Hong Kong, London, Tahilla and a Christmas Book List

Birds of a feather flock together and guard the Christmas trees in New Hampshire, USA

There is no other way to start this blog post other than jumping in and saying HELLO!  Some of you may have thought I had travelled off into the midnight blogging sky never to return...again. My great attempt to complete a 30 post writing quest by the end of 2016 has gone awry...as life often does. I have decided to postpone it for another year....when life settles down a bit. (cough, cough, if ever) ;)

If I told you what I have been up to in the past month you would think I was nuts. As I know many of you already do...I won't add to that number!

I finished off my last post with a word game, a clue to our next expat posting.  Clever me, I thought you would find it tricky.  HA! I was wrong. Many of you picked right up on it and yes, HONG KONG is our next posting. It's all happening. Mr. H recently closed the doors of Chateau Mango in Saigon and drove off into the sunset...our wonderful mango coloured home nestled under a swaying travelling palm will soon be a distant memory and a different colour. Sadly, I could not be there to say farewell, something that pulls on my heart strings.

The search is on...Hong Kong

A hunting he will go...
Mr. H is pulling double duty, and doing so admirably. He is stepping into my shoes and undertaking the task of finding an apartment for us in Hong Kong. I can hear the collective gasp from here! ;) Fortunately for him (and me), I was well immersed into the task before I left for Sydney in October and managed to determine location and apartment specifics with our relocation consultant. I am keeping a close watch from Tahilla Farm. Fingers crossed! 

I am touched by your kind comments on my 'Hello..It's Me' post and have been blushing every since. Thank you so much!

Henrietta Hippo...and the Three Franciscan Friars
I had a few questions regarding the travel plans for Henrietta Hippo. Alas, she had to stay behind in Vietnam but we did manage to find a great home for her. Our friends, the Three Franciscan Friars found the perfect spot in their Seminary library. I understand she will be taking up location in the entrance, greeting seminarians as they pass while offering a comfortable spot to sit and reflect. We couldn't think of a better home for her!

Sloane Square, Chelsea, London

The London meet cute.....
Mr. H and I met up in London last week to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. It was a whirlwind of a trip and well worth the countless hours to get there from Sydney. It was surreal to end our time in Vietnam with a trip to London, just as I had done four years ago in reverse, saying farewell to our life in England to start anew in Vietnam. I have lots to share on all of the above...stay tuned.

The welcome sign, Tahilla Farm

Tahilla Farm..and Tika
I recently returned to Tahilla Farm to get the house ready for family and friends but not before picking up Tika from her home away from home for the past two months. She has been by my side ever since, slowly following me into the woods to clip fresh greens, watching me hang wreaths and shovel snow. Yes...snow! We have been teased...a inch or two here, a dusting over there. I contacted Pete the plow man to discuss the driveway...you can never be too ready when it comes to snow.

Snowy Tahilla Farm, December 2016

And YOU?
Enough about me...how are you?? Will you be home for the holidays? Laying low or on the move?  How are you going with your holiday shopping? Done? I have a few thoughts for you if you are still looking for ideas...

The Garden Writers....Hatchards, London

I had a long 'must visit' list for my trip to London. Like so many of you, I absolutely love getting lost in bookstores and especially at Hatchards book shop on Piccadilly. Even better when the Christmas Catalogue is available. I quickly noted all the books that I could happily stack in our reading nook. I thought you might enjoy them too...they are all so delightfully English!

for the book details







Wishing you a wonderful weekend
filled with cheer and good reading!

Jeanne xx


  1. Hong Kong sound like fun! altho, i thought you were headed for fulltime - well, fulltime the way you do it! - at the Farm. Don't know much about Hong Kong, so will enjoy getting to know it a bit thru your well-trained eyes and camera. Hope the holidays are good for you and yours ... wherever you spend them.

  2. Happy Anniversary!
    Mr H married you = very good taste. I'm sure the apartment he selects will be perfectly interesting.
    Thank you for the reading list. Yesterday I wrote down my first entry for my winter reading list (the newest by Tana French). Henrietta Hippo should become a destination landmark! Its good to read she has a good home.
    Optimism is the ruling word here this holiday and winter. Its backed by determination, and a quest to find the perfect hot chocolate mix and blackberry brandy.

    Happy Holidays!

    1. Thank you Maywyn, you are very kind! :) I think you are right, Henrietta Hippo should be a destination landmark, she seems to endear whoever happens to sit upon her. Would love to know how you go with the hot chocolate quest....and the blackberry brandy. ;)

  3. Honestly I'm not sure if I should congratulate or feel sorry for you. Tahilla farm, as I thought is your place where you can find serenity and a balanced life .HKG is -as you aready know- very busy and disquiet city where I can't see
    living a women like you. sometimes men (or their business) demand a lot of us women.

