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4 janvier 2013 5 04 /01 /janvier /2013 17:46

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


I've always hated new year traditions. I feel completely stupid wishing a "happy new year" to people I barely know at work. And I don't wish better things at this time of the year to people I love than at any other moment of the year.


Je déteste les traditions de Nouvel An. Souhaitez une "bonne année" à des collègues que je connais à peine me semble extrêmement ridicule. A l'inverse, je n'attends pas un jour particulier pour souhaiter tout le bonheur du monde aux gens que j'aime!




I also don't make any resolutions. I know most of them are forgotten whithin a fortnight!


Je ne prends par ailleurs aucune bonne résolution... ni aucune mauvaise! De toute façon, on ne les tient jamais!




I've never chosen a "word of the year" either. To be fair, I had never even thought of it before I began reading blogs some three years ago.


I spent New Year's Eve with some high school friends: it was a nice night. We went to see a very funny play and then had dinner together. At some point, one of us said what she wished for as 2013 was nearly there. And then, every one of us had to do the same.


J'ai passé le réveillon chez des amis de lycée. A un moment de la soirée, il a été question de ce que nous souhaitions pour cette nouvelle année. Et là, gros trou! Aucune idée.


Well, I was drawing a blank and didn't say anything. Was I that dull that I didn't wish for anything? A kitchen? Wasn't that way "material girl" to say after one of us she wished to find true love?!?


Etais-je à ce point blasée que je ne désirais rien?


This is when I realised that for the first time, I didn't feel like something was missing in my life and I was rather content.


A ce moment, je me suis dit que pour la première fois, même s'il y a plein de petites choses dont je peux avoir envie, dans l'ensemble, je me sens sereine. 


So when suddenly every eyes turned on me and I knew it was time to say what I wished for: "I'd just like life to keep going", was my answer.


Cela a donc inspiré le mot de l'année 2013 (pour la première fois, je sacrifie à cette tradition!).


2013 does have a word, and a French word on top of it!




This word conveys the ideas of fullness, contentment and balance that are the ones that are important to me lately.


It's not a joke. It might seem ridiculous to have those words as guides when you have a very unfinished house as mine, when you're a substitute rather than a teacher who always work in the same school, when you're single and the clock is ticking!




Et non, ce n'est pas une blague! Cela peut paraître ridicule de cultiver un sentiment de plénitude quand on a une maison inachevée en plein travaux, un boulot de remplaçante toujours dans l'incertitude et une vie de célibataire alors que l'horloge biologique tourne!


I think otherwise... Rather than getting bitter and angry at the world because of all I don't have, I like to remember how lucky I am to have every thing I have: a roof over my head, a job that is always challenging, supporting parents and friends!




Justement, je pense que c'est sur tout ce qu'on a de formidable qu'il faut se concentrer: un toit sur la tête, un métier qui vous lance toujours de nouveaux défis, des parents et des amis toujours présents.




So all I can wish to you all is to find your own state of "PLENITUDE" for 2013 and the years to come.


La plénitude est donc l'état que je vous souhaite à tous de trouver en 2013 et dans les années qui suivront!




Magali, from The Little White House xxx



PS: Clicking on the pictures will take you back to some project posts from 2012.


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18 novembre 2012 7 18 /11 /novembre /2012 21:24

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


I went to an "empty-your-attic" sale this morning. At this time of the year, they are organised indoors and to me it lacks some of the charm that outdoor ones have. I mean it's not the same to wander in beautiful village streets and to make your way in the crowd in an auditorium or a gymnasium. On the other hand, given how cold it was this morning, it was nice to be inside.

I found a couple of things and of course as I was back home I had to rush upstairs to the bathroom (morning tea + cold outside air, you don't need a picture; do you?), so I just let everything I bought on the floor.

And here's what I found when I got downstairs...


Matinée de vide-grenier ce matin. C'est beaucoup moins sympa en cette saison car c'est souvent dans un gymnase mais vu les températures ce matin, j'étais plutôt contente que ce soit en intérieur.




He looked quite sheepish at first, and then he just settled.


Parmi mes trouvailles, un plateau que Shadow a immédiatement adopté. Il a eu l'air un peu inquiet à l'idée de se faire gronder d'abord, puis il a pris ses aises.




