2016 – Future Plans



Life here has been hectic for the past few months and time just seems to have flown by.  It was lovely to spend time with family and friends over the holidays but the new year always brings out the planner in me.  I am a prolific list writer, which seriously annoys my other half, especially when the latest is pinned up for him to ‘tick’ off anything that he has completed.  Yes, there is my problem.  I write lists not just for myself but also for him, and when my 2 girls were living with us, also for them.  I like to see clear, numbered instructions, highlighted if necessary, and crossed out when completed, as it motivates me.  Unfortunately it just annoys hubby, who ignores my lists and never completes tasks in my organised regime.


So, I was appalled to read an article that says you should never have more than 5 items on your ‘to do’ list as it can make one procrastinate and delay.  It seems that after 2 items are finished and crossed off, another 2 can be added with the total never exceeding the 5.


For the next few months I have promised faithfully that any list will only have the requisite number of 5 tasks on it and he has promised to complete them in the order in which they are written.  I am now looking for a secret hiding place for the list I’ve just compiled which so far is up to 37!


Hope your 2016 has got off to a spectacularly good start, and all lists are completed efficiently and in the correct order.

Michele x



Family Time – Belle Brocantes


I have 2 lovely girls who seem to spend their lives making ours difficult.  When we moved out to France permanently, one had just started a post-grad course and the other had done a year at university.  Since then, we’ve had to move them around like pieces on a chessboard as they’ve done different courses and new jobs.  Which is all well and good if they hadn’t chosen to live and study and work in various parts of the UK.  At one point, with us in France and with one in England and one in Wales, we felt we spent more time on the autoroutes and motorways than we did anything else.


So, a week spent touring cities for the ‘right’ course and decisions made, and yet another move to somewhere further north than we had expected.  Finally, a few weeks of calm and time for us to spend some time together.  It has been an opportunity for me to just be ‘Mum’, which I miss horribly now they are both grown and moved away.  A little baking, meals taken together, and shopping excursions are much appreciated.  Lots of visits to chateaux and although it was stipulated ‘no brocantes’, pastries offered as bribes seemed to work a treat.   After all, they say daughters always take after their mothers, and I do love pastries!





Newark – Marquee heaven


I love attending this fair as I share a large marquee with such lovely people.  Liz and Jack van Hasselt with their vintage and decorative items, Alan with his fabulous French textiles, and Maud from Beyond France with her Hungarian linens, together with us make for a really good mixture.  We have named our area the Textile tent, and hopefully customers love our mix of the pretty and useful.


It has been a long, hot summer here and I have been out and about buying.  Lots of fabrics and quilts, and some really pretty items that I am finding it hard to part with.  But under the ‘one in, one out’ rule, not much is being kept!   It has been quite hard work at some events, in the intense heat, but always enjoyable.  We have seen lots of brocante, a plentiful supply of childrens’ clothes, regularly find a massive stall of plastic containers that appears never to sell anything, and some rusty garden tools the like of which I would send to the dechetterie (tip).  I sometimes wonder why we get up when it is still technically the middle of the night to make sure we arrive early, but the hunt is part of the pleasure.  When the perfect item is found, squeals of delight have to be contained, and the price enquired about calmly.  We have to truffle through a lot of unwanted stuff before we find just the right thing, but hey it’s not like we are doing anything too hard.  So, I hope everyone else is having a lovely summer and if you do come to Newark next week, please come and say Hi.