Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Saturday, 16 February 2013

I Heart Quotes # 55

This quote is very 'fitting' as I have just collected the keys to my very first 'solo' apartment!
More details to follow...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

I Heart Quotes # 54

Happy Valentines Day to my wonderful Mr Gray. 
Anything is possible so long as I have you.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Sleepy Eyes

Two weeks into my new job at Golf de Saint Junien and the 9-5 routine has finally caught up with me. Tired.com. Looking forward to my Heinz Tomato Soup (which I discovered at the English shop in Confolens) crusty French bread and putting my feet up in front of the telly! Aaaaahhhhh, bliss!

Monday, 7 January 2013

I Heart Quotes # 53

How many times have I started over? I feel like I've lost count. But I know that everything happens for a reason and this time... it feels right.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Turning a Page

Listening to: Turning Page - Sleeping at Last
As well as being from one of my favourite *cringe* movies, Twilight, this song is 100% beautiful.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Procrastination is an Art Form!

Okay, so it's been nearly two months with no updates. I am so sorry to anyone who has been patiently waiting (that would be... oooh my nan!) But
I have been busily working like one of the seven dwarfs (most probably Grumpy) and before you know it; time has flown by, summer has turned into autumn and the ironing has mounted up so much that it has finally toppled out of the basket!

Keep looking below for some new posts!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Latest Tooooon

Listening to: Off to the Races - Lana Del Rey
I have a passing obsession with Miss Del Rey... I can not get this song out of my head. As annoying as I do find her, her album Born To Die is pretty cool.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

I'm a bit of a Hopeless Wanderer

Listening to: Hopeless Wanderer - Mumford and Sons

It's official, the new album is out and it's just what we'd expect from these four boys. Bloomin' marvellous!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Healthy Obsession

Listening to: Wildest Moments - Jessie Ware

I am so obsessed with this lady right now that I'm not only posting one song... but two! Great 'before drinks' listening material.

Listening to: 110% - Jessie Ware

Thursday, 20 September 2012

It’s all about ‘les Petits Erreurs’

Now I feel the need to start this month’s column by stating that I consider myself an averagely smart person. I wouldn't go as far as to use the word ‘intellectual’ as demonstrated recently when I named Johnny Wilkinson as a famous cricket player!? Admittedly, sport isn't my area of expertise. However, give me a mathematical dilemma to solve, ask me any question about computer technology or get me to write an essay on the abstract meanings of World War One poetry and I am your lady.

So, it came as quite a surprise to me recently when I discovered that I had been making repetitive errors with my French language. For example, I have been working at the local Golf Club since May. After the initial horrors of trying to ask for food orders in the kitchen, deciphering what a ‘jeton’ was (metal token for the practice balls) and answering the telephone with a posh French accent, I now feel that I'm not just ‘that new English girl’ and even more my French vocabulary has expanded enormously. 

I was recently speaking with some friends about my colleagues and their roles… “Jean-Marie the chef, Cantal and Michael the stagier and sous-chef...” 

Wait.” said my friend. 
He’s called Cantal?” 
Yeah I know!” I responded. “Just like the cheese hihi.

We laughed a little and I thought no more of it until last week when I was looking at the staff rota and I saw that we had a new stagier named Quentin in the kitchen. I went in to introduce myself when I bumped into Cantal. 

Who’s this new stagier in the kitchen?” I asked. 
Huh?” He responded. 

I went on to explain that his name was Quentin, when he looked at me and blankly said “I’m Quentin.” To my horror, I had been calling my co-worker a lump of cheese for the past four months! I may as well have been saying ‘Yo fromage, what’s on the menu today?’ or ‘Hey fromage, can you slice me some more ham for the morning?’ It turns out that Quentin is pronounced, not all that differently to Cantal might I add, as Can-tan with the final ‘n’ being a nasal letter! Oops.

My second major fault is with the verb ‘éteindre’ meaning to turn off. I struggle enormously with the pronunciation of this word however I use it a lot at work being that in my average working day I have to turn off coffee machines, computers and light switches etc. So, after four months of using this word to train fellow colleagues, one colleaugue turns to me and says:

You do realise that you’re pronouncing éteindre as entendre which means to hear? “ 

I stared back at her in dismay as I thought back at all the times I had trained my new colleagues to 'hear the computer', 'hear the coffee machine' and 'hear the lights'. They must think I'm a tree-hugging spiritualist!

The result of these blunders is that I have learnt to laugh in the face of my errors and as my smart granddad used to tell me; sometimes the best way; is to learn the hard way!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Decisions, decisions.

I know that life has a plan for me. I know that I came to France to discover something & I have done so much, met so many amazing people & have made some great achievements but I’m just not sure what ‘my’ discovery is yet. I can feel its coming, something is heading my way. It’s just beyond my reach right now but I feel it. I wake up & I wonder “Is today the day?” What great things will befall me today?” & when the day is all done & dusted & I fall into bed exhausted, I close my eyes & I say “Tomorrow. What will be of tomorrow?”

I think that we all came to France for a reason. Whether that reason was clear as soon as we landed on foreign soil… a quieter way of life, to spend more quality time with loved ones or whether, like me, it was to make a life change that was not yet discovered. I have always been a great believer that it is not the destination that is important but the journey. However I feel that my beliefs of ‘yesterday’ are failing my days of ‘tomorrow’. I no longer live everyday as it comes. I want to know what tomorrow holds in store. I need to know where I am heading & I need that destination in order to enjoy the journey.

