spring is good for the soul

I went on another walk through Regent's Park today in the semi-sunshine. The park's gardeners must have the best time. Some of the gardens are so ridiculously pretty it's hard to believe they're real. The English definitely know what they're doing when it comes to flowers. 


new zealand new year's

A small island off the East coast of the Coromandel.


Sea swimming. BBQs. Guitar singing. Eggs in the hole.

Cabin sleeping. Solar showers. Sting ray spotting. Blue hydrangeas. Oyster Catcher dodging. Fishing.

Rock pooling. Crossword puzzling. Serenading the end of 2012 as the sun was setting.


christmas in new zealand

We actually did manage to escape the UK winter this year, for 3.5 weeks in fact (I have no right to complain do I?). We went home to NZ for Christmas and my brother-in-law's wedding. 3.5 weeks spent hanging with our favourite people and surrounded by so much love (and sunshine!), it doesn't get much better than that does it?

I took these photos of Pohutukawa trees on a walk around Mt Maunganui the first day we arrived back in NZ. At Christmas time the Pohutukawa tree's bright red flowers burst open, which is why it is known as New Zealand's Christmas tree.


Sheep (and baby Pohutukawa)!



Queen Mary's Gardens in Regent's Park (taken on my phone)
Hi! It's been so long! How are you?

Things have been a bit tough for me lately. The UK winter lasted FOREVER and it really affected my mood this year. There are some hard things in my life at the moment, but now that Spring has finally sprung it makes it much easier to remember that there are many many good things too.

The sun shone all weekend and it was just what I needed. We walked to Regent's Park on Saturday morning, where the flowers and blossom trees in the Queen Mary's Gardens are bursting into life. Seeing all that colour after the bareness of Winter was so good for my soul.


les jardins d'eyrignac

Avenue of Hornbeams

Visiting Les Jardins D'Eyrignac was one of the best things we did in Dordogne.

Avenue of Vases

French Garden

French Garden and Avenue of Hornbeams

Flower Garden

Kitchen Garden

White Garden

View of the Manor from the Enchanted Terrace

The garden, whose gardeners have some mad topiary skills, is a true work of art.


a morning walk

It's been a week since we got home from France. I miss the postcard views, the lazy evenings and long sleep-ins, but it's nice to be home again and to slowly readjust to the rhythms of reality. 

Here are some pictures of our morning walk to Les Delices, the boulangerie at the bottom of the hill. Wouldn't it be wonderful if every morning could start like this?



I turned 30 today. It was quite wonderful in the end.

We started easing the pain the celebrations early, on my birthday eve, with a bottle of champagne and sunset-watching on our balcony.

This morning we bought pastries from the boulangerie at the bottom of the hill, drank birthday tea and opened presents. I Skyped my parents and spoke to my in-laws. I received messages from my wonderful friends and felt very loved. I was totally spoilt by my awesome husband.

Foie gras. Of course.

We had a very long lunch at Chez Julien in Paunat. It was the most idyllic spot.

Attempting to pose for a photo whilst being mauled by a herd of dogs (seriously, this was only half of them)

When we got back to Beynac, we had a quick dip in the Dordogne before an evening stroll through the countryside where we met a real life dog lady.

It was the bestest day, and although I sometimes forget, at 30 I have a whole lot in my life to be happy about and so much to look forward to in this brand new decade (plus, I hear 30's the new 21). Also, I became an auntie yesterday. A baby niece may be the best birthday present ever.