In Need of Some Winter Cheer ?

P7340238Before we go any further today, I made you a cup of coffee. I am not sure how you like yours, so I just made two the same. I have to admit, no matter how hard I try and no matter how many years I have lived in France I simply cannot give up my milky  cappuccino style coffee. I don’t usually go the whole way and sprinkle cocoa powder on the top, but I thought as you were joining me we would push the boat out and do it properly! Read more

How 2018 is Shaping Up


As the New Year gets underway, motivation tends to be strong, and our goals are often set to the highest levels. Hand in hand with this time of year are New Year resolutions, whether they’re meaningful and well thought out, or overly ambitious ideas dreamt up whilst enjoying the fizz of champagne bubbles. Perhaps you don’t make any resolutions at all but simply embrace la nouvelle année with positive thoughts and a renewed energy?

Whatever your plans for this year, I thought I’d take a look at the things that are often at the top of everyone’s list, and then, somewhat lightheartedly, ponder on the year ahead. Read more



Here’s the second part of the Cole family’s Christmas, as promised! If you remember, we left them half-way through the day last time. I hope you enjoy this part…..

If you missed the first part you can find it here. A couple of people have asked about the other Cole stories, so you want to find out more here’s a Halloween story, and here’s another Christmas story called ‘The Three Wise Gifts‘).

Whatever you read, I hope you enjoy yourselves. 

Most of all, have a wonderful New Year’s eve, and all of us here wish everyone a wonderful, happy 2018. XXX Many bisoux from me – to you all.

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A Short Christmas Story

I wanted to give you my annual short Christmas story before the 25th, but I’m afraid I ran out of time, so please accept my apologies. As ever, this one is in TWO PARTS, the second part will be out on Sunday!  And for those who have read the others, you might be happy to know we go back to Sophie Cole and her family, and the adventures they have a little further inland than where we are now. The last story we had with them was set in 2006, so be aware everyone has grown!

I hope that those of you who celebrate the holiday had a wonderful Christmas Day, and spent much of it surrounded by loved ones and lovely things. 



I looked at the Christmas tree and wondered who all the presents were for. There seemed to be so many – were there really that many of us? And then I remembered that Simon’s present was still not amongst the pile; it was still undelivered, even though the website had shown it had been out for delivery now for four days. It was most bizarre. I knew I hadn’t missed a man in a van, and yet we still waited for the box to come. I made a note to see what company was bringing it to the door, and turned away from the glittering tree and headed back to the kitchen where Sylvie was shaking icing sugar onto the last batch of mince pies, a delicacy only feasible since her arrival from the UK with a large suitcase containing a few jars of M&S’s finest mincemeat.  I knew we’d need all of the pies, for apart from the five of us and Sylvie, we also had her nephew Paul and his wife Lisa in the house for Christmas, plus their five year-old twins, Tim and Tom. To differentiate their Tim from our Tim, now 22 and home from university for two weeks, we had already nicknamed the smaller 5 year-old version, ‘Tiny Tim’ – it made so much sense.

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It’s the Little Things That Count



Some people call this part of the year the ‘silly season’, and I am sure I am not the only one amongst us who is guilty of thinking that they can be Superwoman (or Superman!) and do absolutely everything. I know I’ve burnt the candle at both ends many a night, running around making sure that everything is perfect. But the truth is, sometimes everything can still be a little fraught…. Read more

Setting the Scene for Christmas

P7330581Although many of us are trying to simplify our lives, Christmas is a time that can be quite the opposite and it can become more than a little stressful. All around us television and media encourages us to decorate to within an inch of our lives. Everywhere you see photos of  houses that are beyond perfect, with every room a festive showpiece making the expectation for our own so much more. Often I find myself wondering how I can  trim down the trimmings and still have a stylish home? Read more

Our Christmas Shop is Open Today


I hope you are having a lovely, peaceful and relaxed weekend. We awoke to news of snow  in so many places, it’s even snowing in London, Izzi was on the phone to us bright and early, making me so envious with amazing videos of roads, cars and houses completely covered in a blanket of white powder, it looked magical. Instead we have gale force winds and driving rain. A day to snuggle up indoors and turn our attention to decorating our Christmas tree, it is always so much fun and we are all so excited we might just manage to forget that we don’t have snow!  I’ll post photos on Instagram and Facebook this evening.

Just to let you know that our one day 10% discount across the board Christmas Shop  sale is now live for 24 hours. We will make sure that all items purchased are mailed tomorrow for delivery in time for Christmas. If you would like us to gift wrap any item in festive French paper we will gladly do so at no extra charge, please just let us know. Just click on the link above or HERE and I hope you find that something special you are looking for and even if you have bought all the gifts you need for your nearest and dearest perhaps it is now time to treat yourself, go on, I am sure you more than deserve it!

Lots of love from a very wet and windy Charente Maritime, Susan xx