Lou's Tuesday muse...

posted on: Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Yep, so post-holiday blues are still well and truly with me; summer heat and bikini days seem like a distant memory...so I am resorting to capturing this sort of place (love that sun-bleached wood) in my mind's eye every time it gets too much!

via Beauty, Comfort and Joy

I turn my thoughts to the home. Home is where the heart is - wanderlust can only last so long. White-washed simplicity.


And I ponder...shouldn't motherhood look like this all the time? Doesn't Kate Hudson look like such good fun? My children, having been in my constant company for weeks and weeks, are now in need of school. Is this me projecting my need for them to be at school or is it actually their need? Hard to say. I am trying to regain some structure in life after the complete free-form that was our holiday. Holiday rules rule...but then real life must return...

Kate Hudson and her gorgeous son
And so the weather turns - almost imperceptibly - to Autumn. Even a sunny day does not have that summer feel any more. Transitional dressing is required...like this...effortlessly chic.


But it's the simple things...a cuppa tea, a quiet moment, a tidy room, the pages of a book, thinking space. I think, in fact I know, that this seasonal change, life changing, adjusting, preparing; it's all good. So despite the changes and their effect on my temperament, my cup is most definitely full. :-)

Where I live...

posted on: Monday, 30 August 2010

I saw this post on the sweetest, gentlest blog Everyday Musings with snapshots of Olivia-Rae's charming home. Made me want to do the same...little soupcons of where I live to see what the overall view looked and felt like.

Our house is a good house; I always love returning to it after time away. It has a strong feel to it, being old and solid, it's sure of itself. We bought it six years now and over time it has become our own. Some parts of it are so very, very old, I must admit I try not to think about the people who must have lived and died here since the 16th century! But it's filled with a mix of possessions, gathered over years, that make it our home. Living in a farmhouse did force me to adjust my minimalist sensibilities and embrace the 'country' look.

Anyone who reads the blog Simple Thoughts will also understand the 'white' thing...Paige's house is the most lovely example of a simple, white, uncluttered place.  Honestly, it makes me want to white-wash my entire house.

I look at these snapshots from my home and see - my colours, just like my blog incidentally, are cream and grey and blue...


The ancient but trustworthy vintage Rayburn cooker in our kitchen.
Knotty ceiling beams in the oldest part of the house.
Time for tea?
The weeping willow tree outside.


My favourite reading chair.
The view from our bedroom window; this season's crop is sweetcorn, to be harvested any day now.
A sailboat; a gift for my husband.
Liberty print chairs in the kitchen.


Danish coloured milk glass.
Grey drawers.
Radio waves.
Wooden soldiers in Boo 2's room.


French ticking roman blinds.
Boo's Doll's House.
Iron bed scroll and my dressing table.
Farmhouse stairway.

What would your snapshots be of? I'm curious now...

Things of beauty...the return

posted on: Friday, 27 August 2010

I wake to another cloudy, rainy day here...did I miss something or did October arrive without me noticing? Seriously. To go from the arid heat of Portugal to this? My suntan is well and truly under wraps. I know I am weather-obsessed but really - can you sense my disappointment? I think I must embrace it; think Sunday roasts and Ugg boots and windfall from our apples trees (which by the way are literally aching under the weight of apples this year).

Post holiday blues? Ummm not me...well, not completely. Missing that light and breeziness. I came home and was so relaxed I forgot all of my work-related passwords. Really. So I can't get into my laptop, let alone work. It's strangely liberating ;-)

I am sensing the kids need to go back to school soon; that feral element is setting in! We have a quiet weekend planned; it's a bank holiday so that means family time...

Meanwhile some prettiness...there is after all, so much of it in the world.



Really must try my hardest to hang on to this sentiment!


Whenever I get into post-holiday planning mood, my thoughts turn to Florida, which still represents my ideal family holiday, having spent so much time there as a child. Seashell love...






Ribboned wreath...just simple and gorgeous...


Icy blonde...





Late summer croquet with my favourite Adirondack chairs. I was just meant to spend summer in the Hamptons...


Country Living
Are floaty dresses really over for another year?

via Vintage Home
I have white-washed longing...


