Just got back from the family home in Yorkshire for Christmas. Lots of eating, and just relaxing with family. I also went to the church above for Midnight Mass for the first time in a long time, where the service was a rather odd mix of Wuthering Heights and Father Ted!
This is how it looks in summer and was the view on the daily walk to school - I still can't believe how lucky I was!
The classroom even overlooked a bluebell wood. Ridiculously idyllic and sadly the school has now closed down as it was just too small. I often joke that my childhood was practically Victorian - walks to school through the fields, no central heating or tv, growing our own vegetables etc etc. And it was definitely richer for it.
Images: Alex Murphy's wonderful photos 1 and 3 on Flickr, 2nd image unknown
I couldn't resist posting some more London Christmas pictures. The other night I had some festive cocktails in the recently renovated Savoy. I loved this chinoiserie table decoration that they had full of birdcages overflowing with orchids and lots of little candles. It looked stunning.
Next to it they had a chocolate and cake making section - how perfect could it be?
Above is a photo of the decorations at the Berkeley Hotel, where I have to confess I also had festive cocktails! Simple but very effective I thought.
The girls over at Emirates Woman magazine were saying how they missed London at Christmas - all the lights and the buzzy feeling. As much as I love it, I'd have to say right now I would definitely swap it for the warmth, but girls this post is for you!
I thought I'd do a few posts and this first one is on Bond Street. Above is Tiffanys in all it's gloriousness! Apologies for the quality of the photos - I just did them on my iphone.
Lovely paper cut out Christmas trees and mini Coco dolls at Chanel
Glorious red at Cartier
The sumptuous banquet tables that Dolce and Gabbana do are always so indulgent.
Not quite so stylish and just off Bond Street, but I liked the combination of Christmas tree and tropical fish!
Loving these pictures, which somehow seemed to belong together. Thoroughly modern glamorous blondes of the 60s/70s in traditional interiors (Nico and Catherine Deneuve). Also there is a daschund featured (my current thing) so it's win win.
I was recently tagged by the Passage Paradis blog to write 15 authors and writers that have made an impact on me, so here goes...
EM Forster for his stories, Evelyn Waugh for his wit, Thomas Hardy for his stunning cimematographic description of landscapes, Colette (pictured above) for her total sense of indulgence, Enid Blyton for adding to my childhood dreams, another childhood favourite Frances Hodgson Burnett for her pure Victoriana, Amy Tan for her depiction of Chinese-American life,
PG Wodehouse for the ultimate as he would put it 'Buck you uppo' ability. Bad things in life are played down as 'scrapes' and his books are just a great example of a cheerful fun way to live! My favourite is the Blandings series. Here is part of the beginning of my favourite of the series, Something Fresh.
'The rules governing exercise in London are clearly defined. You may run, if you are running after a hat, or an omnibus; you may jump, if you do so with the idea of avoiding a taxi-cab or because you have stepped on a banana-skin. But, if you run because you wish to develop your lungs or jump because jumping is good for the liver, London punishes you with its mockery.'
I'm also rather liking the look of his daschund too.
Shakespeare for the sheer beauty of his writing.
'I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk roses, and with eglantine...'
But then the more I thought, the more I thought that some of the books that have had a big impact on me, have been just the one book from a writer but perhaps not the writer's overall work in general. Berlin diaries by Missie Vassiltchikov has had the biggest impact of any book on my life - a truly moving diary of Berlin in the 2nd World war setting me on the path to a History degree and leading me to study in Goettingen where I had the best time ever and made some truly great friends, Makioka sisters by Junichiro Tanisaki full of the the most wonderful imagery of chasing fireflies, moon viewing and sitting under cherry blossoms that influenced my painting, Homer's Odyssey for an unforgettable experience (but read it by the sea as I did), Arthur Koestler's Scum of the earth for being so full of ideas that reading it once was not enough, The Harem within for a wonderful description of Moroccan matriarchal life that helped me get over the death of my Grandma, Ken Clarke's Civilization an amazingly eloquent brief cultural history of Europe that encouraged me to travel around Europe rather than doing the whole Thai backpacking thing. I could go on and on, but I see this post has ended up being long enough as it is!
Images: via constance zahn?, unknown, via garlandcountylibraryblogspot.com, unknown, via constance zahn?
Decadent jewels with heritage, seem to be reaching record amounts at the moment. This Cartier bracelet, given to Wallis Simpson by Edward just reached the highest price of any Cartier item ever auctioned. I think it's the most stunning example of Cartier Panther jewellery.
This is the world's most expensive diamond. A pink diamond once owned by Harry Winston, it just fetched 46 million at a Sothebys auction.
This flamingo brooch was also part of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor auction. Designed by Cartier it is decorated with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, citrine, and diamonds.
This emerald, ruby and diamond heart was commissioned by Edward for Wallis Simpson for their 20th wedding anniversary and was also in the auction.
But if you haven't got millions to spend, don't worry! You can always treat yourself to one of our Bejewelled Anzu cards adorned with Swarovski crystals. Do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to know where to buy one!