Monday, 12 January 2015

Baking day

Monday is baking day

It isn't often we miss too much from England as most things can be found in some form or other but every now and then something crops up and we think "I could just eat that or even drink that"

It is usually items that are no good for the figure of course, these are such things as fresh cream cakes with English double whipped/clotted cream, proper chocolate eclairs with fresh cream not that chocolate cream they all seem to have here, I am sure if we went to the large cities we would be able to find anything we wanted but where we are it is very rural, they still go out and hunt their dinner - almost  
Don't get me wrong, there are so many delicious things which are French and equally as naughty if not more so as everything is made with pure butter, So last evening my wonderful hubby John suddenly said "I could kill for a Chelsea Bun" so of course being the dutiful wife that I am I scurried around for a recipe for Chelsea Buns, now as you know the recipe for said buns requires yeast and anything bread/yeast like is not always a success with me so I was a little apprehensive. 
I had acquired some while ago a bread hook to aid the aforementioned bread making so I thought I would put it to good use for this venture, it actually made a wonderful light dough which I left to rise for an hour then rolled it out and spread with wonderful aromatic brown sugar/raisins and little unctuous squares of marzipan just to give them another level of flavour, then it was rolled up and sliced into 12 pieces and sat on their ends in a circle to prove again.

Left to rise

Now it is time to brush with Jam (should have been apricot jam but I didn't have any so used plum) sprinkled lavishly with soft brown sugar, now they must be thrust into the hell which is my oven and baked for approx 30 mins at gas 6. 

et voila

Finished article

We have yet to try them as they are cooling down, but we will let you know :)

What did you make today? let me know

Monday, 5 January 2015

Our French Life - Permis de Conduire

Monday 5th January 2015

Prefecture Laval
we had been dreading changing our English driving licences for French ones as we had read numerous postings on the Internet of how some people had to wait 16 months to get it, some of the stories had been of Biblical proportion, so when we went 2 weeks before Christmas to change our permit de conduire (English driving licence) we were expecting the French brick wall along with the Martian speak that is the French Language, not so, it all went very well, The lady we saw there spoke fairly good English and with my French we got there.
Half way through just as things were going fine, those dreaded words (Ah problem) we looked at each other and thought ..NO..
All the double photocopies of proof of residence were fine for John but not for me as my name was not on them, note to self get them all changed as it might be a big problem if John were to die, where would I stand but that's another blog.
John had to sign a declaration to say I lived there so all was ok, the whole thing took about 30 minutes and were told it would take 2 weeks when we would get a letter calling us in to collect the licence's

Voila, Saturday 3rd Jan the letter came, YES in 2 weeks, we were amazed as Christmas had happened in-between and New Year, we were excited and planned to get up early Monday morning and trot off to Laval Prefecture (we don't normally do early in the winter).
We set the alarm for 8am and got up both a little bleary eyed, the dreaded fog was out there and we both said we didn't much like it but we would take it easy and keep our eyes peeled for the crazy French drivers, we arrived at the Prefecture at 10h and took a ticket as per the norm and sat expecting to wait a long time as there were lots of people from other countries (we could tell by their language) well you can imagine when our number came up straight away and we seemed to jump the queue - in we went to be greeted by a lovely young girl who sadly did not speak any English so our French was put to the test, we managed ok, she did John's first showing him a list of information which included the 12 points which here they put on and take away if you are naughty unlike in England where they put them on, is everything backwards here?
Then onto mine - She asked what my maiden name was and proceeded to look for mine under this name, yes sure enough my licence is in my maiden name so I questioned this and she said c'est normale - bizarre.
I think it only took 20 minutes this time, were we just lucky or is it because we live in the Mayenne! who knows, I do think that they take kindly to anyone who try's to speak the language plus it is in their interest to have everyone with French documents as they can now take our points and fine us...

Thursday, 1 January 2015


HAPPY NEW YEAR - To one and all and hope you all saw the new year in where you wanted to be and with whom you wanted to be with, John and I spent it with dear friends in the village who are here on holiday from the UK, we had a few drinks and aperitifs nibbles wished each other a happy new year then walked home and promptly went to bed ( we can't hack the late nights anymore)....

2014 didn't start well for us as I was rushed into hospital on 2nd January just as we had picked up our dear friend Joy from the airport and then spent 8 days in there with a Pulmonary embolism so missed her stay completely, sorry Joy!
I have at least stayed in good health for the rest of the year, we got one of those inflatable swimming pools and had lots of lovely hot days to floating about with our blow up chairs,our friend Fernando came for a visit and we couldn't keep him out of it, in fact it inspired him to go and purchase one himself to take back to the UK,  I am not sure what the neighbours thought about it all but they did come out one day and took photo's of us, they think we are mad anyway :)

We also had some good BBQ's

Joy came back in October to have another re-run and was pleased that I managed to stay out of hospital this time, she was also surprised to see that we had finished her bedroom, which we completely made in a roof space from scratch and it must have been nice for her to not have to sleep on the sofa..Sorry I can't find the pic I took of the bedroom so will have to take some more for another time.

Hoe you all had a wonderful welcome and start to 2015 and that it is a year of good health and prosperity for us all...Happy New Year from John and Roz x