step into my world

The alternative title to this post is “where did you get to Claire” – it’s the most common response I’ve had when I’ve visited my blogging buddies blogs recently. So it’s about time I answered the question.

Please, follow me and

Step Into My World

Step Into My World

Summer is over and Autumn is knocking at the door – in case you wondered what best dressed autumn is wearing this year I can tell you it’s sporting a raincoat, galoshes and an umbrella!

But let’s step back ..


June saw a holiday, a proper sunshine holiday, the first in years. YEAH!!! A return trip to Sicily and the rental of an apartment with a roof terrace. The plan was to sleep, snooze, read, drink coffee, drink wine, eat food, relax and potter about. Mission accomplished. Sicily is a delight, there is an appeal in it’s warmth, it’s history, it’s people, the cristal clear waters lapping the coastline, the dry rugged mountains and the hilltop towns and villages. Sicily is beguiling and senourous, captivating and enticing. Classic ice creams, traditional chocolate from Modica, work-a-day markets, corner cafes, the sweetest sun dried tomatoes, deliriously crisp white wine, perfect espressos, new favourite salads discovered, salted capers, fresh mint, oh so feathery light cannoli, and sun and warmth…..

Sicily 1

garden and allotment

A strange year of dry Spring, cool and cold with dotted sunny days followed by an intermittent Summer that yielded torrential rain. Like the weather my garden and allotment have been hit and miss affairs, attention one minute neglect the next, lacking inspiration and lacking access – we’ve now had scaffolding up for 6 weeks – access to my terrace and ability to potter and pootle around the garden have been curtailed. It’s still a mini haven, alliums, wisteria, clematis, dahlias and euphorbias, cannas, ginger lilly and banana plants jostle for space amongst the backdrop of ferns and dense greenery.

There have been multiple failures on the allotment – poor showings of beans, peas, courgettes. It’s a long list. The short list of successes are radish, carrots, fruit and this years super fun Padron Peppers – one in ten is hot, but which one?


A return trip to Devon, the county of impossibly cute cottages, winding lanes, rugged hills and windswept beaches. Clambering on Tors in Dartmoor, residing in Elizabethan splendor, walking in clorophyll glades and alongside gushing ice cold streams. Quiet early morning moments – me, a cup of tea and a bench. Collective busy evenings over homemade meals, laughter, and fun.


Back home and cooking Thai green curry for 27 – the things you say yes too! When time allowed and inspiration hit there was cake and friends, always friends. Juggling new jobs and ending old contracts. Learning new skills, polishing up on others and learning from mistakes. Moving offices around – I’m back where I started overlooking the Magnolia tree – in my favourite room. Sun fills it, at the heart of the house, I glance out and see green and yes there are distractions in the shape of Seagulls.

Trying not to grow up too fast cos we all know it’s a TRAP!

Re-discovering a yeast intolerance – focusing on what I can have and not what I can’t helps. Everything is an opportunity. The upside is that I no longer feel bloated and I’ve dropped a dress size. A weekly Sunday walk and talk with my loved one sees us exploring Sussex and Kent, whatever the weather. It’s does me good. Its does us good. The space and air to breathe and think, to process the week just gone and prepare ahead for the week  to come. To Be.


Next steps?, to blog again and regularly. A monthly effort by yours truly – there, I’ve made a commitment. Drink coffee and love life. See, there’s another commitment 🙂

I’ve enrolled on a college course – yes I’m heading back to school. Something practical for me and my CV – a teacher / trainer course. Won’t it be fun to sit in a classroom and learn again, learn the theories and practicalities? I believe so, and I’ll find out for certain tonight

Brighton Coffee and Cannoli


 yours truly the p**s artist – all art is life, right?Piss Artist



    • Thank you Tandy, it’s been a while hasn’t it. I trust life is good with you – last I saw you were heading off to Scotland, I hope it stayed dry for you

  • Hey, I was wondering where you had got to Claire! Good to catch up. Love the second commitment in particular – drink coffee and love life. Thai curry for 27?! Have a great month and good luck with your new classes! 🙂

