'You look beautiful...'

posted on: Saturday, 30 April 2011

I just couldn't help but comment on the wedding day! Such a fabulous show; the most exquisite, elegant laced dress, the intimate smiles during the ceremony, the incredible pageantry. Catherine and William looked utterly in love, I found it very emotional and beautiful to watch. And the people outside, the flags, the bunting, the whole thing -  a stunning wedding day. I am so proud to be British  - an absolute jolt of patriotism for me. And, along with the rest of the world, Kate is my new favourite princess...

via tinywhitedaisies via yellowmustache
And my favourite things...best man Harry (wow, isn't he just lovely?), William's unselfconscious words at the alter. How Kate demurely and with respect looked downwards, averting her eyes every time William saluted from the carriage, the lily of the valley; so of-the-season, so subtle. The two kisses, the respondent roars from the crowd, the fact that they did it their way...Congratulations to the happy couple!

Things of beauty...a royal wedding!

posted on: Thursday, 28 April 2011

At time of writing, the royal wedding remains an unknown of tomorrow. The nation (world) on tenterhooks ready to see our young Prince wed. All week on television, the images of William as a child, with his mother, making our hearts ache in the knowledge that she will not be there to see him marry Kate. But we are all ready to watch, to share in this lovely, romantic national spectacle. For all that is said and written about our monarchy, this event makes me feel so patriotic; I can't wait for my children to see the display, much like I did in 1981 when Charles and Diana wed.

So we will be there, bright and early with a full English breakfast of sausages and bacon! Then champagne and scones with jam for afters!

photograph by Mario Testino
Come rain or shine, you know she's going to look fabulous...

...a gorgeous Burberry trench...
Another brunette beauty...

Penelope Cruz in Spanish Vogue

via coffee and cognac
Here's hoping the happy couple can steady their nerves...

via here
Pink champagne anyone?

Or strawberry milk smoothie?

via what katie ate
What will THE dress be like?!

from emerson made

via hollyhocks and tulips

via bhldn

union jacks via British Cream Tea

photograph by Jamie Beck from me to you
After all of the excitement I might just have to lie down...

via toast
I'm hoping for a wonderful, utterly British, long weekend...

Hey...Wednesday muse?

posted on: Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Easter is done, the children happily dispatched back to school (in summer uniform as well; nothing like little boys in short trousers and a blazer). I have had more than a glimpse of the sun and have revelled in every minute. Here she goes again about the weather! What would it be like to live in a warm climate? As someone said to me today - England doesn't have any constants in weather; each day can bring a deviation from the seasonal norm. A ten degree temperature differential, day to day, is commonplace.

via bippityboppityboo photograph by Hazel West
I am thinking a lot about me. This must be an indication that all is well with life as my thoughts have shifted from everyone else to myself. I am wondering: am I comfortable in my own skin? I think a lot about the ageing process and so want to be OK with it. I dearly want to just accept it gracefully - where can I find the wisdom to look at my younger self and not feel a tinge of regret that those days have gone? I said I would look forward and I will...but I am finding that the past is filling up behind me, like an enormous sack of memories and nostalgia and it feels somehow greater and heavier than the sack that contains the future. Does that make sense? Is this midlife? Is that what this is? Please distill wisdom...it will be gratefully received!

Today, I am delighted to have some time alone again, I am putting my home (life) back together after the what I have christened to be 'brain haze' of school holidays. Suddenly now focus is regained and I can actually get it together to make that appointment/sort that stuff/make stuff happen. This will, for sure, make me more centred by the evening as I am a simple soul, who likes nothing better than a pile of ironed clothes or soup out of a glut vegetables or a clear table top. It's the getting done that I like.

via bippityboppityboo from here


posted on: Monday, 25 April 2011

I know I keep saying it...but the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. I think for once we are tucked in a little corner of England that has maintained sun, heat and stillness for days and days. Hottest April since records began and I have loved every minute. The wonderful long weekend spent in the garden just appreciating it all.

...my place for tea and a good book...

...the outwordly wisteria in bloom...

...sprinkler jumping hand in hand...

...I decided it's not too early to get the union jack bunting out...
...beach sunset...
...easter egg hunting with (quite grown up, but still loving it) cousins...

...lily of the valley on my kitchen table...

...egg bounty...

Things of beauty...and a long, warm weekend...

posted on: Friday, 22 April 2011

Here again...another Friday list of prettiness; whatever might have taken my fancy this week. Today heralds the start of the Easter weekend, which to me means family and quieter times, seeing friends, resting up. Of course I couldn't not mention the weather which, as I look out today, is shaping up to be a beautiful sunny day. Maybe a late beach visit this afternoon? Cook fish on the barbecue?

I've been trying to just take some time of late, to work through chores more mindfully, to concentrate on the task in hand rather than just muddle through. I need to get more centred on what I am doing. I need to keep my nostalgia in check, as much as I love it, looking back all the time is counter-productive. Time to look forward and to plan...

by Ruche

via small acorns

via house beautiful

via sarah klassen haute design from the shabby chic home

She'll always have one of the nicest smiles...

Jennifer Aniston via eva breath

via here
I want these shorts...

via joules

Naomi Campbell in American Vogue March 1988 by Elle von Unwerth via modern hepburn
Kate Moss via luxist
via 79 ideas from runaway coast

via trishyrose by Chanel

country living
It's all about positive thinking...

I completely fall for these pretty papers...I buy far too much writing paper and then don't correspond with people the old fashioned way...

via ruby press via 100 layer cake
These always make me think of my friend Simone, whose birthday is this weekend...mwah!

via trishyrose

Have a wonderful, restful, thoughtful weekend...

