Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Bonjour, Bonsoir, Au revoir...

Ooo la la...what a wonderful French adventure we have had! :) We are home safe and sound, tired out, but excited that we survived our most daring and bravest adventure ever! I can confirm that the wonderful people of France do indeed speak French :) but they were kind and gracious to our fumbling attempts to speak francais, a smile really does convey a thousand words :) 
The weather was overly kind to us, high temperatures up to 35-36 degrees some days (that's very hot for us cold Northerners...hahaha) The Angels struggled some days with the heat especially at night and the muggy closeness. Lots of cooling drinks and bodies slathered in sun-block! :)  
We barely survived our ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Caen. A late cancellation due to bad weather by Brittany Ferries meant our speed crossing of 3 hours was increased to a slow crossing of nearly 6 1/2!! :(  Oooh we felt every one of those rough and unruly waves, some more than others...poor little Angel Mim bravely suffered through awful seasickness, Angel Esther and Nathan fared only marginally better, I was woeful, and Abi wobbled slightly :) ...only Hubby proved to be a salty sea-dog..rather gleefully enjoying the whole journey..hehe Fortunately our home journey on the  speed ferry wasn't cancelled and we actually enjoyed that crossing!  
Our first challenge upon arriving in France was to find our cottage whilst remembering to drive on the right hand side of the road! We drove through Normandy to the Brittany border, past fields and fields of sweetcorn and beautiful countryside to where our little hamlet of Sougeal just outside Pontorson was located. 
Turning into our farm house cottage...
 Welcoming lights and steps to the garden...
 Chickens and ducks living at the bottom of the garden...
 Cottage gardening a la francais...
 with our very own Pumpkin Patch ...how perfect can you get!? :) haha
 Our farmhouse cottage was comfortable and clean and simple...just as we like it, a generous supply of towels (always important when 4 of us are girls! ;) hehe)   with a plentiful supply of hot water for several showers and baths a day and luxurious comfy beds ...wonderful :)

I have soooooo many photos and I've not even had chance to look at hubbys yet (he took two cameras!) Its certainly not possible to share them all, so here is a very quick review of our adventures...
Le Mont Saint-Michel
a must visit, but you really need to go early in the morning because it is a tourist hotspot and very quickly gets busy and crowded. We arrived bright and early to this glorious view and spent a full morning and afternoon exploring and wandering around the wonderful winding streets and climbed so many sets of stone steps ...
  right to the very top...its not for the faint hearted ...it was hot and sticky and fabulously tiring :) One of our party did succumb to a little bit of piggy-backing on the way back down all those stairs ... I wished I was small enough for a piggy back ride too by the end of it! :) 

Holidays with our Angels are not holidays unless there are beaches! :) 
We visited beaches at Cancale...

 and St Malo...

We found picturesque Chateau's ...

Enjoyed walks in cooling forests...

Got lost down French streets...

enjoyed coastal walks..

 


 My personal favourite day out was to Le Chateau Fougeres...
 An absolutely magnificent Medieval Castle and fortification,  My photos don't do it justice ...it was wonderful, lots of climbing again but without the hustle and bustle of crowds of tourists :) It is said to be the biggest Medieval castle in Europe .... truly breathtaking :)

Now you cant go to France and not sample Le Patisserie....
 
 or le macaroons...
 We made sure we had daily ritual samplings! :) hehehe

We really did have a good time, it wasn't without its moments... some tears, frustrations and mini meltdowns ...but is any holiday? We probably caused quite a few head turns with our babbling excited clapping Angels...we definitely littered our small part of Northern France with Esther's accidentally discarded chewing straws!! Eaakk... We stepped completely out of our comfort zone and returned virtually unscathed ...and so did the people of France!! hahaha

My favourite photo from out Grand French Adventure ...
My little family ...minus the Spanish son :) Love them all to bits !

Hugs Wendy x x x

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Summer Shopping and an Adventure looming!!!