For some reason, Shadow has always loved trays. This new/old one seems to be to his liking. It may or may not get a makeover like the previous ones.


At about noon, a small miracle happened.


Petit miracle de la journée, les deux chats ont passé un moment sur la voiture sans se battre...




the two cats on the top of the car at the same moment without fighting!


Reality check: they did fight a little later, but we're taking baby (or kitten) steps, here.


Bon, il y a bien eu une bagarre plus tard dans la journée, mais on avance peu à peu vers la tolérance...


If you're still reading the post, here's where I need your advice. I've been thinking to move The Little White House blog to an other platform or whatever it's called that would be more "bilingual" friendly than Overblog and that would allow me a little more freedom in tags/categories/editing.  And I have a few questions.

1) I've been researching and it appears that blogger or wordpress are the easiest to use. Do you have any preference?

2) It seems none of them allow me to keep the content from Overblog. Or is there a secret about that I haven't discovered yet?

3) If you're one of my not numerous but very dear to me followers, would you follow me to the new place? And, by the way, let me know if you're a follower, because most of you are mysteries to me as Overblog does a very good job as keeping your identity and even your email address a secret!


I would really appreciate your advice and feedbacks from your experience.


J'envisage éventuellement de déménager le blog de la Petite Maison sur une autre plateforme qui serait plus "bilingue", qui me laisserait plus de liberté dans les classifications d'articles. Mon coeur balance pour l'instant entre Blogger et Wordpress. Seriez-vous prêts à m'y suivre?


A warm "thank you" to all of you for reading the blog, whether you're often visiting or passing by for the first time.


Magali, from The Little White House xxx


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5 octobre 2012 5 05 /10 /octobre /2012 21:22

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


It's been a crazy week at the Little White House.


Semaine folle à la Petite Maison.


I had bad news about my job. In the next fortnight I must take a decision that's kind of like playing heads or tails... Meaning I could have to move and leave the Little White House... Something I'm really not ready to do, since all the work inside it is unfinished and I really want to see what I could do with the place. So "no pressure" said the man from the administration (French administration... need I say more?). I had on the phone about that decision.




Les nouvelles du rectorat ne sont pas ultra encourageantes... Mes idées d'évolution de carrière se traduisent par une possible redistribution de mon poste sur toute l'académie. Et alors là, je n'ai pas du tout du tout envie de quitter ma Petite Maison avant d'être allée au bout de ce que je pouvais en faire! J'ai demandé un délai de réflexion, ce à quoi le monsieur au téléphone m'a répondu "ça roule"... !?!


I also had a very sick kitty... My own, not the "borrowed" one. Of course a sick kitty means a very worried human... And I discovered I was able to wake up in the middle of the night to nurse said kitty. Maybe I'm not as far from being ready to be a mom as I thought I was... Pretty sure those cats are around to teach me that.



Mon chat a été très malade. Le mien, pas la "pièce rapportée"... Du coup, moi, j'ai parfois oublié de respirer. Mais je suis généralement une bonne soigneuse et je crois qu'il est en bonne voie. En tout cas, le réveil au milieu de la nuit pour s'occuper du petit malade, je gère... Je me demande si cela veut dire que je serai bientôt prête à être maman?


I had to fill in a file for the local townhouse as I'm about to change my windows and one of them is seen from the road, so it needs to be "approved" by a town architect. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will love the new window I draw as much as I do!!!




Enfin, j'ai dû faire un dossier à la mairie car l'une des fenêtres que je veux changer donne sur la rue... Du coup, il me faut une petite approbation... qui a exigé de monter un dossier de plusieurs pages... Le ridicule ne tue pas l'administration française apparamment!


I'm relieved the weekend is ahead of me...


Still, there was one very fun moment this week.

Picture me running late (of course) in the morning, trying to get the sick cat to stay in, the healthy cat not to stay in, picking up my school bag, my very vintage handbag, remembering that grabbing my car key would help, finally opening the veranda door while checking for the hundredth time my watch and aaaaaaarrrggghhh (I've been practising that one by rererewatching Scream this week), here on the doorstep was





I managed to get rid of PRINCE CHARMING and put him back in the garden where he belonged. I arrived rather dishevelled but on time at school.


