Monday, 12 November 2012

Birthday and Armistice Day

I am a little behind with the post this week, as we have had a somewhat (for us) busy weekend!  On Friday we went out to lunch to celebrate Nigel's birthday; the nearby Les Routiers Restaurant we like is closed on Saturdays, so we decided to celebrate a day early.
Happy Birthday Nigel

For some unknown reason we did not realise there was soup on the menu; I don't think they have it in summer, so  we went straight for the self service hors d'oeuvres
Nigel did not have the snails but had some ham and pasta instead

For the main course we both chose gigot of lamb with frites and courgettes.  This was followed by cheese and finally we both chose crème brulee for desert.

Then came Saturday, and the real day of the birthday, so we had all the neighbours around for aperitifs.  Thankfully it meant only snacks, but it still all takes time though we really enjoyed the visit.  Sadly I put my camera on the side to take some photos and when they had all gone I realised that I had completely forgotten to take a single photo!!

Finally yesterday, Sunday, we went to the Remembrance Day ceremony at our local war memorial.  For more information see last years service HERE.  This year was very similar, with the service at the memorial, followed by snacks and drinks in the Salle des Fetes (Community Hall), where one of our local residents displays part of his huge collection of WW1 memorabilia for all to see.
The two of us waiting for the service to begin. I had a haircut a couple of weeks back, I did say short but it was not meant to be quite this short!

The service

Some of the memorabilia
I thought this may be of interest to my American followers


Not sure that I would like to be standing in the way of any of this artillery!

Finally we were surprised with an invitation to lunch with the organisers and the mayor.  As the only English speaking people at the table this was quite an honour.

Last but not least, Nigel called out to me to see the glow on the trees in the garden from the setting sun.  I ran out and managed two quick photos and the brightness had gone. I just caught it in the nick of time.








 
See also - My Life Before Charente Updated 12/11/12


101 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, Happy Birthday to Nigel for Sat. x

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    1. Karen Nigel says thanks. It was a hectic weekend and I am glad of a lazy day and a public holiday today! Keep well Diane

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  2. Hello Diane:
    Our very belated birthday greetings to Nigel.

    But what an interesting and very varied weekend you have had with, amongst other things, plenty of delicious sounding food and the company of a great many friends. Your being invited to the lunch after the service was, indeed, an honour and shows very clearly how well thought of you must be in your local village.

    Here Armistice Sunday is not celebrated, for obvious reasons, although there was a small service at the British War Graves cemetery outside of Budapest.

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    1. Thanks Jane and lance for the birthday wishes, Nigel was interested to know that he had greetings from Budapest. I am in recovery mode to day and trying to take it easy! Keep well Diane

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  3. Lovely photos Diane:) My hairdresser always goes a bit mad with the scissors too when I say short! Have a good week.
    ~Anne

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    1. Anne he does not normally get so carried away but this time he did!! Have a good week. Diane

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  4. What a great historical display! I definitely wouldn't want to be standing in front of that artillery either :)

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    1. Sara Louise no I do not think there would be much left of you!! Have a good week Diane

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  5. It looks like you had a lovely weekend - I would have found it hard to resist the crème brulée, but no problem with declining the snails !! It's nice to see a photo of you and Nigel together.

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    1. Jean it was a good weekend, no Nigel is not keen on snails at all! Not often we get photos of the two of us, and usually very few of me anyway not that it worries me one little bit. I prefer to behind the camera than in front of it :-) Enjoy your week. Diane

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  6. it looks like you really enjoyed the whole birtday celebrations!
    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

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    1. Ola it was a good weekend but I am not used to eating so much..... it will take a few days for recovery :-) Keep well Diane

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  7. happy birthday nigel! what a wonderful way to celebrate. i love snails! that last photo is gorgeous!

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    1. Jaz thanks for the birthday wishes, I have relayed them on to Nigel. I don't think there is anything edible I do not like other than peanut butter and even that I could eat if I had to. I was pretty chuffed with that last picture it came out well. Have a good week Diane

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  8. You have undergone the great rural French haircut...on my mother's first visit she had been out shopping with us and over tea afterwards leant forward to say

    'Well, I knew the French were...you know...but I didn't realise that all the women were lesbians...'

    For her generation (born 1916) a shingle cut had only one meaning, it seems!

    How nice that you are so appreciated in your commune.

