A Fun Competition with a French Flavour

p49402502017, how did you come around so quickly? The children are back at school, and I’m not sure who is feeling sadder, them or me. The decorations have but one more day and then they will be boxed up and put back in the barn for another year. But you know what, I have a fabulous feeling this is going to be a good year, an awesome year, hopefully for the world and mankind too.

Sometimes after so many festivities it’s easy for this first month of the year to seem a little dull, we can feel a bit flat. December is full of anticipation and excitement, February we have skiing to look forward to, and as it’s a short month anyway we quickly get into March, and then, well, we’re in spring mode and there’s no holding us back. But January can be a little tricky, so to chase away those Janvier blues I thought it would be fun to start off the New Year with some light hearted entertainment. A fun competition.

This is a little game with a distinctly French flavour. I have actually been planning this for months now, since those long forgotten summer days. It started one afternoon whilst we were walking the dogs, I took a photo of a door in a wall, a common sight around here and Roddy said something about a competition, the idea grew and before we returned home we had it all planned. Over the following months I snapped away whenever I saw an entrance and a garden or interior that I thought would be of interest. Slowly my file grew and it’s not limited to just Charente Maritime, as I’ve included images from Normandy, Pyrenees Atlantique and Provence.

Below you will see a total of 32 photos. The first sixteen are numbered (1 to 16) and the second sixteen have each been individually labelled, A – S. All you have to do is match the correct numbered gate or door to what you think is the right garden or room. I have omitted the letters I, L and O to avoid any confusion with numbers.

Let me know your answers in a comment and I’ll send the first five correct entries a bag of locally made salted caramels (Caramels Tendres À La Fleur De Sel). Trust me, they are delicious! I’ll announce the winners and give you the answers next week. Whether you’re in Russia or Hawaii or anywhere in between, we’ll send them….

If there are no outright winners, then it’ll be those with the most correct answers, obviously.

Have fun and good luck, but most of all I hope you have a very happy and healthy 2017; let’s make this a fantastic year. xxx



































I know some of you have found the scrolling a little difficult and I am so so sorry that it has been more confusing and harder than I ever meant it to be. I have tried to help a little by adding a large mosaic of all the doors and then another of all the interiors so that you can have a look in one go and then go and look back at the bigger ones if you want.  I hope this helps a little. I really just wanted this to be some light-hearted fun!


124 thoughts on “A Fun Competition with a French Flavour

  1. OMG can’t wait to do this, but it will have to wait until I get to work when I can get a pen and paper and happily waste an hour not working but having fun! Great idea, thank you

  2. Ok, well here goes 1D, 2K, 3H, 4Q, 5B, 6J, 7R, 8M, 9N, 10P, 11C, 12G, 13F, 14S, 15E, 16A. Thanks for giving us a little mental faculty test to start the year off! Have a great year!

    1. Thanks June, I love French doors, both into houses and gardens, they fascinate me too! Do have a go and enjoy it, it’s just some lighthearted fun and I have added a mosaic of all the photos at the end to make it a little easier to look at. xx

  3. So much eye candy! Here’s my answers: 1-C, 2-l, 3-N, 4-P, 5-B, 6-K, 7-J, 8-D, 9-N, 10-F, 11-K, 12-H, 13-M, 14-Q, 15-E, 16-A

  4. I need to come back and take some time on this… but love the photos…. Let me see if I can do this after work… (I am not sure my boss would like to see me with this on my screens …)

  5. 1P, 2N, 3A, 4M, 5R, 6K, 7B, 8F, 9E, 10D, 11C, 12G, 13S,14Q, 15H, 16J. Whew! I’m a little dizzy from all of the scrolling back and forth. The kids have a snow day today and this was the perfect way to spend a lazy morning.

