Little things that feed the flame

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Foraging for Blackberries and Something More

I collect my daughter from her preschool and, instead of heading home, turn the opposite direction.

– Where are we going, mommy?

– We are going to pick some berries.


I now live in a country known for its vast green landscapes, for great wild spaces, untouched by the ‘progress’ of civilization. So it is a little funny that one of the things that I sometimes miss about my old life is…¬†untamed nature.

I grew up with parents whose idea of rest was packing a tent and leaving the world for a few days to set up camp on a lakeshore. Or at least treading the woods for a few hours foraging for wild mushrooms. I miss that. I miss the sense of Continue reading


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On Holidays. Joys of Summer Living

2blogCombi2Well, that’s typical. We were getting ready to go on holidays. I got a blog post ready, so that I can type it in when I am away. Tore it out of my pretty notebook and… left it on the counter in the kitchen. So much for advance preparation…

And now, we are in a different world, on a different timeline. Life is good, tinted with the taste of summer. Days go by surrounded by family and friends, with us relaxed into our own selves. Lazy summer evenings, nostalgic meals. Holidays.

Here’s some snapshots of our recent days. See you back in the real life!

2blog042blog03 Continue reading

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A Bit of Frost in the Summer


In my little corner, many many years ago…

I should probably start this by saying this is a bit of a cheeky post title. The summer here is uncharacteristically beautiful, light, and weightless. There isn’t any actual frost, but rather… Robert Frost. For some reason, one of his poems just keeps popping back in my head over the last few days. It is a poem that I had printed out and hung above my desk in my college dormitory room. One of the many little details to make the place my own, to cheer me up and brighten my days. And that it did. There is some force and vitality in that poem, deep, strong, and vivid as only youth can be, I suppose…

Only yesterday, I found some old photographs in my email, Continue reading

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Tickle My Soul. The Sacred Innocence in The Photographs of Alain Laboile

His subject is the ordinary days of family life. And yet his photographs capture something so deeply beautiful and vulnerable it hurts a little.


Photography by Alain Laboile


Photography by Alain Laboile


Photography by Alain Laboile

Alain Laboile is a French photographer I have discovered very recently, and I am absolutely smitten by his work. Living in an old house in rural France with his wife, six children, and no telly, he skillfully captures the fleeting beauty of childhood, the simple happiness of being together, the quiet connectedness to nature.

As I look at his pictures, I feel Continue reading

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A New Girl in Our House

Naming is a tricky business. At least for me, the aim is not only to pick something that sounds pleasing, but also to capture the essence¬†of the ‘namee’. I remember a time in my childhood when my dad suggested playing pirates and asked me to pick a name for myself. ‘Rosalia’, I declared after giving it some thought. I was pleased with myself for coming up with something so unusual, distant, and exotic. Something very fitting of a female pirate ūüôā

My daughter, on the other hand, does not seem that interested in the task of naming. Not yet. She has two dolls called ‘baby’ and one called ‘dolly’. So, when a new girl arrived at our house, I thought I would try to get her a more unique name.

Sparrow*, do you like your new dolly?

Yes, – she says, clutching a beautiful handmade girl to her chest.

What name will you give her?

She looks at me, pauses to think, and then victoriously announces: Continue reading

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Liebster Award for Me + a Chance of Self-Promotion for You

HeartKindling¬†has received an award. Well, not so much an award as a peer recommendation. Liebster¬†award nomination is essentially a friendly pat on the back by another blogger. This basically means that someone was asked to name 11 small blogs and came up with HeartKindling¬†among them. Thank you, Donielle,¬†for thinking of me. Do go and check Donielle’s blog¬†InTheLupus¬†for stories from her life with this tricky autoimmune disease.


Since there is no committee or a set criteria other than the chain-letter-like expression of love towards other bloggers, the Liebster rules seem to be rather fluid Continue reading

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Local Fun on Our Doorstep: Newbridge Traditional Farm


As we climbed back into a hot car and turned it homewards, the conclusion was unanimous – we had had a most enjoyable afternoon. ‘And we did not have to go anywhere far’, my husband, always the driver, rejoiced.

Indeed we didn’t: Newbridge House and Demesne is a meager 2 km away from our house, so virtually on our doorstep. It is natural for us, humans, to be enchanted by far away places, to fall under the spell of things new and unfamiliar. And yet, it is so true that it sometimes makes us overlook pretty cool things right under our nose. It is not a bad idea to play tourist in your local area now and again, to rub your eyes and open them up with some wonder and… attention.


Let the fun begin!

In our case, we have been enjoying the Newbridge park and playground for a good while now. We knew the house had a traditional farm, but were waiting for our dear Sparrow to grow up a bit to be able to enjoy it before we splashed 14 euros for it (entrance fee for the three of us). Last Wednesday – a lovely sunny day in the midst of what seems more like November than May – seemed like a good time to finally enjoy our local attraction. Continue reading