Thursday, December 31, 2009

London and Westminster Abbey




I decided today that waiting for the weather to improve before embarking on a day of exploration around London could make for a very long wait. So, off we went, rain and all to visit Parliament Square, St. Margaret's Church and Westminster Abbey.






Absolutely fascinating...would have been even better if I had taken the time to stand in line to pick up the audio tour at Westminster Abbey but with three fidgety teenagers trailing behind me I thought it might be asking to much.  Within the first three minutes of walking into this majestic building I was mesmerised by the tomb of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle (1593-1676) and his wife Margaret (1623?-1673).






I was so taken by the inscription underneath the effigies that I had to write it down. 

"Here lyes the Loyall Duke of Newcastle and his Dutches his second wife, 
by whome hee had noe issue, her name was Margarett Lucas yongest sister 
to the Lord Lucas of Colchester a noble familie for all the Brothers were Valiant 
and all the Sisters virtuous. This Dutches was a wise wittie & learned Lady, 
which her many Bookes do well testifie. She was a most Virtuous & a Loveing & 
carefull wife & was with her Lord all the time of banishment & miseries & 
when he came home never parted from him in his solitary retirements."


Margaret was a young bride of 20 when she married 52 year old widower William Cavendish, The Duke of Newcastle.  She was a poet, philospoher and the 'only seventeenth century woman writer to publish numerous books on natural philosophy'. It appears she was a force to be reckoned with. A book has been written about her life.... 



Mad Madge: The Extraordinary Life of Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, 
the First Woman to Live by Her Pen


Images 1-4 taken by my on a cold and balmy day in London, others via Google and  http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people/william--and--margaret-cavendish. Information researched on Wikipedia

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Write a list of 50 things you want to do.... #life





I have been thinking about this post for some time and trying to decide how to best describe 'The Artist's Way'. It has been around for a while and many may already be aware of Julia Cameron's philosophy to finding the creativity within you. I came across 'The Artist's Way' at a time when I was feeling fustrated and looking for something although I wasn't quite sure what it was. I read a chapter that discussed writing a list of 50 things to do in the next ten years. It had to be done quickly and without a lot of thought. Often times the ideas that are sitting on top are the ones we are most keen to get on with. I wrote it, left it and forgot about it. 

What intrigues me is what I read when I came across it five years later. I was surprised to see that I had done quite a few without realising it. Every year, around this time, I write another list and add it to the previous list. It tells an interesting story. I am sure my children will find it interesting when they come across it someday.






This book, 'Morning Pages Journal' is fun if you find yourself with a growing collection of journals. It may explain why!

The following from Penguin best describes the book.

Julia Cameron keeps row after row of journals on the wooden bookcase in her writing room, all containing Morning Pages from more than twelve years of her life. The journals, she says, listen to her. They have been company on travels, and she is indebted to them for consolation, advice, humor, sanity. Now the bestselling author of The Artist's Way offers readers the same companion, in which we may discover ourselves, our fears and aspirations, and our life's daily flow. Readers will find privacy, a portable writing room, where our opinions are for our own eyes. Morning Pages prioritize the day, providing clarity and comfort. With an introduction and instructions on how to use this journal, by Julia Cameron, readers will uncover the history of their spirits as they move their hands across the universe of their lives.


Today, my interpretation of all this is blogging. Although shorter, it is a place where I can go to express myself. The bonus is you. If you are looking for that little something extra in your life....but can't quite put your finger on it, I recommend having a look at these books.  You may be surprised at what you discover :)

Images via Penguin Group

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Morning Room


I love the notion of a 'Morning Room' and imagine a room filled with morning light overlooking a beautiful garden.  A large open desk, big, open, comfortable chairs, my favourite photographs and paintings, flowers...a bit of Jane Austen going on here perhaps? In today's world, my Imac would be positioned just so with a cup of coffee close at hand. A room of one's own...a 'Morning Room' of one's own.....A lovely thought :)
How would you create your 'Morning Room'?


Image: Philip de Laszlo's 1933 portrait of Princess Elizabeth of York above the table in the Morning Room, photographer: Christopher Simon Sykes The Royal Collection © 2009 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Royal Hats at Christmas

I can't say I have been much of a royal watcher in the past but I have a feeling that is going to change. I was quite smitten with The Queen's choice of colour and hat this year. Her smile brings it all together.

HM The Queen

There is even something a bit cheeky about his one...

Zara Phillips seems to be the talk of the town no matter where she goes..
Miss Zara Philipps

This one is my favourite, I think this suits Princess Beatrice to a 'T'
                                                                                            HRH Princess Beatrice of York

                                                                                         I think Beatrice will be the one to watch...

                                Thank you to www.madhattery.royalroundup.com for the insight!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Guardian Angel to watch over....

Wishing one and all safe travels to your loved ones, 
days filled with laughter, good food and warmth and most important of all 
an opportunity for you to put your feet up and relax!
Joyeux Noel!