    1. Thanks so much Julie, I shall post the answers next week. Sorry about all the scrolling! I am rather envious of your snow, I love snow! It’s just very cold here with frosts at night, but sadly no snow, we can’t have everything I guess! Enjoy your enforced lazy day! xx

  6. I am always awful at these things but here goes 1P 2C 3M 4R 5J 6B 7A 8N 9G 10D 11F 12S 13Q 14K 15 H 16E

  7. I really have no clue as it can be deceiving but here are my “guesses”:
    1N, 2B, 3A,4J, 5E, 6M, 7R, 8S, 9H, 10A, 11C, 12D, 13P, 14Q,15G, 16K,
    I believe one is your home and you would think that one would be easy, but…..

    1. You are quite right kari, one is indeed our home, but as you say looks can be so deceiving! It’s all just some light hearted fun, so I hope you enjoyed doing it. I shall post the answers next week xx

  8. I really have no clue as it can be deceiving but here are my “guesses”:
    1N, 2B, 3A,4J, 5E, 6M, 7R, 8S, 9H, 10F, 11C, 12D, 13P, 14Q,15G, 16K,
    I believe one is your home and you would think that one would be easy, but…..
    Oops, 10 should be F…not A as I had two A’s.

  9. I thought this looked easy, a piece of cake I thought until I started. Now I realize I have spent over an hour, a thoroughly enjoyable hour I might add, playing this game! 1P 2k 3r 4m 5B 6J 7A 8n 9S 10d 11f 12g 13q14c 15h 16e

  10. What a lovely way to start the New Year, yes it will be a good one, I will do this fun quiz when I sit down after dinner tonight, already I sense a wonderful evening ahead!

  11. I have spent over an hour and confused myself so much! Wow, this is fun. My guesses – 1E,2Q,3K,4J,5R,6A,7B,8N,9P,10D,11C,12S,13G,14F,15H,16M Thanks for the game.

    1. Thanks so much Vicki, I love doing things like this, but it can be quite addictive. The children did this when they got home from school and spent ages trying to guess and going back and forth! Hope you have had a lovely day and I shall post the answers next week xx

  12. I love puzzles! What a great way to start 2017, with a fun challenge. 1P, 2K, 3G, 4M, 5S, 6H, 7D, 8C, 9R, 10F, 11B, 12A, 13E, 14J, 15N, 16Q. Wishing you and your family all the best in the coming year….thanks for sharing your life in France.

  13. I do not have the time TO PLAY TODAY but just know this is a FUN PROJECT!AM certain someone will WIN just NOT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. My goodness! I rarely comment but competitions are my favorite! My guesses are: 1P, 2K, 3M, 4R, 5B, 6J, 7A, 8N, 9G, 10D, 11F, 12S, 13Q, 14C, 15H, 16E

    Bonnes chances à tout le monde!

    1. Thanks so much Josephine, I love competitions too and this one is particularly addictive, or at least my children have told me it is, they spent ages playing this when they got home from school, each one had different answers and ideas!! I shall post the answers next week.xx

  15. A nice cup of tea at work, no one else around and I had time to think, don’t tell anyone! 1p 2n 3a 4R 5m 6j 7b 8n 9G 10d 11f 12s 13q 14c 15h 16e

  16. I have made myself cosy by the fire, a pot of tea beside me and I have lost myself in your world, what a fun time I have had and what a brilliant Idea. Here’s what I think, and I’ve changed my mind several times! 1f 2n 3r 4m 5B 6j 7k 8d 9G 10a 11p 12s 13q 14c 15h 16e

  17. OH MY! This is right up Amy’s street and she has just handed me her answers, saying she will let me have a toffee when they arrive. Cheeky girl! Lovely photos, and what a brilliant competition – fun and challenging. Thank you, Susan. I’ve done both versions for you.

