Friday, July 18, 2014

Europe Simply Irresistible Link Party

The lovely Anita at Castles Crowns and Cottages is hosting a European holiday, blog party. I am tres heureuse to be part of this. Merci, Anita for organizing this for us all.

I will take you away  to  France  and share some of my photos with you.
Each time we have visited I enjoy it a little more.

 My bags are packed and I am excited for this little escape and to go to far away places.
{ need to get away from the winter here}

 We will start with some of the wonderful markets,  cheeses that have a smell all of their own, the vegetables were so fresh and looked like they had just been picked from the garden

 A gentleman skillfully weaving the French style market basket

 the pretty fleurs in abundance,

to the beautiful fragrances of the soaps and lavender sachets


We left Paris on the TGV (fast train ) and this is such a great way to travel - fast and efficient.
Then hired a car to travel to Gordes, this is one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Just when you thought you've seen everything along came the wonderful old village built into the cliffside. 

Amazing old maisons and buildings, built from a lovely white stone and with its labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets.

Menerbes is another village that I would like to share with you, Peter Mayle made this place famous when chronicling his first year living here, as a British expatriate.
It had wonderful maisons and the feeling of ... I could live here in this village.

 this was the view overlooking the Luberon valley from a restaurant we dined at. You could almost imagine that was somewhere like where Mr Mayle lived, in his 200 year old stone farmhouse

Had a long leisurely lunch at a vineyard restaurant - La Bastide de Marie, with wonderful authentic local cuisine

Lastly one of my favourite things to do and unwind while on holiday is to spend time relaxing beside the water. 

The French Riviera at Nice was just the place to do that ~ with its clear sparkling blue water

Now I look forward to coming to enjoy all the other wonderful holiday destinations ~ lovely to dream and a great way to spend the weekend
Happy weekend

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Calico Blue plates and pansies

With all the rain we have been having it has been good for the pansies, which are flowering and looking very pretty.

Today I would like to share with you my Blue Calico plates and bits and pieces.
Burleigh's famous deep cobalt blue pattern has been made continuously in the factory for over 40 years. 
Love the look on the Antique Hutch dresser.

Here's a note from the English Novelist and Playwright- J B  Priestley about the collection.

~ Out of the original Victorian buildings, the clay is moulded, shaped and decorated to produce works of art, cups and saucers, plates and teapots, rush like magic out of clay.
May the ovens never grow cold, may Stoke on Trent, the pottery town still continue to be the heart of British craftsmanship.

I am thankful for all my readers, I appreciate each of you that visit and read my blog - Merci!

Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend - it still continues to rain here but we managed a trip across to the City and out for lunch with our Son.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Winter time

I look at the pretty bright sunflowers from last year and keep hoping that wonderful weather is just over the horizon.

With heavy rain, thunder and winds gusting up to 120 kilometers per hour, we dropped off the grid.
Tuesday evening the power went off and stayed off for 24 hours - came on again Wednesday evening.
So we sat listening to the radio, talking to each other by the flickering light from the candles that were around the room.  Snuggling into a cozy bed for an early night with the warmth from a hot water bottle was lovely.

You really know how much you rely on electricity, when you don't have it.
It makes for a lovely opportunity to contemplate all that is good in life when everything is back to normal and you can do laundry and have a shower.

I have done a very silly thing! 
As many people have told me that they were having trouble leaving comments. Because I have comment moderation went through and started deleting the ones that had been already published.
Little did I know that the published messages  (about 2000) disappeared. So angry with what I have done with loosing all the lovely comments and do not know how to get them back. Does anyone know how I can retrieve them please?

Oh well, have a wonderful rest of the week

Friday, July 4, 2014

Flower in Focus

I wait patiently every year for my Camellias to start blooming on the bushes. Our garden has two bushes that bloom with the most gorgeous white flowers.

It is always a delight to bring them into the house and arrange them in a vase ... heartwarming to have something flowering through the cold winter months.

So when Trishie gave us the theme of flowers in focus, I thought it would be a good time to showcase one of my favourite flowers.
This was also one of Coco Chanel's favourite flower and indeed one of her signature symbols.

I love white it projects purity and neutrality from the beautiful bride who traditionally wears white, the pristine white interior of a house to the little picket fence that surrounds a happy home.

After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world
~ Christian Dior

Please go over and visit some of the others who have kindly showed their Flower in Focus.

Thank you Trishie for organizing Flower in Focus

Happy weekend

Monday, June 30, 2014

Welcome July!

It's a new week! How did it get to be July already... time really flies.

Winter seems to have arrived here, which we have to expect for this time of the year. The woolen blankets have come out and the hot-water bottles are needed to warm the bed at night. 

To lift my spirits it was time to bring a little Spring in the house - daffodils always make me happy and these little miniature variety are so sweet.
{You may need to enlarge the photo to see the Orcas}

Down the Eastern end of Waiheke Island my husband was doing some work for clients and while they were waiting for the helicopter to come and pick them up, they were fortunate to see a pod of Orcas come into Wells Bay. So knowing I am always on the look out for some nice things to share on my blog - he took a photo. The five Orca were hunting stingrays and playing in the Bay. They could hear them snorting and leaping out of the water "was an amazing sight", my husband said. Glad I wasn't swimming out there.
They are often seen around the New Zealand Coast easily recognized by their distinctive black and white marking. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Spice Jars

I have been trying to straighten up the kitchen a little bit  ~ had some spices and herbs that were still in their small boxes. A while back we had moths in the pantry that must have come in with some wholemeal flour, I think. Thankfully we have got rid of them all now.

Anyway we bought some ground glass apothecary style jars. I love them that they have a good seal and keep things fresh and tidy and make the pantry look much better.

I used an old French label courtesy of The Graphics Fairy and printed them out and then wrote on each one.  I look forward to buying some more of the glass jars so I can get everything a little more organized.  Looking at the wooden rack, I probably need to paint it another colour - liked the red once, but probably needs a new coat of paint.

Here are a few more little knick-knacks I have around - love small things and found a little glass cloche to keep my miniature tea set in. Behind that are some samples of granite which we eventually want to do when we get around to doing up the kitchen and replace the polished concrete bench tops, which we have never been pleased with. The workmen that did them, never did a very good job.
Now it is the weekend, I wish you a wonderful one

Monday, June 23, 2014

Just a walking down the road

I have a favourite time of the day ... early weekend mornings. 

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day
~ Henry David Thoreau

Looking down over Palm Beach the water sparkled in the early morning sunlight.  
Would you care to join me

I felt like I was 10'tall, looking at my shadow


This old boat has not sailed the ocean for a long time - if you look closely at the left front, there is a mailbox waiting for the postie to deliver the mail to this house - love the old car too

I spied a big wood pigeon sitting high up on a branch

 there is really so much beauty everywhere ... Just don't stop walking
Find joy in the Journey!

Hope you have a wonderful week