Last week, amidst the current upheaval of countries and people, and sandwiched in between the world’s political circus, melting icebergs and the demands of my media-savvy clutch of children, I paused for thought. In my somewhat chaotic lifestyle two things happened to make me stop and wonder at the meaning of friendship. First, as can often happen, two people we had not seen for nearly a year came to dinner with their infectious smiles – it was as if we had seen each other every week and as is the way with best friends, the intervening months melted away within moments. Read more

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


IMG_5302There’s a time and a place for everything and right now it feels so right just to be out in the open, in the country, enjoying nothing but good clean fresh air and good clean fun. Where little changes except for the seasons and there are no decorations except for natures own way of trimming the trees and embellishing the landscape. Read more

French Markets, Autumn and Old Fashioned Cookery


Oh Sun it is so nice to see you once more, and also to welcome your twin, warmth; I am so happy to make your acquaintance again. For I can no longer kid myself that we are in the last few days of summer. There is no hiding behind whichever theory one chooses to believe, for whether we follow the meteorological calendar or the astrological one, either way it is now autumn and the signs of the new season are all around, in the garden, on the streets and at the market.


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Your Thoughts and a Lot on My Mind

P6780335La Rentrée defines the beginning of September in France. After the frivolities of summer everything gets that little bit more serious once more – and it’s not just for school children that the routine begins again. Almost everyone is back from holiday, it’s a new season and for some a new beginning; offices which have been closed for the entire month of August are suddenly buzzing with life again. The coastal roads which were jam-packed a week ago are miraculously smooth flowing once more. In many restaurants the clientele subtly changes, with flirtatious summer clothing swapped for more serious attire, and tourists replaced by the lunchtime business crowd. No one talks about going back to work, or back to school, or back to a normal routine after the holidays, they simply talk of la rentrée.  Read more

Can a Staycation Really Work?


It’s July and August; everyone it seems goes on holiday! But where would WE go that could possibly be better than right here? Our little slice of France is where those in the know flock to in their droves, and it’s a place that is also perhaps a little bit of a secret to those not lucky enough to have heard of this little corner of one of Europe’s most romantic destinations, tucked away on the Atlantic coast and nestled in its own unique micro climate.

Back on the Île de Ré


IMG_0925“How long have we got?”

“About twenty minutes maximum, and we’ve still got another 6 or 7kms to go!”

“OK allez, let’s go, we’ve got to cycle really fast”

You would think we would have learnt by now; this is our third summer of occasional day-trips cycling on the Île de Ré and we always end up in the same situation at the end of the day when closing time draws near and we somehow find we are a very long way from the bike hire shop. It’s a recurring theme that only extreme muscle power is going to get us back anywhere near on time. Read more