    1S 2N 3M 4R 5B 6J 7A 8K 9G 10D 11E 12F 13Q 14C 15H 16F

    1. Wow, thank you, it looks as if you went through this quite thoroughly with pen and paper, I had to look twice when you said you had done both versions to realise what you meant! So glad you both enjoyed this, I shall post the answers next week. I thought it was so easy, but now I am thinking perhaps it took more time than I realised! Xx

  18. Home from work early and I couldn’t wait any longer, dinner will be late, this took a while. But I am not complaining, this must have taken you hours, so much hard work has gone into this, and it gave me so much pleasure. Thank you again. 1P 2K 3R 4M 5B 6J 7A 8S 9N 10D 11C 12G 13Q 14F 15H 16E

    1. Thanks Nancy, I really enjoyed putting this together and as I said, I have done it over quite a few months so I was rather excited to finally publish it! I shall post the answers next week. Xx

    1. I know and lots think 1 and P go together and 1 and F, it just goes to show how the outside appearance and the insides can be so totally different, but it was all meant to just be a lighthearted game, a little bit of jolly fun to start the New Year! Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

    1. Ha ha, the salted caramels are delicious, there is something about that salty tang that adds so much to the flavour, same with the ice cream, which is a firm favourite around here. Have a quick stab at it an then you’re in with a chance, it’s all just a bit of fun and it will keep you warm away from your snow! Xx

  19. What a fun game you have devised. I will look forward to the answers next week. As a HS student ages ago, I received my camera as a BD gift and shot many doors in downtown Chicago. I am sure those slides are somewhere….

    1. Thanks, you should see if you can find the slides, I can imagine they would make fascinating viewing. I can look at doors and gates and especially the old garden doors we get here in stone walls for hours, they fascinate me! Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  20. Well done, it’s a mind challenging game 🙂 1K, 2D, 3M, 4A, 5B, 6J, 7A, 8N, 9C, 10H, 11G, 12F, 13P, 14S, 15R, 16Q
    Hope I come close ❤ The salted caramels look lovely!

    1. Thanks so much, it is quite challenging but also just a lot of simple fun and it really does show that one cannot judge a book by it’s cover so to speak! The salted caramels are delicious! Have a lovely weekend xx

  21. Wow, this was hard, lot’s of fun though beautiful pictures.
    1-k 2-n 3-h 4-r 5-b 6-m 7-j 8-s 9-f 10-e 11-p 12-g 13-q 14-s 15-d 16-a

  22. So cool… I just love a sneak peak into other people’s homes and gardens. I will have to another look on my large PC screen. My laptop is making hard work of it… haha

    1. Thanks Annette, I totally agree, it’s such fun to see what is inside and it does go to show that one cannot judge a book by it’s cover, some surprises here I think! Do have a go on your large screen, or better still, open the two side by side, it will make it much easier! Have fun and have a lovely weekend xx

  23. Haven’t read anything but want to get the comments & replies from this on from right now onwards – shall be back with my own grain of wisdom later :))))))

    1. Ha ha, do have a go if you have a free moment this weekend, it’s not serious, just a lighthearted game and it really does go to show that one cannot judge a book by it’s cover, but there are some hints if you look closely! I thought it might just be a fun start to the year. Bitterly cold here as I am sure it is with you too. Stay warm and have a lovely weekend xx

  24. Wow, I think there are probably better odds on winning the Euro Millions that getting this right! But got a strange amount of satisfaction scrolling through other answers when only one would match my choice. For what it’s worth I gone:- 1P 2K 3R 4A 5E 6J 7B 8N 9S 10F 11C 12D 13Q 14G 15H 16M

    On my first attempt (yes, it took more than one attempt to come up with the above) I was left with two garden gates with one garden and one room, so not expecting too much.

    Bonne chance tout le monde.

