About Me

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Loving all stylish and wonderful things in life, fashion and interiors. I am English but living my life in the fabulous city of Melbourne in Australia. Welcome and please read on.... (contact me at sjstubbs19@gmail.com)

Monday, September 27, 2010

My favourite little person

Had such a wonderful day yesterday and caught up with my sister - so good to see her again and of course her daughter - my mini niece - photo of her with me above..... Enjoyed every precious moment ....

And one lovely thing about being away is collecting 'ptf's' = "Presents to Follow" !!
This lovely cushion above by Jan Constantine was given to me yesterday - a joint pressie from my dear sisters for my last birthday.... It is absolutely gorgeous. For more info. about Jan Constantine products click HERE - you won't be disappointed.
Dear Janet from The Gardeners Cottage blog has asked me whether I am over here at the moment on a holiday or exactly what I am up to!! Sorry, I should have explained in an earlier post. I am over here for 3 weeks (halfway through now) and whilst it is a holiday from my job in Australia I am here primarily to help prepare and take dearest daughter up to University at the end of this week. We will be driving her to the North of UK where she begins a degree at Durham University soon..... I am also very pleased to be here whilst my parents are moving which has coincided with my visit.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In the cottage garden

Photographs from the Semi Expat's little English garden on a sunny Saturday morning.
The last rose - smells so sweet.

The garden has held up well over the last 6 months or so with a little help from Hamish who lives up the lane.

Below - Autumn flowering sedum.

The rosemary is extremely healthy.

And the dear terracotta chickens - none the worse for the bad weather last winter - still pecking away!
A happy weekend to one and all.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September day in the English countryside

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my previous post about my parents' move.

They were very touched....... All is progressing well and whilst I did not come back to UK from Oz specifically for their move - (am here to settle dearest daughter into University in a week's time) I am extremely glad to be here whilst their move is happening. Contracts were exchanged yesterday and it will all happen in six days. In fact I am writing this post from their house after another day helping out. Mr SE has turned his hand to disconnecting dishwashers, washing machines etc. and taking down shelves too. However, Mr SE leaves early tomorrow morning back to Australia (via the Grand Prix in Singapore)..... Phew! On to our day yesterday in the sunshine. Mr SE's mother came to visit and we went out for lunch to a lovely pub in the countryside - photo above.

The food arrived on boards. Mine photographed below and the MIL's above... however, the MIL did not like the fact that it arrived "on a bread board" and declared it to be unhygienic. We told her it was known as "presentation".

Mine were freshly grilled sardines on toast with a green olive tapenade.

Photos above and below of the garden at the pub.

Afterwards we went for a walk alongside the canal.

The canal climbs a steep gradient and a series of locks were completed in 1810. An AMAZING engineering feat which fascinated Mr SE no end.

Each lock is numbered.... love the old fashioned numbering.

Looking back at the at the 21 locks up the hill....

Gorgeous old brick bridge over the canal....

We saw this barge (or narrow boat as they are sometimes called) navigate through a lock....

At the end of the day the MIL returned on the train. All in all a lovely day in the sunshine.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back again in UK

Well, it's good to be back.
I flew into Heathrow airport and have spent the first 36 hours or so with my parents at their house - they are in a little turmoil - well, the house is actually as they are busy packing up as they are moving in a couple of weeks or so. Pictures and photographs are down from walls and I have tried to help a little, jet lag permitting.... I could not resist taking a photograph of these - one of their photographs ready for packing - it was taken just after they were married in the 1950's.... Look at how handsome my father is in his Royal Air Force Uniform as a young Flying Officer - and my mother looks like Audrey Hepburn I think - so glam.
It is a little sad to see empty shelves .....

And boxes all packed up. There has been a lot of sorting to do and 'culling' of belongings as they are "downsizing" and moving to a smaller house in the same area. They have been in the house over 20 years so you can imagine the job is no mean feat.

Everything has been labelled - my mother is very efficient.

And talking of labels these are rather lovely... This is their home made chutney ....

And lots of jam too ....

All in rows in the "Preserves Cupboard". They will be packed up next week. I love that they still make jam and chutney each year.

Am now back in our cottage in the West Country (about 45 mins from Bath)... More photographs etc. from here in the next few days.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Here we go round the Mulberry Bush

This post has been inspired by two of my favourite blogs and their recent posts to do with handbags. The first is METSCAN over in Finland who talked recently about a handbag that she had given her daughter - lucky daughter - see HERE. And the second blog is Thats Not My Age who had the absolute pleasure of meeting, (yes, you heard right MEETING) the actress Jane Birkin and she even took a photograph of her handbag. Click HERE to read all about that. So to the bag in my post... This bag belongs to my daughter - and she has kindly lent it to me for a while - she left it here when she returned to the UK for me to use as we both love it. A classic Mulberry Bayswater handbag in a chocolate bronzey colour which seems to go with everything. Rather bashed about and loved but it seems to get better as it ages (rather like Jane Birkin's Birkin from TNMA's post I like to think).....

Daughter and I purchased this bag together. She had saved up and had some money for birthdays and some money for good exam results and we set off to visit the Mulberry Factory Shop in Somerset. We managed to secure it for a Very Good Price. Not only was it nearly half price but the nice sales assistant gave us another 50 pounds OFF as there was a v. small scratch on it.

If you are in Somerset in England and fancy a lovely day out go to the factory shop - you never know what you might find and there is a little tea room there too. All details below :

Tucked away in the heart of the beautiful Somerset countryside, the Mulberry Factory shop presides in an old school building located on the main A37 Bristol to Yeovil Road. It carries a wide selection of Mulberry accessories and ready to wear, styles varying from classical vintage to trendy, contemporary pieces and all at substantially discounted prices. So, whether it is an idea for a gift, or simply self-indulgence, you are sure to find something suitable at the Mulberry Factory Shop.

New Collection In store with up to 50% off the original RRP. MULBERRY FACTORY SHOP The Old School House - Shepton Mallet- BA4 5NF Telephone : 01749 340 583

I hope to visit soon as tomorrow I am back off to the UK again for a very fleeting visit - all of 3 weeks. Next post will be from England.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Postcard from Adelaide

A couple of weekends back - well, to be precise, the weekend before last, Mr SE and I went away to Adelaide. He has been there many times on business but has seen precisely all of the airport, the hotel and where his meetings were held and never the city or the surrounding beautiful areas.... and I had never been to Adelaide before.
Well, we weren't disappointed - a very pretty city with some gorgeous architecture and green parks and some lovely shopping areas too...Adelaide is not far from Melbourne as you can see from the map above - a mere hop, skip and a jump in a Qantas plane and we were there. We stayed a night in the city of Adelaide and then the next day went touring up in the hills - although the sun shone it was pretty windy - hence impression of "shaggy Shetland pony hair" in the above photo!

Gorgeous views from the hills looking down to the city in the distance.

Pretty streets....

And what really fascinated me were the grape vines growing along the streets - to remind perhaps that this is after all a wonderful wine growing region....

So pretty weaving their way along the intricate iron 'lacework' balustrade outside the stores...

And, apologies - unless you live in Australia you won't know who on earth the person is in the photograph below but I could not resist sneaking a very grainy image of him.....!! Yes, it's Adam, the worthy winner of Masterchef Australia just trying to catch up with some work whilst waiting for his flight in the Qantas lounge in Adelaide. Just about rounded off a very enjoyable weekend altogether.....

And a happy weekend to one and all wherever you are in the world and whatever you may be doing...