As long as there is coronavirus, there will be masks.

As long as there will be masks, I will wear reusable ones.

As long as I wear reusable masks, I will not buy them.

As long as I have fabric remnants, I will make my own mask.


Check out the masks I’ve made over the last few months:

June 2020

June 2020 – first attempt with some Cath Kidston fabric

July 2020

July 2020 – mask I’m wearing made by me!

July 2020

July 2020 – made from one of George’s old T-shirts

August 2020 (pic taken in colder weather a bit later on!)

August 2020 (pic taken in colder weather a bit later on!)

Each mask has a slightly different design as I trial what works best for my face.

Have you used any successful patterns? Let me know in the comments.



2020 for many has meant a lot of time at home. We will forever associate this year with challenge, uncertainty and worry. But some people have decided to use their spare time during Covid to achieve something they’ve never got round to doing. For George, this meant writing his first book.

One of George’s interests is the Boer War, and he has combined this with Westminster Abbey, his workplace, to write ’Westminster Abbey & the Anglo-Boer War: A Study of Anglican Preaching on a Colonial War from the Church of Empire’.

Me and George book

I admire his dedication and motivation – it’s not easy to stay focused and keep writing, especially right now!

Read the launch post here!

In terms of my lockdown projects – i’ve been working full time at home so it’s not been so easy to stay on track. But stay tuned for progress on my quilt – will it ever be finished??!


I recently wrote a blog for our family vintage VW campervan hire business. Here it is:

Nowadays, VW campervans aren’t only taken on holiday. They can be creatively transformed into pretty much anything. Put in bars as a unique seating area, or for face painting at a music festival, there’s no doubt that they make a space instantly cool.

Whilst out and about on my travels this year, here is how I have spotted vintage VV campervans being used in enterprising ways:

A DJ booth – spotted in Paris, France


Sell your wares – spotted in Kyoto, Japan


Ice Cream Van – Bristol, England. Great idea by vintage ice cream van hire business, Vee Double Moo.


Conference Stand – Our very own Betty was used as a meeting room Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and Brussels. Read more about that here.

campervan for business

It’s safe to say that vintage VW campervans really do attract a lot of attention, whatever they are being used for!

Anne’s Vans are a Lincoln-based VW campervan hire business. However, we aren’t restricted to our local area and can arrange delivery of a vintage VW campervan anywhere in the country. Just get in touch to find out more. You can contact us via our contact page or check out availability here.


Although I did fervently believe it was coming home, those of us supporting the England lads will have to wait until the next World Cup. In my case, however, it did technically come home- France won and I live in Paris so it was a win-win!

The Bowler - an English pub where we watched all the England games along with other expats

The Bowler – an English pub where we watched all the England games along with other expats

As is tradition in Paris when France wins a big game, everybody flocks to the Champs-Elysees. For example, when they won the semi-final of this year’s World Cup, the chant ‘tout le monde aux Champs’ led fanatics, horns honking, to parade and celebrate their success in their thousands. Living close to the iconic street as we do, horns could be heard all through the night. Blue, white and red flags were strewn everywhere that was humanly possible.

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This was NOTHING compared to what happened when France WON the world cup, and every single French citizen, from St Malo to Martinique, felt like they were ‘Champions du monde’. ONE MILLION people were reported to have been on the Champs Elysees to celebrate, so of course, we decided to go and join in and forget our frustrations about our boys going home early.

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Can I just mention here that, probably from a lack of good football songs and/or the fact that it’s actually a really good song, the French sing their national anthem an awful lot. I mean all the time. Before the game a few times before the players are even on the pitch to sing it themselves, whenever there is a lull in the game, after the game, they just love to sing it all the time. I have to say it’s a lot better than God Save the Queen (no offence, but can we update this soon?)

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Anyway, imagine one million people singing this on the Champs Elysees, holding their flares and flags and funny hats. The sun is setting orange behind the Arc de Triomphe and horns are blasting. Some numpties are trying to see how many people they can get on top of a bus stop. We are cheering and dancing and high-fiving people as they walk past.

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It was great to be able to experience people coming together behind their country for a victory, it was really a once-in-a-lifetime and surreal moment. We were lucky to be living here when France won. As many colleagues have mentioned to us, we chose the right year to be here!

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Recently been loving the Huji app which was used to take the photos above. It claims to make them look like they were taken in 1998 and is laid out on the screen like a disposable camera. I love it because you don’t have to edit them to give them the effect of being old, it’s all done in one click and makes each picture feel special. I think we are all going to be using it in no time!


I recently looked back at my bucket list and realised I could tick off quite a few things! What a great feeling! I am achieving the things that I one day decided I wanted to do. It just goes to show that:

‘Anything’s possible, if you’ve got enough nerve’ – J.K. Rowling

I wanted to share one of the highlights- driving a golf buggy! This might be a strange ambition to have, but I have always loved the idea of whizzing around in one of these vehicles and one day owning my own. I think it comes from the child-like idea of transporting yourself round in a stop/go manner, almost like a toy. I drove us around in the buggy in one of the most picturesque locations possible, the gardens of the Palace of Versailles! It was definitely not cheap, but in the heat of the day it was the best way to get around and see as many of the acres of beautiful landscaped gardens and outbuildings as possible.

Taking the wheel!

Taking the wheel!

Biggest crowd to get in I have ever seen! I had prebooked tickets so we could queue jump.

Biggest crowd to get in I have ever seen! I had prebooked tickets so we could queue jump.

