20 December, 2011
Wow. The last year seems to have passed by in a flash. Suddenly, it’s the week before Christmas. Again.
As a practising (but struggling) minimalist, it’s a chance to lash out and purchase beautiful things for loved ones.
And to reflect on the year about to end, and the new one about to begin.
Not to mention an excuse to eat copious numbers of mince pies, enjoy bad music and pad about in pyjamas for elongated periods of time (joy!). And get all sentimental and nostalgic with friends and family at home.
Merry Christmas and safe, happy holidays to all!
(Image from Charley Harper Colours)
13 June, 2011
‘Tis the long weekend in the Bush Capital.
We headed up to a working farm and vineyard specialising in smoked meats and wine in country New South Wales and ate, drank and made merry all afternoon. And later, as the shadows became longer, soaked in the quiet and calm of the rural surrounds.
I love the Australian bush, with its ghost gums, yellow scrub and desolate, austere air. And enjoyed wandering about the farm, with its old twisted machinery and corrugated iron sheds.
I also discovered that in this part of the world, the sunsets turn the bush a delicate shade of rose-lavender.
20 March, 2011
I’ve been looking for a jewellery box for a long time. Something wooden, old and Japanese, was what I had in mind. But to date, nothing suitable had materialised. With various bits of bijoux scattered about everwhere, in boxes, in drawers, I was having quite a time finding something when I needed it.
Last weekend, I thought ‘hang it!’. Literally.
A cork board, some unbleached calico, a few staples and several pins later, voilà.
And by gum, being just that little bit more organised is lovely!
4 May, 2010
Wow, it’s May already. And Britain goes to the polls in two days’ time.
What better way to celebrate a likely new Prime Minister, and the country which gave us Winston Churchill, the Westminster system of Parliament and Yes, Minister than with these fabulous Union Jack armchairs, one for m’lud and the other for m’lady.
I can’t decide which one I like better.
Armchairs from here.
3 May, 2010
Rustic has always been a favourite word of mine. It brings to mind images of French vineyards, rough-hewn benches and tables, laid out with peasant fare (slabs of cheese, hearty bread loaves, tomatoes straight from the vine, freshly creamed butter, strong wine and / or cider which smells like old socks and knocks you out for nought about five seconds after your first draught) and peopled by gap-toothed, sunburned, salt-of-the-earth… err… beret-sporting peasants (French maybe, or perhaps, Basque).
But enough indulgent stereotyping!
Greg Hatton makes beautiful, functional, modern and yes, rustic objects and landscapes from ‘reclaimed materials, found objects and introduced trees that cause land degradation.’ The last being a real problem in this country as trees like elms and poplars which are native to Europe or North America require more water than Australia’s drought-stricken environment can afford.
You can see more of his work here.
16 April, 2010
For the long Easter weekend, a long-lost branch of my family made their way to Melbourne to enjoy an Australian autumn, eat lots of food and rekindle familial ties. On the bright, warm Sunday, we headed out to the Yarra Valley, one of Melbourne’s closest and most scenic wine districts, and stopped in here and here (amongst other places). We ate, we drank, we revelled in the autumnal sunshine. And enjoyed the golden leaves of the maple and the shade of the stout oak tree, a glorious contrast to the green-brown lacey intertwinings of the omnipresent eucalypt.
I also found some acorns.
More photos to come later.
Have a great weekend.
14 February, 2010
A few months ago, Garancedore wrote about a French photographer she met in New York. A chap who, as it turns out, was carrying a wonderful secret known (prior to Garance’s blog) only to himself and his wife.
You see, his wife had embroidered a heart on the inside of his shirt pocket. Garance doesn’t say, but I’d like to think it was his left breast pocket, close to his own heart.
More prosaically (handsome French photographers being in short supply in this sleepy, suburban part of the world), I made a similar discovery as I cleaned my childhood toys for storage. Under her apron and floral dress, my old Raggedy Ann doll was also hiding an embroidered heart. Which I’d forgotten all about. Probably embroidered by her maker, whom I’ve never met, but still no less lovely.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and a Happy Year of the Tiger, all!
12 February, 2010
Huzzah! My very own Coralie Bickford-Smith Penguins!
(I rather suspect these volumes featuring the very moral Ms Eyre, the March sisters and my favourite Austen heroine, that meddling, spoilt Ms Woodhouse will be admired more often than read.)
29 December, 2009
The food has been eaten, the wine has been drunk, the Ferrero Rochers inhaled, the presents opened. As the tinsel and carols recede into the distance and the Christmas tree suddenly looks inappropriate and forlorn, the New Year shuffles into view, champagne in hand, top hat rakishly askew, his ebony cane tucked under his arm, his monocled eye winking, his coattails and black and white wingtips gleaming in the spotlight.
Time to update my Filofax and wonder with mild bemusement as to where the last year fled.
It’s been a year of big changes and (if I can betray my vocation) of strategic positioning for the long-term. And (fingers crossed) it looks to have paid off so far. The real world and its challenges beckon in 2010 and I’m looking forward to meeting both with relish, grace and not a little aplomb!
Happy New Year!
Some pics from the weekend’s feasting.
17 December, 2009
Sundays are for gardens. And for traipsing down garden paths. And tea (in this case, organic chai; I occasionally stray into right-on, hipster territory). And yummy things to eat (a Chinese sesame-sprinkled doughnut and a home-made Greek almond crescent this time). And sunshine. And reading (Françoise Gilot’s account of her Life with Picasso). And revelling in the cool green grass beneath one’s feet.