Sunday, 13 April 2014

Why I love bloggers

I probably spend too much time reading blogs, it is not uncommon for me to get up really early on a Sunday (5.a.m. early) to catch up on my reading list. There are two main interests: France & design although there is a form of serendipity as bloggers share their own favourites. For example bloggers who live in France have their own passions, not just related to being in France, which is how I found Mimi who writes a food blog and who is unbelievably stylish, writes beautifully and has a blog  illustrated by wonderful photographs taken by her Icelandic husband. It's blogs like 'Manger' that make me try harder with my photos.

Then it's the kindness of people to help strangers. Fairly recently I came upon Rob & Rosie's blog about their garden in the Dordogne (where they also have beautiful cottages to rent) and remembered a dilemma I had last year. As you may recall I am a prolific jam maker and one of our favourites is rhubarb but last year there was panic in the camp.

A thing of the past?
Margaret posted that in her (ex-)part of France rhubarb was a rarity. OK I thought it's easy to grow, but no, Kalba chipped in that she had little success and she and her partner are great vegetable growers. Knowing that Yorkshire has a golden triangle of rhubarb growing I was beginning to think that there could be a rhubarb demarcation zone that we couldn't live south of. I scoured the internet for information. There came back none. So back to Rosie, I left a comment on her latest post and asked if she knew, after all her area of the Dordogne is a stone's throw from our favoured Quercy area, and within a couple of hours I had a reply:

"We've got rhubarb in Belves, Dordogneshire. I heard the other day that it was one of the things, like swede, that was all there was to eat in the war, so no self-respecting Frenchman grew it. No idea if that's true, but it's certainly not common."

Bless you Rosie.

The other wonderful thing about reading blogs is the fascinating snippets that fall into your lap. As I said earlier my other all consuming interest is design, but I favour blogs written by people who enjoy doing their own thing, there are some hugely talented people out there. Take the chap at The Urban Cottage who has beautifully restored a Gothic Revival house near Boston. In his last posted he posed a question - what was this in his garden?

From An Urban Cottage blog
Now at first it looked like a manhole/sewage cover - but why the foot pedal? Andrew and I had a think but nothing sprang to mind so we scrolled down his comments. Well apparently it was for garbage, it's not that deep and appeared to be quite common in parts of the U.S. Some places it was just collected as part of a normal refuse collection and was for 'wet garbage' but in other areas it was for food scraps and the pig man came regularly. A fascinating snippet of social history.

So that's why I spend so much time reading other people's blogs. Visually and intellectually stimulating and with people happy to share with strangers. Thank you all.


  1. Well, back in England with no internet until today, part from odd minutes snatched at other people's computers, I've missed out on many a blog over the last month. But not rhubarb. Oh no. It's one of the pleasures of being back here, especially as we are now living just north of that famous triangle.

  2. I'd just sat down to pen you an email I was worried - you hadn't blogged for such a long time! There's something special about a rhubarb crumble and custard isn't there? And now I can sleep easy.

  3. I'm not sure the smile is about bloggers or the thought of rhubarb crumble & custard Sara Louise!