2 Oct 2012

October in Provence… And A Vintage ‘Chemise’ For You…

When asked my thoughts for October my mind immediately turns to Provence and my daily life there…

October is generally a kind of in-between month… a real reminder that summer is over and winter is approaching…

A point on the calendar where we start thinking of the holidays, of Christmas… the month when we accept that the year has rapidly vanished…

and that we have less not more..

 October on the farm is a waiting time… for me it is about the olives…

Watching them turn colour… seeing their khaki green skins brighten and then turn dark as they make their journey towards maturity…

We guard them like hawks… aware that the dreaded fruit fly can take them out in one foul attack…

We plan for the harvest…prepare our equipment and co-ordinate our workers…

We are poised for November..

October is the month to pick our apples… to make compote and jams… to make juice…

It is the time when we pack our summer life away… and our outside world disappears until next year…

I say goodbye to swimming and I welcome long walks…

Red wine over rosé…

Slow cooking and hearty are the culinary terms I think of… vegetables, replace salads… fruit tarts insted of ice creams…


Cosy is where I want to be…

I light the fires and the scented candles… pull out the throw rugs and add the duvets to our beds…

Kitchen suppers are my choice… picnics seem to be forgotten…

Inside comes alive… our farmhouse laps up the attention after months of outdoor living…

The pace of life starts to slow… the evenings are longer… there is time to catch up on films…

October… now I think about it… I like it… xv

To read what October means to other favourite bloggers please click here

The Vintage Chemise giveaway continues… so please leave me a comment, subscribe, join me on Facebook… the more the merrier… just let me know you are there if you haven’t already… I will announce winners next week…

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Hi Vicki,
I LOVE October ….. not only for the falling leaves and beautiful colours but our son and daughter-in-law got married in October 2008 and it brings back wonderful memories of such a beautiful day.
I also love seeing your French home in all of the different seasons and hearing about what is going on there. I wish you a bountiful harvest and lots of delicious fruit tarts !! XXXX

Heather in Arles

I know how you revel in your Summer, Vicki but who couldn’t fall in love with the portrait you paint so clearly of Autumn in Provence? Lucky ducks we are.

Thank you as always for making us all dream…


I do subscribe to this blog and am always happy when a new post appears in my email.

What a lovely way you spend October!

I am studying my french tapes for the day that I am able to visit France :)


As we souls ‘downunder’ move into Spring and Summer it’s a poignant reminder of all that I love about Autumn and Winter. Enjoy the change of seasons and the changes they entail.


I am always in love with all your comments. I am missing Provence and hope to be able to get a break and visit in November. Thanks so much to bring me some memories.


I love to see your beautiful home & wonderful photographs. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards,

Leslie Sinclair

I just can’t believe its October already!! Christmas is just around the corner!!! Yikes is how I feel first and then happy as its a time where the family will all be together!! Have a great week!! Leslie

Marsha @ Splenderosa

Oh, I knew you would explain it beautifully. Those images say so much, as much as your lovely words. What you are describing makes me want to be right there with you, enjoying all the simple things which make life so worth living. Thank you, Vicki, for being with us at By Invitation Only. We couldn’t do it without you. Sending love from Texas, where we have an actual real Fall…

Amy Kortuem

I love heading into autumn. In two days, the temperature here in Minnesota will drop from 75-80 into the 40s. I can’t wait to get out my woolens and start figuring out my next knitting project…and planning my holiday harp concert!


Enjoyed your blog today. I’ve been dreading the end of summer more than usual this year (which is delayed a bit here in Southern California), but your thoughts have suddenly made me anxious for the cozy months of winter!

Ginette Hunter

You have described October so beautifully. As a Feng Shui Practitioner I notice how the energy effects us on all levels. Not an obvious at first…. with the days offerring of coolness in the air our cell batteries are rejuvenated.An offerring of ambitious energies to execute activities that were out of reach and thought months previous. Yes, October is the time of gathering, celebration and completion before the winter months of rest/ hybernation. My favourite time of year.
In Canada our Canadian Maple Leaves are taking centre stage with their their showing of beauty.
Happy October from Canada!