Sooo my summer shopping confessions first :)  Its always best to get the naughty stuff out of the way first and they do say that confession is good for the soul...haha  But I had to do it!.... I just couldn't resist :)  I fell in love with the round basket as soon as I spotted it across the room hanging from a ceiling hook...my desperate little feet couldn't get me there fast enough so that I could reach up teetering on my tiptoes and grab a hold of it with my twitchy little fingers ... I didnt quite snatch it up ...but I held on to it very tightly!! :) It is such a scrummy, sweet, little basket too, I absolutely love it and want to take it everywhere with me ...hehehe
The little prairie and stump doll and pewter bits and bobs...Ebay winnings :)  ...well no-one else was placing any bids so I just jumped in there with the starting bid with seconds to go and won both 'lots' for mere pennies :)  hehehe

Next confession ... :) I kind of jumped from my prim love over to the shabby chic side  for these goodies...
I can never pass up a sugar or a set of salt and pepper glass shakers, not sure why, but I just love filling them with old white buttons and pearls! And I couldn't get further away from my Prim and Country-Rustic love than Vintage pearls ...:)  As I was trying not to drop my buttons and pearls I found the glass fronted small wall cabinet that matches a little shelf I have in the small 'not-a-man-cave' room, so that came home with me too :)  Our small room (formally Jacobs downstairs bedroom, before we moved him upstairs into Abi's old room, when she left home to pursue married life! ...phew! hehe) My theory is that if its filled with pretty, girly, lacey, vintagey shabby chicness is most definitely cant be called a man-cave! ...despite hubby living in there watching all the Olympic and sports programs on TV.. haha

My needle has just finished the last little cross stitch in this new little finish...
A happy summery design by The Scarlett House- 'Strawberry House Pinkeep'. I love the strawberries and crows in this piece and I'm thinking of a rich strawberry coloured wool for the backing :)

Soooooo our looming adventure ...that actually starts tomorrow evening!!! We are going on holiday! Hubby, I, 2 Angels and Abi and Nathan!! We are going to FRANCE!!!!!! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat have we done!!??? It seemed a good idea at the time, (famous last words) when we booked it earlier this year ...a cottage in Brittany and a ferry crossing to Caen was cheaper than a week in a cottage in Cornwall!  France is warm, sunny and has pretty beaches, we can eat rustic bread, cheese and grapes to our hearts content ... and they have patisserie....french for cake!!! So we booked!   And tonight I'm panicking because I've suddenly realized that the people in France speak French and we dont!! Eeeaakk!  Between us Abi and I have bought four different french phrase books ...oddly enough they all translate the same words! ;)  I've spent the day folding and packing clothes, freshening up beach towels and hunting for buckets and spades whilst the Angels went out with their carer's, I didnt even have a pause for chocolate ...although I may have had a small slice of yummy carrot cake! Tomorrow I'm planning a lazy sleep-in, our ferry crossing from Portsmouth is early on Saturday morning 6am(!) so we will be driving down late tomorrow night to arrive in plenty of time (I think its about a 5-6 hours drive ... and we may need pit-stops along the way) If all goes well we should be standing on French soil just after lunchtime on Saturday. A grand old french adventure awaits us! Not sure whether the french population will be quite prepared for an Angel attack! Hopefully I'll be able to report back on a wonderful holiday without too many episodes of 'pardon moi' and begging forgiveness from unsuspecting french locals! Keep your fingers crossed! 

Au revoir ;)   Wendy x x 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Lazy Summer Days...

