17 months already!

Last week Rémy was 17 months old, I’m still blown away how fast it is going and while he is still a baby in so many ways I can see it rapidly coming to full blown toddlerhood! I try to do a mini photoshoot each month birthday so here are the pics I took this month of our little dude:


Just in case anyone one notices I do realise I was supposed to cut the chives before they went to flower but I wanted to see what they looked like as everyone said they are very pretty – and they are!

Gorgeous big boy!

We have had a lovely weekend, we’ve worked hard on the downstairs office / guest bedroom (post to follow!) but lots of family time in the garden. There have been too few photos with my big boy for a long time as he is very anti photos but we managed to have a selfie together yesterday! ♥Image


Dinner out!

Our oldest boy has a lovely girlfriend in Australia and her and her mum are currently over here for a visit! We have had a lovely few days with them so far and they are staying at a gite (holiday cottage) just up the road from us. It has 3 separate gites with a lovely communal lounge which as they are the only inhabitants at the moment we got sole use of for dinner! Lots of games and toys for Rémy (he particularly loved the rocking horse) and Lucinda played on the baby grand before dinner – just lovely! Lots of ideas for our renovations.



Our village celebrated ‘Carnivale’ – or Mardi Gras as we know it in English a couple of weeks ago. Louis managed to not bring the note home so it was a bit of a rush to get costumes organised but I managed for Louis and Rémy. Louis decided to go as Luke Skywalker (a costume we could manage with limited time!) so of course we needed a little Jedi costume for the small person. I decided to do the 2nd costume about half an hour before we needed to leave – why do I do this to myself!!? Josh was lovely and donated one of his t-shirts as the cape (actually he didn’t know until he saw him but I wasn’t in too much trouble as he was so cute!) and I re-purposed the unused ghost costume (see the Halloween post for why!) as the shirt underneath plus a mini pool noodle light sabre to match Louis’:


We met at the school and had afternoon tea and a chat. Rémy the mini Jedi charmed everyone! Here he is being watched over by his big brother Louis Luke Skywalker (not sure how I managed to cut his head off!):

The force is strong in you little one

As happened where we lived in the Aude (presuming it is how it works everywhere here) we did a procession around the village

Our village celebrated ‘Carnivale’ – or Mardi Gras as we know it in English a couple of weeks ago. Louis managed to not bring the note home so it was a bit of a rush to get costumes organised but I managed for Louis and Rémy. We met at the school and had afternoon tea and a chat. Rémy the mini Jedi charmed everyone! Here he is being watched over by his big brother Louis Luke Skywalker (not sure how I managed to cut his head off!):

The force is strong in you little one

As happened where we lived in the Aude (presuming it is how it works everywhere in France?) we did a procession around the village,

before burning ‘Mr Carnivale’ on the petanque area. I’m not exactly sure what this was before it burned as I didn’t see it – I think he was in a castle as there was a princesses and knights theme as a nod to the big medieval festival we are having in the summer (reminder to self to start organising costumes for the whole family for that!):

Rémy wasn’t sure what was going on but had a good time anyway waving his light saber around:


And stealing other peoples big hammers:

A lovely afternoon was followed by a great evening with a meal, prizes for best costumes and dancing later organised by the school as a fund-raiser. We were very good for once and came home around 11 but I imagine it would have gone on until the early hours like most parties here!


I officially hate baby teeth – my poor darling has had 6 teeth coming through at once – the 4 canines plus the 2 top pre-molars. Needless to say I haven’t slept in a couple of weeks! Luckily he is so gorgeous! This was his first go on a swing and he thought it was pretty amazing!


Garden Part II – summer 2015

The summer of 2015 was hot, hot, hot with days well into the 40’s and most days well over 30 with no rain for months so plans for veggies etc didn’t come through as it was just too hot and dry. Most of the summer was spent just trying to keep the lawn alive, clear up any obvious weeds (including our nightmare Japenese Knotweed problem) and I also got a small herb garden and rose garden planted by the terrace where we spent most of our time when it was warm (right up until November actually as it was such a mild autumn as well!).

This was how I did the miniature rose garden, I dug up the grass as best I could then planted the roses (pink and white alternating – although some had lost all their flowers in the heat so it was a bit of a guess that did work out!):

Then I covered with thick brown cardboard with holes cut out for the roses and covered it all in soil:

Then a final layer of mulch to help further with the weeds and keeping the water in:

In hindsight I definitely did the right thing with the cardboard, I had very few weeds come through. I shouldn’t have used dry grass as the mulch as I think there were still the odd seed in it and I also should have been more thorough clearing out the grass to start with as it has been my main problem! The other thing I should have done was put an edge on as I’m always having grass creeping in. There are lots of things coming up for sale now it is coming to spring so I’ll get something soon to add. Despite the heat they did very well and flowered all summer and right through until November or December. I also don’t’ know how big these mini roses get and I fear I may have planted them too far apart so I’m going to attempt to move them closer to each other I think as I’d like to get a hydrangea in on the end of the bed! If anyone thinks this is a very bad idea please tell me!

