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…

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…

(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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…