Sunday, 15 January 2012



As I live alone the above feast was prepared by myself the morning after I arrived home from Paris.  There wasn't too much in the fridge, although my neighbour picked up some bits for me, so I used up the ingredients I DID have which resulted in this cholesterol laden plate, every single mouthful thoroughly enjoyed.  And the pot of tea.

 One friend left me this welcoming present,
Another friend left this one,

both of which were gladly received.

 the wistaria growth now covers up all the gaps that were there last summer,
this bush, hard to differentiate amongst all the green, was only small when I left,

this magnolia literally shot another three feet,

everything has just leapt ahead which is lovely to see

these are actually starting to look the way I envisioned when they were planted,

Of course it means lots of pruning and weeding, thankfully, not as much as it could have been,  due to the ministrations of friends who generously spent some time here the week before I came home. 

It was only a few days before the baking began again.  I started with coffee walnut creams,

And orange coconut biscotti dipped in chocolate,
All were enoyed as much as I enjoyed the baking of them.  Being in my kitchen again says I am really home



Sunday, 1 January 2012


It's a bit hard to top this for a driveway.

These are the gates to Versaille, one of the most famous palaces in the world.  It's history of splendour, grandeur and excess are equalled by no other and ultimately contributed to the downfall of France's royal family.

streets of the town of Versaille

 this is the line to buy tickets, it is almost as long once you actually get inside the building,                                                                          lines of cold feet waiting,

this person waited so long he left part of his shoe,

the door is in sight!

feet finally on the bottom step

and after another 25 minutes we actually get to buy tickets

a short walk and the grandeur of the gardens begins to be revealed,

And the chateau itself,

with two Australian girls photographed in front of it,

the afternoon turned nasty quite quickly and I'm sure some of the wetness was sleet,

due to the distance of the Grand and Petit Trianon's from the main palace, we took the little train that runs regularly between the buildings,

the grounds are extensive and beautiful, unable to be appreciated in a short time and not on an icy day in December, 
The Petit Trianon, given to Marie-Antoinette by her husband Louis XV1

These cobblestones could tell some stories,

Gates to the Grand Trianon which Louis X1V built in 1687 on the site of a village called Trianon.  Most of the original building has been replaced by later work.

Golf carts with another use,

the temple of love was built in 1777

 This tree was planted in 1774,

how astonishing to see it still standing with some of it's gnarled roots spreading out above the ground.  Even though it must look lovely in full leaf, the tracery against the Petit Trianon had its own beauty.

There are 20 kms of roads and enclosing walls in the estate, subsequently many gates also, all with their own little gatekeepers cottages.

 The front of the Versaille Palace,

Amazing and steep spiral staircases,

                                                        A lovely padded seat in a window to gaze out upon the gardens below,

The great hall of mirrors is dazzling and it's difficult to do it justice  with my small camera.  In fact because of that I bought a book.

Back in the town of Versaille the Christmas decorations made a pretty display.

It would be good to come back another day to view the gardens.  I'll try and choose better weather.

Au revoir