We've spent the afternoon up the hill at my Dad's place in Stirling eating scones with jam and cream in between allowing the children to run riot in the garden. It was a beautiful, warm day. I wandered around the garden for the first time in a couple of months taking photos.
Jacob's Ladder up to the Japanese Gate
the Victorian cast Iron fountain
On the right are the standard roses, under their bridal veils (which keeps the flocks of marauding Cockatoos and parrots from eating the rose buds)
One of the original Italian urns on plinths. There were a lot more in the garden, but they were stolen in the 80's
Our old rocking horse, Rigby. He was named by my older sister. No one knows why she called him that (she was 2). He lives on the upstairs landing, and now my children ride him too.
Dad finds it amusing to have a couple of Vintage garden gnomes around the place. You can't take the garden too seriously
In renovation news, I've been nearly driven crazy by the ongoing saga of the steel windows. I may write a post about it all once this is over... Outside the framing of the outdoor dining area continues, and inside Mr AV's office is now plastered up and they've moved into the Living room and are starting on the raked ceiling.
The builders got themselves a new toy to help with the plasterboarding. I'm serious, they've been joyriding on it!
During the week I went to another Outdoors on Parade Cooking Class with a friend. D'Arry's Verandah were the guest restaurant. The wines were naturally enough from D'Arenberg Winery (the restaurant is part of the winery) in the McLaren Vale, about an hour from Adelaide. D'Arry's Verandah have just won a coveted star from Gourmet Traveller, one of only 10 restaurants in Australia to do so.
Coffin Bay Oysters with Apple Sorbet, Wakami and Wasabi Flying Fish Roe
Seared Kangaroo Fillet on Tabouli with Hummus
Poached Noble Riesling Pears with Salted Caramel Sago, Caramelised Yoghurt and Walnut Oat Granola. This was the standout, although it was all absolutely delicious. The wine they'd matched it with, D'Arenberg's The Nostalgia Rare (like a port) was sublime. I'm going to get my hands on a bottle of it when we have our first dinner party in the new reno.
On Tuesday I endured the trauma that is swimwear shopping in my quest to find a bikini for the upcoming Summer. This is the best time of year to go swimwear shopping - all the sizes are in stock, leave it to actual Summer, and good luck.... I used to sell swimwear many years ago - my first part time job out of school was working for Brian Rochford as a sales assistant.... remember them? They sold excellent swimwear, along with rather dubious lycra bodysuits with enormous shoulder pads in them, stirrup pants and rather skimpy lycra dresses. Sadly, the bottom of the market suddenly fell out for bodysuits a few years later, presumably when women all over Australia realised that when you'd had a bit to drink, and were fiddling with bodysuit studs in the loos late at night, it was a recipe for disaster. Brian Rochford was unable to adapt to the change in the marketplace, eventually closing all the stores.
But it's left me with the ability to hone in on flattering swimwear. I was looking for a bikini as I haven't bought one in 10 years, preferring one pieces as I've had to be on drowning watch whenever I'm poolside - ready to leap into the water at a moment's notice to save one of my three non swimming children. This is not conducive to Bikini wearing, which requires frequent adjustment and decorative lounging to achieve its full effect.
I hit the Bikini jackpot, and bought a couple, including a Kaftan coverup. The fuchsia pink one is from Seafolly, and the print one on the right is from Isola by Megan Gale - I personally think that Australian swimwear is the best designed in the world. The Isola brand is also actually Made in Australia too! Not China!
Later that evening, while scrolling through my iPhone photos to send a couple of the kids to Mr AV (who has been in New York for the week), I found that the 3 year old had taken a photograph of my bikini clad bottom in close up whilst in the change room with me. I had wondered what I looked like from the back.
It was not good....
As a result, I have redoubled my efforts at the gym, and have been 4 times this week, along with going back on the old elimination diet I was on at the start of the year. Fab.
Finally, I've been reading Bringing Home the Birkin, which will put you off ever wanting one of these handbags (well, it did for me). Quite a fascinating look at the Hermes world - who buys it, what they like, the shops in Europe and a man that made a living for 5 years or so buying and re-selling scarves, bags and Hermes trinkets on eBay and to a private client list.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already!
Have a great week xx
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