La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Monday, September 17, 2018

All About Cats

When our our kitten Pixie/Gypsy  left one evening never to return, a year ago now, I was so, so incredibly sad for weeks (still am), that my mum suggested I adopted another kitten.
Woah there ! Bert had always said, if a pet died or disappeared there would be no replacement for a while.
I, however, thought it would be a good idea.
And, my mother said, if you get two, you'll be entertained all the time, because they will play with each other and they will have so much fun.  Bert protested, but was overruled by two to one.
Off we went, my mum, my friend Sophie and I visited the local cat rescue and came back home with two male, ginger and white kittens.
Meet Alfie & Louis, who came to live with us October 2017.

Mischief, always full of mischief.

Louis (left) & Alfie (right) - look at that scrunched up little face.

 Watcha doin' mister ?
Helping with the reupholstery !

Keeping Blackie company. Poor dog had his paws attacked many a time.

 There I was thinking, I'll make them a big christmas present to play with. Maybe they won't be eyeing up the tree.
I was wrong !

Granny time !

 Louis, clean as a whistle. Alfie, not so much.

 Taking turns.
Louis, who loves to crawl into his little den, but also loves a blanket to curl up under.

Here they are now, just over one year old and they have given us lots of laughs so far.

Louis is a real hunter and we'll often try to save his prey, not always successfully unfortunately.
Alfie goes more after small fry, like insects, a piece seaweed, a mussel shell or a clump of grass.

That's it for this post. One year in the life of the ginger twins.

Patricia xxx...x

Monday, September 10, 2018

When You Turn Your Back for Two Seconds...

A courgette (zucchini) will turn into a big fat marrow, or monster, to be precise.

This very large specimen is 60 cm in length and 16 cm diameter and weighs an astonishing 10 kg !
I prefer my courgettes petite, but I'm really, really, really loving this huge masterpiece. I guess courgette soup is on the menu for the coming months, at least.

Patricia xxx...x

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Closing One Chapter....

I don't know if anybody is still out there, but if there is, I would like to apologise now for not keeping up with this blog.
We've had many exciting plans for our future here and none of them came to fruition, so we think it is time to indeed close this chapter and start penning down the new one in our story. The ink had dried up in our pen and we're looking for another one at the bottom of the clutter drawer. Until that new pen is being found, I'll leave you with the news that our house in Ireland is now on the market !

It is a fantastic house in the most stunning surroundings. Don't believe me ? Take a look for yourselves.
House in Sneem, co Kerry, Ireland

Have a great day,
Patricia xxx...x

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Merry Christmas !

I feel like I've let down my readers. Not only that, I've let myself down by not posting here in a very long time. You know how it goes, you have 'writer's block' or you think nobody is waiting to read a bit of drivel.  And before you know it, months and months have passed.

Anyhow, I just dropped in to wish you all a very Happy Christmas !

Patricia xxx...x

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

In Use Again

That's our Wendy house for chickens, that is.

Our oldest and the only original one left (after foxes and mink had a go), Bluebell decided to retract from the newcomers in the coop and settle down to become broody. For the first time in three years.

She sat on two eggs and a few days ago we welcomed a little chick (only one) into the world.

Out came the Wendy house, but this time we've placed it on our patio area at the house, so we can keep an eye on her. We weighted the little coop down with 2 concrete slabs. Yes, it can be windy here, but the reason for this is that our dogs (or maybe a fox) wouldn't be able to lift it up with their noses.

I can't show you photos from the chick and her mama, because they don't venture out yet. I can tell you though that it is a black chick with a white patch at the front.
A bit like this :
Ha ha ha ! Honestly !
Funny that. The first time we noticed this kitten (Pixie) was in the hen house, before she decided to come and live with us for good.
If we didn't have a black chicken in the coop, and if Pixie wasn't a girl....or a cat... alrighty !

What have I been doing over the last week ?  Well, cutting up and dividing pork. Our last two pigs have now found homes into several freezers with several households. I've cut chops,loin roasts, thick pork belly slices, taken out the tenderloins, back ribs, spare ribs and cut 2 legs and one shoulder into manageable roasts. Two legs are curing at the butcher's for ham.
We've made about 25 kg of sausages and hopefully today I can start with the mortadella/bologna/luncheon meat.
I am in the process of dry-curing bacon and some of it will be smoked.  

Not much goes to waste as I have made brawn from the heads, and cooked all the bones too. The meat that was picked off the bones is for the dogs, and I can tell you, it is still a substantial amount that shouldn't be thrown away. 

Thanks for visiting.
Comments are very much appreciated, even if I don't always reply, they are always read.
Patricia xxx...x

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Project : A Mural

A masterpiece it is not...
But when my friend, Jutta said she wanted a mural with grasses on the wall of her physio clinic room, I said, in jest, "I'll do it". And 2 afternoons later, here we are.

Now, you'd better sit in a darkened room if you want to check out the pictures of this project.
The wall is a soft light blue with a spring-like feel to it. The other colour Jutta used on her walls is a light green very close to the blue. And if I had used that green it would not have been visible at all, so I added a brighter green to her original colour to get the desired effect.
Still, looking at the pictures in bright sunlight won't show you much, as I have experienced.

These two photos, Jutta took, with the light in her room off, and on. It gives a completely different feel.

I took this one coming into the room from the hallway.

A few close-ups.

Jutta is very happy with the result and it is just how she wanted it. That'll do me just fine.
Now they only have to finish off their new-build, so they can start enjoying it all.

It has been raining heavily on and off and it feels bitterly cold (I'll have to start wearing socks in my sandals again), The few veg in the garden are starting to curl up on themselves from the cold, as if they want to return to the soil. Can't blame them.

Keep well !
Patricia xxx...x

Friday, June 02, 2017

Gypsy No More

Oh, the kitten is still here, but since she is settled now we decided to ditch the name Gypsy.
Bert thought the name Pixie suited her so much better, and he is right.

We still don't like you, but we tolerate you. Just don't come too close !

I'm only concentrating on this water. Mine !

They've gone !

I'm the youngest and I always get my way.

Pixie is cute, friendly and funny. And she has a gap between her front teeth, both top and bottom.

Have a great weekend !
Patricia xxx...x
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