Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Present to my hubby......



I painted it a few weeks ago with the help of a local artist, Beryl Maile. Last month, my friend Sarah from the Funky Teapot Ceramic shop, held a fundraising day for an orphange in Thailand. Beryl charged £5 to do a painting, providing the card, and all the oil paints, we didn't have time to do one that day, so she kindly came to my friends shop, with all her equipment. I was amazed how well it looked, and got it framed.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Click to enlarge

to all my Blogger Friends all over the world.

Hope that you are all well, and that you have a very happy time, with your families, or whoever you are with!

Yes that is me sitting on Saint Nicholas lap with his helpers,Black Peters!

The Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas, is an annual event which has been uniquely Dutch and Flemish for centuries. St. Nicholas' Feast Day, December 6th, is observed in most Roman Catholic countries primarily as a feast for small children. But it is only in the Low Countries - especially in the Netherlands - that the eve of his feast day (December 5th) is celebrated nationwide by young and old, christian and non-christian, and without any religious overtones.

Take Care everyone, see you all next year!! :-) HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Bernard Noble Sculpture Prize 2008.....

goes to Toby Christian for "Snowball".


Snowball’ is carved from a block of white Carrara marble. The work aims to address issues such as the temporal aspect of outdoor sculpture, the status of the handmade within contemporary fine art and truth to materials

Toby was awarded by The Bernard Noble Sculpture Foundation, the jurors enjoyed the twin ironies of the freezing of a snowball’s fleeting nature in stone and of a snowball set in Italy’s sunny clime. The marble snowball sculpture will reference the stone quarries one passes on the way to Colletta and the chiselled medieval rocks from which Colletta itself was created.

The foundation chose the extraordinary medieval e-village of Colletta di Castelbianco in Liguria in Italy to establish a sculpture park that will be open to the public on a permanent basis. What better place could you find...beautiful!!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Monaco .....

is another place I was lucky enough to get to. The sun was shining, people out walking, people watching outside the cafes. My husband said it was very strange to be there with me, as he is normally working for the Race. He just wanted me to see it. It was fabulous. I am going to have to plan a trip for the Monaco Grand Prix..better start saving my pounds, not pennies!!!

I have absolutely no idea why those statues are on top of the phones boxes, thought they looked fun though!!!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Colletta di Castelbianco ....

is a stunning and very interesting village. This is a place you have to visit to get the true feel of the place. Each morning I would get up and head off with my camera and explore even more. They was just so many interesting little corners, and alleys, and steps!!I have put together some very interesting collages for you all..I hope that you enjoy them!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Portofino and Sante Margherita Ligure

Another sunny day, we were so lucky, so we drove out to Portofino, a beautiful but very small place, we were really pleased we went. We didn't do much, just had a coffee next to the sea, that was an expensive coffee, but worth the views! Walked round to the other side then climbed up towards the castle, which unfortunately was closed this particular day! Restoration work..Never mind.



We then carried on around to Sante Margherita Ligure. We didn't stay very long, as we were unsure about the parking, and couldn't find a meter, but we were lucky, got away with it.


It was a glorious sunny day, and worth the drive!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Another day out in Italy...

We decided that we would like to see more of the small towns along the coast, and we were not disappointed..today we went to Finale Ligure. The town has a beautiful beach, and the walk along the promenade is stunning, with all the Palm trees and lovely little cafes and restaurants to stop at.


The weather was fantastic for November, and I was amazed at all the people out, it was great. Lots of families, groups of older people, all sitting there chatting away.

From here we drove on to Noli. This little place was buzzing when we got there. Everyone eating out on the front, a small market just finishing, and and Art Exhibition going on. We had a quick walk round the small town, and I mean quick, my husband was hungry. We went to the busiest little cafe, with all the Italians, and had Fritto Misto...what a treat that was...very tasty!!!


Perfect way to end a very enjoyable sunny day!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Crazy Cat!!

I still have lots more to write and lots of editing photos to do of our holiday. It takes a while, especially as I visited quite a few places and took loads of photos!! So bear with me please.

In the meantime here is a couple of pictures of my mother-in-laws cat, who only really likes drinking from the tap yes the tap!! She has always done this..just jumps up on the side, and waits for you to turn the tap on..

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Birthday Meal in Colletta .....

Whilst on holiday it was my husbands birthday, so I decided to treat us to another meal in the restaurant in our village. We had eaten there on the second night of our hols, and what a meal it was!!! Only thing was, if we calculated the price in pounds it turned out to be quite expensive but oh so worth it!!

Now we could not of got a restaurant closer to us!! If you look at the picture above, you will see a little red door in the top left, up the steps, that is our apartment, and you will see the door on the right --- that was our restaurant, how brilliant is that.!!

