The Optimism of Spring in Our Garden

IMG_3237This is a time of year when we can literally feel spring coursing through our veins. It’s a season full of rebirth and new growth, a time of endless possibilities, and a time of innocent hope. Whilst our climate is generally mild here on the coast and the risk of a frost is pretty much gone now, March and April can be fickle months; we can be dining al fresco with windows and doors wide open one day, and the next be plunged into less favourable temperatures with chilly winds and in definite need of a coat. It’s also a time of year when you can bring spring inside too,  when branches of blossom can fill the house with colour and scent  Read more

Spring-Chicken Fever



Who knew that keeping chickens could take us to so many places?  We’ve driven down roads scarcely fit for a car in search of eggs and covered two départements buying our chickens over the past two years and it’s turned out to be a far more technical business than I realised. Along the way I’ve expanded my French vocabulary as we have dealt with species, sexes, ailments and treatments. All of this for the love of chickens, our own organic free range eggs and the excitement of newly-born chicks.   Read more

The Gigi Post!


May is a month full of public holidays in France.  I admit that I get just as excited as the children at the prospect of three days without school, or maybe my excitement is just the fact that the children are going to be home for three days. Either way, the extra 24 hours is always an added bonus. At this time of year there is so much to enjoy in the Charente Maritime. This is how I love to spend a long weekend.

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Outdoor Living


One of the greatest things  I have found out about blogging is that sometimes it’s an excuse to do all sorts of things I might otherwise never think of! During some gorgeous weather this week I played around with outdoor-dining, and for each meal I set the scene slightly differently. I cannot tell you how much fun it was, it felt a little like being on holiday! Read more

Breaking Ground


A lot has happened in our sleepy little corner of France this past week. Or at least a lot for a place where life ticks along at a slow pace that’s remained relatively unchanged for a century. On Thursday we had an earthquake (yes, a real earthquake!) measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale. The epicentre was in between Rochefort and La Rochelle. There was some slight damage and schools were evacuated but there were no injuries. Read more

Celebrating Life


It’s Spring Break and two weeks of holidays for the children, but we’re not packing our bags and heading off on vacation. We couldn’t even if we wanted to, as life in the spring revolves around tennis tournaments. However, we’re more than happy to stay right where we are because nature at this time of year is putting on a spectacular show, rivalling the glitz and glamour of any theme-park.

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This Idyllic French Life



Several unrelated comments from around the globe have got me thinking recently about idyllic lifestyles. It has set me thinking that what is one person’s idyll is most likely not another’s. How does one clarify ‘idyllic’? Can life be idyllic in the cold and rain, or does there have to be sunshine? Or perhaps everything needs to be calm and perfectly peaceful to be idyllic? Read more