France

Bluebells, Lilacs and Knitting

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Spring has sprung and ‘my’ world is full of new blues and greens. I leave a patch of my garden here in the UK wild. Nature takes over, bluebells pop up – this year they are glorious.

Lilacs have arrived too. In Sussex my German sister in law has snipped off a few to adorn her dining table. They are so beautiful. This lilac bush was just a twig from Germany a few years ago and this is the first year there are blooms to enjoy.

I have just returned from a few days in France and lilacs are in my garden there as well. I only wish you could smell their wonderful scent.

And a little knitting for the journey to France. I switched between this new pale green wrap and another white lacy top currently being worked on. You could say is was a ‘mystery’ knit. I printed off a pattern before I left but the printer ran out of ink so I had the instructions but not the photos. It’s called Spring Roll by Anne Baker. It even has ‘Spring’ in it’s name! So there’s a little bit of my Spring. I hope you enjoy the views.

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A Horse on A Course (aka Still Water by sculptor Nic Fiddian-Green), a little bit of culture

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Looking through some electronically stored photos from earlier this year I was thinking how pleasant it was previously to have more physical photos to hand.  I have been quite prudent in recent years as we live in a world where we take photos everyday with our smartphones, tablets, etc.  If we printed and displayed them all we would be buried shoulder deep in pictures and the planet would be suffering. I am the first to admit I am not a perfect photographer by a long shot.  I envy those who take great photos but continue in my own haphazard ways.

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Take this beautiful sculpture admired at a racecourse in Deauville, Normandy, France this August. I took a couple of snaps (one of which in fact only showed half the artist’s details).horse2

I do not do it justice but thanks to the internet I have now admired more of Nic Fiddian-Green’s work from afar.  I hope by showing my poor photos here someone else may enjoy it too.

 

 

 

 

 

I have also been digging out old wedding photos and family snaps.  It is truly precious to have at least many of those to reminisce over, to see family resemblances and to talk about those we love who aren’t with us anymore.  I shall endeavour to print out a few more photos as the years proceed.  I would hate them all to be lost on electronic systems that become out of date and inaccessible. Happy snapping to all!

 

 

A tranquil weekend with a bit of grey (shrug)

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Adjective: Tranquil – free from disturbance, calm

My tranquil place last weekend, Houlgate beach, Normandy, France.

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There was the odd other person there but mostly just seabirds strutting their stuff.

It was a bit chilly to knit at the beach (well, it is November!), so back to the house for some more calm, a hot chocolate, yarn and sticks.  The basket of grey from last week is growing slowly into a chunky shrug.  Progress so far.

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I feel so lucky to get to France as often as I do.  Home away from home.  Jusqu’à la prochaine fois (until the next time) …

 

Pont L’Eveque, France

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A small montage of images from a special place (to me) in Northern France, Pont L’Eveque, Normandy.

Hopefully you can see age and quaintness in these snaps.  Sadly much of the town was damaged during the occupation of the Second World War so much has been rebuilt. I am not sure of the actual age of the original buildings but I know the first mention of Pont L’Eveque was in the 1100’s so it’s been there awhile! As for professional photos, I am definitely a snapper rather than a true photographer, please take this into consideration when reading my blog posts.  The bike rack is just for fun!

We spent a morning here recently.  I cannot show you the cafe where we sat and people watched whilst sipping our cafes au lait.  Nor indeed are there photos of the colourful macarons purchased (then eaten!) or the Beaufort cheese sampled at the market.  The famous Pont L’Eveque cheese of the same name is not actually to our taste but we have tried it. It’s supposed to be the oldest known cheese from this area of France.  Did you know there are more than 400 cheeses made in France? !

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Pont L’Eveque, made in squares, soft like a Brie, great warmed as a dip

Pont L’Eveque is now a thriving tourist area yet it still manages to feel serene and even on market day little is rushed. If only I could time travel.

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I take no credit for this postcard image borrowed from elsewhere on the internet.  I just loved it and wanted others to see it too! 

 

 

More bunting and beach huts, a little bit of early summer

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Lovely readers know I adore bunting and beach huts.  Recently I blogged about both.

