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The march of the Far Left


Watching the prince and his handler as they rabbited word salads gleaned from self help books beloved by the likes of Oprah Winfrey (who as it happens grew very rich by regurgitating 'meaningful stuff' and 'changing lives'), I couldn't help feeling a surge of anger and exasperation. The prince and the handler are clearly a massive embarrassment to us Brits in general but the thing that riles me is their genuine lack of self awareness. I recall an American friend telephoning me in tears when the last episode of Oprah aired on TV. She felt bereft and mentor-less. Her days of soaking up wisdom while lying prostrate on a sofa in her pyjamas had come to an end and she felt rudderless. I watched O...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  73 Hits

Rufus van Dalen


My darling doggie, Rufus, went to Heaven today. I could not have asked for a better friend. For ten years of the fifteen years we were together, Rufus and I only had each other and my priority was always him. I organised my life around my dear, faithful, wonderful hound. I could have given him up and gone off to live in London enjoying theatre, opera, art, all of the things I love. But here was someone who totally relied on me and who was my responsibility. People used to say that I should give him away so that I could have a better chance of meeting the man of my dreams. To me that wasn't as important and seeing my doggie smiling and knowing HE was happy and contented.Rufus and I used to  w...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  95 Hits

Happiness is...


...sharing when you love someone..Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  3 Hits

Beauty in small things


Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  168 Hits

Sweetness in #lockdown


Confined to the house since 17 March, hubby has taken to cake making like a duck to water regaling me daily with unctuous, fattening delights which I cannot resist. I am weak. Someone else in this photo is tempted too.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  156 Hits

Estrangement: darkness before dawn


For the last five years I have been working in French law and helping French property owners resolve succession or buying/selling isssues. In one particular case, a lady rang up to say that her mother had been sequestered in her house in France by her son who had also stolen all of the mother's money, or put in a more PC way, drained her bank accounts. I remember listening and then calmly putting the 'phone down once the conversation had ended. You see, the same thing happened to me.One can read all the latest psychological ramblings and research on the effects of sibling estrangement. Supposedley it is rare (less than 5%) in the US but here's what I've learned through experience. I am an or...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  115 Hits

Better days are coming....


#Lockdown means I can enjoy walks with the dogs in the Spring sunshine and my, isn't it lovely, the warm rays on my face after a long and damp Winter. Yesterday, as we hoiked ourselves up the hill, the hounds panting loudly, I was reminded of the passage in the Bible about  the birds always having enough to eat, so why should we worry? We came upon dozens of oak seedlings carpeted under the parent tree, their nascent, pale green leaves, straining towards the sun.  The local red squirrels in France can often be seen jumping from tree to tree and this Winter, had a surfeit of acorns to gorge on and forgive the pun, squirrel away. Any that were left over germinated into saplings, nature renewin...
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  118 Hits

When everything looks this perfect....


....it's hard to imagine the current chaos in the world. 'Things fall apart, the centre MUST hold.'Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  179 Hits

Happiness in #lockdown


.....is sitting on the terrace in the sun with my older brothers.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  205 Hits

Whiling away time..


....perfecting poached eggs (hubby):On home made bread.Making a nut pie with leftover Christmas walnuts and hazelnuts:Simple things provide infinite pleasure and bring out the best in us.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  136 Hits

Places to avoid on a Friday night...


...due to caronavirus but we had a blast at our local pub. Great music and traditional fish and chips!Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  137 Hits

Spot the dog...


Photo copyright Ian C.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  134 Hits

Rissoles from leftovers


We had bought a goose from our local farmer for Christmas but after a surfeit of turkey, couldn't face it. And so it languished in the freezer until last Saturday when friends helped us devour it. Last night was the third day running of finishing the goose, by which time we had had enough! To liven it up a bit and make the leftovers more appetising, I made rissoles: crunchy on the outside, unctuous within. A real delight served with plain boiled potatoes and a purėe of vegetables. Waste not, want not.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  120 Hits

A bald mouse


...is the literal translation of the French 'chauve souris' or 'bat' as we call them in English. I found this little chap in a garage. He suddenly dropped at my feet. I picked him up and his fur was so soft! Left the door slightly ajar so his mum could come back for him.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  200 Hits

Three little piggies...


The older I get, the happier really simple things make me. I'm no Meghan Markle, a walk in the countryside looking at some cute piglets playing in the mud is frankly enough for me. Money won't buy you happiness.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  206 Hits

My thoughts on Meghan Markle and Harry

First let me begin by saying that I'm 55. That means that I've been around the block a few times, kissed a few boys, worked hard and paid a truckload of tax, made sacrifices and never really got to live my dreams because life took over. I've had euphoric highs and breathtakingly black lows. I've learned who my friends are and who they aren't. I speak my mind because I have earned the right to tell people to f...k off who encroach on my valuable time and space. Therefore I won't hold back by saying that Meghan Markle is an odious character.I see a lot of my mother in Meghan Markle because they could have been twins. My mother was a narcissist, a dreadfully unpleasant woman who disliked everyo...
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  141 Hits

What to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon?


On Friday night we both fancied pizza and made our way to the local pizzeria. He was so busy he told us to come back in an hour! We left and swore never again. So the next day, I made my own. A doddle. Dough and tomato sauce from scratch. Onions, mushrooms, bacon and ham. A quick dash to the supermarket for mozzarella and voila!Original link
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  152 Hits

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


At this time of year, no matter how miserable you may feel, please remember that there are those less fortunate than you.Happy Christmas! Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  174 Hits

I'd rather cook..


Restaurants tend to disappoint big time and after another awful experience  this week, I would prefer in future to cook at home. Food is love, that's why I cook.Another beef pie. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  251 Hits

Hodge Podge Casserole


By definition a casserole is a compilation of ingredients cooked slowly to develop the flavours fully. Then there's the other type of casserole known as leftovers plus everything including the kitchensink. We're very conscious of not wasting food and will generally eat leftovers the next day. By the third day however the dogs get lucky. We often make a big batch of Bolognese sauce and freeze portions which can then be transformed into cottage pie, lasagna etc. Last night we used the remains of the day before's cottage pie to make another concoction of sorts with the addition of parsnips, chick peas (of all things) and even leeks. Served the lot with a creamy spinach side dish. Not exactly ha...
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  206 Hits