Holiday Snaps

People I’m home, but as Helen is home with us we are continuing our little holiday here until tomorrow afternoon, so today we are off to Albert Dock to sit at the waterside and drink cloudy lemonade. In the meantime, as I haven’t got enough time to write a full post about my trip to Oxford and London, I thought I would share a few snaps….


First up, from yesterday at Southport fair: my family and other animals- Gabriel, Finley and Helen…

new extensiion

And next Helen’s lovely new extension…

vv roul


This from the glorious ribbon emporium that is V.V. Rouleaux where we shopped for trimmings for Helens wedding…


Our little Clarry sitting on the armchair that is Helen’s pride and joy…

irregular choice

Shoes to die for at Irregular Choice

convent garden

Gorgeous flowers at Covent  Garden,,,


And finally me… tanned and relaxed after a lovely weekend away. 

Download Problems…

Just a quick briefing from abroad… well Oxford, I understand that there has been a problem with new Superstars downloading the files in the welcome email. Please note that I have now fixed this and all should be well for you my Darlings.

Have a lovely weekend won’t you?


My Helen

My little sister is getting married four days after Christmas in a gin bar! (Of all the bars in all the world she chose the one liable to make me delirious with glee!) . Oh yes, Helen who is two years younger than me, will marry Louis, the Daddy of our little Clarry in a teeny tiny intimate gin-soaked early evening do and quite frankly I couldn’t think of a more delightful way to tie the knot…


And so this evening Finley and I shall be making our way to Lime Street where we will hop on a train to Oxford, to spend four days in the blistering heat, so that we can accompany Helen to her first wedding dress fitting tomorrow afternoon and then spend the rest of the weekend hearing about her plans for the finer details of her lovely little wedding…

On Saturday we are heading into London to take our boys to the Gosh! comic book store and to bask in the heat by the river, and Sunday will be spent watching Clarry do all the scrumptious little somethings, babbas who are almost two are prone to doing…

I am so looking forward to it! As Helen’s house is the only place I have holidayed in, in recent years, I have come to think of it as the most gloriously accommodating, peaceful hotel (complete with two dogs and three kids and our Helen who is probably the noisiest of them all!) and I treasure the nights we stay up drinking wine and singing Kenny Rogers sons at the tops of our silly voices!

I will be away until Monday and though I am lugging my laptop with me, I probably won’t have much time to post or even really haunt the internets and so please excuse what will probably be something of a skeleton service for the duration. I will be posting a few photo’s here and on Instagram, and I will of course answer any urgent emails, so if you do happen to get in a muddle and need me I will be right here on the end of my iPhone ready to sort out any issues you have got with your Superstar membership (Don’t forget that this is your LAST chance to pay monthly and thus to have The Housekeepers Digest included in your plan!) or other purchases from my little shop.

So for now it is farewell. I am off to pack the bare minimum a person needs to enjoy this glorious sunshine, to make sure Finn isn’t packing everything and Batman’s kitchen sink and of course to make sure that the house is left in the kind of blissful lavender scented state it will be a pleasure to come home to…

Have a lovely weekend too, won’t you? 

Domestic Intimacy

I have said before, that to me,  my relationship with this one hundred and sixty year old cottage is akin to a marriage. A marriage of two highly compatible souls that just like any other relationship, ebbs and flows but is retained by an intimate bond forged throughout the years.

garden flowers

In this house there are memories on every surface. In the skirting boards chipped by Finley’s scooter. In all the furniture Mark built from nothing, the kitchen Richard brought to life. There is where I brought my new born baby home and the place where I sobbed when life fell apart. There’s the bathroom floor I slipped and fell on, bashing my face and knocking myself unconscious (ouch!), the garden in which I have grown tomatoes, strawberries and a soul. Look there, behind the bannister and you will see a tiny slither of the frightening green and gold flocked landing wallpaper I chose when I was pregnant. In the bathroom a collection of floral paintings I have hunted in car boot sales across the land and on close inspection, the track of little feline paws that trotted across the painted floor too soon.

