30 September 2014

Good Bye to our Summer visitors.

Now I have to say goodbye to Summer as our last guests  have just left.

Officially Autumn started on 21st September,
 but while we still had visitors staying in La Petite Maison

and we're still enjoying lovely warm sunny days, I cling on to Summer as long as I can.

Mr France and I are off to the coast
 to spend a few days enjoying the sound of the waves.
I do love where we live, but I miss the sea.
I've thrown a few mix & match outfits in a small case, nothing fancy
as we're hoping to do some walking, nothing energetic.

So hopefully if Mr France wants to take a snooze after lunch
I'll get the chance to try out the new Inktense pencils with the waterbrushes.
and have some sketches to show  you
I've recently treated myself to a box of 24 Derwent Inktense pencils.

and a pack of 3 waterbrushes. Which I haven't yet tried, so that could be interesting

 I hope I'll like using them on this trip.
I'm also taking my Moleskin landscape sketch journal
which I bought months ago
and it's still waiting for my 1st sketch.
I don't know why I'm hesitating to sketch in it.
I feel like I'm back at school starting a new term
and not wanting to make a mess on the first page.
I'll be taking loads of photos
so I'll show you where I've been when I get back.
à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

16 September 2014

Join me for a walk near where I live in France.

This is what I see on the new walk I've been taking, isn't that view fantastic ?
I must paint this, but I think I'll wait for awhile until the Autumn
 when the colours will be better.

Not far from our house the disused railway lines have been removed
and the track has been made into pleasant routes to walk or cycle along.

So recently we've been discovering some really pleasant walks.
Finding flat paths to take walks where I live is not easy.

One of the old stations is now a very popular restaurant.
We have eaten there, but I didn't take any photos.
We plan to eat there again soon, so I'll take my camera then I can let you see.
Some of the railway station stops  have been sold and converted into pretty little cottages.
Here's one that's been named La Halte / Stopping place.

Do you see the original stone underneath that awful modern rendering.
I do hope the new owners will remove it.

Now this one has been tastefully restored.
Maybe they could have tried to have gates made in the railway style.
 When I'm fitter I'll try to walk the whole track,
 then I'll get to see more of the stopping places, and let you see how they've been renovated.
Now we move on to a short local walk, to the nearest hamlet,
 where there is a farm and just a few houses.
The Limousin cattle can be seen everywhere

One of the many disused wells in the area,
which used to provide water for the tiny hamlets.
I just had to show you this lonely late sunflower which I saw today on the edge of the road.
( so pleased I remembered to put my aim & shoot camera back in the car )
Maybe the seed had been sown by the birds, as there wasn't another to be seen for miles.
The butterflies are still fluttering from flower to flower.

and wild flowers are in abundance.

 This is usually my weekend walk at my favourite place.
 I just love how it changes throughout the seasons.
The Maize is ready to be cut for winter cattle feed.
And these wild flowers are always the last to be in bloom making a purple carpet.
Our picnic place for after walk. There are picnic tables,
 but we like to take our reclining chairs for an afternoon snooze.

The lane back home.
This photo was taken in March
 before the Spring leaves have covered their branches.
Soon the leaves will be falling for the Autumn season.
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the lovely things
I get to see on my walks.
à bientôt
Barbara Lilian


11 September 2014

Around the world blog hop.

Last week I received an email from Daphne  inviting me to join the 'Around the world blog hop' 

Me ! who never links up with other bloggers, mainly because I don't know how !

I needed to think about it. It wasn't easy for me to say yes. This is going to be a big challenge, as me
and links are strangers, so please forgive me if the links don't work... here goes....

