30 April 2021

The price I pay for bread


For a long time now I have suspected that I suffer from a wheat sensitivity.  Whilst I love eating the different breads that Paul bakes at home I always pay the price afterwards.  I have tried to reduce the amount that I eat but even two small slices of bread will have an effect – bloating, cramps, general discomfort and a strange desire to sleep!


I didn’t really start to eat bread until I retired and discovered the delights of long, leisurely lunches in the south west of France.  Who could resist those wonderful French baguettes and cheeses?


A week or so ago I confessed to Paul that I could no longer continue to eat bread.  He was crestfallen, even though I insisted he should continue to bake bread for himself.  He immediately started to do some research and today he baked, especially for me, a ‘wheat free’ baguette.  Made from a special blend of rice, tapioca and potato flour the recipe also included vinegar, egg white and olive oil.  The result was excellent.  It tasted slightly different and was marginally heavier but I found it a delicious substitute to our normal bread.


I am now nervously waiting to find out if I am going to suffer from today’s bread indulgence.


23 April 2021

Paul's Latest Invention



These cold mornings may have been playing havoc with the garden but the blue skies and sunshine that follow have been some compensation.  Paul went outside early this morning with Rick to plant up some lettuce in his potager and then disappeared around the side of the bungalow.  Some time later I went to investigate and found him ‘hoovering’ the gutters!  He was very pleased with his latest invention - a few pieces of leftover plastic plumbing joints attached to his workshop multi-purpose Vacmaster.


It is very pleasant to have trees bordering the garden but the big poplars shed their catkins and sticky leaf pods all over the lawn and the bungalow roof.  They then accumulate in the gutters and block everything up.  As the weather has been so dry here for weeks Paul decided it was an opportune moment to vacuum the roof.  His new invention worked a treat!





20 April 2021

Home Made


We had a busy morning bottling our plum wine.  It was very satisfying to see all the filled bottles lined up, sealed with corks and carefully labelled, all twenty four of them.  Actually the labels got a little mixed up so we now have an Early Plum, a Late Plum and a Very Early Plum.  Well, they’re all plum anyway.

For the first time this year we had lunch outside on the terrace.  Home-made ciabatta, cheese, home-made pesto with a three bean salad, home-made yoghurt with fresh blueberries, and ….. a chilled glass of home-made plum wine!  It was certainly a very enjoyable lunch and I’m not sure if it was the sunshine or the wine but I felt very warm and rosy afterwards!



19 April 2021

Cruel Jack Frost

I cannot recall an April with so many frosts; this month's sustained icy mornings have taken a real toll on the garden.   Although Paul has been religiously covering up the tender plants with fleece every evening it has been impossible to protect everything against Jack Frost's icy fingers.  

The flame tree's flowers went over very quickly this year.  


My tree peony has lost many buds and is very late to bloom.  

The new growth on most of the roses has been affected.

The hydrangea has been very badly hit.  We will have to cut it right back in a week or so.

At least everything looks healthy in the greenhouse!  Hopefully this arctic spell will be over soon and things can recover and get planted out.

Rick is untroubled with these garden woes and continues to do yoga with Mr Bunny

11 April 2021

Busy Sewing


fabric tie-back

It has been snowing here today but I didn’t really notice because I was busy making tie-backs for the new curtains.  I am quite pleased with the result although Paul and I did have some debate as to whether the window needs a pelmet or not.  In the end we decided it would make the window look too closed in so that option is on hold for the time being.


curtain with rope tassel

I made the tie-backs from the co-ordinating fabric that I bought to cover the headboard.  I can now choose between them and the tassel rope ones.  The new bed is due to arrive on Tuesday and then it’s just a matter of waiting for the replacement wardrobe doors to be delivered.



At this rate the room might just be ready by the time Kat returns home from Cyprus next month!



8 April 2021



Yesterday morning the postman delivered a mysterious package all the way from Australia.  I was totally thrilled and surprised when I opened it up to find a beautiful drawing of Rick; I had not realised my daughter had such artistic skill.  She has captured him perfectly.


Rick and Bunny

The drawing is all the more poignant due to the fact that Sarah’s dog, Buddy, died back in December.  She doesn’t feel ready yet to attempt Buddy’s portrait but when she does it will be a wonderful tribute to a special dog, he stole the hearts of everyone he met.


Buddy and Sarah