Friday, June 21, 2013

A day of rainbows

Thank you to those who sent wishes for a speedy recovery :)
Feeling much better now - almost normal - almost.
But I'm determined to go back to regular life and not have a mystery illness dictate to me.

And as a reward I was treated to three - yes THREE - rainbows on Wednesday!

The first one appeared as I was parking my car.  I watched it form over the water as I was walking into work.  So I hurried as much as my lungs would let me to get up to the office as I knew I'd get the best shot from there.


Sadly - as I was faffing to get a good setting on my phone - the rainbow started to fade.
I guess it had other places to go.

But I was treated to two more throughout the day (but missed the photo ops completely).

Hope your weekend is full of rainbows :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Some new things - and bug that won't go away!

Well I'm up to day 12 of having a sore chest and breathing issues.  Just when I thought I was getting better, I had another attack during French class, and had to leave early.  Another day off work and a CT scan later, and we're still no closer to finding out what the heck is wrong with me.  Thank goodness I have an understanding boss.

But to cheer me up, I've been given a couple of small gifts from the heart.

 
Everyone here has Gatsby fever (I guess it's because the scenes of the front of Jay Gatsby's mansion were filmed locally) and I would like to see the movie.  If only for the fabulous costumes - I just adore 1920's fashion!  However I thought I really should read the book before seeing the film.  So hubby bought me a copy to read in bed (along with lots of coffee).

 
Also a sweet little gift from Glamorous Neighbour.  We've been neighbours for quite some years now, but our mutual love of all things French has made us good friends these last couple of years.  In fact I now consider her one of my closest friends. 
I've been rather distressed at my lack of understanding all the dang rules of the French language, this combined with my feeling like something the puppy buried in the garden - and I was ready to throw in the towel.  But Glamorous Neighbour came to the rescue with encouragement, helping me with study, and buying me little gifts like a special notebook to put my study notes in, and the little reminder you see above, reminding me to just stop and enjoy the little things.

These things, along with the cute attention that puppy gives,

 
 
And pretty sunsets to admire from my window,
 


and I feel like I'm on the road to recovery.

Well almost......................


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Winter weather wonderments

I've spent the whole of last week and a good portion of the long weekend recovering from a viral lung infection that seemed to come from nowhere and whack me from behind (or rather my left side).  What started out as a little stitch in my left side when walking the puppy, turned into a fight for breath and visits to the doctor.  (Thank goodness for scheduled posts otherwise the last post would still be on my list of things to do)

I have had a good rest and am nearly back 100% (I just need some serious French catch-up as that's now 2 lessons I've missed - thank goodness for Glamorous Neighbour and her fantastic note taking abilities and internet searching talent)

Now on a completely different tack - here's what our weather has been doing.
It's now officially Winter and the climate has been behaving accordingly, with foggy days, rainy days accessorised with rainbows, and glorious moons (that's moonlit nights for those of you who suddenly got a different picture in your mind's eye).


Foggy day in Sydney town.  We had a few mornings of fabulous fog which would have been perfect for photos - except that I didn't take any.  Hubby took this cool shot when he was on his way to work.


I did however take this photo after a sudden downpour (just on school pick up time).



And finally, two shots taken on the way out to dinner with friends.  I just had to stop and take photos of the moonlight on the water.  Hubby and daughter were most patient as it took me a while to find the right setting on my phone.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lessons from Madame Chic

Hubby brought home a book for me a while back.  (He does these things now and again, sweet man)
Lessons From Madame Chic: 20 stylish secrets I learned while living in Paris, by Jennifer Scott.


I've read it twice!
Jennifer writes about her experiences and observations while spending a year as a student in Paris.
Her year was full of AH-HA! moments about style, grooming, eating, exercising and life in general.
She learnt many things from observing her host family, Famille Chic (in particular Madame Chic) and also from Madame Bohemienne.
Jennifer writes with such warmth and humour, and is so down to earth that one can relate to almost all her stories.
She now writes a blog, The Daily Connoisseur, which has been added to my list of favourites.

I've taken a lot of this book to heart, not because I want to appear sophisticated and continental (though that would be nice), but because I realised that if I followed the guidelines in each chapter, it would make those areas of my life so much simpler.

I started with the first couple of chapters (bien sur) about eating, Snacking Is Not Chic, and Deprive Yourself Not, and have been trialling it for about a month.  I won't list all Jennifer's hints, because I feel she explains it so much better, but these are my findings.

