But this little bundle of fun has been keeping me busy
I am going to try and post more so a bientot les amis.
But this little bundle of fun has been keeping me busy
I am going to try and post more so a bientot les amis.
Gardening. It’s something I come back to time and time again and now that I have a lovely (and huge) garden I really do want to create a haven rather than just a field. However, it must be stated that I do not have green hands, the only time they’re green is when they’re physically green from either grass stains or playing with paint with Little Piglet. So I really do have a serious handicap and quite often any free time is spent looking at the garden wondering where to start!
So far this year I have managed to successfully plant (and keep alive) 35 laurel tree cuttings and some strawberries.
Not so lucky were my Oliver tree, Oleander bush and Japanese Maple tree all of which died throughout the winter.
Desperately clinging on now is my pear tree, I believe it is in trouble and I’m not sure what to do with it. I really hope that one you will be able to help identify what is wrong with it and maybe suggest a treatment please? I tried Traitement Totale (total treatment) spray last week and it doesn’t look any better for itself but maybe that is normal?
I hate to ask but I could really do with your help in order to win a photo contest for Little Piglet. All you have to do is come and “LIKE” her photo on Coccinelle Boutique’s page here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151874229685096&set=a.10151874220780096.886066.179472630095&type=1&theater
Please share amongst your friends so that she can get as many votes as possible.
Hopefully she’ll win and I’ll get to share the good news! Of course I think she is the most adorable but then I am biased
Rare are the occasions when I get a minute to myself, yet alone time to do my nails, read or blog.
My days start early, usually it is Little Piglet that wakes me up when she’s had enough of sleeping and then it’s the daily grind of getting her ready, trying to get ready myself, work and then the evening routine when she returns from the Nanny.
After an important work meeting last week, my Mum asked how I dressed and what I did with my hair. After quickly explaining and stating that I do know how to dress professionally, she said that it had been a long time since she’d seen me anything other than half dressed.
It is true that most days I start getting ready and then before I have time to actually brush my hair or put on make up, Little Piglet is demanding my attention or about to eat something that she found on the floor.
Waking up earlier would be a solution but I find that hard, I’m already up any time between 6 and 7.
Dear Mr Piglet helps as much as he can but he works full time too and spends most of his days and evenings working outside of the home. He doesn’t really get any extra time to himself but men just have it easy don’t they? I mean, it’s not them that have to deal with the post partum weight loss, hairy legs or eyebrows. They are so low maintenance and don’t even get me started on how easy they are to dress!
So here I am tonight, football on TV, taking five minutes to myself to write this. No doubt in 15 minutes I’ll have collapsed on my bed, fast asleep in preparation for another grueling day tomorrow.
The best thing is, whilst my life is on hold at the moment, I wouldn’t change a thing. Happiness has taken on a whole new meaning, material things and appearances no longer count. One hug from my Little Piglet makes everything okay.
ps. Oh yeah, amongst other things, I finally got my braces off after 18 months! Finally I can talk normally again and smile without having salad stuck in my teeth Also, I have a Hollywood smile! Whoop whoop!
Last Saturday we were invited to a neighourbood get together La Fête des Voisins
which literally means neighbourhood party. This is a traditional get together which takes place all across France albeit later in May generally.
When living in Lyon, this was the type of get together that I’d watch on the television but never see or even hear about in real life, so when we got a note through the letter box some weeks ago I was delighted.
Since moving to the French countryside I’ve not really met that many people and have remained in close contact with my Lyon based friends. It can be quite a lonely existence but the friends I have made more than make up for quantity in quality.
It’s said here that people are wary of foreigners and when I say foreigners, I don’t mean people from other countries but people from other parts of France! So I guess I am a super dooper foreigner for people in these parts!
Anyway, back to La Fête des Voisins. We’d been invited to Chez Gael which was one of our neighbours although I didn’t have a clue which one or where they lived. Our neighbourhood is quite extensive and to walk round it takes me 35 minutes and there aren’t that many houses.
I managed to locate the house quite easily last Saturday by walking down the lane whilst pushing Little Piglet (yes, I’ve decided on a name). I couldn’t but notice the huge marquees outside a house at the top of the hill, so I was guessing that either the party was there or I’d be gate crashing someone’s wedding reception… Thankfully upon arrival my destination was confirmed as being the correct place! Ouf!
I’d been told to bring along something for the aperitif or for dessert and in Mr Piglet’s absence (he was working) I took a long a bottle of white and some crisps. Good job I had Little Piglet in her pushchair as I was confronted with lots of home made specialties from the other guests making my offering look very basic. Little Piglet’s presence more than made up my lack of food however as everyone cooed over her, saying how gracious she is.
Eventually Mr Piglet turned up and it was great meeting all the people who live nearby. It was frequently commented how people were glad that the previous owners had gone and how they were very cold and snubbed people. We chatted and met so many people, I can only remember their faces not their names or where they live so it’s going to be fun over the next few months working out where everyone lives and checking out their names on their letter boxes.
