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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)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas round up

Welcome to the cottage.

My parents joined us for Christmas and arrived on 24th. This is us above just before lunch - glasses of Prosecco for celebration.

After lunch we walked along the canal tow path - Poppy, (DD) came too and in fact all these photographs except the one above were taken with the new 'fancy pants' Nikon camera she received for her birthday.

I rather like this 'arty' shot of my mother and I, - we were deep in conversation, I seem to remember ....

Another good photograph from DD. Looking very wintery here in UK.

But at least the sun was shining. My parents above.

25th December. Many gifts under and around our little tree.

The Christmas table.

And the pudding...

This photo makes me smile. The pudding up in brandy flames and my father.

(Oh, and that wasn't my Christmas outfit dress, - just my favourite apron with fish on it - 'Old Trouts' apparently... hmmmm , and it was given to me by my ex-husband too!).

Happy days.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the day before Christmas

Or, better known as Christmas Eve.

Much excitement for all to come; and in some ways I like this day better with all of its anticipation. This morning I took 45 minutes out for myself and walked across the fields as the sun was rising. Very beautiful and peaceful before the fun and mayhem of the next 48 hours or so.

Next two photographs show a much cosier inside from last night....

How we are enjoying having real log fires. Not really something we can do in Melbourne....

And so I just wanted to wish each and every one of you a wonderful and peaceful and happy holiday season. Every single one of you is very special and thank you for being there; - you all bring much happiness into the life of one Semi Expat in Oz!! Will be round to visit your blogs to leave my very best wishes later on in the day.......


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

'Driving Home For Christmas' or, from 30 degrees to 3 degrees in 24 hours!!

And for those of you who work in Fahrenheit that is from about 86 degrees to 37 degrees within a 24 hour period!!

So, have you guessed where I am ? Yup, back again in England!!! And to be precise I didn't drive, we flew courtesy of Qantas (but Chris Rea did not sing "Flying Home for Christmas !!)

Sorry I have been a little quiet on the blog posting and visiting but all has been rather a blur.

Yes, I know I have (it seems) only just got back to Melbourne but this Christmas and New Year is rather special as on New Year's Day my dearest Daddy reaches the grand age of 80 and there is going to be a family party. How could I miss that?!! Mr SE has flown back with me and darling daughter has returned from University in the North of England. We are all at our cottage in Wiltshire. Last night DD and I decorated the Christmas Tree (after bringing it in from the cold outside, my friend S had bought it for us a week ago just in case we would not be able to get one on our return - would have been awful if all the best shaped ones had gone!!)... We thought it looked rather magical when we had finished - it may be little but it packs a Christmas punch!

So, here I am for the next couple of weeks! Hopefully another post before Christmas from England.

Hope your preparations and plans etc. all shaping up well for the day.....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Festivities (and flowers, sort of) in the house - Australian style

Yesterday we had a bit of a festive "do" chez Mr and Mrs SE.....

I will show you around Christmas Australian style (well my Australian take on Christmas!) I am also joining with Jane over at Small but Charming blog - she is having a Monday flower party and rocking on round the Christmas tree

Hop on over there HERE ......Lightness and whiteness above and below this cute fellow poking out of a little Christmas tree.

The festive "do" was in part for my nephew pictured below - he has been staying with us here in Melbourne since September and flies back to UK tonight.

Back to the "decs" in the house....

Above, little table as you come into the house.

And next few photographs showing the party we had....

Retro style F.Christmas napkins and little crackers (they went down very well!)

Appetisers had a whole area to themselves!

Vegetarians look away now.......

This ham (which I prepared in the spirit of Faux Fuchsia with a marmalade, mustard and whisky glaze (Donna Hay mag. this month) was quite frankly, to use a particular Faux "Fuchsia-ism", very "Hamtastic" !

And this lovely salad brought by dear friend Ms. S was delish!!

Finally, last pic of Mr SE getting down to the carving!

A wonderful celebration in the warmth of the Australian Summer and festiveness which is a little different from Northern Hemisphere celebrations but just as fun.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sally, Sally - pride of our alley

So says the famous song.

The Sally that I am referring to though is Sally Swannell, and I think she's the pride of our alley in UK. She is a local artist and lives near our cottage in Wiltshire, England. Although I don't know her personally a couple of my friends do and they say she is as lovely as she is talented. I always stock up on her cards when I'm back there and I just love her style. She bases her art work so I have been told, on the muted colours and shades of Farrow and Ball's range.

Take a quick look for yourselves :

The one above is such a LOVELY Christmas card. I would so love a house like that too.

Or what about this Christmas dresser above? Very cute.

Hope everyone's preparations for the holiday season are coming along nicely! Have a lovely weekend one and all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And about time too!!!

Apologies. Many of them.

