Change & why it’s a good thing!

Without change, you don’t grow. Without change, you don’t know…know anything new about yourself, change ruffles up the inner feathers & you get to see yourself react & respond, it might be negatively or positively & the result from either reaction, will be a move forward or a step back.

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Change is for our good. It might seem unwelcome at times & certainly unwanted but there is a lesson in the shift & you grow, growth is all part of the life experience & really, how safe are we if we choose stagnation instead of taking another turn & finding out more about ourselves & what life has to offer in another place or meeting new people who will no doubt bring a much-needed freshness into a space that has grown a little stale.

My life has been one of constant change. I shudder to think of what my life would have been like if I had stayed all my life in one place. I love the fact that yesterday, on a whim, off we went to visit a castle & then just drive through the countryside breathing in its freshness, scents & sights so intoxicating to the soul. It was a spur of the moment thing, a “Let’s do it!” Life breathes well when spontaneity is a regular dose in your life.

Change is always a bonus if it makes you simplify your life & free it up for more of what truly makes rich &, I’m not talking about money, it’s not things but experiences with those you love that bring an abundance of woohoo moments!

Change means you’re not standing still but moving forward in some way. So, don’t be scared when change comes a-knockin’, open that door & grow.

Cheers x

 

Spring is in the air! (even if it’s raining!)

 

I’m doin’ the countdown to Spring big time this year! Hubby & I spent 3 months in Tasmania, Australia, last year. Tasmania is an astonishingly picturesque island, truly beautiful  &, even though it was Spring when we were there, it actually felt like Winter. Cold, blustery days & lots of moody grey cloud. Of course, NOW, in France, we are only days away to Spring & it seems a weepy & sulky French sky is bidding Winter good-bye!

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Cherry trees are plentiful here, so much so that we pick copious amounts of them and Rob makes cherry liquor which we give as away as gifts at the end of the year. We have a cherry tree, too, it’s about to bud! The things in life that give us such remarkable joy are usually the most beautiful & delightful.  The French would say, “Extraordinaire!”

 

 

 

Our garden, too, is about to burst into a beautiful bouquet of colour. We prepared it well.  You see, Rob & I had a plan! When we were in Tasmania, we spent a lot of time at the botanical gardens, we took our books on days when the sun actually came out & STAYED! & we read, ate lunch there & then did our tour of the gardens & it was while we were admiring a particular section of garden (can’t quite remember exactly which one as we find all the gardens exceptional!) that we decided to turn our little patch of France into a beautiful one & so we rolled up our sleeves when we came back & got stuck into it! daffs, ranunculus, poppies, cosmos, heaps of lavender & hydrangea & many other colourful flowers are about to peel their Winter garb off & welcome Spring IN, as only a garden can!

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14 days to go! Whoohoo! In the meantime, we console ourselves by picking bunches of daffs in the countryside & so far, our kitchen table hasn’t missed a bunch!

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Rob’s making lunch. We both have colds. & even if it is a rainy day & the sun is teasing us by ducking in & out of a bad-tempered cloud, we have each other.

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Tomorrow I’m going to chat about what to wear in Spring. I guess, it’s an individual thing, so, it’s really about what I’m going to wear in Spring & if you need some tips…help yourself!

Cheers! Oh, that’s not very French!

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A bientôt!

My “Little Italy” in France

I’m back! It seems an age since I’ve last written & in truth, I’ve had at least a 6-month pause…

I got married! how fabulous is that?! I married my Italian man, in Australia &, am now back home, in France, where we live, in a little village by the river, in the French countryside. It sounds nice & quaint &, it IS!

My man is quite a bit older than me & he’s Italian, too, what a bonus! Not only is he devoted to me BUT he can cook! He’s a great cook, too! Each morning he rises say, about 6 am & he heads straight to the kitchen. I kid you not! (told you he was devoted & not just to me, to EVERYONE & EVERYTHING he values! nice, huh?) So… my nose is aroused by around 7 am to absolutely scrumptious &”deelish” aromas wafting up from the kitchen,  my mouth is salivating, it’s almost a beautiful torment because I wanna stay cosy as toast in bed but my tummy is doing a drum solo & by 9 I’m there! there!!! at the table, fork in hand, ready to end the day’s morning ritual of “delicious agony!” Rob watches me as I eat as if he’s listening to his favourite opera! devoted people like to see the people they care about…HAPPY! “It’s a real pleasure, Cara, to watch you eat!” Rob says to me. You see, he not only is devoted but he’s ITALIAN & DEVOTED! & so, he LOVES to see me HAPPY & what’s more…he loves knowing that he is the source of that happiness!