And while we are here I adore this retro-print skirt on Zooey Deschanel...


Royal Copenhagen blues...


Palm tree heaven and brogues...unlikely combination!


Blue and white crispness. Doesn't this look so inviting and clear?

via it's mary ruffle
Must stop thinking of sandy beaches...time to move on...


Clear the decks...


Just one more...'Promenade at Skagen' by Danish artist Peter Severin Kroyer in 1893.

So, what's happening with you?

posted on: Thursday, 26 August 2010

I had this strange sensation when I was away that I wanted to write, but had promised myself I wouldn't as it was designed to be time away from everything normal. I noticed it has become 'normal' to write now, which is notable, all things considered. In some ways I spent my time away thinking, but then in other ways I realised I made a concerted effort to think of nothing whatsoever.

I said there were some things afoot in our family. When we were away my husband got a job offer; the kind that has life-changing implications for us, so we spent days considering, pondering, reasoning, punctuated by swims in the pool and beach visits. I find sand between your toes helps in any decision-making process...

the view from the end of my sun lounger...
Meanwhile on other matters:

Every second morning I ran. Early, first thing, before the heat really took hold, I got up and went running, on a deserted farm track that hugged the golf course near where we stayed. Noticing olive, fig and citrus trees as I ran. Sometimes accompanied by stray Portuguese dogs (that made me run that little bit faster; fight or flight? Flight for me, all the way). So my husband and I ran alternate days; initially I beat his time running the same track, eventually he beat my time. I figured unfair: he has shorter legs! On those mornings when I returned and then swam in the pool, before everyone was up, I had moments of happiness that simply must be down to those exercise endorphins. I am not evangelical about many things but I have to say; running is the answer. It just makes you feel so good after. Not often during; but after.

The Boos were great fun. They excelled at late, balmy nights, 'midnight' swims, beach volley-ball at dusk, eclectic dinner menus (Piri-piri anyone?) and were altogether fantastic company. I realised, again and afresh, that babies grow into children who become the best people to chill with in my world. So many shared looks between their Daddy and I as we thought to ourselves 'we made these cool people!'

the view from my fave beach restaurant...
Tropical warm climates are happy-making. No question. To wake to sunshine every day is a gift and I wonder now, as I come home to torrential rain and cloud - why do we live here? England is beautiful but really, would it hurt to be sunny just a little bit more often?

We lived like sloths. Well more importantly, I did. No cleaning, no laundry, no having to be anywhere at any time and I wondered - how can I hold on to this feeling of freedom? Normally, I am a slave to housework. My 'part time' job takes up too much of my time. The tyranny of the school run effects every day of life in term-time. What to do? How to maintain the holiday vibe? Suggestions on a postcard please...


I marvelled daily on how my girl, in particular, is growing up. Is that a nine year old thing? This child, who this summer learned to do backwards dives, can use her body in a way that I can only faintly recall when I was that age. She is just so clever and beautiful. A marvel indeed to me.

Olympian 2016?
Is it wrong that I was back home for no more than a few hours before I started scanning the web for the next holiday? Live for holidays or live for life? Hmmm....

Back to the decision-making process; we mused the life-changes, we looked at every angle, and we decided yep let's go for it. That was in the summer sun of Portugal.

Now we are home, events are actually unfolding in ways that we didn't anticipate, so I am not sure whether it's a stay or go situation afterall as the present employer has a card to play...will keep you posted.

So, now...what's been happening with you?!

Back...

posted on: Wednesday, 25 August 2010

We're back from Portugal. We had the most wonderful time (did you guess?) it really was the definition  of how to have a gorgeous summer holiday. I felt like I was living in a film; it was almost too cool for real life!

c'est moi...

More of that later...just wanted to say an enormous thank you to Simone, Natasha and Natasha who guest posted here. They each did a wonderful job; I was delighted.

Evidence of our recent Havianas habit...happiness is...

Dipping in...

posted on: Sunday, 22 August 2010

It's me...Loulabelle! What gorgeous guest posts you've been treated to from my friends and family. I have dipped in every now and then just to peek. But otherwise spending all of my time chilling; don't think I have been this switched off for years and I am loving it.