...Ooooh how, I wish!! ..hahaha ...there are certainly no lazy days here with my cheeky Angels! :) Fortunately no more flooded bathrooms (double checking that door is locked ..hehe) but still lots of mischief to be had ...like posting the house keys out of the letterbox of the locked front door! ...Good job Mr Postman was popping by with a little package! ;) Little tinkers thought it was hilarious! The weather has been our usual northern mix of a few sunny days  but mostly wet and windy, snuggle-blanket days :(  The forecast is promising a Mediterranean heatwave next week ...so fingers crossed it reaches Lancashire, we might get to wear our t-shirts :)  We have kept busy with trips to the cinema, a lovely 'our-one-and-only-sunny-day' trip up to the Lake District with ice-cream and an exciting ride in a boat on Lake Windemere ...didn't quite loose one Angel overboard ...almost but not quite ..hahaha You need eyes in the back of your head and as many arms as an octopus sometimes..hehe  We've cuddled and snuggled, watched our favourite movies and eaten lots of home-made cookies and muffins. So far my survival skills seem to be maintaining the equilibrium between peace versus mischief :)  We have 3 and 1/2 weeks left yet so anything can happen.... hopefully I can survive them too ..hehe

We have received Jacobs release date for when he comes home from his Church Mission in Spain ...I was a teensy bit disappointed at first and my heart did drop slightly and I may have succumbed to a day or so of self-inflicted misery and chocolate comfort-indulgence ;)  But after ponderising and several bars of Cadburys fruit and nut chocolate, I'm happy that Jacob is happy .. C'est la vie... Because Jake's 'finish date' of 20 January 2017 is in between two 'transfer' dates, he was offered a choice of when to come home ...27 December 2016 ...or... 7 February 2017 ... I guess you can tell he chose February! We would have been over the moon to have him home at the end of December, but I know my Jacob and how he thinks, a Mission call is for 24 months and coming home in December would have meant he'd only served for  23 ....that would have niggled at him forever! :) So February 7 it is ...which is really only 18 days longer :) Can I deny him that extra time to enjoy his Spanish adventure a little bit longer, definitely not :)  Gotta love my blue-eyed boy! x x

I've managed to find a little bit of time to stitch some quick and easy-peasy summery woolly projects ...

Two strawberry kits by Primitive Gatherings, 'Strawberry Trio' table runner and 'Strawberry Pin Keep' ...both fast and simple stitches but very satisfying :)

I also finished another Primitive Gatherings kit from my stash..
'Geraniums Pincushion', I tweaked the design slightly by changing the swirls and date on the trough to a vine with small loops and french knots. I love how the Geranium petals are not fully stitched down and have a 'fluttery' look to them. Both the pincushion and pin keep, are generously stuffed with lots of woolly snippets from the scraps that are too scrappy to use in my aptly named scrap basket ;) hehe  They add a nice weight and a lovely clumpy squidgy feel  to the finished pieces. I'm pleased with how they all turned out.

Another quick project was a design by Buttermilk Basin...
'Folkart Heart' kitted by Winterberry Cabin  ...I love her kits she is always soooo generous with her wool pieces, there's never the effort of trying to squeeze templates onto only just enough wool :)  The design is  heart shaped and I just need to cut and  stitch the backing and then stuff and its another woolly finish ...Not too bad for the first few weeks of summer :)

I've also participated in a little bit of online shopping ;) 
Is it too soon to be thinking about Pumpkins? haha ...I couldn't resist the woolly 'Blackberry Primitives ' - Jack & Jinx kit and the cross stitch 'Babushkas Blossoms' by Plum Street Samplers ...with fabric and threads! ;) They just called out to me  ..hehehe ...You know how hard it is for me to resist those 'buy me now' voices I frequently hear! ;)  I have a few more Summery projects I'd like to complete so I'm trying hard to resist the pull of the Pumpkins ..hehe 

I also had a chance one day to rummage around the Olde Mill and find some sweet new treasures ...my little netbook is struggling and flickering a teensy bit tonight, so I'll share pictures next time, just in case I loose this whole post and have to start all over again ...Uuurrgghh!  I'll let poor little netbook rest for awhile and maybe have a lazy sleep-in in the morning ..haha.. I wish I could look forward to a lazy sleep-in ...not going to happen with my Angels ...up at the crack of dawn now there's no school, and no sooner out of bed and they are a-mischief-amaking! I'm sleeping with the house keys under my pillow now!! ..hehe

Hugs Wendy x x x