Apron strings become wings.

Guilty.  Guilty for holding on too dear.  Guilty for first thing in the morning and last thing at night thoughts of you..  For praying as hard as humanly possible for safety, for bravery, for love, endless love in your lives.  Guilty, guilty, guilty for hanging on long past the ‘perfect moment for letting go.’

The day my son told me he wanted to join the Armed forces, I cried.  My blue eyed, blond haired boy. The one I hated other little boys for bullying, or feeling second to at times. The one holding onto me as the new had him at cautious. No one hurts my boy, no matter his age. No-one makes my babies cry and gets away with it.  Harboured vengeful thoughts for those who did not invite my children to their birthday parties.  The joy of watching them run, play games, going to their first dance. Cried tears of joy at the sunbeams, the tutus, the prizes won. Held through the night.  Kept the letters to Santa and the tooth fairy.  Held their childhoods in my hand, in my heart, and forgot about the time they would grow up and leave.

Guilty for holding on too long. 

Truth is:  when the world got ugly I had you.  When relationships broke and others left, I had you.

Truth is: I need to stand on my own, knowing that I have done my best, loved the most, proud of everything you have become.  Son, daughters, children of my being.  I sort of did not know how I was going to go on without the control of being the centre of your lives, how I was going to become the centre of my own life again. Again, gosh, that’s awkward – I can’t remember ever being that. From daughter to wife to mother to now. I didn’t get the handbook on that one.  So perhaps I have held on more tightly than I should, for selfish reasons I know now, but in thinking this through … it’s ok.  It’s never going to mean I am not there for you, all the time, or stop praying and wishing and hoping for my reasons.

But those apron strings need to go.  Momma needs to fly on her own. Talk about giving you wings, I have to grow my own now, big white ones that take me from my comfort zone into a different place and it’s exciting, and scary and dare I say, about being all grown up. All of us being all grown up.

I know you have me in the your hands, in your hearts.  Your home is always in my soul. The thing is, the thing is, you getting wings and flying away from your childhoods, is me getting wings too. We are all going to take the plunge, dive and swoop, clip them and soar in our own directions. New at this letting go thing, but I am your wind beneath your wings as you are mine.

My son is the most interesting, ambitious and interesting man I have ever known and I could not be prouder.  He is a great achiever and I shall be the embarrassing mother with her fascinator on her head with the camera! My daughters are independent, gentle, strong and have the most golden cloud lives ahead – I did good. Better than good – being a mother is the best of me I have ever been. More than – I am beginning anew, just like my babies and we will have a different kind of adventure.

Still there for the calls.  The ‘Oh Mom’ times. Now I have to become the brilliant me, and home?  Home is never far away.  Home is me.

Images: lisa, lisa no cult and mom.


Hello Grace and Frankie. Oh dear, watched it all!


Not a series addict. TV is fine for a while but get into something that makes me want to see the next episode – Grace and Frankie are it.  For all the right reasons.

For once, a series that deals with the Silver Street part of our lives. In all it’s mayhem and glory.  Getting older sucks part of the time, a lot of the time actually, what with the empty nest syndrome, the menopause and barren womb syndrome, the grey divorce syndrome, the taking care of parents and loss syndrome – it seems there is little to look forward to …

But there is and this series, with two of the most enchanting and diverse actors, is uplifting.  Women who spill the beans and rant the rants but remain exciting, sexual, career orientated and mothers. And the very best of friends.

Times an episode can tell the ‘other generation’ more than we feel we are able to.

Whatever shall I do until the next series which may only be in a year’s time.  Perhaps it should be, taketh motivation and get out there and live to the full – we have many sisters doing it already.

Oh, and I want that beach house.

Images: hookedonhouses, pinterest 

A special Thank you to Peter Mayle – always ‘A Good Year.’

“Look at those vines,’ he said. ‘Nature is wearing her prettiest clothes.’
The effect of this unexpectedly poetic observation was slight spoiled when Massot cleared his throat nosily and spat, but he was right;”
– Peter Mayle – A year in Provence

It’s difficult to think of a time when Peter Mayle was not in my life.  Always in the background of my romance with France, my discovery of Provence, my blankie of comfort when the world was too rough and people too mean, it would be me and my go to movie, ‘A Good Year.’

His words were friends of mine.

Treasure hunting film locations in the Luberon.

Reminders that the quiet, the silence, the simplest things in life are golden gifts.


His words made my world so pretty.

