Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thank you so much

Dear friends, thank you so much for your lovely words about my mum's death. We are feeling sad and numb but very much loved, within our family and also by our wider circle of friends - messages have come by computer, by phone and by post from all around the world, reminding us of how much my mother was loved by all those who met her. Her funeral will be on Thursday. I will be so pleased to see Ben and the boys when they arrive on Wednesday. Normal blogging service will resume some time after that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hello friends

I just wanted to thank you for all your kind thoughts, prayers, comments and emails, and to let you know that my lovely mum died peacefully today, around mid-day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In Edinburgh

Hello, friends. I've come to Edinburgh quicker than expected, as my mum is really weak now. She's in this wonderful place: St Columba's Hospice.
Your kind thoughts and prayers for all the family are really appreciated.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Checking in to say hello!

Hello there - all is going well here: my mother is happily settled in her local hospice, with the possibility of returning home when her medication is working properly, and the dog is also responding to treatment. It's just that I'm trying to fit about two weeks' worth of activity into the next seven days, before I go to see my parents...... so that's why I'm a rather sporadic blogger at the moment.
That's a photo of me making yoghurt. I'll get around to doing the yoghurt post some of you asked for, one of these days!

Friday update: Thank you for all your kind words and advice - I wanted to assure you that I'm taking your advice seriously and have just sent in my apologies for a meeting I was due to go to tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Feeling upside down!

This is a very good kind of upside down - my Australian magazine from my swap partner Selina has arrived! I'd asked her for a country lifestyle autumn magazine, and she really found just the right one!
I've hardly had time to read it yet, but everything in it looks great, and I really like the way it's written too (important for the inner English teacher, of course...)
But the upside down bit is that this is an Easter magazine, with Autumn images!
I may know for a fact about the seasons being opposite in the different hemispheres, but it seems it takes a bit of getting used to...
So I feel I'm getting twice the pleasure out of this magazine- the pictures and articles, but also the look at life from the other side of the world.
Thanks so much, Selina!
Please let me know if you're doing a post about the Magazine Swap. You can find the list on my sidebar...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

From flower to pod...

The jardin des Martels has the most incredible collection of lotus plants. The boys were reminded of the Lotus Eaters in the Percy Jackson film,
whilst I was reminded of how good lotus pods look in flower arrangements!
And here we are - three lotus pods for 2€, and one that Son 2 accidentally broke off when he was over-enthusiastically studying them in the garden (cough, cough, parental guilt-trip etc...)
The gardens held a Lotus Festival this July - I am going to keep my eyes open and try to get to the next one! They make lotus flower fritters...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Well, Liz, I don't really like orange either..!

Lululiz said yesterday: "I am not really an orange person at all, I would love to have white pumpkins in the house though." Well, I don't feel too different, except, it seems, in October! The orange is indoors and out:So I'm rather enjoying going with the flow...You've got to admit, it's pretty cosy.
Viva the 1970s, when it comes to finding orange accessories from around the house!
I also found some orange candles in a charity shop a few years ago, which are fun in October.
Here's the first glimpse of our mirror collection, which is helping to bounce the light around our house exactly as planned (please allow a self-satisfied smirk):
And below it, on the piano, a link to another commenter yesterday. Magsmcc wrote, in reply to my own comment on her book post: "And I do love the Terry Pratchett that I have read! His satire on our world is so effective, but you're right- it comes with a heart-warming feel! I saw a suitably orange covered Autumnal one in Tesco just last night- must go back and check it out!"
Well, was it one of these, my strawberry friend? I plonked them on the piano for a touch of orange, just a few hours before you left your comment! Personally, I'd say that if you want to buy any more, don't bother with any of the earliest ones - anything after 'Mort' finds him really in his stride...
And again you can see my new cheat's method of adding colour when you don't have many coloured accessories - piles of books!
Obviously, Penguins are coming in beautifully handy this month:
That's Son 1 up there, ages ago, for a school performance... Such a little sweety. And the wonderfully tactile thumb pot to the left of the Penguins is a Navajo one. My aunt worked in a Navajo health clinic years ago and gave me the pot. I have always adored it. So you can see why having a splurge on orange every few years is worthwhile for me! When else will I show these great things?
Finally, here's something I learned from Dottie Angel. I have a great candelabrum (Vide Grenier find) behind the TV, and was short of colour-themed candles as I decorated yesterday. Previously, colourful candles were a bit of an indulgence - I wouldn't have thought much of jumping on my bike and going to see what was available in the supermarket. But this time I had a go with these alternating black and red ones, and even though I hated the result, I decided to live with it and see...
I noticed, after a few hours, that they matched the oil-cloth-covered DVD boxes quite nicely. So that was something in their favour. I realised that what made them so hideous was the blue rug below the TV shelves. So I decided to retire the summer rug, bring out the winter one, and see if that made the candles acceptable. And I think it did! What do you think?
My point is that the must-go-out-and-buy-the-'right'-thing attitude has become fairly alien to me. I would have gone and bought new candles (they're hardly expensive) if it turned out to be necessary, but I have learned to live with things, to think about my need for them, and to have fun with what I have instead of buying more. You'll still have to Watch This Space to find out what my first 'new' purchase is going to be, following the end of the Challenge...

And back to the first photo - here is a sweet little vintage cushion which I used as a cushion pad in the 1980s for one of my first hand-made cushions. When I pulled the ikat-fabric off a few years ago, I found this underneath. I think it must have been my grandma's!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October's going to be a good one!

For a start, it allows me to get out some orange bits and bobs that just don't go with my d├ęcor the rest of the year... Niki's calendar is wonderfully black and orange this month.
Our orange marionette's brother is green and lives in our bedroom all year, but poor Mr Orange only gets to come out every now and then. I was also pleased to re-discover this curious black silk bag - the embroidery is done in raffia and it certainly fits with Niki's theme.
October is also the month that I have been invited to speak to our church (in French, gulp) and show them this excellent video about caring for people, and social justice. You can find an English version here.

And finally, October is when I'll be heading back to see my family in Edinburgh. I'm very keen to get there and see my mum.