Dragon’s Loyalty Award


This has to be coolest looking award, and many thanks to my sister blogger Natascha @ ‘Natascha’s Palace for nominating me.
As she said on her post – please DO NOT feel obliged to fulfil the challenge if I nominate you – it is just that I like what you do and want to share it. (I have repeated 3 nominations from the ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ just because I love what you do, but do not expect you to respond unless of course you want to……..) But do check out Natascha’s blog – if you like mine, then you will love hers.







The thing that I find most difficult about these awards is trying to find 7 interesting things about myself….and as I do not want to repeat myself, having to find 7 new things…..

One entirely new fact about me is that I have VERY recently become interested  in photography (since starting blogging 5 months ago when I saw how amateurish my photographs were compared to everyone else’s!)
I still have a lot to learn, but am pleased with my progress so far and am enjoying photographing things that would never have entered my head before, including black and white photography

boat before bridge IMGP0464 (5)

Second fact – I mentioned last time that I was a lapsed writer and have had short stories published in various magazines, but I also self published a teenage fantasy novella about 10 years ago and I received a royalty cheque for 32P this month – so obviously somebody has just bought a copy!


Number three – who would be my ideal guest at a dinner party?
Answer, Alexandre Dumas.
Because he was larger than life (literally) just like one of his characters (I imagine that he modelled the Musketeer Pathos on himself)
He was a great wit and intelligence, and a great ‘ladies man’. But mainly because he was one of the first ‘bloggers’ publishing his stories in instalments in his own journal, and he was also a ‘foodie’ and the last book that he wrote was actually a cookery book (see my blog post on ‘Grated carrot salad and Chateau de Monte Christo)


Gorgeous Chateau de Monté Christo

Hmm this is difficult, I am really not very interesting – Ok, fact number four. My English teacher at school was the renowned author and play-write, Willy Russell and he used to call me the poet of the school, not a bad accolade huh.


Shirley Valentine, a one woman play by Willy Russell immortalised in film

Fact number five, I first came to Paris when I was seventeen and fell in love with the city and made up my mind to live there one day – it took me  30 years, but here I am!


Me discussing art at ‘Place du Tertre’ I loved this guys paintings,

Number six, it is no secret that, I LOVE food and cooking, but just to prove that I am not a domestic Goddess and do get it wrong from time to time – here is my ‘atomic’ bread! I had to prop the lid of the bread machine open with wine corks as it had grown far too big to be contained – tasted great though (to give you an idea of perspective, normally a loaf ends at the line where this one ‘takes-off’!)


And finally, fact number seven. I love donkeys, and in fact my daughter adopted a donkey called Billy-O from a donkey sanctuary in Yorkshire for my birthday present this year. I have numerous photos of me stroking donkeys (mainly in various parts of Greece) and could create a donkey blog….I wonder if it would take off……..hmmmmm


Me and a friend at Santorini

So there you have it – now for my nominations – thank you all for enriching my life in one way or another. And thank you also to all my lovely friends, readers and followers.:-

Rachelmankowitz.wordpress.com – Although I am not a ‘doggy’ person, I love Rachel’s ‘dog’s eye view’ of the world seen through the eyes of her two adorable pooches. She also has some very astute observations to say for herself. I am SO glad she stopped by my blog and found me.

Thegreyeye.wordpress.com (Life as we see it) – I know that you will not reciprocate, as you have said so before, but I love your photos and insights into other cultures, and enjoy our exchanges, so this is just to acknowledge how interesting your blog is.

Thebelleabroad.wordpress.com – well what can I say, I feel like I have met myself 30 years ago – I love reading Belle’s adventures and seeing her wonderful quirky photos, you are a breath of fresh air.

klregister.wordpress.com (the ninth life) – K.L. my life is richer with you in it – beautiful words of wisdom from a wise and beautiful blog sister, check her out you won’t be sorry.

thegingerbreadmummy.wordpress.com (Fourpeskyhobbits) – an amusing sometimes bitter/sweet look on life by a courageous mum of four who is home schooling her children and trying not to lose herself along the way.

karinateuma,wordpress.com (Food is Life) – Karina cooks my kind of food and has the same attitude to wasting food as I do, using every scrap in n inventive way.

lovingleaisuretime.wordpress.com (Frances 42015) – I have only just come across this gorgeous blog when she stopped by mine and liked a post – so glad that you did, I really look forward to getting to know you better, lovely life philosophy and food.

averagesouthafrican.wordpress.com – again a blog which is new to me, with fab photography and really different recipes, giving an insight to a completely different culture. Very professional blog – I have a long way to go……..

The next four nominees, I nominated last time, but I love them so much, I just had to give them another mention:-

Lauracooperphotoblog.wordpress.com –as previously stated, Laura has set the standard in photography that I would love to attain someday. check her out

Goan imports www.goanwiki.com AKA Nandini – Just gorgeous, being a curry fanatic, I want to make everything on this site!

stopfood.me – I love everything on this newly discovered site, some gorgeous recipes with pictures to match and lots of ‘cheats’ tips – a girl after my own heart!

www.happinessandhazelnuts.com – When I read michelle’s writing and see her lovely photos, I am in another world. You know how much I love what you do…..

