Friday, 29 March 2013

Guess where home is this Easter ??

My Gypsy life continues....
this is "my home" for 10 days over Easter
My friends are away longer than planned and their habitual house sitter had other plans..
so after receiving a "desperate" phone call I accepted to house and animal sit ....

 Soon after committing myself, I wondered if this commitment was a good idea: it is a rather large home on a also rather large block of land.....

Would I be scared there all "home alone" ???
the question did cross my mind, I am terribly hearing impaired and only "on line" during the day ( meaning that is when i wear my hearing aids!!!...
But I unexpectedly was gifted with a minder ; the cat in my bed !...purr we did and snored I solely  did !...loud enough to scare any would be "trespasser" !!!..

While you sit on the balcony or lay by the could wonder where you are ??
Italy, south of France.....your guess...

Nice spot for my evening G&T

somewhere in a warm climate

no watch dogs but a bunch of geese and ducks to feed at the end of the garden
everyday, I collect the best feathers on the ground ans have started a "bouquet de plumes"

part of the pet sitting is to feed the fishes in the pond, i throw the feed in the murky water, wait until a frenzy of fish tails stirs the mud from the bottom

then from the pond, I take a little stroll along those gracious trees to take me back
to my "home for Easter"

I am not scared at all!!! , I love it!.. I really feel on holiday!!!!I am "clearing my head" !!...,
...for someone who normally can't sit still during the day, I have been laying by the pool , only doing a bit of weeding and reading, reading, reading...

Now i would like some comments from my readers, what country and where do you think I am ???
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Monday, 25 March 2013

My big birthday at byron farm

My birthday is today!..but..I only celebrate birthdays which end with 0 or 5
4 years ago I celebrated a big ZERO one
at our Byron farm with a theme....

......WOODSTOCK !....everyone had to come dressed up in 70th fashion, and had to either come in a campervan or at least bring a tent....
the people I first befriended when I immigrated in 1973 to Australia came from Sydney, from the Gold Coast, the South Coast and the
friends we had in london before we left there also came , from UK, from Denmark, from other parts of Australia...

The party was held in the "grange" (farm shed)...

All my husband (ex) carriages were dragged outside and cleaned and lined up...

The horses were kept in the "paddock"...big draft horses
We partied late into the evening all dancing to a live band playing all our favorite rock and rolls,
the singer was so good looking and sexy, tilting his hips like a real Rock star, flipping his long shining hair from side to side.......I really felt like the queen of the party , when he joined me on the table I was dancing on, ( as you do on your 60th!...) put one arm around me and sang a "happy birthday" rendition.... 

here I am in my blue dress desperatly trying to look like a hippie !...

The next morning was fun, everybody coming out of their campervans or tents, some even slept inside the grange, and, as we sat eating a big barbecue breakfast we reminiced on the night and on some of the other "big" parties we all took part over the years
I love big parties and big celebrations...with old friends...and make a point of enjoying them "big time"..that is why I only celebrate the 0 and the 5' zero marks the beginning of another "dizaine" and the 5 is half way

we finished of on the beach in the afternoon

Tiga and Jolicoeur my dogs now in heaven
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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Inside a Byron artist bathroom

Admiring a man artistic ingenuity is one thing, living with it is another !!!
My ex Australian retired husband is letting his artistic talent run wild thru his little farmhouse in byron bay hinterland now that I am not around to tame or reject his masculine home flavour...

He is mad about horses and collects carriages and anything old he finds to do with farming..
..or simply the country
This is his "new" bathroom which he created and built himself

check every items on the wall ,
as each has a purpose:
the little nook where you see the rear of the horses provides a shelf for a candle or a glass..

the carriage light is electrified

the wall cupboard made off old doors
the toilet roll holder is made of a horse mouth bit
the towel holder from part of a stirrup...
t The ceiling fan is encased within a tin watering can..and it works!!..

