A Week in Winter

img_0834I’m a little bit all over the place with this post today. Until I started writing I had no organised theme and no pressing subject. I had just snapped away with my camera all week. This would be our life in the Charente Maritime in the depths of winter as seen through my lens. Read more


p7840450A couple of days ago I grabbed my camera and drove to a village nearby, determined to take a few photos for the blog with the wonderful light that we have at this time of year. It was truly the most sublime day, with clear skies and a sun hot enough to actually make a difference; it was not quite sunbathing weather but for the depths of winter it was not at all bad. A day when one simply had to be outside to appreciate it. There was no wind, and the the rise of mercury had not been too impressive, just reaching double figures – a mediocre 10˚ Celsius. However, it felt like heaven just to feel the sun on one’s back, and that’s the trick here, even in January. If you can find a sheltered spot you really can sit in a t-shirt and feel the sun providing some vital winter vitamin D, its rays actually have some strength to them. Read more

Happy New Year


Days turn into nights and before we can blink another year has passed. The holidays seem to have flown by far too fast. I meant to post my Christmas story, I have a list of things all planned out but somehow they never quite came to fruition. Read more

A Final Word Before Christmas


One or two more sleeps? Well that depends, if you are French, then it is one as the festivities commence the evening of the 24th when the big meal with family is traditionally enjoyed and gifts are shared and opened into the early hours of the morning. However, we still follow our British tradition of celebrating on the 25th and  with much mounting excitement our children are counting down the hours. Read more

Getting Festive in France

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The countdown to Christmas has seriously begun, every year it seems to come round quicker and quicker and now here we are with just over a week until the big day. Time to get decorating. I know for many of you this is late, but I guess it is a family tradition, when I was growing up the tree never went up until the 23rd, I’ve brought it forward somewhat. It’s a date that is looked forward to with great anticipation, it’s very much a family affair that takes all weekend and more! Read more

♪ ♫ It’s the Most Wonderful Pie of the Year ♪ ♫

P7830732Seriously, isn’t it really the most wonderful time of the year? We are starting to play plenty of festive songs, music is really the very best way to get one into the spirit of things, I mean when you listen to the words of Andy Williams’ song, can you not just hear yourself telling stories of Christmases past? Even in this hideously mixed up world, spending time with family and friends is where we can all find little peace I hope. France is seriously troubled at the moment as many of you will have seen or read, the riots continue in Paris, Brexit rages in the UK, but whilst we cannot ignore what is happening let’s not get into politics right now, let’s focus instead on good food and good cheer. Read more