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Sunday, December 21, 2014

An Irish Christmas




I've been spending a  few days at the  bolthole  in Ireland.  I'm a townie, I have a 'difficult relationship' with the countryside, much like  Princess Diana had with Balmoral. Walking, dirt track roads, mud, dank dreary weather, grey skies, driving rain and freezing  cold houses -  I experienced  all of these in  abundance.
There was one saving grace in Ireland, which made my discomfort  worthwhile,  no not Guinness, it should be in the dock at Strasbourg for purporting to look like a delicious pudding yet tasting like pig swill. The badinage, the craic; in Ireland you are never  more than two feet from a conversation with a stranger but it has an authenticity to it. Ireland is going through rough times, in some areas, according to one local I was chatting to, emigration is almost as high as it was during The Famine. 
For the one hour it stopped lashing from the heavens we took the horses and headed for the beach. I'll never tire of looking out  to  the horizon and thinking that the next piece of land is America.
It's poignant to think of the many who headed there, following their hearts and driven by hunger. 
















(The beach in summer) 
























Thursday, December 18, 2014

Style Icons


This week I noticed that my style icon is indeed my home.
Whatever  neutral melange she wraps herself in, I will shamelessly copy.
We only differ when it comes to pattern, I  shy away from them clothes wise but adore Chinoiserie, palms and blowsy roses behind closed doors.
I think we find ourselves in what we surround ourselves and also wrap around ourselves. I've discovered that I'm like Switzerland - always neutral. 



Trust me, there are silver threads running through these tiebacks, I sent this dress back, the pattern befuddled my brain.


Over to you.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Highbrow


In our house, Watch With Mother  quite often took the form of a Saturday afternoon sofa sprawl in front of a glorious technicolour  biblical epic. Salome, Cleopatra and  Bathsheba were the wasp waisted, sloe - eyed odalisques who hypnotised me with their undulatingly sensual glamour. 
It was at the tender age of 14 or so that  I saw my life's purpose  flash in front of me, "must become a biblical temptress" but alas,  I was missing just one thing, yes, just the one -  inky cedillas, well appointed eyebrows, all the better to arch imperiously as I ruled my dominion.
I have very fine hair and have been pencilling in my eyebrows since the age of 17, first of all with Rimmel, then latterly Mac but lo, a new brow servant has obsequiously burrowed into my affections. Step forward for your regal annointing, Armani brow maestro. It comes in little pot,  brushes on, looks entirely natural but best of all, you know the state eyebrows contort themselves into when you pull a tight jumper on and off? All mad Patrick Moore  et al?


Well, that doesn't happen. They stay in place and it is waterproof, so if you are a surfer or a wing walker allow me to introduce you to your new best friend.  





My other fine hair lifesaver is Louise Galvin's Sacred Locks treatment masque which I use as my regular conditioner, without it, my tresses which are curled  into submission every single day with hot irons and sprayed  rigid would resemble those weary sparse strands  atop a  rotting root vegetable.