Sunday, 31 January 2016

Lawdy Miss Clawdy - it's hot over here.....

I'm staying inside today trying to keep cool
in this very hot humid weather.

Much as I need to have a tidy up in the garden,
because of the high temps in Summer
it's now become an early morning job!

The roses and perennials need dead-heading
in fact the whole garden needs a good weeding throughout
so I intend getting up with the birds tomorrow
to get a few hours work done.

I've photographed flowers from my garden
both dried and fresh.

For my friends in the Northern Hemisphere
I know you are looking forward to the arrival of

take heart because it's only a matter of time before
our seasons will be reversed and in the words of
Percy Bysshe Shelley

"O wind, if Winter comes
can Spring be far behind".

I'm joining Karen for Sunlit Sunday
Judith for Mosaic Monday
Bernideen for Tea Time, Cottage and Garden
Stephanie for Roses of Inspiration

Take care and
be kind to one another

à bientôt


Friday, 29 January 2016

Five on Friday

This is one of my new roses this season called
Munstead Wood, a David Austin bred rose.
It has the features of the wonderful old fashioned roses
full blown cabbage like petals
highly fragrant and
it has been flowering since November.
One can't ask more than that!

Little and Friday is a cafe/bakery here
they sell delicious cakes, slices, meringues and biscuits
as well as jams and pickles and chutney.

It's summer and the living is easy.
Kohimarama is a great white sandy beach 
on the Eastern Bays close to the city.
We have so many beaches in Auckland
that they are never crowded 
like they are in the South of France.
We're not used to wall to wall people at the seaside!

A couple of weeks ago we did a little road trip 
to the Bay of Plenty to see some of my cousins.
We had dinner here at Molly O'Connors restaurant.
Good food and good Irish music - just what I love!
It brought back wonderful memories
of our trip to Ireland last year!

If you read one of my recent posts you may remember
I'm on the hunt for tiles for the kitchen splash back
so I photograph them if I can't buy them!

I hope all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere
are keeping warm and safe inside.
We saw reports on TV about the storms - WOW!
Enjoy your weekend.

I'm joining Amy for Five on Friday
Mimi for Five Star Frou-Frou
Cath for Fun Friday Favourites

Take care and
be kind to one another

à bientôt


French fences ooh la la!

Whenever I'm out and about with my camera
I'm always looking for fences, walls, gates and doors
to photograph.

I took most of these photos in Provins
a couple of years ago.
It is an ancient market town which sits
on the original trade routes.

This old fence has been softened with a creeper
found on many walls and fences in France.

I think these old style gates 
are both practical and beautiful.

When my daughter was replacing their gates
this was the style they chose.
Times have changed and there are few blacksmiths left
in the countryside these days,
young people want to work in the large cities
rather than take up one of the 'old school' trades.
Sadly the quote they were given was prohibitive
so they have settled for a much simpler version
to come within their budget!

 I'm joining Theresa 
of The Runaround Ranch Report

Take care and
be kind to one another

à bientôt


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sunshine through my window

I found beautiful sunshine on my window sill 
when I came downstairs this morning!
This is the cup I use for my first coffee of the day
it's  Terre e Provence which I bought here at
La Cigale - you can see a previous post on
La Cigale Market here

I bought this pretty tile from Monsieur Bricolage 
(the hardware shop in France)
I'm collecting tiles to create a splashback wall area
behind the stove top in the kitchen.
Another project on my "to do" list 
to complete and tick off this year!

Also on the bench is a pot of basil and an aubergine
sitting in front of my recipe book holder.
I've been cleaning out my cookbook cupboard and
I found a recipe to use from this old cook book.

Annabel Laingbein is a New Zealander
she is a cook, food writer and has made 
a series of foodie videos and recipes called
The Free Range Cook
Through the Seasons
which have been shown internationally.

What I like is that she uses fresh seasonal produce
you can grow at home or find at
your local stores.

Have you seen her series on TV where you are?