Rosalie Carmichael

Vicki, yesterday here in Western Australia we had 36 degrees C and a day at the “Royal Show” in Perth required a long sleeved button down cotton shirt, blue jeans, comfortable shoes and a big hat to keep the sun at bay. A great day out with the grandchildren and their grandfather while their parents had a day to themselves. Ferris wheel rides, chocolate coated strawberries and showbags saw contented children sleeping well last night. Their grandparents as well.

Linda Hutson

Hi Vicki, I found your blog about a month ago and can’t wait to read your posts. I visited France a few years ago and share your love of Paris and the French countryside.


Fall means all of those things to me, and almost exactly as you say…. it’s a drawing in, and my world gets a little smaller. I love how you wrote this.


Yes … I am here … daily! Enjoy your blog and your writing and – vicariously – your charmed life! All lovely, as I’m sure a French vintage chemise would be … just a little “Bonjour,” even if I do not win.

Randi Vachon

Your giveaway devine, such fun and of course, so very French! And dang, I do so remember those bathing caps :-)


October in Provence sounds completely dreamy!! I fell in love with the olive groves while in Provence :) You are so blessed to live among such beauty! Beautiful photos Vicki!!!


:) T

Francine Gardner

Reading your post brought me back to my early days, living on my parents’ farm. The days were filled with fall activities, almost frantic, gearing up to the winter.

peggy braswell

When I first came to S.CA in a Sept. I kept waiting for the cool weather like the East Coast + later that year it came in the form of rain.Now I am use to the seasons in CA. We have the most wonderful weather-however today it is in the 100’s + Yikes xxpeggybraswelldesign.com


I am ready for a bit of cozy in my life – sweaters, boots, hot drinks and sitting fireside – yes please! Have a wonderful evening, Vicki! xxoo


You make the fall sound lovely! Always best to find what you love about something rather than focus on what you don’t. Though I do wish the summers were just a little longer…but there I went. Thank you for reminding me.
Bisous, Kirsten


How lovely….the fireplace, the apples the apple juice and you’ve captured it, that transition and how many apples you harvest I can only guess.


Vicki, thank you for your lovely words of encouragement and your awesome wishes.

October sounds wonderful in your lil dot of the universe. Beam me up to help harvest! Good luck with that!
Sending hugs



Oh how I love your life Vicki!

I would love to be entered in the contest for the Vintage Chemise!

Art by Karena

Anita Rivera

Good morning Vicki,

I am so late! Is this your home? What a lovely and cozy place to dwell and I too agree that this is a time to slow down long enough to enjoy the changes and the colors and tastes. What a glorious collection of photos! Anita

The Enchanted Home

Stunning Vicki…you paint a mighty fabulous picture of life in Provence in the in between season. The pictures are just stunning…..enjoy this month of peace and reflection.


In the US, “Legends are made in October” – its a baseball phrase.. we are all geared up for the playoffs and world series.


Good afternoon Vicki, I like how the photos were not in color this time. I wish we had markets like you have. I have very similar winding down the summer changes. Last weekend I harvested my basil. Put it in the processor with a little olive oil and froze it in ice cube trays, once frozen packed away in zip lock baggies. The house smelled basilly( I know it is not a word) all weekend. I live in a Chicago suburb, we are known for awful winters. I try to keep my garden going for as long as possible. I like looking at photos of yours in all the seasons. You are lucky you still have some greenery even in the winter. Such a nice site. Thanks,

Helen Tilston

Hello Vicki

Your thoughts and the activity around your farm create such glorious images of abundance and contentment.

May this always be so with your life

Helen xx


For me, October means we are sneaking toward a hot humid Queensland summer…not so keen..our winters are so beautiful, blue skies, averaging about 18 degrees during the day. Still, it also means the festive season is approaching..I like planning, so Christmas always comes to mind in October, the one time all the family come together from far away, thats enough to keep the spirits up! ..and be thankful for aircon!


I find nothing more romantic and feminine than a vintage chemise!

Thank you Vicki for reminding me everyday what a beautiful place France is. I wake to your emails and for a moment, everyday, I feel like I am back there – liesse!.


