Never enough things of beauty...

posted on: Sunday, 31 January 2010

Another week has passed, still loving to blog :-) Here are the latest lovelies to look at...what a wonderful pastime it is looking for beautiful things that bring a smile or that unmistakable whooosh of 'I love that!'....

This is the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, where we went last summer. This was taken from a moving car travelling down La Croisette...observing the beautiful people.

Ballet shoes...the most magical thing to me is ballet at the Royal Opera House in London...

Absolutely quintessential Portuguese doorway...love the Algarve...

Natalia Vodianova...up close...

Kate Bosworth in a peachy dream of a dress...


Labradorite 'Jellyfish' earrings by Pippa Small...


Thinking about Vegas...

posted on: Saturday, 30 January 2010

Its my husband's 40th birthday this year and we are planning to go to Las Vegas for a weekend to celebrate with a group of our very best friends. Its a long old way to go for a weekend and the response we always get when we say we are planning it is: 'Vegas? Why on earth would you choose to go there? When you can go anywhere...why there?' People's perception of the place is often that its tacky, seedy, ugly...basically the last place on earth you'd go to!

I guess I'd beg to differ - to me its what it represents...a weekend away from the day to day here in a corner of England; something so utterly different and unusual. Its not about spiritual regeneration, its just about pure, unadulterated fun (and not of the seedy kind!). I don't gamble but I do shop and Vegas is a like the mother ship calling me home when it comes to shopping. The place is just...how can I say...unlike anything else I have ever seen. Obviously its not as beautiful as many, many places but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in sheer volume and novelty.

This is 'The Mix' restaurant in Las Vegas, where there is this chandelier with 15,000 hand-blown murano glass bubbles...its the coolest thing. It literally surrounds the room and almost imperceptibly sways.


And you'd want to wear something like this...Isabel Marant...

So I will be thinking about Vegas this weekend...love it or hate it...its where we'll be come October!

'Mean Mummy'

posted on: Wednesday, 27 January 2010


I am the tiger.

I am shameful as I write this as, yes reader, yesterday I was mean to my kids. This is a taboo Mummy subject - its the unwritten rule; meanness is unacceptable in Mothers, we must be calm, supportive, loving, forever reasonable, funny, nurturing, definitely not shouty - yes. But mean - no.

So here is how it went (the confession starts...). It was early morning yesterday, husband gone already, me getting the children ready for school and no matter how many times I said 'get dressed', 'have breakfast', 'brush your teeth', they just did not move. Like sloths...they lolled, my two children, as if they had all the time in the world. I had aforementioned (previous post) big meeting at work and was wearing the big heels that prohibited the usual running around the house trying to get everyone sorted. My son, who is 4, decided he wanted to build a Lego castle. My daughter could not find her reading book - one that she had had in her hand minutes before. More running up and downstairs ensued...until finally we all get in the car - late, harassed but on our way. By this stage I am fuming...why is it always such a struggle?! What follows on the journey to school is a lecture from me...of the worst kind...about how frustrating it is to me that they don't get ready on time, that they need to learn responsibility (locate the reading book as its important for school, save the Lego castle til later as there is somewhere we have to be right now, like school assembly...). I can see their sullen faces in my rear-view mirror, yet I press on! What was I thinking? We get started on the worst topic ever as it transpires that neither of them brushed their teeth....well, off I went. Like some woman possessed...on the merits of appropriate dental hygiene, how their teeth will literally fall out if they don't look after them, how the dentist will blame them for their tartar build-up...

By this stage, I am even starting to wonder why I am on this rant - we near school and I realise...I have gone too far. Rapidly trying to back-track so they don't go off to school with memories of their mother screaming at them about tooth-brushing in their minds, I try to lighten the mood; my guilt is setting in. As we get out the car I can see two chin wobbles and finally my daughter succumbs (one suspects linked to her abject fear of having to have a filling at the dentist, which I have now single-handledly upped on the anxiety list in her little life).

Tears fall, I feel wretched, we hug but its no good, the damage is done. So I have to leave her, red-faced and over-emotional as I walk away feeling ever so slightly ashamed.

'Where did that mean mummy come from?'
When I collected them from school they asked...ummm I have to say I am not sure where she came from...the pressures of modern life? No excuse! We all really hope she stays away...

Talking of mother-love...this set of photos I just adore. Its pinned up in my kitchen, pulled out of a issue of Vogue last summer. Especially the one at the top left which so utterly captures that mother/daughter emotion.

So, this is for Boo 1: I am sorry xx

Amanda Harlech and Tallulah Ormsby-Gore

Big meeting, big shoes...

posted on: Tuesday, 26 January 2010


What is it about confidence and high heels? I had a big meeting at work today and instinctively choose my highest-without-being-just-silly work heels. This, even though my feet were safely tucked under a table for most of the time during the meeting. There is just something about that elevation of high heels that is so important to mental confidence! In Gwyneth Paltrow's well-publicised return to the limelight in 2008, what was referenced the most was her selection of high heels...and you can see why...

Three greys for a grey day...

posted on: Saturday, 23 January 2010

Happy Monday...the courteous British weather has today provided another 'perfect' grey day ;-)

This is on my wish-list...platinum birdcage necklace by Agrigento...



