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?!

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

Guest-Post: From Me To Lou....

posted on: Monday, 9 August 2010






....the gorgeous Kate Bosworth....

....the beautiful Natalia Vodianova....

....home is where her heart is....

....she loves the beach....
....classic, classy, beautiful, intelligent and very British....Louise, that is ;)


....she loves her shoes!

....I think it might have actually been these rumba pants that cemented our friendship....they sure made us smile!

....feminine and lovely....

....the lovely Kate Hudson....

....and I know she loves her bed!

....and we both love our girls....

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

I was thrilled to be asked by Louise to write a guest-post for her while she is away on holiday....we met each other through our blogs...although we have since become firm friends, sharing a love of many of the same things and an awful lot of similarities in our lives too!

I thought my guest-post ought to include a selection of the things that I know Louise loves...altho as always the line between her favourite things and my favourite things became a little blurry...I'm sure she won't mind!
I also believe that when you admire and appreciate someone you should take any opportunity to tell them.

I know that Louise has a large and loyal following over here....and quite rightly so.
She is an inspirational girl....wise, generous, loving, funny, intelligent and a great friend, I am very fond of her.

I would be flattering myself if I said that we are two peas in a pod....but I am grateful to her for her ability to listen, for her writing skills which always seem to hit the nail on the head about the really important stuff....and for her friendship.

Have a wonderful day everyone whatever you are doing.... 

Simone

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