Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Our By Invitation subject for April  { APRIL ….. ARGHHHHHH !!!! } is Life's Luxuries.

But, what does luxury mean to you ?

….. would it be a castle ? …..

….. or a cottage ? …..

….. caviar ? …..

….. or cake ? …..

….. hot tub ? …..

….. or herbaceous border ? …..

….. would luxury for you be a Patak Philippe watch ? …..

….. or a week in Provence ? …..

….. a Lambourghini ? …..

….. or laughter ? …..

….. shoes ? …..

….. or sunsets ? …..

….. fashion ? …..

….. or friendship ? …..

A couple of years ago,  the Daily Mail conducted a survey on modern life's little luxuries. Amongst other similar things, top of the list was an after work pint or glass of wine, a weekly take-away and tucking into a box of chocolates ! Researchers found that everyday activities like having a soak in the bath and watching a box set as luxuries.
The survey showed that buying flowers for one's self was also a luxury.
Affordable items like magazines, thick toilet rolls { !! } and new lipsticks and nail varnish were classed as luxuries, showing that it didn't have to be something lavish and expensive and that the things that make you smile can be fairly modest.

What luxury is top of your list ?

For luxury in abundance, Marsha has all of the links.

Wishing you all a luxurious week, whatever it may be.  


image 1: via personality tutor, images 2 & 3: via pinterest, image 4: via respect mag, image 5: via ana-rose, image 6: via the sunday times, image 7: via levenshall, image 8: via parisienne gentleman, image 9: via planetpooks, image 10: via autowp, image 11: via pretty sweet, images 12 & 14: via zsa zsa bellagio, image 13: via yan zhang


Sunday, 5 April 2015


Favourite TV programme of the moment ? ……….


Thank you Aidan Turner ….. you are making an old woman very happy !!!!!


image via Facebook


Tuesday, 10 March 2015


Our By Invitation subject this month is Flowers and Fashion …..
Flower Power is back and, sad to say, I was in my late teens / early twenties when it made it's first appearance !! 

I was a mod and spent hours in Biba and went down the Twiggy route rather than the hippy, flowery one.

….. but, even Biba entered into the flowery spirit of it all with  strong pigmented make up with flowery names …..

….. and subtle, ditzy florals in dark browns, burgundys and purples.

For a more Edwardian, feminine look, there was Laura Ashley. You could match your dress to your sofa, to your curtains to your wallpaper if you wanted to !!!!!

….. and now, in 2015, it's all back again.

Not being the biggest fan of florals when it came in in the 1970's, I don't think that I'll be buying into it this time.

I'll stick to reading about flowers …..

picking them …..

….. and growing them !!

I am paying homage to the florals by wearing my new perfume, Maison Martin Margiela Replica Flower Market ….. it really does smell like a flower shop !

Were you wearing florals the first time round { I bet some of you men out there had some flowery trousers !! } and will you be wearing it again this year ?

For more flowery frippery, the other By Invitation contributors will be putting their own take on it so, as usual, Marsha has all of the links.

image 1 & 13: via sleepless, image 2: via byronsmuse, image 3, 5, 7 & 15: via pinterest, image 4: via superseventies, image 6: via barbara hulinicki, image 8: via zsa zsa bellagio, image 9: via john rocha, image 10: via preen, image 11: via kero i am, image 12: via good reads, image 14: via nibs blog


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

ARE YOU BENDY ?!! ……….

I like to think that, at the age of 64 { …. only just 64 !! } I'm still quite bendy !

The other night, at a friend's house, we were remembering how we used to jump up off of the floor, without a thought. 

We then idly wondered if we could still do it ….. our friend's husband tried but couldn't do it { ….. and he is one of the fittest men we know, who cycles a zillion miles every weekend ! } My husband didn't even give it a go …… our friend's wife tried and ….. she did it !
Well, that meant that I HAD to do it.  I placed my feet right behind me as my friend had done and started to push up when ….. POP ….. something snapped behind my knee !!!! There was a great deal of pain and much ' you should have warmed up first ' being mumbled !
Obviously, if I'd warmed up first and I hadn't torn something, I would have done it !!!!

Can you get off of the floor without using your hands or knees ? ….. and …..



image 1: via mixmag, image 2: via a beauty feature, image 3: via sam haskins, image 4: via daily mail


Tuesday, 10 February 2015


Our By Invitation topic for February is ' Do you follow trends when decorating your home ? ' and ' Do you have a look which you repeat often ? ' and was chosen by Penelope Bianchi 

I think that we all follow trends to a certain degree ….. or not …… some people have other interests and their home is a place to eat and to sleep and that is enough. 

 I have always had an interest in houses, old ones in particular. Our home before the one that we live in now was built in the 1640's. Charles 1st was on the throne and The Great Fire of London was still to come !!  In our deeds it said that anyone could knock on our door and had the right to graze their sheep on our lawn. We were paid £5.00 per year for the inconvenience ….. nobody ever did !!  

We have lived in our present house for nearly 30 years. 
In 1895, a Mr. W, Theatrical Costumier and master hairdresser, built a large house called ' Paradise House ', for himself and his wife Elizabeth. He dabbled in property, purchased houses in the east end of London which he rented out and built a few houses in Hertfordshire , including ours and two others either side. These three detached houses were called ' The Briars ', ' The Ivies ' and ours in the middle ' The Laurels '. ' The Ivies ' fell into disrepair and was knocked down and two houses built in it's place. ' The Briars ' is still there but all original features have been removed over the years although, the present owners are gradually putting them back. Our house however, had many original features remaining. Luckily, no one had removed the fireplaces, the original dresser, the sash windows or the stained glass windows and front door.

The above are some of the original fireplaces that we have in our home. When houses were being built in late Victorian England, the builder would go down to the ' fireplace shop ' and choose the fireplaces that he liked . Our house was built in 1895. The beginning of the Art Nouveau style started to be recognised in Britain during the 1880's and our Mr. W, being arty and theatrical, obviously favoured  this new Art Nouveau style and, when he popped down to the fireplace shop, he chose, for me, the most wonderful fireplaces.  
I just have to say that the arched fireplace in the middle of the photograph is the only one that isn't original. It's a reproduction one and is more Georgian than Victorian but, we like it !!

When we moved here in the mid 1980's, Victoriana was the way to go and, our house was a step back in time with festoon blinds, dark colours and Laura Ashley patterned wallpapers. Now, it's the neutral palette of Farrow and Ball, distressed furniture and a Scandinavian feel. 
But, to answer the original question, YES, I do repeat the style that I have chosen in all of the rooms. My personal preference is a neutral palette but, a good friend of mine who is an art teacher has colour everywhere and her home is eclectic and beautiful. Each to their own. I love the fact that we are all different ….. it would be pretty boring if everyone's house was the same wouldn't it ?

I really don't believe that there are any rules. Everyone should choose what they like and go for it ….. after all, it is your home and you have to live there. 
I'm sure that there will be many people who won't like my style and will wonder why I have old French shutters, letters and my Dad's 95 year old christening dress but, I like them !!

To see what other contributors of By Invitation think about interiors and decorating, Marsha has all of the links. 

image 1: via la bonne vie but with my words ! All other images via ME !!