28 August 2015

Some of my favourite things.

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I'm sure those of you who are getting to know me
a bit more will know what most of my favourite things are.

 I'm unable to look after my garden at the moment as I've just spent 5 days in the
 clinic again, having treatment for my back problem and now I need to take things easy.

With flowers all around our home I couldn't wish to be resting in a better place.

I can't seem to get back into my painting, so I thought I'd browse through my photo albums and pick out some of my favourite things to cheer me up.
Would you like to see what I've chosen.
Get yourself a cup of coffee or what ever your favourite drink is,
and if you love flowers I'm sure you'll enjoy these photos.

I love the coffee Mr France makes for me mid morning.
better than any Starbucks, not that we have a Starbucks near where we live.
As you can see Mr France has drunk his coffee before I've even tasted mine.

During the past few days we've had some stormy weather
with lots of rain, which was badly needed, but has damaged a lot of the flowers. 
Fortunately Mr France had noticed that the early flowering pink rose
had a few new buds on it. so he cut this one for me.

and now I'm able to enjoy seeing it indoors.

Along with some more pink roses, which I have now hung to dry.

 The first photo selected has to be the Lavender from my own garden.

After my visit to La Provence region.

I had to have a Lavender bed of my own.

and also I had to paint what I'd seen.

A few of the hanging baskets we have every year.
These were from a few years ago when we won First prize in the floral competition.

This year we planted some pendulum  Begonias which have given us
a beautiful splash of colour all summer and it's still looking good.
A totally different basket to the previous one much daintier
flowers, which hangs at our holiday cottage where the guests stay.

Now for a selection of flowers cut from the garden.
With it being so hot and dry this summer, I haven't had many flowers to cut.

Our new Pierre de Mansard rose has certainly bloomed well for the first year. 

Pretty Spring flowers in a dainty cup.

Summer pinks & blues.

A lot of you seem to be wishing for Autumn. not me I hang on to every sunny day
hoping summer will last another month.
Our two eldest grandsons, are moving on in their education next week
 which means they will be leaving home.
So a family get together around our pool is planned for tomorrow.

This was one of many get together meals, during this summer
 when our son was here from Denmark with his family.
We just love having our home full of family and friends.

Boys at work.

Pool waiting for the family, teenage grandsons and girl friends.
What better way to end their summer vacation before College starts on Monday.

Next week I'll be taking a break. revisiting the Atlantic coast region. 

Mr France has rented a tiny fisherman's cottage.
It will be such different scenery for us. I'm really looking forward to it.
 hoping the good weather will hold out and we can just stroll along the beach, 
 enjoy a nice fish restaurant, nothing too energetic.

 and take lots of photos, 
Maybe it'll help to get me back in the right frame of mind to paint.

I hope to see you again soon
 as I'll certainly be sharing my short break away from the countryside.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

17 August 2015

Château Montbrun

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These days when I open my post box

It's usually full of publicity or bills that need to be paid
so it was nice to receive an invitation to have a guided tour
inside one of the many Chateaux near to where I live.

As a holiday home owner the tour was gratuit/free and friendly.
I had to be very discreet taking photos inside as it's not really allowed.
However I did have the advantage of knowing the guide.

So follow me as we take a peep around and inside,
Chateau Montbrun in the Haute-Vienne. Limousin region.

This Château is privately owned by a Dutch man who lives there.
  Over the past 25 years the Château has had three owners
If you have euros to spare you could be the proud new owner
 of this Château as it's for sale for the sum of €20,000,000

We were told that Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt flew in by helicopter
 to view, take a look here  but apparently it was too near to the road.
Not secluded enough from the Paparazzi.

From the road you are not able to see these steps.
 We were told by the guide they led to a room that in days gone
 by was kept for the Château owners secret lover.

The rear view.

The original gateway into the Château grounds.
Too dangerous now to be used, as the tower is crumbling.

I could just imagine 'Richard the Lion-heart '
and his army of men on horse-back riding in through those gates.

 The pathway leading to the rear entrance
This would have been the servants entrance,
 where they would get their water from the well.

As it's privately owned and photos are not really allowed to be taken inside

I was only able to sneak a few quick clicks with my pocket camera.
This bedroom and the toilet.

If you would like to see more photos of the Chateaux
look here   For Sale
all the information of inside is given by the Immobilier/ estate Agent.

I hope you enjoyed stepping back in time.
with me at Château Montbrun.

If you missed my previous post of many other Châteaux
where I live  ...Take a look Here

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

31 July 2015

It wouldn't be summer without sunflowers.

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25 years ago today we arrived in France to live.

 With my two Labrador dogs in the back of the car
with loads of boxes & bags pushed in to make them safe.
I can still remember driving through northern France
 seeing fields of yellow for miles & miles.


It was such a feeling of what summers were going to be like. 
I hoped they would be growing in the fields near where we were going to be living.

and they were.

This is what I see whilst driving to our nearest Boulangerie
or on my way to the hairdressers.

Certainly a joy to see.

I still smile & pinch myself seeing such beauty.

To see so many flowers turning their heads in the same direction facing the sun,
 makes me think of a crowd of sunbathers lying on the beach getting a tan.

Soon they will be harvested and sent to make Sunflower oil. 

In the meantime I'll savour the sunny days.

Enjoy your summer whether you are at home or away on holiday.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

25 July 2015

Hot Sunny Days

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Not very much is happening here at home in rural France
 It is really, but it's time to enjoy the family with our grandchildren,
and sit on the terrace catch up on life together. 

 I've taken some more photos of my Lavender.as next week I'll be cutting it. 
I've already hung some in bunches to dry in a dark warm cupboard
hoping I can try to keep that wonderful blue, 
like it is when you buy it in Provence.
I've taken some cuttings, 
hoping they will take
then I can extend the new row I planted this year.

Having had such hot days and nights for so long now
 my Lavender is the best it's ever been.
 also the Geraniums from last year
are flowering profusely.

Unfortunately the grass is no longer green, it's now scorched and dry.

This is the view from the bedroom for our guests.

This corner of the guest cottage is in the shade
till the afternoon, so it's able to have a varied mixture of plants'
Look what I saw whilst checking my rose arbour,
this huge green grass hopper basking in the hot sun.

At the moment the Pierre de Mansard rose 
only has a few clusters  of blooms, but it has been beautiful
for the first year.

This little Robin came to visit while I was checking on the hanging baskets.
We don't see them very often during the summer months.

I hope you are all enjoying time in your gardens 
during the holiday season.

Join me again soon.
I'll be showing the sunflowers growing near where I live.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian