The Witchy Poo cook – a requested recipe

I would like to welcome all of my new followers- loving that you re loving the blog. So I have a recipe section you may want to look at and here is another.

So no photos for this  one my friends because this has been requested by my dear friend Karen before she dies from eating too much chicken parmejano (see recipe for new readers it is available.) I suggested this to her the other night and she asked that I post it. Here goes……

Ingredients

Chicken (yes we do eat a lot of chicken!)

Chorizo – for us the stronger the better but that is a personal choice

Peppers – green and red as always depends on how much you are cooking or if you really like peppers!

Onions

Smoked paprika – I know this is difficult to get in France so I improvise with BBQ sauce (trust me it works)

Paprika (yes you do need both!)

Garlic granules

salt (you need salt to cook food folks, if you want it to taste good!)

Honey/BBQ sauce I tend to use a little of both

Olive oil

Calimari

You will also need an oven pot that ideally can be used on the hob and in the oven. If not cook in a saucepan or wok and then transfer to an oven dish with a lid.

 

Let’s Witchy Poo….

Chop up the chorizo into pieces of whichever size you like and add to pot on the hob with a dash of olive oil and some garlic granules.

Stir until the chorizo has started to brown (I cannot stand soggy chorizo!)

Remove from the pan into a dish leaving the residue of chorizo and oil in the pan.

Cut up your peppers and onions (don’t slice the onions rough cut them)  I use loads because they caramelize in this dish but it is up to you.

Add the peppers and onions to the pot and some more olive oil, the paprika, smoked paprika and garlic and salt. Stir and monitor until they all start to soften. (As always I don’t give exact measurements that is why I am called the Witchy Poo cook TASTE is the key, taste your food as you cook it!)

Remove the softened peppers and onions and put them in the bowl with the chorizo.

Chop up your chicken breasts and add them to the pot with some more olive oil, paprika, and smoked paprika and stir until they have changed in colour (it is not essential to brown)

Add the peppers and chorizo back to the pot, add some more of all your spices, and for those who like it a bit hotter you can add some Cayenne pepper. Stir it all in and add the BBQ sauce.

Put the lid on the pot (or transfer to the oven pot with the lid) and put in the oven on 150 degrees about a gas mark 5, for about 40 mins. Keep  your eye on it so it does not dry out and about 10 mins before it is cooked add the honey (taste it before it may be sweet enough).

Now I used to stir prawns into this dish about ten minutes before the end and it is a lovely addition. But now I batch cook and I don’t like re-heating prawns. So I serve with some fried calamari on top, because the two flavours just complement each other perfectly. Then I serve with crispy roast potatoes and a green salad (add some crusty bread as well as the sauce is beautiful.)

So away you go – another recipe for the weekend.

And please folks, if  you have tried any of my recipes please let us know how you got on on the blog so that other followers can read it – we are nearly up to 200 now!!!

I know I have been a busy girl!!

 

Moisy

 

 

The renovation continues:My eclectic, bedroom inspired by nature and all things vintage

In the same vein as my earlier post in the week, nature and the sky has had a huge influence on my decorating styles over the past months. You cannot be influenced by such a beautiful place.

My spare bedroom (which some of you may remember I started some time ago) is now nearly complete – apart from the floor and the shabby chic’ing of the grandfather clock that seems to have made it’s way in there!!

To just update people this was the room with the mad clowns on the wall (tasteful) which had suffered terrible damp last winter. It needed to house our daybed,  a double bed for when people came to stay, and act as my office. A reminder of what it looked like when it was clearly inspired by the film IT!!! (The French do like a clown or two!)

As you can see it had become a dumping ground, the lights were hanging out of the wall and it was in desperate need of some ‘Moisy’ style renovation.

Now some of you may have noticed that grey tends to be my favourite colour!! And you would be right! But blue is also a favourite of mine, and I tend to lean towards a little bit of pink; however with this renovation life showed me the way. I had lots of pretty things that I wanted to incorporate into this room, and it needed to be multi-functional as it is also my inspirational writing room; so I started by deciding where the double bed, and the day bed would go,  that took nearly day in itself as we moved furniture around again and again like a weird waltz that you do with furniture instead of another person!

Once I had decided where the double bed would go I painted the wall behind the headboard grey – nothing new there then!! But then a strange thing happened……

I painted the other walls with  what was meant to be a colour paint from the grey spectrum, but it was blue!! So I went with it, because it really was a beautiful sky blue and after painting the walls I stood at the doorway to the room and   I saw this…

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It  looked as if the bedroom just went on out into the garden and I realised why I had randomly bought a tin of green chalk paint (I have never used green in my decorating before!) It was a revelation, go with what nature does best!! So I did. I painted my tatty old bureau pink and shabby chic’ed it up…. (handles to be added soon!!)

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Painted by 1940’s metal desk mint green, with a blue top……..

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I call this inspiration corner because it has all the things that inspire me around me, like the beautiful butterfly card from my mother in law, settled on the corner of the mirror that I hand painted…..

