Posts tagged “photography

An impossible balcony, ancient Egyptian way.

We have a come quite a way since we started restoring 3 years ago.But unfortunately, we still have a way to go too. everything happens in its own time. Mon cheri believes patience will finally finish our house. I believe him, but every now and then I let my impatience kick him in the butt a little …just enough to speed up his patience a bit! I am careful not to push too hard though… he is the one doing all the work after all!

Up to now, we have knocked down walls, inside and out. We have opened up large windows and doors. We have put in a second floor for our bedroom. We  have put in a temporary plastic pool for cooling down during the hot Correzien summers. We have had the real pool dug out. We started building terraces. All this was of course mostly done by mon cheri. He is a Camel man. With patience. And a hat. But I have done my share too. The garden is taking shape nicely.  .By my hand. As is the potager with all those healthy vegetables.  The tomatoes are sweet, the salads bountiful. Bulbs are flowering, shrubs are blooming… except for twelve!! 2-year old lavender bushes which were carelessly dug out by a poor soul named William.. I wasn’t angry. I was only foaming a little at the mouth with boiling rage…

And now we have built a balcony.

…before…

We had Phillippe’s help, or rather “Fif” as everybody knows him.Aa tall,  willowy shoot of a man. He can swing a hammer just as well as rigging a chain saw. And he’s funny. He of course thinks we are funny too…the way we do things and the off beat ideas we have for our farm house. But he does them anyway, shrugging the shoulders, while a limp cigarette is hanging from a quirky smile.

So the day arrived to get those rustic solid oak beams into place. Fifi lifted one end of a beam and shook his head. “Comment on va arriver..c’est pas possible..on est que deux? He couldn’t’ see only two men lifting these heavy beams up straight into place…it is just not possible. The French love the expression: “C’est pas possible”. It is not possible.

But in the end, it got done with a little heaving and hooing. ancient Egytian style with ropes and pulleys, counterweights and muscle. Add my muscle to that too.

..and the first pillar goes up..

..it stands steadfast..

..and the second pillars stand straight up..

..and the third pillar stands..

If the Egyptians could build pyramids this way, surely we can build a simple balcony…using the same physics…n’est pas Fifi? He lookedat his handiwork with an even more quirky smile. “C’est pas possible”!, he exclaimed with proud disbelief…

..c’est pas possible..!


Moving forward

A lot has happened at Coin Perdu. We’ve really moved forward in the restoration process. We’ve also fiddled a bit in the garden, established a whisper of a vegetable patch and now, in the summer of 2011, we reap the wonderful benefits of freshly picked vegetables just before our meal!

Wondering where I should start writing again, after such a long time of silence here on coin Perdu, our mountain home, I figured the vegetable garden could be a good place.

It gives me such pleasure and I worked hard, not to mention the hard work Hartman put in as well, taking breaks from the work on the house to help me move rocks and stones, dig trenches and stabilize terraces! But oh, I have to talk about my moving heavy rocks, or rather, boulders all by my own self! With the help of “the lifter”, a shovel and some heavy language, I could move a boulder at a time for my terrace walls. A lot still has to be done and with my impatient nature, I have often remind myself of Rome which took more than one day.

…a new potager at Coin Perdu…

Because it is so up and down hill, we need to make terraces for our potager. I already bought some shallots right in the beginning of the season and was impatient to plant them. This was after all, my very first vegetable garden! So we dug in an made a box early in March. I planted my shallots and waited for them to do their thing, which I’m so proud to say…today, 4 months later,  we feast on shallots every day!!

In the meantime I also got my rosemary bushes and lavenders in the ground…all still very informal and and not really worked out strictly on any kind of plan. I know it will all change again once the house is finished and then probably again after! Which is exactly what happened a few weeks later and the house is not even close to finish yet! I changed my mind about how the terraces should look and we started all over. dug up, moved, covered, raked, drank liters of water, got sunburned, dug again, weeded…and then came the nice part; sowing the seeds!

We brought the gargoyle from Montlouis sur Loire, our fountain and installed it in the potager as well. Built a stone wall, some steps going down and for now, we’ll enjoy your veggies until the fall, when we’ll do some more work in the garden. Now, the house comes first!

…some clover between the stepping stones, courgette flowers and dug up radishes…

…potager for 2011…

…and always I have company and help!!…

…only small for this year, but already healthy, all organic veggies…

…à bientôt…

Ronell


Autumn at coin Perdu

A spectacular show awaited us when we arrived at Coin Perdu to lock up for the winter. Autumn in all its splendour. Our woods next to the house were blazing with colour and the far off hills were winking to be gazed at.

