I inherited my mum's collection of antique and vintage pocket handkerchiefs this year, and when I was doing an initial sort-out recently this one sprang to my attention:
vintage kitchenalia, and also popped out to buy some fantastic vintage tins which are still talking starring roles around the house.
Would that I looked so stylish in the wind. My only similarity with this picture is the red face. It was windy here in March, but there were moments of springtime sunshine, too. Everything was overshadowed by the killings in Toulouse towards the end of the month, and it seems that many people in the key communities (Jewish and Muslim) have had a really hard time since those complex and tragic events. Your continued prayers would be appreciated.
Edinburgh, where I went to visit my dad and also to meet his lovely new friend... there was more news to come on that front as the months progressed! For Easter I looked at my vintage French chocolate moulds, and also shared an embroidered map of England, which dates from around the same time as this handkerchief.
I certainly didn't dance around any May Poles in May! I think that's what she's doing - don't you? However, things got appropriately outdoors-y and a huge Scottish foxglove burst into bloom in our French garden. I also painted the front gate and got some great deals as the Vide Grenier season really came into play!
June is my birthday month. I love sun hats, but I don't quite go for the bonnet-effect pictured here! We wore our sun hats to pick blueberries and to spend time with our new hens....
In July I changed my blog's look - I loved the old blue flowers so much but I had to find a way to celebrate the beautiful kitchen canisters I'd bought with my birthday money! I also picked up some antique hemp sheets - this is a stunning fibre and the sheets now do sterling service absorbing whatever the boys and the dog can put on them, under the throw on our sofa. But the main excitement of July was our departure on a 28 day camping tour of Italy!
The pictures for the two months are kind of reversed, on the handkerchief - we swam in the Med in July and walked in the Appennines in August. But, close enough! The holiday was a wonderful time together - I've got over the fear that things will go wrong, mainly by relaxing and realising that, of course they will from time to time, and it's my reaction to them that will turn them into either a big deal or a short-term blip. Later on in the month I took the boys over to Edinburgh to meet my dad and his now fiancée!
September is often a quiet month for my work, as all the children I teach are busy with la Rentrée and don't yet know their timetables for out-of-school activities. However, over the month I slowly built up my own timetable, deciding that the boys are now independent enough for me to take on after-school lessons - all of them at home, and finishing around 6 or 7pm, so that the boys come home independently, relax or do homework (lol) and then we all eat together in the usual way - it's working fine, and gives me the chance to teach a lot more children and teenagers, as this is the time-slot their parents have always wanted. The hens also became more numerous, as we adopted two new littlies, whose previous owner was heading back to the US. After a nervous start, these two have settled in well and now live up to their heroic names (more or less)! In the picture, our society lady is looking at the apple harvest - for us, it was finally an egg harvest! Our little swan song to summer was a weekend camping trip in the Pyrenees for Ben's birthday.
a rural science event in a beautiful village. I also popped into the charity shop near my Friday lessons and was delighted to find vintage down-filled édredons which have kept us warm though the only patch of freezing nights we've yet had this winter.
November wasn't particularly foggy, but I love the illustration! We spent a weekend in Edinburgh, for my father's wedding.
So, it's been a wonderful year. Honestly, my years are getting better and better.
Which way is the wind blowing for 2013?
We have some fixed points. What should be Son 1's final operation is set for February, so that will be another quiet month in! Our wonderful holiday in Italy has inspired us to plan another two weeks of camping, this time around Spain. Ben may, hopefully, be doing some further training from September onwards, so this will keep him away from us during the week but will allow us all to discover a new part of France at the weekends. I'll still be busy teaching, but I will commit myself to one New Year's Resolution - I will continue blogging! One of the reasons my life has got better and better is that I have learned to appreciate and cherish the good times - to record them and even to seek them out. Bloggers and blogging have taught me to do this. Busy or not, it's too good to leave behind! Happy New Year to you all.