A Short Story For Summer – Part 1


It is a long time since I published a short story, but I thought now would be a good time to reintroduce you to the Cole Family. I hope you enjoy it, wherever you are and I hope it fits into your summer schedule – whether you’re by a pool or sitting at a table with a cup of coffee, I hope you have time to sit back and read it. Part 2 will follow at the end of the week. I hope you don’t find it too long….happy reading.


THE KEY THAT TURNED BACK TIME (a Cole family story)

The eyes stare sightlessly into the dark, as they have done for nearly eighty years; legs lie pressed against her chest, and her mouth is still open in the last gasp of death’s awful rictus. Life flows and ebbs around her, seasons come and pass. Watery sunlight plays amongst the shadows, and leaves fall each autumn, unfelt by rusting bones. The chains still lie about her wrists, black with time but around her neck the strand of gold filigree still hangs, though it is tarnished with age and acid. The little gold chain still holds the small key that will soon unravel lives as easily as a kiss melts the dourest of hearts. Eighty years the truth has lain in this chilled winter, distilled and confined in such a small place, but summer is coming at last. Read more

Things are Not Always What They Seem !



This week I was in Potiers in the department of the Vienne. Now, if you had visited this city twenty, or maybe thirty years ago, you probably wouldn’t have come away with a particularly great impression. Sure there is some fabulous architecture but the overall feeling would have been of a rather run-down, slightly sad place that was perhaps down on its luck and a bit neglected. Read more

La Vie En Rose

Summer Sundays in France are a fine affair….mostly.


Except for the hordes of visitors, whose lines of traffic stretch back as far as your wing-mirror can reflect (one learns to avoid both of these things) and the occasional drop of rain, you will find almost all of France eating outside on a sunny Sunday.

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Out and About in the Heatwave


The week began like any other week during the summer, warm days and wonderfully long evenings, when I find myself still gardening at 10pm because I’ve totally lost track of time and  because it is still light. I’m accompanied by the sound of birds still singing, doves cooing, chickens clucking and cicadas warming up with the rest of the band. I’ve often thought I should find my EarPods and listen to a podcast whilst I am alone with no one to talk to, but just think what I would miss, this natural orchestra is too precious to block out with modern technology. Read more

A Weekend of Surprises


Do you ever get those weeks when nothing goes to plan, when you have so much to do that you seem to be running around in circles trying to fit it all in? Well, last week was one of those for me. Every time I achieved one thing another demanded attention. I planned to write a blog post last Thursday and then I put it off until Saturday. Realistically that was never going to happen, so I thought Sunday would be a safe bet. But that day too came and went, time raced on, hours flew by, more things stacked up on my ‘to do’ list. Read more

Melting Moments

IMG_3370For the past few days we’ve been basking in real summer warmth. You know the type, when it’s almost too hot to do anything, when the dogs spend their days sprawling in the shade, the most energetic thing they do is to open and close one eye, just in case they should miss something. When the lizards scatter across the terracotta tiled roofs and when the frogs in the pond lay motionless in the sun, so well camouflaged one could almost miss them. The chickens take it in turns to indulge themselves in the dust bath and our newest addition, the ducks, spend every waking hour on the water. Read more

Our Spring Garden


I hope you are all having/have had a fabulous weekend.  It’s been a bit of a blustery week here, in fact I seem to have spent more time picking up fallen branches than actually gardening. However, finally everywhere is looking, well, springlike! This most endearing of seasons is doing her thing, enchanting us as always and beckoning us to move the entire show outside. Read more