And that’s why I have been away, not writing… I’ve been enjoying the pleasures of a French life with very Italian overtones!

 

 

Now that I’m back, I’d like to share some of our French/Italian adventures with you.  I promise you! our life together… is never boring! Oh, btw…I nearly forgot the unforgettable… Cognac, our dog! did I say dog?!!! Cognac wouldn’t agree with that at all! Noses-up! he whines “dog! ” well, he’s almost human, wink x

What’s in it for us? (Millennial & a Middle-Ager)

 

 

 

 

What does a young & gorgeously fit millennial have in common with me, a 52-year-old woman, currently visiting my 17-year-old son,  in Tasmania, Australia? (At the bottom of the world I might add!) Astonishingly, we have a great deal in common. We both love to keep fabulously fit by taking long walks. We love beauty, nature & exploring different landscapes. We both suffer joyously from a remarkable curiosity about not only our own world around us but also, the world at large.

 

 

 

 

We both love dogs. I have a furry friend called Cognac & we take long walks together all the time, when I’m at home, in France.  Hilary also dreams to go adventuring with a loyal little furry friend by her side. In fact, we love all kinds of animals! & I’m quite sure we share a certain madness for fun times & loads of laughter, too!

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Hilary loves food, trying different little nooks that offer deliciously interesting dishes. And, so do I! I particularly enjoy Italian food & living in France, well…I’m blessed with cheese to die for! & really good wine! (Not to mention the pastries…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our life goals, our sense of adventure, even our love for taking simple walks as well as our bigger goals; to keep on travelling, meeting new people & meandering awhile in the local life of a particular different country & absorbing the ordinary day-to-day life, sights, smells, food & customs is something that will always make our lives extraordinary… bridging OUR gap, making our friendship, an ageLESS one!  & I’m quite sure we will meet up in France, perhaps enjoy some time in Paris together.

We both love art, are creative, share many interests. We both love to write. of course Hilary is savvier than I am when it comes to technology & I’m thrilled I can ask her for help when I need it in this regard. Growing up as a child in the 70’s we had many advantages compared with children today. We played outside with other children from our neighbourhood, our imagination gave birth to many creative games & of course the odd game of cricket now & then. It was a good time to be young &, we WERE young! Of course, I love technology, too! & really appreciate its place in my life.

 

 

 

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I’m a positive thinker. Positive thoughts feed my soul & keep my inner world fresh & vivaciously alive! & it can’t help but keep one looking youthful. Joy on a woman of any age, adds such a sparkle of youth to not only a woman’s heart but her face! It’s the most attractive kind of beauty because it doesn’t fade, it can be found on many 90-year-olds! Laughter lines speak of beautiful, happy memories, cheerful markers that say… joy etched itself in my smile.

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I have a poet’s soul, so deeply sensitive to the profound beauty of life, people & what can be quite difficult at times…the feelings of others, their sadness or despair. I like to help others & so does Hilary. It’s perhaps the most meaningful thing we share & without a doubt the most rewarding & deeply fulfilling.

I love the way Hilary thinks, I like seeing life through the lens of her heart, she’s remarkably mature & has a beautiful vulnerability & openness which is so pleasantly refreshing. I think we’ve certainly ‘bridged the gap’ quite successfully & both feel the benefits of the different age blend. It’s a truly beautiful & rewarding one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s to Extroverted Introverts!

Yep! I’m one. I’m a self-confessed extroverted introvert, usually, my gregarious side is more notable after 2 glasses of red. BIG ONES. I prefer my introverted side, I know my face screams extrovert, it really does, but behind that cheery face is a quiet creature. Ssh! 15135808_1334712123226938_4629148617126843511_n I enjoy good conversation, a delicious dinner or a concert with an intimate group of friends. I’m funny. Quite a light-hearted cheery soul, really. But, I do enjoy the quiet ‘me’ & I get to spend a tremendous amount of time with her… Madame Moi. It’s just as well I enjoy my own company because if I didn’t, I’d be an unhappy little puppy. I enjoy music, love it, but I think silence is my soul’s favourite piece, let it play…

Maybe that’s the reason why extroverted introverts have such cheery loud, expressive faces because the introvert is ever-present with the DO NOT DISTURB sign fixed firmly around her soul. The extroverted side enjoys the party while the introverted side gets to be present but as an observer & an absorber, reading the event like a good novel & thus, enjoying it at a deeper level. Always retiring at just the right time, leaving the extroverted side to bounce along on just enough energy to do the big clean up after the guests have gone. They get on. They help each other. It’s an interesting partnership. The introverted side never wants to go out & mingle, however, the extroverted side insists & a happy compromise is made by leaving an hour earlier. It’s a good way to be. I like it. I’m never lonely. Both sides bring me balance & peace. At heart, I am the introvert. She’s my fave!

