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Vegetarian for a day


Sometimes we go off meat and fancy being virtuous. This was our supper last night: macaroni pie made with milk, cheese, eggs, peppers, onions, tomato, chives and a hint of garlic. Add a few slices of courgette on the side. A thrifty way of using up veggies.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  196 Hits

Intangible Grace


There are times the universe will ask you do something in return. Perhaps as payment for the sunny days, the healthy days, the perfect days. Your resolve doesn’t waver during these times. You focus and follow through and accomplish what is needed with a flourish and a smile. Later, as all of it comes together and rises to fruition, you wonder how the heck it happened. What made you do it? How in the world was all of it possible? Your eyes pop open in the middle of the night and you realize this is beyond your doing. You are merely a stronger tool displaying as much grace as possible. A cog in a mighty wheel. A note in a song. A drop of rain in a bucket. This Saturday, The Legends of Wildomar...
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  236 Hits

Nothing makes me happier


Than seeing my old dog brought back to life by having his two younger 'brothers' racing around him. My family.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  185 Hits

From the farm to my table


We visit the local market on foot every Thursday where a couple have been trading their farm produce for years. Such is their reputation that the queue is long for fresh lettuce, peppers, parsley, melons, peaches, apricots, anything which is in season and even their own honey. The taste and value are in incomparable. The same applies to fresh chickens, eggs laid that morning, ducks (wild or domestic), handmade unpasteurized cheeses, freshly caught local fish, even oil made from grape pips. So the carrots are a bit wonky and not that glorious irradiated Chernobyl orange. But the flavour! Thank you, God, for letting me return to the land of my soul.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  117 Hits

Preparing for the village fete


...by making buntings. Took us three hours!#ILoveFrancePhoto copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  98 Hits

How to BarBQ chicken in 38 degrees C


Use a wood fired stove and stay cool by starting to cook when the punishing sun  goes down. That, unfortunately, means eating at 9.00pm, later than I would like.Today at my house in SW France. Wood collected on dog walks. #savethefuckingplanet Photo copyright SvD. #ILoveFrance #BuggerbrexitOriginal link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  214 Hits

Pinky and Fiona Update


I don’t have much to say except they are confused about outside and inside. No matter what happens it is either too cold or too hot outside for them. Inside is much nicer. In their eyes, it’s luxurious.  We can leave them outside for an hour and they will either head for the emergency puppy pads in the bathroom or, if they don’t feel like climbing stairs, they might leave little puddles near the door. On the unlikely chance that they make it to the pad, they put their front paws on the pad while their backside is hanging off anyway. I guess they get points for trying, but it’s not that cute. Or fun to clean up. Still, they are loved. Bunches. Anyway, the weather will change but it won’t make...
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  178 Hits

Happiness is....


...babies snoozing on mum's lap.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  6 Hits

They died so that millenials could be free


10 June 1944, Oradour-sur-Glane.Look it up:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-GlanePhotos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  204 Hits

Summer Collaborations


The following poem is written by a famous poet who inspired me many years ago. To me, his poems are like snapshots. This one, a type of summer photo. While folks are at the beach, or visiting iconic landmarks, I am enjoying a seasonal harvest of fruitfulness.  This Is Just To Say BY WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMSI have eatenThe plums in the photo came from my neighbor's yard. They reminded me of this short, succinct poem by William Carlos Williams. the plumsthat were inthe iceboxand whichyou were probablysavingfor breakfastForgive methey were deliciousso sweetand so coldA week before, my generous neighbor gave us apricots, which I made into jars of delicious, jam. The plums were made into jam too, ...
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  208 Hits

Newest member of our family


Photo copyright SvDOriginal link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  209 Hits

Impatient Characters


Sometimes, the story is carried by dialogue, and at other times the story is breezing through required narrative. Then something happens. You are thinking about a certain way to phrase something and can’t come up with the exact way to describe it. What shade of blue? There are hundreds to choose from. Cobalt? Turquoise? Cornflower?  Are the trees the color of junipers or multi-colored like jasper? Is it a golden or yellow sunset?  Pink or peach flowers? Lavender or Lilac? Sometimes, the details can be left to the reader’s imagination. Everyone knows that roses are red. But not your roses. These are special roses and you have to figure out how to describe each petal. The way they might gliste...
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  175 Hits

Porridge days...


...after a long, dry, sizzling spell, the oats are ready for harvest.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  236 Hits

Wasps or hornets?


Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  216 Hits

Unfortunate names...


Please, no silly jokes.On a recent trip to France. Photo copyright  SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  223 Hits

Country fun...


....known as 'darting' here in the countryside. We keep ourselves amused.Photo copyright Ian C.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  104 Hits

The Wise Grasshopper


Grasshopper, this bundled month, I made homemade apricot jam rather than spend time on edits. Editing my book is like a patriotic parade, with funereal slowness. A sad march.Characters are intimate friends. I’m sensitive to their needs. They want me to linger. But I’m going swimming. Plug in the fan, turn on the air. I’m crocheting a blanket. Reading a book with dreary characters. Local play rehearsals are my new diversion. Town had a historic bell-ringing celebration. Glad I could make it. There’s the woman’s group, the city meeting at Elks, and of course, church. Jittery dogs need a walk. Reruns on television. It doesn’t seem fair to repeat quiz shows, though my answers sound impressive. I...
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  218 Hits

How the ordinary can be extraordinary...


We're enjoying the sun at the moment, a rare commodity in Northern Europe. The field where I walk every morning and evening is bustling with vibrancy and activity. Within all the turmoil of life at its summer peak, we take the burst of life which this season brings for granted. Just like in our everyday lives we forget that the ordinary is equally extraordinary. We may too busy, too harassed and too self-absorbed to recognise that small gestures can be reassuring, calming and life affirming. A smile could make your day for example and equally, just smiling at someone else could lift their spirits too. I was reminded of this by watching the grass this morning, the seed heads standing like sen...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  193 Hits

Infidelity Statistics

Infidelity statistics, hard statistics, are difficult to gather because of the many variables involved with infidelity. It’s not just a simple jump in the hay which usually turns out to be anything but. There is a myriad of external influences, internal turmoil, backstories, relationship woes, stressors real or imagined, health conditions, gender differences, brain chemistry, anthropology, economics: the list goes on and on–and on. But, statistics are a guide as to what is possibly shaping action. They’re a valuable resource to gauge a trend, unfortunately, infidelity has been a forever trend with no real let-up in sight.  My mission is not to eradicate infidelity, that’s a lose-lose situati...
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  220 Hits

Love is....


....sharing pyjamas...Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  230 Hits