Posts Tagged south of france

Taking It Easy

According to Wikipedia Hot Yoga refers to yoga exercises performed under hot and humid conditions. Often associated with the style devised by Bikram Choudhury, hot yoga is now used to describe any number of yoga styles that use heat to increase an individual’s flexibility in the poses. In colder climates, hot yoga often seeks to replicate the heat and humidity of India where yoga originated

According to me Hot Yoga is when it’s too hot in the loft where we normally practice so you go outside in the garden instead.

Outside Yoga


Here we are giving a whole new meaning to ‘putting your head on the block’

It was still quite hot but, apart from a few insects settling on me and having a nibble, the fact I didn’t have any sun lotion on and the ground sloping a bit, it was wonderful.

I am usually slightly more ‘active’ than this photo would have you believe but this was taken at the relaxation stage at the end – honest!


, , ,


A Moan, A Death, A Sale

noahs arkNoah’s Ark by Edward Hicks (1780-1849)

The deluge continues and I have taken a break from gathering my animals together in pairs to put pen to paper as they used to say in the old days.

Our purchase of some new hens last week turned out to be very timely as when I went to check for eggs in the original chicken hut the other day I was confronted with the sight of a very dead chicken.  Dark Sun is no more.  I don’t know what happened but it is the first time one of our hens has had a ‘natural’ death, a couple of others meeting an untimely and undignified end at the hands (paws) of a new pup.  The cockerel, Darth (don’t ask), who hatched at the same time is bereft at the loss of his sister but still makes an awful lot of noise and I suspect the neighbours are sorry that it was she who went first.

HensThe late Dark Sun (bottom centre) proving that kids should never be allowed to name pets!

Anyway to cheer myself up and to celebrate my vintage shop’s 1000th sale (well, the next one will be the 1000th), I have put the whole shop on sale for the very first time just for the weekend so if you fancy having a virtual browse around a French flea market without getting wet, come and have a look.

La Manche

Have a great weekend – I hope you are having better weather than we are.  I’m  off to light the fire – it’s only the 31st May in the south of France after all.

, , , , , , , ,


Bryan Ferry and a Citadel – What’s Not to Like?

Off to see Bryan Ferry tonight in the beautiful city of Carcassonne.

Unfortunately, as seems to happen every year during the time that the Festivale is on, the weather is unpredictable.  This wouldn’t be so bad but the concert  is in the open-air.

Bryan (as I call him) will be alright as the stage is under cover so he will still look cool and like the style icon that he is.  Unfortunately, the rest of us will probably be huddled underneath unflattering hoods and, heaven forfend, cagoules like the ordinary mortals that we are. 

Still, it’s worth the risk I reckon.


  one hour’s drive away from us and the city of Carcassonne was in beautiful sunshine.  So it was a great concert and Bryan didn’t have to see me in my cagoule.

, , , , ,


Sunny Days

I’ve been a bit quiet lately haven’t I?  No reason really, just lots of little things going on and stuff to do.

Anyway, Stanley Socks the foundling pup has been acquainting himself with the pool and is, literally, teetering on the edge of going in but, fortunately for the filter, has decided to remain poolside and try to catch all the water splashed at him.

I hope you are having a sunny weekend whever you are.



, , ,

Leave a comment

Three Reasons to Like Autumn

Seeing which of your neighbours is the first to light a log fire.

The Lovely Soft Colours

Kind morning light - encouraging me to try close ups without a tripod!

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Fairytale Castle

The old city of Carcassonne never fails to make me catch my breath when it first comes into view – it’s just the sort of place you imagine in fairy tales.

Throughout  July they have a festival with lots of different concerts, often with very big names.  A couple of years ago we saw Diana Ross perform here.  I love to go as, whoever the artist, it’s such a magical setting that you can’t fail to have a great time.  This year I missed out as I bought tickets for my daughter and her friend to see Mika and, although I kept hoping her friend would drop out at the last moment so I could go in her place(!), she didn’t so I had a meal in one of the lovely restaurants instead whilst I waited for them.

As seems to happen every year, the rain threatens to appear (it’s an open-air venue) but usually doesn’t until the very last minute.   I didn’t know any of these people coming out of the concert which is why I’ve blurred the foreground.  It was an artistic decision.  Honest!!

