Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas time


In a week we will be spending Christmas at my mum's house in England.  We are so ready for the break; the children need a school holiday and we're all looking forward to seeing my family.  Here, the house has been in Christmas mode for a couple of weeks.  I'm not a huge fan of Christmas but I do enjoy the month of December.  I like to make this period special for the kids; I'm pretty sure they'll remember our traditions and moments spent together rather than which presents they received.  I'm also hopefully creating special memories for myself to look back on later in life.

Truthfully, last Christmas was a blur.  I was doing a job which involved many hours away from home and I had only one day's holiday.  It was a stressful and emotional time.  I had recently lost both grandmothers and I remember trying to hold it together for the family's sake.  My mum had wrapped up and sent an old ring found in my grandmother's house; she knew I would not only appreciate having it but that also I needed it at that time.  Actually it hasn't left my finger for a year.  So this Christmas will definitely be different, there will much more family time, rest and s l o w days.  I hope you too have an enjoyable and cosy Christmas with loved ones.  Joyeux Noël!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Sunday, 30 November 2014

In the steps of Guy de Maupassant


Le château de Miromesnil, Tourville-sur-Arques

Thursday, 27 November 2014


Savouring the calm before the storm of December.  Feeling inspired by this post, I'm all for a slow Christmas.

Pictures from the last few days.  Corners of our new living space, lovely wooden buttons for the next woollens, toasty Menorcan slippers and a poorly Joseph snuggled on the sofa.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Gingerbread men

My mum often says that my family revolves around food.  No sooner have we left the table, we are wondering what's to eat at the next meal.  I seem to spend a lot of the weekend in the kitchen, making more elaborate meals than during the week.  Woe betide me though if I dare make a dessert without Anya.  She loves to bake and hates not to be involved.  We decided to make Gingerbread men as soon we'll be supplying little sachets of them for the school Christmas market and offering them as gifts to friends that we will see over December.  Growing up in England, Gingerbread men were always a treat from the bakery.  Now I bake them every year as the festive season approaches, filling the kitchen with wonderful, seasonal aromas of ginger and cinnamon.  Next on my list, mugs of warm, spiced mulled wine..

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The older two children are wising up, starting to test their wings.  I love watching the innocence and playfulness of this little guy around the house.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Walks at the weekend amongst the yellow and brown trees.  Bringing autumn into the house with rose-tipped hydrangeas and pine cones from the forest.  Admiring pockets of sun late in the day.  Celebrating four special years with a certain little boy.  Drinking coffee and eating cornes de gazelle brought home from Casablanca.  Lighting candles as the days become darker.

Not too fast please November.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A new bedroom for Anya


I thought I'd share a few pictures of Anya's new bedroom.  The reason why is that we have worked so hard recently on three rooms (simultaneously) and are now so happy to finally give her the space she deserves.  To say the least, her sleeping arrangements over the past few months have left a lot to be desired, yet she never once complained.  And her little face when she walked into her finished room, a look of pure joy.

My aim from the beginning was to avoid the typical fairies and ballerinas, to have many different colours as well as pink and to create a room which could evolve with her age over the coming years.  At the same time, I had to remind myself that it was her space and should reflect her own tastes as well as mine.

Our whole house is filled with second-hand, thrifted furniture and the odd item which has been handed down.  This is a look which pleases us and we find that wood and natural materials age so well.  Therefore in Anya's new room, I repainted old furniture, dug out vintage linens which have been collected over the years and tried to create storage systems which are more eco-conscious/aesthetic than plastic boxes.  I love the metal trunk and will definitely be adding more to other rooms.  


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Ebbs and flows

Recently I've woken up every day with the desire to have a day free of commitments; to pull on my wellington boots, grab my camera and trek through the countryside.  Life is full at the moment, every day seems planned in advance.  I know that things will ease off soon, as we come to the end of our current renovations and a few personal projects will be proudly finished.  And then I'll get to pull on my muddy boots.