Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Italy in Books Reading Challenge with Book After Book.

I love the connectivity that occurs between bloggers, don't you?
Two months ago I joined like minded, book reading bloggers for the monthly What We're Reading linky party and have added quite a few more titles to my TBR list since then.
LindyLouMac paid Normandy Life a visit after reading my review of Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald last week.
I repaid the compliment by visiting her blog (as you do!) and there I discovered another book linky party that really appealed to me:
The Italy In Books Reading Challenge hosted every month by Brighton Blogger @ Book After Book.
It caught my eye because I recently read and enjoyed "Summer School" by Domenica de Rosa, I'll be reviewing the book soon, and linking it to the Challenge, in May.

There are a few other books on my shelves that will fit this challenge too and I know that I'll find plenty more next week when I'll be visiting the revered and hallowed "Book Town" of Hay on Wye in Herefordshire, UK.
Sadly we won't be there for the Festival of Literature and The Arts but I do hope that I'll get there one day.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

We'll gather lilacs in the Spring again...............

We'll gather lilacs in the spring again
And walk together down an English lane
Until our hearts have learned to sing again
When you come home once more

And in the evening by the firelight's glow
You'll hold me tight and never let me go
Your eyes will tell me all I want to know
When you come home once more


From the Show "Perchance To Dream" (1945)

(Ivor Novello)

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

Friday, 22 April 2011

JOYEUSES PAQUES - Vintage French Easter Cards

Whilst browsing french ebay recently for Easter decorations I came across these beautiful vintage Easter cards, mostly dating from the early 1900's.

A fluffy yellow chick & pussy willow.

The message to Demoiselles Venon reads
"Bonjour et vous en brasse Espagnol"

The message on this card was from "votre petite eleve, que ne vous oublie pas"
to Mademoiselle Mathilde de Vierseu.
Postmarked 29.111.07 a Paris.

Joyeuses Paques
Souvenirs et Amities

The postmark on the last card below reads:
New York, N.Y. STA. H.
and is dated
March 29, 11.30 PM 1912.
It was mailed to M'selle Mathilde Engels
chez Villa des Fougeres
Avenue des Arenes de Ciminez
I know that I'm a little late in sending my Easter Greetings to all my friends in blogland but we've been without the internet solidly now for 4 days!
I'm writing this post at breakneck speed to try and get it posted before we lose access again.
To those of you who have been kind enough to comment on previous posts, I've really missed visiting your blogs and will try and get back to all of you as soon as normal service is resumed.
Joyeuses Paques everyone.
This Easter Sunday I'm joining the Tablescaper once again for Seasonal Sundays.
Click here or on the sidebar button to visit others celebrating today.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Fall On Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald.

This month the What We're Reading gathering is being hosted by Bonnie @ The Boatwright Family blog.
If like me you love to read and are always looking for good book recommendatiions then this is a place you should check out too.
Last week I received a parcel from my dear blogger friend Pondside.
In it were two books which she thought I would enjoy reading.
Fall On You Knees and The Way the Crow Flies by Canadian author Ann-Marie MacDonald.
Fall On You Knees became an International Bestseller shortly after it was published in 1997, winning The Commonwealth Prize For Best First Fiction, The CAA Harlequin Literary Award for Fiction and the Dartmouth Award.
It was also shortlisted for several other prestigious awards, including the British Orange Prize for Best Novel by a woman writer. Oprah Winfrey picked it for her Book Club.
The question I’m asking myself is……………how did I not know about this book before receiving it from Pondside?
Fall On Your Knees is undoubtedly THE best book that I have read in many a long year, and I do read a lot of books.
I literally devoured this book, inhaling every page, and spent three afternoons when I could have been working in the potager, cooking, cleaning or blogging, reading this towering epic of a novel. (Mr B said I hadn’t been this quiet in ages!)
The story is a familiar one…………… a family.
Its secrets, its memories and its history.
Sisters, fathers, mothers, children.
Each character has a story to tell.
Some of them begin with such promise that you can’t bear it when their journey is cut short, either through their own destructive behaviour or that of a family member.
Others overcome adversity to find love, shelter and safety elsewhere, at least for a while.
Set in the Cape Breton town of New Waterford the compelling saga begins at the closing of the 19th century with James Piper, his Lebanese wife Materia and their daughters.
First born Kathleen, destined to become a world famous Opera singer.
Mercedes - never without her opal rosary and devoted to her sister, Frances.
Frances - who knew she was the bad Piper sister even at five years of age.
The journey ends in NYC in the 1960’s with the last of the Piper girls - Lily.
The San Francisco Chronicle describes Fall On Your Knees as…
"An old fashioned epic full of plot twists. The story leaps gracefully across generations, national borders, and cultural standards regarding race, class and sexual orientation”.
The London Times review had this to say…………..
"The uniqueness of MacDonald’s voice, and of her approach, lies in her ability to distill."
All I can add is that if you don’t read any other book this year, you have to read Fall On Your Knees!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Mosaic Monday - Flowers Are Red.

