A Break in the Clouds

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This autumn has been one of the wettest I have known here in SW France. The rain has poured from the skies, seemingly unceasingly, while the half-term holidays faltered in puddles and soggy footprints. It has hardly been the best time to house-train a puppy, to say the least. Read more

Soup; The Perfect Simple Lunch

P8240751Don’t be fooled by the blue skies and the sun’s shadows, they were but a fleeting visit, lasting for a matter of seconds before being replaced by heavy black clouds. This weekend Storm Amelie, the first named storm of the autumn swept in from the Atlantic lashing our coastline with winds of up to 160kph. As the crow flies we’re just a few kilometres inland and so we felt the full strength of the gale force winds. But these old stone houses have withstood much worse over the centuries, we simply closed the shutters. Read more

Town or Country

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Where do these gates lead to? I often find I am asking myself the same question when driving around the French countryside. It is not unusual to come across a pair of magnificent old gates seemingly in the middle of nowhere. These ones happened to be open, but very often they are closed and it is impossible to see through them and in addition they frequently have high walls on either side. If they are also surrounded by trees smothered with foliage then any clues as to what lies beyond is well and truly hidden. In fact one may never get to know. Read more

Come and Experience Life in France

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This is kind of a strange post because I have lots to say. I receive many emails and messages from people who tell me how much they love the blog, thank you, and also how they love visiting France through my eyes because it is their dream to visit but they think they most likely never will and this set me thinking. Read more

Walking in the Village

P8210239I’m sure we all have our favourite walks, where we know every curve in the path, every furrow, every gap in the hedge. I certainly have mine, it meanders through the very edge of the village and then out into farmland. I pass two tiny vineyards, although really this name is far too grand, for they are merely several long rows of grapes between crops. Ideal for producing enough vin de table for the year. I know this route so well, I know where the wild daffodils grow in the spring and where the sweetest blackberries can be found at the end of the summer. Read more

September Dining

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September is one of those slightly strange months, one never knows quite what to expect in the weather department, one day might be distinctly autumnal when we are reaching for a jacket and lamenting the end of summer and the next we’ll once again be back in shorts and dining al fresco. September throws up the expected and unexpected in equal measures. And true to form the last three weeks have served up a totally mixed bag and kept us on our toes. Rain in the morning has given way to afternoon sunshine, stiff breezes which have sent the leaves scurrying around the garden have abated just as quickly as they came about giving way to a quiet calm. We’ve swum in the sea, sought shade from blistering heat, luxuriated in deliciously warm evenings where we have sat outside staring at the stars and at the other end of the scale we’ve closed the front door and welcomed a heartening soup. Read more

Bentley’s Tales of a Grumpy Old Man

img_0331There are times in life when I feel extremely hard done by. I hate to coin the phrase ‘grumpy old man’ but just occasionally it is exactly how I feel, it’s good to have a darn good moan and get it off one’s chest. Yes I know, I am in fact canine rather than human, I have four legs instead of two and I am useless at modern technology. But I’m told my stories are quite funny and every now and then I like to hijack ‘her’ blog and vent my frustration. So my apologies in advance if I offend anyone, but this is me, Bentley, letting off a little steam.

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