the week that was — week ending Friday 9th September 2016


My week that was. It’s been a lovely quiet week, just playing with Jack, enjoying the early spring sunshine and getting outside, and having some great luck at a couple of op shops sprinkled in-between.

On Saturday we had an impromptu beach visit, and I was amazed to see how bright and blue the sea looked, even at this time of year. I really fell in love with the Victorian coast over the last summer, and we went there almost everyday over the Christmas holidays, as, in the third trimester, being in the sea was the only time I was comfortable! It’s quite a thing, for this London girl, to be able to just jump in the car and be at a beautiful beach minutes later. For the first time in my life since moving to Australia, I’m really, really looking forward to summer!

On Saturday evening we went to a party at Preston Zly shoes’ studio, with Leeyong and Estelle, and of course my tiny second guest came too.


Spring officially sprang over the weekend, although lots of trees were already at it 6 weeks ago. Some have been more timely, like these ones in my mother-in-law’s garden, and the one I can see from her kitchen window.


I think of this as a kind of Season Tree, as it acts out each season clearly. I feel very grateful to still live somewhere with seasons that change quite dramatically. The tree puffed out into cloud with little warning and looks very fresh and lovely against the stormy grey skies.


There’s been white fluff elsewhere too. It’s mostly been beautiful sunny weather, in spite of those threatening clouds, and it’s warmed up sneakily; one morning we realised that not only had we not turned the heater on, but we’d left the window open over night and still weren’t feeling cold. Babycat has enjoyed plenty of romps in the garden, and I’ve been brushing her regularly because a. she loves it, and b. because she’s doing some serious moulting. I leave the handfuls of soft discarded fur for the birds to use in their nests, and was chuffed to actually see one hop down onto the grass, take up a fluffy clump larger than itself in its tiny beak, and fly off with it.


Pictures of cats’ tongues are the best.


The fruit trees are blossoming in time with the calendar. The nectarine and peach trees both have similar pale pink blossoms…


… and the apricot tree’s are white. The bees have been very busy…

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And so has Jack! He loves playing with his nonna, and is so happy to finally be able to play outside on the grass. We’re making the most of the sunny mornings before the UV gets too much.


The lemon tree is looking great.


Hopefully the new nectarine tree will bear fruit this summer.


Speaking (again, ahhh!) of summer, I did some thrift shopping over the weekend and found a couple of things for when it gets hot: a cotton dress with soft rope tie straps and a large floral print in navy, yellow and golden browns that makes me think of the 1970s, and a red onesie thingy with cream embroidery.


I also found some wintry things, too, including a beautifully soft green and blue wool skirt (my favourite colours, like the ocean) and parka complete with a faux fur trim on the hood. I’ve been looking for a parka for ages, so I was chuffed to stumble on this one. I’ll get to wear it in London, too, where it’ll be very useful as it cools down into winter while I’m there. I think I’ll be shocked at how cold a London November can be!

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spring blossoms and white lace

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We are celebrating spring officially now in Melbourne, and I’m definitely making the most of it. Blossoms galore! And posey pictures galore, too, tongue very much in cheek..!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to admit it, but this did start as a fashion blog and it is still, deep down, somewhere (!) or at least it does still mention clothes, and I do still love them… anyway, my point is that the dress in my last post is not a favourite. I love the idea of it but it’s made out of a synthetic that feels like thin sandpaper, and I’m a natural fibres girl from way back!

However, I do love some white lacey bits for warmer weather, and I recently found this top at my local Salvos. Made of ramie, it feels so nice to wear, and the nod toward Victorian and Edwardian stylings with the high neck, and fine buttons up the back, are very much things that have always appealed to me.

On the same Salvos visit, I found these midnight blue corduroy trousers, 100% soft cotton and with a slight flare, by J Crew. I’ve been rifling through racks of cord pants for many months, and when I felt these I knew they were special. The colour is a favourite of mine, too, and then came the lucky bit – they are my size! I actually had to take a bit of a risk with them as I can’t fit the pram in the changing room with me at this particular Salvos, so I trusted the label, and my gamble paid off.

Worn with a vintage belt and my knee high, light tan heeled boots, it matched my slight 1970s mood perfectly.

Now, after some serious blossom pictures, Jack wanted in too!

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white lace top and dark blue flared cords :: Salvos

belt :: vintage

boots :: Midas

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6 months old

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Just a few minutes away from where I live is a very large bush, or perhaps, being so big, it is actually a tree, and in spring it bursts into a cloud of pale pink blossoms. It is quite something to see. Every day I either walk or drive past it, and, as winter ends, the tiny red buds soon become visible, first just one or two, and then it’s in full bloom within a week.

It was in front of this fairy floss puff my husband took some photos of me one year ago, with my (quite big!) baby belly, and I posted one online to announce my pregnancy.

We decided that it would be nice to take pictures the following year, of me in the same dress, but with our child in my arms.

Well, one whole year has passed, and here is that baby, with us, on the outside!

In some ways it seems like a long time ago, and in others, it’s flown.

It is amazing to look back at that day, trying to make sure the photo was just right (which it never could be; those pregnancy hormones!), and being so conscious of my bump – and not knowing if we were having a boy or girl. And now, our little boy is here, 6 months old, with his own personality and his own place in the world. All those things we wondered about, well, now we know! And we will of course learn much, much more as time goes on. After six months, I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that the second three months were much easier than the first! Which is obviously how it will continue from now on, right..? RIGHT?!!