I met  Daphne in 2012 not long after we both started our blogs and that was through   I've been tagged  even then Daphne guided me through the technical bits, but I still didn't get the hang of links.
Daphnes blog has grown so much since then. She shares her delightful detailed recipes, and tells such humorous tales of her everyday happenings. I feel I know her although we've never met.
In April 2014 Daphnes blog   was featured in  'Woman's Weekly' an English magazine , I mentioned that I would love to see it, but wasn't able to get it here in France, so she sent me a copy, how thoughtful is that. She has continually  kept in contact with me through out my back problem, and I  still receive emails from her asking how I am.
I'm sure if you haven't already come across her lively blog you will be drawn in by her charm. She writes as if she is talking to you.
For those who already follow my blog, you will know that I'm not someone who posts on a regular
day, or has a certain theme for my posts. I just have to be in the right mood.

Now I'm meant to write something about me,
but if you take a look at my post I've been tagged
  you'll find out a lot about me.

I thought it was about time I introduced you to my husband who is usually in the background
and referred to as Mr France. This year in August we celebrated our 52yrs. wedding anniversary.

This year due to my back problem we haven't been out and about very much, but
  now I'm feeling much better, and last week my niece came to visit us and we
went to one of my favourite places Brantome in the Dordogne.
 Now I need to answer some questions.


Now this is easy for me to answer, as I don't have a writing process...
I just write what ever comes into my head, or make a post about something I might recently have seen or done. I never plan ahead, or have a special time or day to write my post.
I try to have my camera with me or in the glove compartment in the car.
That way, if I see something that might make an interesting post, I can take photos to work around.
However that doesn't always happen, my camera has often been left on the table in the kitchen.
 I could never class myself as a writer. When I was at school, in one end of year report my English teacher wrote 'Barbara seems to have a gift for writing, if only she would concentrate in class'
I still seem to lack concentration even now.


I wrote about this in April 2012 in my first post.
Welcome to the 1st page of my new blog

I used to walk a lot, but that went on hold for a while.
But I'm back to walking along the lanes
near my house.

Picking wild flowers on a walk.

I find writing about the things I see and sharing the photos I take in my blog
 a good way to have a record of the area and see it in a different way.
Since I've started to paint much more frequently than I used to
I now have the courage to show my paintings,
which otherwise would only ever be seen by me & Mr France.
I know I'll never be a writer or an artist.
but blogging has given me the confidence to be much more adventurous.


I think we all have our own way of writing for our blogs.
Some write very little and show lots of photos.
I don't have a particular style, so maybe that's what makes my work different.
I think it's for the reader to be the judge of that question.

As I have said before, although I live in France,  Paris is not my favourite place,
I know lots of people have Paris on their wish list to visit and that's fine by me , but you won't find me writing about it. However I do love reading blogs about Paris.


I'm working on a painting at the moment.
 Not just any painting, this is to be a gift for some friends.
It's the first time I've ever painted something for someone.
It's been very challenging, at one point I was ready to give up, and go out and buy a present.
But Mr France has encouraged me all the way through.
I always feel they are not good enough, but it's just come back from being framed
and I feel very pleased with myself.
I'm not able to show you yet, in case they read this post.

Now it's time to introduce you to three very talented ladies who I have invited to take part in the 'Around the world blog hop.'
They will be showing their post next Monday the 15th September
so don't forget to pop over and see what they write about.

First is Debbie from Ohio.

I have been following Debbie
enjoying her lovely paintings here for quite a long time.

We both love spending our time outdoors pottering about in our gardens.
She is a fantastic Watercolour Artist, and shows some beautiful  sketches
 she  paints in her journal, in such a lovely delicate style of painting.
If like me you enjoy gardening and /or watercolour painting
you will really enjoy reading and seeing her blog.

Next is  Sharon Chapman from  Washington.