This old restored bit of machinery to be used as his TV stand is part of and old drilling machine to which he has added wooden legs/floor support

I still admire his artistic talent and his ability to create anything he wants but thank god that is his house and not mine anymore....
I am a beach girl and always have loved my beach houses with a french touch,
he always was a country boy at heart...
today he can freely decorate his farm the way he wants too, a mannish way and I will be able to decorate my beachhouse my feminine french beach style whenever i do return to live in Australia again
everyone is happy doing their own thing without interference from the other !!!..

PS: tomorrow i will show you the farm
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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Savoury pesto corn muffins

I am obsessed with basil this week !!
after making my "special " basil mix, I wanted some basil corn bread muffins
they are the easier savoury muffins to make

above are the ingredients, I did not have fresh basil so I used half a jar of ready made pesto
if i had my fresh mix, i would have used it, but...
Polenta, self raising flour, bicarb,milk, egg,bacon ,pesto and grated cheese

what I like about making cornbread or muffins, you CAN NOT go wrong
adjust your mix to your taste
here i used about 1/3 or less of self raising flour and filled with polenta to make 300ml

in a dish, mix the two basic, add a teaspoon of bi-carb, a pinch of salt , the egg and half the jar of pesto 

mix the lot and add the milk slower until you get the consistency of thick batter
I like adding a chopped up chili (but I am a chili freak!..)

when you are happy with the consistency, i added the chopped up bacon...

...then i added the grated tasty cheese about 100 to 200grams- up to you

scoop out 2 spoonfuls of the mix  into muffin tray or cupcake paper cups
cook in a preheated oven at 220degres for around 13 to 17mn

I was so eager to put them on the table that i forgot to take a photo when they came out of the oven, sorry !....

These 4 savoury muffins are the only one left after lunch.....I really love them..they are so easy to make, i am not one to measure for cooking, that is why I cannot make cake, but these cornbread are so "flexible; sometimes I make them with tapenade instead of pesto and most time with chili, but my friends to day were not chili freaks like me so ...
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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Basil in the kitchen

A new recipe i just "invented"
Francoise's pesto sauce or dip

I was roaming  thru my friend's garden at New Brighton ( near Byron Bay) the other day and cut a huge bunch of fresh basil, part for cooking and part for planting
Her BASIL is like a wild type, the more you trim it the more it grows, and it grows from cuttings

above is what i rescued for planting

I used the blender above
add 3/4 of a natural yogurt small size
half a head garlic (peeled)
a piece of fresh ginger ( as you feel)
bit of sea salt
dash of olive oil ( if you wish)
one chili (i used 2 mildish bell chillies)
200g of fresh ricotta or Bruche/Brucio (in France)
fill the blender to the top with fresh basil leaves
set the blender on high until you get the creamy consistency below

all measurements are rough, adjust them to your liking, so it gives you a tasty basil mix which is not full of oil, or fat.

While your pasta is cooking, shop in small strips a packet of prosciutto (Parma Ham) or any other tasty ham you choose
serve your pasta on each plate , top it with a big scoop of the basil mix,
add a little sprinkle of the ham
add a basil leave and serve
( a little tip, i warmed each scoop of basil mix in the microwave for 30 seconds before i poured it on my spaghetti's because i like my food hot, if you heat it too much the yogurt will "brake")

It feels creamy, very tasty and not sickening because the blending of yogurt and ricotta
you can choose to use fat free dairy or full cream
Bon Appetit
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Sunday, 17 March 2013

French "tables de nuit"

What is your preference for bedside tables ?
matching set??
or individual unrelated tables??

I am not found of matching set, i find the idea boring and lacking of inspiration
I prefer individuality in all furniture, it gives me more time to hunt, and search for the right piece i like and then find the right spot for it in the home.
I believe passion & artistry are attached to this individuality and is reflected in the home which contains it

The two little bedside tables (pottie holders) are one of my favourites , although they are not a matching pair, they represents the same style, the same era, i quite enjoy seeing them together next to the same bed, painted in the same tone, a shade or two lighter or darker, "peu importe"
they remind me of my childhood when my parents had the full bedroom suite of the same style: the bed, bedside table (only one) the wardrobe.
the bedside table remains in the family, the wardrobe is long gone and i don't miss it, but i wish i could still lay my hand on the bed and patine it (more on that later on another blog)

Inside the pottie space
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