.
Q. Has your bicycle stopped?
A. Yes, then no, then yes, then yes, then no, then yes - and again, yes.
Q. Are you suffering night sweats?
A. How should I know, I am asleep!
Q. Do your boobs hurt?
Q. Are you suffering mood swings and are you emotional?
A. I don`t know. I am Cancerian and I cry at anything. I am still bereft from the start of watching Stuart Little and, after finding he lived in an orphanage, cried so much I had to switch it off.
Q. Have you lost interest in sex?
A. Get away from me!  I have a Victorian hat pin and I`m not afraid to use it!
So.... this last weekend I nipped back to the UK as gorgeous daughter was having a stand at Shepton Flea and we also wanted a girlie day shopping together. Whilst in Salisbury I nipped into the chemist ( still clutching the hat pin) and asked if they had a menopausal testing kit that would show if I was menopausal  - or simply in an evil mood.
I have just weed in my cup ( "up to the line shown". Are they kidding? My cup overfloweth. Do they expect me to stop when I have already started?) I have dipped in my paddle, waited 15 minutes and the results show........ "NO" . So, here is the dilemma................does "no bicyles" mean what I think?

1. Have the drugs I take (for the heart blip I had last year) affected the result? I know that you think I am a healthy voluptuous Raquel Welch look alike ( don`t even think of it...... I still have that hat pin!) but simply-chateau is in fact held together with a bit of old hemp twine, two darns,a rubber button, 2 whalebones, a French seam and a metis patch.

2.How shocked will Mark be? He had the vital chop before I'd met him - and I don`t think I could have got pregnant from the dream I had last week that I was trapped overnight in a Bedouin tent with George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Daniel Craig in a sandstorm. I wish!!
3. When I got home at the dead of night last night the marsh was in total darkness except for one large bright star, shining high above the chateau.
4. It`s Christmas soon and this morning I noticed that a solitary donkey has appeared in the field opposite.

So many questions.
Should I fill the manger in the stable with fresh straw or will it be more 21st century on Christmas morning to just start shredding newspapers in a quiet corner of the kitchen?
We are going to a nativity and carol singing tomorrow evening. Should I go in the car with everyone else or should I wear an old sheet with a curtain tassel and rope at the waist and ride that donkey onto the village car park?

Should I ask for a room at the local chambres d`hote?

Will someone knock the door with a gift of myrrh? (What does myrrh look like? W ill it come in a box or a bottle and why does it sound like a cat with a speech impediment?)

How will I be able to go brocanting at 5am in the morning with a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger on my back?

Just off to do a bit of paper-shredding in the kitchen.......................

jeudi 9 décembre 2010

French kisses..............

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe or " le gui" does not take place here in France so I am sure that`s why so much grows here! It knows it is safe to grow here in abundance and live a quiet life.
It was gloriously sunny here today so I went wandering around the fields with Diggers at my heels to see what I could find.......................

There was no way I was going to shin up that tree! I kept searching just a little nervously as the hunters were in full swing. In an earlier blog I described their hunting hide in the middle of the marsh and even though it is now surrounded by water they are still using it daily. Oh well, boys and their toys and all that!

I managed to find a tree with low sweeping branches filled with balls of mistletoe heavy with berries. The tree had been used by the cattle for shelter so the base was ankle deep in gloopy mud!

So I waded in and filled my bag to the brim.

My feet were so heavy with sticky marsh mud it was quite an effort to get home! I looked like Elton John in platform wellies! I was so glad to pull the weight of them from my feet at the cuisine door. Diggers was much too involved digging for rabbits so he came home a little later.......................

...............It`s a shame he couldn`t slip those muddy paws off and leave them at the cuisine door too!! He was most disgusted when he ended up in a bowl of warm soapy water!
I wonder if French mistletoe means you only get French kisses?

A la prochaine mes belles.........

mercredi 8 décembre 2010

La poste and a little fleece...

The snow has now finally melted but, in doing so, has made the water level on the already flooded marsh rise even higher. But still remains icy cold here!!!
The snow-cleared roads now enable us to drive out to our local 'La Poste'  with our Ebay and Etsy parcels . I have always described the building as Spring blue, but today it could easily be Ice blue!!

I love the latest set of stamps which I saw for the first time today.....a little Parisian 'frou frou' you could say. It does mean that I will now have to write some 'real' letters and cards instead of just sending emails!

We had intended to stop off for coffee at a friends house today  but, as you can see, the road up to their maison in Capponet was underwater and, with no flippers or snorkels in the car, we had to abandon our plans.

So, instead, we nipped into the local cafe - and enjoyed a divine cappucino - so full of cream that the spoon literally stood up in it. And to accompany the coffee, a little chocolat morceau......purely to keep out the cold of course!!!
And yes.....I am NOT sorry!!! I have given in and bought myself one of those large fleecy blankets with sleeves which I shall wear when I slump on the sofa at night. It`s rich chocolat brown and soooooooooooooo soft! I don`t care; no one will see me wearing it except Mark, Diggers and Charles - and they will all be sworn to secrecy!!!
I have just been told that the weather forecast for the next 24 hours is snow again! I now wish I had brought home a supply of those chocolat treats!

Add.....excuse me but how rude? I have just been told I look like Friar Tuck in my fleecy I bothered?....fleece?..blanket?...monk?....I aint bothered!!!!

samedi 4 décembre 2010

Don`t bother to dig me out..............!!

The snow started falling and settling last Wednesday - and we rapidly became snowed in ........
...and the water flooding the marsh froze to a huge, grey glass sheet................

We were all set to stay snug indoors for as long as it took - but then tragedy; our TV stopped receiving its satellite signal. There was no option but to dig our way through the garden to brush off the snow and ice which had formed on the satellite dish. But - it was oh SO pretty out there.......................
My two stone griffins looked as if they were wearing very camp fur collars and hats!

 My favourite place in the garden where we sit out for early morning cafe.........just a little too chilly, the "cushions" of snow being about 12" thick.

And then Charles followed...................doing his own impression of a snow plough! I love the three legged tracks he leaves in the snow!!

I don`t really mind a few more days of being trapped at all!