Here's what I think...

posted on: Monday, 15 November 2010

By the way, I've written a follow-up to this post, five years later! Link here.

Quick fire: Here's what I think:

Ageing gracefully?
I wish I was entirely fine with this process. It's one of life's inevitabilites. Fighting it, ultimately doesn't work. There are elements of it that are life-affirming and wonderful; experience is beauty, but oh how I wish it just didn't happen. That it wasn't quite so brutal. My Mum, who is the ultimate role model for everything; she is AWESOME, has aged beautifully. She is at-one. I love and emulate that. And isn't this image just beautiful?

Shopping as favourite?
For me, nothing like going into a shop and seeing lots of things that make my heart go pitter-patter. I wish I wasn't quite so shallow and that the things that made me heart beat fast had more substance than a pretty dress. But that's how I am - have been the same since the age of 5 (but then it was pink and white candy-striped dungarees that caught my eye).

Should mothers work?
Whatever gets you through the day. Such a fiercely personal choice. First one must look at why mothers work - what is it that motivates them? From my observations on this, it's not all it seems; the motivations are wide, varied and unexpected. Understanding that choice must come first before any judgement is made about whether it's right or wrong.

The medical profession?
I have always had the utmost faith in the medical profession. I respect doctors enormously, in a similar way to lawyers. Clever, dedicated people. However in recent dealings with the medical (dental) profession I have been left wanting. How come they don't know all the answers? Have they not devoted years of study to finding out why something goes wrong with the human body? I am a specialist in my job - if someone asks me a question that I don't know the answer to, I go away and find out. I don't just send them away to cope with it. The older I get the more I find that there are few straight-forward answers in medicine. This bothers me.

Pushy parenting?
Should children be pushed academically and in, for example, sport? Should children be made to sit exams? I think, sometimes yes. Life has tests, why should we pretend in childhood that tests don't exist? We can help reduce the number of tests (I am speaking metaphorically about all tests children face; be they mathematics, getting through playtime, being in a school production, running a race) but at the end of the day, is it not better to prepare children to know how to deal with some pressure? The trick is not too much pressure and to not erode or deface the relationship they have with their parents by making success synonymous with unconditional love and respect. I have seen pushy parents in action and it's not pretty. Still working out how I feel about this one...

Cooking a meal from scratch every night?
Ready-made meals; what Jamie Oliver hates. I cook a fair amount, most nights I make a meal from fresh ingredients, from scratch. It is time-consuming and often I find it enormously tedious but I do it because it matters. I also periodically test my children on whether they know what a butternut squash looks like vs a chilli. I can't bear the thought that some children don't know what a potato is unless it comes in the form of chips. I think they have to see me cook; not just put a plastic packet in the oven.

images via are so happy

Going to bed at 8.30pm?
For adults, not children. I am all for it. For children, the earlier the better ;-)

Having the right shoes?
Yep, it does matter. To me.

Making a good cheese sauce?
I find the most important thing is to whisk the roux with the milk, briskly; a brisk whisk if you will. I also find that I do it with a smile on my face as I think (always) of my friend L who commented that her bottom wobbled when making a cheese sauce. I find the smile helps the consistency ;-)

...looks just like this my kitchen...go Gwyneth...

Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 5 November 2010

Busy busy week...everything is taking pace now as if in sync with the month of November. The work decision: I have to admit I took the easy road. After a bit of soul searching I decided, why make life hard for myself? I work because I enjoy it; simple as that. Every now and then my ego gets the better of me and I feel like I fact I positively should...progress and grow. I was asked to consider a bigger role, something completely different, very much out of my comfort zone. Ultimately though I decided against it. I work part time and this role required a lot more than that. I have made my choices; I want to be there to collect my kids after school, so I said 'no'. Helped along the way to this decision by my trusted confidants who asked that insightful question as they know me so well - 'do you really want to take this on Lou? Think about it, picture the scene...'. So there you go, we live and learn.

And so to beautiful things of classic elegance...

via from me to you

I am so tired this week after nights of broken sleep, I am wishing for some time here:

Beautiful Helena Christensen...

A room for a reader...

Molly Ringwald in crisp, white shirt elegance...

I think I need to advertise this list to those who know me...I am a true introvert...

Marion Cottilard in the coolest dress...

Cary Grant on a  rainy sidewalk...

via 100 Layer Cake
Parisian the whole look.

via classiq

via Dust Jacket Attic

via Haute Design
Emma Watson in Vogue wearing some diamond delights...

Thank goodness it's the weekend! Have a lovely one.

And in response...

posted on: Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Hello, it's me. So, from my last post I have learned that there are lots of ladies out there who like what I like. A set of kindred spirits, if you will. This makes me smile and think. Thank you so much for taking the time :-) lets be friends...

