Thursday Doors – Romantic Romanesque

I’m back to the churches again this week for my Thursday Doors post with this beautiful example from the 12th century which I visited a couple of weeks ago.      As always the stone carving around the door is exquisite and completely different from many other local examples by being spectacularly delicate and classical…

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…

Thursday Doors – The Ruined House Part II

My post for this week’s Thursday Doors is once again missing a door. It does however have a doorway and a hole for a window but sadly no roof.   The house in question is our very own ruin, returning for a repeat performance to show off it’s other, though not necessarily better, side.  …

Careful – Trespassers Beware

I’m still finding photos I had thought long lost after the demise of my laptop earlier this year and when I happened upon this wee trio of slightly spooky images from a local ruined abbey, although I realise it isn’t quite time for Halloween, I thought they might make a fun  contribution to this week’s…

Thursday Doors – The Proud Resident

I’m really hoping that Norm is going to forgive me for being totally frivolous with my Thursday Doors post this week – I promise to behave properly next week Norm. I’m afraid I couldn’t resist posting a picture or two from a series I thought I’d lost when my laptop crashed a while ago. There…

(Extra) ordinary – A Ruined French House and a Fireplace

When we moved to France a few years ago, one of our projects was to be the restoration of a rather dilapidated cottage – the former caretaker’s cottage – in the grounds of our house.  At the time the cottage was already in a state of poor repair but it did at least boast a…

Thursday Doors – French Cottage Door and a Vine Tunnel

We have a friend in the village who has one of the prettiest gardens I have ever seen.  Filled with box and privet hedges, roses, stone walls, an old well and a chestnut tree, the garden is a perfect example of the romantic garden, always green and beautiful in every season.  The house is a traditional…

Happy Place – a French Hillside and a View

When I saw the title of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge I knew exactly what I would say if asked what is my ‘Happy Place’ and where I would go to find my ‘groove’ and inspiration . For almost 14 years now we have lived on a hillside in south western France. The roofs…

Thursday Doors – Garden Gate & Dappled Sun

We’ve had some wonderful sunny autumn days here on the Hillside this week and in the early morning the sun is playing lovely games with light and dappled shadows in the courtyard. I thought I’d include  a couple of views of one of the wooden garden doors here for my contribution to Norm’s Thursday Doors…

Boundaries, Lines and Grapevines

The grape harvest (vendange in French) is well underway all around the hillside and watching the machines trundling up and down the rows of vines I decided I’d better get out and about with my camera before they finish and the grapes are gone for another year. The vines are one of the things I…

Thursday Doors – A Village House and Giant Gates

There is a well-known saying that an Englishman’s home is his castle – a love for privacy and a patch of personal territory on our overcrowded island is perhaps the explanation of this notion – but since moving to France we have been more than a little impressed by the Frenchman’s approach to presenting and…

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…

Change – Sunflowers After the Sun

We’ve had the delight of fields of yellow surrounding us on the Hillside for a few months, but the sunflowers are finally being harvested. Here in France they are called ‘Tournesol’ which literally means turn to the sun, and this is exactly what they do. For several weeks seas of bright yellow faces look up…

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…

Thursday Doors – The Abandoned Cellar

I’m cheating slightly with my Thursday Doors post this week. The entrance door of my subject building – a long-since abandoned village shop – is certainly old and nicely weatherworn but it’s the doors to the cellar which really caught my eye.   These small doors which give a very limited access from the street to…

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…

Thursday Doors – A Gentle Shade

For this week’s Thursday Doors I’m back to the churches again.  The church itself is another wonderful example dating from the 12th to 13th century but the door this time is rather different. Instead of the ancient heavy oak, the door is a fairly sober painted affair (in a beautiful and very French greeny grey)…

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…

Thursday Doors – Iron Bars and Studs

This is another amazing door from our trip to Périgueux, just a few steps further along Rue Tranquille. I have no idea of the history of this door or the building behind it but it has the same feeling of incredible age and history as my previous example. Perhaps a checkered history in this case…

Blackberry Tuesday and the Colour Purple

Anyone looking at my recent blogposts would imagine I had a serious obsession with medieval churches and fruit. I’m going to add to this impression with my post for tonight and I make no excuses, it’s a busy time for fruit on the Hillside.  Most of the apple trees in the orchard are ready for…

Thursday Doors – The Abandoned Farm Cottage

My offering for Thursday Doors this week is not exactly pretty and certainly not an impressive example of a door but I found this farm cottage on the edge of a quiet lane a compelling subject for a few photos.  It seemed to be almost out of place amongst the lush vineyards of south western…

The Château and The Fairytale Swan

A trip out with the camera earlier in the week took me to a village I have not visited for a few years.  I confess I had quite forgotten what was there and after a quick look around the church – yet another fine example from the 12th century – we followed the path towards…

Thursday Doors – Curlicues and Rosettes

There is some evidence in a dusty local archive, that way back in the 12th century, the Hillside was the site of a religious ‘paroisse’, the French version of our word ‘parish’. This could mean quite simply that a lone monk lived up here in contemplative seclusion or that he had fellow monks and a…

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…

Thursday Doors – Inside Out

On Tuesday morning I set out on a photographic visit to an ancient local church a friend of mine had mentioned to me.  It has to be said that our little corner of France is blessed with a wealth of ancient churches, a host of breathtaking examples from the 12th and 13th centuries lying within a…

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…

Thursday Doors – Rue Tranquille

Exploring some of the beautiful, narrow backstreets in the old town of Périgueux in the Dordogne, we came across this stunning ancient doorway.  The heavy oak and iron studded door itself made it more than worthy of a photo but the wonderful carving around the door in the warm local limestone made it something extra…

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…

Thursday Doors – A Door, Steps and a Juliet Balcony

The rehearsals for our summer theatre spectacular are in full swing now with only one week to go to the first performance. All the action takes place in various spots around our courtyard, in front of the barn and the house.  There will be music and lighting to accompany the drama which won’t begin until after…

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…

Thursday Doors – La Dimerie Blanzac

I risk repeating myself a little with today’s post for Thursday Doors, as I’m posting another tower, but this time the tower is quite small and the door that leads into it is very small and must surely have been built for a race of fairy people. The tower and the building it is attached…

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 #2 – Heaven in a Wild Flower

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….

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….