    1. This really made me smile Eugene, it’s just some fun and it can get quite confusing! Our children did it after school last night and their conversations were hilarious! However, if there are better odds on the Euro millions then I am certainly going to go and buy a ticket!! Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  25. I drooled over all your gorgeous photos yesterday and then some more today, truth is I would love any of them to be my front door or garden gate, that would be my dream home

    1. Thanks Peggy, I too am rather in love with doors and gates. I particularly love the doors in old stone walls, they offer no idea of what is inside, not even a glimpse but from my experience the inside is totally unlike the roadside view of the gate. Xx

  26. I have been working on my answers on and off all day. You say a bit of lighthearted fun, but it is so much more than that, I have loved playing with this, even though I am sure I will never win, but still! I will give you my final answers over the weekend, hope that’s not too late, but I don’t want to hurry, I’m having too much fun!

    1. Thanks Phoebe, it certainly is a huge time waster, the children did it when they got home from school last night, just for fun, they had two computers open side by side and lots of tossing around of opinions back and forth, it took them forever!! Let’s just hope 2017 is a good year for the world, that is all I could ask for xx

  27. I’m coming back also. What a great idea and so many lovely pics! I feel the same about early January, the flat dullness, but it’s freezing in Houston today & tonight, this is our 1st freeze, and WINTER is definitely here. I’ve been out of town for a few weeks and it’s just hard to settle back into the “routine” you know?

    1. Thanks so much Marsha, so glad you enjoyed it and do give it a go, it’s just some fun because I agree, January is always a tough month. After parties, lot of family, friends, and all the twinkling lights it really is hard to get back into the daily routine of life. We have been freezing all week, the first really cold snap of the year, meant to get down to -4C tonight, around 24F which is really cold for us. Stay warm and hope you have a lovely weekend xx

    1. Ha ha, when I put it together I thought it was so obvious and so easy, but then I took the photos! The children did it when they came home from school last night for a bit of fun and it took them ages, all of them crowded around two laptops on the kitchen table, all voicing their opinions very loudly! They loved it and got half of them wrong!! I will post the answers next week. Have a lovely weekend xx

  28. Happy New Year from the South East Asia! Ms. Susan, I’ve never been inside a french house (only in pictures) so this is just a wild guess. 1F, 2D, 3J, 4H, 5R, 6M, 7K, 8N, 9C, 10R, 11B, 12E, 13Q, 14S 15G, 16A. Now, I didnt even read a single answer. This is fun! – Jenneth 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Jenneth, really it is all quite a guessing game and just a little fun, there are so many possibilities. Hope you had a wonderful New Year and wishing you a very happy and healthy 2017 xx

  29. This was certainly a fun way to spend an hour or two! My guesses are:
    1F 2K 3M 4R 5B 6A 7J 8N 9G 10D 11P 12S 13Q 14C 15H 16E
    Thanks for the lovely competition!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it David, I know it was rather time consuming, our children did it when they got home from school and ended up taking ages with lots of opinions being voiced very loudly around the kitchen! Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2017 xx

  30. Cold and bitter over here today, Susan, and apologies for my absence the past few days or so. All is good now though, and as I write this my missus has printed out your photos and is sliding them this way and that across the kitchen table. I think she likes toffees 🙂 I’ll post her answers tomorrow. Great idea too – wonderful fun and very original. Happy New Year to you and all the family, hope this is a great year for you and this wonderful blog.

    1. Thanks so much Phil, what a great idea to print them out and play with them, rather like a card game, there are so many possibilities! No rush, I won’t post the answers until the middle of next week. Hope all is well and wishing you a very happy and healthy 2017 xx

  31. This took all evening, my partner and I had both our laptops open matching possible pairs. I have to tell you we had so much fun. A great night in with a good bottle of wine! 1F 2J 3M 4R 5B 6A 7K 8N 9C 10D 11P 12S 13Q 14G 15H 16E

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, sometimes a game, be it cards, a board game, anything can be so much fun and far preferable to the to, so I feel rather honoured that you spent an evening playing this! I shall post the answers next week and I hope you have a lovely remainder of the weekend xx

  32. Oh what a fun and goegeous game! Perfect for a snowy morning or evening! I am enjoying seeing all of the truly beautiful interiors! And the entry ways and gates, so beautiful, so timeless. You’ve started my day with such a natural peaceful beauty. Thank you for creating this!!!!

