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 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 Leave a comment

Tea Among the Falling Leaves

Tea among the falling leaves and streaming light, in Ireland, in October.

a blog tea streaming light

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 but already leaning and twisted with that ancient feel you get where orchards dwell.

All gardens should be romantic, wild and mysterious with only faintest memories of man.

a blog tea branches

I love to read in the garden even though it is impossible because the birds and the breeze keep stealing my attention.

I’m not really reading, only dreaming.

a blog tea table

Here’s the copper beech tree we rescued from the verge of the lane. He’s little but he’s hardy and happy, I mean look at him! Proud as punch is he, glowing and growing. One day he will reach 50 metres/160 ft…

Maybe in a hundred years someone will find an overgrown obelisk, ruined and wasted among these giant hedge topiary shapes, are they balls? How humourous!

Overhead the beech and the apple trees will stand tall, impervious.

photo 5 (67)

Work in progress…

a blog tea collage

a blog tea

Worth the effort? YES! A thousand times yes!

But wait, do I mean tea in the garden or the garden itself? Both I guess, yes.

We had nothing, we had not much, we had enough, we had everything.

photo 4 (99)

Posted on by Jane in I WAS JUST THINKING 8 Comments
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    • 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 […]
      Jane
    • 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? […]
      Jane
    • 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! […]
      Jane
    • 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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    • Chapter 1 of my Book – Read it Now!!! September 16, 2014
      Good morning! I’m not going to say much only here it is,  a taster of my novel as it stands at the moment. If you enjoy it please leave me a comment. I’ve been having heart attacks all morning so I think I’ll go now…over to you…   A First Novel by Jane Barry Blog: […]
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    • To The Mountain September 15, 2014
      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 we went up for a spin just the two of us and even though he […]
      Jane
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