Thursday, 30 July 2015

en vacances

We have just returned from our holidays in southern France. We spent two long weeks lazing at the poolside, escaping the blistering heat in the stony coolness of cathedrals and cloisters and with daily ice-creams. We walked through sleepy, dusty villages and in the evenings, when the air cooled just a fraction, we walked in the countryside watching leaping hares in the dusky fields and listening to the nightly owl calls accompanied by the constant music of the cicadas. We visited the bookshop town of Montolieu, buying maps and Le Petit Journal from the turn of the century, haltingly and blushingly speaking French. We lingered in the brocantes and bought thimble-sized glasses for winter drinks of sherry and port. We read all our holiday reading, ate croque monsieurs et frites at outdoor cafes and generally basked in the heat until... until that barely perceptible twinge, that pull, that siren call and then we were all looking forward to going back to Ireland. And yes, it's raining here and yes, the fire is lit and there's an autumn feeling to the air but we are home.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


Sometimes those impromptu beach visits are the best. It was a non-raining day so we decided to make the most of it and head to the sea. We put together the easiest of picnics, including a flask for tea-making on the beach (I love a nice cup of tea outdoors!) and off we went. We don't live too far from the sea and of course it being a warmish but overcast Irish summer's day the beach was empty. And the tide was out so that meant lots of sand, a few puddly bits and rock pools for toe dipping and acres and acres of space to run around in...bliss!

Monday, 13 July 2015

July reading

Well, that was a bit of an unintentional holiday from blogging. We'd no internet for days, days I tell you and so instead of spending time on-line reading and generally nosing around in other peoples' lives I have been forced to spend time with my husband, my children, my friends, my laundry basket and myself and oh, what a relief it is to find all is working in the again.

I did however use the time to do some reading and am well through my book for July Marking Time by Elizabeth Howard. It's the second in the Cazalet family series and picks up where the first book left off, so now the family are in 1940 and the reality of war is starting to bite. It's perfect for this time of year when having a book that you can pick up and put down, as children demand, is needed. It's also fairly much character driven so there's no pesky plot wranglings to deal with if you have to leave it for a day or two. I'll also be reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and A House in the Country by Jocelyn Playfair from Persephone Books. So those are my choices for The Year in Books  over at Circle of Pine Trees.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Oh June! You have given us days at home and days out, a garden bursting and preening in its own loveliness, you have given us toasted marshmallows, embers of countless barbecues, school holidays and report cards, suncream and the seashore... you have also given the dogs fleas but the less said about that the better...