Il y a quand même eu un événement bien cocasse cette semaine. Imaginez. Un matin. Je suis en retard (bien sûr!), j'essaie de convaincre le chat malade de rester dans la maison, le chat vaillant de rester dans la véranda. Je balance sur une épaule le sac de cours, sur l'autre mon sac-à-main bien vintage, je saisis la poignée de la porte, finalement, je me dis que si je prends mes clefs de voiture, ce sera mieux, je rouvre la porte et là aaaaaaarrrggghhhh (je me suis entraînée sur ce cri en re-re-regardant Scream cette semaine).... Un Prince pas trop charmant m'attendait sur le pas de la porte.

Et oui, Maman j'ai bien pensé l'embrasser, mais après l'avoir bien regardé dans les yeux, je me suis dit que non, ce n'était pas lui, le crapaud de ma vie! Il est donc reparti au jardin dans un carrosse à sa mesure!



Et oui, j'ai réussi à arriver à l'heure tous les jours de la semaine à l'école...


Sweet dreams to you all... I hope you'll dream of your Prince Charming and that maybe his skin isn't as creased as mine!!!


Faites de beaux rêves de votre Prince Charmant à vous, peut-être un peu moins fripé que le mien!


Magali, from a busy Little White House xxx

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26 mars 2012 1 26 /03 /mars /2012 19:17

Dearest readers,


Très chers lecteurs que je néglige un peu en ce moment,


I know I'm beyond late with anything blog-related and also with anything house-work, laudry or painting related... But this you can't tell!


I'm busy-busy-busy-busy-busy (yes, that much) at work and it's also the time of year in France where we can apply for new teaching jobs... Not that I have any chance given it works with a weird system of points and I don't have any... But I still apply (you never know!) and so it means, writing a lot of letters, trying to have the right persons on the phone (which can take hours with the French administration!).


Je suis débordée par le boulot et je laisse un peu le blog de côté... Mais je lis toujours les vôtres avec mon thé du matin!


Still we've had a really fine weather for three days now. So today, after work, I thought I could go weed a little before going back to my desk and laptop! It's not something I usually do during the weekday... So I feel I was "called" to do it.


Pourtant, il fait tellement beau depuis trois jours qu'en rentrant du travail, je me suis dit que j'allais désherber un  peu... Cela ne me ressemble pas de faire cela en semaine... C'est comme si on m'avait appelé du fond du jardin...


For as I was weeding...  Car alors que j'arrachais des mauvaises herbes...




What you can't see anything?


I didn't either at first... And then I did a double take, like "what was that?"




A hedgehog was stuck in the new fence I had installed last year, which has smaller holes than the old one (the aim was to avoid foxes not hedgehogs!)... This one obviously hadn't noticed he had put on some weight!


Un hérisson qui ne s'était pas rendu compte qu'il avait pris du poids était coincé dans la toute nouvelle clôture... dont les mailles sont plus étroites que celles de la précédente...

I first thought it was dead and then as I tried to touch him (OK, I didn't really check if it was a "him", but I named it Nestor, so boy it is!), I noticed the faintest breathing.


The poor thing was exhausted because it had probably been hunging there all day, possibly part of the night as well. I had to put two pairs of garden gloves on to be able to touch him... But I was unable to free him: I tried pulling gently and pushing gently, nothing worked... So I decided to cut my brand new fence... What else could I do?


J'ai essayé de le pousser, de le tirer, rien n'a bougé, mais il respirait faiblement, probablement épuisé. J'ai donc dû me réigner à couper mon grillage...



Can you see where I had to cut the fence? I waited for a few seconds, but Nestor was obviously too tired to move so I took him in my well-protected hands. He was so afraid his breathing was completely irregular...


And he fell asleep...




I brought him some milk... But he wouldn't drink, even with a seringe... Too tired and frightened...


After a quarter of an hour I went to check on him and he was more peaceful... So I was able to see some of him...




I love that on the picture you can also see the torn fence... It was forth it, though... Isn't he the cutest thing? He's also very useful in a gaden.