    • Thank you Melissa. It’s not just the writing and photography that takes time, I want time for reading and replying top. That’s why I think a monthly post would work for me. Hope things work out for you too

  • Claire! Great to hear from you. Every blogger I know has been taking the occasional blogcation (me included). It’s good to clear the ol’ cobwebs, and live life without feeling the pressure to document it.
    Siciliy! Such a beautiful description. Definitely on my bucket list. Very curious to hear more about your banana plants – do they produce much fruit? I never even imagined they’d grow in less-than tropical climes. Best of luck with your college course, and here’s to lots more pottering and pootling!

    • Hi there, good to see you too! Loving the word blogcation – thank you for my new favourite word
      The banana plants are kind of decorative and I use them in the garden for foliage – I have a red type of one too! I know friends in London who have had bananas grow from their plants, but to be honest I think you would really need a heated greenhouse. They are ok in the south-east over winter if you cover them up well –

  • Wonderful to see you here this morning, Claire, and to hear about all your travels and “home-again”s. Your gardening weather sounds a bit like ours this year, from too cold and wet…to too hot and dry…and back again! Good luck with going back to school; I envy you!

  • Good to read your blog this morning and catch up. Love the descriptions of flowers and food, shared with friends. Your photos of your travels amplify the “connected” feel as I peruse them all. Happy to reconnect via the blogosphere this morning, Claire.

  • Hello claire. I really like the way you write. I see what you see in splended details because of your gift in capturing the beauty around you and your thoughts and feelings that you weave into an engaging story. You’re a gifted storyteller and it’s lovely stepping into your world through this blog.

  • Drink coffee and love life. Check and check. It’s the little things that are the biggest things. I’m glad you had such delicious and relaxing adventures. I’m also glad to see you pop up on my screen again.

  • Your wanderings looked like a lot of fun, and I especially liked the shot of the horse on the hill in Devon… but at the end of every journey. … east or west, home is best.

    Good luck with your course.

  • It’s been lovely to have you stop by occasionally and say hello on my site, but I’ve missed reading what you’re up to! And you’ve been up to some wonderful vacations and time for yourself. I think that’s wonderful, Claire. In essence you’ve been taking care of YOU. Nice! Going back to school can be such a nice thing to do for yourself as well. Welcome back! You’ve been missed!

  • As I’ve been AWOL for most of the summer too, I’ll join in and welcome you back. Nothing like time off to reasses and if necessary change direction. I wish you well and look forward to some more of your lovely blogs.

  • Oh Claire what an interesting summer you have had! I so love hearing about what you are up to and your travels and just your everyday life. Enjoy your classes and learning new things and try not to grow up to quickly….it is indeed a trap!

  • It’s wonderful to get such a colourful update on your recent living and travels. I do envy you your trips, what amazing places you get to spend time in Claire. I love the whole sense of a reboot here, it’s very refreshing. Here’s to things to commit to and keeping to spirit of the thing, rather than the letter! Does that read like it’s after midnight for me? It is. I think you get the idea though. 🙂

  • Hello there. We were forced into buying radishes and carrots and even lettuces this year – that’s how horrid our crop was this summer. However … the cox apples are nearly ready, so time to make more applesauce. Good luck with your course, Claire.

  • I’m overjoyed to hear you have made yourself a splendid season despite any weather challenges or roadblocks. Superb photos, fun friends and food and other tidbits of shared adventure: I thank you! Glad as always to hear from you, and even more so to know that (a) you’re as fabulous as ever, and (b) you know better than to grow up. All good!
    (((HUGS))) from here!

  • Welcome back Claire! I can see you had some lovely journeys this summer. Except for few (lucky or unlucky) people, life is rarely a straight line…Drink coffee and love life–now that is an unarguable goal!

  • I’m sorry I haven’t been around much, we spent the month in Arizona and I thought id have more free time to blog and comment, but no such luck!
    You sure have been busy and enrolling into school sounds wonderful, best of luck to you.

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