Cate Blanchett via that kind of woman
For those still with me, here are my answers:

It's got to be earl grey - I am a complete cuppa tea freak; it's my first thought when I open my eyes in the morning. Get up. Make tea.
Roses - in full bloom please.
Dresses - have so many I have made a pact with myself to stop buying any more.
Breakfast at Tiffany. Audrey Hepburn at her LBD best. But ''Breakfast Club' has a special place i my heart.
Eggs Benedict, for sure. They make it best Stateside.
Sancerre every time.
Diamonds - always.
Bed by 10pm.
Childbirth: I have done both ways; one of each and I would have to say, I'd opt for the drugs.
I love tidy and clear, it never stays that way so I end up with mess that is never quite bohemian enough.
Black tie. There is just not enough opportunity to dress up in life...and don't get me started on dancing. Love to go dancing...
Pushing myself - be better, try harder.
City break. Ideally somewhere like Boston.
Shoes. Doh.
New best friend: Kate Winslet.
I buy new. Shamelessly. Trying to stop.
I know it's hardly critically acclaimed, but it's 'Home Alone', snuggled up with the kids.
Live and let live - my opening thought in most situations is this.
I have seen Neil Diamond sing live - awesome, but ultimately Elvis is the King.
Cover it, cover it, cover it. Banish that grey...
Anything literary...numbers freak me out.
Panic and freak out. Of course.
Both 'Country Living' and 'Vogue'? I must acknowledge both the country bumpkin and the girl about town in me.
A way to start the day.
Shockingly few people have heard of 'The Good Life' is this so? Is it a thoroughly British thing?  I am a Margo disciple. My work colleagues felt I was so similar to Margo that they had a photo of my head superimposed on her body to illustrate the fact, on my leaving card. Margo all the way. Drink Gerry?

via are so happy
Meanwhile, the Boos have returned to school this week which affords me some time in my own company again. I must admit, it's quite nice.

At the weekend, very sadly, our cat passed away. He was an old boy, I had had him since I was 21 and he had used up every single one of his nine lives. He was the apple of our eye before we had children (once necessitating a trip to Amsterdam to be cut short due to him going missing; we simply had to come home). Over time of course babies usurped him and in recent years as his health deteriorated he was sometimes, I am shame-faced to say, the bottom of a long list of chores. So when I say I am in my own company at home I really mean it; with no 'pad-pad-pad' of cat paws through the house. But as they say in cricket, he had a good innings...but I will surely miss him.

Tell me...

posted on: Monday, 1 November 2010

I follow a fair number of blogs, I sometimes unfollow and then feel slightly wretched afterwards. I find new ones and they become my latest fave. Sometimes my best bloggers don't post often and I miss them. Other times, they post a lot and it feels like having my favourite magazine delivered when I just happen to have a free few minutes to just absorb.

I wonder what it is that makes the perfect blog to follow? I want to know about the person; to see their world from their eyes, but there has to be resonance with what they see; it has to be somehow relevant to me, even if our lives are poles apart. I like Mummy bloggers but I am not all about being a Mummy. I like fashion bloggers but I am no fashionista. I like 'this is my life' bloggers but that life has to make sense to me. I like photography blogs but I need to know what someone can say in words as well as in pictures. I like visiting my friends and when they visit me.

When I find a blog I like I almost feel a need to ask some questions to establish the match; it's like how I imagine internet dating to be. Will you be my friend?

Earl Grey or latte?

Daisies or roses?

Dresses or jeans?

'Breakfast Club' or 'Breakfast at Tiffanys'?

Eggs Benedict or muesli?

Crisp, chilled, dry Sancerre or full-bodied Rioja, warmed by the fire?

Diamonds or pearls?

Bed by 10pm or up after midnight?

Natural childbirth or drugs all the way?

Tidy house, clear surfaces or cluttered, bohemian mess?

Fancy dress or black tie?

Pushing yourself hard or taking the easier road?

City break or country cottage?

via The Sartorialist
Shoes or handbags?

New best friend: Kate Hudson or Kate Winslet?

Make do and mend or buy new?

'It's a Wonderful Life' or 'Home Alone'?

Open-minded, live and let live or 'my way' rules?

Elvis Presley or Neil Diamond?

Cover the grey or let it shine through?

Literary criticism or algebra?

Keep calm and carry on or panic and freak out?

'Country Living' or 'Vogue'?

Going for a run or the sofa and biscuits?

Best character in TV classic 'The Good Life': Margo Leadbetter or Barbara Good?

Tell me your answers and I will tell you mine!

P.S. This lovely blogger did something similar: Lola B's