Drinking rose wine in cafes, watching the world go by...gloriously captured in this image...but errr, no this is not me!

image via Dust Jacket Attic
Making the most of those last days of summer...

via The Sartorialist
Despite the relaxing, a-l-h-o-t has been going on in my little family, exciting times ahead, updates on the way...

Meanwhile missing you... xxx

Anywhere but here...

posted on: Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Hi everyone!

Seems strange to be starting a blog post that way, but given that I am very clearly not Lou, it seemed even more strange to dive right into writing without at least some explanation as to who I am! Anyway, it's Natasha from She Left on a Monday here, with my very first guest post for anybody ever. When Lou first emailed me about the possibility of doing a guest post while she was away, I felt literally ill with nerves, because as you know, Lou has such a wonderful, thoughtful, beautiful blog (much like Lou herself, really!) and I was terrified of the prospect of not doing it justice. After some gentle prodding on Lou's part, I finally said yes, and here I am ... (albeit still freaking out).


Given that Lou is on holidays, I thought it might be appropriate to do a little post about travel and give us all a virtual vacation to boot. I love to travel, and frequently bemoan the fact that my home country of Australia is so ridiculously far away from the places that I love, or would love, to visit. Not only do flights cost a small fortune, said small fortune buys the privilege of being cramped into an economy class seat for almost an entire day and night (give or take a couple of hours) and sharing increasingly grotty facilities with hundreds of other humans (and can I just say, I have never, ever understood how anybody could not wear shoes when using airplane bathrooms. The floor is wet! You don't know what that puddle is! It may not be water! Do you really want to stand on it in your socks? Eep!). Hm. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I enjoy the destination more than the journey itself (this does not apply to life in general).


To me, there is something so wonderful about being somewhere (anywhere) different - someplace away from everyday life, full of distractions and different streets, places to eat, things to see, languages, sounds ... everything is constantly amazing. And as I love, love photography, being someplace new with my camera is pretty much my idea of bliss. I could walk all day, just taking everything in. And then, of course, there is my Travel Self - me, just ... slightly not me. My Travel Self is more at ease with strangers, will wander halfway across the city without giving her tired, aching feet a second thought, eat gelato several times a day, buy things she probably wouldn't even look at twice back home (holidays are pretty much the only time I inject any sort of variety into my wardrobe or accessories. On my last trip, my Travel Self decided that she looked quite alright in headbands, and returned home with several), and has the ability to just stop ... breathe, and take it all in.

So every time I feel cranky with my job (like today!), I try to remind myself that it at least gives me the means to save up to travel every now and then (and, you know, pay my hideous mortgage), and suddenly it doesn't seem so bad. My Travel Self is always dying to get out, but in the interim I get to keep her (and my everyday self) happy with beautiful photos of different places taken by others who are elsewhere ...


{Paris: Liz Rusby}
{Prague: Tabi**chu}
{Morocco: Mike Mellinger}
{India: Rang Decor}
{Montreal: Irene Suchocki}
{Japan: Saejima}
{Rome: by me!}
{New York: Irene Suchocki}

I have a soft spot for Italy (I love that I am half-Italian - thanks, dad!) - what are your favourite places? Where have you always wanted to go? And, most importantly, am I the only with with a split personality, a Travel Self?? ;)

Thanks for reading!

And Lou - thank you for trusting me with your blog. I hope you had a wonderful holiday! xo

It must be Friday...

posted on: Friday, 13 August 2010

As keen followers of my lovely sister-in-law's blog you will know that today is all about 'Things of beauty'.  I am very honoured to be writing today's post whilst she is away especially as I have been inactive on the blogging scene for a while.  I hope I do her justice and all the wonderful followers of Lou and her scrummy shoes and trust me.... gorgeous boos! - enjoy the images I load up for today (p.s. I am feeling in a softy, romantic mood....you may have gathered?!)

....one of the most beautiful things in life

maybe I should have started with this picture...first comes love 



then comes marriage, I love her bouquet

...bed linen you'd want to wear, look at those ruffles
..Lou will be in her bikini right now...

or perhaps in something more like this



 while I am enlisting the help of mum trying to work out what I am going to wear to Vintage weekend



from one beautiful lady to another...Cameron my idol
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