  • By making sure I eat 3 meals of good food a day I find I don't crave snacks so much.
  • By having a healthy snack (for those times I do want one) I have more energy.  A banana will keep me going longer than a chocolate, and an apple keeps me more awake at my desk than a coffee.
  • I crave junk food less.  In fact on some occasions it's made me feel ill.
  • I still have treats and desserts, I'm just satisfied with less.
  • By making sure I sit down and eat my meal (or snack), I enjoy it a whole lot more than when I ate on the run or stood at the kitchen bench.
  • By not flopping in front of the couch with my plate I no longer spill half my meal on my clothes.
  • My skin is improving from drinking more water.
  • My pants fit me better.
  • And I suffer from the umm err vapours less.
I've also been trying her advice about exercise for the last couple of weeks and will write about that soon.  In the meantime - bon appetite!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

100 years of bridal fashion

Where do the hours/days/weeks go?
I have so many ideas for posts and a so many folders of photos scattered throughout my computer and phone, and somehow they've all been jumbled up into a confused mess.
So a sorting I must go..................

These photos I took WEEEEEKS ago.  Early May in fact.
I went to a Friend's Day High Tea with The Cavalcade Of History And Fashion and had yummy nibblies and witnessed a wonderful display and talk about wedding fashion over a century - between 1880's and 1980's.

So here are some photos I meant to show you - oh - about a month ago (better late then never right? Right?......)

Please note that my little phone camera and limited photography skills did absolutely no justice to these gorgeous creations.

 
This elegant gown was worn by blushing bride Violet Llewellyn when she married Christopher Bennett in Balmain, Sydney in April 1880.  Violet was the grand-daughter of the first Manager of the Bank of NSW.
The gown is cream satin with a luscious long bustle train that has an orange blossom trim.
Gals were stylish in the 1880's (as compared to the 1980's which you will soon see for yourself).
Love the cute kindy paintings in the background of the photo below.




 

 
Edwardian Era dress.  One of my favourite decades of the 20th century (well ok, every decade up to the 1970's is my favourite - but then I'm a gal of many tastes...)
This stunning cream satin gown was worn by Grace Peters when she married Thomas Hackney in Petersham, Sydney in September 1909.
 
 
 
 


 
The roaring 20's and my favourite dress of the day. 
Winifred (Winnie) Rouse wore this gold lame dream of a dress when she  married Lieutenant Frank Leslie Crane at Darling Point, Sydney in June 1922.  Apparently the couple were mad polo players.  The dress is silk embroidered with metallic thread and trimmed with chiffon (sigh)...
 
 
 
 

 
The decade when curves came back into fashion.
Wedding gown from 1938. 
Ivory silk with "Lily Of The Valley" print with a flat bows trim at the back and on the sleeves.
Elegance.
 


World War II era dress. 
A lot of war era brides (my own Nanna included) just wore their best outfit or invested in a pretty dress they could wear later.
Some brides however still went the whole hog - as much as their rationing coupons would allow.
This gown from 1940 is cream lace over taffeta with pearl buttons and a long train. 




1956 and nylon is the new wonder fabric!
This nylon gown is embroidered with seed pearls.  The skirt is made up of layers of taffeta and nylon, the top layer being 'glass nylon' and has a bow at the back.
The bride made her own headpiece.
This gown reminds my of my mother's gown, even though she got married in the next decade (and the skirt was layers of tulle).
 
 
 
 
 

 
The swinging 60's. 
This cream dream was worn by Helen Chambers when she married Hendrik Martin at Epping, Sydney in 1962.
The gown is made of cream synthetic faille and has a detachable train with a fabric rose trim, that I tried soooo hard to get a photo of but couldn't manage without risking knocking down the display.
Helen graduated in medicine at Sydney University in 1960.  Back then women were expected to leave work after marrying and definitely not work after having children.  But Helen continued to practice medicine after marrying and having children.  Makes her a pioneer in my book. 


 
Two wedding dresses from 1972.
The dress on the right is white nylon with an appliqued bodice and a large bow trim.
It was worn by Joanne Connors when she married Graham Rose in Newcastle in 1972.


 

 
1980's - the decade that fashion forgot.
Well that's unfair - there were some fashion from the 80's that were cool.  Trouble was, I didn't wear any of it.
I remember many wedding dresses being fashioned on Princess Dianna's gown.
This cream raw silk gown from 1980, has a verrrrrrry full princess-like skirt with a slight train.  The bodice and sleeves are embroidered with ribbon and pearls.



 
 All the ladies in their glory.
 

 
 
 The afternoon was finished off with yummy cakes and coffee served in delicate china.
 

 

I'm very much looking forward to the next one.