Home Style

All week I've been cooking solely on our wood fired range and dreaming of colour, pattern, texture, the juxtaposition of things and to be fair, there's inspiration everywhere. I noted it all and then BOOM... a new kitchen. Well one Read more

Enough About Me, What Do You Think?

It's raining cats and dogs here in Ballinamore. Sadhbh and I are hard at work in our cosy kitchen with 'likkle guys' and lego and brainstorming a new 'About Me'  for the blog. If your're a blogger you will know Read more

October

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” Humbert Wolfe Hello my dears. Well since my last post we've slipped into October and what a difference a week Read more

I Don't Want to Die!

I had the strangest week last week, a string of events brought me down like just like domino's it went, my daughter left for college, I had a birthday (a crappy day) and then it was said to me, Read more

To The Mountain

Going to the mountain, the Sliabh an Iarainn mountain that overlooks Ballinamore is, for my Dad, going home, as he was born and raised there. It's also where I spent many happy childhood days at my grandparents house. Last week Read more

Feed a Family of Five, One Week, Fifty Euro.

I have a passion for food and I'm lucky, we've always had a great relationship. I use it to to care for and nourish, to spoil and make well, to show love and friendship, to make sigh and Read more

The Last Day of Autumn

It’s the second last day of autumn, All Hallows Eve and just look at my girl in the lane with the leaves and compare as I did but don’t cry as I did about how she looked in our lane such a short time ago in this post, Autumn in the Lane

adrians girl

And here is our cat…Ernest Hemingway…

His normal expression’s more friendly…never thought I could love a cat.

My granny would have loved to know this, she was always trying to convince me and laughing at my protests. This is his tree, it’s a lilac, he has it destroyed the poor tree. We should probably cover it with mesh or something, any ideas?

Our garden philosophy is ‘survival of the fittest’ because we are learning on the job and because we don’t have time to mollycoddle anything and because we are about abundance, excess and wildness and don’t fancy straight rows of anything.

adrian cat

We’ve been busy decorating inside, update’s coming soon and getting the garden ready for winter, picking the last of the flowers, mowing everything down, bulb planting, tidying.

The autumn colours are blinding, beautiful, rich, deep and lingering…

adrian leaves

adrians beauty leaves

I’ve been running ahead of Adrian, gathering seeds, hundreds and thousands. I love the architecture of the seed heads and their ingenious bid for continuance. While some are delicate, papery and gentle and others need a shaking, one, I don’t know its name, has a spiky stem with seeds lying open along the spikes, it’s astonishing I think along with all my protests as it stings me!

Love in a Mist, such a beautiful name, is our most prolific producer, hundreds of silky round caverns of seeds, bursting. Our whole garden might be blue next year…

adrian seeds

Potting, re-potting, resting, noticing, the people I love, two of the people I love and the colours that envelop them, us.

adrian and saoirse

Seeds drying in the greenhouse…

adrian paper

Don’t rush…

adrian the lane saoirse

Posted on by Jane in Cosiness & TLC, FAMILY, I WAS JUST THINKING, THE YEAR IN EVENTS, PARTIES & SPRAOI'S 2 Comments

The Weekend – Eat, Decorate & Be Merry : )

Hello friends, another new week and October half over.

On Friday I finished the second draft of my novel and printed it for the first time. Next I need to go through and read it, pen in hand, making notes and so on before starting afresh on the next draft.

I feel very clear about what needs to be done before I can say I’ve done all that I can. And that’s a good thing right?

I know I can do it or you might say I know I will do it and that’s the thing isn’t it? I believe in the decision to do, not to try, just to do, but my god is it daunting. Being bold, believing in myself doesn’t make it less so, makes it thrilling sometimes but makes no difference to the outcome once I make my decision.

My way of handling is to completely ignore it for a while, like it doesn’t exist, until one morning, not long from now I’ll wake up and the desire to get on with it will just be stronger than anything else, stronger than food or want or life, I’ll be back there.

I know this as sure as I’m sitting here now, ignoring my book in the drawer, listening to the wind roar, watching reflections of sunlight and flames from the range as they dance on the table in front of me talking to you.

book complete

Saturday, while shopping for something so boring I can’t even remember we bought this beautiful paper on impulse.

I’ve photographed it here against our sitting-room wall which is ‘Royal Regatta 1′ by Dulux and I think they’re just beautiful together.

You know I love colour, all colour except for one, purple, lilac, every version. I’m being blindsided by the birds and the green and how well it looks with the blue. I’m papering the two side walls of the double height hall, well I’m not but Adrian is confident about it, that leaves the back wall which just might end up this blue colour too, hmmmmmmmm, decorating, decsions, don’t you just love them.

The paper by the way is by Graham & Browne for Homebase Inspired range. It’s a copy of an ancient hand painted Chinese paper or chinoiserie as it’s known.

a wallpaper

I did think of putting it in the kitchen first and still not sure it should go in the hall, after all I spend more time in the kitchen but we did decide to go all out decorating and for now at least paint the kitchen, woohoo!

I painted the mantel a few months ago in Dulux ‘Steel Symphony 5 ‘ a blue grey colour  that lightens or darkens according to the light and loved the result but wasn’t sure if I wanted to do the rest of the room with it or not. You see while I LOVE blue it’s the rich shades I love, royal and above, cerulean, sapphire, prussian and petrol. No babies please.

Saturday we said, ‘Feck it, what’s the worst that could happen?’

Not a bad mantra, after all all decorating should be playful and expressive in your own home.

Paint is easily changed AND at least it will be clean and fresh, god knows it needed it and a change, ooh I do love change. With the range in the kitchen it does get very dirty and we haven’t painted it since we moved in, it was time.

