Monday, 6 February 2017

Bins, St Joan of Arc, Trois Vallees, Hyacinths

Don't you just love this book cover?
It's not the outside jacket but it should be.
I got Paolo Moschino's new book because even though I am trying to limit my books I got it because it features London properties.
I saw a documentary on Faberge and it piqued my interest that I wanted a permanent reference on my shelves.

I saw a fantastic play at the Donmar called Saint Joan.
It was about Joan of Arc but mirrored present day issues such as Aleppo, religious fanaticism and references to Frexit - 
French Brexit. 
You really should watch it if you are in town.

Don't you find bins tough to assimilate into your home even if you aren't into decor?
I got this on sale and I love it because it has an insert to easily dispose of rubbish.
I might get another one now.

Post offices were going to go the way of dinosaurs and yet now they are so pivotal.
This was the queue in January and not before Christmas!

I had a bit of a hiccup this month with a friend.
It was so mentally exhausting and I rarely need a drink 
but after an "episode" I drank a few gin and tonics.  
While it is never nice to argue,
 I think it is nice to lighten the load and rid your life of toxic people.
But bars must hate me because I eat my body weight in accompanying popcorn/nuts/pretzels.

I bought mixed bulbs last autumn and dumped them in the courtyard as it is meant to be chilled but then forgot to label them.
One of them is definitely hyacinths and I am so glad I bothered to transplant them in bowls.

I am getting closer to thinking about a dog but just trying to figure out logistics.
Also I am afraid I might never leave the house again.
I find that when Millie is around I just hang out with her all day and only go to the park.

But I did go skiing with my brother but this time around he was better than me.
We were highly competitive as children and that only carried on the first day and I had to admit defeat which he relished so much.

He advised me to compete against myself and I got an app to see my improvement.
Ski tracks lite was my daily.

I normally chase the sun but it seemed the Vitamin D supplements were working and I didn't feel the need to sit by a pool.

I loved the drastic hourly difference in the mountains.

I do love the three valleys for the difference in landscape and ambiance.

Just remember that there are certain runs like the one below that are not insurable.

Don't forget you need separate insurance for off piste skiing 
which I didn't and my brother was chaperoning me 
the day I went off piste.

Apres ski was fun but I didn't last outside so I did it mostly inside in front of a fire.

Snow is only fun for skiers or children but it does make other things really difficult.

Luckily I took the direct ski train back to London which was convenient.

But Calais is thoroughly depressing. I never really noticed all the fences before.

But here is to the year of the rooster - may it be a peaceful one! x


  1. Hello Naomi,

    Happy Rooster new year to you also, and wishing you much peace.

    Well done on suriviving what looks to have been a very fun and vigorous skiing holiday. We are off to find some snow this coming weekend as the snow pack is through the roof this year.

    My experience of dog ownership is that I'm never in the house! Perhaps that is because we've always owned largish breed dogs which demand lots of walking. Since our last dog's demise, I've slacked off on my walks to the detriment of my waistline, ugh.

    Your hyacinths look so pretty, well done! Which reminds me, I'd better get my act together and begin forcing the final round of my bulbs too. Enjoy the smell of yours, which will follow as soon as they are in full bloom. Heavenly!

    1. I am bit exhausted still and am relishing sleeping in rather than getting up early to get breakfast in before a day of lessons and skiing! If I lived in the country I would get big dogs but I must be fair to urban living. Am looking at the sites for smaller rescues. The hyacinths inside are doing well but not so much the ones outside as it seems to have rained a lot. Yes do get the bulbs - I am glad I finally got around to them this year too!

  2. That's the best hope we can have for this year, that it be peaceful!
    Your trip looks beautiful with the exception of Calais. I'm just back from a ski trip with my family and I'm totally exhausted. We rented a chalet and I didn't care for the kitchen so we won't be going back there. Actually I think next year my kids want to go further afield, likely Vermont or maybe Whistler.
    I have to say having a puppy does make one's life dog-centred. For me that has been positive because I already live in a small city so it just means I spend more time walking. More exercise is always good. But you live in London and you can't bring a dog to many of the places you like to go, so that's a consideration.
    I love those pubs in the English countryside that allow dogs inside, complete with little dog showers outside to clean their muddy paws before entering. Ideal life! xx

    1. I jsut wish skiing wasn't such a trek. This intense one week was a bit much and I felt pressured to ski. Calais really was like a war zone. I have been to military camps with less barbed wire. You are lucky you have room for dogs - or I would have to Paris where dogs are more welcome in restaurants. But pubs will have to do right? xx

  3. Hello Naomi, I too am an expert at placing moratoriums on purchases and then rationalizing exceptions. Now I can balance these exceptions by the money I am saving not gardening (although I still want my own orchard) and not skiing, as scintillating as those occupations appear.