For those of you who are counting,  that only makes 12, but they are 12 that I am genuinely following with envy and interest.

A bientot


Versatile Blogger Award

wpid-versatile-blogger.jpgFirstly thank you very much ‘Natascha’s Palace’ aka ‘Madrid Chick’ (nataschaspalace.wordpress.com) for nominating me. Like me she is an Anglo Saxon ex-pat living in a Latin world and infusing a Mediterranean flavour into her cooking – yum!

I am very new to this, so hope I get this right………..

I have had such a wonderful experience so far; feeling the thrill of being read in 14 countries (and counting!) and meeting such a great gang of talented, creative, inspiring and supportive fellow bloggers – this has opened up a whole new world that I had no idea existed, as I only begun doing this to satisfy demands from family and friends on both sides of the channel to publish my recipes……..

Although I am not producing great literature, I am writing again (I’d fallen off the wagon a while back…..) and have begun a new found pastime – photography – again, I am not producing great photos (yet) but at least I now Know what ‘depth of field is’!

Seven facts about me (Apart from obvious love of cooking and eating!)

1) I love reading and feel totally lost without a book. My all time favourite is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte, and my favourite modern author is ‘Tan Twan Eng’ author of ‘The Garden of Evening Mists’ and ‘The gift of Rain’ I am impatiently awaiting his next book 

2) I am a lapsed writer, and have had many short stories published in National magazines in the past and have won many short story competitions.  

3) I love travel – especially exploring cities and looking around interesting buildings and churches and museums. I love visiting the many chateaux and gardens around Paris.

vaux le v

Chateau ‘Vaux le Vicomte’ near Paris the chateau that inspired Versailles

4) I love the theatre, especially musical theatre, and this is one of the things that I miss most about the UK. I go every time I am over there, and saw ‘Dirty Dancing’ last weekend while I was back in Liverpool and took a French friend to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Wicked’ in London last month 

5) I love the sea and am descended from a long line of pirates (truly!) one of whom is documented having captured a number of French ships, my partner said to me when we first met, that my ancestors captured French ships and I had captured a French heart! I always lived in site of the sea, so moving to Paris was difficult for me, but now I live on the banks of the lovely river Marne, and have a limited view of it from my kitchen and bedroom window. 


River Marne near my home

6) Like Natascha, I have a little friend to help in the kitchen (she has Flaubert the bear – I have Willow the cat!)  


7) My dream is to travel from Paris to Venice on the Orient Express (all dressed up like someone from an Agatha Christie novel)

So there you are – now for my nominations. As I move in a limited circle at the moment, some of you have probably already been nominated before – being SO talented, I am sure that you have, so not sure how that works…….

My nominees are:-

thenovicegardenerwordpress.com – This was the very first blog that I started to follow and Angie has given me a lot of encouragement – thank you – This is another ‘accidental’ blog (as mine) but it is bursting at the seams with sumptuous photography. Another food blog with a close link to gardening, sheer delight!

Cookingwithawallflower.com – Los of recipe and craft ideas and super tips on blogging

Beccaevermore.wordpress.com – Friendly intimate writing style that makes you feel like you are talking with a friend when you read Becca’s blog – great recipes, with great photos too….

www.whattohavefordinnertonight.com – Lovely simple no fuss food and some informative restaurant reviews too, gorgeous easy on the eye blog.

Goan imports www.goanwiki.com AKA Nandini – Just gorgeous, being a curry fanatic, I want to make everything on this site!

Bades Escapes www.worldninjas.com – really cool travel blog from a pair of adventurers who take amazing photos!

Edge of humanity Magazine at www.edgeofhumanity.com – These guys just pull everything that interests me together in one place, so diverse and inspirational with superb black and white photography.

www.springtomorrow.com – A lovely ‘Asian fusion’ blog from Geri in Singapore – who is enticing me to go over there………and when you see her food, you will want to got too!

www.happinessandhazelnuts.com – I love the embracing of nature in this blog, combining the arts of gardening and cooking – and even including some edible flowers!

Kitchenspell.wordpress.com – Lovely ‘wholesome’ cooking with some wonderful flavour combinations of jams and preserves amongst many other goodies.

Lauracooperphotoblog.wordpress.com – I discovered this talented lady by accident and I am sure glad that I did – she has set the standard in photography that I would love to attain someday.

Totallyinspiredpc.wordpress.com – I don’t know how I missed this blog, but only found it today while looking for the above address – wonderful inspirational blog – I particularly like the section on ‘inspirational women’

stopfood.me – I love everything on this newly discovered site, some gorgeous recipes with pictures to match and lots of ‘cheats’ tips – a girl after my own heart!

I’m sorry that I have only posted 13 and not the required 15, but I’m quite selective by nature so am still building up the blogs that I am following……….