Tuesday, 8 February 2011

One Year Blog Anniversary

February 8 2011  I started this blog one year today; I can hardly believe it!  It has been an amazing year and I have 'met' so many new friends, some literally.  This blog was started originally so that friends and family could follow what I have been up to, where I have been and what I have been cooking.  Suddenly, like Topsy, it grew and grew and now I have almost 100 followers, well over 11,000 page views and climbing fast.  I have so enjoyed building new friendships from all over the world and your comments are a delight to receive and mean so much to me. Thank you one and all.

This is my 160th post and I thought I would take one of my favourite pictures from each month since I started the blog, and celebrate a little of the whole year in one place. 

February 2010 posts covered several months, as it was all about 'the beginning', from when we bought the house in France (Sep 2005) up until 18 July 2007; this photo, although in the February postings, was in fact taken in June 2006.  The old plaster had been removed from the outside of the house, to reveal the lovely stone work underneath. Repointing had not started at this stage.

March 2010 also covered several posts from 2007 until 1 January 2010.  In April 2008 we finally succeeded in getting rid of the leaks in our barn thanks to some fine workmanship from our local roofer.  Not forgetting, of course, help from our neighbour in lifting the tiles, which made life considerably easier.  Note that the exterior walls had been finished and pointed in this photo.

April 2010 I returned to our house in France after the winter spell in the UK. Despite spring arriving with me and the garden being full of spring flowers and blossom on the trees, my favourite photo just had to be this cute little donkey which I saw one day on my way home from shopping, via the scenic route.

May 2010  This was a difficult month to choose a photo from, as I was torn between three, this lovely view, the Citroen 2CV's parading in Chasseneuil and the very first asparagus that I was able to cut from the garden.  This view, which I finally decided on, is taken from the Resistance Memorial, which is positioned to overlook the town of Chasseneuil and all the areas beyond, where the four principal members of the local resistance group were based.

June 2010  Another difficult month to choose from and I thought this was going to be easy!  There were some stunning sunsets this month, the garden was looking fantastic and there was the post on La Rochefoucauld Chateau.  I finally decided though that my favourite was farming country, with hay bales as far as the eye can see.

July 2010 France in July; not really a choice here, as I can only go for the photo taken on the 14th when the country celebrated Bastille Day. What a great night we had!

August 2010 This month I had to look no further than one photograph; this was probably my favourite of the whole year.  It was the most magical sunrise with storm clouds, nothing like I had ever seen before (or since!) and I just happened to look outside at exactly the right moment.

September 2010 I gave up trying to decide for September and finally thought that a collage was the only answer,  maybe not all my favourite photos, but to me, the interesting ones.
Top Left - Our gates, which I had finally managed to finish painting see HERE.
Top Right and Bottom Left - My September garden see HERE
Bottom right - My friends' beautiful Charentaise floor HERE

October 2010  Was my return to the UK for winter; although this may not be the best quality photo, as it was taken though salt encrusted windows from the ferry, I think it is was certainly a favourite of my followers, and most people remembered the words of the song "The White Cliffs of Dover".

November 2010 was the month I met up with fellow blogger Anne.  As I previously commented, it was  amazing that after following each other's blogs for several months, we discovered that our homes in the UK are in the same village.

 December 2010  As it was a very cold December, I decided that this was one of my favourite photos of a 'cold seat'!!  I have to say it was once again a very difficult choice, as I did love the photos that I took of the small town of Wantage.

January 2011   Certainly my favourite photo that I posted in January is the one of St Nicolas Church in Newbury, taken across the Kennet and Avon Canal.

February 2011   As I am only just into the month of February, and this was the month I started last year, I feel as if the 12 photos above show only a very small proportion of what I have seen, lived and cooked during the last 12 months.  It has been an interesting and educational time for me while I looked up the history of the places I have visited.   Most of all though, I have loved 'meeting' each and everyone of you who have joined me in my travels around the Charente, and latterly around the UK, working in the garden and cooking in the kitchen.  Some of you have become very special friends, but I feel very honoured to call all of you, world wide, that have visited and commented on my site, my friends. As I said earlier, thank you one and all for an amazing 12 months. 

