Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. 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



29 January 2017

Wandering and Wondering.


Although I'm enjoying where I am living, I'm feeling a bit lost at the moment.
It's not my house & its not my garden, I can see new green shoots popping up
from the ground, not frozen like it would be where we used to live.
 I'm wondering if all my plants & shrubs will survive the cold
frosty winter they are experiencing,

The day we left after 26 happy years .

We are still in France but have moved to a totally different landscape and a milder climate.
Now we have the benefit of both countryside and the coast.

The past few weeks we have woken to cold frosty mornings, 
but I hear from the local people it is unusual.
I wander around our little private courtyard looking for signs of new life.
This week I saw the first daffodil bobbing its yellow head towards the sun.
much earlier than my previous abode.

This is where we've been able to sit on some of the mild sunny mornings for our coffee.



Hopefully we will eventually find a house that 
we will be be able to settle into and be able to say, 
'Chez Nous'  our home.

I know it's been a long time that I've been away from the world of blogging.
but I have been reading all my favourite blogs and hope some of my faithful friends 
will still be there. If not maybe I will find some new followers who will enjoy
seeing the photos I share and enjoy reading about my life in France.

Enjoy your weekend where ever you are
and most of all, enjoy life.

Next time you'll be able to see inside our lovely cottage here in the Charente Maritime.


à bientôt

Barbara Lilian.







23 January 2016

How lucky we were.

Our weather forecast was hail and some high winds !
It all happened so quickly, we heard the hailstones on the windows,
the noise of the wind in the trees, and then saw things flying past the window.
It was recorded as a mini tornado, and we must have been in the eye of it.
We were so lucky......

If these very large high trees  had fallen in the other direction,
 the cottage would now just be rubble.
That's the corner of our cottage on the edge of this photo.

We are just thankful that it was just the road that was blocked
and the trees hadn't fallen on the cottage.

The electricity and telephone cables were brought down 
and we don't get a signal to use our mobile phones........
Fortunately the road which passes our house joins another road. 
so we were able to get out and alert the local commune.
Who quickly alerted the necessary services 
The next day a team of 4 men came to cut the fallen trees
 and clear the road so that the electric & telephone 
cables could be fixed back on the poles.
As we are so rural our cables have still to be put under-ground.
Now the huge tree trunks on the side of the road.
Not sure how long they will remain there,
as the owner of this land is now in a retirement home,
and in France everyone is responsible for looking after their own land !

Do you remember seeing pictures of our lovely pergola ?
during the summer it's covered in a grape vine 
with a Bignone/Campsis - orange trumpet climber.




This is what it looks like now.


Most of the boundary fencing was in bits
 and the rest was blown away.


I know it's sad when trees that have have been there for years, 
are damaged by storms, but these had never been managed 
and were far to high and too close to our property,
so in a way we are happy.

Can you believe that this window decoration remained in place,
it was on a sheltered wall.


I've just seen the news on our television
and seen how many states in the USA
are being given warnings of severe snow storms .
To all of you that maybe affected, I hope you stay warm and safe.

Weather permitting, I'm hoping that soon
I'll be able to get on with preparing some raised flower-beds
for the new David Austin roses I've chosen.
( with  help from Mr France of course. )

I'll be back when the storm damage is cleared up,
and the flower-beds prepared,

So until then .

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

17 August 2015

Château Montbrun

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