Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Colour My World

How gorgeous are these 2 beach cottages in the Bahamas! Ostentatious McMansions they're not, just honest, fun places to relax & enjoy.

Here's Tree House with its pretty balcony......

and turquoise & white shutters & french doors....

love the surprise of the chandelier in the dining room....

and the simple white kitchen....

and the turquoise bed & bench in the bedroom & the white-washed beams....

and the cute little bedroom tucked under the eaves.

Now here's Doll House, so cute in pink & white.....

with the pink kitchen curtains gently blowing in the breeze....

a splash of pink on the patio door.....

and more pink & crisp white......

While I don't think Doll House would suit the boys Fishing & Footy weekends away, I just couldn't resist it! Two delightful little gems to escape to.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shoes Off!

A very busy 4 days are over & I so want to kick off my shoes & put my feet up on this very pretty foot-stool from the gorgeous fabric house Voyage Decoration. The Conference was marvellous, the Organisers did a fantastic job & the Scientific Programme was awesome! On Saturday one of the Research Fellows presented a paper on the first 2 cases of an amazing new procedure & received something I've rarely seen in 20 years, a standing ovation from his peers. His presentation actually moved me to teary eyes. I thought how lucky we are to have such fantastic young Clinicians in this country who are so passionate about what they do - the future looks very bright, as long as we can keep them here for the long-term.

I had a lovely villa at the Resort, but really didn't get to see much of it. However, it was such a treat to be able to leave the windows open in my bedroom & be lulled to sleep each night by the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the beach just a few metres away. We had a free afternoon on Saturday & so raced off for a quick run around some of the Margaret River wineries. I was particularly taken with the breath-taking Voyager Estate - quite spectacular, I want to return soon.

As I suspected MOTH & the boys got up to mischief & looked to have launched this year's Footy Season extremely 'enthusiastically'. No work had been done on the bathroom, the fridge was stripped bare & the pantry looked like it had been raided by the marauding hoards! So I'd better drag my exhausted mind & body down to the Supermarket & restock before MOTH chews off his arm in hunger desperation!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Conference Call

Image Luxury Travel Magazine

OK, OK, it's a tough life but someone's got to do it! As you can see I'm going to be working very hard (blue lounge chair, 2nd from left!) over the next few days, attending a Scientific Conference in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia.

These are my favourite clients, a small but fascinating sub-specialty group. They do incredibly precise & exacting work using the most challenging of microsystems & at times produce results that leave me breathless. They're often called upon to attempt last-ditch salvage work & when things don't go well despite their extraordinary skill, the results can be devastating & catastrophic. So they work in very stressful, tense environments, but when they relax, they relax big time! Some of my most 'fragile' early mornings over the past 20 years have been caused by a previous night out with these guys!

The Scientific Programme looks fantastic, with the International faculty presenting some really good research papers, but with presentations commencing at 7.30a.m. & conference dinners stretching far into the night, they'll be very long days. So I'll have to show some unusual Millie restraint & pace myself accordingly. Be good & I'll see you all next week.

Oh & if you're reading this MOTH, I have been noticing that you've been sneakily stocking the beer fridge with extra supplies over the past couple of weeks. I really didn't give it much thought as the footy season starts this weekend. But you totally gave yourself away by offering to drive me to the Airport today, not your usual style my darling - I get the feeling you want to make extra sure I board that plane! Miss Millie's sure you & the boys are up to something!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clotted Cream

Image Hearst

Image Home Companion

Image Hearst

Image Southern Accents

While MOTH continued bashing more bricks out of the bathroom wall on Sunday arvo (photos now too shocking for anyone to see!), I spent a couple of hours sanding & painting a couple of old picture frames. As I was giving them a final coat, I noticed the colour I was using from an old sample tin was called Clotted Cream. I started to think how fond I am that colour, and so here's some of my favourite cream images.

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day......

......so why don't you come along with me on my walk. It's late afternoon, so there's plenty of shade & just a gentle breeze. Just remember though that the properties here are on very large parcels of land, so most of the time you can only catch a glimpse of the houses from the road. Off we go, down our garden path & into Braemar Terrace, there's the long side of our place on the right.

Just a few metres along is this new house. It's constructed from limestone blocks with 6 pane windows & has a set of double white Georgian doors with the most marvellous fanlight, very pretty & elegant. A young family with a toddler & new baby live here.

Next comes Hathaway....

.....a little 1930's cottage owned by a lovely elderly couple.