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Thrift Buy & Fashionably Thrive!

That’s me in Frankfurt, Germany, had walked all day & was feeling quite comfortably contented with myself on a bridge overlooking the legendary river Main. But, what’s particularly exciting about that pic is that super cool & very chic little black dress I bought, would you believe for an apple & an egg? (8 euros to be exact!) in a thrift shop, right in the heart of the city. It’s a good label. I bought a bargain, so call me BARGAIN QUEEN! because recently, as recent as last week, in fact, I bought in my all-time favorite shop ‘Down Under,’  a pair of Gucci glasses, authentic & just 3 bucks! Call me Bargain Queen! Because… I AM XimagesIt never ceases to amaze me the clothes  & accessories that women throw away! (Keep throwing them right my way, ladies!)I bought a platinum ring for 5 bucks in that same Australian thrift store & it was worth 6000 dollars!!! Noses up at Thrift stores, second-hand stores, Nah-uh! Not my nose! Thrift bought & fashionably thriving with my eclectic robe of all sorts, thank you very muchly! Grab a friend & spend the day doing a good thrift crawl. There’s nothing like a bargain to give you a fashionably good buzz! (Followed by cake & coffee, because a good thrift buy will keep those extra dollars in your pocket for other little treats.) Cheers X02-13-things-thrift-shop-wont-tell-you-new-clothes

 

“She threw away all her masks, & put on her soul.”

Confidence doesn’t come from what you wear. It’s true, a nice glam outfit helps, but eventually, that outfit has to come off & you are left with YOU. Be happy about that! I have stood naked in front of my mirror & faced myself, I wanted to wish those extra pounds away, I wanted to take ten years off my face, & what I had to acknowledge & do acknowledge is that I am who I am, warts & all, I am me. I am not perfect. That’s the key, fall in love with being YOU. There is no one on this planet like you. You are special. You are worth it! Don’t wait for others to give you that pat on the back or that praise from their lips, it all starts with how you talk to you. Adorn your inner self with the beauty of kind, gentle & supportive words. Clothes can’t do that.

I was talking to a woman the other day who has breast cancer. She is facing herself. I looked at this woman & thought…wow! This woman is truly beautiful. We sat & had a cup of tea together & as she spoke, I listened to her soul. There was such a mixture of fear, courage, tears & beauty, too. Her naked soul was openly exposed to me & she was frightened like a scared child. Everything she exchanged to me was real. Have we forgotten to be real?  Have we forgotten to have meaningful exchanges with people? To touch & comfort their suffering rather than just admire their outer garments! A truly genuine person revealing real feelings is very rare to find in a world that constantly bombards us with “Gotta be more, do more…you are not enough unless…” Bah! Don’t buy into it or you’ll never escape the knife of the plastic surgeon! YOU ARE ENOUGH! I think that is where it all begins, with YOU, not accepting the ugly, useless labels that society tries to slap on you. If you are 60 plus, great! Wisdom speaks from the lips of those who have walked this earth a little longer & what a fine adornment is that pearl of prudence, insight & respect, there is no outfit that can ever compete with such valuable qualities of the heart.

Personally, fashion does not dictate to me what I must wear year in & year out. I wear clothes that I like, I don’t follow the crowd & I prefer the truly timeless classics, a style that doesn’t date.

Just be your lovely self & KNOW you are lovely BEFORE you dress up glam! & when that outfit comes off, you will be left with you, someone uniquely special, someone who is real, who can be frightened, scared & courageous all at the same time. Collect real people, fake ones are a dime a dozen! In this life, when very scary things happen, you don’t need a glamour queen sitting across from you at the table, you do need someone who has got their real on way before they’ve ever got their fashion style on. Make up your inner wardrobe first, it is way more important than your clothes closet.  You can’t buy confidence, it can’t be found in a clothes store. Confidence is found within you, as you enjoy & appreciate the truly unique & beautiful person that you are.girl-2178157_960_720