Wednesday, September 30, 2015

When The West Wind Doth Blow.........

Fishermans Coat The Shop Floor Project
 I know we're having an Indian Summer but there is no denying - Winter Is Coming. When I step outside my cottage on a crisp Winter's day the wind chill can feel like it's cutting you in two.

Fishermans Coat The Shop Floor Project
I have a full length Barbour Coat but from day one it has smelled of wax. It just never goes away.
Fishermans Coat The Shop Floor Project
Well I am officially sick of it and have found this little beauty at The Shop Floor Project. It's waxed just like my Barbour.
.Fishermans Coat The Shop Floor Project
The waxing stops the wind chill getting through and I also love the style. It's even got matching bags. Now which colour should I choose?
Fishermans Coat The Shop Floor Project

Friday, September 25, 2015

You Only Live Once - I Think

Last year I couldn't make a decision that would stick in my head for longer than a day. I would decide to do something with my life, plan it and then promptly change my mind. When 2015 showed it's little head I thought it would all come into focus but NO!
laon france
It took until the end of August this year for me to suddenly, one day in France when talking to my daughter who lives there, say 'I need to buy a house here'. I shocked myself when I said it. When I woke the next morning my mind didn't do that usual leap into doubt. Charlotte and I got the kids ready and drove to Laon a beautiful medieval hilltop town in Picardie which I fell in love with when we visited for the first time last Christmas. We called into a couple of Estate Agents and told them my requirements or rather Charlotte did because I don't speak French.

dont rush
The following week we were taken to see 3 properties. I fell in love with the 3rd one and for the first time in my life I didn't rush in headlong. I just thought I shall go home and get my cottage ready to sell and hopefully this house will still be on the market when I am ready, if not then so be it I shall look for another one.
cottage northumberland
 At this moment in time I am enjoying preparing the cottage, every minute of it. There's nothing major to do just little repairs and adjustments to show it in it's best possible light. It's a beautiful place to live but it was mine and Harvey's my house in France will just be mine.
So it's time to start that new chapter in my life that was proving elusive until that day in August when my mind stopped changing. If you ever find yourself in that state of flux then just go with the flow.

The Dictionary entry for State of Flux is:
state of flux - a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) preceding the establishment of a new direction of action; "the flux following the death of the emperor"

Well my Emperor died and I was thrown headlong into a State of Flux but it didn't last thank goodness.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Embarking On My New Life - Are You Coming With Me?

Well my last post was posted way back in May when I was in France. Since then I have returned there again and in the 2nd week of my visit I was suddenly hit with the realisation that I wanted to buy a house there and was ready to do so.

Since Harvey's death I have lived through 4 seasons and am now approaching my 2nd Autumn without him. Nothing has changed since my return last month and I know I want to spend Spring and Autumn in France and Summer and Winter in the UK.

I love where I live and the people in my community so this will be my base when I am in the UK.
laon france
My base in France will be in or near a beautiful medieval hilltop town in Picardie called Laon which is not too far from my daughter Charlotte and her family.

french stone house
I found the perfect house when I was in France but

cottage in northumberland
I have to get my cottage ready to sell and put it on the market. If the house I found in France is sold in that time then so be it, there are plenty other houses to be had. This is a huge step and I do not want to rush it. Making this huge change on my own is both frightening and exhilarating all at the same time.

My business Ghost Furniture will move with me whenever and wherever I go.
Starting next week I will be covering the re-vamp of the terrace outside my cottage and showing you some of the gems I have discovered in Picardie.

So are you up for this? Are you game for following me on my journey? I can assure you it won't be dull.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Brocante and the Park

The Brocante and the Park in France
Yesterday morning we left early to go to a big Brocante being held in Charlotte's home town. This is just a fraction of what I bought. I never cease to be amazed by the stuff the French don't want but we lust after.
The Brocante and the Park in France
My car is filling up fast with new pieces for Ghost Furniture. We went through Picardie to a Gastronomique Brocante in the afternoon. That's a brocante with tons of food for the uninitiated.