    1. HI Jim, I have been pretty ok about books but it has lapsed in January and I got loads. I just wanted the mountain air but also I realised that skiing is so tough that I should do it while I am still fit enough too!

  4. Happy new year to you too! I have deep ski envy. We have skiing an hour away but it's basically flat. To get any sort of terrain you have to go to Quebec (8 hour drive) or Whistler (5 hours by plane.) The train is a brilliant idea. I'd hate to drive in that snow. I love the leopard: they should have made that the cover. So pretty!

    1. Most times I was exhausted after I put on my boots. I am not kidding either. But the thin air did invigorate me and it was nice to get a blanched visual and now I feel like it is spring here even though it is far from!

  5. GET A DOG!

  6. Everytime I hear mentioned Joan of Arc I have a Pavlovian moment and hear Morrissey singing "now I know how Joan of Arc felt". Never skiied (can't even spell it) as too much of a beach girl and never wanted to sacrifice my Southern Hemisphere summers for Northern Hemisphere skiing unlike many friends and brother. It snowed one day in Washington and when we went to New York for Christmas and could not cope. Happy Lunar New Year of the Rooster/Hen or Feathered Fowl (hoping for gender equality in 2017)

    1. I used to be a ski nut but stopped after I moved here bc i was always chasing the sun but realised that I must ski while I can - not being morbid but realistic - the only older people i saw skiing were proper mountain locals which proved the point while iw as there - wish you the best 2017 Yvonne

  7. Hmmm. Ski app? What's the name? We'd all like this one next time we're skiing. I hadn't even thought about the whole concept but of course they'd have them. I suspect my data would be thoroughly depressing compared to yours because it's Australian style skiing on short runs. Most of the time would be chairlift time!!
    The snow train sounds quite romantic. And convenient.
    I still think you should get a dog.
    I loved that Paolo book and it's currently on my coffee table. I need to buy the Imogen Taylor one too.
    Faberge always makes me laugh how it's such a staple of the Antiques Roadshow. Almost every episode there is one person with faberge who was unaware of it and they are fainting with excitement after the pronouncement of the provenance.
    Friend thing sounds v difficult, but it's always better to get rid of toxic people from your life. xx

    1. Ski lites- it is free - but it is a way to see if you are getting fitter and faster( if that is what you are aiming for ) i like my slow S's. Short runs are good bc you just go for it but longer runs and you stop anyway. Snow train makes it feasible bc it is 7hrs form centre of london non stop to the alps. otherwise it would take you all day anyway but lugging bags t airport and from to get another taxi etc. such a pahlavi. Faberge is a staple- but i wanted a reference book just in case I came across a few of the missing eggs hehe And yes the friend thing was rather hard but there is a point where things going wrong in someone's life isn't my fault and we can only be the punching bag for so long! xx

    2. So understand about the friend. I once had a friend who discovered her husband had fathered a little girl with another woman. It apparently hadn't been an affair - the career woman, single, approached him and asked if he would agree as she wanted a child but didn't want to get married. She could easily afford to support the child and told him he'd never be asked to do anything else. The request flattered his ego - she'd awarded him the prize because he was tall, good looking, sporty, very bright and a nice man. So, foolishly, he agreed despite the fact that he was happily married and already had two children with his wife. All went well until their daughter asked if she could write to him and get to know him by mail. (They lived by then in different continents.) One day my friend found the cache of letters from the little girl tucked away in his wardrobe and it all came out.

      Naturally she was devastated. He assured her he loved her and didn't want to break up their marriage. She gave him an ultimatum - stop communicating with this child or our marriage is over. She poured it all out to me every time I saw her - which was a little too frequent as our coffees, lunches etc were so stressful and she was so terribly angry - with everyone. She asked me for advice and I stupidly gave it. I acknowledged her shock and anger and broken heart many times but finally suggested that if she wanted to stay married she'd need to accept his exchanging letters with his daughter (then about twelve). She was very angry with me. Eventually their marriage broke up. After having dated and had a couple of short unhappy relationships with other guys, she now hates all men. Very sad. But she was so full of anger and bitterness and just couldn't get over it. We ended up defriending each other. She wanted me to hate him too.
      Have never been a skier, sadly, and now it's too late for me. But have been up on chairlifts in Switzerland into the snowy peaks and enjoyed the gorgeousness of it all, the beauty and crispness of the snow with blue skies and sun above the cloud level. Then rather fun descending (by chairlift) back through the clouds and mist with the sound of cowbells and rushing streams down below. It looked as though it would be absolute magic. And wonderful that there's actually a snow train to take you right there!
      If you love Faberge you need to go to Moscow and St Petersburg - the museums have amazing displays - and not just eggs! So funny, Heidi about Antiques Roadshow - and so true. Pammie xx

