September 29, 2011

Table Talk.. Loire Valley

Table Talk...
Over the past 25 years, we have managed to collect
a number of different china patterns. Whether they be passed on, 
passed down, collected along the way or bought with tender loving care.
Every plate has a story. 

I have been immersed in our china cabinet these past few days and it all started with this table cloth.
We picked it up in a street market when we were in France a few weeks back.

To complete our French experience we purchased a set of plates as well.
They are filled with great memories and a welcome addtion to our table.

 Philippe Deshoulieres charger plate,  Gien dinner plate.

I have been playing mix and match. Something old, something new.
The plates below are family favourite, but I admit they only come out
on special occasions.The Spode-Luneville plate on the left is one of the plate sets
Mr. H and are registered when we were married. I am happy to say the complete set is still with us. :)

The plate on the right is Wedgewood and a commemorative set of plates from
Mr. H's school days all those years ago. They only comes out for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Something blue...our wedding china,
Royal Crown Derby, Grenville dinner plate (top) and Blue Aves salad plate (bottom).
Sad to say, we do not use this very often. It's beautiful and sometimes appears for
Easter or New Years lunch. I really should think of more occasions for it.

Wedding Talk...Anniversary Talk
Mr. H and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary next week.
We are off to India to celebrate. I have never been and am looking forward
to an adventure. I came across this 'Dhara' china set by Philippe Deshoulieres 
and thought of India. It is a beautiuful set...I wonder ???

How about you?
Do you have a family favourite?
Do you use your 'special' china often
or just for special occasions?

top images~me
bottom images as noted above

September 26, 2011

Still Life Beauty: Petersham Nurseries


I was captivated by the flower arrangements and much more on a recent trip
to Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, Surrey (UK). I only just discovered it and have 
been back twice in the past two weeks. It is a nursery and so much more...
Garden, Playhouse, Teahouse, Cafe, Shop and Luxury Properties. 
I am sure I missed something but for now I will just focus
on these Still Life Beauties and enjoy the colours and texture of the season.

There are several ideas to work with here. I hope you
find something to inspire you in your home. :)

Because I love it more time...

Boot Love, here.

Best wishes for a wonderful week!

Jeanne xx


September 22, 2011

It takes a blog....

It was delightful...
I had the very good fortune to meet a long time blogging friend last week.
Some of you may know Susie @The Mill House. We started writing to 
each other within a few weeks of creating our blogs nearly two years ago.

We connected on many levels, it started with our expat backgrounds.
We both travel long distances to be with our children. We both call more than one place home.
 We both have children of similar ages and our hearts are split between two hemispheres.

Early days...
I remember those early days in 2009. Susie had recently moved 
from Sydney, Australia to Bath, England. She wrote of her family, 
missing Sydney and getting ready for the Christmas holiday in Bath.

I loved seeing her Christmas wreath on her door and her tree strapped onto her car. 
I hadn't experienced a northern hemisphere Christmas in ten years. I was so excited for her.

She posted these photos on December 18, 2009.  At the time, I was sitting in Sydney
 airport with my family waiting to fly to London to start our new life in England.  
I was apprehensive yet so excited to read about her Christmas in 
Bath that I instantly felt heartened about our move. It was a comforting thought as 
I tucked myself into my airplane seat for the long journey to our new home.

Two English women...
Susie was a godsend. Being English herself she gave me tips on what to do and 
 and when I was feeling most homesick...she would have a way of touching base 
and saying just what I needed to hear. Through Susie I met Sarah @ Semi Expat
another talented English woman living abroad. They kept me well supplied
with tips of what to see and do in London. 
All this via two people I happened to meet through my blog.

Imaginary friends...
Susie and Sarah were the first of what my family called my 'imaginary friends'. 
They would look over my shoulder and give them nicknames... 
Susie from Bath, Vicki from My French Life, Sharon from the French Countryside, 
Pamela and the big white dog, Edward and Lisa from Vermont. 
Over the past year I have been fortunate enough to meet them all. With each one, 
it was like picking up a conversation with an old friend. Wonderful!
My family is delighted to see that Mom is not going crazy 
and that these women acutally exist.
Imaginary friends no more. :)

Back to school...
Susie has since started a University degree and has taken a break from blogging. 
I love that she still stays in touch, reads along and leaves her thoughtful comments.
I hope one day she will return to the fold and continue to write.

Making connections...
The connection remains and for that I am most grateful. I often think how nice 
it would be to put my blogging friends together with my friends from the 
different countries I have lived in. I know they would all enjoy each other's company,
so many brilliant and talented women with like minds in one place. 
A dream come true!

French thoughts...
Susie mentioned that she enjoyed the photos of the chateau we stayed
 in during our recent trip to the Loire Valley. As I wandered from room to room,
I often thought how much fun it would be to rent this house with a bunch of girlfriends. 

Women on a mission...
Just think, 
a few women,
with a few days to unwind 
in a French chateau,
hitting the country roads 
of France,
en route to French markets and more.
Oh...the fun we would have!

Ready when you are... :)

It takes a blog....
for wonderful things to happen. 

bottom images~me
two top images~susie

September 20, 2011

London, Art, Shopping, Giveaway Winner

I have been shopping, can you guess where?

A quick dash in and out to pick up my giveaway prize.


The sun was shining on London on Saturday and we decided to make
the most of it before the rain came along. 

You can see from the photos that the clouds were moving in.....

We all made the most of the sunshine.

and then they came... rain clouds.

When the rain came we dashed into the 
National Portrait Gallery to mix with the Gods.
You can read about it here.

and added a little retail therapy into the mix over here.

Hope you all had a fab weekend...
sending best wishes for a wonderful week!

images via me
image of Eileen Brent via postcard
refer to link above for more details.

September 16, 2011

Grace Notes

 I am finding more and more these days,
that I like to have a book or two by my side,
to keep me company, to set me straight.

It could also be that I tend to sit in so much
traffic these days that it makes the minutes and hours
pass by sweetly.

One of those books, was given to me by a dear friend.
It was a parting gift to remember my time living in Australia.
It has been several years and I still think of her every time I turn a page.

The author of the book is an Australian, Kate Llewellyn.
 The book... 
Playing with Water
A story of a garden

It's quite simple, she buys a house in a coastal town,
and creates a garden. As she sets roots in her new community 
her plantings are following suit. 

Kate Llewellyn is a gifted writer and
manages to transport me from the hum drum of a 
traffic snarl to feeling grass underfoot, dirt on my fingertips
and the heady fragrance of Australian flowers in the moonlight.

When I sit and read, I take pen to paper. I do it with all the books I love.
A scribble here and there to remember my favourite passages.
I like to be able to find those few special words at a moment's notice.

Houses are like marriages......

A barefoot good Samaritan and a chocolate cake....

What glorious days are these....

How about you, do you have a book or two
to keep you company?

Images and text from Playing with Water....a story of a garden
by Kate Llewellyn. More book info here.

If you are interested in a giveaway, 
you can join in the fun, here.