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August 2, 2016


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Danette Bartelmay

Living and breathing is what we should all be doing anyway. As much as I enjoy blogging, you are right, it is a big time consumer. Today's world makes it harder to just live and breathe in the moment. I'm glad you're children are still close enough for you to spend time with them. My grown children live close by and I am so thankful. I look forward to this new book of yours.
Until then, Happy living and breathing Dear One.


So happy to "hear" from you! I totally understand.....but have missed you. So glad that you all are enjoying life! I tried not to fear something other taking place as I clicked in day after day. : ) Will eagerly wait for the next book. Tamara


So are we - still here, I mean! Thanks for giving us an update, I was curious about what feels like an "old friend" :)
We too enjoy having adult children nearby, even the "abroad" one is now only just abroad (by a couple of km at the other side of the country rather than separated by a sea!), and seeing how they get on in life, so I'm with you on that one, too. Domesticity remains comfortable even as we plan the next phases - one of which, grandchildren, has already been ongoing for a few years and will do for a few more, it seems! I look forward to hearing about your new venture away from domesticity, so will keep looking in occasionally to see what you're doing...


Very happy to read you Jane !! Serene. Soooo glad you like Le Havre - Tanya is thinking of going to university there ( it's the only place in France where they offer the specific engineering degree that interests her ) and we absolutely loved it there.It was a sunny day so that does help ! The architecture, the beach, the two ports so different one from the other, and we ate very well too ! xxxx to you.


I've been feeling much the same Jane.

Jean Birch-Leonard

So there you are! How lovely to hear from you and living such a full life as usual.

Pop back every now and then won't you?


Deborah Vass

I have greatly enjoyed reading your sumptuous, inspiring and glorious blog over the years and am delighted that you have posted again. As Sue and Jean have said, do please keep popping up!


Admiring you,your pioneering insights and your originality thought, as always.


Great to hear things are going well for you. You have generously intoduced me to so many things: books, quilts, architecture, stained glass. I view people who blog as very giving and unselfish. I am looking forward to seeing how the 'post uni children' bloggers deal with life, and am sad that I will not hear from you. Well perhaps your post DOES show just that! I feel slightly at sea at the moment.
Please don't shut the door on blogging. I am sure you want to get on with your life, but perhaps you will feel able to share the odd interesting read or art with us. I am sure I speak for many when I say we really appreciate all you have shared. Thanks Jane!

Linda Pennell

Echoing all the above. Would be excellent to hear from you now and again and might you PLEASE just post one of those pics of your book pile now and again? Always inspirational.
Very best wishes

Penny Hodgkinson

Good to hear you are still very definitely 'being' and 'doing' albeit not reporting on these.... I do hope your new book is about stained glass. Your passion and vision - in every sense of that word - have made me look anew at this neglected art and craft form.
Take care Jane - you demonstrate the art of living with such grace and authenticity!
Best wishes

Deborah Taylor

You have been missed Jane. Lovely to hear your updates about the family and looking forward to finding out more about the new book.

Best wishes



Lovely to have this post and the latest news. I understand completely about blogging, and pulling in makes so much more sense to me (with kids now finishing high school) than what everyone else seems to be doing, which is putting their entire lives on line, something I can't fathom at all.

My favorite part of the post? "I cannot be arsed with 'clean' eating"! All best wishes to you and your family.


My children both working now so I know how you feel to have them making their way in life - in my case an occupational therapist and a structural engineer. You are lucky to have Simon there too - my husband died some years ago and I envy those with a willing travel companion. Although it is of course possible to travel alone to most places, how much more fun to go with one's other half!

Deborah Simmerman

I've never commented before but have been reading your blog for several years over here in Boston. I have found it to be one of the most intelligent and literate blogs, and I'll really miss it. It has also been a nice connection to English life for this Anglophile.

I'm interested in almost everything you write about, but I think what I've valued most is when you tell us what you're reading. We don't always hear about the new British books over here, and I've really appreciated finding out about some of the ones you've mentioned, which I was then able to order. Two that come to mind are Susan Hill's book about reading out of her own library for a year and Margaret Forster's book about her life in houses.

I understand about the massive amount of time blogs can take up. Since retiring two years ago, I've been spending more time writing my blog, and I do sometimes question whether it's worth it. It reminds me of what Thoreau said: "My life has been the poem I would have writ, but I could not both live and utter it." Reading books and conversing with real people and walking in the real world will always be more important than anything online.

