Our long established cherry trees have burst into flower this week. The warmer weather has arrived and the garden is returning to life. Cherry blossom Detail of a cherry blossom Detail of a cherry blossom My work is keeping me trapped inside for the bulk of the day but, when I can in the late evening, I am outside. Detail of plum blossom Read more →

Snake in the Grass

Snake in the grass The texture of the snake gave it away. The light reflecting off the skin seemed out of place, somehow unnatural and unnerving. It took a moment to figure out what had caught me off guard. Once found, my only thought was getting the camera. Read more →

Easter Baking and Brambles

After too many years without, this is our first Easter with a proper oven. What better time than to bake some hot cross buns? Ring of hot cross buns cooling on a rack. Hot cross buns cooling. Hot cross bun split apart. Spring and Brambles Spring has officially arrived but the weather has yet to take note. I have never been so keen to see the greenery return to the landscape. Read more →


We visited Charroux with visiting family. The small hilltop village had been recommended to us. Certainly pretty but maybe better in the summer months, than the winter. The small village was quiet with the few other tourists rugged up. Charroux shield carved in stone Gatehouse in Charroux Church tower in Charroux Wall mounted sundial in Charroux Autumnal leaves. Hearts carved into window shutters. We will no doubt return in the future, when the weather is better. Read more →

Medieval Moulins

Moulins is the administrative centre of our region. The city is home to the Préfecture de l’Allier and thus a city we have had to visit a few times. It is a pretty city, with plenty of history on show. An easy place to take beautiful photographs. Moulins Cathedral Rooftops in Moulins Colourful enduit in Moulins Medieval street in Moulins Read more →

Christmas at Home

This will be our first year celebrating Christmas in our new home. The transition from city to country continues to be the most dramatic lifestyle shift I have known. Happy Christmas. Our first Christmas tree. Snowflake cookie cutter Our traditional snowflake gingerbread biscuits Christmas decorations in Lyon's Part Dieu commercial centre Decorations illuminate a square in a French town. A street lamp with an illuminated Bonnes Fêtes decoration Read more →

Snow and Warmth

For the first time in years, we watched snow falling while feeling warm. Snow in the valley. Allier, France. The snow arrived a few days ago. A welcome flurry of flakes just in time before our guests had to head home. When our guests arrived, Autumnal leaves were still on the trees; as they left, we drove through a stunning snow covered landscape. Inside looking out on snow. Being able to stand inside and look out across a snowy landscape is a treat. Read more →

Welcoming Our First Guests

We enjoyed having our first visitors to stay. It was an opportunity to see if the house design worked with guests, it did, and to take numerous photos, I did. Our house is not luxurious but it is warm and designed to make use of every square metre. We do not have a dedicated guest room. When guests come to stay, we transform what has become Megan’s office into the guest room. Read more →