Friday, February 27, 2009

Swings & Roundabouts

Much to my amazement, it's The Hedge's 200th post today - excluding drafts (thanks Vanya!). I think for many of us, this week has brought much communication on this whole Blogging thing, & yesterday, Vicki A. over at French Essence put into words what many of us have been thinking - thanks dear Vicki for going so boldly where others feared to tread!

However much I've tried in my life, the art of reflection has evaded me, too impatient I think. I eschew intellectualizing issues - for right or wrong, I tend to just do it. Now this, dear Readers, has served me well on 99% of occasions, the 1% I won't discuss, but involves a previous husband!

So I want to share with you all that each of the 200 posts has been a joy to do, yes as Vicki mused, there will always be some hits & some misses - but you know, who cares about the misses, learn from them & move on!! I revisited my 100th post this morning & I still feel exactly the same today about the comments I made then.

"All your comments & support have added a wonderful dimension to my life, one that I truly never expected when I started on my blogging journey. It has been such a pleasure strolling through your sites each day - thank you for the constant inspiration, your insightful commentaries, breathtaking photos, laughter & friendship"

However, I would like to add one further thought - IT'S FUN!! And long may it continue to be so. So The Hedge will continue to be a place of Political Incorrectness (thanks to MOTH!) & laughter (yes, thanks to MOTH again!!). So if I get too serious or maudlin or precious, for goodness sake TELL ME!!! I'll send myself off to the naughty corner immediately!

We have 5 rooms left on our renovation journey & our shed is still full of power tools for MOTH to 'play' with, so I'm extremely confident that The Hedge won't run out of material for some time. And that, along with the impending Footy Season will see MOTH in full flight, mark my words!

It's almost the weekend - so go enjoy my friends!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

War Games

Budget negotiations are over for another year - YAY!!! Line by line, product by product, I would rather have root canal work! However I'm happy, the Boss is happy, MOTH's happy, we'll all happy - now all I have to do is make the sales. Global Financial Crisis be gone - I'm ready to meet the challenge, bring it on I say. Now, where are those voodoo dolls I made of my Competitors, time to turn up the heat you guys, Miss Millie's coming after you!

Frog Cakes All Round.

Image Hill Smith Galleries - Artist Dianne Gall

A post of apologies today! My week hasn't got any better - 2009/10 Budgets have to be signed off at 4p.m. today, so that + a million other urgent tasks have really got me on the hop! So visits to everyone this week have been rushed & brief & I'm not in the least bit creative with today's post - sorry! So in lieu of a decent contribution from moi today, please have a munch on South Australia's iconic sweet treat, the famous (infamous!) Frog Cake. I can thank Miss Kimberlee from Brown Button for the inspiration! Think bland tasting sponge cake, filled with sickly jam preserves & fake pastry cream all covered in artificially coloured thick, gluggy icing - yum!! And I'd love to hear which is your favourite colour - it would give me some welcome light relief at the end of a frantic day! Us South Aussies were always taught you can judge a person by the colour of the Frog Cake they choose - so go on, I dare you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Perfectly Paddington!

All images Di Jones

3 levels of scrumptious Paddo Terrace circa 1890 in sensational Sydney - oh, I think I could manage this quite nicely thank you! This is one of the nicest renovation/transformations I've seen in a long time - a wonderfully private sanctuary tucked quietly away in a cul-de-sac off Liverpool St. via Boundary St. I love the way they have maintained the traditional formal rooms at the front of the house, but added the contemporary open-plan rear pavilion - much va va va voom!!

As for a favourite feature, I really can't go past the suite of rooms housing the amazing Master Bedroom retreat, but then again, the private self-contained two storey studio which doubles as a stylish pool house (not pictured) sounds pretty amazing too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Calm before the Storm!

All images Dar Seven

I've one of THOSE weeks coming up at work (overcommitted & under-resourced!), & so before I take a very deep breath & leap straight into it today, I couldn't resist a moment of calm & tranquility gazing longingly at the gorgeous & elegant Dar Seven in Marrakech. I've featured Morocco before & since Son #2's trip there at Christmas, & listening to his wonderful travelling stories, I'm even more determined to go.

