The children are both back at school now and, as is usual for me in September, I am reviewing the last 12 months and looking towards the next 12. I know it is is a funny time for most people to reflect and review, but having been a teacher for 16 years of my working life and never knowing anything else other than the academic year, September still remains my 'New Start' time of year.
Over the last few days I have been thinking about our Summer holiday this year, we were lucky to be able to travel to Fornells in Menorca. I have never been to the Balearic Islands before, it was super warm, with lovely sandy beaches and the sea was as clear as a bell, so we managed to get the eldest snorkelling, which was a joy to watch.
It was a really relaxing and recuperating type of holiday, we swam and shared special, treasured family time. I even read two whole books (it's been a long time since I managed that on holiday!) AND had a, very much required, rest.
However you may be sensing a 'but' and I am feeling super guilty and super spoilt to be even thinking that their may be a 'but'. It's only, really, a little but, but it's a but nevertheless! So here it is - I really missed going to France!
Pretty much every year, or every other, we visit France in our family Motorhome. (The motor home was bought after my Grandad died, with the money he left, as his legacy, for us all to have fun in his memory). We generally set off for three weeks and complete a well worn loop, taking in the west coast, then snaking along the Dordogne before heading back up central France, then home.
I am a Francophile at heart. I love that France looks pretty much asleep most of the time. Closed for business.
This means I do not feel like I am missing out on something and consequently I really relax when I am there. I love that France has vast open countryside, amazing coast line and valleys packed with vines. On our circuit we take in such a variety of landscapes and it truly feels like an adventure. I love that France has a sense of community spirit, I have been to many a busy morning market, evening food markets and even a hilarious outdoor play, where all the actors came from the local village. My absolute favourite communal activity though has to be the village Brocante. If you have never been to a Brocante, it is basically the French equivalent of yard sale or a car boot. Only with a great deal more style, class and french chic of course. Firstly the stalls all line the beautiful French village streets and the stalls are filled with French antiquities that have been passed down the generations. You really can find some amazing items at a French Brocante. Ancient tools, linens, glassware, pottery, furniture and of course the most exquisitely, intricate crochet items. I was lucky to stumble across this last Summer too.
Now, quite possibly the thing I love about France the most, is our dear friends who live there during the Summer months. I first visited their home when they just bought it, some twenty years ago. It had a huge hole in the roof and it was still basically a barn. It is the most fabulous place for taking photos, the light is always so lovely.
Last year, when my husband and eldest child went out to paddle in a canoe down the Dordogne, my littlest and I stayed back at the house to enjoy a peaceful morning pottering about. In truth it was stifling hot and I was glad to be under the canopy and away from the river, but the light that day was amazing and I took some lovely photos in the garden.
My friend has a Potager in her garden, filled with a small assortment of fruit and vegetables and this particular year there were pumpkins. I had taken orange and green DROPS Paris yarn on holiday specifically to make a pumpkin and these little pumpkins inspired me to get started on my pumpkin pattern.
When I had completed my pumpkin I couldn't resist taking plenty of pumpkin photos in the Potager, by now it was early evening, the sun was low in the sky and the light gave a perfect glow to the garden and my pumpkin!
This was such a fun holiday make and every time I pick up my pumpkin or see one of these pictures I am right back there in my beloved France on that gorgeous evening. After these pictures were taken we headed off to a night market for alfresco dining and music. I love how the hand crafted items we create are more than just a fun or therapeutic hobby - they can also be a way of capturing a moment in time too, little time capsules taking you right back to a happy time, months and years later.
Happy crafting everyone!
Cotton Pod also stocks DROPS Paris - perfect for any kind of amigurumi/crochet fruit etc because it holds its shape, gives great stitch definition and comes in a wide range of fabulous colours.
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