Thursday, March 29, 2012

An eye on Oxford...

I took the kids to Oxford on Sunday, to poke around the University of Oxford and surroundings. 
It was one of those last minute, spontaneous affairs.
I had been before, in 1982 and am happy to report, it is still as magical as I remembered.
One thing I did learn on this trip, you can not 'do' Oxford in an afternoon, at least by my calculations. 
Oxford is like a good book, the kind of book you look forward to at the end of the day. 
You need to slowly turn the pages, reflecting on what you just read. It is the anticipation of what is to come that is the most rewarding. Losing yourself in the story is essential. 

At this point, my kids would be rolling their eyes. 
We had a difference of opinion in what we wanted to do which quickly made me realise, 
I need to go back on my own.

The kids wanted to steer clear of museums, cathedrals and historic buildings...
anything that would end up with mother needing to be dragged along. 
It was a beautiful day, so we all agreed to appreciate the view from the street.

I am showing my favourite photos, they are not so much 'scenes of Oxford' but personal vignettes.
My eye on Oxford so to speak.
I will start and end with my favourite photos, they remind me of a book I cherish, 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn'. The tree of heaven...















The 'scenes of Oxford' are still to come.
I will save that for another day, on my travel blog, Finding My Way...in England.
If you would like to explore Oxford and Oxfordshire yourself one day, you can research it here.

images~me

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Déjà vu in Surrey


Do you ever feel like your life is a series of reruns. Something happens and you know you have been there before....again and again. Well, here I sit...procrastinating from the inevitable as I start to sort through our belongings for our move in a few months time. The 'moving man' is coming in three weeks to have 'a look' at our belongings. I cringe as I type this because I really meant to get rid of all the 'stuff' that has been sitting in our garage these past two years, I really did...but...but....I was busy. :)

I am staring at some 100 plus magazines which I have energetically spread across my dining room floor. Which will go, which will stay...what a nightmare! Here is a little insight into the madness of my world today....
My stacks...

I am thinking, that if I could just pick up one of these Morris Minor vintage wagons
 for our container, all my problems will be solved.  Yes?



The thing is, I wrote about this same dilemma two years ago as I was sitting in our house in New Zealand packing for our move to England.  Some things never change. The post I wrote two years ago follows...


*********************************************************************************

The date... November 28, 2009
The post... #2 Dear B...Packing 101



Dear B (Blogging friends)...

One of the hardest decisions to make when moving is what to do with the years and years of magazines that one has collected.  I am talking about a lot of magazines. Your husband says to get rid of them, your movers say...' your surely not thinking of taking them' and any book you pick up on 'Clearing Your Clutter' says to move on and let it go. But, I can't, so now I think of ways that I could secretly hide my magazines in our belongings...ways I could separate and disperse so no one would be the wiser.
Here is what I have come up with-
  • Tuck one magazine in the folds of each towel and sheet set.  A bonus if you happen to fold in threes.
  • Always wanted tree boots? No need. Fold and tuck a magazine into each boot. Buy more boots if necessary.
  • Do a midnight run before packing and tuck one magazine between each shirt in the kids bureaus etc… A super bonus for anyone with a large family.
  • Fill the spare tire compartment in your car with magazines. Toss the tire.
  • Raid the kitchen. Place one magazine between each frying pan during packing. If you do not have enough pans consider a large farewell party in your honour. You will need more pans to cook for everyone.
  • Think Martha..and improvise with magazines between plates and platters. Be careful!
  • Consider toy chests. Donate kids toys to charity and fill with magazines.
  • Reconsider all those boxes of Christmas decorations you have...do you really need them all? ‘Let go’ and replace with magazines.
  • Ooh, and yes..don't forget all those handbags, duffle bags, suitcases, lunch boxes, pretty storage boxes......
I reckon by the time this all happens maybe a hundred or so magazines will be safely tucked away. Just imagine the delight when several weeks later, in your new home, you discover your little treasures :)


So what do you think?
Logic tells me to 'let go' but the 'inner me' says...no.
I wish I had supersonic powers to speed read and pull
out my favourites...

I always tell my kids, if there is a will, there is a way.
I'm sure of it!
:)

Images:
Top 2 via me and the Chelsea Flower Show 2011
Middle image here

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Novel Bookstore, Diane Keaton and a Giveaway



You may wonder why I am showing a photograph of my bike
with a book bag hanging off it. Well...I was riding into town yesterday
and grabbed a book bag I had bought at Daunt Books in London the day before.

As I rode off, merrily down the lane, I thought of blogging friends who
would appreciate this bag as much as I do. Wishing I could just place a bulk order,
all the while knowing that Mr. H would think I had completely lost my senses,
I decided that two would do...for a giveaway. Yes,  I just finished one giveaway last week
but I am impulsive and I always say, when the spirit moves you...you just have to run with it.

