Thursday, November 26, 2009

The sky - so full of promise!

I had every intention of posting photos of all the things I have been crocheting over the last couple of weeks for Christmas presents but, as they all need the ends sewing in, this has been postponed. I now have my usual WIP bag, and a new addition - my 'things-that-need-the-ends-sewing-in-in-progress' bag (TTNTESIIP). I have promised myself that this weekend will be a finishing-off weekend.

Instead, I took yet more pictures of 'our' sky. We are lucky enough to have a huge panoramic view of farmland from the back of our house and the sky is huge; at night, because we have no street-lighting, it is studded with hundreds of thousands of stars  which take your breath away.  I will try and take photos.  This photo was taken at around 7 am on Wednesday morning. We have shutters here so it is hard to tell what the outside looks like when we first get up in the morning and, sometimes, I open the shutters and am so taken aback by what I see that I have to race outside in my dressing-gown and take photos. What the neighbours think, I have no idea!  I'm sure I can hear them muttering 'that crazy English woman'!

At the moment, I am crocheting lots of ruffle scarves for presents but I also want to make a pocket angel to send to my sister. She has been in hospital recently with something that has yet to be properly diagnosed. It's her birthday next week and I thought an angel would look after her for me, so I need to get that in the post asap. In fact, I've just realised how little time I have so I will definitely get that done today!

I hope that I will soon be posting crochet-related photos and not even more of the sky!

Thanks for popping in.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A very welcome day of sunshine - for a change!

This was how our day started yesterday. The sun was full of promise and really lived up to it for the rest of the day. We've had a gloomy couple of weeks so this was very welcome.

You can just see the leaves beginning to change colour. I love this time of year when we get a proper autumn day.

This is  part of the view from the front of the house. You can just make out our neighbours' mad-as-a-hatter dog. We don't have much experience of dogs but they ask us to look after him when they are way. His name is Bondi (said with a French accent!), and he is truly away with the fairies! Very friendly but hyperactive, and it takes the two of us to get his lead on, and that's after letting him have the lead so he can charge around the garden with it for half an hour!

Not a very good picture, but this is a well that needs a lot of TLC - a project for the Spring, I think.

Another view from the back; the trees are all changing colour which can only be appreciated when the sun is shining.

I absolutely love this view of the drive and the little lane we have to drive down to get to the house. We are lucky enough to have the space for two entrances; they have matching double gates which we picked up a few years ago when we found them on offer. The land to the right beyond the gates is ours, and has been divided into three building plots for which we were lucky enough to get planning permission. We've sold one plot, and the other two are currently up for sale. The hamlet has around thirty houses at the moment, and the local Mairie (mayor) is very keen to attract newcomers to the area, so he was more than happy to rubber-stamp our application for planning permission.

The sun is just starting to go down here. I'm standing under the willow tree which is, sadly, losing its leaves for the winter.

It was a truly lovely warm sunny day and really soothed my soul!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A mixed weekend

 These are the little booties I have made as a Christmas present for my latest granddaughter. It's a very simple pattern but has taken ages due to my cold stopping play for ages, but I am quite pleased with the results.

This is a scarf I've made for a Christmas present for a friend.  The pattern is very easy and I'll be making several more, I think.

Well, this weekend was a little better than the last one, mainly because my cold is finally on its way out, although I had a rotten night's sleep last night because I kept waking up either coughing or sneezing. In the end, I gave in and got up for a cuppa. An afternoon nap will definitely be on the agenda today!
I hope those of you in the UK didn't suffer any damage from the storms - I watched all the weather forecasts and the news items,  and it looked pretty wet and windy. We had a milder version of it here but our forecast gets better as the week progresses - apparently!  I didn't stray far this weekend because I still feel a bit worn out from the cold, but I hope to get out and about this week. I feel an urge for some real fresh air and a stroll so I may visit one of our local parks with my camera.  I love the fact that we can post photos on here - isn't technology wonderful?!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nature is wonderful!

In the midst of a gloomy grey and wet fortnight, nature provided us with a few wonders, such as this glorious sunrise. The colours were amazing and the way the clouds were drifting along was almost mesmerising.

We found a new park yesterday. It was my first trip out for a few days, having been housebound due to my first French cold/virusy thingy. It was a lovely mild autumny day with a not-very-bright sun, but still lovely to be out and about.

Not the best photo in the world, but one of a family of deer we came across, quite unexpectedly, in the park.

I picked up some autumn leaves because I couldn't resist them, although it seemed a shame to spoil the display that nature had made of them!  Gathering them up reminded me of nature tables many summers ago, when we would collect things to take to school. My boys also loved to collect things for a nature table at home. I've decided I'm going to start another one today. We have 'nature' all around us but, with such busy lives, we sometimes forget to 'stand and stare'. I'm going to try very hard to do some standing and staring every day from now on.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A little goat shed and a lot of renovation!

A little goat shed in the back garden  - currently used by Louis the cat when he's caught out in the rain!

The office partly renovated. We still need to replace the pane of glass in the window and paint the window frames.  The ceiling needs plastering but the cabling is in place for the downlights.  Oh, and we have to decide on flooring, too. This room will eventually be my office but will be a temporary sitting room during the winter months, while the real sitting room is being renovated.The building you can see outside is another barn we found we owned on the day of purchase.  The road in between is ours, too!

This area was originally one great big room but we have turned the space into an office off a big hallway. The hallway has had a new staircase fitted and the bit above the stairs will be vaulted, with a gallery landing. Originally the stairs were a rickety wooden ladder on the outside of the building, so this is progress indeed!

This is the downstairs bathroom which is right next to the kitchen, handily enough! It looks even better in here now because Husband cleaned the shower doors yesterday and they are gleaming! The cubby-hole next to the window will eventually have old pine doors fitted to turn it into a cupboard.

Again, this area was one big room which has been turned into a bathroom, utility room (photos of that later when it's been finished and is not being used as a general dumping ground!), and another hall (which visiting friends decided was a boot-room!)

I am so ashamed of the shower doors in this photo - since Husband cleaned them, we have a squeegee in place to keep them clean!

Saturday, November 7, 2009



In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

...Lt. Col. John Macrae

Monday, November 2, 2009

A strange weekend

The weekend has disappeared in quite a blur. On Friday night, we were back at the hospital because my husband's infected finger was still causing him problems, so it was treated again and seems to be healing now.

We had three cute little witches knocking on the door on Halloween - our neighbours' lovely daughters. Luckily, I had the sweeties ready but, if I hadn't, there's no way they'd have carried out any tricks! They're all so beautifully behaved, like all French children. We live in a very small hamlet (about twenty five other houses) and would not have been surprised if we'd had no Halloween callers; as it was, the girls had to call while it was still daylight - with no streetlighting here at night, they'd never have found the house!

Yesterday, I started a cold so I spent the afternoon under a blanket on the sofa feeling sorry for myself - I have the sniffles and a bit of a cough but, when I woke up this morning, was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't feel that unwell, so I'm hoping it's a mild dose.

Well, that was my weekend so I hope I haven't made anyone feel down!