Life at Kerjacob .

Life at Kerjacob .

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Toussaint .

In France the time before All Saints / All Souls Day is very much a time for families and flowers and remembering people who are no longer with us.
During this last week time will have been made to make sure tombs are cleaned and now those tombs will start to be decked with flowers and plants.

Monday ( 31st November ) is a public holiday and families will get together and have their meals together and maybe visit the family tomb and share thoughts and memories.
I think its a lovely thing to do and the grave yards look amazing .

Yesterday Mr P and I went to the market in St Brieuc and enjoyed looking around, buying bits and pieces and drinking coffee and hot chocolate with friends in out favourite bar.

The bar is right next to the market so its not unusual for the group to grow at our table as we see more friends passing by. At the moment especially its good to be with friends after the scare I gave everyone including myself !

The flower beds in St Brieuc are always wonderful and are planted out to match the seasons.
I had to take some photographs of them - just love the amazingly large pumpkins .

I had promised to buy myself some flowers when I came out of hospital so I did, they look so bright and happy in the kitchen.

Today has been a warm cosy one with Mr P having a day off from renovating the house and me sorting out and pressing my winter clothes.

Hope your weekend has been a good one too.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Borlotti bean harvest.

On Saturday I worked out in the vegetable garden.
In the sun it was warm and I started to collect the borlotti beans that were getting dry and ready to shed their beautiful contents.

I just love the shape and colour of the beans, they remind me of little eggs with their delicate markings.
Later I spread them out on the marble table to let them begin to dry out.

On Sunday after I'd cooked our dinner I left the beans in the cooling oven to continue to dry.

The first pickings will be stored for me to use over the winter months.
Later in the week I'll go out in the garden and collect more of this beautiful autumn bounty.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Home again at Kerjacob.

I have been home now for just over four days now 
and slept in my own bed - wonderful.
Every day is a good one and I know just how very lucky I am
 to be able to do what I did before that
 terrible afternoon about ten days ago.

I had cut these flowers in the Thursday morning before the black cloud came.
They were from the garden, the rosemary scenting the kitchen.

It has been very good to catch up with the outside world and also to realise just how many friends I have.
There have been so many messages and so much concern for us both after our lives were turned upside down for those difficult days..
Thank you also to my friends who follow my blog for sending good wishes too.

Autumn has really come here now and as I write this the woodstove is keeping me lovely and warm.

Before I had to go to hospital I'd put all the fruit soaking in sherry for the Christmas cake.
Its been slightly more than the three days suggested !
Now I'm going to finish it off and let it bake slowly in the the oven for about four hours.

It is SO GOOD to be back - I am a very lucky person.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's learning to dance in the rain.

Last Thursday afternoon a dark storm hung over Kerjacob whilst outside it was a warm sunny afternoon.

I remember feeling my heart beating so fast that I didn't think that it could possibly have the chance to carry on.

I remember my much loved  husband saying gently " Darling I think you've had a stroke"

I remember thinking, that trying so hard to keep breathing was almost more than I could manage.

I remember the pins and needles starting to move up my left leg and hand.

I remember finding it more and more difficult to speak as the left hand side of my face began to lose all feeling.

I remember saying to my love that I didn't want to die and asking him not to leave me on my own.

I remember the pompier carrying me downstairs and the bells ringing taking me to hospital.

I remember thinking, my right hand still works, so I can still draw, paint and make things and then it was all too much.

Yes I'd had a TIA ( transient ischemic attack )

When my poor husband left the hospital at about 2am  I was able to hold him with both my hands, to touch his face, to turn in bed on my own and to say " I love you".


I'm still in hospital, being looked after with such care, all is working as it should, at least I think so.
I wait for lots of test results but so far all is well.

Every morning is a joy to wake up to, maybe there'll be more storms but I'm going to dance through all of them and keep on dancing.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Sharing the joy of Art at Kerjacob.

There are so many things I love about France but it saddens me greatly that in school the children don't have regular art lessons.
The same seems to apply to music and sport.
Throughout history people have decorated and adorned their environment and themselves and yet this doesn't happen in school here.
To me its a part of human need.
Tiny children love using paints and drawing in all different forms.

Antoine, at 6, working on his first painting.

Our nearest neighbours are young farmers, they have two lovely little boys who we've known since they were born, in fact before they were born.
Last year, in the summer I did some art each week with Remi, who is now eight years old.
So now I've started to do some English and Art with the two boys, just half an hour about three times a week.
Its lovely to see them coming down the big hill to the house, they arrive, give kisses and look for Mr P to give him kisses too.

Remi, at 8, trying out making his own colours.

On Wednesday there is no school so Wednesday mornings will be for Art for them, unless I or they can't make it.

Yesterday we did half an hour of some English and then an hour and a half of Art.
It was lovely to see the pleasure it gave them.
Yes, it was busy for me getting everything ready and then clearing up but it was all worth it.
They loved it.

We moved on to printing, thinking of the autumn colours.

Antoine's printing.

At half past twelve we walked back up the hill, they carrying their plates which still had enough paint on them for them to do more in the afternoon if they wanted and me carrying their paintings and their exercise books.

Antoine's photograph of his piece of work.

Paintings were shown to Mamma and Pappa and I left with thank you's and another kiss from each boy.

Remi's printing and painting.

Remi's photograph of his work.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Autumn bounty.

Autumn is really here now.
The woodstove is lit at night time and the cats are happy to be in and curled up on our knees.
Outside the last of the flowers still give pleasure, the barlotti beans are swelling in their mottled ruby pods and the sprouts and cauliflowers are trying to resist being eaten by caterpillars !
The shape, textures and colours of the pumpkins are just a delight both to look at and eat.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Autumn mornings in Normandy.

When I stayed in Normandy last week each morning when I woke I decided to take a photograph of the scene from my window.
The first morning there was a definite mist in the air which made everywhere looked lovely.

The following morning was the day we were off to Giverney.
The morning was more misty but later as the mist cleared the temperature soared to about 29 degrees.

 On the morning that I left there was no sign of the mist.

All the apples would be collected from the houses in the hamlet and made into cider which everyone would be given in proportion to their apples.


Our lunch was enjoyed under the shade of the apple tree, far too hot without it.

Simple things give such pleasures.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Afternoon at Giverney.

Last week I visited Giverney for the first time.
I have always wanted to go and the weather was just wonderful for the visit, warm and sunny.
I was staying with a good friend of mine who has a house about two hours away from the garden.

The kitchen at Giverney.

We went into the house first, what a delight.
 Monet lived at Giverney from 1883 until his death at 86 in 1926.

Monet's bedroom.

Monet's bedroom is a calm sunny room looking directly on to his wonderful garden.
Whilst standing there in the dappled sunlight
 I could not but think of the little room 
of Vincent at Auvers.

The dining room at Giverney.

The house is filled with colour and light and everywhere Japanese
 prints which Monet loved with almost an obsession.

Monet's house.
Out into the garden filled with colour and form - a complete delight to all the senses.

Monet in his garden.

The lily pond.

Looking back at the house.

Water lilies.