Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Feeling good to be back…

We’re busy sorting everything out after a long winter. As I type Tim is power washing the terrace and balcony areas. When this vital posting work is finished I shall go outside to assume the equally important role of directing operations, and, of course, to point out any small areas he might have missed!! As you can imagine, as retirement for both of us becomes a reality, he is really looking forward to having me on hand to assume this role permanently!!  ;o)

A welcome sight…


IMG_8327 The clematis is blooming.

IMG_8334 Plenty of blossom on the quince tree.

IMG_8337 The palm tree, which we thought we’d lost, in the cold winter a couple of years ago.

Less welcome…


IMG_8329 The moles have certainly taken advantage of our absence to take up residence.

Any ideas?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Counting my blessings...

 Apologies if this post looks like it hasn't been edited... I have tried :o((

Here in the UK it's Mothering Sunday. As always in the midst of their busy lives my children have remembered me. 

I was shopping with Rhiannon yesterday. She bought me a beautiful Sophie Conran candle with the most wonderful scent. Whilst paying she had a conversation with the assistant who mentioned that when the candle is finished the bowl can be used for cooking. They mused that it would be particularly suitable for a soufflé. If it is indeed used for a soufflé it will be a first for this mother!! Rhi and Stuart will have invited us for a meal this evening, which I know will be delicious.

Tom sent me some lovely tulips and card courtesy of Moonpig. They were delivered yesterday and the arrangement large enough for me to take some down to my Mothers grave which is about 200m away, in our village churchyard.

The weather is warm and sunny, I'm baking a chocolate cake and Tim is busy watching the Malaysian Grand Prix. 

Happiness, contentment and certainly counting my blessings...

UPDATE 1: Perhaps everything in my Mothering Sunday garden isn't so rosy; instead of baking a cake it  would be more accurately described as BURNING a chocolate cake. Still a covering of frosting can hide a multitude of sins! Sorry, Jean! You can find Jean at -bakinginfranglais.blogspot.co.uk

2: I love my iPad, but the blogger app is very clumsy to edit or insert links and resize pics? It won't even let me publish and then go to blogger to edit later. I think I'll revert to using windows live writer which allows me do everything I want to do, easily! There doesn't seem to be an app for live writer. Why not? There's app for almost everything else!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

59 today…

At the top of a mountain…


Renovating Rhiannon’s bathroom…


Snapping away at a Venus Moon…


Happy Birthday, Tim xx

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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Where did you get that hat?

Life is busy! Maybe that statement doesn't quite hit the spot. Perhaps my abilities to deal with life efficiently are ebbing away with age. Blogging time is slipping down the list, and although I read most posts, my comments are almost always short, superficial, and rarely do justice to the subject matter.

Did I tell you that life is busy? Not work life, but social life and preparations for that life after work that I constantly seem to be banging on about! We've also been taking advantage of the better weather and lighter nights and trying to walk for an hour or so every evening.

Spring is in the air, together with something else that I can't really say any more about at the moment, except to say that it will be momentous! When I can share the news, I will. The intention isn't to be secretive, but to give a flavour of the mounting excitement developing at The Old School.

In the meantime a couple of family snaps, unfortunately separated by a few thousand miles.

The Ministry of Silly Hats, at Bridgemere. For some reason I wasn't allowed to don the tank commanders helmet! Rhiannon was entertaining the oldies during a much needed break from her post-grad studies. Apologies for the quality, but it's another mobile selfie. Is it still a selfie if the pic shows more than one person?

Tom, at the end of his Japanese biathlon, coming 41st out of 120 in the pro race. He improved his PB by seven minutes. Bravo!

 Celebrating with the Tom Bot!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Tongue in cheek…

Our friend and fellow blogger Colin posted some fantastic photographs taken with his super new lens. Take a look at the post and the blog he writes with Elizabeth.

If my comments were a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ it’s because I knew where I was going to be today!



Watch this space… :o)

Monday, 17 February 2014

A sugar fix - 57 flapjack…

The dismal, grey weather continues, interspersed with some beautiful, spring-like, sunny days.Today,the first day of my half term holiday, is another of the dismal ones. Tim is working, but we did start the day a bit later than usual.

This afternoon I decided to make some 57 flapjack. Tim is an addict, but although I’ll eat some it isn’t a favourite of mine. I took the opportunity to use up some bits from my baking cupboard, and a secret ingredient!


Pauline and Tim, very kindly gave us a jar of their delicious apple, citrus, whisky mincemeat before we left France last November, with strict instructions not to use before Christmas!





Just in case you think Tim might be responsible for the dodgy photographs, I claim full responsibility!

The basic recipe works well and I add whatever I have available to add taste.


  • 125g butter
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 75g golden syrup (2 tablespoons)
  • 250g oats (some can be replaced with ground almonds)
  • Optional: apricots, dates, nuts, mincemeat, chocolate topping, ground ginger etc


  • Melt butter, sugar and syrup together with any optional ingredients.
  • Add the oats and mix thoroughly.
  • Place into a greased baking tin and press down with a palette knife and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180̊C until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for a couple of minutes and cut into fingers.
  • Cool completely before removing from the tin.

I usually make four times the recipe and freeze three packs.

I’ve just found a recipe which uses condensed milk to give a more fudge-like taste.

Maybe tomorrow…

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sochi 2014

Well done to Jenny Jones who has won Team GB's first ever medal on snow; a bronze in the ladies' slopestyle snow board event. Of course in our excitement we shouldn't forget the magnificent achievements of Jaime Anderson (USA) and Enni (Finland) who deservedly won the gold and silver medals. What is amazing about Jenny is that she learned to snowboard on a dry slope in Bristol and honed her skills as a chalet girl.

Taken from the television with the camera on my tablet. For some reason the photograph of the full podium didn't come out - probably meaning that I didn't actually take it!

I hope this gives young people the hope that with commitment,hard work, skill and a bit of good luck anything is possible...