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    1. Fly I have no idea what got into my hairdresser's scissors this time! He is Italian and has been cutting my hair for the past couple of years here, that is when I don't cut it myself! He has never given me a crew cut before!!

      We felt very honoured to be invited to lunch and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep well Diane

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  9. The food looks great, you and Nigel look great, and your sunset photo looks great! It sounds like you had a good birthday weekend with Nigel, and I am sorry that I missed our local Remembrance Day service. This was partly because I had not caught up with what day it was, and partly because we have been very busy in the house. Your hair will grow, of that I am sure, and I don't 'do' snails either!

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    1. Vera ha ha everything is great :-) I am sure that you have been very busy, apart from all the animals you have the house as well undergoing restoration. Not sure I could manage 1/2 of what you do. Have a good week. Diane

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  10. Happy birthday Nigel - you two look very smart in that photo!

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    1. Cuisine de Provence, thanks if only the hair was not quite so short!! Take care Diane

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  11. That was one wonderful birthday dinner and you both look so nice. Happy Birthday, Nigel. Many, many more in good health.

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    1. Susan thanks for that particularly the good health. Take care Diane

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  12. Diane, I love, love your haircut! You look very chic!!! What a nice birthday celebration for Nigel! The food all looks delicious, and the service sounds great for the day. How nice to be included at the luncheon!

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    1. Pam I am glad someone likes it so short! My hair is very curly and I am blow drying it straight to make it look longer!! We did have a good weekend and the luncheon was really good. Enjoy your week. Diane

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  13. Hi Diane .. well for all the shortness of les cheveux ... you both look very smart - and my gosh you have enjoyed yourselves .. all that food: Happy Birthday Nigel .. and here's to a very happy year ahead for you both ... what fun to be asked to join in .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary I have no idea why he suddenly cut it quite so short... it will grow though and means I do not have to have it cut for a longer period :-) Have a great week Diane

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  14. DEAR DIANE, VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO NIGEL, VERY NICE CELEBRATION, I WAS SURPRISE TO READ A RESTAURANT IS CLOSED ON SATURDAYS, ONE WOULD THINK IT'S A DAY TO KEEP OPEN. I LOVED THE PICTURE OF YOU TWO. AND LOVED, AS ALWAYS, THE SUNSET ON YOUR GARDEN, JUST PERFECT. BIG HUGS

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    1. Pamela thanks for the greetings for Nigel. It is truckers restaurant which means it is only open Monday to Friday, the food is very good and 5 courses with wine included is €12.00. We enjoy the food there and we see no point in going to somewhere very expensive in the circumstances! That sunset was quite special the couple of minutes while it lasted. Have a great week Diane

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  15. A belated Happy Birthday to Nigel, what a great weekend he had for his birthday, plus a Bank Holiday for you in France today as well. It is a lovely photo of you and Nigel both looking so well.

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    1. Thanks Linda for the birthday wishes. We have had a very lazy day today recovering slowly!! Enjoy your week and hope you do not get flooded.... Diane

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  16. Happy Birthday! I got so hungry now, with all those goodies in the pictures..

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    1. Mihaela, ha ha sorry to make you hungry. Thanks for the birthday greetings. Take care Diane

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  17. Looks like a pretty good birthday weekend!

    A belated Happy Birthday, Nigel.

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    1. Thanks Gaynor I will pass the greetings on to Nigel. We were so lucky with all the rain we have had we managed a dryish weekend :-) Take care Diane

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  18. Happy belated Birthday Nigel!

    Dinner looks absolutely scrumptious.

    That shot of the glowing sky is awesome.

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    1. Thanks Gaelyn, message passed on. I was pretty chuffed with that photo in the garden with the sun setting on the trees and to think I nearly missed it! Have a good week Diane

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  19. Happy Birthday to Nigel, I watched the Big memorial ceremony in Ottawa here in Canada on Sunday morning, it was very moving. The ceremony you had looked very nice. I'm sure you had a good time at the dinner. You look great with short hair. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Horst thanks for the birthday wishes, have passed them on. I think these services are very moving, I find it quite hard at times to keep the tears back. So many wasted lives and what for, if only everyone could live in peace, wishful thinking. Have a good week Diane

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  20. What a lovely tribute to Armistice Day. And Happy Birthday to Nigel; it must be nice to have him around for all of these celebrations now!

