Sunday, 23 November 2014


Things here have been very autumnal and the last two weeks have flown. Working days are marked by leaving in the dark and returning in the dark. Family time, is therefore, all the more precious. There is something about the grey weather we have been having that makes me feel quiet and the weekends are very domestic. Being in the house so much means that I spend time arranging shelves and pottering.
Late autumn has its own special beauty and a melancholy that makes me slow down, rather like a small hibernating creature. Weekends offer such a contrast to my working week; it feels just perfect.

Sunday, 16 November 2014


I was fascinated by the faces in the art we saw in Florence. Rarely does Renaissance art show the lives of ordinary people - it is all mythological scenes  or scenes from the bible, but the ordinary folk shine out from these great sculptures and paintings. It is all there in the faces. Disguised as a god of the myths or biblical heroes were the models of ancient Florence, the men and women who lived , loved, hoped and dreamed much like we do. The photo on the right is Mark, and it struck me that he and Donatello's prophet don't look that dissimilar. Times change but we humans, wrapped up as we are in our sophisticated modern technology, have hardly changed at all.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Beautiful Florence

I have been struggling with writing about Florence. It was so awesome that I simply do not know where to start. It is not only a truly beautiful city but also somewhere that feels liveable. The narrow streets were full of the modern but the past seemed tantalisingly close; it would not have been surprising to turn the streets and come across a group of medieval merchants or Michaelangelo working on his latest sculpture. Their very lives seem so vivid and burned into the fabric of the buildings. I miss it so much and I find myself looking at the photos and wishing I was there. A lot. The boy and I are already planning a return trip. Next time we will take our history mad Finn and maybe throw in a train trip to Rome. Why not?
Meanwhile I am going to be looking through my photos, dreaming and mixing up a Campari and Soda or two to see me through these dark November days. I took hundreds of photos - these are just a very few!

'A Room With A View'

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Styling the Seasons - November

I have been joining in with Katy at Apartment Apothecary and Lotts at Lotts and Lots with their instagram party (#stylingtheseasons). They ask people to “Reflect the change of seasons and show those changes in your own home, by styling any surface (shelf, dining table, mantelpiece) with something you like to reflect the new month and what it means to you“

For me November is a time for getting cosy and being in the house. Blankets are out on the chairs and over the furniture. An old cognac bottle serves as a vase for beautiful hydrangeas still blooming in the garden. A small whiskey (mostly Irish here) might help to keep a winter cold at bay. November nights are scented with fires and candles and cosy spots are found to read. I love these deep, dark winter nights.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Woodland has to be my favourite landscape of all; there is something about wandering through trees that soothes my soul. Yesterday we went to Puzzlewood - a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. It is an ancient wood - and when you are there you do have a real sense of being in a place where history roams. It is a place of mystery with paths that lead to dead ends and secret places. It was a wonderful way to spend a still warm autumn afternoon, taking in the delicious air scented with earth, moss and damp wood. That is a candle I would buy...