Sunday, 16 September 2012

A perfect weekend

Sometimes everything good in life just comes together. Last weekend was one of those times.

The weather was perfect, warm and sunny with that early autumn gold that you can almost touch. Friends who we hadn't seen for several months came to stay, and brought Ben so Mortimer was delighted.

After coffee and cake we went to Peckover House in Wisbech. Peckover House is a National Trust property that you feel you could live in. It's not too large, has a manageable two acres of garden and is situated in a town. Unusually you can take photographs in most of the rooms. Andrew was photographer for the day (although I did get a bit bossy in asking for certain shots!).

After enjoying the piano playing in the library and coveting the cold frames (and compost heaps!)
Cold frames

You can say it - I'm sad!


Garden gateway

Plaster work

My favourite - the upper hall

we felt a little thirsty and a bit peckish so we found the newly refurbished Rose & Crown Hotel and had a very tasty bite to eat to keep us going until dinner.

The following day was gorgeous again and we introduced Ben to the Sunday morning dog pack and they all enjoyed a good natured play.

Enjoying the sunshine
A quick whip round a couple of the farm shops so Carol & Roger could stock up on local Fenland produce and back home for a late lunch in the garden. Yep- that's the stylish Carol "Oh! It's just a t-shirt & jeans!"

Could almost be France!

Warm salad of squash,mushrooms & rocket

And to top it all Carol had brought me back a couple of French design magazines back from a recent holiday in the Loire so I managed a rather long magic moment with a glass of rose. Bliss.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

And the award goes to.....

me. Yes that's right I've won a blog award, unexpectedly given to me by Margaret who spends a lot of time in the Ariege region of France. And who I've never met.

Flattered as I was to receive this it threw me into a complete panic. You see I have two blogs, this one where nothing more important than the colour I paint my walls, food and days out get written about and the one about Mortimer our labradoodle. I can see the words such as 'airhead' and  'lightweight' scattering the comments box and at this stage I only knew Margaret's and Kalba's blogs. Both write eloquently and intelligently about life in France. With trepidation I dipped into Margaret's other nominations and as I feared they were all the same, beautifully crafted and intelligent blogs.

Of course it all went down hill from thereon in.  Part of accepting the award is to share seven things about myself with you (why couldn't I expose myself as a Nobel Prize Winner or something equally as cerebral?) so here we go. I really hope I don't offend anyone with this list.

*I shudder when I eat too much of certain foods, porridge for instance. Or scrambled eggs - actually I can only eat an egg if it doesn't look like an egg. When I say shudder it's not a 'oh! I can't eat a morsel more of that' I take what I think will be another spoonful and my body will just shudder. Andrew thinks this is amusing.

 *I have an intense dislike of small & mean things. I'm not big on ornaments in general but I really, really don't like miniature ones, in groups. Short curtains look mean to me (Andrew calls me a curtain snob) but I can't help it. Small dinner plates and worse still small wine glasses. You won't be surprised to know I'm generous of proportion myself!

 *I don't keep things for best, I really don't get that, particularly cutlery, dinnerware and glasses. If it gives you pleasure then use it everyday, make each meal an occasion.

*Each day has to contain a  Magic Moment, time out to enjoy a small pleasure by myself. Depending on the day it might only be  a few minutes,  maybe listen to a particular piece of music. If I have longer a glass of wine and a magazine in the garden or by the fire. The other day was one of those soft,golden early autumn days and I went into the field and picked a couple of pounds of blackberries. It really doesn't matter as long as I'm alone and completely focussed on whatever I'm doing.

 *I live in fear of looking like 'mutton dressed as lamb', have done for years.
This is how I'd like to look (but brunette). Effortless,casual chic. I have a friend, Carol, I've known since school. She pulls on faded jeans,t-shirt and a tailored jacket. Flings a scarf on and looks so chic. I could hate her.

*Almost anything will make me cry. Sad things, music (I can't even think of The Last Post without welling), beauty in nature, frustration (I can't shout). But I don't mind at all, I don't have a problem with tears.

*I enjoy ironing. Really.

Now who do I nominate for the Lovely Blog Award? This was another problem. Most blogs I read have lots of nominations and lots of people commenting so I rarely do. They have no idea who I am, a blog stalker.

Chez Loulou posts such beautiful photographs of life in France & her love affair with cheese.

Ken and his partner live in the Loire valley and write daily, gentle posts about life.

Then of course there is Sarah a Texan girl in Le Petit Village - a sort of blog-chic-lit.
who also knows Aidan.

Now just so you know that my life is not dominated by France you could drop in on Jessica and be blown away by colour. See where cruising friends Peter & Gail are. Or Sue preparing for a second winter in Canada and not in the Caribbean. Can she do it?

But who to nominate? Finally I settled on Michelle who I met last year at upholstery class and has such a passion for weaving. I hope she accepts.

So thank you Margaret for this award, and to everyone who makes the internet such a stimulating place.

P.S Andrew has just read this and is calling it my Gwyneth Paltrow moment. Sorry!