Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sunday Photo - Shades of Autumn

The 22nd of September saw the Autumn Equinox, so I collected these leaves and berries from the hedgerows hereabouts to create a photo which marks the changing of the season.  My Countryside Companion imparts this September weather wisdom.

Should you notice a goat graze with his head to the wind, expect a fine day;
 but when he crops with tail to the wind, look out for rain during the day.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Five on Friday

It's been a busy old time recently,....(more of that later) so blogging has been brief and sporadic... no change there then, I hear you cry.  Here's an update with what's been goin' down in my neck of the woods. 


Last week, whilst the south of England was basking in sub tropical temperatures, I took a trip to the coast to visit a friend who lives a stone's throw from the sea.  Another friend joined us and we strolled to the beach side café at Shoreham Harbour and ate lunch, chewed the cud and sipped wine...all very pleasant indeed. 
From our table we could see the new i360 Tower at Brighton. For those not familiar with it, there's a pod around the exterior of the tower which travels slowly up to the top for fabulous views over the coastline and South Downs. The day before, it had broken down stranding visitors halfway up it for two hours, and since then it's stopped again... not a great record for something that's only been open for three months. 


Offshore, we could see the beginnings of Rampion Wind Farm.  My friend told us that at night he could hear the pile driving works in progress, amazing when you consider it is thirteen kilometres out to sea.

After lunch we ambled back from the seafront and had to wait a while for the lock gates to be opened.  This boat was passing through and we got chatting to the blokes on deck who were involved in environmental work.  They told us that they sail out to the wind farm to try to chase away any dolphins, porpoises or seals to help preserve sea life and to prevent interruptions to the work. Interesting stuff.


Somewhere else I've been lately is nearby Rowfant House. The house, a blend of 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th century architecture is rich in history, having been requisitioned during the war and latterly being purchased by the Latvian Church, who restored it to a habitable state, so it's especially sad that it is up for sale.

  A  house clearance sale was advertised so I went along to have a look and came home with a few useful bits.

A Classic Car event was planned at our local caff last weekend and I took a hike down there with my brother and SIL.  It's just a small place so I wasn't expecting many motors, but happily there was a decent turn out and we spent an hour reminiscing and inhaling the wonderful aroma of leather interiors.


At home the Frister & Rossman was dusted off and I spent an hour and a half in front of the telly one evening, seam ripping an ink stained duvet cover.   The stained half I'll use as a dust sheet when decorating, the other half I sewed into a sleeping bag liner.

I saved myself at least a tenner by making it myself and being a thrifty sort, I removed all the duvet buttons too and will recycle those some time in the future.


Now to explain why I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger.   As the saying goes 'it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind'.... and I have.  Back in June after the EU referendum, you may have read here how I was having second thoughts about my dream of buying a little static caravan in France.  Since then I've had a change of heart, largely due to by chance finding this super second-hand 'mobile home' on a lovely rural site whilst on holiday in Vendée this summer.... and a wake-up call regarding my age!   On my return home, I did some sums, thought about the lovely place in France and after some dithering I made an offer... which was accepted!  I decided if I don't do it now, I never will, life is for living and (I believe) we're only here once!

Since then it's been non-stop emails and phone calls organizing the purchase and insurance... my French has been well and truly tested and of course there's been shopping galore.  The items bought at Rowfant House will be going out and so will the sleeping bag liner...(for use on the last night of my stays so that I don't have to leave dirty bed linen behind.)  I'll be crossing the channel soon.... exciting times lay ahead!

So that's my Five this Friday, thanks to Amy for the link up and to you too if you made it this far.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Sunday Photo - The Last Roses

My climbing rose has had a severe pruning this week, it had got so leggy that I hadn't even noticed these last blooms because they were hanging over the fence into the neighbours garden.  I hoicked them back, shoved them in a pot and displayed them on the patio table.  Don't they look pretty?
Linking up with Sunday Photo.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sunday Photo - Colour

It struck me whilst preparing two of my five a day, how vibrant and attractive the contents of the dish looked, and so before you could say 'David Bailey' I'd whipped my camera out.
With a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt it tasted every bit as good as it looked.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday Photo - New Shoes

I was hoping be able to capture my reflection in the shiny toecap, but who'd know it was a person?
As you can tell, photo opportunities have been thin on the ground this week. 
Linking up with Sunday Photo anyways.
Hope you're enjoying the Bank holiday weekend.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Part Deux*

My recent holiday in France already seems like a distant memory. Once home, domestic matters, work and other stuff has occupied time, then recently I had problems with my internet connection.  Now this seems resolved I thought I'd better chronicle the second part of this holiday otherwise it probably won't happen.  I do like to look back at posts from time to time to remind myself what I've done with my life in recent years....do you?

I can't imagine that I will forget our day at Autrefois in the streets of Challans, in a hurry.  Described in the programme as a real immersion into the beginning of the 20th century, participants dressed up in regional costumes of the time.

Artisans demonstrated their crafts.

We were entertained by traditional folk music and dancing...

  which provided much amusement.  When the caller instructed the couples 'Messieurs, Dames, embrasser'  one old dear unsuccessfully tried to dodge her partner's kiss, then in a glaring display of disgust, grimaced and wiped her cheek with the back of her hand.  It was hilarious!

Of course there were sideshows and rides for the kids.

( French politicians are obviously as popular as their British counterparts.)

(and who doesn't love to slide out of a giant chicken's arse?)

There was a procession of vintage cars 

  And displays of animal husbandry...

....these baby ducklings were adorable.

The festivities climaxed in a heroic display by les pompiers.

  whereby 'they came to the aid of a young Vendeéne girl in peril'.

 Apparently the fire service put on a show every year and each time it gets more and more ridiculous. 

The story told of a saucy lady who was up to 'anky panky' wiz 'er beau.
Just as the fireman arrived, so did her father and so the beau hid from sight, but the father so concerned about his precious daughter risked life and limb to climb into the 'burning' building and found the boyfriend in a state of undress with his daughter.  Zut alors!

 Here the father is throttling the boyfriend...and the fireman laughing in the background!
You won't be surprised to hear that it all ends well with the girl being rescued over the shoulder of a fireman, the hose soaking her bloomers which become transparent, and the father being dumped unceremoniously into the firemen's water supply. 

Of course a holiday wouldn't be complete without a trip to the seaside and a few ice creams, and the beaches were far from crowded, even in July.

After walking along the front in scorching sunshine we watched the activities of the sailing school from the shade of a beachfront café and listened to a family from Birmingham (or thereabouts) discussing the merits of Korma versus Madras.

As is the way with lovely holidays in France, or anywhere else for that matter... they finish all too soon, but ce n'est pas grave... I'll be back there before long.

*Post Title kindly supplied by Vix

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Sunday Photo - Sweet Pea Pickings

Thanks to you all who kindly commented on my first link-up with last week's Sunday Photo.
Today I'm posting a small posy of sweet peas that I grew from seed. (yes it's been an uneventful week!)  The foliage has succumbed to a nasty mildew disease but happily the flowers haven't been afflicted.
Enjoy your weekend.