I will be back in the Charente the end of next month and I will of course then be posting about our home and local villages in France.  That is once I get a broadband connection back, which is not likely to happen overnight!!!!  If I disappear for a few weeks you know where I am!

Meanwhile, I will cover a few of the places I have visited here in the UK and some odd posts with some of the photos I still have not posted from France.

I have just received the news that I have won a cookery book written by Linda Burgett who runs a blog called My Kind of Cooking.  You will love her blog and she posts some incredible recipes, all of which are so easy, and using very few ingredients.  Please go and visit her at My Kind of Cooking   What a wonderful way to celebrate my first anniversary.  Thank you Linda.

99 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your 1st anniversary! You have done well to have 100+ followers. Looking forward to your next year.

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  2. Joyful, thank you for your comments and thank you for following. I really appreciate all your comments. I hope that all is well with you and your mother. Take care. Diane

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  3. Felicitations Diane. What a great idea to post a photo from each month of the last year. I had my one year anniversary a few weeks ago. Missed it entirely! You're right, isn't amazing how the people you meet because of the blog feel as if they have really become your friends?

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  4. Thanks Delana, blogland is quite something else and it is certainly an experience that I am glad I have not missed. Even if I stopped now I still have many new friends that I would keep in touch with. Not that I intend stopping!!! Diane

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  5. Congratulations Diane, a fantastic celebratory post!
    Your blog is always interesting and enjoyable to read, with a great mix of information and daily life. Your photographs are also of a superb quality and really bring your words to life.
    Keep up the good work!

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  6. Congratulations on the year Diane, and it's lovely to look through the overview.

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  7. Wow Diane .. you are doing better than me for followers .. what an achievement after 1 year blogging. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY .... You have put up lovely photos to show us, I bet it was hard to choose . Love your header too. :-) Cannot wait to see more of France.

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  8. Sorry , me again .. post went before finished.

    Yes it was amazing to find out that our UK homes are in the same village , and we got to meet up. It was so great as we chatted like we were old friends too. I cannot believe that it was November when we first met ... time has flown. And poor you had a very tough winter visit :-( :-( and we got snowed in .. time was not on ourside to meet up again, not even for coffee..until today that is. Lets hope we can squeeze a day out in Oxford before you go back to France. :-)

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  9. Congratulations! What a wonderful year. xxxxx

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  10. GaynorB, thank you so much for all your kind comments. I hope that I can keep finding places of interest. It is fun looking though. Diane

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  11. Thanks Jan, I am now looking forward to the next year. Hope all is well with you. Diane

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  12. Anne you are right it has not been easy since I returned to the UK, but I am glad I was here to support Nigel, he would have struggled on his own especially as he has not been well. He is now looking forward to his holiday in April over Easter in France, he certainly needs it.

    Thanks for the congratulations on the blog - long may it last!

    I am sure we will fit in a trip to Oxford but we can make some plans over coffee later this morning.
    A bientôt, Diane xx

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  13. Thanks Diane, it has been an amazing year, so glad I became a blogger! Diane xx

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  14. Diane,
    What a fantastic effort, you must pass on your secrets of success to Sue and I (privately - don't give away all your secrets).
    We would love to meet more followers as you have. It makes blogging so much more rewarding.
    We all enjoy your posts.
    Looking forward to the next 12 months.

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  15. Happy Blogaversary, Diane! Looking forward for more to come. Time flies so quickly that we don't even realized it. I don't even remember my 1st blogaversary. Hopefully I will remember my 2nd anniversary this year. ha... Hope you're having a great time.
    Best wishes,
    Kristy

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  16. And also congratulations on your winning! What a great celebration on your blogaversary day.
    Cheers, Kristy

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  17. Congratulations, Diane. It has been a great pleasure getting to know you and follow you on your adventures in lovely French villages. If I make it to France this summer... I hope to meet you at a village pub and share a drink! I look forward to another year of your posts, pictures and charm!