    1. Thanks so much, it was rather fun to mix everything up, at the time I thought it was all so easy and that everyone would find it too simple. When the children got home from school on Thursday they did it for fun and it took over an hour and they loved it, and still they got it all wrong!!! Xx

  33. Mais que cela a été difficile de choisir ! Mais j’ ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à chercher les petits détails dans les archives de votre magnifique blog et même à relire vos passionnantes histoires.Une vraie énigme digne d’ Hercule Poirot ! // How difficult it was to choose! But I had a great fun to look for the small details in the archives of your great blog and even reread your passionants stories. A real enigma worthy of Hercule Poirot! Voici le résultat de mon enquête:1C – 2K – 3A – 4M – 5B – 6H – 7J – 8N – 9P – 10D -11G -12S -13Q -14R -15E – 16F

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Philippe! Indeed there are lots of clues in past posts and I have to tell you I had great fun putting this together. Actually I love how there are really so many possibilities, any number of combinations could work very well! Xx

  34. Susan, I won’t attempt to résolve that riddle but I had tremendous fun scrolling through those adorable pictures. You DO have some very distinguished friends with great homes. I love simply all of them. And I do tell you that at one stage when my eyes were still very good, I did a GIANT memory game with lots and lots and lots of square photos from (mostly) animals, some tools, boats, balloons, instruments, family photos with the idea to offer this to our then young niece and nephew. It never came about and I could see absolutely NO INTEREST whatsoever in this game. So I started to use the one and other photo for my photo cards for birthdays etc but I’m still in possession of some 100-120 photos. They would have to be glued on white cards because they have the photo-title on the back side – but I LOVE mosaics and who knows, maybe one day when I’m really not feeling like doing any work, I might (just for myself and my joy) attempt to partner them with their ‘houses’. What a brilliant idea and what fun to do. I also did for the longest time photos with windows, doors, house numbers, gates (many from the UK and even more from France) – we’re interested in the same stuff I often realise with joy…..
    On that note: We just (only) watched the pre-final series of Downton Abbey – still haven’t bought the last series and still missing the last Christmas edition and wasn’t there a London series too? We’re so saddened that this most wonderful and so well-played drama is definitely over…. Last time I was so sad was when we watched the last DVD …. no, I can’t say that because we love ALL those English drama series, from Vicar of Dibley over Lark Rise and …. to anything with our beloved English actors in them. But for now we mourn DA – and look forward to buying the last series sometime in the near future!

    1. The photos sounds like such fun, you must do it. DA, what a fabulous series, so sad when it was over. If you get a chance do watch The Crown, Season 1 is out on Netflix and it is excellent, definitely well worth watching and series 2 has been commissioned for next year. The London series you are thinking of might be Mr Selfridge, another great British drama and worth watching, I love them all too. Never watch to in the summer but do enjoy good dramas like this in the winter! Xx

  35. While I know that I am far too late in my response to the competition, I still did try and match what went with which but Oh! c’est impossible. Especially since I thought that “f” and “g” looked as though they could have been your own garden (are they?) yet I found no letters that seemed to match. What a great idea, a really fun competition. And I feel annoyed that I have built up a desire for those salted caramels……… ❤

    1. …. which makes me think that I still haven’t done the pairing and neither sneaked a peek at the results… If only time (and my eyesight) wd allow me more slots….

    2. The toffees were really just a little bonus, I thought it was rather fun to do as I love playing with things like this, prize or no prize! Neither F nor G are a part of our garden, I really wish the pond in G was, it is fabulous and I have asked their advice as they are friends many times as they are great gardeners. The salted caramels are delicious, a local speciality although I daresay they can be found the world over, but perhaps not with our local salt! xx

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