All my life, watching America...

posted on: Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Of the most potent memories are those spent on holiday, as a child. Partly owing to the fact that my Dad was an airline pilot, I spent many of my childhood holidays in Florida. Think early 80's and the opportunity to take transatlantic flights when many of my contemporaries were spending summers in Cornwall or if exotic - maybe Spain. We were really lucky and spent whole summers in Florida, sometimes waiting for my Dad to have a stop-over en route to somewhere else. Cue: strong memory image of playing in the sand on Clearwater, Florida and looking up to see my Dad in his airline captain's uniform strolling towards us.

Then later as my parents went through divorce, we would metaphorically flee to Florida (by this time we had a holiday home there) and my Mum would spend her (what I now presume was healing) time, staring out at the Gulf of Mexico and wondering what the future held. Yet despite the inherent sadness that must have weighed on our family at that time, I have some of my fondest memories. My Mum, as a newly single parent would take my brother and I across the Atlantic; now that I am a parent I see the braveness of that decision in the days when travel wasn't quite so embedded in our psychology as it is now.

This childhood exposure to America did shape me. I was the one who longed to go to proms and studied the American high school system through films like 'Pretty in Pink' and 'Can't Buy Me Love'. I was the one who at University and at great expense, had American magazines like 'In Style' and 'Glamour' shipped to me. And this in the days before Internet where that meant corresponding with American Conde Nast begging them to make an allowance for an English girl who needed American input! I was the one who continued to spend summer holidays in Florida with my Mum, well into my teens, meeting up every year with friends from Indiana and being pen-pals in-between. I was the one who looked into studying at the American College in London just for the opportunity of doing a gap year in the States.

...lovely photographs, all by Stephanie Rausser
As an adult, we have been back to America lots of times, to Vegas and Hawaii, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Florida. But it is Florida that holds that special place for me and sometimes the yearning to go back literally makes my heart ache. Certain things about it are just so deeply rooted in my consciousness. The humidity and that tropical smell...I can't describe it but I would know it in a heartbeat! So I miss it, and every time we say 'next year we will go' and each year the reality seems get overridden by other (cheaper) plans. Maybe next year...

Happy tired...

posted on: Monday, 18 April 2011

I seem to have spent all day thinking I might sit down to write something and then found that not one opportunity presented itself. A day at home doing not very much, but every minute was filled with some domestic activity, accompanied by the children waxing and waning between interest and boredom. I simply refuse to provide entertainment every day of the holidays; they need to learn to just 'be'. And so they did.

The weather has gifted us a warm spell, this Spring has been memorable for it's breezy, sunny, full-of-hope days. Today was for drying laundry on the line, walking in the wheat fields around our house, trying out all of the new birthday toys. Making the most of the garden...wishing I had more time to invest in making it look pretty...

Photograph by Minna Mercke Schmidt
Meanwhile, as these domestic chores passed the day (I made soup and granola; get me!) my mind was full of plans: Easter egg hunt, Royal Wedding breakfast party (my union jack bunting is on order; I will celebrate!), the next birthday (Boo in May). However not one plan materialised into anything as I find when I spend weeks and weeks in the children's company I have this haze around my brain that makes it impossible to think straight! Once I get a moment to myself again, the haze will lift and life will fall into sharper focus again. But for now, it's just about picking a Spring bouquet or wiping surfaces clean for the hundredth time. Basic simple activities that have left me with that weary but satisfied tiredness; a kind of ache as I type this...happy tired.

Photograph by Minna Mercke Schmidt

Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 15 April 2011

Hello! So, I am incredulous that it is my little boy's birthday tomorrow; Boo 2 will be six years old! How did that happen?? So tonight I need to deck the house out with birthday bunting - as I do whenever it's someone's birthday - and wrap quite a few presents (yes, I went a tad overboard at Toys R Us), to get ready for the big day. A family tea party with cake will follow. Of course this time of year always makes me think about when I had him, especially as it's when the rugby season draws to a close and on the day I was in labour, my husband insisted on playing rugby and then called me from the sideline to check my progress (contractions still regular, but not alarming!). Oh how different things are with the second child! We both knew it might take some time, but still! The weather has turned back to its seasonal norm so no sun and overcast. Exactly as it was this time six year's ago.

My thoughts this week have been quite exclusively on what I eat and drink. I have been on a detox all week and to say it's been an obsession would be an understatement. I live for food and spend most of my time wondering what I will eat next so it's been very hard to get excited about juices, soups and steamed vegetables. An interesting sojourn into dieting though, and one I hope not to persist with; I did it for health and for a kick start (see, I am already talking in the past tense...I am near the end!). But it does make me see what discipline is required to keep to a diet.

There have been beach days and country walk days this week, as predicted. We are nearing the middle point of Easter holidays - 2 week's down, 2 to go!

Things of beauty here with a delicate, lace-thin disposition....

Sigrid Agren at Elie Saab, Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2011
I love this image...I studied Jane Eyre for my dissertation at University...oh Mr Rochester!

via day dream lily, photograph by Candice Lesage
I like this scarf...

scarf by artlab via etsy
How beautiful is this? A tree-lined boulevard in Prague - photograph by my friend Natasha - If you want to read a love story to brighten your day read her blog ...

Spring time in Prague..
Ooops, look, he just creeps in the mix sometimes...soooo lovely.

gorgeous George...

Photograph by Polly Wreford

photograph by Mikkel Vang

Keira Knightley

from Cabbages and Roses

from jcrew

jil sander uniqlo

 Natalia Vodianova by Jean Baptiste Mondino via Beauty Fetishist
via swoon photograph by Juliet Elizabeth Photography via The Wedding Row
This symmetrical window and chair arrangement speaks to me...

styled by Tricia Foley
Absolutely stunning picture here from Vogue China...

photograph by Paolo Roversi 

Here's to a healthy weekend that features Birthday cake!!
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