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  18. Hi Diane .. at last we managed to meet up for coffee and a chat :-):-) so lovely. I forgot to say Congratulations on winning the cook book , yes how great to win on your blogiversary :-) A bientot. Anne xx

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  19. 100 followers in one year. That is quite a record. Congratuations. You are going back to France soon. Will be anxious to see what you find being back in your second home. We are taking intense French classes. I certainly hope we will be better prepared when we arrive in Provence in May!! Susan

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  20. Leon and Sue, thanks for the kind comments. I have no idea what secrets there are behind blogging, luck I think and also a a wide variety of subjects, but then you also blog on a wide variety, sorry no other answers :) I am sure your blog is better than mine though. It is time you took a trip to France again and we can swop ideas in real time :)) Diane

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  21. Kristy thanks for the great comments. Yes I was delighted to win the cookbook, I am really looking forward to its arrival and trying out the recipes. Diane

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  22. lostpastremembered, oh how I hope we can meet up and not just for a drink, I hope you may have time to spend a few days with me, it would be wonderful. Thank you for visiting and following, I love your blog as it is always so interesting. Thanks Diane

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  23. Thanks Anne for meeting with me it, was great to catch up on all the news. It was fantastic to win the cookbook and it was the perfect time on my one year anniversary. A bientôt Diane xx

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  24. Susan wish I could afford to take intense French lessons, that it what I need, but they are so expensive here in the UK and I have not been able to find anyone close by in France at a sensible price either. Well when I say sensible, maybe they are not that expensive, but as I need intensive, it just mounts up to a cost that is beyond my pocket. I struggle on with tapes but it is not easy and the time I spend in the UK I just forget again. The joys of getting older when I have never had a good memory!!! Hope I get to see you when you come over to France. I will be back in the UK for the last week of May; father-in-laws 90th birthday.
    Yes I am looking forward to getting back to France. The guy who looks after the house has been having a problem with the heating as something is leaking! We have told him to just get the get in the man who services the machine to sort it out. We have heard nothing to date, luckily it is not so cold at the moment and it is only switched on when there is frost around. Never the less I hope I do not arrive to a cold house :( Diane

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  25. Well done Diane, that's a great post covering the year. Blue skies and mild in the Charente today you will be pleased to know. Good luck for the summer!

    Andy

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  26. Thanks Andy. I am very pleased to know that the Charente has mild weather today as i have been told we have a heating problem at the moment!! I am so looking forward to being back home. Diane

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  27. Congrats Diane! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos. Sorry for not able to drop by for past few weeks, once my new house Internet is up, I will visit u more often. Looking more beautiful post from you.

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  28. Sonia oh how I hate internets that do not work properly, I just wonder how we ever survived before!! Thanks for the comments and visiting now. Diane

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  29. Yes, Happy Blog Anniversary indeed! Here's hoping to many many more!

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  30. Thanks Peggy, I sincerely hope there will be many more LOL. Diane

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  31. You have reached and passed an important milestone in a blogger's life. Congratulations. I have so enjoyed my visits here. I hope to be reading you years from now. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  32. Great blog recap! Happy blogiversary.

