Well now. Here we are. Trapped indoors by knee-high snow with a list of gifts that look as though they might just go undelivered by the reliable work-horse that is Amazon and a few still in the shops that the cancellation of all local train services is making impossible to collect.

I feel quite giddy! Around these parts we are about to enjoy the kind of austere Christmas that probably hasn’t been seen since World War Two. Without basics like milk and bread and loo-roll if the councils  don’t get their act together and do something about roads treacherous with snow and ice! Where in the name of Christmas are the sweepers and the gritters and the men with spades??  Hysteria is me.

Anyway with a child still in his dressing gown and slipper socks, and a head stuck in a book, and all other preparations for Christmas done and dusted Chez Brocante there is nothing left to do but open up my file of scrumptious things and regale you with all those things I’ve been meaning to share for an age, alongside one or two notices about all things Brocante I  really must pass on, and right down at the bottom of this post, a little competition…

* First things first: my email. If you have emailed me recently and I haven’t responded or indeed if you have been waiting in vain for word from me and received nothing but deep silence for your troubles, then  please forgive me for I have sinned against the Googley Gods and fiddled with my Gmail settings and in the process caused bedlam with filters and drafts and all manner of other things those with too much time on their hands are prone to fiddling with. Which means that lovely emails have been automatically filtered into files before ever reaching my in-box and emails I thought had been sent have been languishing on the chaise longue that is my draft folder for three weeks. I am RUBBISH with a big fat R. But trust me, I’m on it and will get back to you as soon as a root around my archives reveals the full extent of my troubles. I just thought the whole world had fallen out with me. Again…

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* Next up Dottie Angel. Because I love her and I want to be her and live her life and feed her chickens. Sort it out please Santa, I’m in the mood for a life swap…


* Now the house that I would like to wake up in on Christmas morning. Because I want to open my presents sitting beneath that tree and take all the lotions and potions in my stocking straight to that bathroom where I would beautify myself silly and come out looking like a shabby chic version of Marie Antoinette. See the rest of the house here

* Now this… An invitation from 1809,  for one Miss Lydia Goulet to attend a Pleasure Ball, with a motto I do believe we should write on our hearts: “While we live, let us LIVE.” Isn’t it time we planned a Pleasure Ball in our own living rooms?

* Next my word for 2011: BETTER. I want to feel better, look better, love better, write better, be better. This year I have come to the conclusion that expecting more from yourself isn’t unkind: it is essential to improving your life, and while I know that gratitude and acceptance matter at this stage in my life I am coming to understand that drive and ambition will help me build upon the sturdy foundations I have spent the past five years laying. It is time to be better. To ask for more from who I am and what I am capable of. More on this in the New Year my sweets…

* Next up : Reading for Vintage Gals like me and you. Miss Millions Maid by Berta Ruck and Mrs Oliver Onions (!) is thoroughly daft and an absolute riot in quite the quaintest sense of the word, making it perfect company for a snowy afternoon spent in one’s very own snowed in prison. Then a browse around Girlebooks should provide you with enough free literary joy to see you through the season, without having to trawl your way through the hallowed halls of Gutenberg…

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* Now an app that took all the images in my Flickr account and gave me a 34 second whizz through the last seven years of my life. Get yours at Pummelvision.com and see the very essence of your life flash before your eyes…

* And finally a teeny tiny competition. Because as always I need your help. You see in 2011 I plan on making changes here at Brocante  in line with my belief that progression sometimes demands change and recognising that in order to remain passionate about my on-line life  I need to channel my energy into writing about that which inspires me I will be looking to ever so slightly alter direction again in order to be better. So BrocanteHome doesn’t go stale.  This is nothing new and it doesn’t mean that Brocantehome will be unrecognisable: it simply means that as I have done every year I will be re-assessing what works and what doesn’t here, how my workload needs to alter to accommodate  not just that which keeps a roof over my head, but also that which allows me to write about what it is to live a BrocanteHome life in 2011, something I suspect is very different from what it was in 2005 when I first created it.

And so to have the chance to win a copy of the utterly scrumptious book above, I want to hear your views: how has your life as a vintage housekeeper changed? Is a  perfectly kept house the sign of a misspent life? Has the influx of housekeeping info available on the internet made it less interesting to you? Do you blog? Has the way you read changed? Do you own a reader? Are you looking for personal stories from a blogger or links to even more online inspiration? What do you think of the scrapbook way I blog? Would you be interested in more blogging how to’s? More book reviews? More vintage finds? You tell me…

Be as constructive as you can and your name will go in a hat to be drawn on January 2nd. So there’s plenty of time to gather your thoughts on Brocante) Many big thank you’s in advance.xx