Friday, August 29, 2008

From little things..

From little things...

Big things grow.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back with a bang

Well where should I start? (It's going to be a long one so pull up a comfy chair).

I finished the loose cover I was doing for Liz & it worked out well (I think). The fabric was perfect for her lovely old french farmhouse. Here's a picture for your's such an amazing building with walls two and a half feet thick. So cool on a hot day.

Last Thursday at about 2pm we left La Fosse to drive back to the UK and drove at a leisurely pace until we realised that we hadn't really left enough time to get to Calais. Slightly panicked we realised we were going to be late for our 9 pm crossing. Oh well, so be it. Here is a last photo of the Church at Tigne the nearest town. and this video I took as we drove off past all those vines. (You can hear our Aussie whine at the end, I don't think Richard knew he was 'ON'.)

Waiting at the Ferry terminal in Calais is like some bizarre Wim Wenders movie. An industrial landscape of trucks and planes, flyovers and huge ships. As we waited in line, slightly hysterical from tiredness (and a near accident on the motorway), we spotted this sensational '62 Chevy coming to England for a meet in Ipswich.
Here, completely out of all context is a photo of some crazy plant pods that the lovely Christine our neighbour at La Fosse gave us. 'La perruche' or little parrots. Who knew???
When we got back we had a HUGE & very welcome sleep and then readied ourselves for the party that was the reason for us rushing back before the long weekend.

It was our buddies Brondie & Russ's 10th wedding anniversary. WHOOPEEEEEEE. Here's Brond with the Pimms....Happy Anniversary Cool Cats.
The lovely couple...Clarissa's fabulous new SPARKLY shoes. She made a valiant attempt to keep them on no matter what!!!!
Not a bad photo of us too..everyone had to wear a touch of red...(well some of us wore more than a touch). The lovely Ricardo had a tiny red prefect's badge that I bought him for our aniversary that says 'Perfect'. There was much fashion action....mostly from the boys.
But SOME girls too...
and much camping action as people came from as far away as New York for the special doooooo.

Here's a video of Clarissa and her bestest friend (besides me that is) Nettie at fever pitch on the Saturday. Brondie & Russ's little boy Billy gets in on the action as well.

And yet another video to slow down your workings. This time of Joe doing his stuff.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

All the way to Aubigné

On Sunday we went on a bike ride. I had my best buddy with me this time although he does tend to race off miles ahead even though I should have my bike riding muscles by now.

Liz had told us to go and have a look at a small village nearby called Aubigné where some friends of hers live. It was a very hilly road but we finally made it and it was really worthwhile.
We had passed the signs often but not turned off the main road. There was a Chateau with a lovely garden behind the Church.
A donkey near the Church.

A great old tractor.
A bloody gorgeous Manoir... An even more gorgeous Abbey..
With a Juliet balcony.
And a series of sensational bits of topiary in the cemetry.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We went out on Saturday night. That is out somewhere else in France AT NIGHT other than here at La Fosse. I was so excited. Liz had said we'd go out for Laure's birthday to something called a "Guinguette" pronounced gang-get. She said it was tables set up by the Loire where you had a cheap and simple meal. It sounded very romantic and it was. The word Guinguette means a "building of fortune", like a temporary building. It was right down the end of a dirt track along beside a levee at a place called Port de vallée. A funny long low building with a built in verandah with windows that folded down outwards. You were right on the river but up high so you could see birds flying by & the light gradually changing on the small island in the middle of the wide, wide river. It was absolutely magical. The room was hung with coloured light bulbs and filled up with families and dogs. The meal was truly marvelous. We ate a fish called Sandre (I'm not sure what it is in English) with beurre blanc sauce some puréed carrot, leeks and one whole baby potato. Simple and sensational. Here's a picture of a Sandre randomly from the internet.

(I stupidly forgot to take my camera with me. Ricardo took some photos with his phone but we don't have the down loader thingy with us so you'll have to wait.)
The best part of the evening was the music. A duo of handsome Frenchmen called Les Z’aminches . They made the night. The whole restaurant was singing along with the guitar & accordian players. Here are some photos of them from their Myspace webspace. Check out the link & enjoy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

La weekend, Savennieres and Monsieur Brunet

It's the weekend and time for fun again. Friday was a public holiday here on account of it being Assumption day. There were brocantes to explore so we got up early and discovered a beauty, north of Saumur, at a place called St George sur LoireIt wasn't the féte of the gros frites but we managed to eat some anyway...It was the most glorious day. I even got a little bit sunbunt. We managed to find a bell for the Jaques Anquetil bike and a stall selling lovely 1950's fabrics from Cholet, (famous for it's manufacture of linen handkerchiefs). I bought 5 metres of very pretty printed cotton for a dress or a quilt, (will show you later when I get round to taking a photo). I wish I'd bought more....

After the brocante Liz had told us about a lovely little village called Savenniéres. So we went to had a marvelous Belle Epoque Post office and lots of tiny winding streets.It is near Behuard where the ghost house is. It was very quiet and we only just caught the boulangerie. There wasn't anything much to eat so oh dear we had to have nougat glacé for lunch.....we sat in the park in the centre of the village with no one else around on a millstone and ate them out of their little plastic cups with the end of the nail file (the non-nail end I hasten to ad) and our fingers. It was one of those times when you notice you're completely happy. It had a wonderful ancient Church with grotesque gargoyles around the eaves. Here's a photo of one of them come down to earth...After all that we came back to La Fosse for a nap and then off to dinner next door at Christine & Simon's house. She of Grand Tiramisu fame from last year. I didn't take any photos as it seemed a bit rude but boy was it good. A continuation of the fabulous gourmet-ness (is that a word) of all La Fosse has to offer.

Moving right along....this morning after wandering down to where Liz & Laure were lounging in deckchairs recovering from last night's excesses, Liz declaired that the neighbour on the other side (Monsieur Brunet, the vigneron) was open for business. If we wanted to taste some great wines we'd better get a move on.... so off we went JUST after breakfast to a wine tasting in an amazing cellar. Mr Brunet is a Gallic stunner with a nose to die for (in both ways). Here we are looking very English & restrained in his CaveForget about bottles it's all here still in the vats
Today will also go down in history as Laure's birthday. A little special festival tart?
Avec une candle. Twenty one today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

See food diet...

Hmmm here I am with time on my hands surrounded by vines.....what can I do?
I know, pick the leaves, boil them, stuff them and eat them............. With pine nuts, & mint,
currants and rice. C'est bon.
A lot of stuffing and rolling...a little bit of cooking. (Well a lot actually, I burnt them on their bottoms).
They kind of worked but were a little bit tough. Maybe vine leaves in late summer are a little too old to use. Damn, I'll have to come back in Spring.....

More pincushions

Here's a cute little project for those southern hemisphere winter blues (Thomsey & Amy). Or Northern climes in times of holiday need (Puffster). There's a free tutorial at this link.
I found it after finding out that Kellypuffs has been reading this book. It looks gorgeous. I wish I'd brought some felt with me. Hmmmm now where CAN I get felt?