The first meal we had was a "meat" feast, my husband loves his meat, I don't mind, but thought maybe fish this time. So I spoke to Dianos who was the barman, he spoke english quite well, and in turn he spoke to the chef Giorgio..all understood, very good. They also asked if I would like a special cake/tart, fine I said. Grazie, Arrivederci.

The evening of the 20th arrived, and we made our way down ..Ordered some wine, and chatted for a while. Whilst chatting though Dianos kept appearing with small containers with fish..you name it, small shrimps,huge prawns, crayfish, mullet, squid..A fantastic choice. Giorgio had gone out that afternoon, and bought the freshiest fish I have every seen..he was only feeding us!! We were amazed, even hubby decided to have fish as well. We were not disappointed, never had such a meal.

The plate on the bottom right is Mullet with Artichokes..(Carciofi in Italian)

Here is the tart that Girgio made a few hours before our meal..just for us!

A fantastic birthday meal and one we will never forget!

Please click on photos to enlarge.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Nearly Missed it......

I have just realized, my last post was my 200th post....Wow, I nearly didn't manage the first post, it was Sally in Norfolk, who encouraged me to start, and from there, and with all my great readers, and encouragement when I have nearly given up....


A Big Thank You..:-)

A little walk...

There are a number of walks around here..rangeing from a hour to three hours. We did just a small one, it was fun, especially as my husband came with me!!!



We were taking things easier on this day, just staying around the apartment, chilling out, and taking in the local area!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The sun came out - part two....

After visiting the amazing town of Alassio, we drove to Albenga.

Albenga is one of the Riviera di Ponente's most important cities. It owes if fame not only to its historic centre, but also to the mildness of its climate abd the fertility of the land.

The Cathedral which was rebuilt in the Middle Ages on the site on an early Christian basilica. This cathedral is dedicated to St Micheal.


Apse of the cathederal

The Baptistry is the only example of late Roman architecture left intact in Albenga. Built by the general Contanso in the early 5th century, the baptistry is the foremost Early Christian monument in Liguria.

Santa Maria in Fontibus. This church as medieval origins but was remodelled in 1600.

After a lovely meal of Spaghetti alla Vongole and pizza..we set of to another lovely town called Loano. Unfortunately my camera decided not to work, hopefully I will get back there for shopping and photos!! We walked the beach, and then settled on the rocks with the other people who were basking in the sun, or watching the fishermen!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The Sun came out...

so we went to Alassio, such a beautiful beach, quaint shops and lots and lots of cafes, to people watch..



..whilst walking the little passage ways, we came across a beautiful chapel, where I lit a candle for everyone.



Friday, 14 November 2008

Colletta di Castelbianco .....


is where we have come for our holidays...Colletta is a medieval hill-top village restored as an internet e-village. I have never seen anything like it before..it is amazing.. Lots of little houses/apartments all built in together, with lots and lots of passages, steps and terraces..

Apart from the people who look after the place and a man I met who lives here, we are the only people staying here..and we are being looked after so well. Last night we had a meal in the restaurant , which incidently is down the steps and next door!!! Our meal was delicious, but I have never eaten so much in my life...and it was all meat. For starter I had venison..I thought it came with a salad, not..it was a plate of thinly sliced venison in olive oil..then Primo was spagetti with a Rabbit sauce...but this turned out to be Hare..and secondo was Fillet steak in a berry sauce...yes you quess right...a fillet steak and that was it...but I can say, it was delicious..with wine, and then chocolates and coffee!!!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Monday, 10 November 2008

Taking a break.......


Hope you all have a great week, and weekend...Thank you for all your comments on my post below.

Take Care everyone, see you when I return.

Monday, 3 November 2008

I have been TAGGED...

by Chez Loulou and Leesa from News From France, two amazing bloggers, who never cease to amaze with their photos and interesting snippets from France!!

First, the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random things about me:-

1. I love books so much, when I go to Oxford, most of my time is spent in Borders, or Waterstones. They are both big shops, I lose all sense of time..whether I buy anything is besides the point..and going to the childrens section is great! Luckily both shops have their own coffee shop, so I take a break. Waterstones cafe looks right on to the High Street, so if you are lucky enough to get a window seat, you can people watch in the dry.

2. I have 3 grandchildren..Aidan age 5, Thomas 3 1/2 and Lily nearly 2, and another one on the way, in about 3 weeks!..Oh my word, I feel old when I write this...I don't see Aidan much as he lives in Scotland, but when I do, it is fun! I see T and L more..one thing we like doing is singing and dancing to the radio..they love it!

3. My dream would be to spend time in Europe, France or Italy..cannot decide which, love both though! Would like my husband to take a sabbatical and we rent our house (have to do some changes to it first) and just rent a place for 6 months..My husband said "I am not being realistic" :-)...I am a dreamer!!

4. I lived in Singapore for three years, from when I was 7 til 10 years old, my dad was in the Royal Air Force..also lived in Germany, Holland, Scotland, Wales and England. Visited Belguim, France, Italy, Sicily, Crete, Spain, Malta (my dads home country)and Switzerland.