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And many moons ago I posted about the chest of drawers that I had painted cream, and then I painted them pink,,,,,,

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Well now they are green and back upstairs!!!!

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Rich does say that you have to be careful in our house because if you stand still long enough then you will get painted!!

There are no longer lights just ‘hanging’ out of the wall because my  clever hubby fitted some beautiful 1940’s French lights that I purchased from a vide grenier, and look how stunning they are when lit (for those interested I am selling similar in my Etsy shop petiteFrenchfancies, go take a look) with the flower shape cascaded up the wall, so eclectic, so original.

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The daybed in it’s place by the window is perfect, you can sit on it, as I did last night. and just see the views down the valley. It is my oldest cats sleeping place during the day as I write. (The Teddy Bear is vintage in itself, my mum bought it for my son when he was born and he took it everywhere for the first four years of his life, he used to call it Mummy Ted, and she is twenty seven years old.)

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On the wall above the bed I have re-used the old kitchen shelf that I shabby chic’ed two years ago.  The bliss letters I have had for over fifteen years, so I painted them pink and they now sit on the shelf, because our surroundings are bliss.

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I have also taken an old drawer and with the help of hubby turned it into a fantastic, eclectic shelf, with the a pretty crystal handle still attached.  I love it so much, with the decoupage at the back that I am going to do some more and sell these also on my Etsy shop, each one will be unique and a pretty addition to any room in the house.

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Our home is finally turning into our home as we use more and more of the pretty things that we have accumulated over the years, not least the moon on the shelf, or the Noddy plate, a christening gift for my son, I am just keeping it safe for him.

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There is the rusty sky hook on the bureau, with recent additions of the old French photo, that I could not bear to sell, or the India Star petrol lamp on sale in my Etsy shop. You may also notice the set of pretty pictures that my sister cross stitched for me as part of my fiftieth birthday present. Their colours fit perfectly in this room

The curtains have been lost in a bag for many a time, when in fact they were crying to come out and be seen, with their bright red roses, and green leaves they were destined for this room when I bought them all those years ago……

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Still never ceases to amaze me how life comes together when you need it to!

I just love this room, with all of the little things that we have acquired over the years, from my hand painted pen jar, on my desk, to my shaker angels that Rich bought me many years ago…

To my stars and hearts bought for me by friends over the years, and a new addition a tiny metal French children’s money box, in the shape of a van. Sadly it does not have the key and the roof is not attached just comes off  or I would have sold it in my shop; it is so quirky, but now I get to keep it and it goes perfectly in this room.

So many little interesting things, with the addition of the blue sparkling lights that I spent over an hour fiddling with as I twisted them around the bed headboard.

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Just got to do the floor now!!!

I love putting things together, and my house is a house of vignettes; when people come to visit they always love it and say that there is so much to see, but that it all goes towards making it feel homely. Last weekend as I was tidying and rearranging things Rich looked at me with tears in his eyes and said I just love it how you make our houses home.  But that has not stopped him banning me from keeping anything else, although I am sure that I will get around him!) so I have turned my attention to finding pretty things for others homes. I have been told that I have an eye for things so have a look at the new things coming to my shop soon. Some are currently living in my home, but it is now a one in one out policy!!!

I hope you enjoyed the show, and please comment and rate the posts I love the feedback.

 

Moisy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obituary: A farewell to one of the girlies

 

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The weather here today, grey and overcast, seems to sum up the way we feel; because yesterday one of the girlies died very suddenly. It was a beautiful sunny day and Rich went to let Claude and his girlies out, but the dark brown chicken was just standing on the water dish looking very vacant. She had been fine the day before but Rich knew that there was something wrong because she let him stroke her and looked at him as if she did not know what to do. She did not eat (and she was a girl who liked her food!)  and simply lay in the doorway of the shed all day puffed up and asleep.

By the early eveningm when she still had not moved Rich, my gentle, kind and caring husband, went into the pen and gently picked her up to inspect her, there was no sign of anything being wrong, but she just let him look at her, made no sound or attempt to get away. So Rich carried her over to the water butt and gently rubbed her beak with water trying to get her to drink; alas she would not take any water. I will always remember her face though, as he gently rubbed her beak with water and she closed her eyes as it to say that is so nice, thank you for being kind. After that Rich decided to put her to bed and carried her into the shed and put her in her favourite place, but as he put her down she just fell over and he had to pick her up and place her in her nest.

Later as the night drew in he went to shut the chickens up  she was laying with another girly, who was clearly trying to warm her up, but to no avail, as she had already died, her eyes were white and her head was lolling over her nest.

When Rich came back into the house we both had tears in our eyes, you see we love all our animals and she had been with us such a short space of time. But, as I said to Rich, she had a good summer with all her sisters and Claudy, in a huge pen, pecking Welshie noses (she was the feisty one!) eating snails, pears and she loved a chip or two!! She was always at the lead investigating grass tufts for insects,  and she had the Hilton of chicken houses to live in. She had grass to dig into, and tree trunks to climb and lots to see with 360 views. Her last days were good days.