My mother loved his books and I told her all about the places there.

The quill lies quiet, characters immortalised but none new will take us through the scraggy paths of Menerbes, of Gorde and Bonnieux –  into the shops and alleyways and back doors of people who are living there.  

Didn’t want to write more today, just to say … I shall miss you in my life.  I have you in my life.

“We had been here often before as tourists, desperate for our annual ration of two or three weeks of true heat and sharp light. Always when we left, with peeling noses and regret, we promised ourselves that one day we would live here. We had talked about it during the long gray winters and the damp green summers, looked with an addict’s longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window.” – A year in Provence.

You got to live a little of the dream, for all of us.  Thank you.

Images Pintrest

Would you hire you? How to get what you want …

  Got the right attitude to take it all on?


So you made up your mind today…

You’re going for it.  Applying for the job you really want, pitching for  the project you know is perfect for you. Write that blog, submit your portfolio, do the business.  Are you are going to own it?  Be the ideal candidate and impress the world?

Before you leap forth into this new chapter, ask yourself one question: Would YOU hire YOU ?

It’s a confidence booster, a check list and the simplest way to evaluate how you will be perceived. By asking yourself, if you, given the opportunity to be the other, would be so impressed as to hire you/read your blog/love your designs and so on. 

Stop for a minute and think of all the qualities you look for in a potential employee.  A boss.  A client.  What would that be, what would you look for, make you the ideal candidate? 






Go for the strike three’s.  And this is how you do it.

Strike One.  That first impression.

Never going to get the opportunity again. Meeting a client in a track suit and hoodie (unless you are recruiting for a girl band/athletic meet or underground activity), is not going to be a good idea.  Spend money.  Be the most striking woman they have met in a long time, the most powerful woman in application, the most ‘I can handle anything’ woman in the room.  We would not love fashion as much if it did not give us joy – harness the way you want to feel and channel it into the impression you want to deliver through your first look – your first impression.  Actually, you should feel like this every single day – empowering yourself is what it’s all about.

Assured in the fact that you look good, amazing actually, what else would make you the one desirable candidate for the brief?

Strike Two:  The Pitch

The Inner Goddess is ready and waiting to deliver.  What you say, how you say it … this is going to separate you from all the other potentials.  You have the experience, the know how, the wisdom needed, now you need to vocalise it in such a way as to stop the music, still the room, have them hanging on every word, silently nodding that you are the one.  Be confident – not always easy – knowing that you can deliver the goods.  Back up any statement you make.  Keep it succinct, to the point without the flattering, the apologising, the giggling and stammering. Give it all the power of a lioness backed up with a stunning CV.  You know you are right for the job, now let them know it in the smartest way you know.

Be the swan – glide like it’s all easy and paddle like the devil underneath.

Strike Three – The Delivery

Are you able to deliver?  The buds are about to bloom and you are about to close the deal.  Stop for a second and think:  is this what you really want, and if you do, are you able to deliver on the pitch, have the first impression be the lasting impression – are you substance rather than fluff?  If you believe this, with your whole heart, you are going to deliver the best of you and your journey of success is on it’s way. 

If you think yourself the person who is looking for the just the right person for the job, and what you offer is enough for you to hire you, you have to tell yourself just one more thing …

You are an ace. A unique asset. You have what it takes to show everyone just how amazing you are.

And finally, go for it! Never hold yourself back, from anything in life. You owe it to yourself.

Images: the daily mail, pinterest


The Jean pant thing.

‘I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.’

Yves Saint Laurent

Times I curse throwing out any of my jeans, dating all the way to the 70’s: should rather have had a treasure chest up in an attic somewhere, just for jeans past.  They all told a story; 

  • remember the sewing of butterflies, flowers and sunny sun’s with smiles and rays and everything? And at least one peace sign all “Hair’ and hippy like. Braids at the bottom.
  • Jeans flared at the bottom, like masts on a sailing ship.
  • My sister had tie dye jeans that looked like trees climbing up her legs.
  • Lying on the floor at Uni, trying to get the zip up.
  • Getting into wet jeans because we believed they would fit better if they dried on us. What were we thinking?
  • Salt washed, ripped, high waisted, button up and fifty shades of blue, my treasure chest of jeans would have brought back a million memories.

Hindsight, my old jeans would have been my children’s fashion item, because the truth is, I would never have been able to fit into them now.  Oh dear, there it is, I said it! Ugh, ugh, ugh!


