Summer Solstice

P6410392YESTERDAY EVENING, 11.45PM.

It’s dark. Outside it’s still 32ºC/90ºF, but inside it’s comfortable and pleasant without the need for air-conditioning – a good thing as I am not sure anyone in the village has any. Instead, we rely on old technology, whereby the two foot thick stone walls of our house keep us cool. I’m alone in the kitchen, the windows and doors are still wide open and I’m staring out into the stygian blackness. Roddy has fallen asleep in the sitting room; Bentley is with him as always and Evie is with me. She tried to stay awake to keep an eye on Rory the cat, her greatest mate, but she can’t quite manage it; thick eyelashes, black on one side and white on the other, gently close and she too enters the world of dreams. I’m thinking about the wonderful evening we have just enjoyed. I open my laptop, wondering how I can possibly convey this feeling of pure contentment – how I can explain such simple things which make a night so special? Read more

France Through the Eyes of Children

18424890_290191268089150_840384321_n

Animals learn by imitation and so it goes for our species – children copy their parents. Roddy and I are never without a camera, and gradually it seems to be that neither are our children, and the way they are documenting their lives is fascinating. Along with iPhones and iPads, they are also using proper cameras, both their own and ours, and as a result I thought today I’d share with you how they see France through their eyes. All of the photos here are theirs, reflecting what they see and think. Here Gigi recently happened to be in Paris, lucky girl! Read more

Weekend Ramblings from a French Village!

IMG_6371

This blog is becoming quite a prominent feature in my daily routine, whether I’m driving, or in the garden, or out walking; it seems very often I am thinking, “I must take a photo and chat about this or that in a post”. And so I often find myself pulling over in the car, hopping out and taking photos – it’s just as well the roads are quiet and today I need a good distraction.  Read more

The Joy of Oysters

IMG_6213To admit to a dislike of oysters is a bit like admitting an aversion to cheese in this particular area of France. It’s often met with a frown and genuine surprise, so I set out to discover what all the fuss was about. I have been advised many times to “simply swallow without chewing or even tasting”, but this is what I tell the children on the rare occasion when they might need to take a headache tablet; surely the same rules should not be applied to the world’s most famous seafood (not to mention much talked about aphrodisiac)?

Read more

Always Look on the Bright Side

P6080601

Sometimes I feel a little like this old shutter, a little worn around the edges, but I’m still hanging in there, strong and determined. Do you ever get days and weeks when you feel as if you are being pulled in every direction? Read more

The Perfect Picnic

P6080195

A warm, sunny spring weekend is the perfect excuse to pack up a picnic basket and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you set out on a long hike, find a sheltered spot on the beach, drive to a local park or simply lay out a blanket in your garden, a picnic done well can be pure bliss. Read more

A Sunday Morning in France

P6050366

It’s one of those perfect mornings and I thought of you all. I didn’t have time to write a lot or to edit photos, I simply picked up my camera and snapped away. This is a simple Sunday morning in a country farmhouse in a quiet village in rural coastal France. Read more