But today as I pegged my washing out the weather matched the mood of us all, sad and melancholy, another reminder to live every moment because things can change in a heartbeat. The other girls had eaten some food, as had Claudy, but they kept going into the shed to look for her, and were clucking at Rich as if to tell him that something was not right.

As if in memoriam the clematis that are growing by their run, had burst forth with  some late flowers, as a tribute to the girl who had left.

We have decided that she will have a funeral pyre (in the burny bin!) as living in the countryside this is the best thing to do, to prevent attracting predators, we do not want to lose any more, and as she says her final farewell we will hold a wake for her in the garden, with a glass of wine.

I know that life is all about death, what goes around comes around, and it is poignant that she died at this time of year, when so many things are dying, and the land is going to sleep, the autumn took her with it. Another reminder that this is the end of another year, who knows where we will be next, any of us? So do me a favour, raise a glass to the girly tonight and wish her well on her way, she may ‘just’ have been a chicken, but she was our chicken and we loved her.

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Moisy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I live in a painting!

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One of the most wonderful things for me living here is the sky. It is so vast – there are not skyscrapers, or rows and rows of buildings, there is just a vast expanse of sky. I find myself driving somewhere and it feels as if I am driving through a painting, from one wonderful landscape painting by Constable, into another by Turner, and then another by Monet

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Whenever I have been in difficult places, or felt the need for spiritual replenishment I have always looked to nature: The Down’s in Herne Bay in England, where I would sit with all my heartbreak and look out across the downs and the sea to the infinite sky; and it reminded me that all the weight on my shoulders, that I thought was so important really was not important at all. The world still went on into infinity and I was just a blip on the landscape.

Or the times when I would be so stressed from work and life itself I would go down to the pebbled shores, at winter time, seeking solace in this place that had long been deserted by the holidaymakers and happiness seekers; I would sit on the steps of a battered beach hut with it’s paint peeling and wood reeling from the battering of the sea and I would look out to that grey sea, where there was no defining line between sea and sky and again I would be reminded that all that I thought was important really was not important at all, the earth carried on and whether I liked it or not so would I. That the summer had gone, taking the happiness seekers with it, but the sea and the sky were still there, still beautiful in a different way; that they never gave up, and that they went with the flow of every season, knowing that things would change.

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But now, living here, I do not have to drive to find that solace, do not have to look for that peace because it surrounds me every day in it’s infinity; and I know that I am blessed.

The other day Rich and I were at someone’s house and this is what we were surrounded by

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So this post is to encourage people to think. How often do you say “I must” or “I have to” or “I Should” Rich says it all the time. There is always work for him to do with his business or work to do on the house, we could work twenty four hours a day, as could most people, and still not get it done. So why do we keep striving and not give ourselves some time to just stop?

We all keep going but do we actually achieve anything more? Do we need to?

I know that when I sat looking out to infinity during those difficult times that helped me more than ‘doing’ anything; it made me realise what was and what is important. As William Henry Davies says in his wonderful poem ‘Leisure’.

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare,

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to seem when woods we pass,

where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

streams full of stars, like skies at night……..’

 

In the the 46th verse of the Tao  ‘Living peacefully’ this is the message

 

‘contentment alone is enough

indeed, the bliss of eternity

can be found in your contentment’

In the explanation by the great late Dr Wayne W. Dyer these things stood out to me

“when you truly understand what it means to live peacefully, satisfaction will begin to replace your desire for more. ‘

‘I truly believe, to use a baseball analogy, that nature always bats last.’

And she does! She can teach us so many things if we just stop…… look, and listen.

 

Even the great William Blake said..

‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour.’

As Lin Yutang, a great Chinese writer says

‘If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.’

It is recognised that people who cloud watch, just cloud watch for no other reason than to see their beauty, are often the most relaxed and chilled people on the planet. You see a cloud is a representation of a fleeting moment, because within moments it has changed shape or moved on and you can no longer see it. It is as if someone is trying to remind us by putting them in the sky, to  stop breath and wonder.

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As the counsels “that we learn to think in moments, rather than in days, weeks, months, years, decades, or a lifetime. All we ever get is right now – that’s it. So we must avoid the inclination to magnify tiny events or worry about a future that may never arrive. It;s the little things that make all the difference in our world, and keeping life simple replaces chaos.” (Change your thoughts change your life. Dr Wayne W. Dyer)

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Simple just like clouds

So with Autumn in full flow treasure the blue sky days with the white fluffy clouds, because they will be few and far between in the grey days of winter, I challenge you all to just sit for ten minutes and cloud watch. Then tell us did it really stop you achieving what you wanted to achieve?

As I watch clouds pass me by, or just hanging there in the sky, with no place to go, and no place to be, just enjoying their time, and being free, I say to myself  I live in a painting every day, and I am grateful. Always…

Please if this post inspires you to stop and stare, or read the poems or just think give us your feedback on the blog, so that others can see it. It is easy …

And, as always, please share…

 

Moisy

la Foire d’automne

The autumn fair…..