Reading this post makes me realise how amazing our world is. While you are preparing for the long winter, on the other side of the world we are shedding our coats and looking forward to the long, hot summer. In the Southern Highlands the blossoms are out, the grass is a verdant green, and I even received the season’s first mangos in my fruit box. Pouring over recipes using stone fruit, and salads are served with fresh fish (with a local rose). Our first break by the sea (although no swimming just yet), and barefoot by day. Happy, happy days xx

L Sorensen-Jolink

Like you, I am an outdoor swimmer, and your Daily Click photograph of the lovely pool today made me glad for our continuing summer weather here in Portland, Oregon. It will soon cool off, though, and your French Essence post is a lovely reminder of the wonders of Autumn. Thank you, as always, for what you give to your readers!


Your pictures and wonderful description of October days make me think of sitting with friends and sipping a warm, spiced cup of mulled apple cider. Fresh picked apples are a such a wonderful fall treat! Every year we have an Apple Festival at the Botanical Gardens at UBC. All the old favourites are there to taste and buy and each year growers introduce some new varieties. One of my favourite events of the year.

Jean Wethmar

October to me is a very special month Vicki.. Like the poet CL Leipoldt said long long ago back in South Africa..
Dit is die maand Oktober, die mooiste, mooiste maand: (it is the month October, the prettiest, prettiest month)
Dan is die dae so helder, (then is the day so crisp and clear) so groen is elke aand,(so green is every evening) So blou en sonder wolke die hemel heerlik bo,(so blue and without clouds, the heavens above) So blomtuin-vol van kleure die asvaal ou Karoo. (Flower gardens full of colour and even the dry old Karoo dessert turns colorful)

Dit is die maand Oktober: die akkerboom is groen; (Month of October, the Acorn tree is green)
Die bloekoms langs die paaie is almal nuutgeboen; (The bluegum along the road are reborn)
En orals in die tuin rond ruik jy sering en roos, Jasmyn en katjiepiering, lemoen en appelkoos. (And all over the garden you smell jasmine, and gardenia, lemon and apricots)
I loved your blog today.. took me on a journey back to my roots.. Africa.. thankfully Australia has the same weather pattern.. we’re into the prettiest month here as well..
Enjoy a good fall in Provence.. you certainly have a bountiful crop of apples and olives to keep you good company.. cheers with a good Aussie Shiraz..

Libby Walker

as another ‘ antipodean ‘ we are welcoming spring & summer although you wouldnt think so today as a wintry blast moves through the country….. Every season brings something to be thankful for, a different pace & . May we all know the peace & presence to live ‘ in the moment ‘. Thank you Vicki for sharing your heart & life with us all.


Fall is my favorite season and you have captured it just so perfectly in this post!!
I have never been so inspired to visit France as I have bee since I found your blog- enchanting.

Please count me in for your lovely giveaway!


Karen in CT

hey, checking in late … it’s dark outside, and I’m lighting some candles … was thinking about it this weekend, time to cozy up … welcome harvest moon.

yoga teacher

I’m envious of your lengthly autumn!
And living vicariously through yours.
Here in Houston, TX, our fall is limited to a few weeks, but we are loving it. Windows opened (each with a cat sunning in the sill:)


Ah October in Perth (Australia), winter has gone, the rain has stopped and the days are beginning to get cloudless sky blue, the garden is a mass of flowers, the roses are blooming, Spring is in the air, a month to treasure, as I soon know that the blistering hot, 45 degree days of summer are coming, how I long to keep October and spring all year round.

PS Great post Vicki, unfortunately I cannot “Like” you on facebook, as I am probably one of the few who don’t subscribe to it. But just to let you know, I love your blog, and also love the vintage chemise, would love one this way. Keep up your inspirational photos and blogs, just love it. Love Margaret

Janine Barnett

Vicki, you have exactly captured in words my love for the change of seasons. Living here in Queensland, however, it’s more like only having two seasons rather than four! Although, in saying that, it would be lovely to enjoy a sultry Queensland evening whilst wearing a gorgeous Vintage Chemise!

All the best with your harvest; I look forward to reading about it.


Beth D.

Oh French Essence, I look forward to it so much! Have traveled in Provence and enjoy reliving my visit with your postings. Vintage chemise-hoe divine.


Vicki…thank you for the great descriptions of Provence in Autumn. It, too, is my favourite time of year. Here in Alberta, Canada the harvest is basically completed..golden fields of ripened grain, leaves of all hues adorn our trees..crisp cool mornings and until a couple of days ago, warm afternoons. October will be cooler but still lovely.
Good eve. :)

Debbie McMillan

I was just looking up ways to get rid of the pesky fruit flies that have started to attack our mulberry tree and plum trees. We put nets over them to keep the birds away and now it’s vinegar and dish soap for the fruit flies. I’ve been picking mulberries furiously and freezing them ready for milkshakes, muffins and straight from the freezer during our hot Qld summer.We have 2 olive trees that my husband planted and we are watching the tiny olives get bigger every day. Have to learn about how to prepare them. It’s fun and we don’t take it too seriously. It’s just so nice to go into the backyard and pick things to eat.
I love the recipes you share with us.


We literally ‘limewash’ our trees… the heavy white coating confuses the fruit flies and they don’t attack… it’s an old fashioned, totally organic remedy… but… fingers crossed… it seems to be working… xv

Joanna C

I love Autumn and Winter, the colours are beautiful and the clothes seem so much easier to wear than summer clothes the older I get.

Those beautiful apples, our old apple trees have really struggled this year with all the rain but you look to have a bumper crop.

Good luck with the olive harvest!


Don’t we live in a wonderful world, Vicki? Here you are describing the shift from summer to autumn, preparing for winter and a cosy Christmas, whilst here in Australia, I’ve put the slow cooker away, had all our jackets and woolens dry-cleaned to be ready for next year – and am thrilled to be sitting on our verandah, barefooted, looking at our spring garden coming to life!! Lettuce, tomatoes, basil and summer veggies have been planted, bulbs are blossoming and next weekend daylight saving time begins: summer here we come!!
… Variety certainly is the spice of life!


I look forward to your email in my box every single day and have recommended your site to many of my friends.

Bette @ Ideezine

Love October for it’s gentle reminders that the holidays are fast approaching. It is also my birthday near the end of the month so I love it even more.

Fall allows us to slow down and appreciate all that we’ve been given and appreciate how nature teaches us to take things a bit slower yet still be watchful of change.

Amy Stuart

Autumn is my favorite time of year. The potent aromas of leaves, apples and woodsmoke permeate the air and cleanse my soul. I subscribe and follow you on Facebook. Love your blog, it’s one of only 4 I follow. Thx for the chance Xo


Dear Vicki
I love when fall comes and I can do the things you write about. Here in Norway we sit by the fireplace in the kitchen, drinking good wine and eating lamb, elk, deer or reindeer with mushrooms and other accessories that everything is seasonal delicacies.
Wishing you a beautiful fall Provence.

Carolyn Bradford

Love this post and always love your blog…I just had to tell you that my husband and I went to our local nursery which is owned by a good, life long friend…there sat an Olive Tree! Guess who bought it! I’ve been wanting Olive Trees since I first read your blog! If you have any tips…besides the fact that they grow better there than here in Alabama…please let me know! I’m so excited, though!


Olives must to be well drained and slightly out of the soil… draining is really important…:) Don’t overwater… they don’t need much after they have fruited (is that a word?) but water them as they come into their flowering time and as the fruit ripens… Fertilise in the spring… make sure the soil isn’t hard packed so the goodness can enter… and treat for any blights… I am not sure if Alabama has such a thing as fruit fly… but be guided by the nursery where you bought it… And most importantly… enjoy… :)


Love a vintage nightgown! And thos eapples are superb. It is defintely October; my favourite month. I was born in it.


After my mum passed away in August I have been sorting out all her fabulous possessions, the one thing that she didn’t keep though was lovely vintage lingerie, she had vintage bags, gloves, clothing but all her lingerie was of recent years which was disappointing as I adore pretty, lacy lingerie. I would love the chance of winning one of your chemise’s, I don’t usually enter other bloggers competitions but this is one I just cant deny myself :)

Lee (Lee Caroline – A World of Inspiration)

lylah ledner

I surely didn’t want to pass up the opportunity….but even more so I thoroughly enjoyed reading your love of October and all it means ….. Loved your pictures Vicki…truly amazing.

xoxo lylah


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