Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Month of July

Cooked: Gazpacho a la Hairy Bikers, Cheese and Pickled Onion Tart (Grazia) for Warmth's birthday, Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake (Hummingbird) without the popy seed - damn you Tesco's. Warmth made Delia's Gazpacho - we'll be sticking to that one in future..

Read: That Mad Ache Francoise Sagan, Mrs Harris Goes to Paris Paul Gallico, Vagabond Colette

Summer Exhibition at Royal Academy with dear print making frineds. My favourite artist Farah Sayed had a painting in again.

Discovered two new pubs - The Leather Market - good cocktails and The Garrison - feminine perfection for a pub. I shall be returning...

Porn Star Martinis at The Electric - oh they are wonderful. Two is the perfect number.

Birthday drinks at The Gherkin (Gherkin Fizz not a good choice of cocktail)

A BBQ, visiting dear friends new home, Cricket - again one time too many this year. Celebrating a dear dear friend's birthday with fizz, friendship and flowers.

Toe nails - Essie Watermelon, Opi 'Show down at the ok coral' -a little too much pink and shimmer. Essie Material Girl on toes a little too dark for summer. Trying out 'Flawless' Essie a pink for next Saturday's wedding. Quite like it. Actually wore Opi 'Jade is the new black' which surprisingly went well with my blue dress, and was inspired by walking past the police station and seeing green and blue on a poster and realising it did work.

Friday, 30 July 2010


So I am now beautifully in the mood for holidays. Having spent a month in the virtual world of France I am now off for a holiday in the real France. Great wine, great friends, good food, much laughter and hopefully some sunshine. My bags are packed.

See you soon x

Thursday, 29 July 2010

A Profound Promise

Paris in July is soon to draw to a close and so one final quote is needed. We're off to a wedding at the weekend. Is this not the joy which shines from the bride as she walks towards her groom.....

'She smiled at him, making sure that the smile gathered up everything inside her and directed it towards him, making him a profound promise of herself...' F. Scott Fitzgerald Tender is the Night


Wednesday, 28 July 2010

From Shadow to Sunlight

I've chosen this quote for today as it links to Friday's quote about believing and hopefully the scars do heal...

'One day you find it' repeated Rodolphe; one day, quite suddenly, just when hope seems lost. And the horizon opens up it's like a voice crying 'Behold'. You feel you must tell this person the secrets of your life, give them everything, sacrifice everything for them. Nothing is actually said, you just know. You have seen each other in your dreams. There it is at last, the treasure you have sought so long, there right in front of you; shining, sparkling. Though you still have doubts, you dare not believe it; you stand there dazed, just as if you stepped from shadow to sunlight.' Gustav Flaubert Madame Bovary

I have a little bit of a moral dilema. It happens with Anna Karenina too. Saving quotes about passion and love when the couple are having an affair. Hurting others. Does it decrease their love? Or does it just mean that for us the reader, reading it out of context it's bittersweet. And oh I have so many love quotes that are between lovers should I then not use them? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Something is up....

...with the internet in our flat.
I can read and comment on all your lovely blogs but for some reason when I go into mine - either logged on or not it cuts out on me. Hmmm Not sure why. Have I infected my blog? So my posting on here and on your blogs may be a little erratic.
Hoping that by just turning the computer off and not touching it for a while may make it all go away...

Do any of you clever bloggers have any idea? Has this happened to you?


Life isn't always sunny, rosy, full of love and romance. Sometimes it hurts and we suffer. In those moments I tend to cry but the words in novels have put my feelings into some sort of coherent thought and have helped me.

'One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still. The marks of suffering are more comparable to the loss of a finger, or of the sight of an eye. We may not miss them, either, for one minute in a year, but if we should there is nothing to be done about it.' F.Scott Fitzgerald Tender is the Night


Monday, 26 July 2010

First Day of the Holidays

It's Paris in July and the first day of my summer holidays. So this picture seemed perfect.

'After all the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.' Kenneth Grahame Wind in the Willows

Friday, 23 July 2010


So this time last year I journeyed off by myself to collect my wedding dress. I didn't realise how emotional it would be. Walking out of the shop carrying my dress - I was about to get married. Wow. This was so right. I realised that I'd always hoped to marry but I'm not sure I let myself believe I would. There's a limit to how many times friends can say 'Of course you'll meet someone' and then you don't, and then you do but it doesn't last, and then you don't and then you do - and this time it grows and lasts and you're about to be walking down the aisle to the man you love.

'She had never really believed that it would work out happily; she had hoped, but she had not believed.' Sebastian Faulks Charlotte Gray

Thursday, 22 July 2010


I leave my job. I leave the best team I've ever worked in. I leave this small area of London that I've taught, learnt and shopped in for the last nine years. It's so so right to move now, personally and professionally.
But yet....
Come to the edge
We might fall
Come to the edge
It's too high!
Come to the edge Add Image
And they came
And we pushed
And they flew

May we all fly x

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Flowers for Mrs Harris

Mrs Harris a lady after my own heart. A lover of dresses and flowers...