We'll turn into Ayers Hill Road for just a few steps & then down into gorgeous Laurel Road.

Here's one of my very favourite houses!

The entrance to Laurel House which can't be seen at all from the road.

Now we come to Stirling's Jewel in the Crown, the estate of Sir Edward Stirling, the founder of Stirling. Firstly a surgeon, then a politician (fittingly as the father of 5 daughters, he introduced the Bill in State parliament to enfranchise women in South Australia), Sir Edward purchased the land here in Laurel Road & built his wonderful home in 1883. He lived here until his death in 1927.

A close-up of the gate post at St. Vigeans.

Then a little further along & here's the entrance gates to St. Vigeans tennis court.

The easter Lillies are just starting to appear on the roadside.

Then we walk past a heritage plaque noting the history of the Gardeners Cottage which we're just about to come to.

The little stone Gardener's Cottage was originally built for Mr. Douglas Searle the first gardener of St. Vigeans.

The lush green undergrowth growing either side of the road thrives here, fed by the winter creek that meanders through all the properties.

A second driveway leading up to another part of the St. Vigeans estate.

Now we see the entrance to Lower St. Vigeans.

In the early 1900's, a parcel of land was created from the larger St. Vigeans estate, a house was built on it for one of Sir Edward's daughters & so Lower St. Vigeans came to be. There is an amazing pond at the back of the property & a previous Owner, who was a well-known local Caterer, used to do a most marvellous lunch for only 2 people at a time. A table was set on the little pontoon over the water & it felt like you & your lunch partner were a million miles from anywhere!

Another interesting plaque. I can't see the top of this amazing old Oak, I've tried & almost tumbled over backwards in the process!

At the next property this garden rotunda is set right down on road level. I often see the Owner sitting down there in her dressing gown reading the morning paper very early!

Let's stop for a moment & turn back around. There's the gates to Lower St. Vigeans on the bend & that delightful little garden rotunda.

Then around into Birch Road, although I can't describe the house that is Birch Lodge as it is hidden by so much garden & many old trees!

Down this drive sits one of the area's most admired homes. A huge rambling Edwardian villa, complete with terracotta roof tiles & gargoyles. It looks onto a fabulous tennis court & winter creek.

As you may have noticed, many houses have Scottish names. This signifies the links to Sir Edward's Scottish father.

If you close your eyes, you can almost hear the sound of horses hoofs & carriage wheels crunching up this gravel drive a century or more ago!

This carpet of lush ground cover on the verge always slows me down as I pass by. There is a ultra-modern house tucked right up at the back of the block.

These hydrangeas have struggled in the searing heat of our record-breaking Summer, they are usually looking absolutely stunning.

The house up this drive is one of Stirling's oldest, a spectacular early Victorian bluestone mansion.

Another favourite - this house looks fantastic set lengthways against the sweeping curve of the drive.

This old home came on the market last year & I had a nosey. It was awful inside, very neglected & unloved. I hope the new Owners give it some TLC & realise they have what many of us would covet, a true circular drive!

And opposite, this very old historic cottage has just received a shiny new roof. The old one was a very rusty murky green & now it looks like the belle of the ball!

Then back onto Ayers Hill Road. I love this stuning old stone house on the way home, the wide verandahs are so inviting. This family have a tribe of teenagers who are always outside throwing a few hoops or kicking the footy around.

Now along Braemar Terrace again towards home.

And there's Hathaway again.

And Dunbarton Oaks on the corner.

Our neighbour's Prunus tree in all it's Autumnal glory.

Up towards home, with our laurel hedge looking in need of a trim - MOTH says next Sunday's the day!

Up into our country lane with our house on the left & more of our laurel hedge extending up the lane which is a no-through. Right at the end there are massive gates leading to a huge old mansion. The blocks for the few houses in our lane came when this piece of land was sold off from the original estate. Interestingly there's a real mix of architectural styles, spanning from the 1930's at the top of the lane, & finishing with our 1972 'beauty' at the bottom!

And so here we are home again, onto the front path, through the garden & down to the front door.

I hope you've enjoyed your walk around a little part of my world. It's getting late, the shadows are long on the ground, but it's been a lovely way to spend an hour. I try & do this lap briskly at least a couple of times a week, even in the dead of Winter & each time I do I think how lucky I am. I can walk in the middle of the road as there are never any cars & I rarely see anyone else. The beauty of the scenery & the solitude it offers refreshes my soul each & every time.
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