But, but she says, not even close to the big ass Mum pant, up there under the diaphragm, Hindenburg covering stomach, enough blue denim to sort out a squadron – but I am looking more a new pair of jeans. So, any ideas as to what I should choose?

Been out of the jean dating scene for some time, wearing the old faithfuls with a keen inkling to add to the jean portfolio, but here in London, so many shops that … sell jeans.  So many different sizes that don’t say 34,36 or whatever but leg this and waist this and let’s face it, those little death boxes with the sadistic lighting will never convince me this is the pair … so I sort of need to do something I have never done before:

Jean research

This could be serious.  Could require detective skills of note.  Could even motivate water in favour of food to allow for the best conditions for the union. 

Jean pant out there somewhere, you have my name on you.  Admittedly there was a time when I though nah, am getting too old for the blue in tight, in favour of gym pant comfort and oh Lord, thank goodness I got over that one after two months of gym pant with dressing gown fashion.  I am back to sassy and the old jean pants will not be forsaken but treasure chest in attic pretend bound.

If you have any great tips for Silver Street Jeans shopping, let me know!

Images pintrest, vogue



Observations from behind the apron.

Thank the Pope for the end of the holidays.  Love them, indulge and then get totally over it. Life must have structure she says.  All that eating, drinking and trying to remember what day of the week it is … too many left over chocolates conflicting with the resolutions.  So she rises in the dark of London … lights on at five am … yuck … thrilled to hear the tubes working and off to the ‘other job’.  Yay, life is moving again.

For the newbies, I am travel consultant/event planner/writer and part time waitron.  The latter gets me out of my little abode that can at times become trying and into social engagement. I disappear behind an apron and try to remember the orders, which all of you, be a little more compassionate with this brain and all those silly requests for extra hot/one shot/almond milk/a little more foam but no foam and put it on the side sort of thing.  I don’t mind, I am floating above all over you and whilst you ponder the Silver something behind the apron, I in turn prattle, enquire and entertain.  And observe – life in a café is a life lesson of note.

You reveal all your stories.

Keep mine close.

Today there were tears.  She is meeting her ex to discuss the schedule for children caught between their letting go of each other. Both defensive and staring at diaries rather than each other.  She has heard bad news, trying to smile but her eyes are maps of her misery over the espresso.

He misses home in Australia. It’s tough spending the winter here on his own and all resolve to forge a new life is waning in the missing. Feels left out from it all back home – the smiling and saying it’s all good wanes with the need to chat.

Her child shifts the eggs around on her plate.  Mother on the mobile, not with her. Dealing with the world, but not with her.

A flat white and a slice of banana bread to pass the time.  She is alone, her Silver hair speaks volumes of figuring out what to do next.

The three year old boys faces a barrage of entrance tests to get into the right school. He wants to read books, mother wants to groom him to get it right and the competition is fierce.

Discussing the next safari – but where to go?  I say nothing but it is not easy. 

Bringing all the post with them. Christmas cards to be dealt with – they have been away and life has happened in the meantime. Unopened they tear them one by one, it is past … someone took the time to send them wishes. I clear the table to dispose of the wishes.

London wakes to the New Year.  Going back to work.  Shall I see the regulars asking for a discount?  Have some changed jobs, locality, have some taken that leap and changed everything?  Around the world have some taken a resolve to begin again, move house, change jobs, relationships?  In this little space much has changed since Christmas, and little has too.

‘Thank God you are still here.’ happened.

And I am still here. I know your favourites.  Your little scenes you think I don’t notice. You know little of me and that is the way it should be. Behind the apron I gather stories, make friends, give solace and learn.  I always learn from you.

Good to be in this space. I grow and gather.

Never stop learning, and listening and realise, as I do, that life is life for everyone – and then you make the choices.

Wow, it is awesome and I am going to take each story, everyday I am behind the apron, to high five life and to realise that the fat lady is far from singing.

I kind of like the idea that I have pushed myself out there, to learn a little more, take it all in and build a life anew.  Far cry from the past of madam had it everything, but close to the life madam is going to embrace.  The apron will not last forever, but the memories of being empowered, will.

As a student I spent all my free time being a waitron.  I earned my way. It changed my life, my direction in my studies and taught me so much.  Now, forty years later I am the waitron again, with a little more strain on the body, but not in spirit, I have gone back to learn, and remind myself that observing others is the way to stand back, behind the apron, and in time, leap into a new direction.

