Showing posts from 2017


The first of December was overcast with deep grey clouds and everyone held their breath for snow. On the second of December we woke up to a thick white blanket with a grey sky still showering down snow flakes. Gusts of wind blew flurries and drove the cold into any patches of skin left uncovered.

Our village in the snow...

We played outside until Little I had had enough (Little L loves snow so much that I don't think she would choose to leave it before freezing solid herself) and we had hot chocolates in one of the village cafes. It was market day and afterwards we met with friends under the covered square and the children played again, sculpting minature snowmen on benches whille we bought our vegetables and apple juice to mull. We dedicated the afternoon to making Christmas decorations which meant that I tried to get Little I to do something other than cut up a sheet of paper into tiny pieces (her current favourite thing to do) and bit my tongue as Little L reinvented clove oran…


The month of November. Morning frosts on roof tops and along the length of the riverbanks. The sun lies low in the sky in the afternoons, just about warm, but never quite chasing the cold from the shade.
Little I and I have been taking morning walks together after dropping Little L at school. We walk down to the old railway path and follow it to the river. We spot the ducks paddling against the current and, sometimes, a heron, flying low and then up over the treetops. We crunch through the frost until her hands feel the chill and she remembers the 'bou-yan-gy' (or boulangerie) where some days we buy a croissant to share along with our usual bread.

Under the weeping willows by the lake the fine branches reach almost to the ground. Little I takes them in her hands and swings them, to and fro. The willow's last golden leaves flutter down around her and then she clamours for a bullrush to pull off the fine down and spread it around her.

I've sat down to write outside and now…


I can't believe that an entire half term has passed since I last sat down to write. The return of the school routine has been exhausting for Little L and left us all mourning the freedoms of summer. These two weeks of holidays from school have given us the chance to pause and just practise being once again. I've been so very grateful for the moments I can pass just watching Little L free to draw for hours on end or act out her imaginary scenarios with her collections of toys and silk scarves and stones. Little I is jubilant in having her sister around day after day but her celebration is all too often an energetic destruction of  Little L's precious make-believe landscapes.

Lac Montbel

The first signs of autumn came with the tractors hauling trailers heavy with wood through the village. Piles of logs outside front doors, hastily being taken into houses to be stacked in sheds and hallways to feed the fires throughout the winter. When we open the window to push back the shutte…