First up, a gratuitous rose shot. This one is the "Mary" rose from David Austin. It's part of the Mother in Law Christmas gift we are giving, and that I wrote about last week. So pretty.

David Austin's "Mary" rose

It's been quite hot this week, so I've had a couple of Summer dresses out for a wearing. This is a Milly dress in blue and white makes me think of blue and white china. I wore it Friday to see Skyfall and have dinner with some old School friends on a balmy night down at The Parade, Norwood. One of my friends picked me up and complimented me on the dress, which I told her I'd actually worn all day - she laughed her head off and told me I was like some sort of 1950's housewife. Possibly, but a dress is in fact quite a lazy way to dress - no need to think about separates, just zip up and go. A bit like my old School Uniform summer dress really.


Skyfall was excellent. I give it 5/5. It's quite different from the usual Bonds, very clever, not so cliched, not so much focus on the womanising and gadgets. Mr AV was green with envy that I was going without him. He was trying to gatecrash the girls dinner/ movie night. As he was on babysitting duty (although you don't actually babysit your own children, I like to point out to him) he'll be going some other time.


This dress I wore earlier in the week. It's a Lily Pulitzer shift that I've had for maybe 4 or 5 years. It's very retro 60's and I love the bright yellow. This one is a heavy linen/ cotton so I can wash it in the machine (essential for my life full of vegemite finger prints), and has other extras, like bra strap keepers (more dresses need these), is fully lined and has concealed pockets.

My children were beside themselves with excitement when their special video message from Santa (or Father Christmas as he is called in South Australia, it's a regional thing I gather) arrived in my email inbox. If you haven't tried the Portable North Pole tv, do. It's so fun - you enter some basic information on the child ( what they want for Christmas, their name, upload a photo etc) and they get a personalised message with an emailed link to it where Santa calls them by name, has a photo of them in his book, shows them around the North Pole and they see the (real) Reindeer. You can upgrade and pay for more premium options, but the free version is fantastic, so I don't feel a need to. My only word of warning is that if you choose that they are not "nice" ie "naughty" or "naughty- nice" they do get really ticked off by Santa. I did this the first year I tried it as my oldest was carrying on a lot at bedtime and driving me up the wall. Well, he was absolutely terrified that Santa was not going to deliver to him that year - behaviour improved, but he still talks about it... traumatised for life, apparently.


I bought this fairly ugly standard lamp for my daughter E's bedroom. I got it through Gumtree.com.au for $70. I'm planning on painting it white and putting a new shade on. It will go next to the armchair that I recently had reupholstered for her. When I arrived to pick it up, the lady selling it told me that she had paid.....wait for it......$1500 originally. I'm not joking. I nearly fell over - I was actually thinking I'd overpaid by $10 or so. She is moving to Queensland, and didn't want to pay to move it with them. The shade is made of silk and hand pleated with expensive cord detail, the base is made of solid mahogany and also handmade. I didn't have the heart to tell her it was about to be painted and the over the top enormous shade ditched. I had assumed when I bought it that it was stained pine, and a relic from someone's "good room" in the 80's, a prime item for a redo. My Father was horrified when I told him I was painting it (he is of the opinion that "good" wood should not be painted), but it does have a very reddish and new finish to it. Now I'm in two minds - it will definitely be improved with a new shade, but should I keep it wood? We do have a lot of dark wood pieces in our house (and her bedroom has a cedar wardrobe and chest of drawers) Opinions please!


And with the hot weather, the Cricket test on at the Adelaide Oval, and small, sick people who have been driving me up the wall, a few glasses of Pimm's have been consumed this week. Oh look, this example for the photo it isn't as full of fruit as it's supposed to be (I was too eager to drink it to do much more than put some lemon and cucumber in it), but it was still delicious, and a good way to end the evening. Last night I was sitting on the low walls around the tennis court with Mr AV, drinking this, and watching the children play in the sprinkler at twilight. They ran out their evening sillies, and didn't require a bath. Bonus.


Hope you've all had a good week. xx

26 comments:

  1. loving 'frock' weather here too, the blue dress is very pretty. My hubby, a lover or antiques would be horrified if you covered up the hand turned mahogany. I reckon we live in another century and do what suits. It can always be stripped and re-finished should a dark timber look come back in vogue. That said, why not try the new lampshade first? The base might look fab as is with that simple update! My youngest, a boy, is 10 but is still a true-believer. He's being quite difficult (actually a P.I.T.A) and I think a naughty email might just be in order. Should action it before guilt sets in! x KL

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    1. Oh, it's not an antique - it was made in the 90's (but made to look old school in style). Good luck with the message - you'll have to report back on what Santa said and what the reaction was! xx

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    2. He loved the e-mail and it was very mild (Santa still hoping to put him on the nice list). J was a bit sceptical though...he was borderline 'putting it all together' so I'm going to have to be extremly careful to have this one last year of magic with him. x KL

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  2. That Milly dress is divine ! The drink looks good too ; who you believe that I lived in London for 17 years and never tasted Pimm's ?!x

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    1. I cannot believe you never had a Pimm's!! Make a mental note to rectify that next Summer! xx

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  3. The flower pictures from the opposite hemisphere have me a bit depressed - we've just built flower beds for our new house but they will be empty for quite some time. However, our season will come and in the meantime I should enjoy the beauty from your side of the world. (and the dress is fantastic)

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    1. I know the feeling Liene - my garden needs to do a lot of growing, it's about to turn 1. Tight photo shots hide a multitude of sins behind! xx

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  4. I am with KL regarding the lamp. I too would change the lampshade first and paint the base only if necessary.