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  33. Mary I am so pleased we found each other as I love your recipes and I will be hopefully following you for years to come. Take care Diane

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  34. Thanks Pam it is always a pleasure to see your comments. Diane

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  35. hi diane....happy ONE year....

    i am so happy to have met you through blogging as well. it is so fun knowing that you can have a friend on the other side of the world thanks to blogging....it has been a pleasure visiting here and am looking forward to more....

    kary

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  36. Kary, thank you, I am also happy to have 'met' you as well, I really enjoy your posts so hope we will be following each other for many years yet :) Diane

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  37. Nice idea, I might need to doa review of 2010 on by blog, I've got over 450 posts on my blog, I'm not vain enough to think anyone's going to start reading back through them all. I may (if you don't mind) ,use your pic (credited of course) on my next instalment of my postings about "The Next Moon".
    http://rozinbrittany.blogspot.com/

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  38. Paul and Roz, I agree who is going to read back through a whole year of posts!!! Not sure which photo you want to use, but yes no problem so long as it is credited. Only a pleasure and thanks. Diane

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  39. Congratulations on your 1 year blog anniversary! This is excellent news and I really have enjoyed the post your created to celebrate your first year. I have really enjoyed visiting and will continue to do so. x

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  40. I remember most of those pictures! happy Blogoversary, and many more; it has been a pleasure getting to know you. And congrats on winning the cookbook; I know you'll enjoy it!

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  41. My memory is failing Diane - I already commented - Oh well.

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  42. Happy Frog, thank you for all your kind commments. I would be very sad if you did not visit and I love your blog as well. Maybe one day we will get the chance to meet up :-) Diane

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  43. Thanks Marjie, I loved getting to know all your family as well, not of course forgetting Thor who I just love. I am really looking forward to receiving the cookbook and trying out the recipes. Diane

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  44. LOL, Leon my memory sounds a bit like yours, no wonder I am struggling with French LOL. Diane

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  45. Congratulations Diane. And I love you too. That sunrise photo is stunning and appears almost like a fire from the sky. And I love the photo of St Nicolas Church. Keep it coming girl - I love your blog.

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  46. Bonsoir Diane. I am so glad I came across your blog and to read about living in France by a fellow Francophile. I enjoy your photographs very much. Congratulations on your First Year Anniversary and may there be many more. What a great way of presenting a synopsis of your year's posts and I adore the snowdrops at the top of the page. Wish I could see some on the ground soon, here in Cork!

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  47. You have done well ~ Happy Blog anniversary!! I remember a lot of these photos - and the time you met up with Anne whose blog I had been following ~ I felt like I was part of the day.
    "All Things French"

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  48. What beautiful pictures and fun to travel the year with them..A wonderful blog and so happy we are blogging friends..
    Congratulations on the cook book win..will visit her site..
    Take care and safe trip back to France. Will be looking forward to seeing how your home has progressed. Looks beautiful, so far.

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  49. Congrats on turning 1!!!!!

    Loved catching up with a "year in your life" as I missed some of the earlier posts!!

    Hope it is warming up for you - we now have cool weather - can't figure out what to wear at the moment - still we should be pleased we have a reprieve from last week.


    Look forward to another year in the Charente!!!

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  50. Happy Blog Anniversary. You've done a great round up and it's good for new readers - like me - to see some of your old adventures.

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  51. Becca it has been such a pleasure 'meeting' you, not only seeing your beautiful garden but hearing all your stories, good and bad! Thanks for your very kind comments. Take care, Diane xx

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  52. Dolly I am so glad you found my blog or I may never have found yours which I love so much. That snow drop was the first I have seen this year and that was only a week ago. Thanks for all your comments. Diane

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  53. Hi Dianne, glad you found me through Anne. We met up for coffee yesterday and chatted for ages. We hope to take a trip to Oxford together next week. Thanks for all your comments. Take care. Diane

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  54. Rosebud collection, I hope that things are warming up around you! I was so thrilled to win the cook book, I am not usually lucky in raffles etc so this was a wonderful surprise. I am so looking forward to my return to France :) Keep warm, Diane

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  55. Cate that makes 2 of us looking forward to another year in Charente :)))) Thanks for the kind comments and glad it gave you a chance to catch up with some of the past. I am glad it has cooled down a bit for you, it has warmed up slightly here, but having said that we had a heavy frost yesterday! Diane

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  56. Brittany I am so glad that you found my blog as it meant that I then found yours which I just love. Glad you enjoyed a few bits from the past. Take care. Diane

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  57. Dianne, the picture I may use is the resistance memorial photograph, my reference to "The Next Moon" concerns a book written by Andre Hue, you can read more here http://rozinbrittany.blogspot.com/2011/01/next-moon-draft-post.html and in other posts I've made.

