France

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! 

 

 

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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?

 

A small knit a la plage

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A little break in Normandy, France.  One afternoon, Cabourg on the coast.  A gentle breeze blew the winter blues away.  Briefly the beach was empty and perfect.

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Later, pins and wool in hand, half a baby dress. This is an ongoing project but there is a time limit.

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Unfortunately due to hand trouble it is a little slower growing than I would like.

More another day …

 

Buttons in a tin

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Whose Mum or Granny had a button box or button tin?  I have fond memories from a young age of being allowed to sit and sift through my own Mum’s buttons.  Different sizes, different shapes, some matching pairs or sets, lots of odd ones, lots of old ones, many that stayed in that tin year after year.

This week I was searching for buttons in one of my own button tins – so I thought I’d show some of my favourite ones. The first picture shows leftover fabric buttons made ages ago, dorset buttons from a workshop and two fabulous buttons with cute printed fabric which I bought in France.

buttons1The second photo has horn shaped buttons which used to be on a handknitted cardigan, I Ioved them and I loved the cardigan, unfortunately after two years I shrunk it in a wash(!) and couldn’t wear it again. Then there’s a couple of ceramic buttons from a gorgeous shop in Westerham, Kent http://www.anniesattic.co.uk/shop/ – and more ceramic ones from a friend’s trip to Denmark.  The rainbow ones I found on a stall at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace about three years ago.

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Here’s the reason I was searching for buttons.  I needed eleven for this chunky cardigan – finally finished – it had been a WIP for a while! These are wooden and were an internet purchase from China.

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I wonder if anyone else has favourite buttons to show off. I’d love to see!

A little French sunshine

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Last week we were in Normandy, France for a few days of glorious R&R.

Trouville sur Mer beach. Deserted mostly. A stroll along the sand, a gentle breeze, sunshine on the face, watching seagulls chase the waves, truly restorative.

Followed by a fab lunch, traditional style, Soupe a l’onion, Veau a la Normande, and then a long knitting session at home in front of a roaring fire – the best day!

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The knitting project photo is deliberately a ‘jumble’ because the finished item may be a gift.  I don’t want the recipient to see exactly what it might look like!

 

 

 

 

 

trouville beach 2What a shame we won’t be there for the upcoming book/writers festival in early November.  It sounds interesting and you can’t beat the advertising boards which capture the ambiance of this lovely seaside resort. This link is in French but you can google translate it if you need to. http://trouville.c3rb.org/presentation-sla2017

If you love books and France try and take a trip and tell us all about it!  Even in the autumn you might sit outside at a pavement cafe, watch a game of boules …. ooh reminiscing ….

Signing out for now.