Dar Seven (think Ralph Lauren meets European chic!) is the holiday home for the owners, Prince Pietro and Princess Letizia Ruspoli who own the magnificent one-suite Residenza Napoleone III in Rome. The tiny kitchen of this incredible pied-a-terre still remains my very favourite of all The Hedge post images. Like that fantastic apartment, Dar Seven can be leased out for the ultimate holiday. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Days

After the weekend, I've time this morning to enjoy breakfast in the garden & draw breath, before hurtling myself into a very busy week ahead. But before I do that I want to thank everyone who left a comment on Friday's post. Your response was overwhelming - your messages just beautiful, full of care & support & generously sharing similar experiences. At one point during the meal, I had such a strong feeling that you were all gathered around our table as well, just making sure everything was going perfectly!

Saturday night was a wonderful as I hoping it would be. While I know that our friendship won't be same as it once was, there were many moments during the evening where I felt so at one with my friend. Although not speaking too much about it, dear MOTH knew how I was feeling & he was a most wonderful host & amazing support. My friend & I have so much history & I'm so mindful that as a 'late arrival', MOTH has no connection with that time of my life, but he just went with the flow & enjoyed the company & experience. What a beautiful & loving man he is - how lucky I am! Where to next? Well, I'm not sure yet, but I have such a feeling of optimism & happiness for the future. I'm very mindful that it's still early days, so I'll be careful not to rush or force things. But I know that I've been given a unique opportunity to rekindle a very special friendship.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Very Special Evening

Image Jan Baldwin

We have friends coming to dinner on Saturday night. Nothing out of the ordinary perhaps except for one very special reason. 26 years ago, my dearest friend ended our friendship when a business relationship between my then husband & her husband dissolved acrimoniously (living proof for never mixing business with friendship). We'd been bestie's since we were 17, long before we'd met our husbands. It literally broke my heart to lose her & I felt as though the brightest, most luminous light in my life had gone forever. The pain of that loss was deep & constant. Life went on & more children arrived to both families & brief, strained, formal communication occurred each time another baby was welcomed. Then my divorce & the loss of my darling mother followed in quick succession & I needed my friend's support desperately, but sadly she felt unable to reach out.

A few years later, out of that time of anguish & sadness came great joy in the form of the gorgeous MOTH. I sent my friend an invitation to our wedding, & much to my delight she & her husband accepted. Little was said on the night, but they were there sharing our happiness, so I rejoiced in their presence. I felt that a new beginning & a new partner may lead to the wounds being healed between us, but that didn't happen. The years have passed, all our children have grown into wonderful adults & other than Christmas & birthday cards exchanged each year, there's been no contact.

However a little over a year ago, a close mutual friend took matters into his own hands (bless him!) & invited us all to dinner. The boys got on very well, with much in common between them it was like MOTH & my friend's dear husband had known each other forever. The years seemed to just fall away & it was a lovely night. However, reflecting afterwards, I didn't feel things between us had really changed.

Then last month I received a birthday card from her. She wrote that she didn't just think of me on my special day but every day & how great it was to see each other again. I sat out in the garden that day reading her words over & over & the tears came. Tears for the many years we've lost, tears for the special moments celebrated without her, but also tears of hope for a future as friends again. Words aren't needed from either of us, just a gentle look & a loving embrace to happy days ahead.

They have accepted our invitation to dinner on Saturday & I have a feeling that for many reasons, it will be a very special evening.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wisteria Lane

All images Lear Mahoney

I really don't fall into the Desperate Housewives category - not skinny or crazy enough & as a previous post lamented, I don't have Mike the Plumber. However, I do have 2 delightful Wisterias patiently waiting in their pots for me to something with. Son # 5 dropped them off a few weeks ago, after over-ordering for a client, so Mum Millie's inherited them. We had the most glorious one at our old house, wrapping itself the entire length of the wrought iron work on our return verandah. When it was in full bloom in October, it used to stop the traffic on our street, with cars screeching to a halt & folk jumping out with their cameras.

