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)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flowers from my favourite place

I have been a very lucky Semi Expat and yesterday received a beautiful bouquet from my favourite flower delivery place in England. The Real Flower Company. For more information about them click HERE.

This one is called the 'Antique posy...' The roses are a mixture of dusky mauvey-pink ones called 'Julia Baby' and other creamy ones along with scented herbs, lavender sprigs and foliage.

A close up showing the bronze fennel, purple sage and mint in the bouquet.

Last photograph showing the unusual colour of the roses. I think the name suits it well.
And, I am sure you have guessed who they were from ! Mr SE - such a sweetheart.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meet Minnie L.

Isn't she just adorable... ? This is Minnie, my friends S and R's new baby - only a few weeks old - a little West Highland Terrier who arrived in their household only yesterday. I went round there this evening and could not resist a few photographs. (This one a little blurred - she was moving too quickly!)

Outside on the grass.

A little cuddle with Auntie Sarah Semi Expat!

Such a cutie pie... I know that LBR and Bonnie will particularly like this post!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Open Day

Yesterday was a really busy day at Indigo Antiques where I help out on occasions when I am back in UK. It was the Spring Open Day and was non-stop from opening to the end of the day... I would imagine that around 300 to 400 people came through the door all eager to see what was new and to sample the delicious food and drink we served all day.... Tea and coffee and homemade biscuits in the morning onto to wine and canapes later - things like delicious little shredded duck pancakes with hoisin sauce and melted camenbert with potato wedges - yum!

I took a few photographs before the crowds arrived. I love this lamp - I have one from Indigo like this in my home.

Pretty blue and white lamps and vases showing up beautifully in this photograph.

Old stone lamp niches and dovecote panels illuminated with little tea lights.

A basketful of those homemade biscuits....

Wonderful antique Chinese cabinet.

Green glazed Tang horse.

Rather love these chaps too... Indian - Nandi Bull wooden toys....
At the end of the day I went home and collapsed - 8 hours on your feet all day = a very good night's sleep!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Busy few days

For the last few days I have been rushing around - at both of the two lovely places I am lucky enough to work when I am back in England.... Today I am rushing over to INDIGO antiques where we have a big open day and I will post about it later on... - we have been busy preparing for it. For more information go HERE or www.indigo-uk.com
Mr SE finally jetted back to Melbourne yesterday but as I write he is still in the air... Such a long way, Australia...
A great weekend to one and all whatever you may be doing.. It is sunny here in England!! Lovely....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Favourite Tea Cosy

Here is a photograph of my gorgeous Tea Cosy from the company 'Poppy Treffry'... I love using it and tea almost always tastes better after having been in a teapot under this cosy for a few minutes.

They are a small company based in Newlyn in Cornwall in England and have been going since 2004 when they started by supplying to a few art galleries. The company has grown since then but they are still down to earth and produce such lovely goodies with a wonderful homespun feel... Here are a few images from their website but do go and have a look for yourself.... Am not sure if they send overseas but I would imagine if you emailed and asked they would be more than happy to help..... Coffee cosy.

Cupcakes Tea Cosy.

Cute 'Hot Chicks' egg cosy...

All the designs make me smile and that's what life's about isn't it?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

She's Back!

Yes, my girl is home,,,, Look, - a photograph too!!
I have been rather absent I am afraid from blogging, the Internet in general, and 'absent' in my mind a lot of the time over the last few days as I've been worrying and so concerned about how my DDD was going to get back from the ski resort she has been working in in France. Airspace over UK and Europe was closed for a fourth day with no let up in sight.... So, early yesterday morning she and a girl friend of hers set off before 6am to make their way somehow by train to the coast of France. They had to go firstly via Switzerland but eventually made it to the coast and across the channel where we picked her up at 2am this morning! Many tears of joy were shed I can assure you! This evening she and I went for a lovely walk together along the canal. The birds were singing and the Spring sunshine was weak but nonetheless welcome and very pleasant.

I took the photographs above in between chatting together about everything under the sun - we have five months of chat to catch up on!! It is such a relief that she is home and I cannot tell you how happy I am.
Meanwhile though poor Mr SE continues to try and get a flight back to Australia. When will this end I wonder?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Days until a Volcanic Disruption

Up until yesterday we were having such a wonderful time down at our friends the antique dealers (Kiel and Stuart of FONTAINE) at their cottage on the Kent coast. Then the news came that due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland all airspace over UK and Northern Europe has been closed.... Unfortunately, this now means that my daughter is now stuck at the ski resort in France where she has been working since the end of last year and we have no idea when her flight will be re-instated. Also, Mr SE who was due to fly back to Australia this morning is not going anywhere fast either. That is not quite as bad as we are here together but there are several work commitments he needs to be back for next week. What a difficult situation it all is. However, let me tell you about the nicer times before this volcano fiasco... Photograph above shows a few of the French antiques ready to be loaded onto their van as they are doing Battersea Decorative Antiques Fair next week... Apologies that I could not take many photos as much of the stock was packed up in bubble wrap/blankets in readiness for transportation....

