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Like most European countries, France has its fair share of dull days in February.  Add to that the fact that we are literally in the middle of nowhere and the work I do from home is patchy at best, and you start to get the picture.  However, being the self-sufficient soul I am, I have found a number of things to keep me occupied.  And I have to say that although I may sometimes complain about the weather, I know we’re pretty lucky and, despite the low temperatures today, spring is certainly around the corner.  I took this photo a couple of weeks ago on one of our long walks.

View to Auty

Although there haven’t been many blogs recently I have been creating in other ways.  Notably on canvas with my new gouache paints and some acrylics I found in the garage.  What a nice change it’s been to splash some colour around.  It reminds me of my days as an A’level art student and makes me wonder why I never continued in my creative pursuits.  Does that sound like regret?  Oops!  It’s never too late though, right?  I haven’t got round to using my new oil paints yet as I still feel too intimidated but I did buy a tiny knife painting set today so that will be next.  In the meantime here is one of my gouache efforts.

Gouache

I’ve been excitedly poking around in the herb garden to see what is growing and it seems that the lemon balm is doing well.  The sage is hanging on in there and starting to sprout again and I may have to clear some weeds but I’m hoping that the thyme has also survived.  I think it’s a bit early for the mint yet but hopefully we should see that soon.  There are also a number of trees in blossom to add to the snowdrops, daffodils and violets that have been giving some much-needed colour to the month.  I took this photo of some blossom just yesterday.

February blossom

Another mini-project I have started on is making my own limoncello.  I love lemons and this is one of my all-time favourite liqueurs.  I found organic unwaxed lemons last week at the Monday market in Caussade and couldn’t not use the zest for something.  So limoncello it is.  At the moment the zest is steeped in vodka and I’ll give it a few weeks before I finish it off by adding sugar and water.  I’ll keep you posted but it’s looking good so far.

Limoncello 1 Limoncello 2 Limoncello 3

In our quest to explore the region and to take advantage of a beautiful warm day yesterday, we headed to the nearby market town of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val.  It’s about thirty minutes drive through the beautiful Gorges de l’Aveyron.  I drove and Running Boy (who is fast turning into Cycling Boy since he bought his beloved vintage bike) cycled and we met up in the old town of Saint Antonin for a picnic lunch with bread literally straight from the baker’s oven.  It was great to get out and about.  Saint Antonin is home to many artists, has a great Sunday market, a beautiful backdrop of hills and the limestone cliffs of the gorge.  And for film buffs this is where scenes from Charlotte Gray and The Hundred-Foot Journey were filmed.  The following photos should give you a feel for the place.

Saint Antonin Church Saint Antonin Door Saint Antonin Olives Saint Antonin Smoke Saint Antonin Bike

As usual I love hearing your comments so please jump in and enter your comment below ♥

PS. If you fancy a good read then Running Boy has published his first book of short stories! The Sunbed of Malcolm Todd and Other Stories is available on Kindle or in Paperback. Why not give it a whirl ♥

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4 Comments

Ms. Becky · February 22, 2016 at 7:46 pm

you take the most extraordinary photos. I love that door knocker. and the photo of the street. lovely. wishing you an exciting renewal in the season of spring….

    elizabeth · February 22, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Thank you! I love the thought of an exciting renewal in spring. That might be my mantra moving forward 🙂

aussiebirder · February 22, 2016 at 10:52 pm

I love the atmosphere your photos engender, I can almost smell the bread from the baker’s oven wofting through the streets. Thanks for sharing this side of the world Liz!

    elizabeth · February 23, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you! There is really nothing quite like the smell of fresh warm bread, is there? Although maybe the smell of wood smoke… which was another scent in the air on our trip out to Saint Antonin. Two of my favourite scents 🙂

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