And if you, in your Silver Street time, are feeling a little lost, a little unaccepted or unloved – go find an apron. You are never too old to begin again …


Image: mylittleparis



The New Year.


We get another chance at this thing called Life.

A blank page,

a heart still beating.

Renewed magic in our veins.

Words in the new chapter,

Sketching on another’s soul,

Fierce love.



My New Year’s wish for you …

Flowers – everyday.  Every, every day. Big bouquets. Huge, I mean huge bouquets for you.

Grandeur – everyday.  Wonder and awe.  Big ideas, bold moves, elegance and grace. Grand gestures, big dance moves, grand jetes higher and further than you have ever dared.

Adventure – everyday.  New destinations.  Diving deep.  Soaring and sipping champagne. A new language, lover’s promises, head heady with plans.


Peace – everyday.  Silent repose.  Dawn fresh mornings.  Coffee in quiet places.  Serenity in situations. Calm in confusion.  A definitive sigh of something well done.  Kindness in giving, comfort in cashmere and love.


and most of all …

Bravery – everyday.  Never to doubt your ability or yourself.  To take those tough decisions and stick to your dreams.  To find the strength of conviction.  The power to apologise. Be fair. Stand your ground and fight for those who need you. Always fight for love.

I see the Wonder Woman in you – now go and make this year count you beautiful person.

Images: Pintrest, paristoversailles,keywordsuggest, Forbes.

Let’s go on an adventure! Beginning with Paris …

In my Silver Street time, looking back, I have travelled most of the world, and grateful for it.  And then we sort of settle on those places we find so enchanting, so alluring, so a little of ourselves, and return again and again.

Not sure about your love of places like these, but for me, there are three in particular.  I live in London and so this city has my heart. I know every inch of her and my passion is shared by those I take around to discover her in more detail. There are the unusual places, the non tourist places that I have discovered and take my clients too, to show them that there is more to this gorgeous place, her people and history that continues to enthralled me every day.  

Then there is Paris.  What can I say?  I return again and again, sometimes alone, times to show my clients the nuances of this special place that breathes love, architecture, shopping and a history rich in all her folds. Times I take my clients for a single day, times for a few days, including Pére La Chaise, Versailles and Giverney.  Indulging in art, history and the city.  At present planning a trip for a group who have never been to Versailles. No-one leaves Paris untouched. I never do.

Staying overnight in Versailles is an incredible experience. We are of the illustrious days of the Sun King, the Marie Antoinette, wealth and treason – human beings caught up in a time of change.  Cannot wait to share this with my group.

And then, and then.  There is South Africa. My homeland, my birthplace and the retuning is always my heart place.  Safari’s, beaches, wine lands of beauty that still takes my breath away. Most of my clients are repeat clients, having lost their hearts to South Africa and every trip is a different experience.

So diverse, I know.  But these are the places I choose to share with my clients. Single travellers, groups, couples and people who want to experience the beauty of these places that I have invested my time, my research, and my love in.  How lucky am I?  It has taken many years for me to discover that these three places have all that inspires me, that I adore and want to share with others. 

This is my business.  Planning events and travel to these three amazing destinations, each so different, so exceptional and for me, the consummate experience of my life.

So where ever you are, before the year closes, choose to go on an adventure – break away from the norm and challenge yourself.  You may be reticent to travel alone, or to a new destination, but I can tell you, it is all good.  It is all possible, and if you want to discover London, Paris or the plains and perfection of South Africa, I am here to tell you, it’s possible!

If you have one resolution for 2018, let it be to push the boundaries, discover the new, take the leap, be it on your own or with someone else, but go for it.  Choose adventure, life changing adventure and never second guess yourself. 

These destinations? The best, the bravest and the most interesting in life. This is why I have travelled and chosen – London for the greatest city, Paris for love and meaning, South Africa for layers of self discovery.  All will change you.  And excite you.  And I am with you all the way if you want the most exciting time of your life.

Sunset at Sacré Couer. Cocktails on the South bank or a fire around a boma in the Kruger Park, this is the temptation and the invitation to travel, and find adventure in the New Year with me. Travel, travel and be whole in 2018.

I shall be doing all of it – and would love you to come along…

Images And beyond, etsy and paris info

Find the beautiful. Inspirational makeover.

Am in love with this room.