    Look forward to seeing what you do with it :)

    B

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    1. I'm starting to think I might do that. I think it could possibly work with the dark base...the hideously over the top shade is a bit of a distraction at present! xx

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    2. Hi Heidi

      Loving the Pimm's which you correctly added the essential cucumber. Regarding the lamp - paint it white if that's what you really want to do. Its yours now so don't feel guilty. I've done this with lots of furniture and I haven't regretted any pieces. Jane xx

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    3. Thanks Jane. The photo on Gumtree made it look really bad.... so my initial thought was to paint it, but I'm thinking as I'm wavering so much on it I might try it in the spot with a new shade and see what I think. xx

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  5. Your blue dress looks fabulous! I have turned into a summer dress girl myself!
    I love your lamp, I agree see what a new shade does and go from there.

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    1. I was thinking you, of all people, would recommend a repaint Deanne! You're the queen of the makeover. Think you're right and I'll try the new shade first. xx

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  6. Love the Mary Rose....have one in my garden which we received as a wedding present. Also love Pimms it used to remind me of drinking it in The Perch outside Oxford, yet at the moment it reminds me of driving around Cornwall in a motor home.....might have to work on a new Pimms association! Can't wait to see Skyfall and your new look blog looks v slick! Rx

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    1. You're the first person to comment on the blog makeover - was starting to think no one had noticed! I definitely think you need a new association with the Pimms, I used to drink it by the gallon when my husband was at Cambridge. We used to go to a restaurant called Browns, probably the poshest place the students would frequent (usually it was the pub, or worse the horrible food in the dining halls - think lumpy sauces with hair in them) and they made the BEST Pimms. I have been unsuccessfully trying to rectify it ever since - it had a lot of fruit in it. xx

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  7. I'm sorry I agree with your Dad. I don't think you should ever paint over good (old) wood, you will absolutely live to regret it. Remember the mid-naughties when we spent hours stripping everything back to the original wood that everyone had painted over in the 80s? Traumatic times, I swear I have the hands of a 80 year old because of it. The shade and the chair will soften the "hard" look of the wood and you probably won't even notice it. Kx (The Blog a House Built)

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    1. I think you're right K.... Dad can be a little over the top with his view on it though sometimes, which is why I was mulling it over. Hope you didn't have to strip much in your house - I remember seeing a house in Vogue living in the 90's when the owner had painted all the 1920's panelling white. It looked great, but it was kind of sacrilegious. I'm sure there'll be an owner stripping it all in the future and complaining about the idiot who painted over it to start with! xx

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    2. If you we're using the lamp in your living room I would leave the wood but I think painted white in your daughter's room or your bedroom is just right!!!! LOVE the lamp and your blue dress..!!!

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    3. Actually Jenny, I was starting to think it might work better in the Study... it's interesting that you wrote that. Might play around with it and see where it fits best, xx

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  8. I never realised until I read this blog that 'Father Christmas' was so unique to S.A.... after moving to Melbourne I now realise it's 'Santa' everywhere!
    I'm glad you enjoyed Skyfall, I've been hearing good things about it. Perfect place to enjoy a film down the Parade.
    K xx

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    1. I didn't realise you were from Adelaide too K! Yes, I used to refer to him as "Father Christmas" in Melbourne and receive blank looks from everyone... took me a while to work out that it wasn't a common name for him outside of Adelaide! xx

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    2. Yes... only 6 months in Melbourne so far! I'm getting used to the blank looks though ;)
      I love reading your blog and your journey back to Adelaide xx

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    3. I hated the first year and a half that we lived in Melbourne - I couldn't wait to move on (we were supposed to be going back to London, but the tech bubble bursting put paid to that), but it grew on me, and it took at least that long to get to know all the little villages, and to find our groove in the city. I do miss it, but we love living back in Adelaide - there are so many benefits to a small city so that although I miss my friends and the great shops/ restaurants/ concerts etc I'm very happy to be back home. xx

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  9. Heidi - I wonder if you took a bit more time to prepare your Pimms... what would you use? I have been searching about and some use lemonaid or ginger beer or soda plus the addition of cucumber (muddled or not?) and fruits.

    I realize this post was long ago, but we are in our summer now and your photo made me curious. And thirsty.

    Thanks, Follower #70 :-)

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    1. Hi Linda! I always use lemonade in mine (Australian/ UK lemonade is like 7Up or Sprite) and this is a fairly traditional way to serve it, Ginger Beer is also nice, but I prefer it unadulterated by the ginger flavour as a rule. Then you'd use a lot of fruit in it - sliced orange/ lime, a large piece of cucumber (usually in a stick form, kind of like a very thick swizzle stick poking out of the drink a bit) and some strawberries in chunks. You could add more berries. Definitely no tropical fruit like pineapple/mango etc The fruit is quite chunky, not muddled - add a bit of ice, and put it in a very long glass. Totally delicious! Enjoy xx

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