I have had a blog lined up for weeks now, but then something topical comes up and it gets put back, no changes today. But tomorrow I will blog my reflective post so please look out for it I know some of you love them.

As the time for Vide Grenier are coming to end for the season I needed to get out and about to source some wonderful French delights for my shop. We decided to go to a vide grenier in one town and then on to the Autumn fare in Gorron, which also promised a vide grenier, fare hog roast and much more beside.

Picture the scene, there we were in our van, with the two naughty Weshies in the back, taking a detour to pick up our wonderful quirky friend Jan,  and off we went. The sun was shining and the sky was blue (a rare thing over the month of September, it is now raining as I post!) as we rattled through the beautiful  French countryside to the town of St Mars Sur Colmont convinced that one of the biggest vide grenier of the season was there.

Now let me tell you if there is vide grenier in a village you know it, because there is normally a line of parked cars for at least a mile back from where the vide grenier is actually situated. So we drove around the pretty little, sleepy French village

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and all we saw was a kid on his bike!!!

We had gone to the wrong village! In fact the village where the vide grenier was held was miles away, butm as they do in France, there was a tiny little hand written sign up in the sleepy village of St Mars telling you about a random vide grenier miles away!! Why?

Who knows, this is France!

So not to be deterred we set off for Gorron; giggling to ourselves because we looked the mad English having a van man day out, with our dogs! Just driving through the French lanes  without a care in the world. As we drove along we passed some lovely old French people, who were collecting the chestnuts that just grow on the side of the road, They all waved at us and we all waved back as we had known each other for years, although they were probably thinking “Aah the mad Anglaise! There they go, not knowing where they are going but carrying on anyway!!

But when we arrived in Gorron, a small French farming town near to us. we were not disappointed because  because  it was heaving. There were vide grenier stalls up every street, and tiny lane with any old tut you could find on the tables.  But if you look carefully there were some treasures and I found some, in the shape of  some beautiful etched tiny little aperitif glasses, and a holy communion certificate for a young girl born in 1921 who took her holy communion in1931; it so delicate and poignant the type of thing I love to have in my home.  But, as my husband keeps reminding me,  I cannot keep everything so off they will go to my Etsy shop, petiteFrenchfancies  (see previous posts for the treasures that holds,) for others around the world, who do not have easy access to France,. to buy and make others envious.

This sleepy town of Gorron, that is often so quiet, had every shop open selling their wares, a big fare with merry go rounds and candy-floss, or barb-a-papa (papa’s beard) as it is known over here, there were stalls selling saucisson and frites (sausage and chips so popular with French at a vide grenier, sadly not me,  as the sausages are too lumpy!) crepe sellers waiting to cook fresh crepes on demand and more.

Sunday is normally such a quiet day in France but vide grenier are not like boot sales, they do not start really early and shut at lunchtime; the French like to make a day of it, setting up little picnic tables behind their stalls and having lunch with wine, coffee everything. The atmosphere is lighthearted and friendly and as well as some real treasures I have to say that they sell some real crap as well!

But this was no ordinary vide grenier, this was a celebration of Autumn, for being thankful for what the season brings, not least tons of pears which I have been picking for weeks in someone’s garden. I wouldn’t mind but I don’t like pears!  All of the bars were open, so halfway through our treasure hunt we sat outside a little bar and had a kir, followed by a wine and beer with some frites,  because sadly the hog roast had all been eaten by 12.30!!!

As the day drew to a close,  and once I was satisfied that I had found some real wonders for my shop,  we sat at a large Tabac and had a couple more drinks whilst people watching,  before making our way home, dropping the ‘mad one’ off on the way.

We got home worn out, in fact the dogs were so tired they put themselves to bed and did not get up to be fed; and  for the first time in a long time I was in bed before 11pm.

But this is one of the reasons that I moved to France. I love to embrace it’s culture, I love vide grenier’s including the things that they sell like  shoes that are about twenty years old and have no soles on them, battered to hell; or clothes that have shrunk in the wash!! French people have an attitude that everything has some value, even if it is broken!!

I love living here.

As always folks please share, and rate at the top of the page, I want your feedback good or bad.

Moisy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just go with the flow and enjoy the show

As people who have been reading my blog for some time know one of the main things that I love about living here is the way the seasons are defined. The winter with it’s imposing wind, especially by my house on the hill! The frosts so harsh and beautiful at the same time …….

You batten down the hatches and you light the fire mid afternoon, and freeze the rest of the day! And you are grateful. In fact this year we will be even more thankful because thanks to the kindness of others we now have a TV in our bedroom so we can snuggle under the duvet this year (and watch the telly thank you!!)

