Born the 31st of December in 1957, so turning 60 soon… I always envisioned it to be a big birthday, an opportunity for reflection, a milestone. Or is age just a number after all? It certainly is the age where you do begin noticing the disconnection between how old you feel and how old you look. But then again it is also the moment where one knows what one will and will not tolerate, and will understand what things one wants to pursue, or not. What it certainly is not at all “the beginning of the end” as my mother would say!
Nothing as good as the new year to look back at the old one and check your expenses, I thought. I couldn’t have been more in shock. Just counting our steady monthly and yearly steady costs (and that is without any fancy spending) turned out to be a massive sum due each month. We all know life has become quite expensive, but lately money seemed to go even more down the drain. Time for some penny pinching and a new written budget, the right attitude is half the battle!
This year not being able to do extended shopping for Christmas presents, I had to rely on the Internet to order some of my presents. I bought loads of presents during the year on auctions for good causes, as I wrote before, but in the end you realize how much more you need and then with an ill husband, there is no way you can go shopping, so instead I spend hours on the Internet searching, to choose the right presents for every age. (more…)
A new year has begun, we ended the old one with my birthday and an Indian vegan buffet, based on some new cookbooks I just received. We cooked our own Indian feast at home, even explored traditional street food popular across India. Our palates discovered a world of spice-packed, fragrance rich, wonderfully flavoured food with intoxicating aromas. It was love at first bite, just simple and delicious home cooking, quick, easy and healthy recipes, with the family in the evening devouring complex, sweet, savory, a bit spicy dishes and homemade chutneys.
We should celebrate every birthday we’re given, and today it’s mine, always going hand in hand with the end of the year celebrations and welcoming 2016 ahead. Finding this magnificent vintage double inkwell set, I thought what better moment than today, to decide to start keeping a diary filled with things I’m thankful for, indeed confiding the rough gems of my own mind to a gratitude diary. I wish to be more in tune with the good things in my life and want to be fully aware of the best things that happen to me on every special day. What a wonderful way to record life and memories. (more…)
With the optimum sunshine in addition to a balanced rainfall, we have here in the heart of Cathar country, 7,800 hectares of vines spread over 41 villages around Limoux (25km south of Carcassonne) produce the wonderful local delicious gem “Blanquette de Limoux”, with its sparkling effervescence. Watching bubbles in my glass, always has a mesmerizing effect on me, the tingling sensation the fine bubbles cause and the fact that Blanquette is the ideal pairing for so many dishes, makes it my favourite drink for the festivities.
Food as fuel, yes, but drinks and tantalizing desserts, are considered the nightmare of our figures. Maybe that is why “desserts” spelled backwards is “stressed”, I guess. The French, no strangers to desserts, will see an exuberant dessert and drool an ‘oh-la-la’. They know the famous “palate cleanser“ has a way to cheer people up and love being dazzled at the finish of a meal. And for Christmas the hopes are high! (more…)
All I want for the December month, Christmas and New Year is to create a memorable holiday with just that little bit more precious time with family and friends! Of course with sunny days, around 18 degrees during the day here in the South of France, it doesn’t really add to the Christmas atmosphere. But to me these days are special, so preparing for them means joyful moments. It’s all about alleviating stress.
Gone is the first day of the year 2015, I love the fact that loads of new possibilities arise with a new year. We can forget sorrows, bad decisions, things not working out… It can all be here again: abundance of joy and fun!