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    1. Marjie I am still getting used to Nigel being around 24/7, we have been apart for so much recently that we had forgotten what it is like to be together again! Thanks for the birthday greetings I will pass them on. Keep well Diane

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  21. It does indeed sound like you had a busy weekend. It looks like you had perfect Fall weather though and that is a much nicer thing than rain which is what we have here every Remembrance Day. The appys on your plate look so good and creme brulee is one of my favs. I want to wish Nigel a very Happy Birthday and a wonderful year for you and he ahead. x

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    1. Joyful thanks for the birthday greetings, I will send them on to Nigel. The weather was a mazing, after all the rain we have had I could not believe it. We had rain again on Friday night and Saturday morning but it cleared before out friends arrived. Mmmm I have to agree crème brulee is a very special dish :-) Take it easy, Diane

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  22. What an interesting display and happy birthday to Nigel. Looks like it's cold there. Great photo of you both.
    Sam

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    1. Sam it has been very chilly, so different to last year when we still had butterflies in the garden in November! Thanks for the birthday wishes. Keep well Diane

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  23. What a nice weekend you have! Happy birthday to Nigel :) That lamb and especially the creme brulee look amazing! I haven't had creme brulee for ages, but I love it!

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    1. Amy Lucinda thanks for the birthday wishes I am passing them all on to Nigel. Yes I also love crème brulee very yummy. Take care Diane

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  24. Happy birthday, Nigel, even if it is a bit of a belated wish. I think your hair looks very good, personally. My wife has had many very good haircuts in France but also has a lot of stories about the difficulties in getting the cut she wanted. She speaks very good French but some hairdressers just won't be persuaded. Many of them seem to start by insulting whoever cut it last. Not long ago one lady told her - 'Yes, that last cut was very nice. If only you'd been an adolescent.' Maybe that's a worldwide thing and not confined to French hairdressers.

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    1. Phil although I am in France my hairdresser is Italian, and he has been cutting my hair for the past couple of years but never this short before!! They often have reason to insult my last cut as I quite often get the scissors out and cut it myself when I get fed up with it!!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, all passed on to Nigel. Have a good week Diane

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  25. Looks like a fun birthday weekend. Best wishes to Nigel! Love that sunset photo, gorgeous!

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    1. The Café Sucré Farine Thanks for the wishes for Nigel, I was delighted with that photo of the sun catching the trees, it looked even better in real life. Take care Diane

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  26. I've so enjoyed looking at your photographs. And happy belated birthday to Nigel -- your picture of him is great! As for your short hair -- You do indeed look tres chic -- one thing it will grow and probably fast. Lately I've had mine cut slightly shorter than ideal because it grows so fast! The food looks 'delish'!

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    1. The broad, thanks for the birthday wishes, Nigel is a bit overwhelmed at all the greetings. Yes as you say it will grow but I will not let him cut it quite this short again on top. The sides I do not mind! Have a good week and hope all your troubles are over. Diane

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  27. Diane - 52 comments, really you are popular. I hardly think we rate a mention amongst your following. Nigel looked very handsome on his birthday and never mind about your short hair, you can loan me some of the cuttings.
    You both look very well these days.
    Leon and Sue.

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    1. Leon and Sue we always appreciate your comments, and thanks for the very kind ones. I will send some hair over to you Leon :-) Keep well and do not over do it, D & N

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  28. It sounds like a busy but fun weekend! Happy birthday to Nigel and best wishes for the next year! I would have liked to be there for the ceremony and lunch so I could ask questions about life during the war. I am most curious about all of this.

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    1. Michel we also had a Repas on the Monday before so we feel like we have not stopped eating for a week!!Have passed the good wishes on to Nigel, thanks. Our local guy would love to spend hours with you talking about his war collection. If you are ever this way I will introduce you to him. Keep well Diane

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  29. Happy birthday to Nigel! I think your hair looks great.

    That last photo is STUNNING!!

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    1. Thanks Pam for the birthday greetings. I also love that last photo, caught it just right :-) Take care diane

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  30. What a delightful way to spend a week-end. I'm SO pleased with your choice of creme brullee ... its my very favourite French dessert. When in Sarlat recently I ordered a creme brulee trilogy whic consisted of 3 small pots of brulee ... vanilla ... pistachio ... and hazelnut. A real treat!
    Happy Birthday Nigel.

