Monday, 8 February 2021

08/02/2021 11 years ago today I started my very first blog....

My first blog was My Life in the Charente which after a number of years got so slow to work with that I started  My Life in the Charente 2.  Because this was supposed to be mainly about the Charente, the last year has seen very few entries, as thanks to COVID we have just not been anywhere! I mustn't forget of course my third blog My Life Before the Charente, which includes our overland trip from the UK to what was then Rhodesia, in 1953! 

While these 3 were ongoing, I started up Photodiarydps which originally had daily entries, but this got a bit too much and I never had enough time!  More recently, I was only managing a couple of entries a week and since COVID the updates have been even less than that, but it is still alive!   

Then just a few years back, I decided to take the bird photos from the photodiary and start a blog that was just birds.  Again I have been struggling to keep it up to date weekly, but most of the time I have managed, with help from Christelle who has sent me photos of birds from South Africa. Sadly we do not visit there often enough, and COVID has certainly prevented visits/holidays anywhere.

I also joined Blipfoto  on which I enter one photo every single day. It is very seldom I miss just this one daily entry under the name of "Charente"  Quite often they are EMs (emergency photos) from my backup but generally, they look better than I was expecting!  It is a great community and I now have so many Blip friends from around the world!

Here are just a few photos over the past years that I have enjoyed.

Looking at our French home before we bought it in 2005.
The very first picture on my first blog.

April 2007 What the garden looked like then!!

Holiday 2008 - Notre Dame de Paris, (before the fire!)  also known as Notre Dame Cathedral. Construction began in 1163 though it was not completed until around the mid-1240s.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010 Reims Cathedral, travelling with friends.

2013 - Snow on the Pyrenees - a rare sight in May, we are told when we were there!

May 2013 - Myself and Nigel dressed up and ready for our second night on the ship, a very special dinner at the Captain's table! With thanks to our friend Gunter who arranged the amazing cruise for us on the Royal Caribbean liner, Liberty of the Seas.

October 2014 - Numbers 11 and 13 Rue Francois Miron, two of the last 14th century houses seen on another visit to Paris.

10 February 2015 House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) versus Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) in the garden.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016 - On holiday in Aveyron - the brilliant metal sculptures of André Debru.

30 March 2017 Resistance Memorial at Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure.

06 July 2017 - White Admiral (Limenitis camilla).

February 2018 - Great tit (Parus major) yes we had snow!

22 May 2018 Dramatic skies and rainfall.

January 2020 Bluetits (Cyanistes caeruleus) on the window sill.

10 June 2020 Little Owl (Athene noctua) in residence locally.

08 July 2020 - Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) in the garden.

15 September 2020 - Sunset at home in France, almost as good as a South African sunset😊.

2021 - The house as it is today after lots and lots of work.

The garden now in summer.....

and in winter.

Take care everyone and stay safe.
Copies of this blog are on each of my blogs, normal service will resume as on as possible!!


  1. Nice to see a sample of your photos......especially of your house and garden. It is nice to look back and see how far you have come....

    1. Hi Vera and good to hear from you. I sent a letter at Christmas to you but it came back as address unknown!
      Hope all is well and that you are managing to cope with this freak situation we have all found ourselves in.

      Take care and keep safe, Diane

  2. We started blogging about the same time and I remember most of those trips. I do enjoy seeing different parts of the world through your eyes.

    1. Like me Gaelyn, we so enjoy seeing your part of the world and we think ourselves as very lucky that we got to in fact meet you and travel around with you and Bill for a few days. Hope all is well, Diane and Nigel

  3. Hi Diane, I enjoyed your look down blogging memory lane. I find it difficult to keep up with only one blog and in fact I don't really keep up anymore, especially when trying to do other things. I've enjoyed all your blogs from your life in Europe and in Africa.

    1. Thanks Penny. It is getting more and more difficult to keep up with blogs. I thought with lockdown I would have masses of time this past year, but in fact I have found it more difficult and I have had far less spare time than normal!! Thanks for being there and encouraging e over the years. Keep safe Diane

    2. Isn't it so strange Diane that we have less time during lockdown. If not less time, then certainly not more time. I have certainly found that to be the case. In fact I'm working harder than ever to catch up on all my own business and personal needs. During the long years of mom's illness and constant travels as well as day to day needs at home, I got very far behind. Now I can catch up and I've made good progress over the year for which I'm grateful. I'm not done yet though. I too have appreciated all your encouraging words over the years and your faithful and consistent following. It means so much. Have a wonderful week ahead and stay safe.

  4. What a milestone! I've so appreciated your photos from the other side of the world. Thanks for sharing them with us. Stay well and safe......Mary

    1. Thanks Mary for the comment. You have been following me for ever I think. Take care Diane

  5. Hi Diane - excellent photos and range of them .. love looking at them - particularly the birds and butterfly and then the two Cathedrals ... desperately sad about Notre Dame - I hope something fitting appears anon. All the best - Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary, I am sure COVID has slowed up work on Notre Dame but it will be back. Take care Diane

  6. Don't know how I missed this! Congratulations on your blog anniversary, Diane! Your photos are great! I have photos of Notre Dame before also, it was an amazing building then and I'm so glad we were there. Memory lane is awesome---seeing your home and garden back then. I love the shot of the owl! Take care

    1. Glad you enjoyed this post Pam and glad also that you got to see Notre Dame. Yes our house has changed considerably since we bought it, the one barn is now our main bedroom! I am hearing the owls daily at present but they are keeping out of sight! Keep safe Diane


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