Found this picture a while ago, and not sure about you, once in a while a picture, a moment, a quote or even a view gives a little shiver of joy to the heart. I don’t even know where it is, who took the photograph but it gives me great pleasure and spurs me into dreaming.

Spurs me into action

It has been awhile since the muse of beautiful decor has lived in my home.  The pinboard a little dated, the dust a thin layer on my life.  In our Silver Streets we have often collected and decorated and sort of remain stuck with it all, being neither inspired or willing to change.

And then a picture gets my attention

I may not have the mansion, or the country home

But I have a space that requires an update

Going shopping

Image – someone amazing took it and if you know who it is, let me know so I can give them the credit.

It’s ok to live in the past. Don’t leave your heart there … blood rush exists.

If you’re looking for me, I the one reaching for the Vitamin D.  Days last sun came, and this winter is  rather trying.  It’s post Christmas and the shiny lights don’t do it for me anymore – the mere thought of grey skies until whenever, sans any tan lines, leads to introspective everything.  It’s ok.  Perhaps we need this hibernation of body and soul to reflect, but also to plan.

Tonight I find myself alone, waiting for the impending marriage this weekend of the father of my children, who are all on that shore for the celebration.  I am allowed the shadow on my soul.

A dear friend misses her husband, now gone 17 years ago and as she said, time only allows you to live a different kind of life, but the missing never goes away.

Watched the most depressing, and awful movie about two women who try to recapture their past but they are clearly as awful as the film for not adapting to the times.

My intuitive and gorgeous daughter kindly reminded me that all the stories I ever speak of are ones in the past.  I am effectively a ‘When we’ and I reluctantly, but admittedly find myself doing this – which is totally unfair to them, and to myself.

Is it this Silver Time though?  Have we reached the arc of experience only to find ourselves slipping life into the memories that were, plodding with life now rather than embracing and challenging her instead?  Have we effectively lived our lives and now find ourselves living through others, being reactive rather than proactive?  Why would this be?

Clearly, this generation have fumbled, been victorious, failed and achieved rather a lot in the our lifetimes – our book has chapters within, some great and some not so great, but do we continue to subject those we love, and ourselves to this memory trip and does that in turn become a defeatist forward failing? All around me I see Silver Streeters smiling only for grandchildren, wait for family to visit, get through the day and at every opportunity speak of the past as if it were our only point of reference – which is so sad.  So, so sad. I honestly cannot think of a conversation with my friends that did not refer only to where and what the children are doing.  Their days, and mine are governed by the expectation of others coming into theirs.  How wonderful if I heard a friend saying they are beginning a new business, going scuba diving or taking a lover.  Going to dye their hair blue, climb something (preferably the lover) and smash into 2018 without caution or regret.

Having said that, we are also warriors and captors of the past.  Our hearts have soared and broken so many times.  This may just be the time that we stop to really think about it.  And we are allowed to.  Sometimes we want to remind our children and friends that the good times did exist, that happiness was manifest, our egos took preference and love was physically and spiritually perfect. We are allowed to be ‘when we’s’ for our when we’s were amazing. Now our hearts break when children leave, relationships end and people die.  It happens at this time.  We downsize, miss our gardens, find exercise just a tad straining.  We don’t run anymore. We drink pills, and wine and our eyesight fails us. Clothes don’t fit, menopause is a bitch and we slump, in every way.  So we try to remind all, and ourselves that we were once the hectic, amazonian wonder women.  Or are we still?

We are.  Throw out all the ‘Get over it’ announcements.  Don’t get over it, all of it, but don’t let it define you, as it has me for far too long. Change is scarier at this Silver Street time, the odds are stacked just a little more, but I for one am a long way from knitting and accepting it – needed to wallow and nurse the broken threads that held my life together, but in all honesty, even I am getting tired of the story.  My friend is allowed to mourn forever, we all are, but only if it does not turn our hearts to ancient stone of memories and prevents us from finding new ones, our own ones.

Living in the past is beautiful, only if it spurs us on and doesn’t hold us trapped. Admitting to loss and pain is part of the healing.  We have nurtured and fought for and I think part of the when we thing is also a new found anxiety of having to face being just you – no parents, no partner, no children, and some no more friends. 

Tonight, in the midst of winter …

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.’ Camus

My friend, mourn, talk about the one you miss as much as you want.

I will talk about the past incessantly.  

Don’t leave your heart in the past – she still gets a blood rush if you let her for the future.

Tomorrow we will kick some ass.


Images Peintres