I'm late again for my weekly post..... unfortunately I left my camera at a friends house on Sunday, so I have only blurry iphone photos to post instead. The post I was going to do was to have been incredibly witty and had the most stunning photos to accompany it. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Due to the (hot, hot, hot) weather, I have given up on having real flowers in my house. They just die in around 24 - 48 hours, and it's all too depressing really. So, I have embraced the faux fully - here is a picture of my current hall table flower arrangement - a large bowl of faux orchids. It even has faux soil and faux moss (that looks incredibly real). It's from Laura Ashley. They had an absolutely enormous bowl of orchids that I loved.... just a little too pricey for me ($800), so I settled for this much smaller bowl full instead.


I've been absolutely loving "The Hour", currently screening on ABC tv. It's similar to Mad Men in a lot of ways (set in the 50's), but is a completely different snapshot of that era, being set in Britain for a start, and also focussing on the current events of that time. On a completely shallow level, Mr AV and I were thrilled to see that our decanter starred in a recent episode. Ours was from his grandfather's estate, and would probably date to the 50's. It's Waterford Crystal. Here's a photo of it vying for space on our overstocked drinks table.


And speaking of the 1950's, I've been wearing my new perfume - it was a birthday present from my Dad, Robert Piguet's "Calypso". As he is unused to organising presents, it was rather late in arriving... my birthday being around 4 weeks before the gift finally surfaced. It had to be ordered in specially, as you can't buy it from any local stores (David Jones in Adelaide (it's stocked at the French Perfume counter in Sydney and Melbourne) were incredibly unhelpful and told Dad that he could ring the Melbourne store, check if they had it and ask them to post it to him.....but no offer from the sales assistant to organise that for him while he was in the Adelaide store. Terrible service. He bought it on the Internet from overseas instead). Anyway, I love it. At first it is quite heavy on the musk (which I normally don't like), but it settles quickly and is quite a modern scent, given that it is one of the very old French ones - lots of green and spice notes.


 And I finished Anna Funder's "All That I Am" (excellent - lots of deception/ betrayal and all closely based on real events and people). I picked up the book "The Bolter" by Frances Osborne. It's about the scandalous life of Idina Sackville. She was the five times married woman at the centre of the scandalous murder portrayed in the movie "White Mischief", and was characterised (as The Bolter) by Nancy Mitford in three of her books including "Love in a Cold Climate" and "The Pursuit of Love". I'm often drawn to these books of women who throw everything away to do something scandalous. Possibly this is because I've always been called "sensible". It's not something I'd ever do myself, but reading about it is slightly voyeuristic. Oh, and the new Vogue Living is out, and is fab.


And in dull news, I'm on the worlds Worst Diet. That should be it's official title. It's for health reasons, rather than weight loss, although that will definitely be a side effect. I have suffered from eczema since I was 13 on my hands. I was a little bit naughty at school one day, and was made to scrub the hallways with a scrubbing brush and Ajax. I remember it being caked around my nails. Of course the next morning I woke up with eczema, which I've never been able to rid myself of. This diet is supposed to work out what food items I eat causes it (many things contribute to it, the Ajax was a trigger point at that time). I'm not eating Dairy, Gluten, Sugar, Alcohol, any Vegetables from the deadly nightshade group (potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum etc), Citrus and Strawberries. Not a lot left really. Only 6 weeks to go..... sadly the eczema is diminishing, so it is obviously some of those things that cause it.

And I continue with the slow process of designing the Kitchen and Laundry joinery. It's not working out the way I want at the moment, so I've been dragging my heels a little....only a week left until School Holidays are over, and I get more free time to get on with it all.

Hope you had a great week xx

27 comments:

  1. i became a lover of the fauxid when i married; hubby can't stand to see money wasted on dead, smelly things! the better ones look ok though; yours looks divine and the exy one must've been wowsa! i agree with getting more done once children return to school....hope you find your allergy is caused by some distainful tasting thing!(or housework perhaps?) lol x kl

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    1. The big bowl of faux was stunning - the bowl was probably 1/2 meter in diameter! I definitely have always used my eczema as an excuse to avoid housework..... and have a cleaner that I find very easy to justify! xx

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  2. I know just what you are going through as I have had eczema for thirty years and I now have only one small area.I have a lot of food allergies and red wine (and any alcohol) was the main culprit.I found swimming in the sea made a miraculous improvement to break the cycle and I use Advantan fatty ointment, Tacrolimus and Diprosone ointment on a rotation when necessary. (But not needing much)I was on the elimination diet and have been able to drink red wine during the holidays. I feel fantastic!I had two brilliant dermatologists after using all the natural and other products which didn't work.

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    1. I am PRAYING that it is not alcohol.... that's been the worst thing to give up (especially as it's school hols and I have the children constantly - I'm absolutely craving a glass of wine at night!!). It's a funny thing, I don't actually have very sensitive skin - I can use anything on my face and have no reaction whatsoever. I was very interested to hear that Gluten is 3 x's higher in Australian Wheat than anywhere else in the world, and that we also have the highest rates of allergies/ eczema/ asthma in the world. I've noticed by cutting back on gluten before I started the diet properly that the eczema definitely improved. xx

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    2. Wow, 3 x as much gluten?! Where did you read that?