I didn’t take many garden pics over the summer but my lovely sister in law Naomi just sent me some so I could share, including this fabulous panoramic one – it makes the perspective a bit odd – the wall is actually on right angles to the herb beds but gives you a bit of an idea:

Our lovely basil and other herbs and gorgeous niece Zelda (her and Rémy are only a few weeks apart and it was so lovely having them spend lots of time together!):

And a little montage of some late summer blooms!

I’ll make sure I get more pictures to share this summer!


Sunday autumn walk in the forest.

The weather is just perfect for walks at the moment – generally dry and reasonably warm (around 20 degrees a lot of days). Sundays are always a little fraught as it is hunting season and certain areas are full of the hunters in their fluro orange vests! The woods behind us seem fairly hunter free but even so we were careful to go out late afternoon. The sun was low and the colours and light were gorgeous!

This is looking back across the field behind us towards our house as we were heading off:

We spotted some mad crazy mushrooms (no way was I picking them!):


The forest is just lovely, we are so lucky to have it just behind our house!

The little guy was just happy looking all around us and at his mummy when we stopped!:

The big boys were happy cutting hazel branches along the way to make arrows (their new favourite pastime!):

I was happy picking up kindling for the fire! I reckon I got about three or four fires worth into the pram!

Heading back home the sunset was amazing I’m just sorry I only had my phone with me as I don’t think it coped too well with any of the light that was in the forest and the sunset (which in real life was incredible!). I’ll remember to take my proper camera next time! If you could see it our place is on the far right of the picture but all you can see is the hedges!

I hope you all had lovely Sundays and are having great weeks! xx

Amazing Autumn!

I love autumn, the colours of the trees, the feeling of the long, hot summer coming to an end, the darkening of the evenings, getting ready for winter, the smell of woodsmoke in the air in the evenings. The seasons were one of the things I missed most when living back in Australia – especially when we were in Queensland!

Having our wood delivered by our lovely neighbour and lighting the fire for the first time was a joy as it has been so long!

The boys were fabulous and as it was Wednesday afternoon, which they have off, they stacked all of it!

With our garden full of hazelnut and walnut trees there has been lots of nut harvesting over the last month or so. We were waiting impatiently for the hazelnuts to be ready, checking them every few days (the trees had so many of them on there!), then from one check to the next they had all disappeared! We think the squirrels must have been onto it quicker than us! We got a bowl full and that is it!

The walnut trees are a different story, they have been coming down for weeks now and we collect them up every couple of days and lay them flat in the sun for a few days to dry out, there are kilos and kilos of them! This was our first bag, which were thought was a lot – what did we know, this was barely a tip of an iceberg!

This was another days harvest, the 3 different containers have the nuts from the three trees. I’ve gone and bought a proper collecting basket now to help deal with them all!

I ended up finishing collecting with a little helper who just wanted his mummy who had been out collecting nuts for far to long for his liking!


The lanes around are full of chestnut trees and my MIL (mother in law) has been collecting them when she takes the baby for a walk. We haven’t done anything with them yet but we are looking at recipes on line and working out what to do!

We also have had bounty from the neighbours garden, amazing apples and excitingly some quinces. I’ve never seen or used a quince before but love the quince paste that is so popular in Australia to eat with cheese. It is also known as Membrillo in Spain where it is very famous. We decided to try our hand at making it – we had a change of direction as we were going to do jam and had already added a few of the apples so we have ended up with quince and apple paste but it is still delicious (although a little sweeter than the original). I’m going to pack it up in little squares and use it and gift in in the coming months (apparently it keeps at least 3 months with some people saying it is fine for up to 12 months).

I’ve spotted some rouge rhubarb growing in what will be the veggie patch so I’m waiting for that to be ready.

Am completely loving autumn and all the amazing produce that comes with it!

Growing a baby!

We are so excited to have a new baby boy on the way! I’ve been reveling in being pregnant and even with some issues I’m just loving it and trying to enjoy every step of the way as this will be my last one! I never recorded my bumps the last times so this time I am taking photos at (fairly) regular intervals!




I don’t think I’ve grown much in the last 5 weeks, although looking at the pic I’ve probably got a bit smaller on my hips (still pre-pregnancy weight due to strict gestational diabetic diet and plenty of fat to play with  :giggle: )