To that end, leave a comment on this post and come Friday evening, I will
select two winners. I will let you in on a little secret...I have more things stashed
away here and there...the kind of things I love and am thinking that
you might too....so, I bought two.




****

Now...I just want to say, for those of you who are waiting on postcards, 
they are finally on their way! My sincere apologies for my tardiness.
You know what life can be like, sometimes it just sweeps you up and sends you flying.
I finally landed on Friday...



Once I completed the lot...I was keen to keep going. If you would like a 
postcard in your mailbox... simply send me your address..
jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com
I am happy to oblige. :)

*****

Some may recall that I am creating a list for a Mother and Daughter
21 Book Challenge. My daughter and I are having fun creating our lists. 
We picked up two books on our travels today. 

For me....
' Mystery abounds but A Novel Bookstore is no everyday mystery. The victims here 
are not members of the underworld, toughs or thugs, but mild, meek and apparently ordinary people. In the eyes of their aggressors, they are guilty of only one crime: expressing their tastes in literature. 
Indeed, all three victims are members of The Good Novel's secret selection committee. 
Tucked away in a corner of Paris, The Good Novel bookstore offers its clientele literary 
masterpieces, both contemporary and classic, selected by a top-secret committee of authors.....' 
(text continued on the inside cover of the book)

source

Miss Christine picked...
' The Complete Prose of Woody Allen is a collection of fifty-two pieces of hilarious writing which firmly establish the author in the tradition of Grouch Marx and James Thurber. Woody Allen's prose displays his versatility and virtuosity with the written word, and his special brand of humour' 
(text located on the back cover of the book)

source

Let's see..so far, we have a few of my favourite things...a bike, book bag,
postcards, books and..oh yes, a mother and daughter movie marathon.

You may wonder when we will have time for this, I often think the same 
but we are determined.We have a few months together before we are all move on 
to different adventures. Miss Christine to New Zealand, Miss Claire to USA, 
yours truly and young Connor to Vietnam to join Mr. H where we will then be 
closer to my eldest, Patrick, who resides in Australia.

The girls and I want to make the most of our quality time together.
Our movie marathon will pertain to certain actresses. 
We plan to start with Diane Keaton (my pick).

source
Now...I need to know, from you...
Do you have a favourite Diane Keaton movie?
We watched Annie Hall the other night, hence, 
the interest in Woody Allen by Miss Christine.

So far we have....
Annie Hall
Somethings Gotta Give
Father of the Bride I and II
Manhattan
The Godfather I, II and III
Baby Boom

Would you recommend any others?

Sending you best wishes for a wonderful week!

Jeanne :) xx

PS..for you crafty types... here




Friday, March 23, 2012

Fictional Pie, 21 Book Challenge and 2 Winners

                                                                                                                                           
This is so exciting! 
My daughter, Miss Christine,
 suggested "we cut ourselves a slice of fictional pie
and indulge in the written word".
She came up with a fun idea, 
a mother and daughter book challenge. 
A 21 Book Challenge to be exact.
That is we have to read 21 books within the next year.
Being the Virgo that I am, I am thinking within six months.
She is in the process of organising a home for this idea on her blog.
Daughter plans to take each category as it comes,
mother needs a pre-determined list. :)

Maybe you can help me.
Better yet, maybe you would like to do this as well.
My daughter is going to organise a book club around 
this event on her blog. I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, here is the list she handed over to me,
I must read....



 Autobiography
Historical Novel (Fiction/Non-Fiction)
 Classic
Book to Movie
 Own Choice
New York Top 10 Best-Seller
 Romance
Childhood Favourite
Staff Recommendation (Library/Bookshop)
Murder Mystery
 'Meaning to Read'
 One which claims to 'Change Your Life'
Humour
 Tragedy 
 Guilt-induced Read 
 Short Story
 Inspirational
Travel Writing
Own Choice
 ONE GIANT NOVEL
 Mother/Daughter Recommendation
(we have to read what we recommend to each other)


I have a few ideas and would welcome more.
Any suggestions for the categories above?




Books for Cooks
I am delighted to announce two winners of my 
Books for Cooks Cookbook Giveaway.
There must be something in the number two as 
coincidentally, the winners selected by random generator
have the 'two' in their titles.

and 


Ladies, I will be in touch shortly.
In the meantime, if you missed out, do not despair.
I have a growing stack of more books like this on my desk.
I will be back with more....once I figure out my 21 book challenge list!

If you have any suggestions, I am keen to read them!

As always, my very best wishes!!


typography~me
:)


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Being Yourself

Katharine Hepburn, just being herself, here.

I am saying farewell to CJ Style Notes...
once upon a time called, cashmerejeans.

Many have suggested it would be easier for them 
and me to put it all in one place.  I have to agree.