      I'm gluten intolerant and have also found that cutting it out completely cleared up my eczema, pimples and bloating. They sell a really nice gluten {and dairy!} free bread at Viva at Burnside just so you know - its by Alby's Artisan Bakery and while it is a bit pricey for bread it is dead set delicious!

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    3. They told us that at Gwinganna, apparently we grow very strong wheat in Australia. So many people I know are gluten intolerant...not in a life threatening way, just in the way that you mentioned. The nutritionist at Gwinganna (from Brazil) said she'd never been to a country where people had so many problems relating to gluten as wheat forms such a staple in Australia (they eat beans and rice instead in Brazil). Thanks for the tip off on the bread - I've found it very hard to find decent bread, so I'll definitely check it out xx

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  3. Dear Heidi

    Your faux orchids look wonderful and so real! I've also given up on fresh flowers in this heat. Found some of my Christmas flowers dried well and look quite good in a vase on the kitchen bench: brilliant red gum blossom and sea holly.

    So sorry to hear about your eczema. I had it too as a child but it went away as I grew up. But in my case it can easily be triggered by hand contact with things like raw meat, fruit juice,or detergent or soap powders. So I always wash it off immediately or wear rubber gloves. Also your doctor may have told you that eczema can also be triggered by emotional crises and stress. When my father died when I was 18 my hands were raw for weeks. I was given various products to use and eventually it improved. But it took time as it was so linked with my emotional distress.

    Books are wonderful and can also be so therapeutic. Interesting that you're reading "The Bolter" - would like to hear what you think about it when finished. Strangely enough I'm part way through "White Mischief" but have put it to one side while I finish reading a biography of Lady Ottoline Morrell.

    You asked for book suggestions. It's difficult when I don't know your preferences, although I think we have some tastes in common, but here are a few:
    Anything by Nancy Mitford and most books by Evelyn Waugh
    "The Leopard" by Giuseppi di Lampedusa
    "Independent People" by Halldor Laxness

    Non-fiction:
    "What Remains" Carole Radziwill
    "Imperial Dancer" Coryne Hall
    Deborah Devonshire's published exchanges of letters between herself and Evelyn Waugh and herself and Patrick Leigh Fermor, especially the last, very funny in parts.

    I'm assuming you've probably read all of Jane Austen and Tolstoy's "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina".
    Best wishes and happy reading, Pamela

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    1. Oooh - thank you for your recommendations Pamela - I've not read a lot of them (heard of most), so I will definitely work my way through your suggestions. I've read all Jane Austen, but haven't read Tolstoy - was always put off by the size of the tomes... and after reading the fairly bleak "Crime and Punishment" many years ago left Russian literature alone. Might pick one of them to work through this year.

      I have sea holly in my garden and was debating picking it or leaving in the garden - if it dries well I might pick it. I just hadn't wanted to do that and then have it start to droop on me in 24 hours. xx

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    2. Heidi

      I read "War and Peace" about every ten years, beginning first when I was a teenager. It's remarkable how different it seems each time because you tend to see different things depending on age and stage in life at time of reading. When I was young of course it was the romance. One of my favourite books. Another riveting book, but terribly sad, is "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry.

      My husband has a project of reading at least one book by every winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature since it began. He's already done this, now it's a matter of keeping up with the latest one each time and reading additional books by writers he particularly likes. We have quite a library as you could imagine. Crowding us out of the house! Not all his fault either!

      Today I came home from the Salvos with the Oxford "Illustrated History of Opera", Camilla de la Bedoyere's "Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany" (magnificent illustrations) and "French Women Don't Get Fat" (probably because they mostly seem to smoke so heavily). All in excellent condition and total for the lot was $13. Best wishes, Pamela

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    3. Hello Pamela - if War and Peace is such a hit with you that you keep going back, then I'll put it on the list for my next book. It'll probably take me rather a long time though.....

      Your husband does indeed have a project! I can only imagine your library, but there is something so nice about a room full of books (says she who has all hers still in boxes in the shed waiting patiently for the shelving to be built....!).

      Great bargains at the Salvos! I do cull fairly regularly with my books. If I'm unlikely to read it again, and if it didn't move me sufficiently it's out the door. xx

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  4. I luff a forchid I got a fab huge one from Target a few years ago for about $40! $800 for a for a forchid is obscene.

    That is awful re the eczema - but the diet sounds really tough. Will you stick to it??

    xx

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    1. It was rather pricey, but so realistic I was actually tempted.....