5. Would love to learn a language. And it might happen sooner than I thought. Have just met up with a new friend, Carolina, from Chile, who speaks Spanish, and is learning English. So we are helping each other. Only met a few weeks ago, and when we meet for coffee, it is fun..

6. I am the total opposite to my husband. He is a night person and I am morning. He is tall and big, I am short and small. I am a reader, he is not! (He is trying to get into it)!

That was hard....now I have to tag as well :-)

I am going to tag..

Sally..Sally in Norfolk
Linda..Frenchless in France
Ilva..Lucillian Delights
Pumpkin ...From my Swiss Window
Leslie...My Pedalogue
Cherrye..My Bella Vita

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Favourite Biscuits....



I just had to put this picture after I found a post about this tasty bicuit over on Our Juicy Life, who I discovered on Chez Loulou's blog.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Museum of the History of Science Oxford

Today my husband and I had an afternoon out in Oxford. He wanted to go to the Museum of the History of Science, , and today was the last few days of the Scientific Instrument Society 25th Anniversary Exhibition, I was with him for most of it, before I left though I did take some photos of Sundials and some fantastic ceramics that were used for Drugs Jars.



I went to Blackwells bookshop just across the road. . Much more my thing, but you have to a little bit of give and take! We then met up again and went for a drink in The White Horse, in Broad street, after a lovely glass of wine, we treated ourselves to a meal at Jamie Olivers restaurant, it was fantastic..sorry no photos, just believe me it was brilliant.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Good News....

Firstly my youngest son Luke is doing a Horticulture Course at Moulton College, this will be so good for him, and hopefully give him something to aim for. He says that working outdoors, is so more like him, and going to college makes him feel like he is capable and showing that he is trying to help himself and family.

My other son Jonathan, who is in the Royal Air Force, has been to Efurt in Germany, to take part in the World Culinary Olympics. There were 53 nations taking part, and 12 of those, sent a Military team. The Great Britain Military team came home with a Silver and a Gold!!! Silver for Hot category and Gold for the Cold Buffet.

Haven't spoken to Jonathan yet, he is on his way home today. Next week he is taking part in the Combined Services Culinary Challenge Competition.

Well done to both my sons..very proud of them>

Monday, 20 October 2008

Big Thank You

to my friends who gave me support with my last post. All of your kind and thoughtful comments mean so much. I have removed it as I really don't like to have upsetting or stress related posts on here, it is meant to be cheerful..but sometimes you just have to put down how you are feeling!!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Pont-l'Évêque

My eldest son appeared with a cheese box last night...and great a French cheese was in there.

Pont-l'Évêque is an uncooked, unpressed cow's-milk cheese, square in shape usually at around 10cm square and around 3cm high, weighing 400g. The central pâte is soft, creamy pale yellow in colour with a smooth, fine texture and has a pungent aroma. This is surrounded by a washed rind that is white with a gentle orange-brown coloration. The whole is soft when pressed but lacks elasticity. It is generally ranked alongside Brie, Camembert, and Roquefort as one of the most popular cheeses in France.

With its strong smell, you would of thought this to be a very powerful cheese but it is not the case since it is a fruity, subtle and refined cheese. “What beats everything is that it is very mild”.

Pont L'Eveque

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Outing with friend in Oxford...

On Saturday I met up with my friend Caroline, who is going to show me where all the museums are. So yesterday we went to The Ashmolean Museum. To be very very honest, I don't normally like looking round them, I don't go much into history, but having a friend with me, who I think, thinks on the same lines as me, helped a lot.

The first section we came to was all about Knossos in Crete,this was quite interesting, I could actually relate to this, as my husband and I visited there a few years back. Unfortunately I do not have any photos, either from the holiday or yesterday. Didn't realize until later that you could take photos!! In the museum that is.

The second section was the Ancient Egypt - Dynastic Period. I actually found this a pleasure to walk around, with the jewellery and little pots etc.



These next two items I adore, I just love the rich colours. They are made by Egyptian Faience, which you can read all about in the link.



We then moved on to the Arts, where we had a quick look through,a very small section of the displays and it was very quick as were in real need of a coffee. We will be returning at some point though.

.
Made our way to the covered market, for a well deserved cafe and panini..!!!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Cheeses in the Oxford Covered Market.


Sainte-Maure de Touraine and Sein de Negresse(Breast of the Black Woman)which I can't find a link for. Maybe Chez Loulou can help me out on this one.


Carre Du Berry

Valencay

There is a vast range of cheeses at this stall, just amazing, will take more another day.

UPDATE:- My friend Chez Loulou has just informed me that the cheese Sein de Negresse Picture 1) is The Breast of the Black Woman, but I still can't find a link to it. Loulou found another cheese named Le sein de nounou, which translates to The Breast of my Nanny.. Thank you Chez Loulou :-)