    "All Things French"

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    1. Dianne it was a very good weekend and the odd weather we have been having was kind to us. I don't think there is a dessert that beat a good crème brulee. The trilogy sounds wonderful. Hope all well in your part of the world. Diane

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  31. What a great weekend (belated Happy Birthday to Nigel); the exhibition looked really interesting and I love your new hair! The weather has certainly changed here this week, roof down on the car again today (it's still 14C at the moment!). That sunset photo is beautiful :) Hope you are now truly on the mend x

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    1. Jacky it looks like it may even get slightly warmer over the next few days. Glad to get a break from the rain! Thanks for the birthday greetings will pass them on. The shingles thankfully has at last gone but not the cough! Take care Diane x

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  32. I am caught up reading your posts. I just remembered that you live in the Charentes…the home of the Pineau! What a great drink. I saw that when you visited the farm you had a “cheese” course and again in this post. When we were in Nice we ate a lot of cheese. I am always sorry that, even in nice restaurants in Atlanta, they do not have a cheese course, even when they call themselves French restaurants, although I know a couple of little French restaurants owned by French families and they have good cheese. A happy belated birthday to Nigel – you two look so elegant!

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    1. Vagabonde, thanks for the birthday greetings, Nigel is s little overwhelmed by so many birthday wishes but I think he also really appreciates them. I think if I went out to a meal without a cheese course now I would wonder what was wrong. It has certainly become part of our life here. Also no shortage of Pineau around here :-) Thanks for the comment Diane

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  33. Happy Birthday to Nigel! A nice dinner on Friday night, a gathering of friends it is all good. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Velva

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    1. Thanks Velva for the greetings as with all the others I have passed them on. We are still recovering from the weekend and taking it easy :-) Keep well Diane

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  34. Happy belated Birthday to Nigel! Looks like you had a lot of fun. That food is making me hungry! I found you on my mom's blog saucysiciliana.blogspot.com I am following you from Rome.

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    1. Caramella thanks for the birthday wishes, have passed them on. Thanks also for following and the kind comment. Keep well Diane

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  35. Ooops I am a bit late getting here, but here I am. Happy birthday to Nigel. The meal looked scrumptious. The service and lunch to follow looked a small and intimate affair. You two look the picture of retirement happiness. I love your hair and warm clothes. I've just shed mine. We will have summer temp tomorrow at 34°C

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    1. diane b thanks for the birthday wishes. Yes winter has been knocking on the door for the past month here but it looks like we have a couple of warmer days ahead for the moment. Sure it will not last long though! I would be very happy with 34C. We are supposed to going up to 19C today which is good compared with what we have had. Sunday though it looks like it is going to be maximum of 12C :-(( Take care Diane

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  36. Fantastic meal!
    Just the kind I love simple, light and tasty!
    the last pic is wonderful too!
    I see you really enjoy your french life! ;-)
    Cheers Diane, keep well!

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    1. Noushka it was a good meal and the price is right as well :-) Thanks for the kind comment. Keep well Diane xx

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  37. Oh belated happy birthday to Nigel. I actually like your haircut, it suits you!

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    1. Chubskulit Rose my hair is growing a bit but I still don't like it. I never have it long but this was like a crew cut !! Will pass your birthday wishes on to Nigel, thanks. Take care Diane

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  38. Happy Birthday to Nigel! It's always fun to celebrate two days in a row...I hope he's still celebrating!

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    1. ~Lavender Dreamer~ We actually had a big luncheon on the Monday before as well so it almost felt like a non stop week of celebrations!! Will pass the wishes on to Nigel, thanks. Have a good weekend Diane

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  39. That looked like quite a bit of celebration :), and your pics are gorgeous!

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    1. Damyanti, thanks for the visit and the comment, much appreciated. Have a good weekend. Diane

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  40. You are A lovely couple and your hair looks reaaly nice this short.The celebrations must have been very nice.

