Thursday, October 27, 2011

With Love from Finland

Hey bloggers! Do you remember when someone left the very first comment on your blog? Wasn't it just amazing and weird and awesome all rolled into one?

I had no idea how fantastic the interaction through blogging could be, and for me it all started with a comment from the lovely Eva at Eisblumen.  She sure made me happy that day.

Eva is German, living in Finland, blogging in English. Got that? She is not only an all-round sweetheart, she's also a wicked seamstress. Look at what she sent for the baby:


A gorgeous flannel hooded jacket - perfect for the fall season here in southern France.

I absolutely adore the Anna Maria Horner flannel on the inside:


And how it ties in with the button loops and topstitching.


Sure he looks grumpy. He's just realised he's not old enough to eat any of this:


Check it out, Finnish sweets. So far I am close to polishing off the blue/purple block: teeny crunchy balls of liquorice in milk chocolate. Finland has been holding out on us all.

Aren't these lollies so pretty? They are also almost gone, between me and occasionally using them to bribe my children.


Best of all, Eva sent this book which is telling me everything I need to know about Finland. (Oh, and the kids too).


I have to share this TV advert from home which shows why Australians need to read this book.

Dear Finland. Sorry about that. Love Australia. x x  

The kids are loving the nicky-nar-nu cartoons about saunas:


I'm dreaming about Scandinavian men who apparently can all cook like this:


But best of all I am loving the Finnish sense of humour:


I think Finns and Australians would get along just fine. Thank you, Eva!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gorgeous Gordes

Firstly, a big thank you to those who popped over to see Rachel's Celebrate Colour competition (and virtual smooches for those who voted for me). I didn't make the top two, but there is still two months of competition to go - why not whip something up and enter it? The prizes are gĂ©nial!

My parents are visiting us at the moment and I took them to Gordes, easily one of the prettiest villages in the Luberon Valley, on Thursday.


Gordes is a gorgeous medieval hilltop village with stunning views:


And cobblestones (or calades [streets paved with river stones] as they are known in Provence) worn smooth with age:


Everywhere you will find picturesque alleys like this:


Where the local bakery looks like this:


And you stumble upon treasures like this:


Can you imagine spending your winter in this sunroom, overlooking the Valley?


Or buying some veg here:


Gorgeous doorways:


Plenty of charismatic restaurants off the main square:


This medieval chateau (built 1030s) lies at the heart of the village and now houses the Mairie (Town Hall), the tourist bureau and a small museum dedicated to Pol Mara, a Flemish artist (and past resident of Gordes).


Within the walls it was also a centre for resistance activity in WWII:


Looking out from the Chateau - you can see the restaurant from the photo above on the left. We had a coffee there solely so the toddler could run around the square and leave us in peace. If you do visit - please order tea. The coffee is terrible.


Just near the chateau is Espace Simiane. Originally built as a hospital in the early 1700s, I'm not sure what the building houses now, but the gardens are beautiful and open to the public.



And of course it wouldn't be a Bonjour post without a visit to the local church:


The church of St Firmin. I'm not sure who St Firmin was when he was home lounging on the couch in his underwear, but the church was full of beautiful colour and pattern.


Joseph and his Son:


I loved the pattern on the edge of his robe:


A poignant reminder that our time on this earth is fleeting - use it wisely.


So that was Gordes - not for the faint of heart in summer (heat and dirty, stinkin' tourists) but definitely a place to visit if you find yourself in Provence.



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