Jumat, 26 Desember 2008

Life in the Mountains

Saying Goodbye

There is always room for a little trepidation, and a little nervous anxiety is a good thing because it helps us to realise that change is afoot.
Change is good, non?
There is much to say goodbye to before we leave for NZ.
The first is the selling of our gorgeous mountains cottage. Our 101 year old weatherboard cottage that we have poured our heart and soul into renovating over the past 3 years. Add to that the huge garden which I have slaved in and transformed from over-grown and weed-choked to productive and colourful and well, take a look at the pictures and you will see what I mean.
From the first time we walked through the gate of the rambling white picket fence, it was love at first site for us. The whole place was painted in the most inappropriate colours, in some rooms even the ceilings had been painted the same colours as the walls and when the colours are khaki green and dark purple, you can imagine how dark this makes an old house seem.
The commencement of each new project was akin to opening Pandora's Box because with each new task we were beset with the age-old problem every home renovator faces.

1. The job is going to take at least twice as long to complete, and
2. The job is going to cost at least thrice as much as budgeted for.
All of which only added to the eccentricity of the house.

It is the garden of which I am most proud because it is the garden in which I have sweated the most, bled the most, been broken-hearted the most, and delighted the most. I have discovered the joy of the seasons, the devastation that snow and ice cause to most plants and the delight of seeing colour burst through the cold hard ground! The amazing change in the garden that takes place virtually over night as the new growth springs forth after months of freezing temperatures only delights me more and more each year. This year I planted my second attempt at a vegie garden and was not disappointed like I was the year before when constant unseasonal torrential rain destroyed all of my seedlings. To be able to show my girls where the vegies on their plates came from, to be able to pick and eat at will, such a delight I can't tell you! Carrots and leeks, beetroots and broad beans, strawberries and an abundance of herbs and rocket, yummy!

Another thing of which I am extremely proud is the new skills which my very clever husband has learned. Carpenter, plumber, brick-layer, gardener, painter and general handy-man skills he has all mastered during the renovation.

Three solid years of tinkering away at our house has left me exhausted however and truth be told, I am looking forward to not having to spend our weekends working on it. I am looking forward to not being broken-hearted when the dog digs up my seedlings or destroys established plants that have taken a whole season establishing themselves! I am looking forward to discovering a new country, camping with our girls and living in a house that doesn't require constant work and renovation! I'm sure one day when the girls have grown up I will long for those days, but right now I am happy to leave them behind, and to pass them on to the new custodians of our beautiful mountains home.

Across the Pond

As the expression goes, we are moving "across the pond", however in this instance, it is from Australia to New Zealand, not from the UK to the US, as the expression usually implies.

We are going to be living in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Kind of apt actually as our surname is the same!
When my husband first told me that he had been offered a job that would mean we would be relocating overseas to NZ I thought it was the most amazing, fantastic, most exciting thing to happen to us in years! A new adventure for us, a chance to embark on a new chapter of our lives after some very difficult times these past few years. As a couple, we have a tendency to never do anything in halves, always opting to take the road less travelled. It seems to be the only way we know how to do things. I also thought, well it's not like we're really moving to another country, they speak English over there and they sound a lot like us, and it's only a 3 1/2 hour
flight right? Not far at all really...

Well now that I've had more time to digest our move... I have to confess I have started to panica little. We really are "moving overseas!" Everyone is excited and pleased for us, and thrilled with my husbands success, which is all very nice, but I am going to be leaving the country in which I was born, raised and spent my entire 36 years living in. Living and working overseas has always been a dream, and I do think that NZ couldn't be a better way to begin this journey of fulfilling a dream. Sometimes I wonder, am I up to it?
In under 5 weeks time, I guess I'll know, because that's how soon it is until we board the plane!

Minggu, 14 Desember 2008

Inspiration and Influence

Inspiration starts, for me, almost always with a picture of something that just speaks to me. It could be a postcard, or a shot in a magazine, sometimes its a person I see crossing the road. I have a wall in my house where I put these pictures so that I can see them everyday and let them permeate and influence me subtly. Initially I have no idea how I'm going to use it, I don't know how it will influence me, but eventually in some small way, it usually does.

Every day style influences come from a small group of women who's look and style speaks to me. Whether it be in a physical way or a cerebral way, somehow it gets under my skin and is reflected in my personal style.

Charlotte Gainsbourg has a natural elegance, I just find her gaelic beauty and long, fine hair so appealing. I guess it's because I have the same long, fine hair and have always wished for thicker, curlier hair. To see Charlotte looking gorgeous, with my type of hair, gives me hope.

I can't get enough of Drew Barrymore's gorgeous doe eyes, she has such a natural appeal, and a quirky, hippy edge. And I'm just so loving her hair colour! That reddish-brown is just so warm and perfect for her complexion.

Dido, Dido, Dido!
Her voice and her songs are so moving, listening to her makes me fall in love with my husband all over again. She's petite, but full-voiced and I love her look because it's simple, laid-back and classic.

Carrie Bradshaw, (and I mean Carrie here, not Sarah Jessica). I love Carrie for her daring wardrobe achievements. I love her frivolity and the way she wears clothes in new and untried ways. I love how her wardrobe reflects her mood because for me, my mood is definitely something that affects how I dress.

My mood defines (or even dictates) my sense of style for the day.
And should the weather not be cooperating with my mood, I can't tell you how terribly irritating that is!

I think that most of us are drawn to certain looks that either reflect our own style, or offer us direction toward the look we want to achieve. It should not overtake our own personal sense of style, but help us to convey it by simply being an influence, or a nudge in the right direction.
To be confident and comfortable in our own skin, isn't that really what we want to achieve?