A Simple Act of Kindness

P7330361Yesterday was the first day since we moved to the Charente Maritime that temperatures failed to get above 0 celsius all day. The bitterly cold weather was accompanied by freezing fog which –  like the mercury – failed to rise; it silently swirled around us all day long and anyone we saw on the street outside the boulangerie was hurrying along without a sign of dawdling. Bisous on either cheek to say ‘Hello’ and that was it –  definitely not a day for outdoor leisurely conversation.  Read more

Let the Countdown to Christmas Begin (let’s get cooking)

P6800307As much as I love Christmas and believe me I really do love it, I think I love it every bit as much now as a grown-up as I did as a child – but probably in a different way. I know that the shops are a necessity, but they are not where I want to spend my December days; instead I want our Christmas celebrations to be more about the joy of the season and less about the shopping. I want to spend any spare time making foods with those distinctive seasonal spicy aromas; I want to take walks in crisp winter air and decorate the house bit by bit, together as a family, taking our time; this is my remedy to the modern seasonal madness. Read more

Christmas Markets & French Festivities

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We’re racing towards Christmas. Driving through our small local villages is truly a wondrous experience; no decorations are quite the same, and in many places there are twinkling lights in abundance Read more

Entertaining and Simple Festive Food

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A few days ago I was waxing lyrical about the cold nights and chilly days but that’s all changed. We’ve gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. The frosts are no more and the daytime temperatures are positively balmy, however we’ve kept the blue skies and we’ve even eaten lunch outside. It’s a time of glorious sunsets and equally impressive sunrises. Read more

Slowly the Festivities Begin

HDRtist HDR - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. It’s purely wishful thinking as it hasn’t snowed, but we do get snow here occasionally-  my opening photo is proof, even if it’s from two years ago! However, the weather has changed and the nights have been cold, several dropping to below freezing; we’ve been waking to views of frozen fields and ice glittering in the weak morning sun; these proper winter dawns have been followed by beautiful clear crisp days when you can see your breath in front of you and when noses turn red with cold, and when the indoor fire’s welcoming glow has beckoned us back indoors. It’s all beginning to feel just a little festive. Read more