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Friday, March 12, 2010


I love the weekend newspapers, don't you?
You can take your time, sip a cuppa, do the Crosswords and Suduko without the need to hurry somewhere.
I love the Travel section especially.
We are so far from everywhere except New Zealand and I've grown up learning the history of England and Europe and always longed to go there to see it all.

At last I 'm managing to do that, I've spent a short time in Ireland and Scotland, seen some of Alaska and explored the Rockies around Jasper and  Bamff and the lovely Vancouver.

But the best holiday of all was three months exploring England -- the fantastic cities of London, Oxford, Cambridge, York and the glorious countryside of Cornwall, the Cotswolds, the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Wiltshire and Kent.

So imagine my interest when I came upon this headline in the Saturday paper's Travel section.

Oh no I thought! This is what I love about England.

I look around at all the new houses here and there is a very definite change.
There used to be variety, a whole lot of different styles of house
Australian Colonial, Spanish, Square modern boxes, two storey, One storey, Mediterranean Villas.....
on and on the styles went.

Now if you drive through a new housing estate there is not that variety any more, the houses all have similar features:
square portico at the front,
one level,
shutters decorate the portico
water features,
rendered bricks painted cream, or mushroom , or taupe !!!!!

Inside is usually bare, minimalist, and cream ( or taupe, cinnamon or coffee )

Now I know a hot climate lends itself to this style...
but I love the old style - warm , welcoming, looking like a family lives there with their bits and pieces on show, their photos scattered around where they can be enjoyed,  but tidy too.

 I'll be going back to England, because I love this.


Well that's my rant for today!



  1. What a great find in the paper. I just love England, even if I've only been to London. I so, want to see more of this country. Especially, a little village like Luc lives in. Too cool.... Let's go crash at Sue's. She probably needs our help with all those squares.


  2. Great idea and Spring is coming. I've already lived an English spring and there can't be much better than that.

    Look out Sue we're on our way!!!

  3. "Charismatic Clutter".. I like it. I go with that description 100%.
    I always like to think that it is the clutter that that turns a 'house' into a 'home'.
    Gives it that 'lived-in' feel.

  4. Oh you are funny Kate!
    Hi Helen,
    I too love the old homes. I love to go Spring time when the Daffodils have just come out, walk around the gardens of a beautiful old house.
    Talking of Daffodils. A very small bunch today in the florist has gone up from 60p to £1.50. Just bought my Mother some purple freesias for Mothers DAy tomorrow and they have gone up £3.00 a bunch! Not that I mind spending on Mom. But such a rip off because of the special day. So that was £8.00 a bunch. Scandulous really, but my Mom is worth it!
    I can just imagine you both siting relaxing reading the papers. We don't get much time in this house to do that!
    Have a great weekend. Karin has done us proud on SIBOL!
    lOVE TO YOU Suex

  5. How sad if it's true! I love homes full of character and items that are well loved on display. My French friend's home is full of antiques and items of sentimetal value mixed in with some new and beautiufl modern stuff and it really works and is a one off as it reflects her character and life. My home definitely has both new and old items although nothing of any real value ie antiques sad to say!

    Many thanks for your comment on my post and yes K is going to Sydney. Thanks for your offer and I will definitely let you know if she needs to take it up at any time. My sister-in-law lives in Melbourne so at least that is one contact she has!

    Enjoy your trip to France - apparently they had snow this past week in the Limoges area!

    Jane x

  6. Lucky girl to have travelled to those parts of the world. They are definitely on the top of my list.
    I love old "stuff", it has so much character and life. I think you will find there are quite a few of us who will doing anything to keep it going

  7. Don't worry M'Lady, shabby chic is very much alive and well here in England. Owners of older properties stick with this homey, textures and slightly faded style because it works with the uneven walls, wonky floorboards and flowery gardens. I am gradually filling up my new sparkly kitchen with family clutter and pictures. It looks much better to me, now it is "lived in".

  8. Hi Helen, just trying to catch up with everyone! Well my house is definately shabby chic (probably more shabby than chic, but I love it)! We need to decorate and lots of mags go for minimalism - can't stand it - need my things around me - now Country Living thats the magazine for great shabby chic - great to catch up with you Lady! **Kim**x

  9. Hi Helsie,
    You asked about St. Patrick's Day here in the states. Well, St. Patrick's Day is big in cities where there is a large Irish population here in the states. It was big in Chicago where we lived for almost 26 years - they would turn the river green and have a big parade. I've been told I have some Irish on my Mother's side (her mom's side). I don't normally decorate for it but since I'm hosting BUNCO for March and the date (3rd Wed. of the month) landed on St. Patrick's Day that will be my theme this Wednesday. My Mom always liked to celebrate the holiday. But it is bittersweet for me now because my Mom passed away on St. Patrick's Day. I'm sure she wouldn't want me to be sad so maybe it's for the best to have the BUNCO gang here. Imagine 12 women all together - all talking at once - that's BUNCO.

    Teacup Lane (Sandy)

  10. Minimalist is rather trendy. I must say I like a balance. I hate lots of clutter but here's got to be things around the place that give it character and give hints as to the occupier's character.
    The buildings in that article looked Costwoldy.
    I never reap papers, you know. But I do like articles like that, and not hte stuff that passes for "news" (don't get me started!)