This was a present from them to me... It was such a lovely surprise - a late Georgian / early Victorian piece of spongeware - in perfect condition - I am thrilled and was very touched.

Photograph above shows their cottage to the right of the picture.

Another closer shot.

This is looking up the road from their cottage. Look at these perfect specimens of Georgian homes. I absolutely LOVE this period - it is my all time favourite English house...

We went out for dinner here.... Unusual, in that there is a fishmongers underneath and the restaurant is above. As you could probably imagine, we had wonderfuly fresh fish. (Stuart is standing outside waiting for me to hurry up and stop taking photos!)

Yesterday, before we returned to 'SE Cottage' we went to Margate where they are building the huge new Turner Contemporary gallery.... It is going to be one of the biggest galleries in the South of England and due to open in the Spring of 2011.... There is much excitement about the regeneration of the coast and generally in this area. For more information click HERE.
So, now we just play a waiting game and hope and pray that the volcano stops emitting dust and ash and the wind blows the other way which will enable airspace in Europe to open again. Never in living memory has this happened before - all so unfortunate.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Spring Day in England

Before I begin writing my post today I would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who left a comment about my sister's wedding (previous post) .... We have been so touched by your kindness and lovely words - my family were amazed at the response especially my sister and my parents who were absolutely delighted that so many bloggers and readers from all over the world not only were interested but also took the time to write something. It really has added another dimension to the celebrations so thank you all so very, very much. Yesterday we enjoyed another beautiful Spring day and so we set off for a small walk out of our village and down to the canal - this is the view looking back and in the middle you can see the steeple of the village church. Note though that although it is nearly mid-April not many leaves are out on the trees - hopefully they will all soon spring into action over the coming week or so. The sun shone but there was also quite a brisk, cold wind.

On the way back we stopped at the house opposite. They have chickens and sell organic eggs from a little table on their driveway.

They trust you to put the correct money into the jar and take your eggs... They are so fresh - absolutely delicious...

Later on in the evening I brought out my Jamie Oliver cookbook to check out a recipe for Jamie's "Incredible roasted shoulder of lamb with smashed veg and greens" dish (page 49 of his 'Jamie at Home' book). The preparation is quick but it does take a long time in the oven. However the finished result is always worth it and never fails.

Garlic and rosemary under the lamb - a little olive oil and salt and pepper all over too...

Oh, and just a bit more rosemary and garlic on top... Double seal the whole tin with foil and much, much later.....

Serve and enjoy with Mr SE accompanied by a nice glass or two of French red wine and an open fire too.... What could be more perfect?
Today Mr SE and I are off to visit our friends Stuart and Kiel (the antique guys I have written about before - their company is Fontaine) - they now have a little cottage in Kent (South East of England) as well as their place in France. Hopefully there may be lots of gorgeous goodies in the form of French antiques that I will be able to photograph for you to see.
Now, I must away and prepare some of those lovely eggs we bought yesterday for Mr SE's brekkie!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A very English Wedding

My 'baby' sister Jo was married on Thursday- and here above is a photograph of her in her wedding gown which was cream satin, strapless and gathered slightly at one side - she looked absolutely beautiful and carried a simple bouquet of calla lilies. The day could not have been more perfect - beautiful sunshine in the English countryside and I have just returned back to our home and the sun is still shining ..... For the last hour I have been sorting out which photographs to put on the blog and it has been quite hard - there are such a lot over two different cameras and I don't want to bore you all too much! However, I think quite a few of you wanted to get a feeling for the day and the occasion... So, without more ado... Here are the happy couple having just been married, signing the register...

Below a photograph of my parents (with yours truly in the back ground) - as you can see my mother and I are wearing "hatty things" - mine was more of a hat and mother's was a 'fascinator' . I know they are my parents and therefore I am allowed to be a little biased but I do think they are still a great looking couple - I don't think they will mind if I let you know that Daddy is 78 and my mother is 73 - not bad!

Natasha (from Five Minutes Just for Me) - this is for you - you wanted to see what I was going to be wearing... a simple wrapover dress was the answer with a slightly 'over the top' accessory in the hat!!

"Sisters, sisters!" .... Here are my two younger sisters - Jo (the bride) and Victoria (Victoria is BN's (who has just been with us in Melbourne) mother.)

Another photograph of my mother at the lovely English countryside hotel where the reception was held.

And whilst I was doing the family 'round up' I could not leave out my brother... Here he is with the youngest of his four children.... He comes next in the family line up so, it's me, then him and then my two sisters.

The view along the terrace of the hotel ... We started off there outside in the sunshine where plenty of

these were served. Pimms - a very English drink, totally delicious (alcoholic!) and they went down all too easily and quickly!

We then celebrated by enjoying a delicious, traditional English afternoon tea followed by wedding cake and champagne....

Beautiful white flower arrangements - (done by my mother) .......
And last but by no means least this is a photograph of my darling, little niece Daisy -she is 2 and was the most delightful and beautifully behaved bridesmaid for her parents.... Such a poppet.

All in all it really was a perfect day.