Thursday, June 27, 2013

Roses, boutique and a picnic

Hello summer...well mostly. It's not exactly sweltering over here but the roses are definitely in bloom both on the terrace and in the garden. This year the trellis is effulgent with three rose varieties all in their glory at this moment.

Last year we discovered these lovely little purple geraniums for our terrace pot.The great thing about them is that besides blooming all season long, they come back. We were quite surprised to see them emerge again out of the frozen earth early in the spring. Once the sun came out, they grew like gang busters.

I finally felt sure enough of the weather this week to set up the boutique for the season. This part of our garage/press room gets moist in the rain, so for me to put out my prints, I have to have some assurance that the sky is going to be mostly clear and the air mostly warm before I can open the shop. To dress the place up a bit I painted some wallpaper for the blank walls. I like the whimsy.

When Emily and family came for a brief visit recently, we took a day trip to our old stomping ground in Les Alpes Mancelles to see our neighbors the Tireaus, who remain our good friends.

When we first moved to France we lived in a little mill on a small river in the middle of a forest. It is an utterly charming location and in the summer Emily produced a theater festival in our local town. We have so many warm memories from this period of our lives.

We sold the moulin in 2007 in order to purchase the Maison Conti but we go back from time to time. Currently, the moulin is changing hands again but at the moment is empty, so we were given permission to have our picnic there and do a little walking down memory lane. In truth an actual walk was a little difficult. One thing which has been neglected is the pruning. The place is like the jungle anyway, and if you don't keep up with cutting down the undergrowth, you are soon overwhelmed. This was once a trail.

The Tireaus who live on the hill above the property brought a big table and we spread out our potluck luncheon, cooked hotdogs on the grill and picnicked on the terrace that were both fashioned by Rick eight years ago for Emily and Jos' wedding, which was held here.

After lunch we took a walk around, bushwhacking all the way.

The kids enjoyed the great outdoors including the river and forest.

What was once a relatively manicured vegetable garden and orchard has become a wild place.

Rick brought along our game of Mölkky, made for us by our friend Arnault. It is like bowling but involves some tricky rules when it comes to scoring points. It's a bit of a math puzzle meets hand/eye coordination skill. I am particularly bad at it on both counts but in three games played, men against women, the women won two. We were proud.

Before heading back home we stopped by the Tireau's house to see the animals. Quinn visited the hen house and collected eggs and met Zouk the donkey

Emily and Anita collected some rhubarb and lettuce.


  1. What a gorgeous post Nancy full of good memories of the recent past. Weren't you too nostalgic seing the nature a little bit abandoned like that ? probably a mixture of feelings ... the pictures as always are awesome, kids very beautiful and charming and I can even feel the freshness of the woods !

  2. I must say I have fallen totally in love with Quinn and his beautiful smile!