We have locked up for the rest of 2010 and will start work again in spring 2011. In the near future, some posts will appear on our work done in 2010. We have done a lot of work, but not enough to have our house finished and lived in yet…it will probably take us another season to get to that point.

..à la prochaine..

Ronelle


Have a great new year!

Hot chocolate. To bring warmth to a cold January 2010. And happininess.

…a happy 2010 to all…

An entry for sundaystills-food


Christmas light.

May your Christmas be lit with love and a joyful spirit and decorated with gratitude and content!

An entry for Sundaystills – Christmas lights and decorations


Evolution of technology

Next year is 2010. It arived too quick. Life is fast. Sometimes too impersonal. Sometimes too evolved. But we’re here. Living it.

…1930…

…2009…

…then…

…now…

…hand written…

…elctronically animated…

An entry for Sundaystills.


Tokala and Aiyani

Few things are as satisfactoryas filming or photographing animals. So rewarding.

These two cats run their kingdom with a firm hand. They took us into their kingdom a few years back when they were still tiny kittens and today we still serve them happily…

…two kittens sleeping together…

…Tokala discovering a garden…

…ayiani joining in the dicovery…

…tokala’s first snow…

…ayiani’s amazed by her first snow…

…another year in the garden for tokala…

…another year in the garden for ayiani…

…tokala now getting used to snow…

…ayiani now used to snow…

…another year, another photo…

…photos again!…

…my year at coin Perdu…

…and mine…

…a great life in summer 2009…

…oh yes, i agree – bliss!…

An entry for Sundaystills.


Wine harvest in Vernou(Vendange 2009 à Vernou)

The wine harvest in France happens in October. Fall. L’automne. I present some images here from two weeks ago when we had a day of harvesting grapes/vendange in the biological vineyards of friends, where picking is still done by hand.  A family/friends day, where all family and friends started the Saturday off early morning with coffee and croissants, picking with vigour, enjoying a big lunch, restarting with heavy limbs, but still enough energy to engage in grape fights, and ending the day sticky, dead tired, but content and with fun memories. Until next autumn.

…early morning start…

vendange- in the vineyard

…fit as a fiddle…

vendange-pickers

…empty the buckets…

vendange-ramasseur

…into the remorque…

vendange-vider

…piling up…

vendange-grapes

…picking some more…

vendange-picking 1

…soon to be…

vendange-grappe de raisin

…wine…

vendange-casse croute

…afternoon picking…

vendange-vignoble 1

…taking a break…

vendange-vignoble

..going home…

vendange-finished

An entry for Sundaystills.


Catching the wave.

With time speeding towards the end of the year, our Hawai’i  holiday feels far in the past. But the memories of a holiday spent in beautiful weather and in beautiful surroundings will stay vivid and and alive.

Having spent a whole morning just watching and capturing the surfers gave me some real burnt shoulders, but also some nice images. I used my long lens to get hold of the surfers deep in the ocean. The waves and surfing were much more spectacular the previous day, but as is always the case, I didn’t have my big lens on me. This young surfer caught my eye as he really showed no fear, took absolutely every wave he could, sometimes “literally eating dust ” (if that can happen inthe water!) and took such pleasure in his board and the waves that he became the focus of my camera. Such uninhibited joy can’t go unnoticed and should be recorded!

…catching the wave…!

surfing 8

…cool riding…!

surfing 4

…climbing high..!

surfing 7

…calculated tumult…!

surfing 3

…courageous flip…!

surfing 10

More pictrues of the Hawaii trip can be seen here at Myfrenchkitchen: travel.

An entry for Sunday stills.


Mechanical transport – vintage models

Some vintage models still frequently in use for everyday living, especially in the country side. Although, the Citroën 2CV is now quickly becoming “trendy” with the status conscious, middle aged section of the population. Could it be midlife crisis?

…cuteness with an enjin…

citroen 2cv

…pedal the enjin…

cycles

An entry for sundaystills.


My world on a Wednesday.

Wednesday is a day like any other day. My world on a Wednesday is nothing special. so why my world on a Wednesday? I don’t know. No spesific reason. It came into my head. When something comes into my head, I must live it.  Voici my world on a Wednesday!

Cleaned uo the garden after coming from from 5 months at Coin Perdu. Met my old friends and new friends among the plants and weeds…famous for their presence in eurpoean gardens.

