– 29 – ladies who lunch


Yesterday I had the enviable chore to HAVING to pay a visit to Burford Garden Company (had to, it was an instruction from Mr M in order to find interesting plants for the new lounge shelves… pictures to come…).  The place lies halfway between me and Ali… so meeting up for lunch was a no brainer.

Whilst waiting for her I had a good mooch around:


(hashtag crochetblanketgoal)


(I need more green in my life)


(really loving this huge lampshades/mudhuts…)


(I’m totally copying this)


(this is only part of the plant haul… I love white flowers…)


And then we had lunch, which I didn’t take a picture of because we were too busy catching up and putting the world to right.  As you do.

Chicken with three salads.  Very delicious.  Green tea.


Ali that candle I bought? Smells divine… but tooooo relaxing…




– 28 – rearranging


… why oh why the week we come back from holiday and I have mountains of washing, and after a weekend on a full house (fab by the way), and hockey tournaments, and after school clubs pick ups, and new furniture deliveries….and when I’m still trying to catch up on Homeland series 6…. do I decide to move my studio around?


So far so good though.  I’m feeling good about the changes and about the de-cluttering I’m able to do.  I’m trying to be ruthless and I’m even thinking of getting rid of my huge jar of buttons (remember when buttons were ‘the thang’?), and the box of ric rac (remember ricrac/rickrack ric rac? what can I do with it now?  Do you want it?  And why oh why do I have a bon maman jar full of drawing pin when I don’t have a drawing board?


A new ‘vintage’ cabinet should hold all the miscellaneous fabric and shelves in the useless alcoves should hide all the ugly stuff … I hope… because I removed two cupboards which are now in the hall and will have to be transported into the garage by children and husband.

Better think of suitable culinary bribe.


Full reveal in due course.

– 27 – poetry Monday


I guess my recent book has made more of an impact on me that I realised because when I started thinking about today’s poem this one pop right up in my mind.

It’s by Mary Oliver (again… but I’m not apologising), from the collection called “Why I wake early”.

“Mindful”  by Mary Oliver

Every day
      I see or hear
                  that more or less

kills me
      with delight,
            that leaves me
                  like a needle

in the haystack
      of light.
            It was what I was born for —
                  to look, to listen,

to lose myself
      inside this soft world —
            to instruct myself
                  over and over

in joy,
      and acclamation.
            Nor am I talking
                  about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
      the very extravagant —
            but of the ordinary,
                  the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
      Oh, good scholar,
            I say to myself,
                  how can you help

but grow wise
      with such teachings
            as these —
                  the untrimmable light

of the world,
      the ocean’s shine,
            the prayers that are made
                  out of grass?


– 26 – C is for Cutler, Howard C. Cutler


Continuing with the A to Z / year of reading theme we move onto letter ‘C’.

I’ve had this book by my bed for a few years, this edition was published in 2009 and was the 10th Anniversary of the original.

No idea what possessed me to buy it.  Not my usual choice of books, I’m more of a fiction person generally, but I’ve also always been fascinated by the Dalai Lama, by his history and his religion and his spirituality.

I don’t know why I’m surprised by I have to say I really enjoyed this book.  Howard Cutler is an American psychiatric who knows the Dalai Lama well and through a series of long conversations we are given practical advices and are shown little nuggets of wisdom on how to achieve happiness, how to overcome anger and negative thoughts.

It’s not one of those ridiculous ‘how to achieve eternal inner peace in ten easy steps, whilst having it all and running a marathon and without smudging your mascara’ kind of thing, not at all.  Being happy, living meaningful, fulfilling, happy lives, takes great efforts it’s the message… but it’s possible.

Which, I guess, is all we need to know.


On that note, I’m trying to conquer my current small (actually quite big) mountain… the post holiday laundry mountain… I know my inner peace will be definitively improved by the effort.

It’s the little things, people.  The little things.

– 25 – postcards from Cervinia, day 6


You’re all probably fed up with picture of snow and blue skies… so how about some hotel stationery?  I don’t write as many letters as I used to… it feels weird (and a little silly) to write about your life to someone that already knows about it because they ‘follow’ you on social media… I mean… no?

But I do LOVE stationery.  Love it.  And I’m a total sucker for stationery from hotels… the printed address… the thick paper…   It reminds me of old movies, I don’t know why and matching coats and hats, gloves and handbags and shopping that was delivered to your door in boxes.  Long old cars and cocktail  hour.

When I turned sixteen my big present was a big set of letter writing paper with my name printed in red at the top of the A4 sheet.  Glossy red, slightly raised… Thick thick paper… with a water mark …  I felt so sophisticated and grown up.

Anyway, I may or may not have sneaked some of the above in my suitcase… That’s for me to know and for you to guess…

What else?

Oh yes…


One thing I had never seen before is tea capsules.  There is a Nespresso machine in the room (love Nespresso, we’ve had our machine for ten years at home, thanks to my parents who were early converter to the thing)… but tea?  I tried the green tea and was very pleasantly surprised.  It tasted really good.

Apologies to the purists out there.

Anyway we stayed in a very lovely hotel this year, super friendly and attentive staff, gorgeous food (too nice) and our room was huge!


(post skiing action shot)

The lobby/lounge area is full of wonderful painting of Mount Cervino (or Matterhorn if you prefer) and big comfortable sofas…


… and wooden statues… and cupboards full of old china on display…


C’mon… how cute is that?


Sadly though we’ve come to the end of our fabulous week, which it’s very depressing and none of us is ready for real life … a part from my waist line that is, I swear to you that my ski pants couldn’t have taken any more …

So it is with feelings of great gloom and woe and despair and desolation… that I’m going to give you one last mountain photo…



… just because… I had to.


(we stayed at the hotel L’Hermitage, in Cervinia, a great family ran hotel)



– 24 – postcards from Cervinia, day 5




There are certain days that you hope will imprint in the mind of your children.  Days that you hope will be memories that lasts forever.

Days, you hope, they will recount to their own children … magical  days, days when times stands still, where the sun was at his shiniest, the sky at his bluest. Days when what you do is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, in that moment, with these people, not a thought for tomorrow.  Not home, not homework or school or work or chores.

Just now.  Right now.  In this moment.


Today was one of those days.

And I’m thankful.

– 23 – postcards from Cervinia, day 4


More of the same… but being above the clouds is always magical…


… and nobody’s complaining.


I’m however eating way too much and I’m already thinking about the remedial process once I get home.


oh boy.  It’s going to be hard… but who can resist ‘polenta with deer stew and fresh berries’?

Not me obviously.

And nother thing I can’t do…



It’s impossible I tell you.

(Or maybe it’s too much polenta…)