Thursday, 18 November 2010

So much to tell you....

Hello, so it is now thursday and I have been wanting to write since tuesday.  Tuesday nights I teach bellydance to a group of 15, a mix of French and British, in a village hall, in the middle of nowhere, central France.

We started up over 5 years ago after I asked in our local Mairie where the nearest class was. The secretary looked at me like I had horns and smiled ' noone here does bellydancing, this is France'.  After I sulked for a while and totally gave up on the idea, it travelled round the grapevine (many of those here hahaha) and came back to me. I was asked by a local lady to start a class in our village and it started there....

Anyway we have started to learn some Bollywood moves this session up to Christmas. I find the moves on Youtube and make up a choreography to music I have at home.  It is great fun and much faster than the bellydance we are used to.

I have sold 24 of our chickens. I placed an advert on a french web page and within 5 minutes had 2 buyers wanting 12 each.  The first lot of girls go tomorrow. We really have far too many after we hatched 11 and were given another 16. I am keeping some of the prettier ones who should lay some pretty blue eggs in spring. 

Every time we walk out the front door we are followed immediately by 30 chickens and 4 ducks (all the ducks are called Pilchard).  video to come soon.....

Monday, 15 November 2010

Morning Valley Soaps

Rachel has a great shop here I can literally smell and taste her soaps just from the pictures. Why don't you have a look and see if you can smell them too.

I am now working on the principle that 'what goes around comes around'. Actually I always have and probably always will. Now some would disagree and say 'why do something to benefit someone else at no benefit to yourself', well it's just something I do.

Until June this year I was working as a home help here in France, looking after grannies and grandads, doing all the things that most people wouldn't dream of. It does come naturally to me, I guess because I like people.

I had a works accident and now have a frozen right shoulder. Yes I am right handed too! so now I am back to doing another of my favourite things - making and creating.

Today I knitted 2 neckwarmers on my machine (shoulder doesn't permit hand knitting) which I will be listing on within the next few days. Tomorrow I have a full day planned out with ironing and photographing all the linens I bought on Sunday.

So today share the goodness and go and do something willingly and freely for someone else and if you want to share it then you can as a comment below. ;)

New e-shop link

Morning, it is sunny and not too windy today. I hope to hang out all the beautiful French linens that I bought yesterday and photograph them for my shop.

I found a great shop today

heart and home

Have a look at her beautiful paintings. Yogi is offering a place to link your shop.

Having done so I am now offering the same - see side bar on the right.

Be creative.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


So I have another full blown frozen shoulder. It limits so many things, especially work. I have been on eht interweb and hopefully linking up all my efforts. I had thought it would be a good idea to keep everything seperate, but it is all like a wheel with me as the central spoke, so here I am spoking to you.

Have a blustery saturday

Thursday, 28 October 2010

So I'm back!

Yes I seem to have been away a long time. Well I was working as a homehelp with some facinating French elderlies. Details will appear.

Todays contributions is food. So in the oven is one leg of venison. One pot has chicken soup and one pot has a venison stock in the making.

For the soup -
Yesterdays chicken carcass from the roast chicken, then chicken curry has been boiling for about 2 days, just with water and nothing else. I strained the liquid and discarded the rest.

I added rice, tomato juice from 8 fresh tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of curry paste and 8 potatoes and 4 carrots. The result is.....

YUM. I added a little sweet chili sauce on the plate, and yes it was very good.

The leg of venison was too large to fit in my casserole so I cut it in two at a knee joint. The larger part is in the oven with water and 2 chicken stock cubes. The lid is on and it has been simmering for about 2 hours now.

The smaller piece is in a pot with 1 onion and water so far. Simmering quietly for soup or stew for tomorrow.

I mixed some flour, sugar, eggs and vegetable oil into a batter and laid this onto a bed of apple and pear. All went into the oven and the result is...

Quantities well .... some flour, less sugar, 4 eggs and some veg oil. Cooking time - at least 2 hours in the wood oven at some degrees. Sorry I can't be more specific, this is a work in progress.

Here it is and yes it was good. A fruit base with a topping of sweetness, not a sponge, not a crumble, not a cake. So I don;t know what to call it, but it was good.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Free Fuel - sawdust cooker, rocket stove.

Well it's far too long since I wrote here, but I / we have finally cracked the 'free fuel' with sawdust burner. We have been pondering this for over a year and this winter with thought and experimenting we have enough good results to share this knowledge.

If you have a top loading log burner or wood fired cooker you can use dry sawdust (not shavings) and get a good hot fire that lasts between 2 - 24 hours depending on the size of container, packing, and dryness of the dust.

Basically you line the bottom of your burner with tinfoil (aluminium foil) and make a single hole in the centre, about 1.5 inches diameter.

Then place a wick from the burn chamber down to the ash bin underneath where you will light the sawdust. We have found that a strip of cotton cloth about 4 inches long x 1 inch wide works well.

Then place a tube vertically over the hole with the wick up the bottom of the tube. The tube should be about 1.5 inches wide - you can use wider - it increases the burn rate. The tube can be plastic, metal or cardboard - you take it out after packing.

Then start putting in the sawdust - about 3 to 4 inches, then pack it down firmly with something sturdy - a log in our case.

Add more dust and pack again, continue like this until your burner is about 2/3 full. The more you pack the sawdust the longer it burns.

Then gently and slowly pull the centre tube out of the dust. This leaves a central chimney which is where the burn will start.

Light the wick from the ash box and that's it.

The burner gets very hot and will smoulder for a long time.

We did this burn for 3 hours, then added logs to the middle to get our oven hot enough to bake in.

After 5 hours from lighting there is still sawdust around the edges and corners of the burner and in 3 hours it raised the temperature in the room by 3 degrees.

Shaving logs to come next and outdoor camping or BBQ burners.