What did you do on this Wednesday? Nothing? Then create something to do on a Wednesday; go for a walk and pick leaves and go look them up at home; try a new recipe; buy a magazine you have never bought before and read it front to back; arrange one drawer; plant a tiny plant every Wednesday,take a photo of nature every Wednesday,  learn 5 words in a foreign language every Wednesday; choose any topic and read up on it for 10 minutes every Wednesday(an animal, a culture, a culture, a country’s history…)…there is a lot to do on a Wednesday, simple things that can be fun and can take only 5 minutes. so. What didyou do on this Wednesday? Do show and tell.

Je vous présente:

…Araneus diadematus(European garden spider)-female…

Araneus diadematus(european garden spider)

…fleeing…

Europeangarden spider (Araneus diadematus)


A second birthday in the French countryside.

August gave way to the celebration of a second birthdya here at Coin Perdu. This time round, we only took a break in between work for early morning croissants and coffee, a gift, a song and continued later the evening with a meal around the fire…where else!

…starting off the day…

starting off the day

The day started off like any other ay the last few months…old clothes, gloves, work and sweat. But no, nowhere on the chantier(construction site)  was I to be seen. After all, I was birthday girl! So for this dayI roamed about in pretty clothes(to be simply translated as clean clothes !)

…brunch…

taking a break for a croissant and tarte peche

And for early morning coffee break, we sat in the shade of the walnut tree. Took of the gloves and feasted on croissants and tarte peches.

…froth on a cup…

frothing a cup

Gifts were unwrapped…no boughs and pretty paper this year though! In the spirit of the working year, they came clothed in newspaper and wrappings from the brocantes where they were bought. I giggled at the gifts, clearly seeing the attention that was paid to my comments on our stroll at the brocantes.

…olde worlde…

memory on a spoon 8-31-2009 8-14-26 PMold plates crumb scoop

And last, but not least. An end to another birthday here at Coin Perdu. A special day with all my loved ones close to me.

…santé!..

Petillante - Vincent Carême


Fire bug..Gendarme(Pyrrhocoris apterus)-Macromonday

In English called a firebug and in French very appropiately called gendarme. The young nymphs don’t have their wings devloped yet, which gives them that difference in appearance(smaller bug top left in photo).

firebug(Pyrrhocoris apterus)

Fire bugs(Pyrrhocoris apterus)..gendarme suisse 8-26-2009 12-48-26 PM

nikon D70 camera with AF micro Nikkor lens 60 mm

An entry for Macromonday


Sound – The bells of Nonards

The bells still ring  at the church in the little hamlet of Nonards, echoing across our valley, just to be anwered by the bells of Marcillac la Croze…beautiful!

…love song for esmeralda…

bells of nonards 2

…playing solo…

bells of nonanrds 4

…duet…

bells of Nonards 3

An entry for Sundaystills – sounds.


Brushes – Macromonday

I started cleaning our barn this morning and stopped with a brush in my hand, thinking it could make for quite a nice photo…the brush I mean, not me…

I use a lot of different brushes when cleaning and I love natural bristles. They don’t scratch and at the end of their days, they make me feel good – seeing how derelict they look in old age, I feel comforted that I at least still look a bit better and last a bit longer…after the same amount of work!

…young and healthy…

brush 2

…ready and able…

brushes 3

…firm and willing…

brushes 4

…soft and gentle…

brush 5

All photos with Nikon D70s camera and AF micro nikkor lens 60 mm

An entry for macromonday


The open road.

I didn’t have time to hit the road with my camera, so I hit the archives instead. The following series of photos are from last Febrary holidays in the Cape, South Africa.

We drove down fromJohannesburg in the north to the Cape in the South, through the extrordinary Karoo with its delicious Karoo lamb meat and dry, captivating, almost desert like atmosphere, its heartbeat steady and undisturbed.

…looking into your future, on the long,  empty roads in the Karoo, Cape

looking into the future

…sizzling heat on the Karoo roads…

south african heat on the open road

…entering the winelands of the Cape at De Doorns…

entering the winelands in the cape

…the open road leads to school…

the open road leads to school

…the road along the coast to Gordons bay…

gordonsbay

…knights of the highway(Africa baboon)…

knights of the open road


An entry for Sundaystills


Lizard (Lacerta vivipara) – Macromonday

While taking a break from loading gravel yesterday, this  little baby lizard came into our circle of relaxation. It amused us for quite a while with its typical child like behavior and I could’ve sworn it loved the attention!

Photos taken with Nikon D70 camera and AF micro nikkor lens, 60mm,1:2.8D

…looking to see if we’re looking…

lizard 1(Lacerta vivipara)

…stopping by Macdonalds…

lizard 2(Lacerta vivipara)

…playing shy…

lizard 3(Lacerta vivipara)

…finally  a smiling pose…

lizard 4(Lacerta vivipara)

An entry for Macromonday.


