mon coeur de campagne

living a simpler, rural French life


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A close call

  
Freezing fog, snow, frost and icy roads. We are in the grip of winter.  Our region, La Nievre has been on alert for bad weather this weekend and we’ve been advised not to drive unless you have to.

The snow has been melting and we went to see friends 10 minutes drive away and the roads were clear. On the way back I suggested driving back a different route and on the hill up to our house the road was unbelievably slippery. Our tyres couldn’t get a grip and I had a flash back to my car crash. Very scarey!

A wolf has been spotted not far away! An animal has been attacking sheep and a very wolf-like animal has been caught on camera.  The authorities are taking the threat seriously and are investigating.

So maybe it isn’t so bad staying close to home and hibernating!


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The Curtain Falls

  
La nature s’habille de givre.

Le froid est enfin la. The cold is finally here and what perfect timing!  My brother, sister, nieces and nephews celebrated Christmas with us in France and after 10 amazing days of fun, food and partying the final guests left for the airport this morning.  They left just in time. Today’s winter wonderland is heralding the first snow forecast for next week.

Freezing fog has caused a white-out, shutting out the sun and blue skies finally bringing the curtain down on 2016. 


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Portes Ouvertes

le-chateau

Art and history – my bliss!  This weekend the privately owned 15th century, Chateau de Thard opened it’s doors as part of Les Journèes Europeènes du Patrimoine.

The heritage weekend takes place the third weekend of September across France.  Each year there is a theme and this year’s was Patrimoine et citoyennetè.   Public offices, monuments, historical sites, churches and chateaux open their doors to the public for a visit behind the scenes.

Chateau de Thard, a joli petit manoir, near Onlay proved to be a hidden treasure.  We drove up a long drive hidden in the woods, which opened out to amazing views high above Onlay.

The Chateau was also a perfect backdrop for an art exhibition featuring a variety of pottery, sculpture, oils, watercolours, prints and collages.

  
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http://www.chateaudethard.com


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Women! We all need to live in the woods

Direction Luzy

No surprise to hear that research has found contact with nature is soothing, restorative and good for mental health.  The School of Public Health at the University of Washington and Nurses Healthy Study surveyed over 100,000 women finding that the women who live in greener areas have a 12% lower mortality rate than those who live in polluted environments.  Having access to green spaces where you can exercise and be active also plays an important role in having a healthy lifestyle.

We live in Le Morvan, Bourgogne in a sea of green, surrounded by forests and ancient woodland.  We enjoy the freshest air in Europe and never miss the opportunity to go for a walk even in the rain!

A walk first thing clears my head, I drink in the views, enjoy the solitude and it sets me up for the day. A quick break outside mid afternoon gives an energy boost and if I am looking for inspiration it even  helps me problem solve and come up with ideas.

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A walk in the peaceful green woods, with trees towering cathedral like high above is great therapy.

The fact that a village 10 minutes away has the highest amount of people aged over 90 in the area seems to endorse the research.  One old lady celebrated her 105th birthday with a glass of champagne and a big piece of cake, putting her longevity down to eating everything and of course, the fresh air!

Nature really is the best therapy and it’s free. So never mind how big your patch of green is, get out there and enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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A great start!

imageI threw open my bedroom shutters this morning and was greeted by an amazing bright light. Sunshine! The grey skies had gone,  the fog had disappeared and no icy rain on the horizon.

My spirits immediately lifted and I quickly got ready to take the dog out for our usual brisk morning walk. I wrapped up warm out of habit but it was surprisingly mild.

As soon as I feel the first bite of winter I start wearing thermals. The layers stay on until Easter. I am not joking!

A walk enjoying the beautiful countryside always makes me feel happy whatever the weather.  This morning was no exception and I felt lighter and brighter. Sunshine and birdsong. Something is in the air.

The start of not only a new day but a whole week full of exciting possibilities.

 


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The Joy of January

A time to hibernate  – January is usually the perfect antidote to a very busy festive season.  After 2,000 miles of driving from France and around the UK to visit family and friends I wasn’t expecting to bring back an unwanted present of flu and a throat infection.

I lost my voice and had to give up on work and retreat to my bed.When I felt a bit better I kept warm in front of the log fire snuggled in my crochet blanket.

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Having no energy meant I had to take it easy and rest. On a positive note I had time to appreciate the simple things and be grateful that I could take time out to nurture myself and enjoy my home.

The benefits of our wood fired cooker and home made soup.

I appreciated drinking out of my new mug, wearing my new bed socks and reading books.

I lit candles, tea lights and lanterns to give a cosy glow on the dark evenings.  Dosed myself up with natural remedies and drank honey, lemon and whisky.

So now after three long weeks of cocooning I am finally emerging into 2016 blinking into the sunlight!!

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The best remedy