There is no escaping spring when the crocus come up in my garden, followed by the primrose in every colour imaginable and the hedgerows are a sea of blossom for the copious amount of cob nut trees in this region. My garden likes to show me it is waking up and as always my beautiful old cherry tree never fails to make me smile… she is reminding me every time that things will come around again and it will all be alright as long as you believe and go with the flow. I have had her now nearly twenty years, and she even moved to France with me!

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Then on comes summer, with it’s hot days (extremely hot this year our well dried up!) and the meadow flowers all along the banks by the roads and fields; with the vide grenier’s in every town, the swifts teaching their babies to fly and catch the insects in the evening sun, and the bats, who like to pay a visit or two to us. The skies are unbelievably clear, the stars so bright because there is no light pollution here in my wonderful environment in which I live. My clematis show off and compete against each other and I love sitting in the garden until late in the evening until the sun goes down..

 

And finally to autumn. My faithful followers will know just how much this season inspires me. It can be beautiful, and sad, happy but melancholy because we know that we are saying goodbye to another summer; and we perhaps ask, did we enjoy and savor every moment as we should have? There are no promises for the future who knows what it will hold. The season is melancholy because things are dying around you, even our chickens are only laying one egg a day – or perhaps we have hungry pine martens paying us a visit, every thing has to batten down and survive the winter, I always try and remind myself of that. But autumn also has so much to offer, not least an abundance of walnuts which this year I have decided to put them to good use and I am collecting them every day (although my fingers have now been dyed a distinctly unattractive shade of brown!!) I started my collection yesterday and picked up over two hundred …

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Today, accompanied by the truffle snuffler that is Wiglet the piglet

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I picked up another sixty three with many more to come. I plan to share them with my friends and neighbours and cook the promised coffee and walnut cake!

The cucumber is still giving and I have another three growing, but alas the tomatoes bought it some time ago. My fairy kingdoms have sprung up everywhere, and I still love to imagine them lit up with tiny lights each evening.

We have started to get our logs, and are going to use some of our pine trees as well because nothing can go to waste now, not living out here. In fact my darling husband

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(He will kill me for this photo but serves him right for taking it on my Ipad!) has been out sawing the ones we have bought so far.

Yes autumn has come very early, in fact we have had to light our fire for the past week or so, but so what it will all work out in the end, I believe it will.

So I know that Persephone has left with Hades for the underworld, and that the world around me is going to sleep, but I also know to treasure each and every moment. The only moment is now….. As the late great Dr Wayne W Dyer says when explaining the Tao….

“Learn to think in moments, rather than in days, weeks, months, years, decades, or a lifetime. All we ever get is right now – that’s it. So we must avoid the inclination to magnify tiny events or worry about a future that may never arrive. It’s the little things that make all the difference in our world, and keeping life simple replaces chaos.”

So just a big thank you to my husband. I read him the Tao, whether he wants me to or not, and he always patiently listens. I love him for that, I always thought that he was  he humoring me. But then the other day, when I said that I was a bit worried (I know worrying is futile and I do try not to as it gains nothing) about not having enough wood for the winter he said:

“We got through last winter, and the winter before that, and we will get through this one. I am confident of that, things will come our way, and I am not going to worry about something when I know that things will resolve themselves if we let them.”

I could have cried, he wasn’t humoring me, he was taking it all in, in his own way, and then understanding exactly the message, to help me when I lost my way.

Happy autumn folks… enjoy it all this season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness.”

Moisy

The Witchy Poo Cook Rich’s Friday night kebab

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As promised, yes I know over a week ago, the Witchy Poo Cook is back just in time for Friday dinner. For those who are health conscious look away now!!

Since moving to France Rich and I are often shocked when we think how much we used to spend on takeaways. In England (and other countries) it is so easy to get a takeaway, delivered to you door so you can have a few glasses of wine and not even have to worry about driving to collect it; you can just call them any time and one will be delivered, some takeaways delivering until four in the morning!!

But not in France!! Oh no!! Not in the rural area where we live. In addition the only type of takeaway you tend to be able to get delivered are kebabs and pizza and only until about eight or nine in the evening. There is no culture here of getting pissed and then stuffing your face!! So as Rich and I do like to have a few wines in the evening I have taught myself to cook most takeaways at a fraction of the cost. So look out for more but today we are going to be cooking my husbands favourite…. Friday Night Kebab.

The ingredients you will need are…..

Chicken breasts – depending on how many you are catering for.

Kebab meat – if you want the kebab in the picture. You can buy doner kebab meat in most supermarkets over here and probably can where you live. Personally I find it better because it tends to be cut thinner and it is mainly for Rich as I used to eat chicken kebab, but each to your own I am going with the picture.

Olive oil

Onions

Wheat tortilla’s

Chilli sauce (whatever you prefer, I go for sweet chilli, Rich goes for burn your arse hot!!)

The Spices – Salt, paprika, garlic granules, ras al hanout  (morrocan spice), you can also add some tajine spice if you don’t have ras al Hanout, cumin, coriander (the dried green leaves are best but whatever you have will work.)