I feel like a red, white & blue chameleon. Transitioning from the UK to France hasn’t needed me to change my colours at all but my camouflage is still there. So what now? Do I continue my daily journeys until that ‘something’ appears to me or do I look to make my own journey? It is said that we make on average 5000 decisions a day. Not all of these decisions are ground breaking but they are decisions that get us from A to B. For example, whilst writing this article I decided what I should write about, should I listen to music or will that distract me? Should I put the washing on so that it will be ready to dry when I have finished? What shall I cook for dinner tonight? Will my readers find my article interesting or disheartening? Will they relate or turn the page? That’s 5 decisions all in the space of ten minutes & I haven’t even finished the article yet! So if we can find the time to make so many day-to-day decisions, how come many of us fail to make the decisions that will impact our lives for the better?

I say, leave the washing until later & go take the time to catch up with a friend. There is food in the fridge & I can cook later, so go read an inspirational book. There are so many decisions that I make each day but just how many of them am I making to better my life? Instead of laying idle like a chameleon in camouflage I’m going to flash my rainbow colours & go in search of something better. Today it will be to catch up with a missed friend in the UK. Perhaps not earth shattering for some, but it be little quake beneath my feet. What will be your one decision for you today? With 5000 decisions for everything & everyone else, you can spare one for you. So close your eyes & make it a good one.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Soft Summer Sounds

Listening to: Mat Kearney - cover of Dancing in the Dark (original by Bruce Springsteen)

Friday, 20 July 2012

Viva la Vintage

My darling friend, Jimi, sends amazing vintage images from time to time just to remind everyone to keep rock n' roll and to never follow the trend. Here are a few of my favourites:

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Original 1977 Poster

Original poster for the Motobecane M7. 

I'm not blonde and I certainly won't be riding around the Haute Vienne in my lilac leotard but the mobylette itself sure is class ;)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Call Me Penelope Pitstop

Say hello to Barbara or Bab's for short. Me and this candy floss pink 1977 Moytobecane M7 will be riding together this summer. IF I can get her started!?! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Feeding Friends

In celebration of my dear friend Aimee passing her bac exams and shortly heading off for a 6 week stint in Spain before leaving us to study in Rennes aka bloomin miles away (selfish brainy girl) I am holding a very petite soiree tomorrow evening for the girls.

Being that she is Irish (we can't all be perfect) I am going to attempt to cook a Guinness and Onion Soup with Cheddar Croutons. Now the image above is the perfect scenario however my version may turn out a little more like watery gravy with sinking burnt toasts on top. Watch this space. But for now, here's the recipe courtesy of Michael Chiarello via The Food Network  :

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 2 large onions)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups Guinness (not Extra Stout)
6 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
Country bread loaf, cut into six 1/2-inch thick slices, then toasted
1/2 lb Irish Cheddar, thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil over high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until just fragrant. Add the onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and saute’ the onions for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are a deep amber colour.

Add the thyme, vinegar and beer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, then add the beef stock and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 more minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill and set out individual oven-proof soup bowls. Discard the bay leaf, then use a ladle to transfer the soup to the individual bowls. Top with toasted bread slices, then 3-4 slices of the cheddar cheese. Grill until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Serve piping hot.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Mondays Are The New Sundays...

Listening to: Michael Kiwanuka - Tell Me A Tale (Later with Jools Holland)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

H&M - Fashion Against Aids

This year, H&M is launching its fifth collection for:

'Fashion Against Aids'

to help raise funds to fight against AIDS, raise awareness and educate youths.
It's a summer collection full of at-the-minute trends including Global Sports, Bralets and Neon!

(Find your local H&M at Saint Martial - Limoges and Galerie Champ de Mars - Angoulême )

Friday, 4 May 2012

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Kool Kids Klub

When did kids (I can say 'kids' without being patronizing as I am over 25yrs old) become so cool? I was on the train yesterday heading to London when a couple of teenage girls walked into the carriage, dressed in full school uniform and sat beside me. I was minding my own business, watching the rat race outside the window, when I heard one of the girls (no older than 14) tell her friend about the health benefits of Greek Yoghurt. 

14years old... Greek yoghurt... health benefits!?! 

Not only did she discuss how Greek yoghurt was the best product "EVER" but she went into immense detail about where she bought her particular brand, in what quantity, about the fact that it tasted best with a little bit of honey and that she didn't know what she'd do without it "because I've lost 2Ib this week and noticed a remarkable improvement in my skin."

When did teenagers become, well, adults? At their age I considered a cheese and crisp sandwich to be nutritious and I scoffed at my mum's attempts to get me to eat vegetables or anything remotely healthy!

Not to criticise the girls for looking after their health but long live the days of worrying about which pencil case to buy for the new school term and cheese and crisp sandwiches!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

... but it's only for two nights and one day. 
One day in which to fit it all in. How is than even possible? I imagine it'll be something like a game of Mario Kart... me being Mario, of course, and the aim being to reach the finish line whilst dodging banana's and collecting as many gold stars as possible along the way.

Land at London Stansted and race over to Costa to collect a large vanilla latte (+10 gold stars). Scoot to the bus station (+2 stars) and make my way to Nan's house, avoiding rush hour and banana's (boy racers) in the road (another 2 stars). Chit chat with nan over a lovely cup of English tea (+5 stars).
Sleep (recharge). Wake-up on time (+8 stars). Speed over to Tesco to change my Euro's into big large-looking pounds (+3 stars). Grab train to London town (2 stars). Bonus Star Round.
Buy a large cup of something at Starbucks (Ding. Ding. Ding +20 star bonus). Make hospital appointment (-5 stars for dullness of task). Grab bus and the train back to Leigh on Sea (+10 points if arrival is before 7pm). Slide across the finishing line with a beer in hand. WINNER!!

I'm out of breath just writing about it! See you in two days :D