Showing posts with label Coast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coast. Show all posts

02 February 2017

Feeling like a Dreamer.

Although we've been officially retired for a good many years,
this year is the start of a new way of life.
No more guests to look after,
 it's just me & Mr France.
Free to do what we want, when we want.
Some people think we are mad to close the door on our home for the last 26 years
put our belongings into storage and jump in the car to start something new.
Others, especially our close family say ' good for you, go off and enjoy yourselves.'

This is the region we are staying in for three months and have started to look for our new home.

This region is classed as the 2nd warmest region in France, having a micro climate.
Also we would have the benefit of the coast, which we love.
So we have the best of both, countryside and the coast.
The biggest problem is where to choose.
 We are looking to have a ' coup de foudre'   
- to find a house we fall in love with.

In the meantime we have rented a small cottage, which is perfect.
 If you'd like to see inside, join me for a tour of our tastefully furnished cosy cottage.

A very good wood burner, which  has been doing its job of keeping the cottage nice & warm.

It's tucked away from the owners house with its own sheltered private walled garden.
We have been here now for three weeks & beginning to find our way around the area.
The first two weeks Mr France was recuperating from a lung infection, so he spent
most of his time relaxing & looking through the window at this perfect view.

It's been a blessing knowing we didn't have anything to do.

A nice slow pace of life, taking leisurely breakfasts,
discussing what we are going to do each day.

and what we would like our new house to look like.
We would like it to be a lot like this.

I must say it seems very strange not having things to do .
 after years of always looking after our paying guests,
We need to take our time and make the right choice.

Our hosts are an English couple with a family, who have lived in this area
for several years, which means they are able to give us lots of helpful information.

In the meantime we are enjoying seeing what the region has to offer. 
We've looked at several properties this week, but haven't 
seen anything I could put my mark on and feel 
this is where we could spend the rest of our years.

In the meantime we will keep on looking and enjoy the beauty this area has to offer.
I'll be back soon to show you some of the places we have seen. 
I have taken photos of the houses we have seen, if you'd like to see 
some typical Charentais houses, let me know and I can show you 
the good, the bad & some way out of our budget.
But what would life be without having a dream.
So until next time I'll leave you, 
feeling like a dreamer.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

28 August 2015

Some of my favourite things.

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

06 October 2014

The Atlantic Coast.

My regular friends who follow my posts will know that I've had a miserable time this year.
I love where I live in the beautiful countryside of France and I'm happy just pottering in my garden.
This year I've not been able to do very much, but now I'm feeling so much better and the last of our summer visitors have now left, so Mr France suggested a short trip away to the coast.

Before we moved to the middle of nowhere in central France we'd always lived near the sea,
so like a flash I was searching on internet for somewhere to stay, nothing fancy, somewhere quiet, where we could take short walks and enjoy the sea air and that's just what we found.
This  is where we stayed.
It was a Perfect choice.

Talmont is on the coast of the estuary of 'La Gironde' 

On the edge of the cliff was this imposing12th C church.
Very bare inside.



Most of the houses are stone or painted white with blue shutters and doors and looked like this.

This pretty little village has narrow streets and
only the people who live there are allowed to drive their cars in.

So we saw lots of bicycles, I think some were there just for ornament .

These larger houses had just been renovated and were 'For Sale'
I would have loved to have a peep inside,
but this couple were with an agent and seemed like prospective buyers .

I'm always collecting seed heads from plants where ever I go !
I only saw this sign after I had my pockets full !
oops !

I loved this sign outside of a holiday rental house.

After our morning walking around the narrow streets, we drove up the coast a few miles
where there are three beautiful beaches. We chose this one to have our lunch.
As you can see hardly anyone around. This is definitely a summer seasonal place.
 I'm sure during the months of July and August this would be so crowded.
But we so enjoyed our time here.

After our lunch of fresh fish, the waiter suggested we went down onto the beach to relax,
 and have our coffee sitting under the beach parasols. He must have sensed our needs.

Then some youngsters came onto the beach for what looked like a sailing lesson.
So the view was constantly changing, first group green sails then the next blue.

Being thoroughly relaxed,
 we then walked from one end of the beach to the other, along the edge of the sea.

After spending the afternoon at the beach a little further up the coast
we arrived back to the village where we were staying to have a relaxing aperitif.

This was the 'plat du jour' menu
One course and a glass of wine or beer.
However we had already eaten our main meal at lunch time.
I was so happy to see at least one or two Roses Trémières / Hollyhocks still flowering.

 During the summer months the village is a mass of pink & red from 'Roses Trémières '
which grow along the edge of the walls of the houses.

I couldn't stop taking photos.

Back at our hotel room, each evening the family dog arrived
 for any tit-bits that might come his way.
Those adorable eyes staring at me, made me find something to give him.
He was still there, until we closed the shutters.
I hope you enjoyed seeing a hidden treasure of a place
in France you might never think of visiting.
You might be wondering what happened to the sketches
I was planning on doing during the time we were away.
Well I have a confession to make, I was so busy taking photos
and then relaxing.
I didn't find time to sketch 'en plein air'
so I'll be painting from photos.
Next time I'll show you some of the other places we visited.
à bientôt
Barbara Lilian