Just another week in SW France

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Another summer morning, time to draw the curtains, fling open the windows and let the early morning breeze fill the room. Summer always smells warm and enticing as it fills the house each day, and the instant sound of bees in the wisteria and the sight of swallows flitting past in a blur of winged shadow add to the sense of season.  Read more

PEACE AND TRANQUILITY

P6770708I wanted to make a feast. I had an insane urge to cook and create and make everything homely and perfect. Why?  Probably because I’ve been away more than I’ve been home this past month, and apart from the Auvergne there haven’t been breaks or holidays, long or short. It’s just been a long litany of hectic days away, tennis, business, children, and anything else you can think of. I just haven’t been home. So often have I left the house at 6.00am or 7.00am and returned around 9.00pm. Roddy has held the fort quite perfectly, obviously, usually accompanied by at least one or more of our children. But I’ve been on the road with the others; I have driven more kilometres than I dare to count and let’s just say I am a dab hand at filling up with diesel, again and again and again! Read more

France’s Land of Volcanoes

IMG_9739Not really wanting to leave Vichy, but knowing we must, we clambered into the car and headed over the bridge once more. We were saying goodbye to chic city life and trading it for an altogether more rugged experience involving hiking shoes and plenty of stamina; we were heading to the French volcanoes. Read more

A Weekend in Vichy

 

P6610172Last week, we headed east, five hours inland, away from the beach and our gentle undulating coastline, to the rugged landscape of the Auvergne-Rhone Alpes, a dramatic region of thick forests, mountains, dormant and extinct volcanoes.  Our initial destination was the genteel spa town of Vichy.  Read more

Dressing up for Summer

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Summertime is the season for pretty dresses, bright colours and a general feeling of joie de vivre. Into the hallway cupboard we stow our wooly scarves, hats and gloves, and as the days warm we take off layer after layer of warm clothing, exposing bare skin and covering ourselves with the merest wisp of fabric, a transformation that always coincides with the rising sap of the new season. But houses and walls tend to do quite the opposite, the old naked structures donning their prettiest outfits as they metamorphose into summer creations of their own design. Read more

Building a Potager

P6600754My vision for our garden was always to create somewhere enchanting; somewhere that had a romantic feel, I imagined a place where one could float around while wearing a swirling skirt with a glass of champagne in hand. I didn’t want anywhere that would be taken too seriously, instead I wanted somewhere that would delight the senses, fuel the imagination and be easy to maintain. But above all else there had to be somewhere that provided edible treats. If you have ever eaten a warm sun-ripened tomato straight from the vine, you will know that the taste far outweighs anything bought in the chilled section of the grocery store.

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