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  58. Diane, congratulations on your first year of blogging. I certainly feel that I have got to know a wonderful virtual friend over that year and enjoy keeping up to date with you both in France and the UK. Thanks for the pleasure you provide.

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  59. Hi Roz I have answered in more detail on your blog but no problem with using the photo. Diane

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  60. Lindy thanks for the very kind comments, I also feel as if I have got to know you quite well over recent months. You also provide me with much pleasure as I have never been to Italy but I feel as if I now have thanks to your 'tours' around the villages. Please don't give it up :) Diane

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  61. A lovely way to celebrate your blogging year..may you long continue and find that your life in France is full and happy.

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  62. Thanks Fly, I certainly hope that life in France will be long and happy, the sooner Nigel joins me full time the better! Diane

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  63. Happy blogversary Diane, those blogging journey is a great way to reminisce how good this hobby is.

    Congratulations for your win, wow cookbook is a great prize. Can't wait to see your new recipes!

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  64. chubskulit thank you for following and your comments. Yes I am looking forward to getting the cookery book, it is a great gift to win. Diane

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  65. A huge congrats on your one year blog anniversary, Diane! This is a huge achievement and I can't wait to see what future years bring for your beautiful blog!

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  66. Thanks Faith, I am also looking forward to the future years :) Diane

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  67. I am looking forward to another wonderful 12 months of blogging.
    Congratulations Diane!

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  68. Thanks Nadege, I know you keep on eye on what I am up even though you do not often comment :) Diane

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  69. First, congrats for your new banner! Very springlike!
    Happy anniversary then, one year is something!
    I remember all those pics from your articles! You've accomplished so much in this period of time.
    You'll be back soon, I guess!
    Much love Diane, keep well!
    PS: my parrot drawing was color pencils from round the world!!

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  70. Noushka thanks so much for the lovely comments. Oh yes I will be back 27 March, it cannot come soon enough :) Thanks for telling me what medium you used. I would never try working with colour pencils, too difficult if you make a mistake! I like acrylics or even more so oils, easy to correct. But then I am not very good!! Diane

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  71. Dear Diane, hi
    Thank you very much for this magical journey through time!
    With your wonderful photos, I was present everywhere ...
    Tells vividly!
    Congratulations on your birthday blog!
    I wish you to be always healthy and happy!
    Greetings
    Magda

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  72. That's lovely Diane (saw your response to my previous comment above). Would love to meet up some time. x

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  73. Congratulations on a phenominally successful blog, which is always a delight to read. Long may you continue blogging !!

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  74. Congratulations on your one year Blog Anniversary! Time sure goes fast doesn't it! Thank you for mentioning my blog! That was so sweet of you!

    I look forward to many more years of reading your wonderful blog!

    Linda

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  75. Yes, I was on Linda's site and read that you had won her cookbook. Congratulations on that and completion of your first year of blogging.
    If anybody knows a bit of history I am sure there is a sweet/sadness association with the white cliffs of Dover.
    Did you wonder why the rock walls of your house had been covered - was it just a preference or a building trend? The rocks give it so much character.

