mercredi 29 janvier 2014

Monsieur Chops.....

Introducing the adorable Monsieur Chops!!!

This wonderful boy was a resident at the local dog rescue centre and was very unhappy. He was adopted by one family but was sadly returned to the centre three days later as he didn`t fit in with his new family.

Our good friends Genevieve and Pierre saw him advertised by the centre and took him home.

Initially he was very insecure and hated to be left alone. I suppose he was just waiting to be returned to the dogs home. But he wasn`t going anywhere!!

Almost a year later he is totally settled with Genevieve and Pierre and knows he is finally "home".

He enjoys mornings walks romping for miles on the beach, afternoon strolls around the Normandie country lanes and a loving home where he is adored and he adores them in return.

Don`t you just love a happy ending?

A la prochaine mes belles


jeudi 23 janvier 2014

Who are you Caroline Duboux?

At the early morning brocante I flashed my torch over this picture and thought it enchanting. I loved the timeworn frame and thought it was a sepia photograph.

Today I have finally got around to photographing it and discovered the label on the back that reads she is  CAROLINE DUBOUX wife of Charles Renaud.

I looked at the photograph under my eyeglass and realised it may be hand painted.

When we carefully opened up the frame we realised it is a hand painted miniature on translucent vellum.

 It has been very finely painted from the reverse.

What did surprise me was another layer of glass and below this was the artists original sketch which must have been taken at their first sitting.


Who are you Caroline Duboux?

I am listing it tonight and wouldn`t it be a wonderful project to track down her history or family tree?

A la prochaine mes belles

mardi 21 janvier 2014

The Count & Countess de Fayolle

Last week I truffled out a box of keepsakes that belonged to La Comptesse de Fayolle all dated from the late 1880s to the early 1900s.

Wonderful menus...

Couronne crown gilded buttons.....

Even the mother of pearl lorgnettes of the countess...

It is always wonderful to find such a box of aristocratic treasures but tonight was the icing on the cake when I found a photograph of Count Felix de Fayolle.

Along with this link.

Now those treasures feel even more special.....Bonjour Monsieur!!!

Aa prochaine mes belles

dimanche 19 janvier 2014

3 legs takes on 8 legs.....

Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw........

and Reginald Poulter

have been firm friends for 8 years. Reggie belongs to our friends and when either of us have to go away we mind each others dogs. Diggers walks into their house like he has always lived there and flops in front of their log fire and Reggie does the same with us.

When Reggie is here the two dogs like to run on the marsh and usually come back plastered in mud!

Charles waits casually for their return lying on his back looking innocent.

As they get close enough he jumps up ambushes them both and usually throws a few punches!

The poor dogs try to take evasive action but usually one of them gets it!!

He may only have three legs but he can balance well enough to stand on two and throw a good left hook! I do believe he is a Southpaw!!

A la prochaine mes belles

lundi 13 janvier 2014

Nursery school.....

If they don`t dismantle the village crèche soon he is going to be starting school!!

A la prochaine mes belles

dimanche 12 janvier 2014

A little Sunday truffling....

A little truffling around our local brocante shops with Miss Frou Frou today. Mark stayed at home to watch the rugby so it was a girls only affair!!

An English piece!! But also divine French treasures...


By the time we reached the last brocante the giggles had set in. Hence this video on the link below. ( hope you can access it!)


samedi 11 janvier 2014

Grandmere`s lace....

I am spending the afternoon sorting through all those wonderful boxes of 19th century lace I truffled out before Christmas.

How wonderful that Grandmere packed it all away so carefully.


Merci Madame!

A la prochaine mes belles

mercredi 8 janvier 2014

The still of night......

Yesterday evening we heard car engines running outside the 'chateau'. It was pitch black outside, pouring with rain, windy  - and  we had no idea what was going on. We managed to see that both cars looked like 4x4s and one had what looked like a large trailer behind it. After watching them for several minutes, one car then turned and drove off, the other with the trailer reversed into the open gateway towards the empty farm buildings, waited a few more minutes - and then that car drove off into the night too,  but without its trailer. 

Mark went out with a torch and couldn`t really see what it was.... but the strong smell of alcohol immediately gave it away. The mobile still had arrived!!!

Normandie has wonderful orchards where, in Autumn, the apples are hand picked, some going into making cider and some into making the strong, toxic Calvados apple brandy liqueur. Many farmer store their 'mixtures' in huge wooden barrels.

Usually at a traditional Normandie meal the Monsieurs  drink Calvados neat and the Madames are offered a sugar lump in their minute glasses to soften the blow!! At our village fete last year Olivier turned up with a few bottles which had been distilled by his father some 40 years ago  - and the next morning a few people were much worse for wear!!

It is said that a small glass of Calvados after a heavy meal will aid digestion and it is usually offered after the coffee.

Early this morning Gaston arrived and fired up the old steam machine to start  distilling our farming neighbour's 'mixture' into an even stronger liqueur, called 'calva'. He explained the process to us - but we got lost in translation! Suffice to say the rich, golden-coloured end result of Calva which trickled out into the silver jugs at the side of the machine looked ( and smelt!) alright to us!!

The air was thick with the sweet strong fumes of apples which made us feel heady just standing close by! I don`t think it would have been safe to strike a match!

The process went on until late afternoon and then the still was simply hooked back up to his car and Gaston was on his way to the next farm.

See you next year Gaston, mon ami !!

a la prochaine, mes belles

mardi 7 janvier 2014

Was it just a dream.....

I took this photograph after midnight in Venice after we stumbled upon a hidden costume shop. Try as we might the next day we walked and walked but couldn`t find it again.

I almost feel as if it was something I only imagined.

A la prochaine mes belles


lundi 6 janvier 2014

Oh Charlie Wilson......

The  marsh is flooded right up to the bottom of our garden now for the Winter and it is sooooo beautiful!!!

The swans are back and as I sit listing they sail past my window and it really is a beautiful sight .......except for Charlie Wilson.

There are 5 pairs of swans and Charlie is all alone. He trails behind the other pairs all alone and it is heart breaking.

He needs a mate but how is he going to meet a girl hanging about here in the reeds? Do I take him to a night club? Do I register him with  an online dating agency?

Perhaps he needs a makeover? A bath? Feathers trimmed?

Come on Charlie Wilson get out there and find a girl. You can bring her back here for dinner and I`ll serve it in the garden for you both by candlelight.

A demain mes belles

dimanche 5 janvier 2014

My name is simply chateau..............

Stands up with head bowed........I have a confession.

 My name is simply-chateau and I have been gambling this morning.

I Went out to get croissants and nipped into the only café open which was a PMU horseracing bar.

It was the busiest place I have ever seen and is obviously the local den of vice. One hot strong coffee later I had made friends with a few old farmers and been dragged in to their clutches.

A 20 euros bet later I fell back out onto the street a little dishevelled, croissants squashed clutching a win of 14 euros.

 I am 6 euros down with squashed croissants with a few rustic old farmers as new betting pals.

I am also not slightly sorry!!

A demain mes belles

jeudi 2 janvier 2014


I have always wanted an old veiled mademoiselle sculpture but have never found one. It`s something that has been on my truffling list for the last 30 years!!

I have to console myself with creating one every time I find an old wedding veil!!

This veil came with all the linens from the old borgeoise Paris house and still has it`s couronne tiara tooSuch a confection of fairytale frothy tulle and a silver wirework tiara embellished with wax buds from the 1920s.


One will come my way.

a la prochaine mes belles