                                      Wildflowerhouse By Sharon Chapman
Sharon paints wonderful cards which she sells through her 'Wildflowerhouse Shoppe' 
She also shares her beautiful journals which she makes herself,
 full of such a varied array of subjects she sketches and paints.
Quite recently she became the proud owner of two adorable puppies, Max & Cooper.
She has shown a few lovely short video clips of the progress
they have made  since they first arrived at her home a few months ago.
Sharons love for the flowers she has in her beautiful garden
 can be seen here through her cards & journals.
My 3rd invitee is Shane who lives in New Zealand.
I met Shane early this year when we both joined Grow your blog party. 
and she was the winner of  my Give away gift.
Since then she has continued to correspond with me by email.
I'm sure you will really enjoy seeing her lovely blog & sharing her posts.
Shane is a self confessed Francophile and loves France, especially when she can get  to see her grandchildren, who live in France. I've yet to find out if its anywhere near where I live. She collects pretty china, loves embroidery & old lace and makes beautiful collage cards from antique lace and vintage photo cards. Shane shares the same interests in flowers and gardening as my  two other guests. Shane shows fantastic photos of flowers which she has taken herself.

So Thank you to Daphne for inviting me.
and also
and Shane
for being my guests.
I hope I've done my linking correctly ( you've no idea how long it took me ) !!!
if I got it right it's thanks to  Daphne for giving me the link to Karen  showing me what to do.
I'm a late developer and just like Daphne I need to see how to do things
especially in the world of internet jargon.

I do hope you enjoyed your 'Around the world blog hop'
from my little corner of France.
à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

01 September 2014

Summers still here in France.

Although our summer has not been glorious sunshine everyday
and I was not able to give our garden the care it needed
we still have some plants giving us lots of colour.
These  Echinacea  have flowered all summer
 and it looks like they will for a lot longer.
 They will definitely have to be moved to the new flower bed,
as they have taken over this small area smothering the smaller plants
which are now hidden underneath, fighting for a bit of light.

I bet you're wondering why I'm showing these Lobelia growing in the gravel ?
Every year I used to sow Trailing Lobelia seeds in trays,
they would germinate,  start to grow, then shrivel up !
Now I go to the nearest garden centre and buy them fully grown in small pots.
Then every year half way through the summer they pop up in the gravel,
from seeds which must have fallen from the previous year.
I pull them out and put them into my hanging baskets.
They must like the cold moist gravel during the winter.
So much for my tender loving care I give to the seeds I sow.

Iceland Poppy
Last year I acquired two Iceland poppy plants.
They were on the shelf in a little shop and looked like they were almost dead.
 As I had bought a few other plants, I thought I'd ask if I could have the two for the price of one.
It must have been my lucky day, he put them in a bag
and said it was a petite cadeaux / a little gift.

They flowered for quite sometime, then completely disappeared.
Then this summer after thinking they had died
they must have been slowly growing without me knowing what they were,
and now summer is almost over they've decided to flower.
I need to mark there place so that I'll remember for next year.

This is another annual plant that I found growing in the gravel from a fallen seed,
 I pulled it up and popped it into this blue glazed pot so that I can move it about  
and now it adds some bright colour to an other wise dull spot.

Blue Campanula - carpatica
I did plant some white ones, but they don't seem to have survived the wet winter.

 I rescued this on one of my walks from a compost heap.
Perhaps someone had been thinning out their flower bed. I took them home,
not sure what they were until they flowered, then I knew... Osteospernum
I've put them in pots until I'm able to get the proposed flower bed dug out.
 They have flowered on & on all summer.
Being white I need to be put them somewhere that needs lightening up.

Such a pretty flower.
Hibiscus - Adonicus pink.
I've kept this in it's original pot and it's been flowering profusely   
since my stay in hospital. It was a gift from a friend.

It still has lots of buds.

This Fuchsia has such a beautiful flower. Unfortunately I don't know the name.
 I managed to over winter it from a hanging basket I'd bought last year.
It's struggled a bit, but it's now showing some lovely blooms.
 now that summer is nearly over. 
I see from several of my blogger friends gardens that Autumn is certainly here.
I hope some of you can manage to hold on to summer a bit longer, If not,
maybe you have some plants in pots that are still flowering that you can bring indoors.
What ever your weather enjoy your garden.
I know my posts have been few and far between these past few months,
but I'm almost back to my old self.
I have greatly appreciated all the kind get well wishes from so many of you.
I'll be back soon, as  I have something I want to share with you.
à bientôt
Barbara Lilian