Tuesday, 5 May 2015

French General Style arrivals

I adore the gorgeous ATCs I received back in Kimberly's French General Style swap. All three were beautifully packaged -

and they were accompanied by Kimberly's sweet gift -

And here are the fabulous ATCs -

Thanks for stopping by, toodlepip xxx

Monday, 4 May 2015

Doesn't time fly...

... when you are having fun? I can't believe we are into May already. A week ago yesterday, we took part in the annual Randonnee de Cuzy again. The French love their organised walks, it seems every village/town hosts a randonnee, and because Cuzy is a tiny village very close to us, we love their organised walks in our area. Usually, there is a kind of half way station right at the end of our lane where it joins the road and the further you get into the day, the merrier things get in the large tent :-). But more about that later.

Sunday morning we met up with a bunch of our neighbours, at the village hall -

We all agreed on the shortest route, 9.2km. There are usually three routes to chose from, a short, medium and crazy long one ( 23km or thereabouts ). We were so lucky with the weather. The forecast had been for thunderstorms and day long rain, but as you can see, it was actually sunny and fairly warm, perfect walking weather. The three coloured arrows are for the three different routes, btw. You do have a map as well with the route marked, but the arrows at cross roads etc are very helpful.

We always see this farm when driving to the nearest little town, but I had never walked past it. The route took us up and behind the farm -

I adore old doors and shutters, I just had to stop and take these pics and then run to catch up with the others. Me running, oh dear :-) -

This is Bob, adorable little Bob, the dog of our wonderful neighbours and friends Annick and Olivier, who coped with the walk so much better than I did, lol -

It was so lovely to walk past all the sweet wild flowers -

Another farm, in the middle of the glorious Bourgogne country side -

Wherever you look, there is so much beauty -

You come across some strange creatures on these walks. Now I  know that Bourgogne is very well known for their escargots ( vineyard snails ) because of their size, but giant ones? Really? -

Cottages are dotted about, hidden away down little lanes -

This one had the most enormous Wisteria growing opposite it -

Our region is famous for the beautiful white Charolais cows, but lately, we have seen more of these gorgeous brown cows in the area as well -

For a short while in the Spring, a lot of the green fields turn yellow with dandelions -

before they turn white with the dandelion seed heads -

Things got a little ( well, a lot really, lol ) muddy for a while -

But we were soon back on solid ground and heading for the half way post ( and our cottage, where our doggies were waiting for me ) -

I don't often see my DH running :-) -

but I suppose when the half way tent is near, its worth it, lol. Made it! -

The village provides drinks ( water, orange juice, wine, and more wine, lol ) and snacks ( apples, cake, cheese of course, salami, sweets and various other bits and pieces ), so stopping at the half way point is quite a sociable affair -

I staid for ten minutes or so, and then wombled back a few metres down the lane to stay with my doggies while the others carried on. I think the bit I did was about 5.5km, that was quite enough for me, and anyway, the doggies needed me!

Once the others had completed the walk, Andy came back in the car and took me back down to the village for the 'repas', lunchtime meal in the village hall. 
I love all these local events.

Toodlepip xxx

Friday, 1 May 2015

On a French Hill Top

Well, here I am, sitting in the cottage with the heating going full blast, because the beautiful Spring weather we were enjoying a while ago has completely deserted us. Today, May 1st, is a big day in France, and I was looking forward to visiting a few brocantes. But the weather gods were incredibly mean. It has been raining practically non stop for the last 24 hours and it is so cold.

To cheer myself up, and because I can't do anything outside, I looked through some photographs I took a while ago, when the weather was rather nicer, and spent some time editing them. 

I always take the dogs out for a little walk first thing in the morning, and every day, the view of the valley below us is so excitingly different. I took these photos probably 10 days ago. Our cottage was bathed in sunshine, yet he valley was filled with a thick layer of cloud again. Slowly, the clouds rose and kind of dissolved into thin layers which drifted up and up and finally embraced our cottage -

I just adore that kind of beautifully diffused soft light, when the sun filters through the mist.

I don't have any flower beds at the cottage, but I try and make up for it by filling pots and tubs with flowers and different herbs -

The wisteria is flowering -

and the very first rose appeared on one of the rose bushes -

I took the photos after we had had a few days of marvellous sunshine and warmth, and everything had grown like crazy. Fruit was setting on the blackcurrants and white currants -

figs started appearing on our tiny fig tree -

and the strawberries started flowering -

Even my little salad plants were growing! -

And best of all, my seeds started sprouting, yay! -

So, while I sit here looking out at a very soggy French hill top, I think back to those lovely sunny days and hope that they will return real soon. I need sunshine!

I hope the sun shines on you wherever you are. Toodlepip xxx