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  76. Magda your comments make me very happy, I am glad that you can see all so vividly. I t is a pleasure to write posts when I know they are appreciated. I hope that I can keep finding interesting items! Diane

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  77. Happy Frog it would be great to meet up. I have to come your way, probably next week, but I guess you work every day so during the week is not so easy. Perhaps we could find a 1/2 way point at a time convenient to us both at a weekend. Trouble now is my time here is getting short. Of course you and froggy could always have a week in France :)) Diane

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  78. Jean thank you for your very kind comments, I hope I can keep the blog going with items of interest, not always easy to find with out moving further afield! Take care Diane

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  79. Linda, I was more than happy to mention your blog and will do another post when I receive the book. I was just so delighted to win it. Thanks for your kind comments, you are right the year seems to have flown by!! Diane

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  80. Mya thanks for following and your comments over the past year. Re the house walls. Most houses in the past, in France had the stone covered with render and it was a sign of wealth!! Anyone who had an un-rendered stone house was poor. Twenty to thirty years ago people decided that the stone looked so much better and as houses were restored the render was removed and the stone pointed. More and more houses have now been restored with the stone showing. Sadly there are many new houses being built of blocks, quicker and cheaper than stone or restoration, somehow they do not look like part of the French countryside!
    Yes I was delighted to discover that I had won Linda’s cook book :) Diane

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  81. Congrats on 1 year of blogging...it's been nice getting to connect with you!

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  82. Congratulations on the anniversary! To me, it's a lot of fun starting my day with your blog posts. I enjoyed visiting the posts you have highlighted. I wish you inspiration, and I hope you'll always feel motivated to post.

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  83. Thanks Olga for the very kind comments. I hope that I stay motivated and I also hope that I can find enough items to keep my posts interesting :) Diane

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  84. Hi Diane, thanks for the beautiful comments on my blog all ,the time. About my update, I checked my feedburner yesterday and everything is all good. I am not sure why it is not showing up on your google readers. I'f you'd like, you can subscribe through email and it will go there directly

    Again, thanks a lot!

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  85. chubskulit I prefer not to use my email. The last post of yours that now shows up is the heart footsteps in the snow. Maybe it will just correct itself!!! Diane

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  86. Happy blog birthday. Time flies when you're having fun. 100 hundred followers in a year is quite an achievement. Congratulations!

    You live in such a lovely part of the world. I'm so glad you did a re-cap for us to see. I'm new to your blog and enjoyed reading your favorite posts very much. That's some photo of the fork-life and the roof tiles.

    I'm looking forward to your second year and all of the exciting things you will be posting.
    Sam

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  87. Congratulations on your blog anniversary and also on this very clever post. Well done, Diane!

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  88. Bon anniversaire Diane! C'est un plaisir de vous avoir rencontrée grâce à la blogosphère! Merci de partager avec vos lecteurs votre vie si passionnante entre la Charente et l'Angleterre.

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  89. Thanks JM for you very kind comments. I just love your blogs particularly your wild life one. Diane

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  90. Merci Lucie, vos commentaires sont très gentils. Je dois dire que j'aime beaucoup votre blog des insectes et je vous remercie pour votre aide avec l’identification des insectes dans mon jardin français. Diane

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  91. Sam, it has been a pleasure to have you visit my blog and I am glad this has given you a chance to catch up. I am looking forward to my return to the Charente next month to try and discover new things to write about. I enjoy your blog as well and the chance to come up with some new dishes from your kitchen. Take care. Diane

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  92. Diane maybe one day you will be able to come and visit us in Italy, we have a little house on the shores of Lago di Bolsena that we let friends use. It is on FB maybe next time you see Anne get her to show you.:)

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  93. Lindy, thank you so much for a fantastic offer. Once we have made the final move to France we can then look to maybe having a holiday. I would love to see Italy. I will ask Anne to show me. Of course if you want a trip to France we always have a spare room. Thanks Diane

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  94. It would certainly be fun to meet one day.

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  95. Lindy one day I am sure it will happen one way or another :) Diane

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  96. A first anniversary is a big event in a blog's life ! ;o) I'll be happy to read you again and again ...
    Hélène

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  97. Thanks Hélène it has been an amazing year. A bientôt Diane

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  98. We want to say thnx to you 4 creating this cool weblog and keep going the good work!
    Roofer Wantage

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