I even met a lady who grew up in our house, it belonged to her great grandmother and her bedroom was Little Piglet’s room! She is very fond of the house and hopefully she’ll accept my invitation to drop in for coffee one day and tell me more about the house and how it was before it was renovated.
After a while the heavens opened and as Mr Piglet had returned to work and I hadn’t the foresight to bring an umbrella or rain cover I was kind of stuck, baby in tow and wondering when the rain would stop so I could run home. General debate amongst the neighbours decided that it wasn’t wise for me to run home in the wet so a car was arranged and a kind soul (the retired village Doctor!) drove us home.
We were made to feel truly welcome and it felt great to finally meet up with our neighbours and it feels even better to be able to greet them when I’m out on a stroll or working in the garden.
Vive La Fête des voisins !
We celebrated the day with family and some close friends and Baby Piglet met some of her UK relatives for the first time.
I had decided to have quite a laid back affair and a few weeks before the party I realized I had invited too many people to have a sit down lunch. What to do? The weather forecast was changeable and the weather leading up to the party was absolutely awful; rain and wind.
Thankfully Mr Piglet came up with the idea (the day before) of having the party in the barn, so the English guests who had already arrived set about clearing the space and making it look a bit more partyish.
All the guests enjoyed the rather haphazard setting and loved the rural feel of the location complete with cows in our fields. Much wine and champagne was drunk and much cake eaten, including a gorgeous Victoria Sponge cake which an English friend had made for me as I desperately wanted to have a traditional birthday cake but am useless at baking.
I had been trying to teach Baby Piglet to blow out her candles for a couple of weeks and rather than blowing she had learned to whistle. When the time came for her to blow the candle she stuck her finger out and touched it instead! Thank goodness we were able to quickly blow it out for her! It actually looked like she had put it out with her finger, talk about a Harry Potter moment.
Baby Piglet (I’m going to have to think of another name for her now that she’s one, any suggestions?) was spoilt rotten, a new playroom, a new tricycle which she loves, a farm set complete with animals (essential for a baby growing up in a farming community), Lau Lau from the Waybuloo series, toy car, mobile phone… you name it, she got it!
It was a fantastic day that lasted well into the night with a boules tournament after Baby Piglet had gone to bed. I think Baby Piglet will remember this special day, she enjoyed being paraded around in her tricycle and waving to everyone with her special Queen wave as she went. What a contented little baby we have!
Our UK relatives stayed on for a few days afterwards and Baby Piglet had great fun getting to know her cousin and Uncle and Aunty. There’s only 5 months difference between them but he’s already as big as her and we can see that they’re going to get up to plenty of mischief in the future!
I can’t believe that it has been a year already, a year where life changing events have taken place, a year of emotion, of sadness, worry and extreme happiness. Baby Piglet has taught me so much in the short time she has been here, she completes me and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with her.
Beaujolais is more than just a wine. It is a beautiful area full of architectural delights, rolling hills and vineyards and is within easy driving distance of Lyon.
Often mocked for its inferior quality wine, the Beaujolais is a beautiful region and does actually have some perfectly nice drinking wines.
Did you know that white Beaujolais wines can sometimes qualify for the renowned Burgundy appellation? Some of the white wines are that good that people will happily drink them believing them to be Burgundy when in fact they are just good old Beaujolais!
Aside from the wine, what I love most about the Beaujolais is the community spirit and the scenery.
Old houses are often built from a remarkable golden stone and when the sun catches the stone it actually looks as if they are made from gold. Property is quite expensive there due to its proximity to Lyon which is a shame as it means that it is an area that many tourists or foreign property hunters ignore.
Some of Mr Piglet’s family have lived in the Beaujolais for years and Mr Piglet even lived there himself for a while.
My first initiation with Beaujolais life was whilst celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday of November. We had been invited by Mr Piglet’s uncle who is a part time winemaker for the unveiling of his Beaujolais Nouveau. Mr Piglet didn’t give me any forewarning that the wine tasting would turn into an all night party!
After tasting his wine, we were carted off to the neighbours to taste their wine and so it went on. On foot we trekked from house to house and Mr Piglet was running wild buying bottles and bottles of all different wines wherever we went promising to stop by the next day to collect. I realized that Mr Piglet who was supposed to be driving was definitely over the limit so begged his Aunt to let us stay the night.
What I liked most about it was that it wasn’t youngsters running amok whilst drunk like you would expect in the UK maybe. The atmosphere was jovial and youngsters, families and the old of age were all mixing together, socializing and enjoying some good old plonk, saucisson soaked in wine and various other specialties.
All in all the Beaujolais has a lot to offer and is definitely worth checking out. Maybe I’ll chose to share some of my other stories about time spent there soon…