Showing posts from February, 2008

My Godin Stove and other little finds ........

I had the most fantastic Mothers Day. The sun shone and it was utterly glorious. As the mountains of washing blew softly on the line His Lordship and I lay prostrate on the steamers and watched the wisps of clouds overhead. In between idling I took an avalanche of enquiries and cooked a succulent leg of lamb with lush cloves of garlic and sweet shallots.

I'm rather excited by my new acquisition for Le Chateau. A most wonderful hand built cast iron colonial Godin stove which fits snugly into the huge fireplace in the sitting room. I've come to the conclusion that people visit Sallys Chateau to bask in the warmth of South West France. Only yesterday I had visitors from Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Kenya, Italy, Canada, United States and Singapore, not forgetting England of course. On announcing this riveting fact to the family they remain singularly unimpressed. With my marvellous 'must have' purchase Le Chateau is going to be emanating the most delightful warmth …

French Markets

With my straw basket firmly in hand His Lordship and I hit the food market in Carcassonne early yesterday. We were immediately assailed by the colourful displays of fruit, flowers and vegetables. Throngs of people patiently queued alongside delectable piles of red peppers, courgettes, french beans, large juicy blood red oranges sliced to sample. A jolly red and white checked stall carefully stacked with saucisson of every variety, alongside a stall giving out the strong aroma of cheeses drifting on the warm air. Bunches of the first local Asparagus from the Aude packed in wooden crates, tiny loose lettuce leaves all perky and fresh just begging to be placed in a bag and taken home and dived into with a slight sprinkle of olive oil. I lost His Lordship after five minutes but I was engrossed by the sights and smells assailing me and got carried away by the bustle.

The bright vibrant bunches of mimosa with their unmistakable scent striking to the eye suddenly draw me towards the flower st…

Drifting days in the Languedoc

It's been the most heavenly week. Half term is with us in the Languedoc but anyone hoping for serious snow for ski-ing is disappointed this year, apart from the odd cold day I'm still waiting for winter to arrive. His Lordship and I have just stood on the terrace, steaming mugs of tea in hand and watched the sunrise. It would be impossible to tire of the changing seasons and the view but I'm not sure I have to take a picture EVERY morning. 'Days a wasting' His Lordship bellows.

We went on the most idyllic cycle ride ever. It was one of those calm late afternoons when you've just enough strength left from the day's chores to push the pedals round. Seconds later we're leaving the village and heading towards deserted roads to the next village. Along the way I see a carpet of violets interspersed with aconites. I ring the bell to signal that I'm taking one of my numerous stops with my camera. Heading on towards Montreal past fields that are neatly ploug…

Be my Valentine

The day kicks off with hope as a steaming mug of tea appears whilst I am still in bed. Such sloth at 6.45 am. 'Have a lie in darling' His Lordship murmurs. Bewildered I rouse myself to deliver a Cadbury's Cream Egg to my other valentine who is contemplating a jumbled array of clothes for a Valentine's Day evening in Toulouse tonight. 'You have it' he say's. Now that is love.

I'm despatched down to the garage whilst it is still dark on some errand (great lie in). I trip over something which has been deliberately placed in my path. Strange, someone has left a chic looking mountain bike in our house. I trundle back upstairs. 'Get on your bike' says His Lordship and smiles. I kiss him and pass on my creme egg. Excitedly I don my clothes. It is lovely, it is wildly exhilarating and I do a little tester on the drive. I'm off. Moments later I'm on the track amongst the vines bumping along the deserted path. My neighbour waves from h…

A February day in the Languedoc

Yesterday being Shrove Tuesday meant that we had a pancake feast to look forward to before we started to observe Lent.

In the morning his Lordship and I had enjoyed a gentle stroll through the square at Carcassonne in the warm sunshine. The cafe owners were busily putting out tables and chairs and it was hard not to imagine that spring was on its way. The chic patisseries drew you in with their piles of sugary oreillettes, a local delicacy.

In the afternoon some friends arrived and as the sun was so inviting on the terrace we sat and took it slowly. So slowly that we were still sitting there admiring the Pyrenees in their full glory as the sun went down. It was one of those long drawn out afternoons where the stunning view just begged to be savoured and work put aside. The mountains slowly turned a deep purple hue as the sun slowly sank but the unseasonal warmth is melting the snow, rather worryingly as the skiing season is soon to be upon us. His Lordship sat and explained the va…