The heat of the day!

The heat of the day!

Versailles Palace is free to visit for EU citizens under 25. The gardens cost extra but I have also been in low season and got in for free.

Who knows, maybe one day I will be driving a gold buggy of my own (even though I can’t see myself playing golf or wanting grounds big enough to warrant one)!

The hot weather in Paris continues and the sweat is real.

I’ll check back in soon with some more life updates!

If you fancy getting your culture on or simply relaxing in an oasis just off the Champs Elysees, the Petit Palais ticks both those boxes. It’s a beautiful building inside and out, the ‘middle child’ of the Grand Palais and the Mini Palais – and we all know that being a middle sibling is no bad thing.

Leafy plants and blue skies

Leafy plants and blue skies

I’ve visited the Petit Palais before, for a pastels exhibition, but this weekend I went for a totally different reason and discovered a whole new way to enjoy it. I went to go and see a ‘Brit Session’ gig being held to celebrate the launch of a new exhibition of impressionist art from London. This was set up in conjunction with the British Embassy and Scottish pop artist Be Charlotte was playing a chilled set in the golden light of the evening.


A stage was set up in the garden, which is right in the middle of the building and you can go in it for free. It has a great little cafe and we did not pass up on the opportunity to have some Pimm’s. All in all, it was a great way to spend a Friday evening and relax to some live music.

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I can imagine myself going back with a book and sitting outside on the terrace, then having a wander around and peering at some statues, even a when a music session isn’t being held. I recommend it for tourists and locals alike!




If you are in Paris in the summer, try and go to one of the many festivals taking place around the city. There is something for everyone and when the sun is shining, they are a great way to enjoy the outdoors.


See a list here. Another great way to experience music here is the Fete de la Musique, a day where music of all genres takes over Paris- in its streets, its buildings and museums- on 21st June every year.


We recently went to Solidays festival. Admittedly, I didn’t know most of the bands, but I love a festival so was very up for it anyway. My highlight was Two Door Cinema Club who I had never seen live before. We didn’t camp because we live not too far away from the site in the Bois du Boulogne, so this meant we could really go for it where festival fashion and feeling fresh were concerned. Nothing better than your own bed and a proper shower to kick off a day of dancing to the tunes of the summer!


So here we are, Ann and I, in our three outfits for the three evenings we spent at Solidays.



Getting glam and raring to go!



POP of colour


Cute and coordinating


The glitter will be taken to the NEXT LEVEL for my second festival of the season – JoeFest!


#thingstodoinParis #music #festival #fashion


me japan

I’m writing about what I get up to – things to do, stuff i’m involved in, where I live. Scroll for some inspiration!

Maybe the New Year’s resolution to publish a blog post per month didn’t work out… but that didn’t stop me from suddenly having the urge to do a mid-June blog!


The main reason for writing this post came to me because I saw an inspirational quotation I really liked (Pinterest again):


‘Stop telling yourself you don’t know what to do. Yes, you do. Listen to your intuition and trust yourself.’ Katherine Sullivan, Founder – Marketing Solved.


This is me telling myself to have confidence in my decisions, particularly when it comes to my life plan or career aspirations. Somewhere deep down, we do know what we want, we just find barriers that get in the way of that. But if you know, you know, and there is always a way to get there!


I want to share this quotation with some of my female friends because I think we all find ourselves in the same boat. At this stage in life, we can feel a little lost as some of our peers are boosting themselves up the career ladder whilst others are settling down and even getting married and having children. Those in the middle may think they don’t know what to do, but we are exactly where we should be right now, and that’s ok. There is plenty of time to do all the things we would like to achieve.


So that’s it, intuition is a great thing and we should listen to ourselves.


Elsewhere in June, I’ve done loads actually. Now summer is kicking in I have been super busy, but some of the highlights have been:


  • Going back to Toledo where I did an internship during my degree and dancing all night at a random concert.

  • Uni friends coming to stay in Paris and fitting nine girls in the apartment without disturbing the neighbours.

  • Seeing Matlock band Patawawa in Paris twice in two nights running.

  • Having hair done for free for the Nuit de la Coiffure.

  • Brill weekend in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is pretty

Amsterdam is pretty



I have been living in Paris, one of the best cities in the world, since October last year. I love it and always get asked what my recommendations for things to do and cool bars are.


So, although I am already 8 months into my crazy life here, I’ve decided to share what I get up to a bit more on this blog. Looking back, I have barely done any posts on my adventures here, and with summer about to burst into the life of Paris, there is a lot going on!


Hopefully, my posts will be helpful for visitors or people living in Paris who want to be inspired, get out there and see what the capital has to offer!


Rule #1 for living here is GET OUT OF THE FLAT!



Let’s start with some rooftop bar vibes:


One of the best rooftops in Paris for drinking, dancing and chilling is the Cité de la Mode et du Design. It’s really big, feels very Shoreditch and has several bars and eating outlets.


What I drank there: Rosé wine and bottles of cider.

What I paid: 5 EUR to get up to the rooftop but it’s free before 8pm. Drinks around 6 to 9 euros each.



On my most recent visit, I saw the band Patawawa play (for the second time in two days) and they are the most fun, dancy live group I have seen in a long time. I am looking forward to seeing them again at JoeFest, a Lincolnshire-based festival run by my family, in August, not least because they are really nice people!



This is a good spot for early evening evening drinks with a view, or a good old boogie through the night. Try it on any vaguely sunny day!