Provence In Soft Focus
9 March 2015 | VA Notes Provence

Provence In Soft Focus

This last weekend in Provence, felt as if it were in soft focus.

The light in Provence is forever changing. It is often bright, sometimes subdued but always unique.

Restorative is the word that comes to mind; the light in Provence feels like a dose of goodness, an antidote to negativity and a positive force to make all things better.

A romantic interpretation, but if you were with me last weekend I feel sure you would agree.

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To Use An Interior Designer Or Not?
11 February 2015 | VA Notes Lifestyle

To Use An Interior Designer Or Not?

Do you use an interior designer to create your home or is the interior a pleasure that you keep all to yourself?


In Provence our story, travels and adventures fashioned our interior. We moved to Europe from Australia with a houseload of memories and those stayed with us. The interiors were never designed, they evolved.

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Provencal Split Personality
16 November 2014 | VA Notes Lifestyle

Provencal Split Personality

I had a revelation as I waited in the local bank in Saint Rémy de Provence. Banking, a task that would normally have my impatience cranked up to the highest level. I have developed “Provencal split personality”. What is Provencal split personality? And yes, I made this term up. 

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Le Petit Bijou, Saint Remy De Provence
20 October 2014 | VA Notes Lifestyle

Le Petit Bijou, Saint Remy De Provence

Le Petit Bijou, our holiday rental home in Saint Rémy de Provence, has been up and running for a little over a year now. I would have to say that of all the projects I have been involved in over the years this little jewel has given me the greatest pleasure. It’s the sweetest little

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The French Cadeau
6 October 2014 | VA Notes Provence

The French Cadeau

“Would you like some parsley?” A strange sentence to start off the week… but a common enough one in Provence. There is a custom in Provence that when you buy your fruit and vegetables, either at the market or in the village shop,  you will be offered a bunch of parsley at the checkout. It’s given with

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A Gypsy Life
31 August 2014 | VA Notes Lifestyle

A Gypsy Life

For the next little while in London I am going to be living life out of a suitcase… a gypsy life. It’s a question of timing… moving out… finding a new home… waiting for a renovation to be complete… moving in. This kind of thing takes synchronisation and somehow the cogs are crunching ever so slightly.

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Vintage Linens
18 August 2014 | VA Notes Provence

Vintage Linens

My love affair with vintage linens started with my first visit to Provence in 1995. I could not believe the beauty and the availability. That French families would sell complete vintage trousseau at their local flea markets for very little, seemed unbeliveable to me. I have come to understand that the French don’t appreciate the vintage in the same way as I

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Capturing The Visual Beauty Of Provence
13 August 2014 | VA Notes Provence

Capturing The Visual Beauty Of Provence

Capturing the visual beauty of Provence is a challenge I never grow tired of. It can be so fleeting; it can be too overwhelming. I want to guard and protect her loveliness in my thoughts. I want to be able to draw upon a stock of memories from Provence when the the urban life becomes all too

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Diary From Provence… Need To Know
7 August 2014 | VA Notes Provence

Diary From Provence… Need To Know

It is impossible to escape the colour in , especially during the summer season. Wednesday morning’s market in St Remy de Provence swells to double or even triple the size and by 11am, there is scarcely room to move. Each week I am in St Remy de Provence bright and early to buy from my favourite

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Too Many Books… No Such Thing
5 August 2014 | VA Notes Provence

Too Many Books… No Such Thing

Are there ever too many books? I don’t think so. As much as I enjoy the practicality and freedom of the Kindle and the iPad, nothing beats the beauty of the book. It truly is a case of the more the merrier. Do we buy as many books as we once did? My intentions are there

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Diary From Provence: Chateau De La Motte Fenelon
4 August 2014 | VA Notes Provence

Diary From Provence: Chateau De La Motte Fenelon

Most years we drive from London to for the summer. A long journey, but there is a certain luxury to your own car and escaping the joys of airports and plane travel. We usually stay somewhere different overnight… a chance to explore new areas of France and to break the journey. This year we stopped in Cambrai at

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Living in France: Feeling French?
21 July 2014 | VA Notes Lifestyle

Living in France: Feeling French?

Living in France… What makes you feel “French”? What changes you? Living away from your birthplace does re-align your thinking… it’s impossible not too… but I believe the revisions are positive… it’s important to adapt, to be open to new ways of doing things… otherwise we may as well stay put. It’s not about loosing who

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Lavender… The Taste and Scent of Provence
3 July 2014 | VA Notes Provence

Lavender… The Taste and Scent of Provence

  Lavender another taste and scent of Provence. I ask myself, can I take another shot of lavender? Can I continue to wax lyrical about this purple prince?     I have and I am going to… I can’t help it. Along with the scent and taste of the fig, it is the distinguishing feature of

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The Best Of The Straw Totes
16 June 2014 | VA Notes Provence

The Best Of The Straw Totes

  Spending time in Provence slows me down. Not in a bad way, in a great way. I believe it has that effect on everyone. Provence, the way it moves… considered, deliberate… confident and knowing… is a place that centres, that grounds.   Surrounded by the textures, the soft colours and the earthy influences… The warmth of

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