    3. PS Oh for some snow! Or a breath of cool air. It was over 40C today here and supposed to be even hotter tomorrow! Inside we have air conditioning - but the powers that be are warning about possible power cuts as they deal with peak loads in this heat. Pammie

    4. Yes the anger is completely displaced and it is very unfriendly fire! Some sores and scars run too deep for a friendship to heal or help. Sometimes professional treatment is the only solution. It is sad when they let something ruin everything though.

      Yes I do need to go to the origin and keep trying to go - hopefully i get to go this year but I told one of my friends I would wait...xx

      PS the heatwave sounds dreadful! I feel so sorry for all the animals and farmers.

  8. I've been envying your IG Alpine dispatches.
    Your falling out with 'toxic' friend intrigues. Civil disagreement seems so out of fashion these days.

    1. Funny enough the fall out wasn't about brexit hehe. Though I agree that civil disagreement is a tough balance bc it seems that one is right or wrong but it isn't about perhaps a difference in values or personal triggers. My former toxic friend is basically nuts and it is hard to absorb psychosis.

  9. I envy you your skiing ability, Naomi. I have left it way too late to learn. You're right -the only older people who can do it, are those who've been skiing since birth. Love all that snow in the mountains though and how great is getting on a train in central London and just hopping off somewhere else a few hours later - love the Eurostar and hate airports. & no one needs such exhausting friendships.

    1. I skied since I was very little but I still found it very hard and came with the realisation I must make the most of it while I can! Depressing slightly but realistic. The ski train really is convenient - it did take all day and I was complaining to my brother when i was sore and my feet were getting used to new boots but he reminded me there was on jet lag. Yes - decluttering doesn't apply only to clothes right Sue?

  10. Hello! I've been reading and enjoying your posts about life in London for quite some time. I was wondering if you know of a reliable website or source to look for short term (around 3 months) apartment/flat leasing. A friend is looking for somewhere convenient for work in the Westminster area in London. Happy year of the Rooster to you too! Emily :-)

    1. Hi Emily, Of course i would have to say air bnb which is very popular here although there is a new rule in London that places can only be let 3 months max a year so that may affect what types are let especially in the centre of town. There is one fine stay and home away from home. Those are the most established ones. Hope this helps!

  11. Lovely mountain landscapes. The train to the mountains from London sounds so much better than flying. The fresh air and beautiful snow covered mountains looks ideal. Coming in to the lodge after a good run must have been delightful. No need to tolerate toxic people. Onward and upward! Happy year of the Rooster. Susan

  12. In reading about ending toxic relationships I was reminded of how a few friendships that began as "lifeboat" friendships ended - one such became a lifelong connection of loyalty and caring, another ended in hurt, bitterness and envy (hers, not mine, and I realized I'd been hoping for a reason to disconnect). I have learned that most people who ask for advice don't want it, and the more sensible the advice the less likely it will be accepted.

    1. So true - people just want to be listened and heard. They know what to do deep down. But it was rather jarring because it is never pleasant because also I feel stupid for letting it go on for so long truth be told...

  13. I never learned to ski and think it might be too late at this point. I think I would be so good at apres-ski however, especially if it includes drinking champagne by a fire. I am sad to hear about a friendship ending but I totally hear you. Sometimes I have to take a break from certain friends, and sometimes the break is years long, but I try to leave a little space open for them. I feel so ragged much of the time, raising kids, keeping a household going, etc., that I do not have the time or energy for a high-maintenance friendship. You are so lucky to have access to good ol' Millie. Now that's a friend indeed! xx

    1. It is not too late Jill! Yes at this point in life - it has to be positive and conducive - kind of like with MIllie xx

  14. HI Susan Sorry but I deleted your comment by accident!

  15. Oh- what a lovely bar! Where is it , I have to go and dump some toxic people too. X


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