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.

Read more

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

Bentley is Compelled to put Paw to Paper again


I’m afraid to say that I feel utterly compelled to put paw to paper once again; I heard someone saying I was old the other day. Old? Me? It wasn’t Roddy or Susan or any of the children, but a neighbour, and it really ruffled my neck hairs (which are admittedly very long and looking rather shaggy at the moment). I’m not old, I’m in my prime!

Read more

Brocante and Chocolate


These last few days everything has felt slightly different as the sun streams in through the windows, and although the mercury is definitely nudging upwards a little there’s a cold easterly wind which is banishing all thoughts of bare arms and legs. Along with the week’s slow change in temperature, there’s also a subtle change in the light and despite the lingering smell of winter woodsmoke in the air there’s now a welcome new scent, that of freshly mown grass. Read more

A Quarter Round the Sun

Spring officially starts today as the vernal or Spring Equinox takes place this year on March 20th in the Northern Hemisphere. Earth is spinning its yearly journey through the solar system and for earthlings in the northern hemisphere it’s definitely the topic of the day, the week, even the month; it’s almost all we can talk about at the school gates and in the boulangerie. I like winter though, of course, for winter is a necessity to enjoy spring, and as it is seen as a time of rebirth, with many cultures holding celebrations marking the equinox in March.  Read more