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

Monday, January 16, 2017

And So 2017 Has Arrived

It's been a while since I've come onto the blog - too long, so without further ado let me wish you a very sound, healthy and happy new year !

The festivities all come and gone and it is time to take stock of what's been happening.

Obviously, after the windows had been fitted, the sitting room needed a few coats of paint, which we did, and finished just in the nick of time for the Christmas decorations to go up.
Nevermind the messy sofas. It's their default state of being.

The tree and other decorations went up just in the nick of time (again) before the arrival of my mother, Irma.

She obviously didn't arrive by rollator.

My mum has one at home, in Belgium, and we decided to get her one for when she visits. My gosh, she's fast, when she's not sitting down.

On Christmas day we had dinner at our friends, Sophie and Rudy. It was so lovely. The food, company and atmosphere were fantastic.

We hosted a dinner party on the 28th and that was also a success. I didn't take photos this year, I forgot ! Ah, but the memories are there.  
I did take photo before the party however. We we were setting the tables, Fergus was delighted with the little nest we laid as a centerpiece.

In other news, one of the female ducks flew off and came back, flew off and came back... A few times until she decided to stay away for good.  Then Cyril, the drake left. He didn't come back and was being spotted at the friends/neighbours, where he originally came from. 
It took almost two weeks before the rascal could be caught. He's now back since Thursday and one of his wings has been clipped. We did the same with the 2 other female ducks and all is well.

The fox has visited a few times, maiming one chicken, who eventually died a week later. Most probably internal injuries which we didn't notice. We kept her inside and treated her broken skin to no avail. Next time we'll have to take a more drastic measure quicker. We live and learn.
He must have come back a few days later and took our beautiful new cockerel. It breaks my heart.

We now have 4 sensors with ultrasonic deterrent, strategically placed. Fingers crossed, so far so good.
But we also ordered and received battery operated electric fence to place on the outside of the chicken and duck pens. Soon to be installed.

Two of our piggies went to the butcher's this Tuesday, so it'll be a lot of work in the coming week. I already got the heads back and I've turned these into brawn.

Last Friday the other windows were fitted, bar one. It is only 20 cm to tall ! 😭 Can you believe it ?
Oh well, the window company promised to send someone this week to check it out.

Since I also have a new window in the craft room, I decided it was time to reorganise the whole lot again. I've been busy with that all weekend and it'll need a good few more days, I expect.

That is all for now. 
It's good to be back.

Patricia xxx...x


  1. Happy New Year Patricia xx

  2. Your rooms look splendid and have a wonder filled 2017.

  3. A very Happy New Year to you, Patricia. Love the centerpiece. X

  4. Love the colour in your living room. Your tree is very pretty.


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