For years I’d wondered how I would go about blogging when I had a family, and had imagined, even in the months just before falling pregnant, that I would be quite candid online about it. It turned out very differently. Something I’d looked forward to documenting and sharing so very publicly became a quiet, reflective time for me instead, which although unexpected, was really enjoyable. I look back now and although I can still remember how this felt, it already feels like an old, odd habit  – a bit like one of the many strange pregnancy symptoms and side effects that are so good to finally be able to cast off!

So, here he is, my beautiful summer baby, after his first autumn and winter, my (not so!) little boy. He loves being lifted up high (of course he does, being so big and tall and HEAVY, ha! At least my arms benefit), doing areoplanes, laughing when mummy pretends to sneeze, becoming very serious (existential crisis baby!) one moment then giggling the next, and making his mouth into a tiny O at daddy. What an amazing difference one year makes.

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couture and… babies!

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It is not every day I get to swan about in a beautiful couture gown.

No, even before I had my baby, it was hardly the norm for me. As much as I love clothes and a good dressing up occasion, designer gowns were rarely on the menu.

And, while I’ve been pretty lucky in my clothing choices since becoming a mum, and haven’t had to make too many compromises to accommodate the demands of tiny mouths and fingers (although I often have to tie my hair up, because OUCH! a small someone likes to pull it), wearing something really, properly exquisite has not been a pleasure I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy for quite a while!

So when my friend (and mother of a gorgeous bebe just a month older than Jack) Estelle asked if I wanted to take some photos wearing Jason Grech with her, did I take long to think about saying yes?

Reader, I did not.

On the warmest, sunniest day of what was a pretty glorious winter-does-spring week, Estelle and I made a visit to North Melbourne, and had the chance to play dress ups in local designer Jason Grech’s couture gowns.

Not surprisingly, it felt really quite good!

I was also pleased to have the chance to visit the studio where the gowns are made. Not only is it a beautiful building, a historic space with high ceilings behind a terrace of double story Victorians and crisscrossed by cobblestone alleyways – something that has filled me with pure joy to see ever since I moved to Melbourne and found it full of these fairy tale-like worlds – it was a delight for me to see the designer’s work coming to life. Melbourne still has some fashion designers and their ateliers here, and while I might (ahem!) not be able to afford to buy bespoke designer pieces for everyday life, I love to see our talented, skillful local creatives supported and celebrated.

Speaking of which, just a couple of days earlier, I’d had the pleasure of visiting another creative studio, and met several great Melbourne designers. One, Anastasia La Fey, produces distinctive contemporary pieces, and also has a long held love of vintage and working with vintage materials, such as the Victorian ostrich feathers in the headpiece below. And who am I to say no to having a play something imbued with the history of an era I’ve been fascinated by since I was a little girl?!

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First up were the sculptural burgundy gown for Estelle, and the sequinned and harnessed dress for me, complete with a row of tiny loops and buttons down the side, which I always associate with the 1930s and is one of my favourite details of that decade.

Then it was a quick stoll, with babies in prams, back to the studio, where we got our goth on!

As I said, it was a very sunny day, and also a very windy one (as is any day in Melbourne that ends in y), which really made the dramatic features of my dress come to life. Nothing like having your own personal wind machine for a wing + train outfit – at least when you’re facing the right direction!

It was an absolute pleasure to wear things made with such vision, detail, and skill, and from such beautiful fabrics, which draped and swooshed in a way that no high street frock ever could. And feeding my baby in sparkling couture is definitely a stand out memory!

Dressing up on that random weekday was a real joy.

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Estelle: headpiece by The Human Chameleon | Marianne: headpiece by anastasia la fay

all gowns by Jason Grech

special note: Jack’s adorable shorts by my friend and local Melbourne maker extraordinaire Cintia of My Poppet – thank you!

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dark green coat in the cold golden glow

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I really do love winter. While we officially still have a couple of weeks before Spring, it has been very warm here – in fact it’s been all warm sunshine this past week, and yesterday was a sunny 22C. This unusually fair weather has taken me by surprise, and of course meant that my wardrobe has had to adjust to warmer weather clothes too.

However, it still sometimes gets cold as the sun starts to set, and early evening walks with Jack in that cold golden glow have given me some last opportunities to wear favourite winter coats before Spring truly arrives.

This green 1940s coat is one of those favourites. It is very soft, very heavy, and falls beautifully, and I love the little mini-cape-like detail. As with the coat in my last post, it is very very warm to wear. That’s the amazing, old fashioned quality for you!

In fact the only potential downside with this coat, and the one that caused some hesitation before I bought it, is the colour. I love the dark green, blue-er than bottle green but still warm, but it isn’t a shade I’d wear with many other colours. I like it with black, especially as the trim is black, but perhaps some more adventurous pairings can be a challenge for me over the next few weeks.

And, as I write this, it is pouring with rain and really quite chilly again, so maybe I’ve got a few more chances to take my winter warmers for a spin after all!

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coat ~ vintage, from etsy (I can’t remember the seller and I’ve lost my old login details so I can’t look them up!)

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