Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Ah France, how do I love thee.......let me count the ways (part 1)!

I love France. I've been going there since I was 13 - yes, THAT long! I've travelled the length and breadth of the county, fallen in love there, learnt the language by living with a family there, seen it change from a run-down, slightly tatty country to the vibrant place it is now, fallen out of love there, had my first experience of drinking wine there (but the less said about that little episode, the better!) and somewhere along the line left a bit of my romantic heart in the land there. sigh!

Here are a few of the reasons why I love it:

Lovely sweet cottages - this was the front of our gite.

with a nice pool to play in!

French markets and 'brocante' - second hand/vintage stalls!
Yep, I bought the jam kettle - 25 Euros ....I knocked him down from 30! Bargain...... possibly!!

I love the way they lay out the stuff for sale.

Gorgeous vintage china ........ but I fought the urge to buy and settled for taking photos instead!

....and of course a girl has to eat! 50 cents for a chocolate crepe. Last-Born thought she'd died and gone to heaven!

French architecture and shutters - the shutters fit with the romantic in me!

Mmmmh - dried hams and sausissons.

........pretty little side streets

......and lovely picnic spots!
What more could a girl ask for?
Wait and see!!!


Phoenix C. said...

I'm getting the urge to visit France, from seeing all the great photos on Rob's (Our French Garden) blog. I've never been, but it does look glorious!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It is a beautiful country. I went many years ago and can still clearly remember it. I remember the crepes too :) Sounds like you had a great trip!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Phoenix C - I know what you mean ....it was Rob's 'fault' that we ended up in the Dordogne this year, Himself wanted to go camping in Cornwall but I just make any excuse possible to get to France!My next post is going to be about our trip to meet Rob and our look round his gorgeous gardens!

Hi Catherine - going to France is a bit like going home for me, I feel so comfortable there. Yes, we had a great time - lots of relaxing and lots of 'doing' as well - but more about that in the next couple of posts :)

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hiya Liz

Nice jam kettle as they say!

Looks a nice place where you stayed.

I simply can't believe that it was a week ago that we all had an alfresco lunch on the terrace. Time just shoots by!!!

I guess it would be stating the obvious to say I feel at home here.

hello to you and yours.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Nutty! Loved this post and it looks like you had a grand ole time. Missed your posts but glad you had fun.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Rob - I was dead chuffed with me jam kettle, I've been after one for ages!

The cottage was nice but it was a bit grubby and cobwebby....!:( Your cottages were way nicer!

Given a choice between digging up my spuds or another alfresco lunch with you and Karen ...no contest, I'm on my way back :)

Monica - hi! We had great fun and were really sad to come home. There's a couple more french-themed posts rattling round in my head - including our visit to Rob, so I'll be back in business with the next post when I've sorted out my vegetables! :)

Camellia said...

France is lovely – it's just the language which is a bit tricky :-). Looks like you had a great time!!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Camellia. yes, France IS lovely! I was lucky to have been involved in school exchange trips - and to have got on very well woth Claudine, who I exchanged with. We became very goods friends and spent several summers together. Living with a family is definately the way to learn the language. Mind you, it grieves me now because my french is SO rusty - I used to get to the point where I could dream in french! A fortnight there now just doesn't have the same effect. Ho Hum!!!

Woody Wilbury said...

That all looks lovely. Envy, envy!!

Nutty Gnome said...

Haha - envy indeed! It's not that long since you were swanning about in Crete!!!
It was lovely and we had a grat time - next post is on our visit to Rob of 'Our French Garden'.

Anna said...

We are just back from a fortnight in Normandy and Brittany and I can't wait to return :) Beautiful countryside, good food, on the whole much quieter roads and a different pace and outlook on life I think. Looking forward to hearing about your visit to see Rob and his garden.

O.I.M said...

looks like it was a lovely trip. looking forward to more pictures of france.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Anna - I read your post on your trip. You went pretty much where we did last year - except we were on a canal boat! Mooring up below the Chateau du Rohan in Josselin made us feel very posh!!!
Rob is my next post :)

Irena - it was lovely thanks. Can't wait to return!

Carolynn said...


I'm so envious of your ability to fit right in and speak the language, especially! LOVE the china!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Carolynn - once you get to France and immerse yourself in the culture, the language will come! I was lucky in living with a French family for a few weeks every summer, most of whom didn't speak English, (including the gorgeous elder brother!)so I had to learn ...and quick! :)
The china ....ah, yes - how I love French markets!

Shady Gardener said...

Aren't you so fortunate as to be able to travel to France? You and your family look as though you had a wonderful time! :-)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Shady - being up in the North-ish of England, it's about a 4 to 5hour drive to the ports or channel tunnel (depending on traffic and which port you're going to!). The Dordognes was about another 8 hours drive from Calais - NOT the best place to start from to go to the Dordogne I know, but we were a bit late in booking and the ferries to nearer french ports were well booked up!
The lucky people in the south of England can pop to France whenever the whim takes them, we have to be a tad more organised - but it's always worth it, we had just the best time! :)