However, since these 2 arrived MOTH & I have been scratching our heads as where to best place them. We know they need a sunny spot & as they can get out of hand in the blink of an eye, somewhere we can easily maintain them. So we did a complete lap of the property on Sunday arvo trying to find the best place, & returned none the wiser. Most of the walls of our house are covered in mature Boston Ivy which we really like, so we are lacking a wall for them. I stumbled across these pics in my file & while we don't have a pool deck area, I really like the way in which they've been pleached. So watch this space, they are starting to look like those desperate girls on Wisteria Lane & I need to find a permanent place for them very soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Operation Rocket Science

Global Financial Crisis (GFC) - 3 words that are striking fear into all of us at the present time. Well my dear friends, worry no more, according to my Company they have the solution to the crisis! As some of you know, I work for an international Company, a respected leader in the specialized field of science I work in - a Company who's annual turnover is many billions of dollars. We are very fortunate that our business is almost recession-proof & business is very good.

We have teams of scientists working in R & D labs at numerous sites around the world. Highly skilled academics working on new, leading edge technology, advancing the cause of science to the benefit of mankind everywhere.

So yesterday, you can imagine my 'surprise' when this little gem arrived from global HQ, announcing a project they had spent many months & unlimited resources on. In an effort to ensure that we remain buoyant in the face of the GFC, they have released an initiative that will maintain or increase profitability during these challenging times. If spending can be realigned through FY09 & therefore maintain our financial health, we will apparently emerge from this economic crisis stronger than our competitors. This innovative programme will be rolled out across all levels of the Organization, including the CEO & Board of Directors.

And drum roll please, the main thrust of this initiative is -


Nothing more to add really, just a feeling of incredible pride in the many teams of Rocket Scientists who worked so diligently day & night to produce this masterpiece of economic reasoning. Happy, happy days!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Secret MOTH Business

All images Darblay Wood

Suffice to say dear MOTH's been in the Dog-House a few times in the course of our relationship - metaphorically & physically! Generally any little marital tiff ends with him loudly declaring "Right, that's it, I'm off to the Men's Shelter!" & a slamming of the front door. 2 minutes later he's arrived at the said Shelter, which interestingly has a sign over the door which says Stirling Hotel!
I asked him if he was able to design his ultimate bolt-hole, what criteria would be important. As he is a simple man (I do jest, he's actually far more complicated than I give him credit for!) here they are. Basic bed, fully stocked beer refrigerator, never-ending food supply, bathroom with lots of reading material, radio to listen to the footy (not a TV man my MOTH!), fishing rod, plenty of comfortable old clothes (not necessarily clean), no way of communicating with me & phone to call his Broker (not sure where that one came from)! Given his love of boats & water, when I showed him this wonderful building his eyes positively glazed over & I could see him thinking, thinking!

Jerome Darblay is a French photographer turned creator of bespoke wooden houses. He built this amazing boathouse for clients on a private lake in the grounds of their 18th-century chateau south-west of Paris. More of Jerome's stunning houses in a follow-up post next week.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rough Luxe

All images Rough Luxe

My favourite Aussie abroad Vicki A. over @ French Essence recently posted a fabulous & very comprehensive list of her London Loves (places, not people!). I did have a very big drool & so wanted to catch the next plane over, but MOTH laid down the law, 'A new bathroom Millie dear or a plane ticket with a couple of weeks swanning around Vicki's fave places.' Mmmmm, decisions, decisions. On the very off-chance I might be able to get him to change his mind & let me have both treats, I thought I'd better have a quick look at my options.