'As long as she had flowers, Mrs Harris had no serious complaints concerning the life led... These bright flashes of colour satisfied her. They were something to return to in the evening and something to wake up to in the morning.'


'Here were streets that were nothing but a mass of azaleas in pots, plants in pink, white, red, purple, mingling with huge bunches of cream, crimson, and yellow carnations. There seemed to be acres of boxes of pansies smiling up into the sun, blue irises, red roses, and huge fronds of gladioli...'

'All the beauty that she had ever really known in her life until she saw the Dior dress had been flowers. Now, her nostrils were filled with the scent of lilies and tuberoses. From every quarter came beautiful scents, and through this profusion of colour and scent Mrs Harris wandered as if in a dream.'

'dark, deep red roses by the dozen, cream white lilies, bunches of pink and yellow carnations, and sheaves of gladioli ready to burst into every colour from deep mauve to palest lemon. There were azaleas, salmon coloured, white, and crimson, geraniums, bundles of sweet-smelling freesias, and one great bouquet of violets...'


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Mrs Harris Goes To Paris

What does Mrs Harris see when she arrives?

'They came in satins, silks, laces, wools, jerseys, cottons, brocades, velvets, twills, broadclothes, tweeds, nets, organzas, and muslins-

Dior Venus

They showed frocks, suits, coats, capes, gowns, clothes for cocktails, for the morning, the afternoon, for dinner parties, and formal and stately balls and receptions.

They entered trimmed with fur, bugle beads, sequins, embroidery with gold and silver thread, or stiff with brocades, the colours were wondefully gay and clashed in daring combinations;


the sleeves were long, short, medium or missing altogether. Necklines ranged from choke to plunge, hemlines wandered at the whim of the designer.'

Dior Spring 2010
'armfuls of frilly, frothy garments in colours of plum, raspberry, tamarind, and peach, genetian-flower, cowslip, damask rose, and orchid...'

Dior Fall '08

Monday, 19 July 2010

Mrs Harris Dreams of Paris

The relaunch of this novel and it being Paris in July meant it had to be read and read now. Which passages spoke most to me? Why the dresses and the flowers. So today it's dresses of the imagination.

'One was a bit of heaven in cream, ivory, lace and chiffon, the other an explosion in crimson satin and taffeta, adorned with great red bows and a huge red flower.'


' There was rhyme or reason for it, she would never wear such a creation, there was no place in her life for one. Her reaction was purely feminine. She saw it and she wanted it dreadfully... She could only stand there entralled, rapt, and enchanted, gazing at the dresses...'

Dior Spring 2007
' She was...engrossed in these living creations of silks and taffetas and chiffons in heart-lifting colours...'

', perfection, the ultimate in adornment that a woman could desire. Mrs Harris was no less a woman than Lady Dant, or any other. She wanted, she wanted, she wanted a dress from what must be surely the most expensive shop in the world, that of Mr Dior in Paris.'

' The more she tried to think of other things the more the Dior dress intruded into her conciousness, and she lay there in the darkness, shivering and craving for it.... she could... imagine it hanging there. The colour and the materials kept changing, sometimes she saw it in gold brocade, at other times in pink or crimson satin, or white with ivory laces. But always it was the most beautiful and expensive thing of its kind.'

Friday, 16 July 2010

I believe in Pink

So this time last year it was my very very lovely hen night. I think you know by now how important my girlfriends are to me so this was an extra special day. Being a quote and gift girl and by way of saying 'Thank you for your continued friendship' and because the theme was 'pink', a truly favourite colour of mine. I decided to give each dear friend a single pink rose, a cherry cupcake recipe and this quotation..

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing
is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing,
kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when
everything seems to be going wrong. I believe
that happy girls are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day
and I believe in miracles."

Audrey Hepburn

We met for afternoon tea here.

My what delicious food, pink champagne, friendship we had...

And then a red velvet cake.... with heart sparklers

Peonies - my favourite flower in teapots...

After eating loads, drinking lots of pink champagne we left with a goodie bag and went to a private room at The Perseverance for more fizz, food and friendship.

Thank you for a lovely evening x

Thursday, 15 July 2010


'No child or future generation will ever know what this was like. They will never understand. When it is over we will go quietly among the living and we will not tell them. We will talk and sleep and go about our business like human beings. We will seal what we have seen in the silence of our hearts and no words will reach us.' Sebastian Faulks Birdsong

It doesn't seem quite right to be celebrating all the great literature about France without mentioning the wars. This passage spoke to me years ago when I read Birdsong. It speaks even more having been to Ypres on a freezing November weekend.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Indefinable Beauty

We haven't had any quotes with flowers in recently and so I've picked a small posy here.