I think the photograph above says it best.
In the end, style..fashion...is about just being yourself.
I have a feeling Katharine would have agreed. :)

If you followed me over at CJ Sytle Notes.. I thank you sincerely.
I am still happily pinning over at Pinterest,
on style that suits women of my age,
the very best kind of age... CJ Travel and Style Notes.

As always, I thank you from the bottom of my heart 
for reading along. 
:)

Jeanne xx


MY LAST POST FOR CJ STYLE NOTES...



I started this blog as a test. I was working on a presentation 
to show a group of women how to start a blog. 
I called it the first thing that came into my head. 
I was looking at the photo above and thought..perfect..
..everything I love... cashmere and jeans. 
Once the presentation was over, I thought on it and decided to add a few 
more things and before I knew it I was compiling another blog. 
Over time, Cashmerejeans became CJ Style Notes and
16 months later, here I am. 

On that note, I have decided to consolidate. I am in downsizing mode. 
 I will continue to write over at Collage of Life, my HQ so to speak.
Style will always be on my mind...the kind that suits women of my age, 
the very best kind of age. :)

I want to thank each and every one of you who followed this blog.
Sincerely!

If you enjoy the same sort of style, you can still find me 
pinning away on CJ Travel and Style Notes @ Pinterest.

I will also write about my kind of style @ Collage of Life.

Before I go, I will end with the most popular posts
during the past 16 months. Is there any better way
to end than with women of enduring style and elegance?

Vanessa Redgrave here
Candice Bergen, here

Lauren Bacall, here

Diane Keaton, here
Meryl Streep and others in Praise of Older Women, here.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis, here.
Grace Kelly, here.
 and..


Katharine Hepburn, here

In the end, it really is about just being yourself.
Don't you think?

Jeanne xx

The End.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Postcards and a Walk in Paris



I had the best kind of Mother's Day yesterday. 
My kids earned five gold stars for their efforts!

They gave me time to sort out a project that has been on my mind.
I have offered many a postcard to readers recently and have fallen a bit behind. 
If you are still waiting... it is still coming, 
as I now have perfect order in my postcard world.

Best of all, I discovered these wonderful postcards from Penguin.
I bought the 100 postcard collection a few weeks ago 
and had forgotten all about them. Seek and you shall find. :)


If you love books, as I do...
these postcards will be hard to resist.


I love them so much that I bought two boxes, 
one for you and one for me. :)
Life could not get any easier.


I have sorted and cleared and now my postcard world is complete.
The sun is shining, the cards are by my side and pen is at the ready.

Before I go... 
I would love to send you over to the wonderful Vicki @ French Essence.
We met for lunch last week in London and I passed on a book that
I thought she and I would both enjoy. 
My one for me and one for you philosphy at work again. :)
We both started reading it over the weekend and we both adore it.

Have you read?


I popped it into My Shop Around The Corner here..
better yet, you can read what Vicki has to say here

and...if you would like to join in the Giveaway draw for 
this special cookbook from 'Books for Cooks' in Notting Hill'
visit here.



Best wishes for a lovely week!

Jeanne xx

Monday, March 19, 2012

Homemade Love

 It's Mother's Day in England.
It's been homemade love
all day long... the very best kind of love.

Breakfast in bed....


 Coffee with my new book...
by John Baxter


And a soon to be surprise creation from my 12 year old son.
My guess is Carrot Cake...but I'm just guessing. :)


Is there anything better than homemade love?

Happy Mother's Day to all who are celebrating
and to all women around the world... today I am
sending you best wishes for a whole lot of homemade love!

Jeanne xx



Sunday, March 18, 2012

A world-besotted traveller in Dublin


When we moved to England, I declared one thing to Mr. H.
I wasn't leaving until I travelled to Ireland.
It has been a life long dream.
It must be the Irish in me.

My only regret, is that I have not seen more.
With a few busy months before our departure to Vietnam,
I must save it for another day.

We managed a break to Dublin 
for a few cold wintry days in December 2010. 

I wrote that I went to Dublin and discovered Boston.
I wrote about it here:

I dream of travelling the Irish countryside.
My journey is not over. One day, I will get there.
For now, I have these beautiful memories of Dublin.

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and a world-besotted traveller..
Irish writer, Jonathan Swift. :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
with views on Dublin...






Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, 1st Baronet
 (1798-1868) St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
Jonathan Swift (1713-1745)
St. Patrick's Cathedral

Epitaph written by Jonathan Swift 
and loosely translated from the Latin by Irish author William Butler Yeats

Swift has sailed into his rest.
Savage indignation there cannot lacerate his breast.
Imitate him if you dare, world-besotted traveller.
He served human liberty.


Happy St. Patrick's Day from
Jeanne and her travelling Irish hat.



My love for all things Irish has no end...

images~me
taken on travels thru Dublin in December 2010
Reference to Jonathan Swift here 

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