The First Christmas Brocante

Over the summer we discovered a new source to feed the brocanting addiction, a small second-hand furniture shop just up the road from us where the pieces were exactly our style and prices were extremely reasonable.

We just happened to be driving past yesterday and so stopped for a look, as there’s always the chance of something new…

The Brocanting Gods were certainly on our side as we found a standard lamp, a lovely marble-topped side table, another slightly bigger marble-topped table for downstairs, a pot for the garden and a free lamp thrown in as a gift. All this for the bargain price of €120 after a bit of negotiating.

The new sherry table
A working standard lamp for €15
Big T’s €5 lamp now painted and waxed
One of our best finds… a €5 standard lamp

 Apart from losing the dog for a second who ran madly into the middle of the road causing panic all round, we drove home triumphantly to unload our new purchases.

A very naughty Welsh Terrier

A Very Rustic Christmas

I had packed all the decorations in my suitcase and upon arrival, unpacked everything and immediately decorated the tree.

We’d been given a lovely (and incredibly scented) wreath which fitted perfectly on to the mantlepiece (despite the challenge of packing it!) as well as some new Christmas ornaments. It was all feeling rather rustic for our first Christmas in our French house.

The Christmas Mantle with Welsh Terriers
Rustic Tree
Dried fruit and felt ornaments

The Airportr

With a large suitcase (by my standards) packed to the brim with Christmas (Yuletide) essentials, a pair of skis, poles, ski boots, a bag of clothes, Christmas presents and a laptop, I was faced with a first world conundrum. 

How to get across Central London to Gatwick airport on public transport?

Option 1: I could take a taxi but it usually takes longer.

Option 2: I could lug everything myself but required several flights of stairs and even I’m not that much of a glutton for punishment.

It was then I discovered the Airportr. Servicing British Airways and American Airlines (so far) Airportr picks up one’s luggage, checks it in and it arrives at the other end without having been carried up a single step. Brilliant!

For a worthy cost (£20 per bag) it seemed like the ideal solution and so I booked a collection.

My bags left home the evening before me, they were tagged and barcoded and my passport and boarding pass were scanned. All I had to do was get myself and my hand luggage to the airport in time for one of the busiest travel days of the year.

It was all ok until my phone rang at 5:45am with a man saying that BA wouldn’t let him check my bags as they needed to see my passport. Damn having several citizenships, it causes more hassle than it’s worth.

Still, it wasn’t all bad. I set off and arrived (for once) an hour later and met the Airportr chap at check in. My passport was checked and my bags were successfully checked in without me touching them once.

It was still money well spent especially as everything arrived (including skis) without a hitch in Nice.

Christmas in a suitcase!

Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest day of the year with sunset in London happening at 16:28 this afternoon. I’ve been reading about Yuletide celebrations having become more disenchanted with the commercialism of Christmas. 

There’s something very appealing about celebrating the winter solstice as the days will now gradually become longer and in two short months there’ll be light on the horizon at 6pm.

In the meantime, I’ve finished work until January 8th and with an ominous sore throat, will set off for France tomorrow as we’re spending our first Christmas in Le Rouret.

An Early Detox

On Sunday I nipped into town to do the last of the Christmas splurging, a couple of Christmas presents for colleagues and a NutriBullet from John Lewis. I’m blending for the annual detox!

I’ve actually started early this time around and am already on the smoothies and green soup having tired of the decadence a week before the event.

It feels like we’ve been celebrating Christmas for the past six weeks as it gets earlier and earlier so I might as well get started on the inevitable clean up and detox in anticipation.

Happy New Year!


Last week was the annual Christmas bash and for the first time in two years, I decided to make an appearance.

I had several meetings and emerging from the last one, the office was ripe with the smell of cheap perfume and hairspray. Sequined dresses and sparkle were the obligatory uniform and the ladies were dressed in all their finery to celebrate the end of the year.

In true Camden style, the venue was the Electric Ballroom. A music venue which has been around for over seventy years and has the layers of stickiness to prove it.

I donned a reasonably festive outfit foregoing the sequins but added a nod to the season with a pair of sparkly shoes and set off at 7pm to join in. 

By 11:30pm I’d done my dash. My feet were exhausted from dancing in sparkly shoes (festive but not comfortable) and so I bid a hasty retreat hopping into a black cab by staggering ten steps from the door. Others were not so lucky when they left a couple of hours later as Uber raised their prices two and a half times for those leaving the ballroom. 

And the verdict… next year (should I still be in attendance) I’ll be wearing less sparkle, more comfort. It’s all about the right shoes!

Little Felted Dogs – Part Two

Continuing the Welsh Terrier Felting Challenge, I have attempted my second little felted dog.

The well behaved Welsh Terrier
This one looks a little more like a Welsh Terrier and is definitely more obedient than the real thing! 
On the mantelpiece

I’ve now run out of Welsh Terrier brown so felting will stop until more supplies are available.