The photo on the right is what I'm making for supper this evening
"Grilled Aubergine and Zucchini"
which I will eat it with a salad.
It's delissimo!
My husband doesn't like either of these vegetable
so he will have steak and whatever I can throw together!
Let me know if you would like the recipe
and I will email or post it to you.
I realise these vegetables are out of season
in Europe and North America just now
but you might like to try it in Spring/Summer.

I'm looking forward to catching up with 
Karen for Sunlit Sunday
Cindy for for Amaze me Monday
Judith for Mosaic Monday
and Stephanie for Roses of Inspiration

Take care and
be kind to one another

à bientôt


Friday, 22 January 2016

Irish Fences and Five on Friday

Behind the barrier at Dublin airport
a Scottish Highlander arrives 
to cheer on his team at the annual 
rugby game
Ireland vs Scotland.

The fence alongside Dublin's Liffey river
with the Halfpenny bridge

Our tour bus stopped at this shop
in the middle of the countryside.
It was jam-packed full of top quality
Irish linens, woollen jerseys and so much more.

I fell in love with a blue tweed jacket....
I dithered about and decided to leave it in the shop....
it was a hot Summer's day
and hard for me to envisage the cold Winter days back home.
Wouldn't you know, I've regretted it ever since
isn't that always the way - c'est la vie!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing a variety of fences from

I'm joining Theresa for Good Fences

Take care and
be kind to one another

à bientôt


Sunday, 17 January 2016

To market, to market, to buy....

To market, to market
to buy a fat pig delicious home grown goodies....
Home again, home again
Jiggety jig!!!

When my dear friend Carol was out from the UK
in May last year
we visited the Matakana Market
which is an hours drive north of Auckland.

It was late Autumn so the pumpkins and other earthy vegetables
were at their best.

Are you aware that most people in the UK and France
think of pumpkins only as animal fodder?
 Kiwis on the other hand can't imagine
the quintessential Sunday roast of
lamb, beef or chicken without roasted pumpkin and potatoes!

Are you a pumpkin eater like me?
I know my North American friends are pumpkin lovers!
If you have a favourite pumpkin recipe
would you like to share it with me?
You can tell me here when you comment and
then email the recipe and I will send
you one of my favourites in return!

The crepes here are delicious
but the queue was far too long for us to wait
so we headed off to the coffee stall!

Some enterprising girls have set up a
dog minding stall
so visitors can do their shopping in peace.

It's a marvellous idea, as the day we were there
the market was unbelievably crowded
 wall to wall people
and I'm sure the dogs enjoyed their time out
(I wished I had been a doggy that day 
as I don't like crowds or queues)!

Their are some interesting shops to peruse in the village too
and naturally I spent a while in the bookshop.
Oh and there's a really good shoe shop too!

This week I'm joining

Eileen for Saturday Critters


Karen for Sunlit Sunday
please pop over and visit Karen's blog.
Karen is a volunteer for her local cat rescue group
and she is currently caring for the beautiful Purl
whom you'll meet when reading her blog!

I'm also joining
Judith for Mosaic Monday

thank you ladies for hosting your lovely memes.

Take care and
be kind to one another

à bientôt


Sunday, 10 January 2016

Who'll Come a Waltzing Matilda with me?

I love ‘outback’ Australia.
In summer it is dry, hot, parched and dusty
with a raw beauty
that has found a special place in my heart.

In my twenties I lived and worked 
in both Sydney and Melbourne

I preferred Melbourne.

Maldon where our son lives 
is an historic mining town from the
goldrush days of the 1800's.

It is made up of gold miners cottages
an interesting array of shops worth perusing and
footpaths shaded by wide corrugated iron verandahs.
There are deep gutters
to cope with flooding when the rains come.

Any new buildings are governed by strict building codes

and must be within keeping of existing.

Two styles of early Australian houses in Maldon.
I was surprised how lovely some of the gardens look
considering the dry climate.
Roses seemed to do very well
and hedging using native plants were lovely.

There were interesting shops to peruse
and I bought several bits in 'Much Ado'.

How about some dinkum Aussie country music
Waltzing Matilda

We enjoyed our week in Maldon
soaking up the Australian landscape, fauna and flora!

I'm joining Judith for Mosaic Monday

Take care and
be kind to one another

à bientôt


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