P.S.


A message from Jeanne@ inoneplace
The blogosphere is alive with joy and merriment and is a delight to see.
I started blogging in October and what a treat!


 I can't think of anywhere else
where I would see so many beautiful images
  and read so many heartfelt stories.
The talent astounds me and makes me want to reach out for more.
So much to share, so many people to meet and most important of all
are those special people who have reached out with kind words
 of encouragement and laughter.
They are a treasure to me..a gift..
├ůs we close off the year with Christmas celebrations
to them a big thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I  am eager with anticipation for the new year
 and sharing it with my friends from across the globe.
What news awaits??

Warmest wishes....Jeanne


Images of angels noted with artist
Tree via Spirit Earth Events 

Books on my wish list

A few books on my Christmas wish list.





Images via Google and amd www.amazon.com

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Wardrobe

I woke up this morning thinking of clothes (nice change from previous days) and what I would be packing for our Christmas weekend away.  Mr. H has planned a mystery weekend for us all.  We were told to pack for black tie on Christmas Eve and smart/casual for the other days. The little mention of black tie has put us ladies in a bit of a tail spin. I was thinking how nice it would be to have one of those wardrobes that is endless where I could casually turn around and say to my daughters 'Now darlings, whatever shall I wear? So many things to choose from, perhaps one of these.....











and perhaps for smart/casual attire I could accessorise with a few of these lovely brooches and pearls...





I just love blogging
where else can you dream at will
create a story and imagine the possibliites?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Images all from a beautiful blog Bluetramontana Style

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First Impressions



We arrived safe and sound and all I want to do right now is hug a heater! Yes, I know there are those of you living in the Northern Hemisphere smiling right now. I admit I have been spoiled these last ten years living between New Zealand and Australia where the weather during these Christmas months has been glorious. Here I sit listening to Nat King Cole, the heat cranked to the highest setting, a Christmas tree ready to go in a stand and lots of presents still to be wrapped. I write this with a smile after finishing dinner with my entire family....something I have waited a year to say. At this moment, it does not matter what the weather is like, I am just happy to be....so, with that thought I think of other Christmas thoughts...
freshly baked cookies

a glass of wine by the fire
thinking of snow that may fall overnight

while watching a classic family movie

and thinking of all the wonderful people I know and wishing them peace, 
joy and love as they prepare for this very special holiday.


Images via Google










Friday, December 18, 2009

Ready to go....


I am staying focused on this beautiful photo by Lucinda Symons . The containers are packed, the house is empty and I am ready to go. I am going to think cheery holiday thoughts and look forward to a cup of tea at the other end of our travels. It has been a year since our whole family has been together. We are meeting our son in Sydney and flying together. I can't wait!!! When I change my location from New Zealand to the UK you know I will have arrived. Sending best wishes to all !!

A new one for the holiday movie list...


One of our favourite family activities in the lead up and during the holidays is to watch our favourite movies on DVD. It can not be any old movie, it has to be something that makes us feel good.  My daughters and I like our movie time with 'Bridget Jones Diary I & II, Love Actually, Holiday, Something's Gotta Give, Sleepless in Seattle and the list goes on. This year I am adding one that I recenly watched and loved. A New Zealand film called 'Second-Hand Wedding'.  This movie will be a keeper in our family.




Every mother wants the best for their daughter’s wedding. And second-hand doesn’t have to mean second best, does it? Second-Hand Wedding is a heart-warming tale set in a time when TradeMe and e-bay threaten the primeval urge for a first-hand crack at the second-hand. Second-Hand Wedding follows the fortunes of the Rose family, who live on the idyllic Kapiti Coast, where the sunsets are spectacular, parking is still free and bargains abound. Jill and Brian Rose are happily married and looking forward to their daughter, primary school teacher Cheryl, following in their footsteps when long-time boyfriend, mechanic Stew, proposes. Clouds gather, however, when it becomes clear that Cheryl has issues with her mother’s voracious bargain hunting, which she fears will ruin her wedding. Covering up the truth has consequences for everyone involved. Will Cheryl be able to get out of the hole she’s dug for herself?


Hope you can find it....enjoy!
Image via Google

Have you written your list and checked it twice?


A thoughtful post from Melissa at The Inspired Room  this week.
'Twenty Little Things' that she is looking forward to doing this Christmas. I can relate to many and intend to write my own when time permits. It is a good little reminder list as well to make sure you have everything in order for an extra special Christmas this season.
 Worth a read!
Image from Country Living

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best Friends

I read this recently and wanted to share with my friends...