      I will stick to the diet - I'm two weeks in now, so I'm not going to quit just yet. Mr AV is no help, he keeps saying "but it won't matter if you just have one (glass of wine/ chocolate/ piece of cake/ potato). I have quite good willpower xx

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  5. You must keep us posted about that miserable diet! I think I need to do it, and am fairly sure it's potato - which when I mention it, people are incredulous!
    I just bought some faux wattle (real makes me sneeze but I love them!) and they look great. Got them from silkflora.
    :) Elise

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    1. I was shocked when I heard potato was on the list, but apparently a lot of people are allergic to it, so you could well be. Faux wattle would be much better than the real thing... I think almost everyone sneezes from it! xx

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  6. I am off dairy, gluten and sugar too- such a pain at times! Good luck with the rest of your diet, hopefully it will work out to be something that is not too difficult to live without!

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    1. Is that a permanent thing Deanne? I know dairy is definitely a trigger (but I love cheese so much!!). Fingers crossed it's not alcohol. Or sugar. I do love cake xx

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  7. Fingers crossed for you it's not the alcohol! Love that decanter....my husband was inundated with decanters when he turned 40 and contemplated what this all meant at the time.....unfortunately his parents/grandparents were all tee totallers so no heirloom examples for us! I too am counting the days until I wave goodbye to 3 of my children full time (can't believe I only have one left to get to this stage) at the schoolgate....in the meantime have been enduring the time-consuming act of acquiring books/blazers/shoes and other back to school kit which is eating into even more of my time which has been earmarked for other things. As difficult as the balance is I'm trying not to wish it away as I really will miss them when they aren't my constant companions 24/7! Rx

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    1. I've got the haircuts booked in this afternoon, and the school books arrived in the post yesterday...and am going to crank up the sewing machine to do the name tapes this afternoon. Your comment just made me realised I haven't got the blazer dry cleaned yet.... oh dear!
      I don't think I could permanently give up alcohol.... I'd definitely go with the steroid creams to deal with the eczema, rather than eczema gone completely!! xx

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  8. Poor Heidi. I do feel sorry for you regarding your eczema. Fingers crossed it isn't the alcohol. I do believe that emotional stress exacerbates it. When the kids are back at school make sure you make some time everyday just for yourself. Just 15 minutes will make a difference. Love the faux orchids. I also enjoy drying my hydrangeas during the summer months. Good luck with the medical diet.
    Jane xx

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    1. Thanks Jane, on the scale of things that go wrong in life, it's not exactly the worst thing to go wrong health wise..... it's just debilitating in its own way. You're right about stress... everyone keeps telling me how stressed I am, but I hadn't actually thought I was...sort of forgot that mum dying in October was a very big stress (I sort of always thought stress on a personal level was work related!!). I'm looking forward to school starting next week and a few clear days to do things for myself too. My Hydrangeas are dried on the bush I'm afraid...a few 40+ days and that was that!! xx

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  9. I know exactly what you are going through Heidi!!.... I have had arthritis for the past 30 years - it is in the Rheumatoid group - I have managed to control it completely through diet. I wont bore you with my list of forbiddens - doctors are amazed when told I have managed this drug free. I used to love wine but now one or whisky's are also lovely! Of course I am human and so every now and then I have to go on a complete detox in order to re-alchalise (is there such a word?!) my system. There isnt any doubt in my mind that certain foods/drinks cause inflammation in the body and this comes out in different ways for different people. Stress is also a trigger and I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your Mum at such a young age. My hairdresser has severe eczema... he always wears the fine rubber gloves ... you might need to wear these if and when you do any kitchen work. Books - I adore all of Anita Bruckner's! xxx

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  10. I meant to add that I have been watching Upstairs/Downstairs - a remake of the original - on the ABC on Sunday nights - it is positively divine!! xx

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    1. I've been watching UD too - except this past weekend when I was forced to watch the tennis instead (which was ok, because I love tennis). I have read all about the alkaline diet, and I think the one I'm on is often used for people with arthritis as well. That's excellent that you manage yours without medication - I've always hated that about the eczema, particularly with small babies to have steroid creams so close to them. The Dermatologists that I've seen over the years never even mentioned the link with diet, more environmental causes. I use gloves for absolutely everything, and am very careful about chemicals & soaps etc. All that helps, but the food is probably the last I've tried so fingers crossed it works. Will check out your book recommendations, thank you! xx

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  11. Have been loving the hour too - perhaps not this series quite as much as last year's one, which I loved for the political sub-plots, but this series is warming up very nicely. And Upstairs Downstairs too - a return to fabulousness on sunday nights on the abc. Tennis is thrilling - went last week but is also fabo on the television too.

    Will be interesting to see what the final culprit is regarding the eczema - it seems that it is a growing pest with so many chemicals abounding in daily life. Hope you are staying cool in this "real summer" we are having. xx

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    1. Hi GD! Hope the move is going well... and I'm glad to hear you managed to get to the Tennis, one of the truly great things about living in the city. One of the first things we did on our return to Adelaide was to put water filtration system on the entire house - Adelaide tap water is so awful after you've got used to Melbourne, and my skin went a bit crazy (as you have to use extra soap/ washing poweder etc as well as the water being so awful). It made a huge difference (and all my white clothes don't go yellow anymore either!!) xx

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  12. Love your new flower and hall table arrangement <3

    B

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    1. Thanks B, I do too - it's very low maintenance! xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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