Clouds

One of the wonderful things about living in the country, is that you can have undisturbed views on the moon and stars and skies …and clouds. To photograph and paint them, is a major challenge and of course a major delight.

Clouds have each their own atmosphere; a threatening storm, soft and rain filled, stark white agains a cold winter blue sky, grey mists rolling in…then there are the tales they tell; a dragon flying through the air, a ballet dancer in pirouette, a crocodile yawning, an old man smoking his pipe…Who hasn’t stared at the clouds sweeping by while stretched out on a green lawn -lazy after indulging in too  much watermelon – and wondered what goes on up there and beyond.

The first four cloud images were taken at Coin Perdu in Correze. And the last one was taken at the Loire right opposite our home in Montlouis sur Loire, Touraine.

All photos taken with Nikon D70 SLFR and 28-90mm zoomlens.

the explosion

orage 2

…a sunset in April…

sunset in April

…a threatening storm at dusk…

approaching storm at dusk

…sunset and airoplane lines…

sunset with airoplane lines

…a sunset on the river Loire across our home in Montlouis sur Loire…

sunset on the Loire

An entry for Sundaystills – clouds.


Elements of life-water, fire, earth, air and ether.

…water…

ruisseau a le pescher

…fire…

fire 2

…earth…

earth 1

…air…

air 3

…life…

serenity

An  entry for Sundaystills.


Macromonday – Scottish thistle

The Scottish thistle(Onoporon Acanthium) is a  wonderful source for photography(and painting!). The cows graze all around them and we walk wide circles around the thistle, but it seems the insects are fearless…

Every stage of flowering has its charm and right now, here in France, they are  in full bloom and  just starting to burst open to set free those feather light plumes…how can we not revel in its beauty, like the insects obviously do!

…fearless!…

thistle 2(Shield bug)

…freedom…

thistle 3

An entry for Macromonday


Nuts

“Nuts”…is something that goes around Coin Perdu every day. Without “it”, we won’t be able to renovate our mountain home. It slurps up our money and our minds.  But it feeds us  some moments of fun as well…

…godfather…

godfather 1

…happily ever after…

happily ever after 2

…new neighbours…

new neighbours 2

…dancing…

Dancing

…undressed…

undressed

…left brain logic…

right brain versus left brain

An entry for Sunday stills – aww nuts!


Textures in nature

We always admire the most obvious in nature – a stunning view, blinding lightning, a cute butterfly, sweet cherries, sveltering heat, cool rivers, colourful wildflowers, majestic mountains, playful clouds…

Moving in closer we start noticing the less obvious, but intrinsic part of nature – its texture.  The feel of the roughness of  treebark under your hands, the smoothness of a pebble, the prickliness of a rosebush, the powder on an old limestone wall, the stubble of dried moss, the cool dense coat of green moss, the lumpy skin of a warty toad, the slipperiness of slyme, the delicate  artistry of a spiderweb…

Just like human life, the “older” nature grows, the more interesting the texture becomes…except of course, when texture is your lot to carry from birth, like our warty old friend, le crapaud communBufo Bufo.

I chose to do shots of all “old and worn textures”.

…born old…

S: o,oo6s; A: f/5,0

toad

…rust on an old chain…

S: 0,002s; A: f/5,0

chain in old wall

…old dried moss…

S: 0,002: A: f/3,5

dry moss on old stone

…a 150 year old wall…

S: 0,002s; A: f/5,0

old wall

…fine traces on an old brickwall…

S: 0,006s; A: f/6,3

old wall-1

…original stables wall from 1880…

S: 0.000s; A: f3,3

old wall 3

…an old weathered bistro chair…

S: 0,010s; A: f/13,0

old wooden chair

…rustic arches..

S: 0,25s; A: f/13,0

rusty iron arch

…medici pots, withstanding the test of time…

S: 0,005s; A: f/6,3

rusty medici urn

…gravel, smooth and rough…

S: 0,002s; A: f/6,3

smooth and rough

..a smooth snail on a smooth wall..

S: 0.008s; A: f/6,3

snail on wall 2

…the silvery stickiness of a home

S: 0,004s; A: f/5,6

spiderweb in fence

…a hairy creature in its  sticky home…

S: 0,004s; A: f/5,6

sir spider 2

This  is a contribution to the Sunday Stills challenge – textures, hosted by Ed Prescott.