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When everything looks this perfect....


....it's hard to imagine the current chaos in the world. 'Things fall apart, the centre MUST hold.'Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  39 Hits

Happiness in #lockdown


.....is sitting on the terrace in the sun with my older brothers.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  90 Hits

Whiling away time..


....perfecting poached eggs (hubby):On home made bread.Making a nut pie with leftover Christmas walnuts and hazelnuts:Simple things provide infinite pleasure and bring out the best in us.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  90 Hits

Places to avoid on a Friday night...


...due to caronavirus but we had a blast at our local pub. Great music and traditional fish and chips!Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  96 Hits

Spot the dog...


Photo copyright Ian C.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  103 Hits

Rissoles from leftovers


We had bought a goose from our local farmer for Christmas but after a surfeit of turkey, couldn't face it. And so it languished in the freezer until last Saturday when friends helped us devour it. Last night was the third day running of finishing the goose, by which time we had had enough! To liven it up a bit and make the leftovers more appetising, I made rissoles: crunchy on the outside, unctuous within. A real delight served with plain boiled potatoes and a purėe of vegetables. Waste not, want not.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  85 Hits

A bald mouse


...is the literal translation of the French 'chauve souris' or 'bat' as we call them in English. I found this little chap in a garage. He suddenly dropped at my feet. I picked him up and his fur was so soft! Left the door slightly ajar so his mum could come back for him.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  167 Hits

Three little piggies...


The older I get, the happier really simple things make me. I'm no Meghan Markle, a walk in the countryside looking at some cute piglets playing in the mud is frankly enough for me. Money won't buy you happiness.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  172 Hits

My thoughts on Meghan Markle and Harry

First let me begin by saying that I'm 55. That means that I've been around the block a few times, kissed a few boys, worked hard and paid a truckload of tax, made sacrifices and never really got to live my dreams because life took over. I've had euphoric highs and breathtakingly black lows. I've learned who my friends are and who they aren't. I speak my mind because I have earned the right to tell people to f...k off who encroach on my valuable time and space. Therefore I won't hold back by saying that Meghan Markle is an odious character.I see a lot of my mother in Meghan Markle because they could have been twins. My mother was a narcissist, a dreadfully unpleasant woman who disliked everyo...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  114 Hits

What to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon?


On Friday night we both fancied pizza and made our way to the local pizzeria. He was so busy he told us to come back in an hour! We left and swore never again. So the next day, I made my own. A doddle. Dough and tomato sauce from scratch. Onions, mushrooms, bacon and ham. A quick dash to the supermarket for mozzarella and voila!Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  128 Hits

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


At this time of year, no matter how miserable you may feel, please remember that there are those less fortunate than you.Happy Christmas! Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  141 Hits

I'd rather cook..


Restaurants tend to disappoint big time and after another awful experience  this week, I would prefer in future to cook at home. Food is love, that's why I cook.Another beef pie. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  215 Hits

Hodge Podge Casserole


By definition a casserole is a compilation of ingredients cooked slowly to develop the flavours fully. Then there's the other type of casserole known as leftovers plus everything including the kitchensink. We're very conscious of not wasting food and will generally eat leftovers the next day. By the third day however the dogs get lucky. We often make a big batch of Bolognese sauce and freeze portions which can then be transformed into cottage pie, lasagna etc. Last night we used the remains of the day before's cottage pie to make another concoction of sorts with the addition of parsnips, chick peas (of all things) and even leeks. Served the lot with a creamy spinach side dish. Not exactly ha...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  182 Hits

The Golden Goose


Today at the local village market, I ordered my Christmas goose. What a delight to choose between a white fat bird, another variety which is more elongated like a duck or the smaller Guinea variety which is dark feathered and comes in at around 3.5 kilos. I asked about the fat content as goose fat is positively the best for chips and was assured that the fat will be plentiful. So delivery on 23 December just after dawn in the village square. Only in France does one wax lyrical for several minutes about food. And the same supplier sold me a half dozen eggs laid this morning. The chickens didn't lay last week as it has been cold and wet plus they're losing their feathers which means they're ge...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  137 Hits

One of the strangest things I've seen....


...a 'pigeonnier', or pigeon coop, handcarved out of stone in the attic of a house once belonging to a former President of France. I am told that birds always come home to roost (when I stupidly asked if they did). Humans therefore differ from their feathered friends as many a man and woman don't sleep in the same bed every night...Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  192 Hits

Is there anything more evocative?


Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  158 Hits

Preparing for Winter...


...wood is cheap in France due to the plentiful forests. Our trusty wood burner keeps us warm and repels the mice who have all migrated to the neighbour next door (he caught 30 in one week!).Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  181 Hits

La Toussaint


La Toussaint is celebrated on 1st November in France. Across the land, families gather at the graves of their dearly departed and place chrysanthemums, symbol of death. Known as 'flowering of the tombs', generations of families unite in order to remember the dead. France remains a devoutly Catholic country and maintains its traditions which to me, orphan and without siblings, is wonderful to observe. The Catholic faith is also civilising: families abandon their differences for an annual pilgrimage where it is not about them but those who have died.I went to mass last Sunday and as much as I groaned at the priest's extra long homily, the message of loving one another as Christ loved us was no...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  104 Hits

Savour life the French way...


Today in our weekly village market a new face appeared and the queue at his stall was long. An earthy perfume wafted towards me and the memory of more than thirty years ago sprang back as if it were yesterday. Me poking a stick into foliage at the base of oak trees in forests where hunters wouldn't hear or see you unless you shouted out to alert them of your presence. A ritual after the first heavy rains in October and finally, once the sun would reappear, albeit briefly, off I would go in feverish anticipation, basket in hand. Oh, delectable cêpes, which appear miraculously out of the earth. Local foragers never reveal their secret patch which in some families, has yielded the prized delica...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  123 Hits

Sometimes we get squashed by life..


...and it can finish us off. But if we have an ounce of life left, with the strongest will we can bounce back. It ain't over 'til it's over.For Rikki and Sita. Er....you lost. On my morning dog walk near my home in France. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  183 Hits