The salad – All the usual suspects, tomatoes, but lots of cucumber, lettuce and onion.  You will also need some lemon juice and vinegar – to get that authentic takeaway wilted salad my husband craved!!

Let’s Witchy Poo…

Cut the onions into slices and add to a frying pan with olive oil. Let them sweat and and then add a dash of all of the spices – yep go for it.

You will have to keep them moving now and probably add some more oil.

Slice the chicken into small slices, or larger and break up in the pan.

Add the chicken to the pan with the onions once the onions have started to brown, and then guess what? Add some more spices, don’t forget the salt!! Again you will need to add some more oil.

Stir away and let the chicken brown. Then put into an oven dish and into the oven on 150 or gas mark 4.

Now for the kebab meat…

Repeat all of the above except add kebab meat. Simples!! But if you want it to come out like my photo then I let the kebab meat really cook and brown, and  then I add it to the same oven dish as the chicken and put it back in the oven for about twenty mins whilst I cook our chips in our Actifry (see there is something healthy in this!!)

Prepare the salad next as you have to ensure it has marinated, so add it all to a bowl and add salt, lemon juice and we add red wine vinegar (not a lot as you don’t want a massive puddle in the bottom of the bowl!)

Once the chips are almost becoming crispy put the wheat tortilla on the plate and add the salad, and then the meat, and then some more salad.  It’s done!!

But if really want it to taste like a takeaway turn the oven off and then put it back in the oven so that the salad starts to wilt, just like it does when it is delivered. I know how sad are we?!!

Add the chips and chilli sauce of your liking and munch away……..

If you want to make something different you could substitute the kebab meat for mincemeat and cook it with the spices until it is brown and crispy!!!

Yum……..

Enjoy and can I ask if you have tried my recipe’s then please give some feedback to the blog readers – I know some of you have so give it a go. Also please share and rate I want your feedback good or bad.

 

Have a lovely weekend

 

Moisy

 

 

 

 

Little o’l eclectic me – inspired by my home I have opened an Etsy shop

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So folks I have been caught up in finally stocking and opening my Etsy shop!!

For many a year people have told me that I have an eye for interiors, I am not a ‘shopping centre, matching furniture’ type of girl’  (no surprises there then considering I have decided to up sticks and move to the middle of rural France with a cesspit that overflows, no kitchen roof, a wonderful husband, menagerie of animals and two mad Welshies.) I have never been one to follow the crowd and I have always loved things that are unusual, old, rustic and different; and yes I am finally starting to believe that I have an eye for mixing and matching. From my first home with Rich, sixteen years ago …

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To my Edwardian house by the sea, that I left to move here…

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To the one we have now with little vignettes all around

including the vintage Singer Sewing Machine and table that I bought, couldn’t get to work, but couldn’t bear to part with it. So now I use it as a table to house pretty things, and as a novel way to store our logs! – It is just too pretty to let go.

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I have always loved stars, hearts, all things that sparkle and blow in the wind (like voile curtains), and old things, things from charity shops, I have random cards scattered about my house like this one that sits on my desk (given to me for Christmas by a lovely lady I used to work with) – It is called “A little peace” and at times I can so relate to it.

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Or this one, from my lovely mother in law, which is hanging off the hand painted mirror ( hand painted by me!) that also sits on my old industrial office desk that I have painted mint green, with a blue top, beside the 1940’s vintage lamp that I found in a shop over here.

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Then there are the hand painted jam jars (painted by me..) like these two that sit on my desk beside me as I am writing this now, with a story book I used to read my son and a vintage tile propped up against the mirror

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As  you can see my desk is a desk of inspiration, and now I am inspired!

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I finally believe those people who tell me that I have an ‘eye’ for detail, so now I am going to share that detail with you, and all the people who visit my shop; providing an opportunity to own some beautiful little French things that I am going to stock  like this coffee set – it caught my eye because of the lovely lavender colour, perfect for those who love vintage tea parties, or coffee mornings.

Or this skyhook, of a French woodcutter, generating much interest possibly because I cannot source another anywhere;  and they are collectors items. I had him on my kitchen shelf! I just loved his quirky look.

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My style is so  eclectic, when people visit my home, wherever I have lived, they have always commented on how there is so much to see, and how I put it together so that it just works, instead of looking like a house of obsessive hoarders!

When we moved to France I did not want a fitted kitchen, Rich made me my kitchen and my friend Mary made me the curtains. But as always, with someone like me (bless my husband he loves me so much) things constantly change in my house and as you know if you have been reading my blog for a long time, we have just recently knocked a wall down in the kitchen to extend it. Only this weekend on my Instagram account, with the same name as this blog  I shared tales from my French rustic kitchen, and people loved it.

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It is the small things like these metal agricultural signs, this one for first prize for a prize winning breeding bull –  normally displayed pride of place on farmers barns, hence the paint peeling off, and I love them. They are original, there will never be another one, and they tell a story, and I love things that tell a story. Like one of my most favourite items in my house my Victorian wash stand…

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Found in someone’s garage in Canterbury, with rain dripping down on it. Someone asked me if I was going to paint it, and although I often do renovate furniture (as long time followers of my blog will know) , this washstand tells the story of it’s life and will always remain the same whilst it lives with me.

