Nick Inman’s Guide to Mystical France

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http://crug-glas.co.uk/gallery/_w6a9401/feed/ Nick Inman’s beautiful book about see url ‘Mystical France – Secrets, Mysteries, Ancient Sites’, published by Findhorn Press, £14.99, is an exciting and useful addition to any travel library. And it is a volume particularly pleasing to me given our recent purchase of a lovely 17th Century Manoir in South West France, a house and land which are also steeped in secrets and mystery to be unravelled.

A well-known and accomplished travel writer who lives in France with his family, Nick has explored the country with a keen eye and intellect, evidenced by the comprehensive coverage of many sites – and sights – not on the regular tourist route. He offers historical fact, well-researched details of little-known places and their significance, and 240 lavish photographs to illustrate them.

This is an excellent guide to a subtle and rewarding France beyond wine, sunshine, food and fashion, with secrets many visitors don’t know about, and if you are planning a visit or even just passing through, you will discover a wealth of fascinating places of interest. The book is versatile and lends itself both to planning an itinerary of sites that intrigue you, and to dipping in and learning about a wide range of fascinating topics from labyrinths and stained glass, angels and fairies, King Arthur in France, pilgrimage routes, little known caves and their paintings, the Tarot and the Templars and much more – some 60 individual features and 14 standalone chapters.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in the hidden beauty of this vast and enticing country. And – as I mentioned to Nick when his book arrived, it’s a multi-sensory experience too, not only rich in colour with heavyweight paper, but it has that delicious (to me) smell of a good covering of ink!
Get a copy whether you plan to visit France or not – there’s much to learn here. 

Christine Miller 

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Find out more about Nick Inman: nick-inman
http://www.findhornpress.com/blog/cat/ni/post/nick-inman2/

Joys of Spring….

Bluebells in spring 2009

Words & pictures from the garden

In conversation with my friend Tony Buzan who is currently in Singapore, it emerges that he is missing the English Spring with its flowers and freshness, and the variety that our climate here in the UK offers.

Much as the tropical weather of Singapore is enticing, and the delights of the Far East are unquestioned,  we recalled times together when we had made a point of detouring for the sole purpose of  seeing the daffodils in London’s St James’ Park,  a somewhat ‘Wordsworthian’ experience… and he asked me if the bluebells were out now…..

Bluebells in April

Bluebells in April

That prompted me to take some photos of my garden whilst the said bluebells are indeed in bloom, along with Forget-me-Nots,  and various other delights which are looking very fresh and delicious at present.

It’s so easy to get immersed in the less beautiful aspects of life, especially when you live in the city,  to be overtaken by our daily activities and concerns, and forget to value and be grateful for the  simple pleasure that comes from appreciating our environment and the inspiring moments that nature can offer.

For my travelling absent friend – some refreshing moments in an English garden…..and thank you for re-minding me to acknowledge Nature’s blessings …

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'Potentilla' in full bloom

Above is one of my favourite corners of the garden….it used to be a ‘hide and seek’ game  hot spot when the kids were little…..now it’s providing the same function for squirrels and this year a family of blackbirds, plus the usual robins and great tits, and even a thrush.

Bluebells in spring 2009

Bluebells, forget-me-nots, bergenia, euphorbia - Spring 2009

This sheltered patch amongst the flowers is my cat’s favourite hideout for bird spotting – she’s given up on trying to catch them…

Tree peony 2009

Tree peony 2009

The tree peony gives a brief but stunning splash of colour, and produces an abundance of  massive seed pods which not only feed the wildlife and but also offers a way for me to please friends who admire the plant with a gift of seedlings for their own gardens.