Saturday, 28 March 2009

Bed Time Baby....


It's raining up here at the farm right now - and by raining, I mean a torrential downpour! And so I'm snuggled up in bed with a cup of chamomile tea and a writing pad and pen - jotting down what needs to be done over the week ahead. You see, I have to write lists - because without them, well, I'd just be chasing my tail! As my son Joe said to me the other day - 'mum, the information goes in, and then it just runs right out the other side!!!' - I think he may just take after me.... So, a list can help in these situations....You see, I only have just over a week to go before I head off on my 40 year old journey. I can't believe that it's come around this quickly - and whilst I feel relatively organised - there are still a million and one things to get done before I leave. And so here I am, sitting in my bed - writing my lists.... Now, if I can just remember to look at my list - then all will be well!




pic from country living

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Country Style...


I'm very excited to see the new issue of Country Style has hit the stand, particularly because I styled the cover - and the photograph has been taken up here in Byron Bay by the one and only Prue Ruscoe. I'm so happy with the way that the cover has turned out - and I really love the ici et la fabric that I used for our makeshift shelter. It's so bright and colourful....

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Meditation In Motion...


This weekend is a good weekend because I've put aside some time for the garden. Oh, I do love to garden - although it's constant work up here on the farm. Just when you think you've got the place in order, the rains come, the weeds make their way to the surface and voila - more work to be done. Even though the garden requires constant maintenance, it is such a fulfilling place to spend my time. I find that gardening is another form of meditation or rather meditation in motion, which is more my kind of reflection. My relationship with the garden is a little like a metaphor for life - that with patience, gentle and constant tending and watering, and an excitement about what could be - it will rise up to meet your expectations. I find that life's like that too... Yes, it's a lovely day to spend in the garden.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Little Joys...


Watching the way that children play - with a sense of abandonment and soul-fulfilling joy - can be a lesson to us all about how to live our lives. Living in the minute... With a smile.... And cake to share!


pic from www.rice.dk

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Green Love


Wow!!! Check out these gorgeous turquoise green velvet armchairs! Aren't they just heavenly. I love the combination of colours used in this room - it reminds me of a similar combination that I recently employed in the home of a client. The turquoise, yellow against the lovely chocolate-y textures makes for a very vibrant palette indeed...


pic from CountryLiving

Monday, 16 March 2009

Things I Love....


I'm not sure if it's the Portugese blood in me - or simply a love of colour - but when it comes to decorative tile work - you'll find me salivating. I dream of having a large and stately entrance in my home one day, decorated with colourful floor tiles like these. Don't these make you want to dance!


I'm sure that you know how much I love flowers - particularly when they are snipped from the garden. When there are no flowers to snip - then I go for a bush cutting instead - sometimes natives, sometimes gardenias or even an agave in a bowl makes for a lovely arrangement.


I love that every morning - when I'm making my way down from the farm to my favourite coffee nook in Byron Bay - I pass a multitude of bike riders (mostly girls in gorgeous floaty dresses) on their way to work in town. Part of me wishes that I lived in town too so that I can get around on my bike. How free - and earth happy would you be...


Blue and green - now they are the colours for me. They make me feel so happy, so alive. This green is just the bee's knee's don;t you think?


All pics from toast (of course!)....

Monday, 9 March 2009

Time Out....



Some days - you just have to call for time out! And when you're having one of those days just take yourself off to a beautiful spot, with a book and baguette (perhaps a cup of tea or a latte! too!) And stop for a while....

pic from toast

Sunday, 8 March 2009

My 40 Year Old Journey...





Those of you who regularly visit me here would know that in a couple of months I'll be turning the big four zero! Yes, that's 40! My goodness, where did all the time go - I still feel like that four year old who spent her days running around the garden (naked!), playing with the lady beetles and watching the world go by from the front step....
To celebrate this auspicious passing of my youth - I'll be heading to Europe -(in particular France and Spain) - to spend a few weeks bumming around the place and generally coming to terms with what it means to be 40 (I wonder if I'll find out!) ...
I'm particularly excited because my mother will be joining me for part of the trip. The last time that I was in Europe with mum (and my aunt) was about 20 years ago. We all backpacked around France and Italy together, staying in little pensionnes, eating packed lunches in parks and dinners in local restaurants where you could enjoy a plat du jour and a small carafe of red for about $15! What fun we had back then. Mum's 72 now - and so we'll probably need to exchange the backpacks and trains for a little rental car - but I'm sure we'll still have loads of fun together. Mum was desperate to explore southern Spain - from Madrid down to Seville (an area that neither of us have been to) and so I've been doing a little research on cute places to stay down there - mostly on a budget with the occasional 'special treat' thrown in. Much to my delight, I've come across this gorgeous place - Trasierra. Those of you who follow Domino mag (snuffle, snuffle) will have seen the story on Charlotte Scott and her gorgeous Spanish hotel. Nestled in the hills around Seville, this hotel looks a delight for all the senses. Restored over nearly a 30 year period, Trasierra is a decorators delight - and a gardeners delight too what with the fruit filled orchards and all! I think that Charlotte may just be a kindred spirit.
If anyone has any other ideas for gorgeous little places to stay in southern Spain (and Madrid) please do let me know. It's the family run, down to earth (but with a stylish twist) kind that I'm after. If we're lucky we may just get a night or two in at Trasierra - and what a treat that would be!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Friends and Flowers....


It was so lovely to have a couple of girlfriends up to the farm for lunch the other day - on a work day, no less!!! I'm not normally one for resolutions - however this year I decided to take some time out of my busy working week for the occasional girly lunch. Nothing grandiose, just a simple ploughmans spread - prosciutto, bangalow ham, olives of all kinds, fetta stuffed bell peppers, cheeses, salad and a crusty french baguette from the local french patisserie. To finish off we indulged in a lovely apricot flan and a cup of tea. The table was decorated very simply - with this lovely floral arrangement as the focus.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Blue Days....


How about this combination of colour and patterning and funky furntiure? I love the wallpaper which is Florence Broadhurst Egrets (I love you Florence!) and the aqua armchair which looks so gorgeous and comfy to boot! Heavenly....

pic by Prue Ruscoe

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Simplicity Of It All...


I love this pic - that I found on the Country Living website. The simplicity of the pieces and the purity of thought behind their placement reminds me that, at the end of the day, life isn't meant to be complicated. When we pare back the layers and get to the core of our heart's desires - we often find that the simple things in life motivate us the most. Picking flowers from the garden and placing them in a vase, drizzling passionate icing over a steaming butter cake, embracing the tiny hand of a child in your own, sitting on the porch and inhaling the beauty around you. These are the simple things that fulfill me the most. What about you?

Monday, 2 March 2009

From My Heart....


Those of you who have read my books and followed my articles in Inside Out and my blog, have probably worked out by now how much I love to write. For me, writing is like a meditation - a way to channel my heart to the rest of the world....
Writing is all about finding your true voice - the essence of who you are. There's nothing better than being in rhythm with the world - and writing is one way of making that happen. Of course, finding that rhythm isn't always easy - but when you do - well, it's just magic.


www.countryliving.com

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Happiness Is....


Seeing the beauty of life putting on its best performance.
Could there be anything more joyous than a vase filled with flowers? Even a single stem is enough to bring a smile to even the greyest day. This lovely pic reminds me that there is such joy in the little things that life offers to us. Those fleeting moments, when all of our worries drop away, and we are left laid bare and witnessing the beauty of life at its finest. It is such a joyous world after all...


pic from rice.dk