Rainy days and Mondays are perfect.

  ‘Rainy days and Mondays …’  Paul Williams did not like them.  I loved both yesterday.  Don’t love drab, soot cloudy sky in perpetuity, or bone cold, but yesterday, the rain and the beginning of a new week was perfect. No death eaters in sight.

No thinking of them yesterday.  I choose instead to work in the Orangerie, a diamond view of the Kitchen Garden at Ham House. Echoes of 1672 on a rainy day – there is birdsong, and the dripping of drops from the eaves.  Old books, warm kitchen cafe and tea.  Lots of tea.

Standing in what could have been a scene from Bridget Jones, only I waiting for the bus with the huddled in Richmond, narrowly missing the wave of water every time a bus stops here, I knew it would be a long walk.  The House is far for the footed and public bus travellers.  It meant a walk in the rain, with bag, another bag and countryside challenges.  I had three options:  the river walk, which may have swollen and cut off the path, the meadow and turnstiles, possible deep drifts of water and horses to tread lightly past – and the longer, but safer option in the wet.  Longer being the operative word. It’s a Winnie-the-Pooh kind of thing and this was English country living mouse time.

In the quiet of the Orangerie, I sat still.  Worked in stillness. Beginning of the week plans and execution of business, immersion of garden and planting for future crops. The tulips are budding, the ducks conversing on the river and I am telling you this because it all felt … so peaceful. So very English countryside life. Unhurried and uncomplicated which is anything but what some of our lives are in Silver Street.

I work seven days a week.  Commute most of these.  Taken to pencil writing in the diary for all the changes that happen – it’s just the way it is at the moment, so when it rained, was Monday and a good one and I wanted to share it with you.  Times you just have to find the quiet corner and be still.

Would have been a good time to pen a poem, but that was asking a little too much.  Time ran out.

Puddle luscious, drenched and not a care in the world, for a Monday.  Was a good one. A new page didn’t care if the hair went wild kind of day.  Find the same, just for a little while.



You have a voice and it is not a popularity contest.

Considered the worst line ever written – do not begin with ‘it was a dark and stormy night? ‘ If it was, if it is, you begin with … it was a dark and stormy night.

The point is, you write.  I write for so many reasons and I suppose therapy in doing so is one of them.  Writing is my diary, my inspiration, my observations and my solace.  It is my voice, for singing is not a gift I was bestowed with no matter how loud I try, so writing is not only a means to pen the emotions, but a silent ripple that may reach another that has a voice and is a little afraid of using it.

In this day and age, we can do this.

 Imagine Jane Austen right now. Or George Elliot or anyone who spent all that angst and frustration at wondering if their stories would ever be shared? We can do this.  But and I say this as I know many think that social media is part of the story. So let’s talk writing and social media.  When I began to write, and discovered the whole social media thing, I realised that it was a vessel, a way of getting my words out there.  It was, for me, never a platform for popularity.  Many think this, and panic about how many likes they will get, if they are going to be vilified and rejected by someone way out there in the unknown, so twittering and instagramming is great, and useful, but never let it be the standard by which you judge your voice.

In this business I know that companies look at the likes.  Making money from your blog often depends on the amount of followers before someone is willing to sponsor or pay you.  If this is what you want, then go for it – get those soldiers of social media working for you.  I am not for the obvious plugging of anything right now – perhaps some day but right now, saying what it’s like to be at the Silver Street stage of our lives, with all those awful goodbyes, sagging boobs and what it is like to run for the bus with shopping bags is what it is all about. Hate that, breathless beast  I am at doing it, huff and puff, wheeze and wonder. What it is like when it’s all about Insurance and keeping it together when everyone else thinks you have lost it – I don’t write to be popular, I write because it’s all new to me, frigging hard and someone else out there is going to say … hey, that’s me too! I hate the gym, and crocs and pretending everything is peachy when it’s not.

It’s ok to write about the hard stuff at our age. And the good things that come along.  About our memories and children and relationships and going gaga over ballet and a glass of wine with good friends. Being devastated when our parents die, jobs turn out to be ugh, our children leave and sometimes we just don’t know what the future holds.

Do I write to be popular? Guess not.  Do I write because I want to? For sure. And you should too without hesitation or thought because your voice will touch another heart.  It will make you stronger, more focused and at the end of the writing, you will sit back, pull in the muffin stomach, take another sip, thank the music and go … I can do this. Popularity is one thing. Liking yourself is another and it is through the words from your soul that triggers the best part of you.  It is in the learning. Learning is growth. Learning is never about the likes but about you.

It was a dark and stormy night … and I wrote about it. And I woke the next day to find the sun coming through my window which meant … I have another day to make a difference.

Images Google, pexels, pintrest


Why I love women who blog and the dreaming all wrapped up in a croissant and wine

This world was made for dreaming.’