The Brocante and the Park in France
It's hard to believe that under this stunningly beautiful Picardie landscape there still lay the bones of young men from the two world wars. Graveyards full of identical crosses are numerous. So so sad.
The Brocante and the Park in France
Today we took Tiana to the park after school. It's not hard to find delicious picnic fayre here.
The Brocante and the Park in France
The French do a good park.
The Brocante and the Park in France
Tiana got so excited with this flower that it fell off its stem just after I took this picture. Well that's her story and she's sticking to it.
The Brocante and the Park in France
Some wonderful colour inspirations from nature.
The Brocante and the Park in France
I told Tiana to stand in front of the fountain so the water would come out of her head,
The Brocante and the Park in France
each time I said it she put her hand on her head to check.
The Brocante and the Park in France
Wall flowers through a stone arch.
The Brocante and the Park in France

Here's something I didn't know until today. You can't make daisy chains from French daisies as their stems are too thin to split. Wimps!
Link to image of Picardie landscape

Friday, May 15, 2015

2 Days In Paris With My Intrepid Daughter

2 Days In Paris
My lovely daughter booked us a stay in Paris so on Wednesday morning Charlotte and I set off in the car.. She, unlike me, will drive in Paris with no fear and the fact that she is 7 months pregnant and the size of a small country does not faze her. We checked into the hotel (above) with it's amazing facade and
2 Days In Paris
 then set off to explore. We stayed in the Oberkampf district which is full of unusual shops with the usual jaw dropping window displays.
2 Days In Paris
This taxidermist stopped us in our tracks.
2 Days In Paris
We wandered into the Marais for a delicious lunch and spotted this chandlier made from paper coffee cups - inspirational. It lit up as well.
2 Days In Paris
Next morning we took the car to Bastille where there was a huge market and we stocked up on fresh fruit, vegetables and
2 Days In Paris
meat. The French could teach us Brits a thing or two about markets.
2 Days In Paris
After our drive back home we had this to look forward to. Viva la France!
This weekend we are hitting the brocantes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Day In Soissons

A Day In Soissons
Today we stayed close to home but went into the city of Soissons. One of my favourite supermarkets is unique. Foods from all over the world and plenty that are home grown. Above is a form of aparagus I have never seen before.
Vapour streams from each counter. 
A Day In Soissons
After shopping we popped into the Cathedral
A Day In Soissons
It is stunning as you can see.
A Day In Soissons
Tomorrow Charlotte and I are off to Paris for a couple of days. Well why not?

Monday, May 11, 2015

This Is Why I Love France

This Is Why I Love France
Because you always get a great and super cheap lunch if you eat with the locals.
This Is Why I Love France
When you order a coffee they bring 4 desserts to go with it included in the price.
This Is Why I Love France
Little towns are full of privately owned stores selling amazing thimgs.
This Is Why I Love France
and not at exorbitant prices.
This Is Why I Love France
This is me in France and I love it.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Going It Alone To France

driving to france
Tomorrow I leave for France and for the first time I wil be driving there on my own. A bit daunting I must admit but hey I am quite capable.
french brocante
I am staying with Charlotte and family for 2 weeks. It's brocante season so I will be in my element.
french brocante
I am re-vamping Ghost Furniture to accomodate more French antiques, the sort I usually pass by because they don't need to be brought back to life.
french brocante 
These items are just to good to overlook anymore.
french brocante
I have my shopping list and can't wait to get started.

shopping paris
Charlotte has booked us a couple of days in Paris as she now lives in Picardie.

bastille brocante
The Bastille Antiques Fair is on and just around the corner from oour hotel as is
merci paris
Merci which is my favourite Parisian shop and it's holding an Urban Market during my stay.
french food market
Of course no visit to France should exclude a few trips to the food markets, they do them so well.
french cafe
Stopping for coffee and people watching  is high on the agenda.
merci fiat
My car may look a little like this on my return. AU REVOIR
Click on images for links