I have been reprimanded by my mother who says she is "Fed up with seeing the photo of the Qantas plane on my blog" and contrary to what you may think, that I could be circumnavigating the planet in it, I'm not. Just been really busy since returning to Melbourne. Jet lag..... blah de blah, getting back into work again, blah de blah and generally feeling altogether a little blah. Wondering also - Do I have "Blogger's block?!!"
Oh no, I do hope not. And many apologies that I have not been round to visit other blogs. I will do very soon. Meanwhile here are a few photographs as promised from Poppy's 21st Party which now seems like an age ago on 11/11/11.

First off the birthday girl, and boyfriend. Showing this one particularly as you have to see the dress. It is vintage from the '50's. Lace bodice and a plain black ballet length skirt. She looked stunning but then again I am a little biased on these matters as Mothers tend to be.

Above with two of her friends from school. Keep an eye out for the guy on the right - he will 'be big' one day - currently at Drama School in London.

And yours truly in my 'party dress' - followers of the blog from old will have seen this one before but it's a classic and gets rolled out for special occasions and seems to fit the bill most times!

Promise that I won't leave it so long before another post.......

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Flying back to Melbourne

I am just about to take off from London's Heathrow airport but I just wanted to say thank you for your lovely comments about Poppy's birthday in my previous post. And I promise I will write more (with some photos) soon about the celebrations and also get around to catching up with all of your recent posts. Lots to look at when I scanned down the snippets of things from my favourite blogs, it seems.

As ever, mixed emotions at this part, hating leaving family and friends here in UK but looking forward to seeing family and friends in Melbourne again and of course, dear old Mr SE ..!

Till I re-surface at the other end.. au revoir!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11. Such a special day

All the elevens - a really special date - Armistice Day too. Fondly known the world over as Poppy Day. A day to pause and give thanks that so many have given their lives over the years and continue to do so to this day so that we may live freely.

And for me, my own extra special Poppy day. My darling daughter Poppy came into the world 21 years ago today. So extra poignant and extremely precious after years of infertility and I look back on that day as one of the happiest of my life. To all the new mothers particularly out there in the blogging fraternity, I know it is a cliche, but time will go by so fast - treasure every single second! I cannot believe that I have a 21 year old..... Amazing.

And here she is above... skipping along next to the river in Durham, where she is at University.

Happy, happy 21st Birthday sweetheart and I am so looking forward to seeing you later today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Paris Pics Part II. And Purchases

At last I hear you say..... what on earth has she been doing ? - that Halloween post has been up way too long (or that was Mr SE told me in no uncertain terms last night when he rang from Australia!) So without further ado here are a selection of the photos from our very quick trip to Paris which now seems like AGES ago. My time in England too is drawing to a close far too quickly - I return back to Melbourne early next week and I am running round in circles trying to get things done. Also there is a certain birthday to celebrate at the end of this week - darling daughter's. (Very exciting)
Photo above - me deciding that I had to do like the French femmes and wear a (small) heel for one of our days out and about!

Mr SE in Place de la Concorde. Ritz Hotel just behind.

Hanging out around CHANEL - Rue Cambon.

Ici, je 'leche les vitrines'!

Above and below - pics snapped in Laduree.

Outside John Galliano's local. This is the bar where he made his infamous comments.... It was PACKED with people spilling out over the pavements each evening.

Gorgeous restaurant where we enjoyed a lovely dinner. Marais district.

Place des Vosges.

So lovely and sunny - we were lucky with the weather.

This is where they store all the leaves - no wonder it all looked so beautiful !

Whilst I was sitting in cafes and watching the world go by I made a few observations/notes regarding fashion and things I had seen on the street as follows :

  • Lots of short jackets (especially leather), with skinny legged jeans/pants with boots

  • Scarves, scarves, scarves - all tied with a twist or big chunky wool 'snoods'

  • If not slim legs then wide tweedy type 70's pants (worn with a heel)

  • Man-ish long jackets as coats, again in tweed

  • A lot of tan coloured leather in both bags and boots

  • Many chic women with GREY hair - either in geometric short cuts or longer more casual in style.

  • Although in the main there were lots of neutrals the odd pop of colour in a coat or pants appeared quite a bit

See my two photos below captured surreptitiously from the cafe to illustrate my last point.!!

Bright red coat... and

working a coloured jean en francais.

Sorry this post is rather long... quickly now, onto purchases...

Went a bit mad in MONOPRIX of all places and bought a navy cashmere v neck and a very nice 'Margaret Howell-ish' fine striped shirt with teeny weeny buttons... All at fabulous prices of course.

And a huge bottle of this wonderful body lotion at a great price... Very pleased with my bargains.

Oh, and talking of buying things also succumbed to these leopard delights last week!

They definitely called my name and will be great back in Oz... (Summer is around the corner and will look good with well, err...most things I figured, especially tan chino type pants/trousers)

So there we are, a round up of the last of the Paris pics and a few little bits and bobs! Hope you enjoyed!