One of the questions I am most frequently asked is what does “Brocante” mean, and I smile and look smug and tell them that though there is no equivalent word in the English language, to the French the literal translation of “Brocante” is “article of trifling value”.

So this is what my virtual home became about: articles of beautiful, but trifling value because life was carefree enough, even through all its ups and downs, to allow me to indulge in all that is pretty and frivolous  about this world. And somehow no matter what was happening in my world I could find the wonderful in every day: the gorgeous ordinary, the precious nothings, the things that shored me up daily and all those things I thought just might bring a little joy or comfort to you. Though some days these articles of trifling value tickled me thick and fast, occasionally there would be times when life got in the way and I couldn’t find the time to share all the loveliness in my head, but always, right there in my head, that treasure chest existed, filled full of trifling gems I couldn’t wait to share.

But not today. Though through the trauma of the past week, I have occasionally switched on this computer like a drug addict seeking her old familiar fix, for the first time eight years there is no comfort to be found in trifles.  No pleasure in the possibility of telling what has turned out be a story with a desperately unhappy ending. For the first time, dear precious readers, there is no peace in the pretty. No chance of draping pain in carefully told prose, no compensation to be found for something that has left me unable to let a morsel pass my lips for five days. My throat closed. My body concentrating on forcing me to get up and get through the days, because I have to.

And so here I am. Though I despise tainting my gorgeous, polka dot home with the ugly all over again, things have happened that have made my forthcoming marriage to Richard untenable, and though I love him more than I can imagine it is possible to love someone, and he loves me as desperately as I ever thought I was capable of being loved, I cannot marry him and I have called off the wedding, given up my beautiful dress and walked sobbing to the recycling bin, with my arms full of bridal magazines and vintage books I had been carefully collecting to pile upon our wedding breakfast tables.

All is lost. And though our story is in no way what I am sure you imagine it is, it dramatically alters the shape of our future for always and I do not know where to begin picking up the pieces, salvaging what is left, or making sense of my confusion. I doubt very, very much that I have got the strength and know I have no choice regardless.

Please think of me  through these next awful weeks and I will try my very best to be here as often as grief allows me to dabble in the articles of trifling, precious value that have until now, always shored me against ruin.

I love you.x