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How to Eat...


....slow cooked beef in Guinness pie. Perfect supper for the cold tonight. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  330 Hits

A Slash of Orange.


One can see where Turner got his inspiration in our chilly, dark country where sunlight is rationed by the Gods. On my morning walk these days I can manage to see around the fields without a torch. Day breaks at around 7.30. I am always in awe of the vastness of the sky and how small I am in the scheme of things. Just me and the hound under the sky.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  257 Hits

The End is the Beginning


The news is rife with tragedy all over the world, suffering indeed is universal. I've had a terrible week but as always, the universe sent me a message.I saw a rainbow on my morning walk today and both ends of the arc. I saw where the rainbow began and where it ended. The metaphor for my traumatic week was an exquisite reminder that I shouldn't regret any chance for happiness which is inevitably ephemeral.I also found this hare killed by a fox. Hares are nocturnal and it is rare for a fox to catch them (as they can usually outrun their predators). By the time I found him (an adult male weighing 9.7 pounds) he could only have been dead for a couple of hours.  Not a scratch on his body apart f...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  311 Hits

New beginnings


Each day brings the promise of renewed hope. This Christmas hearts will be broken, our faith in others challenged and it will seem that nothing will ever be the same again. The sun always rises and sets, a reminder to ourselves that everything passes good or bad.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  395 Hits

Merry Christmas and Peace to People of Goodwill!


What a difference a year makes! Twelve months filled with emotion and challenges. I am prone to negativity because of my family experiences but I was reminded yesterday by my love that seeing the worst only brings you down and turns you into a loser rather than someone who should see all that is good in life. In other words, if you think bad thoughts, an aura of gloom will forever fester over you.The good news in 2018 was that I found love and will forever be grateful that an old goat like me still has some life in her. Christmas is about love. Jesus asked that we love one another as he loved us. May I wish you all a Happy Christmas filled with joy and peace and LOVE.Photo copyright IC.Origi...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  343 Hits

The Secret Language of Trees.


     I have written before on this blog about the secret language of trees which exists in their bark. We can tell their age, their health and the species of tree by looking at the bark. What captivates me is the pattern that defines the tree's personality. As an artist, I see a weave for a carpet here or brushstrokes of oil paint on a canvas. Imagination. It's the one thing you either have or refuse to cultivate. Let your mind roam and think about something else besides the hum drum of life. Go for a walk in the woods and look at the trees.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  401 Hits

Food to heal


Tomorrow will be three weeks exactly since I got the winter bug: sore throat, lethargy, coughing. Oh joy! Antibiotics which I last took more than 20 years ago have helped clear the chest infection and food has also made a huge difference. I dragged myself to work though which set me back quite a bit hence coughing and spluttering still. I should add that the love of a good man has been wonderful too.This recipe, reminiscent of my childhood which my late mother made often, has the right balance of peppery kick to clear the lungs. Groundnut stew, chicken simmered in a thick peanut sauce over boiled rice went down a treat and it takes less than an hour.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  345 Hits

The Beauty of the Human Condition.


Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  375 Hits

My salad days.


When I was a university student in Bordeaux in the 80s, I lived off three things more or less: shop-bought Moussaka which I shared with my neighbour, Yves, washed down with bottles of beer and followed by numerous Camel cigarettes. The other favourite was Carbonara from the local Italian restaurant where the owner would start ladling extra sauce onto the spaghetti as I walked through the door. For the princely sum of 26 francs, I could eat a huge bowl of Carbonara laden with crispy lardons, a green salad and half a carafe of red wine. The owner was very generous  and ensured that my Carbonara was swimming in the egg sauce although it has remained a mystery to me how a large vat of the sauce ...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  370 Hits

Happiness is...


...sharing your dreams together.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  593 Hits

Walk your blues away.


My favourite way to clear my head is to walk. Now, who would argue that not only does this view inspire but it relaxes too. Win, win all round and free!Walk it off in Beautiful Britain!Severn Trent Draycote Water, Rugby,Warwickshire. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  390 Hits

Throw away your cookbooks...


Good food that nourishes is not entertainment. They say in Hollywood that there are only seven stories but the interpretation of each is different. Cue to The Star Is Born, a perfect example of the same story told a different way. Cooking is no different. Forget celebrity chefs who are retelling a story you could discover yourself. This recipe is from my love who likes fish and wants easy peasy preparation which still allows for the ingredients and flavours to shine through. Fish with kale,  onions and garlic, roasted in an open dish in a very hot oven. Really delicious and easy. Salt, pepper, olive oil and the fish of your choice. Simples.Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  385 Hits

Have a boule....


....I've  written before about my dislike of supermarket bread which is why I make bread once a week. A boule lasts me 6-7 days. Ok, so this takes a couple of hours from start to finish but it's worth knowing what you're eating, isn't it? I think so.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  351 Hits

Beautiful Britain


Photo copyright SvD.What a shame that we Brits constantly complain about the weather as if it's a curse. Every twenty years or so we get an outstanding Summer where the vegetables actually mature rather than rot and the tomatoes go red in the fields. This year's Summer was glorious and the Autumn has not been too shabby either. I spend my weekends driving around the countryside, stopping at pubs with my love and our two dogs. We've hardly had to seek out the roaring fire indoors except once and usually will sit outside or finish our lagers and head off with the hounds for a casual stroll along the canals. Have you caught the clue as to where this photo could be? It's not on the Continent tha...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  257 Hits

Everything passes....even Time.


 This morning the sun rose and so it will every day. Time, the great healer, waits for no one. Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  418 Hits

Misty Autumn morning.


The sun rises this morning over fields covered in a magical mist. I think I spied Sir Lancelot.The hound and I enjoyed every minute of our morning meditation saunter and with such gratitude!Photos copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  424 Hits

How to be happy...


Stop in your tracks and take in the view.Photo copyright  SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  369 Hits

Hake with peas.


Another day in the office and rushing around non stop. My supper tonight was hake with peas and eaten straight from the pan. Took 15 minutes and was so easy peasy. Excuse the pun. Everyone can cook!Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  440 Hits

'I wish you enough,' said the elderly mother to her daughter as they said goodbye.


I came upon this moving story on the net. I am not the author and how poignant is it!Photo copyright SvD.I WISH YOU ENOUGH Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Sta...nding near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:"I love you and I wish you enough."The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  302 Hits

Cast your troubles away.


Where I live in the glorious English countryside, the local farmer has been preparing the field where he kept sheep all Winter for ploughing. Life goes on. The sun rises and sets. So cast your worries to the wind because tomorrow is inevitable just like the sun.Tonight on my walk. Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  402 Hits