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Lillalotta Giveaway!

( The giveaway is now closed – congratulations to Helen)

This month’s, rather belated,  Little Chat is with Anna who is also known as Lillalotta, creator of beautiful illustrated cotton tapes and other delights, whilst bringing up five children in a foreign land.  Anna has kindly offered 3 metres of her beautiful tape as a giveaway to one lucky reader of this blog.  Just have a look at her shop at and leave a comment below saying which tape you would like to win and how you think you might use it.(**Anna’s shop is actually closed at the moment but if you look through her sold items you can see the tapes available**)  The winner will be picked by Anna on Sunday, 25th July.   


When I opened my first shop on Etsy, back in Spring 2009, I came across Anna’s shop and realised that she was also  in France.  I contacted her and we realised we were only within a 15 minute drive of eachother.  She was a great encouragement to me in those early days and gave me lots of tips and suggestions and, especially considering that she is so busy with her own work and her large family she was, and still is, very generous with her time and advice.  I love Anna’s work and it is a pleasure to feature a small part of what she does here.


Tell us a little about your shop.  How long have you been open? What do you sell?

I started my little shop on Etsy back in 2007. I created prints and original paintings back then. But as time went by I moved from doing one thing to doing another. Most people who know me, know that I am all over the place, and tend to use lots of different media to still this compulsion to be creative. I had to open another shop 2008, which was left empty for a while, as I sorted my muddled brain. I did lots of handmade items, and by chance started a selection of handmade illustrated cotton tapes, which I needed for some projects myself. I sold my very first cotton tape in March of 2009, and my life has changed totally since then.

 Can you describe your shop in three words?

Lillalotta. Handmade. Goodness.

 How did you discover Etsy?

Back in 2007 I was mostly into mixmedia, and lots of my friends started opening up Etsy shops. I was a buyer initially, and one day I decided to join in.

 Where do you find your inspiration?

 I might be a bit of a cliche, but my children inspire me the most. And the world around me. I am lucky to live in a very rural area that seems to be untouched and unspoiled by this era. Less is always more. I enjoy the simplicity.

Can you describe your creative process?

I don’t think I have a creative process. I would be a fibber if I was to make you believe I was this organized being, who had it all in order. ‘Things’ seem to happen. On a whim. When I feel moved. I am totally compulsive though. I ‘must’ do something creative each day, otherwise the day seems to be a waste.

 How much time do you spend on your shop each week?

I try to not spend much time online. I fulfill orders, and keep up with my blog. Anything else is too much, sadly. Being a mother of 5 children my entire life is like a race. A rush.

If you could offer one piece of advice to Etsy newbies, what would it be? 

Any one can open an Etsy shop. That is the beauty of Etsy. Just be yourself. And it will show in your ‘product’ that you have loved creating it. 

Who do you think is your typical customer? Who are you marketing to?

Erm, I have no idea who would be my typical customer. The cotton tapes are so versatile, they can be used for many different things. They can be used on clothing, mix media, quilting, any sewing project…. the sky is the limit I suppose. 

Where else can we find your items? Where else can we find you (Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc.)?

For now I am concentrating on my Shop and my Blog. I kind of hang out there the most. 

 What do you do when you’re not creating or Etsy-ing?

I am always creating. Although not always for Etsy. I have many ‘loves’, including typography, photography, baking, cooking, sewing, quilting, drawing, painting, house decoration…. My biggest problem is that the days are too short, and my to-do-lists are too long 🙂

, , , , , ,


Snake In The Grass

This snake was attached to my cat today.  He was humanely removed and moved to a remote area of the garden.  My cat seems fine at the moment but I took a photo of the snake in case I need to show a vet later.  I haven’t gone on the internet to try and identify it as I will probably frighten myself.  The last time I did that, they all looked the same and they all seemed to be poisonous.    This one was probably around a metre long (42 inches).




Snow in the South of France 9 January 2010

We’ve got supplies in the cupboards, we’ve got log fires and, so far, we’ve got electricity but I do worry about the birds.

Chilly Robin
Keeping the feeders topped up

, ,