A Warm Refuge
Best Friends
By the time we reach adulthood, many of us have had the good fortune to have at least one best friend. If we have moved around or changed our life situation repeatedly, we may be lucky enough to have had several. The best friend relationship is often our earliest intimate peer relationship, and it can be a source of great warmth and connection throughout our lives. The details of best friendship change as we grow up and grow older, but the heart of it remains the same. Our best friends are a warm refuge in which we feel free to be fully ourselves, to share our deepest secrets, to rest when we are tired, to celebrate when we are happy—a place in which we feel utterly welcome to give and receive that most precious of all gifts, love.
Most intimate relationships hit bumps from time to time, and one of the hallmarks of an enduring best friendship is its ability to ride out the turbulence and remain intact even as it faces changes. Our best friends are those who manage to love us through all of our transitions, as we do the same for them. We find ways to embrace and appreciate the differences that set us apart and offer love and support no matter what. We allow each other to be exactly as we are at a given moment, even as we allow each other to change over time. In this way, best friends sometimes feel like family. We know we will stick together regardless of where our individual paths lead.
We may be on the phone with our best friends every day, or we may not have spoken for a year, yet we know that our bond will be strong and immediate when we do connect. This bond ties us together even when we are apart and draws us blissfully back into the warm refuge of each other’s company when our paths bring us together again.
from DailyOM

I think this is so true be it old friends, new friends or friends developed thru the blogosphere...always a pleasure to be in touch. It warms the heart, makes me smile and brightens my day. Feel free to pass this on and share the message...it could be just what a friend needs to hear today :) 
Jeanne

Image taken by Norman Parkinson

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Expat Life: Comforting thoughts...

Well, it has finally happened. The photo featured at the top of my blog now looks like the photo below. Boo hoo! As each room is packed away I am left with a few objects to look at until the next day. Funny how we can have so much around us and never really look at it. There is something comforting about what was left behind today....



Well, the only comforting thing about this picture
is the possibility of what the future will bring.



My mother had what she used to call an antique shop. I called it a shop filled with interesting objects. This statue was one of them. Over the years, it has dawned hats, jewelry, scarves but on this occasion it had a prominent location on my desk. It was inspiring. The little painting is from Rockport Massachusetts, a place I hold near and dear to my heart. The white ceramic box was a gift from my Hortulus buddies in Greenwich Connecticut, it is inscribed "Gardeners Know the Best Dirt".




My mother painted the oval scence many years ago to remind me of our home along the sea. My mother-in -law gave me the 'Harrods Guide to London' in anticipation of our move and my father (god bless him) had a sign over his desk 'Believe'. I have the same to remember him. Lastly, I developed a bit of an obsession (ok, I can finally admit it) for Trade Me, the Kiwi version of Ebay. 'Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad' was one of my 'finds'. This was one of those interests that drove my family and friends crazy...sort of like what has happened with this blog.



A birdhouse in the shape of a church from New Hampshire, a lovely girl holding grapes from Missouri, a statue of a girl holding her dress from my Dad ( having a bit of a problem with her knees at the moment, I can relate!), a rocking chair from New Hampshire, a black urn from New Zealand and my lovely fantail bird bath from Australia. All collected in one spot for packing day.



I think this is a TJ Max purchase from years ago bit it still manages to find a place inside and out.



Purchased in Gloucester Massachusetts to remind me of my childhood on Cape Ann.
 It has been a lovely addtion to our entrance.


Our kookaburra from Australia...to watch over us wherever we live.



Lastly, freshly picked big bunches of hydrangeas from my garden
         Awaiting a new home with a friend.

Tommorow is another day, hope yours is a great one!
                                                                                                       Images by me



Monday, December 14, 2009

Can I please, please, please....






I had a nice diversion from packing over the weekend. My youngest son hit the  'double digits' milestone and turned 10. When he asked for a sleepover party a few months ago I thought 'why not?'. I had grand thoughts of a neat and tidy house strewn with bright colourful balloons, a welcoming 'Happy Birthday sign, a big homemade cake and a mother standing by the door, stress free..ready for a fun event. Instead I looked like our dog Tika upon our energetic guests arrival.  In fact, the boys were great. It was the Tika's playful, please, please, please can I play with them grin that got to me the most. If you have a pet you may appreciate 'the look'.

          'What do you mean I have to come out of the pool?'


                             'Oh bother, sent out again'           
         

              'This is more like it'


'What, again?'


'No, it's mine...catch me if you can'


Oh please, pretty, pretty please, I promise I will be good this time'




I have to say, I gave in. Thinking about the three weeks poor Tika has to spend in a kennel in Auckland and then that long plane ride to London...how could I not give in to that look? I decided to use the same look on my family with the 'please, please, please..can you help me pack?' Actually, it was a bit stronger than that and it did not look so pleading...ok, it was more of a bossy look but it worked!

Back to work for me....this has been a nice diversion. Thanks for reading!!
PS..organised Mom had boxes everywhere, forgot the birthday candles, lost the balloons
but did manage a homemade cake (baked by my daughter and a tad on the well done side).

The smiles in the pool says it all...they had fun.. and me too :)

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