    1. No need to feel sorry for me Rena, this is something that I wholeheartedly embrace! Tahilla Farm will always offer serenity and balance in my life...travel and adventure will always be a part of my 'other half'. I am fortunate to have the choice and will take it for as long as my body and spirit are able to move with it. :)

  4. As usual, Jeanne, your Christmas reading list will hit the spot for many readers. Since you and I sometimes have the same reading interests, I find that I have already read three of the books on your list, as well as some of the writers' other books. The one on your list that tweaks my interest most is The Art of Rivalry. I have already treated myself to a gift of "Peacock & Vine," which I'm sure you've heard of, by A. S. Byatt. As soon as I finish reading "A Paris Apartment" by Michelle Gable (you know how I feel about Paris), I'll be jumping into Zadie Smith's newest, "Swing Time," and "Hot Milk," the newest offering from Deborah Levy, which I just picked up from the Library. You might like the Paris book ... it is "based on a fascinating true story of a treasure-stocked Parisian apartment opened for the first time in seventy years."
    I know you're going to love spending Christmas at Tahilla Farm, the ideal spot for a large family gathering, and I hope Santa will arrive bearing wondrous gifts for you, including many books to fill the shelves at Tahilla. JudyMac xo

    1. Thank you Judy, I spotted "A Paris Apartment" on your IG page, which has now become a great source for my reading list. A couple of the books highlighted on this post are on my gift list and wish list. Zadie Smith's book, "Swing Time" is also in Hatchards Christmas Catalogue. I enjoyed "On Beauty" and hope to read more of her work. I have a few empty shelves at Tahilla Farm for future reading...always fun to fill a book shelf. All the best to you and yours for a Happy Holiday season from TF! xx

  5. Hi Jeanne, Tahilla is beautiful especially covered in snow, Hong Kong will be exciting and London (it is where I was born) so it has my heart and soul. And co-incidentally we just found out our new assignment will be Surrey, maybe a house in Cobham, so back I go to your diaries. Isn't life funny how paths cross. Buddha will, of course, be coming with us, meanwhile my grandson will be here in Houston for Christmas. Enjoy your Christmas at Tahilla, much happiness for Chinese New Year too. Kathy.

    1. Wonderful news Kathy! I loved our time in Esher and miss our Littleworth Common residence. Cobham is a great spot, I always enjoyed the school ride from Esher to Cobham each morning and afternoon. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, good luck with your search and move! :)

    2. Hi again Jeanne,

      Thank you, just looked at Esher and it does look really lovely, and as long as we can hop on a train to Waterloo we will be happy. Trying not to think about the packing until after the holidays­čś│. Wishing you also much luck with your move and safe travels, I often find myself saying "it's a small world" only to sit on a plane for ten hours plus and think, it's not that small haha,

      I enjoyed your book list and have put some on my wish list, I am an Austen fan so first stop Chawton I think.

      You may have inspired me to re-activate my little blog again, a great way to keep a diary.

      Best wishes, Kathy.

  6. I wasn't aware of your relocation plans to Hong Kong. Wow, never a dull moment for you, Jeanne. ;) I look forward to your posts! ♡

    1. Thank you Patricia, the expat life is certainly full of surprises! I will be spending time between the USA, Hong Kong and Sydney...life is full to say the least. ;)

  7. You are one busy lady, Jeanne! Hong Kong and your beautiful farm will be the perfect complement to one another. We used to live 2 weeks in NYC and 2 weeks in a very small Southern town and we loved it! Happy Friday ~

  8. WONDERFUL.............
    ALL will keep you YOUNG!

  9. Jeanne,

    It is aways nice to see a port from you! I cannot believe you were in Vietnam for 4 years! Time flies! I am sure that Hong Kong will be different but interesting none the less. London looked beautiful on your Instagram feed. I love traveling in Europe near Christmas as I love to see all of the beautiful decorations!

    We are just back from 12 days in Argentina, a great trip but I am happy to be home!

    I love seeing Tahallia Farm and Tika! I am sure that she is so excited to see you! I hope that you enjoy the holidays with your family at your wonderful farm!

    Going to check our your book suggestions, some I have read but several are new to me. Thanks for sharing your adventures and finds.
    xo Elizabeth

  10. Your life is so totally crazy spread on 3 continents, but you deal with it very well. One of these days we must connect stateside as we are not too far apart, at least part of the time.

  11. Jeanne you are the ultimate ex-pat! Moving, relocating, settling in new cities, decorating new homes - and your dear Mr. H sounds a huge help which makes me realize your recent celebration of 30 years together must have been perfect. . . . . .you guys are awesome!
    Lovely seeing NH and Tahilla Farm in early snow - brings back so many memories of when we lived there and experienced many a 'white Christmas'. This Christmas we will be across the pond - in fact, leaving on the jet plane this evening - and still have packing to complete. Bet you're great at that dastardly (for me) chore!!!!!
    Our itinerary will take us from the UK by beautiful ship to Portugal, Spain and Morocco, then back to England where we'll spend Christmas week in my home town with family and friends!

    Happy Christmas to you and your family - and may Hong Kong be a place where you'll be sharing many more wonderful stories, and photos, in the coming year. That's a city I've yet to visit.
    Warm hugs for the season - stay well and be happy every day.
    Hugs - Mary

  12. I enjoyed A Month in the Country by J.L.Carr.

    I have read the two books , A Time of Gifts & Between the Woods and the Water, by Patrick Leigh Fermor and enjoyed them.

    Tahilla Farms looks beautiful in winter.

    Hong Kong will be different from all the others.

    We are getting the rain we need in Napa Valley. It had been raining every day.

    Merry Christmas.

  13. What a wonderful list of books. I always find something to read when you share a list. So, Hong Kong it is. I am sure you will share some interesting places with us. Enjoy Christmas at Tahilla Farm. it always looks like a fairy-tale.

  14. Hong Kong! So exciting. Quite a place to be these days. All the best for the new perch!

  15. OMG!!! I can't believe it was 4 years ago you left the UK and went to Saigon. I followed every step of your move there (including the tangerine house) and then I lost you. Don't know how that happened, but so happy to have found you again as you start your next adventure in HongKong. I can't wait to read about (as I am planning a trip to HK next year ;-)


Post a Comment

Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

Popular Posts