We started putting it on Sunday and so far so good though at times when it looks really ‘blue’ I do feel a bit alarmed, I go ‘aaaarrggghhh it’s blue!‘ life on the edge here you know.

Next question is what to paint the kitchen cabinets because obviously they look dreadful now.

a fire

You know how when you start something like this it is so hard to stop, well I just get so obsessed! But an invitation to dinner on Sunday did the trick.

Dinner at Caoilfhionn and Sean’s is always a treat. Amazing food, great company plus our children are the same ages. We were all looking forward to it and even the children were saying ‘what will Caoilfhionn be cooking I wonder?’

On this occasion Caoilfhionn, stunning cook, not restaurant style, much more professional than that, political organiser/advisor and talented artist went with a Moroccan theme inspired by the movie Casablanca complete with music and cocktails from the movie. French 75 anyone? Make mine a double.

The Menu

  • French 75 cocktails
  • Kefta Briouats (filo wraps with lamb)
  • Kefta Kebabs (lamb)
  • Aubergine jam
  • Tagine of chickpeas
  • Couscous with Pomegranate and Mint
  • M’hanncha, Pistachio and almond filo coil…


a pastry

Apparently these little beauties are supposed to blow your head off but we were fine just fine. A gin, champagne and lemon concoction, nectar of the gods. I do love a drink that’s not sweet just divine…

a french 75

a window

I can’t tell a lie, I ate everything and by everything I mean everything.

I ate mine, the children’s leftovers and the general leftovers, more than the men. I was in heaven. You do know, you will never get this level of food in a restaurant, they are all about the bottom line, the shortcut. This is food, this is living. I suggest you cultivate some foodie friends and shower them with everything so that they’ll cook for you.

Poor Caoilfhionn, last time she was over I made chilli which will tell you how not competitive I am. It was good chilli but it was still chilli : )

Only the ambience could help with that, I give good ambience, that’s what I’m good at but this…WOW!

a dinner extraordinaire

Snow White and Rose Red #besties
a snow white and rose red

Just when I thought things could not get more delicious Caoilfhionn gave me two books. ‘I think you will love these,’ she said like it was nothing.

She thought correct.

‘Tamara De Lempicka’ A Life of Deco And Decadence & ‘Among The Bohemians’ Experiments in Living 1900 – 1939. Enough said. I am currently reading both of these plus two other books, I am in heaven.

a book petal

I’ll leave you with a sample of Tamara’s work and words…

‘I live life in the margins of society, and the rules of normal society don’t apply to those who live on the fringe.’

a tamara

 

Posted on by Jane in Cosiness & TLC, THE YEAR IN EVENTS, PARTIES & SPRAOI'S 2 Comments
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    • The Last Day of Autumn October 30, 2014
      It’s the second last day of autumn, All Hallows Eve and just look at my girl in the lane with the leaves and compare as I did but don’t cry as I did about how she looked in our lane such a short time ago in this post, Autumn in the Lane And here is our […]
      Jane
    • The Weekend – Eat, Decorate & Be Merry : ) October 21, 2014
      Hello friends, another new week and October half over. On Friday I finished the second draft of my novel and printed it for the first time. Next I need to go through and read it, pen in hand, making notes and so on before starting afresh on the next draft. I feel very clear about […]
      Jane
    • Tea Among the Falling Leaves October 14, 2014
      Tea among the falling leaves and streaming light, in Ireland, in October. This is our orchard, it’s a baby orchard still. In the middle stands an obelisk surrounded by a circle of topiary balls I like to imagine the humorous giants they could be one day. A circle of fruit trees surround them, they’re young […]
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    • Home Style October 12, 2014
      All week I’ve been cooking solely on our wood fired range and dreaming of colour, pattern, texture, the juxtaposition of things and to be fair, there’s inspiration everywhere. I noted it all and then BOOM… a new kitchen. Well one wall, one part of one wall. But only because I ran out of paper. Yes […]
      Jane
    • Enough About Me, What Do You Think? October 8, 2014
      It’s raining cats and dogs here in Ballinamore. Sadhbh and I are hard at work in our cosy kitchen with ‘likkle guys’ and lego and brainstorming a new ‘About Me’  for the blog. If your’re a blogger you will know the ‘About Me’ section is by far the most important part of your blog and […]
      Jane
    • October October 6, 2014
      “Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” Humbert Wolfe Hello my dears. Well since my last post we’ve slipped into October and what a difference a week makes. Last Sunday I sat out until well after dark, surrounded by roses […]
      Jane
    • How to Do All You Want & Feel Brilliant Today September 29, 2014
      It’s Monday and I love Monday’s because I love mornings, new beginnings and the sense of possibility they bring. Today I’m going to answer the burning question, the one I get asked all the time, the one that women and mothers so often get asked. How do I do it? How did I do it? […]
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    • I Don’t Want to Die! September 23, 2014
      I had the strangest week last week, a string of events brought me down like just like domino’s it went, my daughter left for college, I had a birthday (a crappy day) and then it was said to me, next is ‘the change,’ they meant OF LIFE! Are you freaking kidding me? I mean come on! […]
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    • Gone Reading September 22, 2014
      Belated birthday presents just arrived in the post! The excitement! What to read first is the question? ‘The Grass is Singing’ by Doris Lessing.  ‘Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter’ by Simone De Beauvoir.  ‘Seven Gothic Tales’ by Isak Dinesen.  ‘A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf.  ‘The Portable Dorothy Parker’ by Dorothy Parker.  ‘The […]
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