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    1. Riet thanks so much for the very kind comments. My hair is starting to grow a bit now and I feel a bit more like me! Great celebrations. Have a good weekend. Diane

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  41. Diane, your photos keep getting better and better. That last is breathtaking. It sounds like Nigel had a wonderful birthday. Your luncheon sounds delicious. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Mary thanks for the wonderful comment. I have to say I was very happy with that last shot. Have a good weekend. Diane

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  42. great to see you and Nigel , gorgeous couple !
    love the last picture also, your Nigel has a great photographic eye!
    bonne soirée et bon weekend
    anni

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    1. This is Belgium, I was so glad that Nigel called me so quickly or I would have lost that shot :-) Bon week-end to you also. Diane

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  43. On vit plus de choses dans les petits villages que dans les grandes villes.
    Bon anniversaire à Nigel. Un menu appétissant.
    See soon

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    1. Merci pour les voeux d'anniversaire, je dis à Nigel. Bon week-end. Diane

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  44. Hello Diane. Saw you at Hilary's so popped on over. I miss my little visits and always love it when I make the time. I'm out of the 'sphere at the moment as I'm writing my new novel set in Fiji. It's going so well. I think I'm on a winner. Anyhow, thanks for the gorgeous pics. There's quite a few top quality French restaurants in Brisbane and we tried the latest, French Martine, last week. The Kir Royale was amazing, as were the taste of snails (my first), the duck took me right back to fois gras country and of course they had a creme brulee/coffee special. Yummo.
    Your autumn shot is glorious!!!!!
    Thank you as always, for making my trip to your blog so worthwhile! Denise

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    1. Denise good to see your comment. I am very happy that your new book is going well, you obviously have inspiration and imagination, I have neither I am afraid! I loved Brisbane on our short visit there, Nigel's god child is manager of an English restaurant in Brisbane.
      Take care and have a good weekend Diane

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  45. Whoopsies, and I forgot to say Happy Birthday to the birthday boy! And yes, I agree with Riet. You look very spunky. D

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  46. It looks like you both had a lovely day and that the dishes you ate were just what's needed now that the weather's getting colder. Happy belated birthday wishes to your husband incidentally. I am very fond indeed of photos of autumn, and the last photo you posted is one of the best I've seen on any blog this year. The sky looks highly dramatic. Right, I'm off to cover and take pix of the anti-gay marriage demo here in Lyon today. Let's just hope it all goes peacefully....

    Excellent day to one and all.

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    1. Fripouille we did have a good day. Thanks for your lovely comment on my autumn photo, I was lucky to get it and I still only have a cheap supermarket camera. Looking forward to seeing your photos. Take care Diane

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  47. happy belated birthday to nigel!Looks like you had great food and time during that weekend. I love the photo of the setting sun, golden and amazing! btw, you look great in the photo, diane!

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    1. Thanks Lena, message passed on. I was more than happy with the photo of the setting sun, you are right it does look golden. Thanks for the great comment. Diane

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  48. Happy birthday, Nigel! You two are adorable!

    My husband and I attended a moving Veteran's Day program at our grandchildren's school on Monday. The bagpipe player was amazing and you could have heard a pin drop.

    I enjoyed seeing the medal/coin with the US soldier on the front.

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Genie thanks for the birthday wishes for Nigel. These services are always so moving, I can imagine what it would be like with the bagpipes. We had the last post played on the trumpet after every name on the memorial had been read. Have a wonderful Sunday Diane x

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  49. Diane, this is such a nice post, I loved it! You and Nigel look so happy and such a handsome couple! Happy belated birthday to Nigel. I love it when you have your camera ready when you have a great "perfect" lighting shot! It's beautiful! Remembrance of the war always gets me thinking!

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    1. Lyndsey thanks for the birthday wishes, will pass the message on. Thanks for your kind comment. I was lucky that Nigel noticed the light or that photo would have been missed! I find the service at Remembrance day very moving. Take care Diane

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  50. As a priest once told me.."Never too late, to do/say something good."..Happy, Happy Birthday Nigel.
    What a beautiful pair you are and enjoyed all the pictures..When I see the pictures of all the war memorials..It is very touching..I remember when WW11 ended..they rang the siren a few days early and my dad was kneeling by the window, thanking God it was over..but the actual signing was a few days later..
    We are getting ready for Thanksgiving..which is Thursday...even though you do not celebrate..wishing you many blessings from this house to yours..Carolyn

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  51. Happy belated birthday to Nigel :)
    I would have skipped straight to the creme brulee!!!
    There is nothing like sitting at a table full of friends :)
    "Salle des fetes" sounds so wonderful...I need to build one onto our home!!

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