I know this house. I know who lived in it before I did, and the purpose it served before it was purely the dwelling place of those lucky enough to occupy it. I sometimes dream of those who must have queued up at the door to buy bread or other daily necessities.  Each and every day I walk across the original wide planks on the dining room floor, tracing the route all those who live as ghosts here, used to tread. I know how it creaks at night. The gap between the roof tiles no-one seems able to fix. The trace of green paint the last occupant covered the house in. I know this house and it knows me.

And yet and yet and yet. There are periods of time in which we lose each other, this house and I. When the intimate secrets we share seem lost under clutter and the debris of a busy life. This always happens in Summer.

It happens when I am trying too hard to balance work with the demands and needs of a ten year old boy.

It happens when the air is stifling and the house is oppressed by windows that cannot be opened too wide in case our silly cat jumps out and decided to play chicken in the lane.

It happens and each and every time I resent it. I blame the house. I call it names. I declare living in such a tiny space is unmanageable. That a new house wouldn’t be so darn dusty. That I want to leave it, to call the divorce lawyers, throw in the key and run away to a space so pure and white and fresh and new that I would not have to deal with the horrors of watching something we love try to wear the indignities of  the ageing process. Would not have to deal with memories stuffed in every corner.

What we need is some alone time when there is none to be had for at least a few weeks. Time to wander around these rooms reminding myself how good it feels when this house and I are in harmony. When  it is mine again. No longer the preserve of children on sleepovers, or busy, buzzy bees whizzing around my head as I try to sleep, but mine again. So I can feel it almost smiling. So that I have the time to hug the house so it will hug us back.

This then is what is wrong.  Like the man who wears the same face but seems to have replaced everything else that he was, the house feels lost to me, and I need to devote myself to it again, so we can both feel at home again.

This too shall pass. It is in fact a feeling, as fleeting as a hot Summer day.

do the work

Do the Work (The Domino Project, 2011)

Over the weekend I signed up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited ~ (US Amazon accounts only at the moment) and for absolutely nothing I have been going a little e-book crazy! You simply download your chosen book from the collection of over 600,0000 currently available, read it and then virtually “give it back”. What’s not to love??

Do the Work is a book I have been meaning to read for many a month now, and last night as I simultaneously painted my toenails and sipped from a long cool glass of cucumber water, I read it and found in among its pages all my creative demons. This then is for every artist, writer, entrepreneur, blogger or other creative who knows what it is to hit a wall…

It is short and sharp but it is absolutely key to understanding that our creative battles are never our own but simply part of the process of birthing something that matters.


Hello lovely ladies, how wonderful that so many of you have decided to become Superstars before the price goes up at the end of this month! I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome you in to our scrumptious fold (But please remember to accept my invitation to the salon to make the most of your membership won’t you? Hundreds of you are missing out!)…


Today I wanted to answer the question so many of you have asked me recently – Where the blooming heck do you start when faced with the barrage of information and downloads to be found on the site, in the shop and in the Superstar Salon?

This then is the order I suggest for working your way through the everything available here on BrocanteHome…

* For a really quick overview of what it means to be a Vintage Housekeeper, then take my very short FREE course describing the ten principles of Vintage Housekeeping.

* Then begin by downloading The Art of Homemaking and spend the next thirty days working towards firmly establishing  BrocanteHome inspired routines and rituals. This download really will help you understand and plan for a lovelier domestic future and you can take it at your own pace, or work on each suggestion one day at a time.

*  Next I suggest you download The Housekeepers Planner so that you can plan and document all the routines and rituals you have created while working through The Art of Homemaking. Using the Housekeepers Planner will also help you establish one central place in which to keep all information related to your home and family, and a go-to place for meal planning, emergency information and much more.

* Follow this with Trash It or Treasure It because it is very, very difficult to establish workable routines and rituals if you cannot begin without a house and heart full of clutter. Trash It or Treasure It is quite intensive and should be tackled slowly, week by week as you dabble in becoming accustomed to the other aspects of vintage housekeeping, but by the end of the course you will have identified exactly what kind of clutter you are hoarding and why you are hoarding it, while slowly but surely banishing all the nonsense from your life!