I had sworn I would not go back to check on him in order for him to go back to his usual wild life... But I really couldn't concentrate on my work... So I went back one last time...




I can only hope he won't be there anymore tomorrow morning... Good luck Nestor!


Je ne peux que souhaiter qu'il ne soit plus là demain matin et qu'il ait repris sa vie de petit (gros) hérisson...


Wishing you all the best spring!


Magali, from the Little White House xxx



PS. For those who are wondering about the "2" in the title, the first post by the same title (though on completely different  subject) is here.


Nestor is partying there...


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11 février 2012 6 11 /02 /février /2012 18:51

  Dear readers,


I come here today to make a confession (it's okay if just reading this, you burst into song, I know two just popped in my mind typing these words...)


I'm addicted to Wedgwood since I visited the Victoria & Albert museum when I was 16 (yes, that was a long time ago!).


Je dois vous avouer que j'ai un faible pour les objets en biscuit Wedgwood depuis mon adolescence.




Most of my friends believe it's very "kitsch", but I'm with Milan Kundera here, and I love "kitsch".


La plupart des gens ici trouve ça vraiment trop kitch, mais, tant pis je préfère le kitsch au bling-bling.


So let's open the drawers of my little "Happiness of the Day " (that's how these little desks are called in French) - sorry about the blurry picture taken on a rainy day, a year ago, just to show it off to my mom...(Also, the bedroom is still in the previous owner's state... )


Ouvrons donc quelques tiroirs de mon petit bonheur du jour...


Now, look what's been on it for a few months now...




Now, having read all these posts about pictures being manely about lighting and being the stubborn spirit I am, I had fun taking a picture at night.





Let's open one more drawer, shall we?


Un souvenir d'une journée faite de petites folies avec ma Maman...



It's Hope on her anchor, a very old Wedgwood design, though the brooch itself is only in its thirties!




The last of my Wedgwood treasure is perect for Valentine's Day!






There's one more Wedgwood item I can't show you yet, but I'm so very excited about it (and the story behind it).



Magali, from the Little White House xxx


PS1: I wasn't offered anything from Wedgwood to write this post. All the items are second-hand... But I'm all for a little gift from Wedgwood if they feel like it!


Wedgwood ne m'a pas sponsorisée pour cet article, mais si jamais l'envie leur en prenait, j'accepte toute proposition...


PS2: I was re-re-re-re-watching The Bodyguard while writing this, so any typing mystake can be blamed on Whitney's then beautiful voice.


Bien sûr j'écris cet article en regardant pour la énième fois The Bodyguard, ce qui peut expliquer des erreurs de typo.


PS3: There's a nice white kitchen in that film and Kevin Coster's silk tie are just perfect!


PS4: Behind the scenes... The picture you were never supposed to see...



Please, don't focus on the mess or on the darkness of the picture or even my still wet hair, but have a look above the dining-room door...  Because the mirror is beveled, in the picture it looks like I have a transom, nice, hey?


Donc, vous n'étiez pas censé voir cette photo, mais le hasard fait que le biseau du miroir a créé un imposte virtuel au dessus de la porte de la salle-à-manger. Pas mal pour se faire une idée, non?


PS5: Sorry the PS part is actually longer than the post!!!


PS6: Joining some parties (with my wet hair!)





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12 décembre 2011 1 12 /12 /décembre /2011 18:40

Please hum the title with this melody in mind:




And don't blame me if it's raining on your house! (There's a saying here in France that off-key singing brings rain!)


I should have started on my Christmas decorating two weeks ago. I was actually just stepping into my first shop, looking for some white feathers for an idea I had, on the last Friday of November, when my cell phone rang. It was one of the schools I work in telling me the "inspector" wanting to see me on Friday 9th.




Now if you're not familiar with the French school system, here are a few words, so you can understand why I still haven't even hung a single wreath.




As teachers, we have a syllabus, but we're pretty free as to how to use that syllabus. But every once in a while, an "Inspector" comes to check what you're doing with your pupils and asks for a complete file on your work.




Being the free spirit I am, I teach using all kind of different materials from Glee episodes to the funny "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" song. So I was a bit  (okay, a whole lot, like crazy) worried that the Inspector wouldn't really like my way of teaching.