We have hearts and witches balls hanging from our curtain poles, to ward off evil spirits, and mirrors and sparkly lights everywhere.

So now I finally believe in myself,  and I have opened my shop and the views are coming in quickly In fact I already have someone in America who is trying to buy the French woodcutter balance toy, and boy is it getting a lot of hits; well it is very very rare, and would make a lovely christening gift for a child to treasure, and sell on in the future because it would be an investment.

I love the pretty little glass dishes, bowls, and stands that you can find and I have some creating a pretty little vignette in our bedroom, and housing all of my sparkly bracelets and bangles..

 

Lighting is also my passion out here nearly all the lights (except for the bathroom lights) have been sourced from vide grenier’s including my enamel lights over my butchers block

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To the ones my darling husband recently put up above my sink, they are so pretty, and nobody else has them..

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And now I have these beautiful tulip wall lights in our guest bedroom – yes more pictures to follow for those who are following my blog the clowns have finally gone!!!

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I am in my element in France there are so many beautiful old things available, and although I love them all Rich has told me that I cannot keep them all, of course he is right, so now I am using my eye for things to help others find magical treasures that they can put in their home, safe in the knowledge that they are probably always going to be a one off, I love saying that to people when they say “where did you get that from” and I can say “a small little village in France!”

So have a look at my shop and let me know what you think.  PetiteFrenchfancies

I have found my niche – as well as this blog, and sending my book to a publisher next week!!

More recipes to come folks – sorry I have not forgotten Friday night Kebab!!

 

Moisy

 

As always please rate this blog using the star rating system at the top of the page – and leave as many comments as you can I love to hear what you have to say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our autumnal garden – Vanilla and Fraise, Fraise Melba, grubs and chickens, and two mad welshies.

Hi to all, and I know you like to see some of my garden during the year, and I feel that I have been remiss during the summer months. Sadly  Autumn has arrived early this year  so I thought that I would share some of my garden during the transitional period.

All week we have not had a day where we have not had rain in some form, so it has been difficult for Rich to do some of his work outside. We have been avidly weather watching but there are no days this week either behind us or to come where rain is not forecast so some work has had to be put on hold (very wet grass cannot be mowed!) . So  yesterday Rich and I decided that we would do some work on our garden, because we can work in the rain in our garden, when it comes to planting out shrubs that have outgrown their pots, and also we can get out of the rain as needed!

We had a list of jobs to complete including jobs to prepare for the winter – it is our third winter here and we have finally realised that at this time of year you really have to baton down the hatches and prepare for the onslaught, so one of our jobs (still on the list) is to cut up our pine trees as they have seasoned enough and will be overseasoned it we do not get to them soon.

So firstly I have planted up the pointed hydrangea that my dearest friend Karen bought for me. I have coveted one of these plants for so long. Over here they are known as ice cream hydrangea due to their conical shape, and because of their names such as Vanilla and Fraise, (vanilla and strawberry), or the variety called  Sundae because it changes from white to pink to pistachio colour as the seasons move on;  there is also  another called Fraise Melba, (strawberry melba) because it changes from white to deep red.  I love them, and I am over the moon to have one in my garden.

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But as I cleaned out the old compost from the pots I found a number of these little buggers..

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The dreaded Chafer grub (other names are also available). Vile aren’t they? And boy would they eat my new plant. So out come all the soil, and the compost that was left in a bag, because it appears that the beetle to whom these babies belong, lays its’ eggs in compost.  But the grubs did not go to waste because we had great fun throwing pots of soil into the chicken run for the Claude and the girlies, or as Rich calls them Kellogs and his cornflakes!! (Our cock really is a wonderful specimen (stop giggling!!)!!)

Oh they loved it, scratching around in the soil with Harley barking his head off because he thought we were throwing so we must be giving the chickens toys! Add to that the wild grass that we dug up covered in slugs and snails and the girlies were happy girlies today- and Claude aka Kellogs.

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We also took one of my poor miniature willow trees out of it’s pot and planted it up, along with the clematis that was growing with it.  We will be building log steps between it and the other plant the other side  this winter, because we have to do something to keep warm!!

Here is Rich digging the hole, assisted, or hindered, by two naughty welshies….

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And here is the finished result, looking good and I hope it will be encouraged to grow back the other half that is currently bald. Watch this space.

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We ran out of time with regard to the other shrubs and got rained off today, in fact as I am typing the rain is torrential, and (gasp, shock, horror!) I have the electric heater on!!.

Sadly it is clear that the party is over, the chairs are stacked (and now very wet) waiting to go to the barn, the sun loungers have been collected up, after laying in the garden looking forlorn and abandoned, as if they were saying please don’t say it is over, surely one last hurrah!

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And the gazebo? That took itself down last week after a torrential downpour!!

