La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, 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 we did and 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, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Friday, November 20, 2015

Back !

You hadn't even noticed I wasn't here, I bet.
It was only a couple of weeks. While my mum was here I rather spent time with her than composing blog posts, that - let's face it - only a few people read. These few people who I am extremely grateful for.
My mum left for Belgium again on Tuesday. We've had a cosy time. I was relaxed, she was relaxed. We cleaned a bit, tidied some and she only managed one morning in the garden, due to weather conditions. My mum loves pottering around in the garden, but she gets frustrated with all her aches and pains. But here she is, anyway clearing and weeding the 'new' herb bed (in use since late summer). We had quite a good harvest of nettles and thistles.

We watched some afternoon movies together on Netflix and sometimes she just sat in the armchair with a cup of tea (and a mince pie) looking out over the water towards the mountains, just enjoying the view.  I sometimes kept my hands busy with crocheting a few granny squares (I don't do complicated)

We went to Killarney one day and the place was heaving. I am not used to being among throngs of people. I couldn't stop myself from buying these three Christmas baubles.

I don't change colour scheme often and these tie in nicely with the one I've had going for a few years.
Usually I buy cheap colourful tat and I go for impact of colour rather than exquisite and expensive one of a kind baubles. I am brash.

My mum and I also tackled the brawn. She told me to get the pig's head out of the freezer and we would do it together. I'm grateful to her because I wasn't looking forward to it.

Recipe to follow.

I've started going to a workshop in the village for upholstery in The Green Chair , the most beautiful shop in Sneem ! That's my ad hoc reupholstery days over. Or not. I will need to attend many, many, many workshops before I get anywhere near a semi-professional standard.
Before that time comes I have another project to tackle and I bought the fabric in said shop too.
It doesn't look it on the photo, so you just have to take my word for it, but it is duck egg blue and it is for this  monster armchair.
I suspect I won't start with this till the new year , seeing I want to do sooooo many projects for Christmas first.

Come back on Monday for the recipe you've all been dying to get your hands on. Brawn or head cheese (eww!)

Patricia xxx...x


  1. I'm glad you spent a lovely couple of weeks with your mum - mine drives me crazy after a couple of hours! That chair is great and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it. X

    1. Thanks. We had a great time. Probably because we were both relaxed.
      I first have to eye the armchair up for a while before I dare to tackle it, but tackle it Iwill. :)

  2. I don't think either me OR my Mum could tackle a pigs head .... you are both brave.

    It was the one cut I specifically asked NOT to get back from the butchers when we took our pigs to slaughter. Having their ears back (for the dogs) was bad enough I recognised whose ears were whose from their tags :-(

    1. Never mind the tags. It's their faces that I recognise. :-/ But I feel the need to use every scrap of meat of the piggy. I ask the butcher to saw the head in half and remove eyes and brain. Can't deal with that just yet.

  3. I would love to have that relationship with my mother. You are blessed.
    Brawn is amazing. Haven't had any since childhood.

    1. Thank you Jill.
      I've tasted the brawn already and it is fab.

  4. Love your mom's face with the pig head! And your baubles. Still dreaming one day to sip some tea or a drink and stare out at mountains with you again.

    1. Haha, yes, my mum's face says it all.
      I am anticipating the day you tell me you've booked a flight.
      Have you settled in yet in that absolutely fabulous farmhouse ? xxx...x

    2. We have! Well, we're out of the old house anyway - ever so much unpacking still to do, and what a job that is with kids, especially Clara, who is at the Very Busy Age of Nearly 2! But we'll get there. Celebrated Thanksgiving today, just the four of us, and I was able to get the kitchen and dining room comfortable enough to work and eat in at least :)


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