Category: summer

Labour of Love x

Looking back to last year, I think my kids have both grown a foot, if not 5.  It means a new summer wardrobe has become a necessity rather than a want, and whilst one of life’s delights is shopping for children’s clothes, it becomes a nightmare once they develop tastes of their own.  You like one thing..they like something else…that is inevitably for someone older..or tackier..

We’re trying a new approach this year.  I’ve set up a Pinterest board where we can select our choices and hopefully come up with the crossover clothes we both like.

So far it’s working..we’ve agreed on all of these. Which has slightly blown my mind.

And I’ve allowed a few exceptions to creep in. Normally this swimsuit would not make the cut..But I know Bella will make it work and she loves it. But I didn’t think she’d go for slides…

Or culotte shorts. How wrong was I? (All pics Pinterest)

My girl is growing up. Little sigh.

Laters, Kate x

The Garden x

This was the dream:  Box hedging filled in with lavender, off set with a white climbing rose.  Simple.  Effective.  And then the Box Moth caterpillar arrived en masse and started to do it’s worst.

I tried – I went round each plant, taking off the beasts and cutting back all the plants, then hosed them down with the pressure hose, all to no avail.  The buggers came back.  So drastic action was needed..all the box plants have gone.  My flowerbeds are a wasteland with nothing more than a couple of brave shoots. I’m desperate to re-plant and nows the time to do it, but as you can see, the fence needs replacing (the neighbours have been building an extension) it will happen, and quite soon..but nothing can go back till it does or risk builders-boot-annihilation.  I hope there will still be enough time to get some summer colour…

This is the plan..when the green light does shine I’m going for blousey minimalist (I think this could be a new ‘thing’)..filling the entire bed with lavender plants and one white climbing rose.

I keep telling myself dreaming is good.

Laters, Kate x

Light Fever x

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So which one should it be? Blow a bundle on the iconic Regina from Skyfall..a piece of cinematic history mine for a chunky seven and a half mill..

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Tempting……very tempting…

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Or go for class and opt for Soufriere, Daniel Craig’s mode of transport in Casino Royale, a mere snip at £600,000?

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Then I wake up.  And the lottery win fades in the morning light.

Damn.

Laters, Kate x

Dodo Bar Or

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In London we’re still breathing clear blue skies and warm rays. It’s so nice to be able to still look at light, cotton clothes without thinking goosebumps. This label – Dodo Bar Or, headed by actress turned fashion designer Dorit ‘Dodo’ Bar Or is one that unashamedly flaunts all things summer and features on my wish list radar.

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Sigh.  There’s what I’m doing in my present.  What I want to do in the future. And all the dreams inbetween.

Laters, Kate x

Charlie boy..

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It was two years ago I wrote this post about my Charlie. To briefly re-cap it was to honour his sense of self and lack of inhibitions, particularly when it came to clothes..but I wondered how long it would last – there’s a big difference between 5 and 7.   However I believe the photo above: Charlie holding a shell he found himself on an exploration round a rocky headland whilst illustrating his love of a fine sarong proves that nothing has yet changed..

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He’ll happily have flowers in his hair..

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Or braids.  (When the girls had their hair braided..so did Charlie..)

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When we did a wander around Covent Garden and Soho, to both find the BFG dream jars..and do a sneaky vintage shop trawl.  All Charlie wanted was his own bow tie!

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We did another shop, getting ready for the new term…he chose and black felt cap with ears (which he then wore to the Oval for the England v Pakistan test match)

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A bag with pink tassels, a polka dot shirt and a sheepskin lined embroidered jacket..

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All from Zara girl! (far better colours than the boys section I was told)

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I think he’s going to be OK – they haven’t subverted him yet!

Long may it last!

Laters, Kate x

 

Maria Black x

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There’s something special about wearing simple jewellery in the summer months when everything becomes a little less pressured and a little more precious.

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Maria Black Jewellery combines beautiful lines with artistry – she wants you to wear her pieces with individuality and freedom like a single cloud on a hot day.

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Ideas to embrace.

Laters, Kate x

Stunning Storets x

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This is a new label for me: Storets (based in the States, but they do free shipping, even internationally for any purchases over $75) Their USP sings a happy siren song: Interesting fashion with a feminine element that won’t break the bank.

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Prices are roughly $60 – $150..but they look a million dollars – like straight off a red hot catwalk with the cats licking their paws to cool them down.

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The only downside is – and this could be due to the season winding down – when I looked, the only sizes available were small. Maybe that’s how they keep their prices so low..

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I can only hope they expand. In more ways than one.

Laters, Kate x

Special Spetses x

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This is where we’ve been, so this re-cycled post seems fitting..

 

My connection to the island of Spetses goes back two generations when my grandparents were first offered land there to build a holiday home away from the pollution of Athens.  They’d travelled to Greece from the highlands of Scotland following the depression – the story goes that my Grandfather, Robert Mackenzie, a Classics Scholar, was offered a job sweeping the floor of the EMI factory.  Something went wrong with one of the machines and he fixed it..and then rose quickly through the ranks to become managing Director of EMI in Greece at a very special time: it was the cheapest place in Europe to record and make records and consequently drew talent talent from across the board from the Beatles to Maria Callas.  My father was born there, although he was sent back to boarding school in the Lake District at aged five..it used to take him two days of travel by plane with a pit stop in Rome to get home, all in a converted Lancaster Bomber.

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In my grandparents time, this house was the inspiration for John Fowles’s book, The Magus – he taught English at the once famous school (now a conference centre) on the island, said to be the Greek equivalent of Eton, he would walk all over the island in the quiet of the winter months in search of solitude and ideas.  The house was owned by an eccentric millionaire and was then (before the great fire: another story) hidden from view by layers of huge pine trees.  As a child, I went there for tea with my Grandmother to be shown faberge eggs and ancient seals.  I don’t remember it, but I do remember the millionaire ended up in jail for forging an ancient land deed..with a biro.

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Just down the valley  is the bay where my parent’s house is…virtually unchanged. This picture is taken from the balcony of my sister’s parents-in-law’s house….Greece lies deep within the family blood and it’s special to have a proper Greek family that has linked the time and generations together.

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My sister’s In-law’s house is next door to Madame Pourri’s on the hill – she’ll be ninety this year and is still going strong with a swim every day…….she was evacuated on the same boat with my grandmother and my father as a small child when the Germans invaded in the Second World War…first to Egypt, then eventually to South Africa.

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They spoilt us with a treat normally reserved for Easter…roast lamb..my absolute favourite!

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Bella and Charlie are now the third generation to enjoy this special place and it’s unique atmosphere, where even walking on water is possible…

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Spetses is famous for it’s pine tress, crystal clear waters and the coloured stones on the beaches: yellow, green, pink..each one a gem.

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It’s very much an Athenian resort island with a siren call to all the big yachts of the Mediterranean and a play ground for the super rich….but always over seen by Laskarina Bouboulina…an incredible lady with seven children from Spetses who became an General of the Greek fleet and an Admiral of Russia and led the Greek navy in the battle of independence against the Turks….Greece will always be a land of beauty, mystery and contradictions where anything..absolutely anything is possible…

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Leaving, as we arrived on a speed boat – we were all sad to go, but we had another adventure ahead of us..to the island of Lefkada…and we’ll be back….it’s only au revoir..

 

Laters, Kate x