But we have had a good summer, a very very hot summer, and despite our well running dry, and anything else that life threw at us we still love living here. So here are some memories of summer 2017, and here is to the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, as you know I believe we should enjoy them all and all they have to offer…..

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The random meadow flowers we just threw out there when Rich put the steps in …..

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Harley loving playing in the paddling pool

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Beer and loungers…

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Fleuri……

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Cherries, blossom and stunning hues across the trees at sunset …

And of course the cucumber saga – it is not over yet there are two new baby cucumbers growing as I type!!

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And last, but never least good good friends ……

So welcome Autumn, I welcome your chilly nights, and the way  you love to confuse us with your warm days, cool days, and wet days, I am blessed to be able to experience them and for that I am thankful every day, poo in the cellar or no poo in the cellar!!!

Have a good weekend folks, more posts to come and please you can follow moisfrenchadventure now on Instagram if you don’t feel like reading!! I also have collections on Pin Interest under moisfrenchadventure so please feel free to view…. and rate wherever possible

Keep smiling, keep being thankful and savour every small moment, like the garlic sizzling in the pan.

Moisy

Lessons from the house on the hill…

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My house, our house, it is a house on the pinnacle of the hill; trust me, out of the three houses in our commune we are on the top, top, top of the hill. It makes sense we were the original farmhouse for the land as far as the eye can see, and out neighbours homes would have been our barns.

So being on top of a hill does come with some disadvantages, so far we have had our kitchen roof removed (we will be having our second winter with just tarp over it – a new one mind you!!) by a storm, a tornado rip through our garden, chewing up and spitting out the gazebo, half of the silver birch tree’  and doing a fair bit of damage to other trees. (See posts from September last year) There has been The Hooley (see said post) and whenever there is a wind it whips around the house like a banshee. Add to that it appears that our well is known for running dry, because basically the water in it all runs off down the hill towards the river, and you can probably see that buying a house on a hill comes with it’s difficulties.

So this year has been no different and last week we had a storm and our terrace was hit by lightening! There we were Rich snoring away me half asleep listening to the storm, when there was a loud crack and the corner of our bedroom lit up as if a group of paparazzi were in the corner taking photos (although of Rich in his pants snoring and me in my pyjamas with two sleeping welshies I don’t think they would be getting much money for those photos!!) Rich woke with a start and immediately went downstairs to check the router for the internet and came back to advise me it was smoking and the phone was also burnt out!!

Now given the other things I have written about, and Rich’s wobble a couple of months ago you would think that this would not have helped. But do you know what? The boy took it in his stride!! let me explain why:

You see earlier in the week our telly had gone wrong, in fact had gone kaput, the screen had just given up the ghost. But just that day, Dad, who has now left for pastures new, had given us a telly. Not as big, but a good reasonably sized telly never the less. When Rich started to get stressed when the screen went blue, I pointed out to him that he had a telly he could use, so why was he stressing?!

As they say in the Tao:

‘There is no good or bad luck, it’s indivisible. What you’re calling ‘bad’ fortune had ‘good’ just waiting to emerge, because it is the other half.’

From Change your thoughts change your life, living the wisdom of the Tao.

Dr Wayne W.Dyer.

 

Basically you can’t have good without bad, and you can’t have bad without good, otherwise how would you know which is which? As they say ‘in life death is hiding.’

Now I know some people reading this will think ‘Well I have not had anything good yet, everything that happens to me is bad.” Is it? Because have you even considered that you woke up this morning? You are alive when others are not. You can see the sky, you can hear the birds, you may have someone who loves you, or beautiful animals that love you unconditionally and do you know what all that is luck!! You have food to eat, you can read (or you would not be reading this!) you have opportunity. Life is not all about materialistic things because as they also say to quote Byron Katie

“To believe that you need what you don’t have is insane.”

And to quote an add on from the late Dr Wayne W. Dyer

“Believing that you cannot be content and happy now because your future appears to you to be difficult is another form of insanity.”

“Look at what you have and realise that you are obviously fine in this moment. ”

So by the time the lightening struck Rich had got ‘it’ and knew, and believed that good luck would also come his way; and it has, in so many ways not just materialistic ones.

Here are the lucky things about living in a house on a hill:

We have these views

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We have wonderful, wonderful neighbours. We have woodpeckers that visit our trees in our garden; in fact last week we had a tawny owl sitting in the tree outside our barn looking in at us for most of the day. We have had wild boar run through the fields right in front of our house, making their way to the river; and dears just standing stock still looking at us.

We realise how lucky we are to have each other, and our beautiful animals, when we are all snug in our house as the wind whips around it, this house has been here for two hundred and five years, she is not giving up yet.

We are blessed to own a house on a hill, because we get to see what the real world is like. We are blessed to live in France and to struggle because it makes us realise that materialistic things do not make you happy, companionship, love and support for each other does.

Have a good evening

Moisy

PS folks please don’t forget if you enjoyed this post please rate it with the star rating at the top – i would really appreciate it.