Ornate – A Very Special Cup of Coffee

In our era of fast food and instant this, that and everything else, it’s easy to forget how much we take for granted nowadays.  A cup of coffee, a cup of tea, exotic fruit from the islands, spices from the east, everything is available via a quick trip to the supermarket and is consumed without…

Bright Green Strawberries and the Treat that Never Was

Earlier in the year when we were busy planting out our vegetables in the new enlarged potager we decided to have a go at growing strawberries.  Visions of pounds of luscious fruit to offer our visitors to the tearoom, rows of pots of home-made jam and tasty additions to our morning smoothies, sent us scurrying…

Change Part II – Kodak Box Brownie & a Voigtländer

A little while ago I purchased a couple of vintage cameras, a Kodak Box Brownie from the 1930’s and a Voigtländer from (I think) the 1950’s.  I haven’t actually tried to use them yet but I’ve had some fun this afternoon playing around with them and taking their portraits. It struck me as I clicked…

The Last Iris

Busily preparing and framing photos for a photography exhibition, I re-found a set of photos I thought were lost when my computer crashed a couple of months ago.  With the first day of Autumn arriving officially tomorrow with the September solstice I thought it might be a good moment to post this reminder of the…

Monochromatic – Rhapsody in Blue

I’ve been wanting to finish my marathon fruit photography series with the wonderful damsons we’ve just picked from the orchard.  The colour of the bloom on the fruit is so blue and beautiful I’ve been wondering how best to capture it and had finally decided my plain blue crockery would be the perfect compliment. I…

Growing Tomatoes and Connecting with Nature

I’ve thought a lot about the state of the world lately as we’ve been picking the fruit in the orchard and harvesting vegetables and herbs from the potager and the herb garden. It seems to me a sad thing, that for all the miracles of modern science and technology, so many of the supposed advances we…

Dark Fruit #3 – Lemon & Lime

I thought I’d complete my triptych of dark fruit posts today although I originally had a number of other ideas in mind.  I still haven’t organised my theatre photos and the brocante series promised from a few weeks ago has yet to be presented – I claim the distractions of summertime as mitigation. It also…

Alliums, Garlic and a Potager

It’s been a good year so far on the Hillside for our potager. The plot near the orchard which we had ploughed up by the local farmer last year looked intimidatingly large at first, more suitable for feeding a couple of rugby teams than our tiny household, but as Mr H has worked his green-fingered…

Dark Fruit #2 – Apricots

I had intended today to begin posting some photos of our summer theatre spectacular – first performance on Friday night – but as I’m still sorting through photos of the rehearsals and preparations and tomorrow is the dress rehearsal, I thought I’d wait a little longer to be able to include some of the costumes. Instead…

Muse – History, Letters and a French Brocante

This time last week a friend took me to visit a brocante (the French version of our antique and bric a brac shop) which she had discovered in a small village not many kilometres from the Hillside.  I think if anyone had asked me to describe the brocante of my dreams I couldn’t have invented…

Rainbows, Pastels & Watercolours

When I saw the theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge I knew straight away what I wanted to do with it. As a kid I always had a pencil and sketchbook to hand. Being impatient for results I much preferred the immediacy of sketching to the process of painting. This did not stop me…

Quotation #3 – Elliott Erwitt

I have already arrived at the last of my 3 consecutive days of quotations (thanks again to Cosme of BCLPhotography for inviting me to participate!) and thought I would finish with a photography quote from one of my favourite photographers Elliott Erwitt. To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in…

Quotation #1 – Winnie the Pooh

Recently discovered and already one of my favourite bloggers, Cosme of BCLPhotography – great posts and great photography, if you don’t know his blog you really should – has invited me to join an interesting new challenge, posting a favourite quotation over 3 consecutive days and inviting 3 other bloggers each day to join in….

Darkest Fruit

Before moving to France 13 years ago I had always dreamed of having an orchard and indulging in a variety of homely pursuits like baking apple pies from my own apples and creating jams and conserves from my prizewinning strawberries and raspberries.  We now have the good fortune to have just such an orchard and…

Exotic Fruits – The Cape Gooseberry -Physalis

I was browsing the exotic fruit aisle again in the supermarket this week and these wonderful Cape Gooseberries, or Physalis Peruviana to give them their proper name, took my fancy.  I must confess that I still haven’t actually eaten a single one of them, so intent have I been on capturing their astonishing forms and…