I spent the whole week preparing all kinds of papers for the Inspector, explaining how I had been working the last years, from how I teach prononciation to how I teach writing skills...




Finally Friday arrived and all went well, I'm pretty sure it's because I was wearing my Mom's lucky silk scarf that I've always worn for my exams.




The next day, my Mom arrived for the weekend and I decided that we deserved a very nice dinner... You may notice the absence of white feathers, mentioned above, on the table... I never found the time to go back shopping for those.




And yes, the candle is completely awry and I can't remember why... No, I didn't drink that much... I guess the culprit is the cat, who happen to sometimes jump on the table!!!




All pictures were taken in my under-renovation dining-room, with candle light, featuring my usual plates, flutes that used to belong to my grand-mother, Cherub candle-holder I bought in an attic-sale for 2 euros and repainted, and my very first brand second-hand silverware. Can you tell how proud I am of that last item?


We had a very nice girls' night.


And now let's the decorating begin! And I'm off checking everyone's blogs as I'm very behind in reading your Christmas posts!




Magali, from the Little White House xxx



PS: Gosh! You must have been singing, because it's pouring here tonight!


PS2: Now, I'm ready to party!

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17 mai 2011 2 17 /05 /mai /2011 19:30

Hi lovely readers!



First, I'm sorry if there were any spelling mistakes in the last post (my mom spotted a few in the French part): Shadow told me it was sometimes difficult to reach the right key with his paws!


Tout d'abord, je présente toutes mes excuses pour les éventuelles coquilles du dernier article (merci, maman!): Shadow m'a confié qu'il est parfois difficile de taper avec ses papattes!




News about the infamous JK (aka Japanese Knotweed): it's getting a little tired, meaning it's still growing, but a tiny wee bit slower! What's quite unfair is that meanwhile I'm completely exhausted. Tonight somebody told me that JK hated buttermilk, so I'm gonna try, you never know!




Des nouvelles de ma fameuse RJ (Renouée du Japon): elle se fatigue très légèrement pendant que je m'épuise, ce que je trouve injuste, mais plutôt encourageant. On m'a parlé du lait ribot pour la combattre. Quelqu'un a-t-il essayé?




I was thinking that a little time for myself wouldn't hurt when I got the next assignement for Beach Cottage Saturday Club: soaking in a bath. Perfect! According to me, bath is an art. Maybe it should be taught at school, I could totally teach that. By the way, this mission does explain the weird pictures above!




Juste comme je pensais que prendre un peu de temps pour moi serait bon pour le moral, j'ai reçu dans ma boîte mail les consignes du weekend pour le Club du site "A Beach Cottage" (explications dans cet article). Mission: se prélasser dans un bain. Super!




Side note: please ignore anything decor-related as the bathroom is as it was made by previous owner!


I chose to have a see-weed bath (just to keep the weed theme, you know). It gives the water a really weird color, but it's heaven! And I added some candles, as requested. The "Spa" one is a gift from my mom. And I poured myself a drink. What are you betting it was? White wine? Champagne? Sorry to disappoint you, it was elderberry cordial. Less glamourous maybe, but also less expensive and safer as I'm not sure I can get out of the bathtub if I drink alcohol.




J'ai choisi un bain aux algues. Cela donne une couleur affreuse à l'eau, mais c'est extrêmement détendant... J'ai allumé quelques bougies, la seule chic étant un cadeau de ma maman. Et je me suis versé un verre de... pétillant de sureau. Bon, d'accord, ça manque de glamour, mais au moins, je sors du bain sans être pompette!




Do you know I'm always reminded of  "Anne of Green Gables" when I pour myself cordial? There's a chapter in the first book where she gets her best friend drunk offering her what she thinks is cordial and is actually alcohol!




So here's where I didn't do the assignement right: the book is something I'm reading for my pupils and not really for me. But working in a bath, things could be worse, huh?




Bon, d'accord, j'ai un peu travaillé dans le bain en lisant un livre pour ma bibliothèque de classe. Mais, travailler dans un bain, ce n'est quand même pas le bagne!


A last glimpse of the window that is directly above the bathtub.




What do you do when you need to relax?



Magali, from The Little White House




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