lundi 30 mars 2009

Speaking of Beads...

I simply ADORE...
the beads, the stunning models, the fabrics,
and the general sunny, happy feeling that these photos
Africans have used beads for ritual and decorative purposes
for hundreds of years.
In ancient African graves, beads and beaded necklaces were found
buried with kings and chiefs.
The Ashanti people of of Ghana reasoned that powdered glass beads
were worth their weight in gold and that certain beads
held supernatural protective powers.
. .
The Yoruba people of Nigeria believed that buried beads
would grow in the ground and multiply.
The most popular trading items brought over by the Europeans
in the 16th century were beads
and thousands of pounds of beads were exchanged.
Until the 20th century, no other continent imported as many beads
or yielded as many different types of its own.
The abundance of the shear variety of shapes, colors
and materials used is overwhelming.
None though is as popular as the glass bead.
The traditional glass bead practice thrives in West Africa.
melt powdered glass in small bead moulds to form their beads.
The beads have a semi-translucent quality
that highlights the painted motifs.
Nowadays beads are used as fashion accessories
by both men and women...
Read and see more here
photos: Bob pixel photography

jeudi 26 mars 2009

Out and About...

Pause au Chalet...
Definition of Pause :
interrupt temporarily an activity before continuing;
cease an action temporarily;
Synonyms for Pause :
break, rest period, hiatus, time out, downtime,
intermission, parenthesis...
to admire the breathtaking views from the terrace;
lake Annecy from above and

. the snow covered slope we'd just "snow shoed" up and down down...
(our tracks are quite visible..!)

. before heading out the back gate

to contemplate the view across the Mont Blanc mountain range

"The richness I achieve comes from Nature,
the source of my inspiration"
Claude Monet

mercredi 18 mars 2009

And We’re Off…

“The traveler is active;
he goes strenuously in search of people,
of adventure, of experience.
The tourist is passive;
he expects interesting things to happen to him.
He goes sight-seeing.”
Daniel J. Boorsti
Country Living - I LOVE Morris Minors..!
A Bientôt..!
P.S: We're NOT going sight-seeing...
Back soon!

lundi 16 mars 2009

Spring is in the Air...

Looks like Spring may,
at long last,
be just around the corner..
Things that are baffling to me:

collections - of any kind - for display purposes only,

liqueur-filled chocolate,

zealots, decaf, hors-d’oeuvre sized dogs,

politicised tragedies, motherhood,

pine-scented anything, government forms,

campsites with satellite hook-up, celebrity worship,

bad faith, why I can remember all the lyrics to songs
I haven’t heard in 20 years
but can never remember my neighbour’s name,

people who name their daughter Lolita,

socks + sandals, slapstick,

French stand-up comics, accordion music,

how anyone can stand up, never mind, walk in skycraper-
high stilletto heels...
What's baffling you right now..?

vendredi 13 mars 2009

On the Menu this Weekend...

there will be Plantains...
They are delicious simply dry roasted and sprinkled with
unrefined sea salt or, if you prefer, you can roast them, boil or
fry them...

My absolute favourite plantain dish is
Ghanaian-style spiced fried plantains;
ripe yellow plantains that are generously seasoned with ginger
and other warm spices like cayenne and cinnamon...

Although Kelewele originated in Ghana it is now found
in much of West and Central Africa and is gaining
popularity in America.
6 just-ripe plantains,
peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp freshly-grated ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

.Why not try these recipes too:

.Flickr photos : Bob pixel and nyamkitchen

dimanche 8 mars 2009

Journée International de la Femme...

Just a few of the many women I admire
for their devotion to improving the lives of children and
women around the world...

lundi 2 mars 2009

Bicycle Love...

After years of riding Racing bikes, Town bikes and Mountain bikes
(depending on the type of terrain...)
I bought a "granny bike" (daughter's term..!) last Summer for only a
handful of euros at one of our local Brocantes
and I'm just so pleased with it..!
I'd had my eye on a Pashley bike for a while,
however, common sense told me,
I'd be just as happy with my cheap Brocante find...

photo from

my photo of my bike, Saturday in the garden...
The ‘sit up and beg’ style handlebars make me feel far more graceful
and ladylike (not to mention comfortable) on my bike
than I ever did on more regular hybrid bikes I've had...
Saturday here in the Alps was Spring-like, and out came the bike, for a trip
to the Farmers' market followed by a gentle ride along the lakeside
for coffee Chez Carine and then home for a Barbecue lunch
in the garden...
Sadly, weatherwise, Sunday was a different story altogether, and
my beloved bike is now back in the garage where it's been
gathering cobwebs all winter..!
Can't wait to bring it out again;
let's hope Spring is just around the corner...

If you're into bikes and cycling, you'll love this blog: