The day starts early here.
This is not my normal routine and while I don’t start my day late this is a switch up. I’m not sure why? Maybe to do with poor sleeping and a leftover swag of jet lag; it’s working out fine. I feel motivated and positive in the mornings and while it lasts I’m hanging on with both hands. Our deserted walks through the streets of Notting Hill and Holland Park have never been more beautiful. The early morning sun is casting a rosy glow on our beautiful streets and houses.
My eye is back.
Eye spy so much more and it is as if a veil has been lifted from my taking-too-much-for-granted eyes. Details lost in a flurry of unimportant hurry proclaim themselves daily; architectural details, divinely pastel houses, quirky boutiques and secluded gardens I never gave any real attention to. Every walk is a journey of discovery and to wander Portobello Road without the flaneurs is the joy in despondent times. The arcades are not what they once were but in silence, they have a charm of their own. Our one courageous fruit and veg seller battles on alone most days, serving long-standing and very loyal customers. It’s eerie and charming at the same time.
Last night at 8 pm was most extraordinary.
The neighbourhood erupted in cheers and clapping to salute our health workers, carers and all those bravely putting their own lives in jeopardy. People opened their windows and front doors to give the biggest round of applause – it was very moving – and happened not only in London but also all over Britain. A month ago a clap or a million would have been lost in the commotion of urban life.
Eye spy bits and pieces in our home I walk past day and night, they have meaning but I rarely stop and touch them or think about their origins. Not now; now I am taking full notice. The porcelain jug from Paris filled with pink lilies, a blush shade glass bottle found with a collection of others in a market in Provence and my best shells and much-loved vintage hatpins. They are trifles and frivolous objects but each has a tale to tell.
At home in London is not a grave hardship for me other than I miss my children and baby grandson ridiculously. My habit is to work from home so not much has changed there. As long as I maintain the exercise, my mental and emotional state will stay strong. We are fortunate to have access to one of those “Notting Hill” gardens made famous in the movie and if lockdown becomes more rigid I can still move about.
France is forever on my mind as our little jewels, Le Petit Bijou and La Maison du Village are closed until this wretched virus is under control. This will test me as they are as much home to me as London. I can’t wait to get back, see our lovely Christiane and feel enveloped in her Provencal hospitality. She has been part of our family from the beginning of my French life and any who stays with us will know exactly how I feel. She is waiting this time out safely but eye spy a woman impatient to welcome our guests.
Eye Spy something else.
About me that is.
There are certain, non-essential, “homey” bits crucial to my wellbeing. Skincare is one and the delish products that go with that. Guilty, but I absolutely love and need fresh flowers in our home – even if it means bringing the pot plants in or cutting a stem of foliage here and there; I’m getting more creative as the days pass and wandering to the corner flower stall is no longer an option.
Guilty, but I absolutely love and need fresh flowers in our home – even if it means bringing the pot plants in or cutting a stem of foliage here and there; I’m getting more creative as the days pass and wandering to the corner flower stall is no longer an option.
I have just about run out of scented candles. How could I? We have a Diptyque boutique in Saint Remy de Provence at La Maison du Village full of sweet-smelling bougies – *note to self: don’t leave without a stock next time. Candles burning, whether scented or not, make me feel cosy, content and strangely as if all is well with the world even when it’s not. Deceiving myself like this is an innocent pastime and one I highly recommend. Online delivery maybe my knight in shining armour.
My other guilty pleasure?
Chocolate – in particular bowls of Hershey’s kisses scattered about. 22 calories a kiss can’t be all bad. xv