Friday, 31 May 2013

An "Adoorable" Idea

Here's a clever idea we spotted at Domaine Borgnat, in the village of Escolives-Sainte-Camille near the Nivernais Canal in Yonne, Burgundy. 

An old wooden door has been painted and decorated all over with hens, leaves and flowers.  It's hung on the wall overlooking the terrace where we ate breakfast.

A great idea to make a feature out of a wall and give a new lease of life to a beautiful old door or an old shutter.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

How To Learn A New Language

My friend and fellower blogger Lynn McBride is living and loving the dream....she lives in an apartment in a medieval chateau in Southern Burgundy. After a year of hard work she has just launched a book called How to Learn a NEW Language with a USED Brain

If you are not as lucky as us to be living in France and having the opportunity to immerse yourself in a language and experience French conversation everyday this could be the book for you.

Aimed to help those over college age,  although it is packed full of ideas for anyone wanting to learn any language not just French, it is available as an ebook on
The book is short and sweet;  it includes some surprising reasons why you should be learning a foreign language; a study program you can tailor to your own learning style; resources for language learning, including the latest in online learning; and lots of tips from those who are immersed in language study. The book is for students of any language, any age, at beginner or advanced levels. The cost of the book is $2.99.
Fans of Lynn's Blog...  Southern Fried French will know that she is an American gal from Charleston and she knows how to throw a party...she is a great cook and always includes delicious recipes so... drop by and enjoy a virtual Book Launch Party ....

Monday, 27 May 2013

Monday Quote and celebrating French Springtime!


Le Morvan... spring palette
verdant green forests and fields, 
seas of bluebells,
splashes of white, pink, yellow and purple flowers
bold dashes of broom on the hillsides
 and at night
the moon full and bright
against a velvet backdrop scattered with stars
Le Morvan est beau!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Cerisiers en Fleurs

Driving back from Auxerre I was stopped in my tracks by the cerisiers en fleurs, the cherry trees in flower...looking like frothy, pink candy floss covering the hillside. 

Jules Roy, a distinguished French writer who lived at Vezelay for over 20 years, described the cherry trees between Auxerre and Vezelay, as "clouds resembling sailboats, red glints aboard the belly of the Earth, hills play leapfrog, the sky becomes a purple sea....cherry blossom from foam ...thrown everywhere over vineyards." 

Take a look at these gorgeous paintings by artist Georges Hosotte...

....the fluffy cherry blossom and the violet skies...

Living and working from an atelier at Irancy, in Yonne, Burgundy,
Georges Hosotte perfectly captures the landscape surrounding him.  
Vast vistas of rolling hills and valleys, cherry orchards, vineyards and cereal crops. A dramatic contrast to the green, dark forests, steep hills and lakes of Le Morvan.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A Ticket to Ride

I haven't blogged for a while as I have been in the UK for a visit mixed with business and pleasure! The client meetings went very well and it was great to meet face to face for a change. 

I spent time with my Gorgeous Girl and then met up for a big family reunion over a traditional Indian takeaway!  The get-together was bitter sweet as 12 of us spent, probably our last night in our grandparents old house which has now been sold.

Then the next morning three generations went for a walk in the local woods, a walk we had been doing for all our lives in sunshine, rain and snow.  I then had to say my GG, my mother, uncles, sister, brother, nieces and nephews....all those hugs and was emotional!

I got to the local station in plenty of time to catch a train up to St Pancras International...but the train was cancelled and then the next one arrived late and crawled along.  I was so late...I threw away my ticket in disgust.  Big mistake!!!   I should have kept my ticket to see if I could claim compensation.

I ran like a mad woman to the Eurostar gate but with only 10 minutes to spare, I wasn't allowed through.  I couldn't believe it!  I needed to get to Lille, the last train of the day, to get my next connection.  Luckily a very kind girl on the Eurostar desk took pity on me, as by now I was sobbing ...and gave me a free replacement ticket for the next morning that would take me as far as Lille. 

So faced with a night at Kings Cross (Eurostar wouldn't let me sit in their lounge and told me it was too dangerous to sit in a cafe!!) or paying £80 for the cheapest B & B I could find.....I ended up going back for another night with my family who had stayed on after the reunion.

The next morning I set off ultra early and retraced my steps up to St Pancras.   I enjoyed a free coffee thanks to my Cafe Nero loyalty card!  And I met a lovely elderly lady who was travelling on her own by TGV for the first time, all the way down to Marseille.  We sat in the sunshine listening to an accordian player at Lille and chatted while we shared our packed lunches.  

I then had to pay an extra 100 euros to get back via Paris to my local French TGV station, where I had parked my little old Peugeot. It started up like a dream...and I was on my way back to rural bliss.  When I finally arrived back in Le Morvan, the sun was shining through big, black clouds ....and there was a rainbow, arc de ciel, .....I stopped the car, enjoyed the view and finally breathed!!  I was home.