Project Studio

Our french house has two rooms and a bathroom which are slightly separate from the rest of the house. They have their own front door and are on the other side of the house away from the main living area.

Cleaned paving, new green shutters

We had been thinking about what to do when suddenly it became obvious… we could create a separate apartment by putting in a kitchen and we could split the house into two potential properties. Genius!

Inside the studio… before

Once inspired there was no stopping us and so this weekend was spent starting to work on the studio.

We went brocanting and found some lovely green iron chairs (€40 for two) and a rustic (rusty) green bistro table (€20). Combined with a glass mason jar with some lavender from the garden, we were “Pinterest Perfect.”

New seating area

The bed frame had been left behind by the previous owner. I dismantled it (which for some reason was incredibly hard) and moved it into the other room.

Free bed, now ready to be painted
Inside the studio, room for a small kitchen

My next project will be to paint the bed and stage the bedroom. It has a low ceiling but a lovely little window with a view to the pool.

View to the pool

We do like a project!

Sewing Stripes

I’ve been busy lining up projects for my next visit to France.

We have a lovely outdoor setting with armchairs, a sofa (and a dead animal) but something’s missing and that something is cushions.

Lovely but missing something…

Today my lovely striped outdoor fabric arrived in France, all ready to be made into cushions when I’m there for a couple of weeks in August. Ordered from a French company Les Toiles du Soleil, I’m excited to see how it works out.


It appears I’ve embarked on the slippery and expensive slope of optical care… that’s right, I’m officially holding the menu at arm’s length and can’t thread a needle without a great deal of squinting. I trotted off to an optometrist for an update…

Apparently I’ve done well to get this far. I am long sighted so nothing to complain about there but small type has become a massive problem and it’s looking like five years to bifocals for me. 

I fought the good fight but have to accept that my glasses-free days are officially over.

The Hobbyist

As I’m now spending the working week in London temporarily single and dogless, I’ve decided to take up some hobbies.

I’ve cleaned and repaired everything in our flat which now feels like a rather nice airbnb and so this week, I enrolled in a ceramics course.

I’ve fancied doing ceramics for a while, in fact since watching “The Great British Throw Down” (a BBC pottery programme) and so come September, I’m embarking on a twelve week evening class of throwing pots on the wheel. Potential disaster or future career?!

I think I last touched clay in primary school but I’m sure my future lies in homewares, whether that means making or more likely, buying!

Vert de Terre

While I’ve been in New York, Big T has been bravely soldiering on with the shutter painting.

The special paint arrived and he sent me a photo of the final colour. I think it looks fantastic and is a huge improvement on the dark shiny brown varnish we had before.

Only thirty more to go…

With white window frames

And exposed metal

 The colour is Farrow and Ball, Vert de Terre.

London Rain

Coming home it was a relief to have a rainy afternoon.

The temperature was half of yesterday’s and I spent a couple of hours semi conscious under a light blanket as the rain fell outside. I was tired!

I had watched another tear-jerker, this time “Lion” which did the job perfectly. A five year old boy gets lost in India and spends the next twenty five years trying to find his way home. I can certainly pick ’em.

So on the agenda is a couple of days relaxing and then I’m back on my trusty steed to cycle to the office on Monday. Back to France on Friday so I’m interested to see how summer commuting works.

The summer continues.

Walking the Highline

Last night the weather had broken slightly and it was raining as I came out of a restaurant with my senior colleague. 

I shunned the suggestion of a taxi and strolled (as probably only the English would) in warm, humid rain.  I was wearing polyester so I was drip dry! It was a relief from the beating rays of the sun which have accompanied me during this untimely heatwave.

In the morning I walked the HighLine, an old elevated railway line which has been converted into a walking path and urban park. It was a tranquil oasis above the noise of the city, plants and trees lined the path and I sat with my feet in a shallow waterfeature having resisted the temptation to paddle for a while.

New building overlooking the Highline
Old building…
Skyline from the Highline


Walking path
Welcome shade

After the Highline I spent several hours shopping in the West Village in 94 degrees Fahrenheit. That roughly translates to incredibly hot in Celsius especially with 50% humidity. 

My feet were beyond sore and I must have drunk most of Fiji’s water by the time I boarded my Yellow Cab (ever frugal) to head to JFK.

It was another successful trip to New York completed.

Not So Happy Hour!

Blisteringly hot, the smell of hot rubbish and blasts of extreme heat from cars waiting at traffic lights. It’s New York in the summer and it’s going to get hotter as the week goes on. 

Day One meetings went well and I joined the team drinks thinking I’d stay for one…

Five hours, two tequila shots, three margueritas and at least two endless glasses of wine (I think!) later and I made it back to my hotel not entirely sure what had happened. I never drink tequila!

I had an important 9am meeting at the Empire State Building and I was wrecked! A splitting headache was my worst symptom (luckily) as I went out for an emergency egg breakfast. 

My recovery meal of boiled eggs was seriously scuppered when I was served two undercooked completely liquid eggs (salmonella in a shell) and told that was the way they were always served. Seriously? 
I poured my egg of death on to the plate in protest and I wasn’t charged for the inconvenience but it certainly hadn’t helped my symptoms. 

Four meetings later and I’d survived… just! It hadn’t been terrible but it certainly hadn’t been top form and I may have eaten a plate of fries along the way…

It was going to be an extremely early night for this poor fragile thing, the only consolation was how amazing I hoped I would feel in the morning. But first, a curry just to ensure complete recovery!

At least I don’t have any bathroom scales…
Update: I was asleep by 8pm and made a full and fantastic recovery so all ended well however the battle for a boiled egg continues…

New York again…

Another trip to New York and I certainly have my routines…
In the summer it’s breakfast in Bryant Park trying to find a good coffee and croissant. Always a challenge. Today it was a Pret Croissant and a coffee from Kayser, a so called French boulangerie with awful pastries…

Followed my usual routine of tears at altitude by watching a lovely British tear jerker called “Their Finest” which had the tears rolling and the throat hurting! I’m such a sucker but there you go, happens every time I fly!

With the routines well adhered to, it was time to get to work…