I had made some bunting to donate to a friend for a charity event. I used cotton fabric from my fabric stash which I’d been holding onto for something special. I loved it so much it was almost difficult to gift it! Therefore I made another length for myself.

 

We’ve just been away to France for a few days.  We had glorious sunshine, mostly.

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Here’s my bunting, in situ, decorating the outside of our house in France! 

A little visit to a nearby town, Houlgate, reminded me of the inspiration for the beach hut in another recent blog post (on the right!)

https://handmadehomemadeknitstitchdesign.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/crafting-sharing-beach-huts-and-bunting/

Houlgate has this great line of beach huts, each year reconstructed on the promenade.  I often wonder where they go for the winter. This year we were there when workmen were putting together the last few and lining them all up ready for their summer use. They are numbered, some are named and even though I have been visiting for more than ten years I have never counted how many there are.  In this photo the last one is number 154 !   Some numbers are missing, some are in better condition than others, but they are all orange and white stripes.

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As for crafting over the last few days… here’s a snippet of me one afternoon …

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Knitting and sewing is high on the agenda at the moment but so is getting a little bronzed !

Where do you like to knit if you get the chance?

 

The difference between beaches

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We headed for the coast last Monday, a Bank Holiday here in the UK.  Luckily we started out early, arriving at Louisa Bay, Broadstairs in time for a bacon buttie breakfast at a little cafe right on at the edge of the beach.  It was fairly quiet, so afterwards we lay and read our books listening to the gentle waves lapping on the sand, a little chatter around us, hubbie even had a nap, waking himself with his own snoring! This is a photo of the ‘crowds’ about midday.

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After a couple of hours, baked and searching for more liquid refreshments we strolled a few minutes around the corner to Viking Bay, which most people consider the main beach at Broadstairs.  If you look closely there are patches of sand free! This isn’t my idea of a pleasurable afternoon on a sandy beach – just tooo packed!

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We bypassed the hoards and found a cute bar/bookshop and took refuge in the cool.  https://www.chapelbroadstairs.com/   I wish I’d taken my own photos here, it’s a unique place with aged books to browse from every floor to ceiling shelf and though I had a soft drink, I understand the craft beer is great!

We returned to ‘our’ little Louisa Bay afterwards which has decreased in size due to the tidal flow, but it was lovely for a short half hour before we headed home.

trouville beach 1I love a beach (anyone who catches my blog will already know this).  I know we have to share sometimes but I think I might avoid Bank Holiday trips to the coast in the UK for a while and continue to visit out of season.  Here’s Cabourg, Normandy, France last October ….

 

Bake off and escaping to a chateau

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I might have cheated a bit with this blog post title.  It’s nothing about baking in the kitchen at all though I do love a bit of baking when in the mood and I adore The Great British Bake Off, though preferred Mel, Sue and Mary to the newbies. (I hope readers know what I am talking about here – please ask if not.)

I am writing about the last few days of baking hot sunshine we’ve had in the UK.  Wow, was it warm enough for everyone? At times it was a bit too hot for me though I am not complaining much, I could keep out of it when I needed to.  It was a great excuse to sit indoors and sew one day – I will reveal the result of that day soon, though it’s a gift for someone who might read this so remains under wraps for now.

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A snapshot of the cherry blossom in full bloom over the garden fence one sunny afternoon

So, today the temperature has turned itself down a bit. The whole family is having a better day.  We all had streaming eyes and noses with hayfever – even one of our cats suffered. (Hayfever-like symptoms in a cat, possibly some allergy to something in the air/garden.) It is a little respite from the past few days.

Whilst staying out of the sun, I also discovered a tv show about owning your own french castle (Escape to the Chateau DIY, Ch4), which builds on the original series Escape to the Chateau.  I love trips to France, though not in the same league, one can dream big. Image result for escape to the chateau

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/escape-to-the-chateau-diy/episode-guide/

Dick and Angel Strawbridge make entertaining tv.

I wonder what anyone else did to stop being ‘baked’ last week?