Thank you for all you've given us. Your archive will remain, I hope, and I will keep going back to it. I hope, along with others, that you'll still post something from time to time.


Await your new book with great interest Jane. Clean eating, don't get me started, I can't bear the rash of 18 year olds writing recipe books where each ingredient mimics something else. (Courgette spaghetti is not spaghetti). I also feel much older. Weddings and the birth of babies to a new generation shuffle one firmly in to 'middle age' territory, which I am
attempting both to gracefully embrace, and politely decline. x

Amara Bray

Love to see a post now and then no matter on what aspect of your life. It's the living and breathing I like to read about. I'm awful at posting lately myself so I know it's not always a priority to report!

Kristin Nicholas

Hi Jane - Sounds like things are going well for you. Cannot believe how time flies. I am still blogging but not as much as I did. It does take up the time. I'm writing another book (interior dec/crafts) too which has been fun although sometimes the stress that it causes and the way it cuts in on our family doesn't seem worth it. Julia has one more year of high school. I think I blog still because I live rather secluded and it is still a social thing for me - although the comments have pretty much disappeared. It does help me to keep a business of some sort going so I keep at it. Glad you are moving on to other interests and still keeping at the domesticity thing. I feel like I have moved on too although I think people who have followed me over the years expect everything to be the same. I'm not much more interested in decoration and old houses than I am in knitting. So that's it for now - and so nice to hear what you are up to. XO Kristin

Mary K. in Rockport

Hi Jane, Glad I stopped by and found you in a communicative mood.

Marika Keblusek

Hi Jane, thanks for all those wonderful blogs of the past..! Please post pictures of your book piles on Instagram now and again as they do inspire me so much.
Good luck with the new book - hope it will be on stained glass, or any other kind of art since you write so beautifully about it. Not to mention your pictures!
And please, if you need a guide to the most spectacular bulb fields, do not hesitate to ask. All good wishes, X Marika


Lovely to hear from you again Jane. Glad to hear that you have plenty of projects on the go - I hope the book is a stained glass project? your work certainly deserves one.

Anyway, continuing the 'as I live and breathe' theme, the world really is your lobster. (I'm sure you'll get the allusion).

All the best, Deborah


I still remember discovering your blog many moons, and a house-move, ago - oh, how I loved the colours, the intelligence, and humour. When 'The Gentle Art...' book was released I sat cross-legged on the floor between the bookcases of Borders in Dundee and devoured the photos, the text, the minutiae of life on those pages. You introduced me to so many subjects, other blogs, authors and novels I'd never even heard of.

I still have an inspiration folder - a fore-runner to Pinterest - with magazine pictures filling the paper. Many of the quotes scribbled in are from your blog or books describing perfectly a moment. You have been 'here' in my life in one form or another while our respective children have grown, our priorities and responsibilities changed, and life has opened up new and interesting chapters. Along with all the challenges of getting older and being grown-ups!

Please, don't stay away forever - a postcard will do.

Many thanks to the years you have given, it has not gone unnoticed. Your influence on my appreciation of life has been immense.

I look forward to your next adventure.

Many best wishes, Gill


Hello, I wonder if you would be interested in a once a month post. I am housebound and like many house bound people gain so much from people's thoughtful well written interesting posts. this is a category your blog fits so well. I love the stained glass posts and would be so sad to think that you were no longer at this place. thanks grace


I am going to London over the Christmas break, and found on Amazon a copy of your Shoreditch book! Of course it won't be all sunshine and cut flowers, but I hope we will be able to wander around with our Brocket in our pocket and see some things. I"ll let you know how it works!


Thanks for the update, Jane. There is no doubt that your telling of domestic life introduced me to you, and your style of blogging, but what has kept me engaged in your writing is you, your growing interests, and career development. Whatever topic has caught your fancy from tulips to wine to stained glass, I have been interested to read your take on the subject. I am so used to viewing the world through my relationship in Christ, you have challenged me to try to understand your different perspective. If not here, I hope to keep bumping into your living and breathing, or reports thereof, wherever. From my perspective, I am asking the Lord to help you and yours know His continuous blessing. [I plan to keep your quote in the header of my blog unless you ask me not to do so. :) ]

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