* Next up, download The Seasonal Scrub and get busy mixing up your own organic house cleaning products and scheduling a Scrub or to into your domestic calendar. The Seasonal Scrub will help you set up a small collection of aromatherapy oils for all manner of things that ail you and your house, while describing how to establish a signature scent and how to use Bach Remedies in the home.

* Then help yourself to A Year of Puttery Treats, and start to add a little bit of loveliness to each and every day. In this download I describe and explain one scrumptious puttery treat for each and every day of the year and it really doesn’t matter if you jump right in, in the middle of July!

* Should you need specific, targeted housekeeping instruction then starting to use Housekeeping 365 at this point is particularly useful at this point because it allocates specific tasks and one lovely puttery treat to each and every day of the year so you never have to think about what to do when…

* Enjoy Season One and Season Two of the Vintage Housekeepers Circle at any time as they are short little essays  on living life the BrocanteHome way, and read as bedtime meditations, they gently reinforce what it means to live life the Brocante way.

* Similarly download 50 Apps for Vintage Housekeepers at any time because it is useful to set up on-line and mobile support for your domestic life as soon as you get started on the BrocanteHome path.

* Download both the Christmas Planner and the Christmas Countdown as soon as possible. Planning a beautiful, stress-free Christmas takes a whole lot of planning and having one place in which to plan it makes life a whole lot easier…

* Finally begin the Muse programme. Again this is quite intense and requires a lot of action on your part, but is utterly inspiring and will help you find your creative self and start to live a life less ordinary.

And should you find your Muse and feel the urge to tell the world about it?? Then it might just be time to study Blogging the Brocante Way and plan your on-line self in my Bloggers Planner.

I do hope this has been helpful. Buying and downloading the resources available here at BrocanteHome WILL help you create a truly scrumptious life, abundant with routine, ritual and celebration, but if you are going to make the most of my instruction then slowly working your way through each download and actually putting my suggestions into action one by one is the very best way to re-invent your domestic life.

Remember I am always here to hold your hand, so do ask as many questions as you need to before buying one of my downloads, or indeed choosing to become a Superstar (before the price DOUBLES!) and getting everything (and much more!) listed here.

Happy Housekeeping Honey Pies!

Brocante Adoxography

Welcome to the second in my series of adoxographies: a word I have commandeered to describe the gathering of some quotes and thoughts, beautifully expressed on Pinterest and collected here for my own sake, simply so that they are not lost in the scrum of boards relentlessly filled and I can use someone else’s words to express my own thoughts.


 All images credited on my Pinterest Words board.

We don’t dance enough do we? Imagine opening the back door right now and shimmying your way into the garden. Bending into that gentle breeze. Throwing your head back to look at the sun. Imagine how good it would feel to just let go of all the tension and shake it off! Spinning and twirling because there is no-one watching. Don’t imagine it. Do it! Do it now. Hold your own garden festival! Make it a Summer ritual.



Oh imagine that! Throwing the towel in on perfection. Deciding that our own good enough will do and that instead we can begin the work of living a boundary free life in our own image of how we want to live…




Why is it so hard to be gentle with ourselves? It shouldn’t be. It should be instinctive, so we desperately need to learn how to silence that criticising voice and just let ourselves be for a while, if only so that we can dwell in sadness and find our own way out of it.




Oh my. Never was there a truer word spoken. Only a real book can let us write our own story between the lines of the one it was printed to tell.


You know it’s true. So will tonight be the night you set your alarm an hour earlier than usual and choose to start tomorrow with your very own version of the Miracle Morning?




Feel the fear and do it anyway…




Too true…



Oh so very true. Ask Ouissi. ~In real life I am noisy, and I laugh too much. Occasionally I eat almond biscuits for breakfast.  Now you know – do with it what you will.

Till next time Housekeepers.x