Firstly there was the small matter of accommodation befitting my very fussy criteria. Of course there were the usual suspects, The Connaught, Brown's, The Lanesborough, One Aldwych, The Goring, Covent Garden Hotel, The Pelham - all of course, quite suitable for Miss Millie. However, in reacquainting myself with these fine establishments, I stumbled across Rough Luxe in Birkenhead Street. Oh, I thought, this looks promising a Grade II listed home transformed by internationally acclaimed designer Rabih Hage, luxury @ affordable prices. So onto their home page I go & so far so good:

'Rough Luxe. Half rough, half luxury. A little bit of luxury in a rough part of London. A little bit of rough in a luxurious London. Our philosophy is simple; you are staying with us in our home, so just ask.'

Yep, this is definitely a goer, so I get deeper into the description:

'Our look is a mix of old and new, furniture and art; combining colours and beautiful fabrics with cheap materials and existing distressed original walls. Cheap materials are treated as precious items and preserved for their beauty and memory of the site.'

Wonderful, I'm thinking, something a little quirky & different:

'Just nine amazing rooms. '

Oh goody, small & homely, but reading on I'm stopped dead in my tracks by the next paragraph:

'Guests at a Rough Luxe hotel might share a bathroom or have a small room, but the luxury is in the choice of the wine, the bed linen, the art on the walls and the people looking after you.'

SHARE A BATHROOM - you've got to be joking!!!!! I'm sorry guys but no amount of fine art works, interesting furniture, swish sheets, great wine, Rabih Hage design or gorgeous spunk @ Reception is going to get me to share a bloody bathroom with anyone!!! And certainly not for 280 quid a night!!

And by the look on MOTH's face when I was doing a little more pleading (read as whineing at the same pitch as a Boeing 747!) about a possible trip, I'll have to temporarily postpone my little sojurn. I've printed off Vicki's post & have it tucked under my pillow, so each night I can dream about heading off in the future. But let me tell you, it will be The Pelham for this girl - Rough Luxe's off until they get Rabih baby back to upgrade their plumbing !

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Valentine

I cannot exist without you - I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again - my Life seems to stop there - I see no further.

You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving... I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion - I have shudder'd at it - I shudder no more - I could be martyr'd for my Religion - Love is my religion - I could die for that - I could die for you.

My creed is Love and you are its only tenet - You have ravish'd me away by a Power I cannot resist.
John Keats

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Share The Love

Share the LUV.

....and very apt in the week of Romance!

Thank you to those two gorgeous Sirens of Style Hayley & Tracey over at Porchlight Interiors- for their fabulous & very inspirational blog & this lovely Award. Their blog is a great daily dose of style & elegance - there is nothing those girls can't do in the styling world.

To share the LUV, follow these instructions!

1. Put the logo on your blog or post. (You can highlight the photo and text of this post and copy/paste wherever you need to).

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE.

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.

I'm grateful for the heart & soul these lovely friends put into their Blogs. I have been enriched beyond measure by the beauty of their spirit.

3. Alice @ Simply Decorated

4. Heidi @ Heidiclaire

7. Catherine @ Simply Natural

10. Cathleen @ Design by Cathleen

And there are so many more that mean so much to me, but I'd love you all to call by & check out these fabulously wonderful Blogs!!

What do you Think?

Theadora Van Runkle is a Hollywood costume designer (Bonnie & Clyde, The Godfather, The Thomas Crown Affair & many others). She lives in a Californian bungalow in Los Angeles which is constantly evolving. She has gone down the predominantly white decorating route because she says ' My house is now simple & life seems easier & somehow more fulfilling.' If that's the case dear Miss VR, then show me the white paint tin immediately & I'm off painting everything in sight! Interestingly, she's used more than 30 shades of white in her house, mixing a new tint each time something else is painted so her house doesn't look like an all-white wedding cake.

She also painted a set of antique Regency mahogany chairs (as pictured) because she was 'tired of them', although she did admit that some of her friends were staggered - & I'm really not surprised! So cutting to the chase - what do you think of Ms. Van Runkle's decision to give the chairs the white treatment? Is it sacrilege or is it fine - do tell!!
Related Posts with Thumbnails