A beautiful breath of spring air in this sweet striped dress by Alberta Ferretti...


The room equivalent...love the striped blinds...




Things of beauty...

Sunday morning...off to the beach for a family walk with the Boos, who need to run themselves out abit. Meanwhile, here are some lovelies to look at :-)

Georg Jensen Fusion ring, it is just divine. I wore Georg Jensen jewellery when my husband and I got married; its a Danish institution...

MaxMara 2010 spring season; a beautiful, simple dress...



I have this thing about the Kennedy family, they intrigue me. This is just such a captured moment, made all the more poignant by their tragic story...


Adirondack chairs, perfect symmetry...


Gisele...up close...


Beautiful scent...somehow rich, deep, summery, of-the-earth and fresh all at the same time....





The Scandinavian Cookbook

posted on: Friday, 22 January 2010

This is the most evocative cookbook I have ever owned. I grew up spending my summer and winter holidays with my Danish family, cousins and cousins of cousins almost too many to mention. I have the fondest, most sentimental memories of Denmark and mostly of the time spent at my Grandmother's house. She lived just outside of Copenhagen and was the best ever cook. She was one of those effortless cooks, using fruit and vegetables from the garden, creating the most extraordinary but traditional meals for us. My mum is just the same. So this book, its just like a memory fest for me of every childhood food we had there. The descriptions of the food and the photography in this book perfectly capture the Danish mood...oh and the recipes are quite good too ;-)

Beautiful Royal Copenhagen china. Each piece is hand-painted, so delicate...


Georg Jensen 'New York' cutlery...
Arne Jacobsen Stelton pieces...so Danish



Rooms that I like...

I am half Danish so I have always had this lean towards Danish design; clean lines, minimal, modern. Hard to incorporate into my house as I live in a country cottage that does not have a right angle or a clean line in its entire structure, however, enjoy with me these lovely rooms...



I love the artichoke lamp in this hallway...


My mum actually has this very white table below in her house. Its Italian, she has had it forever, and it works so well. I remember as a child thinking it was like something out of a spaceship...


I love this chair - the vintage style, recovered in modern fabric...

I adore this sofa...



How did I do?

posted on: Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Today I had my annual appraisal at work. I work for a very large company, like a 'household name' type company and its all about the summary review of the year. Everything hinges on it. So, year on year, I go through a whole mental process of trying to convince myself that I am doing my best, that I couldn't work any harder, as I balance work, my children, my husband, my house, my friends, my shoe obsession, my shopping habit...

In any working week I think its most important that I am home more than I am at work; so I work part time and keep it at a level where I top and tail the kid's day by always being there for pick-up and drop-off at school, homework, bedtime stories and so on. This all works fine, as the company I work for are super-flexible but they do expect me to do a good and serious job. There is no slacking off, so the net result is that its a plate-spinning act - this is the same story for pretty much all mothers; working ones or otherwise.


So today, after a hefty degree of build-up, was the day when I found out - did I pull it off? I realised that in motherhood like in so many other parts of life, there is no mechanism that gives you this level of feedback. You never really know - how did I do? Infact for me, the point when I notice I am not doing so well is when something goes very wrong and see the smashed plate I dropped along the way. Then I wonder - how did that happen (again)?!

I am pleased (read delighted, relieved, thankful) that I did OK at work - I got a good appraisal, but then at the school pick-up my son's teacher called me in to talk about his reading. Hmmm, so maybe I dropped that plate along the way, not doing quite enough homework with him? Mental note: must try harder... ;-)

Belle and Boo - I love this too...

posted on: Monday, 18 January 2010


Its not just the name that attracts me to this website, its the lovely simplicity of the illustrations. The illustrator is named Mandy Sutcliffe, she creates these exquisite designs that can be bought on prints, tags, badges, magnets, postcards etc. Its just such a lovely site, utterly tempting. Packages arrive wonderfully labelled, 'with love from Belle and Boo'. Its the kind of the stuff that just makes me smile... :-)




Sunday morning...

posted on: Sunday, 17 January 2010



This is what we woke up to this morning in the garden...

Nothing else for it....

posted on: Saturday, 16 January 2010




The snow has melted and has been replaced by the wettest, dankest, dullest day. So, there is nothing else for it but to light the fire and mooch (mooch just feels like a purple word) for the day. The Boos have promised this suits them too after a busy week back at school (forgive me for how much TV they will watch today). Its a lazy day, even the cat has the same vibe...

Meanwhile my new Emu uggs arrived yesterday all the way from sunny New Zealand...this makes me happy :-)

Cherry Picking...

posted on: Friday, 15 January 2010




So what to say? I have purchased full price (why do that when there are sales on? I am always the one attracted to the brand new season's stock...) Russell and Bromley deep cherry red, patent, platform, heeled, they are 'a thing of beauty' shoes. As the post-purchase guilt sweats have persisted for over a week, they have stayed in their box, in their bag ever since. I finally decided that they had to go back, after all does cherry red patent really fit into my lifestyle? I went to the bag, nestled in my wardrobe, reached in for the receipt in order to check the returns policy and low and behold saw the name of the shoes on the box: 'Loopy-Lou'. I took this to be a sign and made a u-turn on my decision; they must stay! I will now work tirelessly to find a way to make them fit into my life...
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