'She had that indefinable beauty which comes from joy, from enthusiasm, from success, the beauty which is simply a harmony between temperament and circumstances... like flowers that have manure, rain, wind and sun, and she was blossoming at last in the splendour of her being.' Gustav Flaubert Madame Bovary


Tuesday, 13 July 2010

To be young

Twin and I used to joke about my mother's letters. About once a year we'd receive what became termed 'spread your wings' letters. They'd be encouraging us for what we'd done or encouraging us to reach further. I think I received my last one in the week leading up to our wedding. This quote came from one of these letters.

'To be young means to be hopeful, energetic, smiling and clear-sighted.' Teilard de Chardin

I don't know where mum found this quote from but all I do know that I think I've inherited my storing of quotations from her!


To me balloons really sum up hopeful, energetic, smiling....

Monday, 12 July 2010

That Mad Ache

I knew from this opening paragraph that I would love this novel. I devoured it.

'She opened her eyes. A brisk little breeze had impudently slipped into the bedroom. Already it had turned the curtain into a sail and bent the flowers in their tall vase on the floor, and now it had set its sights on her sleep. It was a spring wind, the very first one, and it smelled of thickets, forests and soil; it had swept unchallenged through the faubourgs of Paris, through their streets choked with traffic fumes, and now it was arriving softly but brashly at dawn in her bedroom, intent on reminding her, even before she emerged from her drowsy state, of the pleasure of being alive.' Francoise Sagan That Mad Ache

It was the perfect warm summer's read. It's about love. It's about fear. It's about passion. It's about convention. It's about not wanting to grow up.

This is how I imagine Lucile to be.
This would be her bedroom.


Have you read it? How did it make you feel?
And if you haven't read it but like the opening passage? Do treat yourself.
Escape into another world.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Le Grand Meaulnes

Twin studied Le Grand Meaulnes for French 'A' Level and it was commonly known as 'Le Grand Moan' in our home. This had, unsurprisingly put me off reading it, but thankfully years later something prompted me, and I'm sure I must have been partly intrigued as to why Twin disliked it so much. I enjoyed it. Here's the one passage which stood out to me at that time. I think I wished I would maybe have the confidence to say this if the need arrived.

'If you feel you ought to go, if I came to you at a moment when nothing could make you happy, if it'd necessary for you to leave me now for a time and only come back when you've found peace, then it is I who ask you to go...' Alain Fournier Le Grand Meaulnes


Thursday, 8 July 2010


Oh I am really enjoying reading That Mad Ache by Francoise Sagan.
'Enough cannot be said for of the benefits, the dangers, and the powers of shared laughter. It is no less central to love than are affection, desire and despair.' Francoise Sagan That Mad Ache


Who did you share laughter with today?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Know me, look at me

Warmth wanted to read a new book. He wanted suggestions. I suggested Suite Francaise. He loved it. It's brought back my memories. He cried on the tube at the end. That's one of the many reasons I love him.

'Not a word of their true feelings was spoken; they didn't kiss. There was simply silence. Silence followed by feverish passionate conversations about their own countries, their families, music, books... They felt a strange happiness, an urgent need to reveal their hearts to each other - the urgency of lovers, which is already a gift, the very first one, the gift of the soul before the body surrenders. Know me, look at me. This is who I am. This is how I have lived, this is what I have loved. And you? What about you my darling?' Irene Nemirovsky Suite Francaise


Tuesday, 6 July 2010

That's a story dress

'That's a story dress.'
F.Scott Fitzgerald

When I first thought about using this quote I'd imagined a picture of a fantastic dress, maybe one of Vivienne Westwood's creations. And then over at HipHip GinGin I saw this dress by Bibhu Mohapatra. Now this is a story dress. And why? It will be worn on so many occasions. To dear friends' weddings, maybe out on a date, to the theatre, pretty much anytime of year. On the French Riviera where this novel is set. It will be worn many times and so there will be so many stories attached to that dress.
It's a story dress.
What's your story dress?

Monday, 5 July 2010

Great acts of Love

One day I shall read this novel. One day when I go on a very long holiday. Until then here's a snippet that was read at a friend's wedding and I squirreled away.

'You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are habitually performing small acts of kindness. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And the great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.' Victor Hugo Les Miserables

How can we have Paris in July without some of the greats of French literature. There shall be more. Madame Bovary is waiting in the wings.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Cherry Time

'"Cherrytime." A time which is perfect, you see, full of sunshine and love, and then it's gone.' Rose Tremain The Way I Found Her
For some reason I always thought of this quote as happy, but actually thinking about it. It's not really. But it is cherry time here in England and this novel is set in Paris.
Are weekends a little like cherrytime?
Happy Friday x

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Paris in July

So I've packed my bags and am off to the virtual world of
Paris in July
apologies image unknown
Hosted by BookBath and Thyme for Tea
I shall be posting French themed quotes and I'm reading That Mad Ache by Fracoise Sagan.
Thank you for hosting Paris in July