samedi 3 octobre 2015

What if?

On Thursday afternoon Jacques arrived with his equipment to cut the large box hedge that edges our garden and leads to the marsh.

After his "Bonjour" and kisses he set off to start work. 

Two seconds later he was at the cuisine door " Come and look at this!! It is the biggest I have seen this year".

I thought it was a mushroom or something similar so ambled out to look.

Eeeeeeek !!!!!! A snake basking in the sunshine at face height too!!! It didn`t want to move and was quite content whilst we looked on . Well, I say looked on...Mark and Jacques looked on and I stood mortified at a distance!!

They couldn`t see it`s head to see if it was a grass snake or a viper so they didn`t take any chances and after a short while it slithered away inside the hedge.

"Don`t worry" Jacques told me "now that it has been disturbed it will go back to the marsh and you will not see it again".

He carried on cutting the hedge on his step ladder with his stomach resting against the leaves. I watched terrified from the cuisine window. What if it was still  there and sunk it`s fangs into his middle?!!!

Yesterday was Friday so after setting off for La Poste we returned home in the glorious Autumn sunshine. I went down to the post box joking with Mark that if I didn`t come back the snake had dragged me away. I glanced at the hedge and froze in sheer fear. There he was again in the same place !!

I screamed for Mark as I was frozen to the spot. You may have guessed by now that snakes are my biggest fear - well my biggest fear next to no brocantes!!

Mark managed to take a closer photograph before it slithered back in the hedge.

We think it is a grass snake and later when asking our local head of the "pompiers" ( fireman, rescue and general save everybody department!!) he said that we need to see it`s eyes. If the eyes are round then it will be a grass snake but if they are slits like a cat it will be a viper and to take care.

SO this is the situation....I shall never weed around that hedge again and every time Charles comes through the cat flap I have to run and check what he has in his mouth.

What if it gets in the post box ? What if it has friends ? What if it comes in the house ? What if it gets in my shirt on the washing line? What if?  ..What if?...What if ?

Yes I know I live on the marsh but after five years this is the first one I have seen in the garden. Or have they been there all the time? What if?

A la prochaine mes belles

Save me!!

jeudi 17 septembre 2015


It appears my brocantitis is as bad as ever. I was diagnosed some times ago by Professor Collins of Vindefontaine.....

This can only be cured with another truffling trip so the map is out and we are planning our trip for next week.

Here is my diagnosis!! 

It is not madness or indeed old age, it is in fact Brocantitis. A little known disease discovered by Dr.Herbert dim. With very little warning it hits antique dealers after around 30 years of trading, and is particularly virulent after several years of selling on Ebay. Dr.Dims paper published by the G.M.C in 1971, symptomizes the truffling in old dowry chests filled with vintage French fabrics, delving into boxes of ormolu bronze fittings and grabbing Gustavian grey pediments often distressed with the passing of time. He goes on to warn of the dire consequences of haberdashering, the collecting of passementerie, buttons, trims and lace. Dim claims this all confuses the brain and eventually forces a shutdown, unless, while there is still a glimmer of hope, a period of abstinence from buying is enforced and a holiday taken for at least two weeks.If it is in fact too late for help a serious brocanting trips is all that will ease the symptoms.

A la prochaine mes belles


mardi 15 septembre 2015

It`s a bit late but......

The pumpkin growing competition ends at Halloween and after my disastrous attempt I now appear to have quads!!

My last efforts caved inwards after it`s outer skin was eaten by snails!

Bit late though!!! OH well at least I tried...perhaps there will be a "BONZAI " pumpkin section?

I have itchy feet and a bad case of brocantitis...I can feel a truffling trip coming on!!

A la prochaine mes belles.

mercredi 9 septembre 2015


That feeling when you are looking at your lap top at 1am and find you are missing a huge textile and period costume auction from a film hire set company in Paris and can`t get there in time....I may never recover!!!!


A la prochaine mes belles


vendredi 4 septembre 2015

A fine mist covers the chateau.....

The chateau is shrouded in a fine mist.......... 

                       How we look this morning

.......but not a mist coming in from the marsh though. It is a mist from the powder as the old, battered 1950s render is removed from the exterior walls.

When we found the chateau the old render was filthy dirty and would not clean. So we decided to try painting it but we never felt entirely happy with the result.

We received a quote from a French company to renew the old render and decided that 42,000 euros sounded like we would be refurbishing every house in the village, and not just our four walls!!! 

After we got up off the floor having collapsed in shock after receiving that quote we decided to see what was actually beneath the old render - and held our breath as Mark put hammer to chisel and chipped a small portion off.

The old stone looked fine so he carried on a little more and now....VOILA!!! She is looking very elegant as the work continues.

She hasn`t stood resplendent showing off  her original stone for 60 years - but now she can again.

I can live with the dust and mist for these results!!

                       How we used to look originally

We tried painting but were never happy with the results!

                                    Getting there!!

Don`t ask about the collapsed after the snails ate the outer layer. I have 8 weeks to come up with a replacement!!!

Bon weekend mes belles and good truffling...

A la prochaine.

dimanche 30 août 2015

The culprit(s) revealed..............

Came home late last night to find the pumpkin covered in.......................


So it was not a mouse after all!

How VERY dares they?!!

I have one word to say to them.......GARLIC!!

A la prochaine mes belles.

samedi 29 août 2015


This is one fat mouse!!!

A la prochaine mes belles

vendredi 28 août 2015

The saboteur returns...........

And so the sabotage continues...........this is a mouse with attitude!!

Bon weekend mes belles

jeudi 27 août 2015

A saboteur?

My entry for this years biggest pumpkin competition has been coming along nicely until I looked this morning.....

There has been some sabotage!!



lundi 24 août 2015

Croissants or treasures?

Yesterday was one of my favourite brocantes of the year and I always look forward to it. I always find wonderful treasures there and the patisserie has the most divine croissant amande...what`s not to like?

The alarm rang out at 5.30 a.m and so did the rain lashing against the windows. Heavy persistant rain and I knew that no one could have possibly unpacked.

I re-set the alarm for 6 a.m  and went back to sleep. Just before 6 a.m there was a huge crack of thunder, lightening lit up the sky and we lost all power. The rain lashed harder so in a huge sulk I rolled over and went back to sleep.

It looked like it was going to be a day pottering around the chateau catching up with chores. At 10 a.m the rain was a little lighter so we decided to drive to the brocante town and if nothing was happening we would have a coffee and croissant and sulk a little more!

We arrived to find it in full flow with everyone just unpacking. Those brocanteurs are made of tougher stuff than me! I went  into full truffling mode and the first thing I found was a pair of 1920s needlepoint shoes swiftly followed by chateau lace, tiny frames,frothy paged books,1920s shop display hangers with gorgeous lithographed faces,an old school globe on a cast iron base, a sweet sampler,two 1920s Chinese silk dresses and so the list went on.

 Who needs a croissant and coffee?!!!