Flowers are Red
Click here for a beautiful, moving poem
about red flowers.
Joining Mary at the little red house
Mosaic Monday.
Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Blondie has asked me what the names of the flowers are,
the top two pix are of a red rhododendron that I rescued from the reduced (dying plants!) section at the garden centre a few years ago, the bottom right is a pieris plant also from the garden centre, (full price!) and the bottom left is a flowering quince bush that was here in the garden when we bought the house.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Trees and Poetry.

After the spring flowers have faded and become just a distant memory the trees in our garden step forward to delight us with acid green leaves and neon pink and gentle white blossom.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray,
A tree that may in summer wear
a nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose blossom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems were made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.
­Joyce Kilmer

The Sound of the Trees
I WONDER about the trees.
Why do we wish to bear
Forever the noise of these
More than another noise
So close to our dwelling place?
We suffer them by the day
Till we lose all measure of pace,
And fixity in our joys,
And acquire a listening air.
They are that talks of going
But never gets away;
And that talks no less for knowing,
As it grows wiser and older,
That now it means to stay.
My feet tug at the floor
And my head sways to my shoulder
Sometimes when I watch trees sway,
From the window or the door.
I shall set forth for somewhere,
I shall make the reckless choice
Some day when they are in voice
And tossing so as to scare
The white clouds over them on.
I shall have less to say, But I shall be gone.--
Robert Frost

cherry blossoms
with the morning moon
still in the sky
(old traditional Haiku translated by Robin Gill)
Trees just stand around all day
and sun themselves and rest.
They never walk or run away
and surely that is best.
For otherwise how would
  squirrel or robin find its nest?

Aileen Fisher
Many thanks to NC State University for sharing these poems on their website.
Please join me over at A Southern Daydreamer and Susan our gracious hostess
for Outdoor Wednesday
click here or on the sidebar button.
Linking also to a new blog that Ricki Jill led me to,
Mamarazzi's Dandelion Wishes 


Friday, 8 April 2011

Back on line, did you miss me?

For about a week now our ISP has been playing fast and loose with our internet connection.
For many hours each day, and during the night too for all I know, we have been incommunicado.
You never know what you've got 'till it's gone!
The cows came home to the field next door.
So, whilst the internet gods are smiling down on me here are some of the things that have been happening around the Presbytère this week.
Fleurs first trip to the beach.

Flowers and trees blossomed.

Retail therapy at the garden centre
I've already begun to plant out some of the above seedlings in the kitchen garden at the back of the house.
This year I'm trying my hand at brassicas, (cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli) for the first time, also shallots, chinese leaf and kale.
Watch this space for updates on how they all work out.
Joining the following gracious hostesses this weekend
A Few Of My Favourite Things Saturday
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Mary @ the little red house for Mosaic Monday.
Click on the above links or the buttons on my sidebar to join these great gatherings too.
Bon weekend à tous......

Friday, 1 April 2011


Yesterday Mr B brought me these wonderful tulips back from the market and so I thought I'd share them with Liz over at Rose Vignettes for Fresh Cut Friday and also with The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.

  Tulip Haiku.
Rainbow of Colors
Field of Tulips Never-Ending.
Bright and Beautiful.

~ by Marie M. Daniels

The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers
exceed me still.

~ Isaac Watts

Bring the tulip and the rose,
While their brilliant beauty glows.

~ Eliza Cook

A Tulip Garden ~ by Amy Lowell.
Guarded within the old red wall's embrace,
Marshalled like soldiers in gay company,
The tulips stand arrayed. Here infantry
Wheels out into the sunlight. What bold grace
Sets off their tunics, white with crimson lace!
Here are platoons of gold-frocked cavalry,
With scarlet sabres tossing in the eye
Of purple batteries, every gun in place.
Forward they come, with flaunting colours spread,
With torches burning, stepping out in time
To some quick, unheard march. Our ears are dead,
We cannot catch the tune. In pantomime
Parades that army. With our utmost powers
We hear the wind stream through a bed of flowers.

Many thanks to Felicity for sharing these wonderful tulip poems.
Click here to see her amazing tulip images.