Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Should old acquaintance be forgot........

FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE

Outside my window... it is cold and wet just as it has been for days, no White Christmas for us in Normandy this year.

I am thinking... that although I've been sad this year, losing Mr Ben was very hard, there has been much to enjoy. Our Kos vacation being the highlight.



I am thankful... for my wonderful husband and the happiness he brings me.

In the kitchen... for our celebratory New Year’s Eve dinner I’m serving twice baked smoked salmon souffl├ęs followed by the SP’s historic steak frites. You can find the souffle recipe from Sara Buenfeld by clicking here.

I am wearing...comfortable warm clothing; corduroy pants, brushed cotton tunic and my favourite shawl collared cardigan.

I am creating...my last scrap book layout for 2013, the photograph is of me aged 4, in 1954 sat on Santa’s knee in his grotto at the Co-op Stores, King Street, Oldham, Lancashire, UK.



I am going... downstairs very soon for afternoon tea and the last of the homemade mince pies, Delia’s recipe of course.

I am wondering...if the wood burner has warmed the sitting room, ready for tea time. I'm sure it will have.

I am reading...One Thousand White Women, the Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus, for the second time.



I am hoping...that 2014 will bring peace and contentment.

I am looking forward to....a second visit to Derbyshire, UK in May and time spent with family.

I am learning……. patience and acceptance, que sera, sera.

Around the house...there are two new couches sitting on the new fitted parquet floor in the newly decorated sitting room and a brand spanking newly installed Falcon stove in the kitchen.




I am listening to.....a CD from Classic FM; Schubert's Trout and other chamber music favourites.

A favorite quote for today...”Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow” – Anon.

One of my favorite things...a new diary full of clean empty pages.



A few plans for the rest of the week: a walk on the beach at Vierville-sur-mer with Roger and Fleur a New Year’s Day tradition for the Bryants, and if the rain keeps falling look for me in front of the fire reading a good book.


Happy New Year to all my friends and followers, may 2014 be the year that all your plans, hopes and dreams come true.




Saturday, 23 November 2013

Haddon shadow shots


For Shadow Shot Sunday this week some wonderful shadows captured during our visit to 
the amazing Haddon Hall in Derbyshire.















Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Historic Haddon Hall.


Haddon Hall on the banks of the River Wye just a few miles from the popular town of Bakewell is probably the very finest example of a medieval manor house not just in Derbyshire but possibly anywhere in the UK.


We were thrilled to discover this amazing jewel of a house when we visited the Peak District National Park recently.




Between us we took so many photographs, I'd like to share some of them with you over the next few posts.



The first owner of the Hall, almost 900 years ago, was one "Avenell of Haddon" (1103-1114), the Hall is currently the home of Lord Edward Manners.
Lord Edward is a direct descendant of John Henry, 9th Duke of Rutland, who in the early 1920's began the massive restoration of Haddon after 200 years of neglect.



In this post you'll see some of the wonderful architecture, ancient doors and windows, and despite it's decline with the advent of Autumn - the garden, and some of the flowers that were still adding even more beauty to the surroundings.





To really experience Haddon (albeit virtually) I really think you would enjoy visiting the website here: Haddon Hall.


It has a fascinating history and you may well recognize parts of it as Haddon was one of the locations used during the filming of "Pride & Prejudice" and "The Other Boleyn Girl".


Linking this post to the Tablescaper's weekly gathering
Oh, The places I've been!


Be sure to come back in a few days time 
when I'll be sharing some amazing shadows 
captured at Haddon Hall.


Sunday, 20 October 2013

that old chestnut



I've called this post that old chestnut because this isn't the first time that I've shared images of our garden in the fall and chestnuts always seem to feature in those autumn posts.



After a particularly heavy downpour yesterday the sun came out from behind the grey clouds bringing beautiful blue skies and the perfect photo op for a Kodak moment.


I also found the grass littered with horse chestnuts which we call conkers


and mushrooms which may or may not be edible but we're not about to find out.




Linking this post to Mosaic Monday

hosted as always by


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Hippocrates and the Knights Castle, Kos.

I wouldn't want you to think that all we did on vacation was lounge around in the sun, oh no.


On two occasions we took the ramshackle local bus down into Kos Town to wander the twisty streets and squares and admire the boats moored in the marina and harbour. 




The two main things to see when visiting Kos town, the island capital, 
are the Tree of Hippocrates and the Knights Castle.


The ancient plane tree that one sees today is about 500 years old, 
believed to be the oldest tree in Europe 
and possibly descended from the Tree of Hippocrates 
under which the father of medicine instructed his students.


Sadly, the tree is now a hollow shell and has to be supported by scaffolding. 
Surrounding the tree are tumbled down marble columns and broken fountains, 
they are cordoned off from the public but still gloriously magnificent.


The Tree of Hippocrates can be found in the square outside the entrance to the Knight Castle, a fortification built in the 14th century by the medieval Knights of St John in order to defend the town of Kos from the Ottomans.


The castle was originally built on an island separated from the mainland by a moat, with a drawbridge over. Later the moat became a road and a permanent bridge was built to link the castle to the mainland. I wonder how many feet have trodden these cobbled stones?


Ancient statues and columns everywhere you look.


 A not so ancient relic!



 Ancient cannons and cannonballs.




  We spotted this church which is undergoing restoration close to the harbour.


The site of yet another archaeological dig, close to the Tree of Hippocrates.

Joining the Tablescaper this week for