26 January 2019


I'm continuing to grapple with posting directly in Blogger, which I find frustrating because it does unexpected things with the pictures and the spacing all the time. 
However, we're getting through winter very well here so far.  We've had only a dusting of snow whereas by this time last year we had had several heavy falls and there were more to come.  You're not out of the woods in Derbyshire until the end of March and I remember having heavy snow in April in the past (although that's not common).
The other day I noticed that some things I bought in the supermarket had a sell by date well into February.  This cheered me up no end!  It means that it will soon be February and then before we know it, it will be March, which is Spring in my book.
That means that our return to France is not far away, only eight weeks.  Brexit Britain is a toxic place to be.  Everybody everywhere seems to be talking about it.  Personally I am Brexited out.

Yesterday the burglar alarm service engineer came and even he was talking about it.  I was unsurprised but saddened to find that his reasons for voting to leave the EU, and his blind faith that it will all work out in the end, are all based on the lies and false promises peddled by the Leave Campaign.  He thinks that "no deal" will be the same as "no change" and that it's all just the same as the Millennium Bug - a big fuss about nothing.

So it seems that this year, more than ever, we can't wait to get back to France.  Having said that, we are settling really well into our new house in the UK.  With all the major and disruptive renovations done and therefore no workmen to work around, we are pottering on with the remainder at our own, slow pace.  It's quite enjoyable.  

Hugo is getting two long walks a day, which is good for all of us.  Daisy spends most of her time trying to sneak up on the squirrels that tease her by running along the fence at the back of the garden.  We are balancing the DIY with actually enjoying ourselves.  We think that once we've finished this phase of work that will be it until next winter when we tackle the little upstairs bathroom. 

The pictures in this post are just ones that I had ready and I'm feeling too lazy too find and process new ones.  They do however illustrate some of the things we love most about our little corner of France, the lovely walks and views, the restaurants, the food and the doors!

5 January 2019


2018 in pictures

Late to the party as so often these days……my round up of pictures to show what we did in 2018. 

Finding ourselves back in the UK in January, we enjoyed walks with our puppy Hugo who was then just six months old.

2018 in pictures2

The house was still undergoing renovation when the time came for his “little operation”.  One of Nick’s old t-shirts served to prevent him from biting the stitches in his tummy.

2018 in pictures3

February was a dreary month.  Hugo and Daisy enjoyed their first experience of playing in the snow and we toiled away with the house decorating.

2018 in pictures3a2018 in pictures4

In March we returned to France where Hugo soon settled into his new garden and new routine.  We went out and about, visiting old haunts and settling back into our French way of life. 

2018 in pictures4e

Daisy just took up where she left off six months before.

2018 in pictures4a

In April we caught up with friends in the village.

2018 in pictures4c

Hugo made a new friend, Dora the English setter.

2018 in pictures4d

The garden burst into flower.

2018 in pictures4f2018 in pictures4g

Special visitors came to stay.

2018 in pictures5a

With the visitors came the opportunity for becoming tourists all over again.

2018 in pictures5b

In May Hugo loved the warm weather but was in need of a haircut.

2018 in pictures5D

Nick taught himself the art of dog grooming. 

2018 in pictures5e

We went on holiday – Daisy to the cattery and the rest of us to the Dordogne.

2018 in pictures62018 in pictures6a

June was hot.  The garden flourished.

2018 in pictures6b

Dora came to play.

2018 in pictures7

More visitors in July and more châteaux to visit.

2018 in pictures7a2018 in pictures7b

The fields were full of sunflowers and the rapeseed was harvested.

2018 in pictures8

For the whole of August we all returned to the UK to supervise the garden work.

2018 in pictures9

Back to France in September with another special guest and more châteax to visit.

2018 in pictures9b2018 in pictures9e2018 in pictures9d

The weather remained HOT and our Indian summer began.

2018 in pictures10a

October was glorious.  Long, lazy and warm days and many long walks around all our old favourite places.

2018 in pictures10

The annual food and art festival in the next village was brilliant as always, all the better for amazing weather.

2018 in pictures11

Back to the UK for the winter, kicking off in November with Dad’s birthday.

2018 in pictures11a

A last few days in France to put the garden to bed and leave the house ready for winter.

2018 in pictures122018 in pictures12a

In December we became tourists at home, visiting Hardwick Hall to see the Christmas decorations.  Then decorating our own Christmas cake.

sticky pear upside down cake4

We saw the old year out and let the new year in with dinner at home.

So that was that!  It’s 2019 already and we’re busy planning our trips to France for the year ahead.  In the meantime, while we’re biding our time in the UK there will be some posts to catch up on!