Outside, well, it has not changed.  The winter is bleak as an undertaker in a penguin suit.  This winter is as dull, as drab as a witches undergarments and I have had more than enough.  I am done with the pretending and the waking to grey. The first signs of a daffodil has me in giddiness but sadly the yellow hope stops there. The sun she is weak and listless.  And I could just sink into another series, or mope on the sidewalk waiting for the bus.  But no … I to the gorgeous words of my favourite bloggers, mostly women, who pen stories of Parisian apartments and Capetonian beaches, who like me, feel the buggered side of life, but like me … dream of Spring.

As the red nectar in the glass catches the light and the French cafe music croons beside me computer, I will do the same.  Spring, in so many ways, is looming.

Change is afoot. In our Silver Street time, we loom between the empty nest and losing and waiting for an answer, propelling ourselves into new thoughts or ideas of how to do something different, try another avenue, make ourselves purposeful whilst seemingly, looking back … all the time.  This is the Silver Street reality.  We are hovering between roles we played once and what role we take on now. The bloggers I choose to follow are women who are in the same situation, but bless them, have made their thoughts open for us to take inspiration and recognise. This is why I write – I am not alone – and in my situation, in another country, at times directionless, wondering if the next twenty years are going to be God awful, I force myself to account for myself, if that makes sense. In reading their dreams, I form my own, knowing that it is possible. And it is …

I can solo travel to Paris, and I have.  I can walk the shores of Lake Como, and I have.  I can learn to live alone. Never to old to start an new business, change my address … which is what I am going to do. I choose change. 

 Paris breakfasts blog – if only I can paint like her.

If other courageous people can make a change in the Silver Street part of their lives, I can too.

So what am I saying?  Some of you at this time in your lives are settled, and happily so and that is so great – applause all around.  Really!  Some, like me are ‘a little out to sea’ and need to find a new definition of self. And we can because we have help – fellow bloggers with dreams, prospects of croissants loaded with butter and red wine. Before Brexit happens and all the French wine price goes up!

Post divorce, post grieving for lost beautiful people, still in love, moving on. I write because others out there need to know they are not alone.  Silver Streeters need to know anything is possible … and fabulous. Be real, be honest and be challenged, even in the winter, to write, take a leap and dream.  Above all, Silver Streeters, dream and do.

Images: Pintrest


A nostalgic trip to the Drive In.

‘Ag pleeze daddy, won’t you take us to the Drive In?’  Please, please, pretty please?

My father was the drive in man. Not an affectionate person, rather withdrawn, did his best sort of person, but he was my drive in daddy.  Our bonding time, not that he would call it bonding, but it was my daddy and me time. And tonight I miss him.

Small town dreams on the screen, like most of us. I met the world at the Drive In on a Friday night. Friday night date. Fell in love with Robert Redford there I did, and Clint Eastwood (dad thought John Wayne was the ultimate) and Nick Nolte.  Frigging idolised Bruce Lee, poster on the wall perfection.  Life was a by product to the global in love with falling at the Drive In. Went to Monte Carlo, New York, London and Death Valley on a Friday night … and it goes like this … cool was all at the Drive In.

If dad gave the nod to the friends coming along thing … oh frail heart, we were the coolest gang at the counter ordering the vetkoek and cokes.  Doing the shadow puppets against the projection window, swinging on the swings beneath the screen.  Blankets on the hump of tar in mid winter, blanket wrapped, squeaky speaker mode. Scalped by Indians happened – Navaho style. Maria in the Austrian alps, Gigi in her apartment in Paris.  We were there, engrossed dreamers of life beyond school periods and gym clothes. Parents in the car, mom worried about the wind on her lacquered hair, dad still into John Wayne American western drawl style.

Let me show how much I love you.  Back of the lot, no speaker, kissing on the backseat mode.  Midnight Vampires and sneaking friends in the boot while the cows munched behind the fence. My love you see holds hands and cries about leaving. Fights about how romantic Ryan O’Neall is compared to you. ‘Love means never having to say you are sorry’ tissue box on the dashboard.

‘Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make.’
Escape from wondering about love and if it will happen, will my wedding be in summer.?  Escape from what I want to be, will they know me, writing my own theme song.  Daddy did more than forget my birthday on the odd occasion, he did more swing me around in my pretty dress – taking me to the drive in, Daddy gave me a window to the world.  He gave me dreaming.  Daddy carried my life into excitement, into possibility and with no words of his own, told me stories that in their speaking, unfolded my wings … at the Drive In.
Tonight, a little nostalgia trip to the Drive In of yesteryear, helps to dust those wings off where they lay in reality and my how those feathers have grown!
Images: Rotten tomatoes, allstar, Jstore daily.

The London soup and planning another wedding.

There are incredible highs in living in this city.  London is one of those indescribable places so I am not going to try but when you feel your heart jump and that giddy shudder of glee does happen, most of the time, I would not be anywhere else you beauty bride called Londinium.

And then there are the lows of living in the city. Winter being high up on the list.  Christmas I would spend in no other, but the post, ummm when does the flipping sun come out again blues, are felt more intensely by this sunbeam than others. Feel as if I am under water when I wake in the dark and submerge into it again before the clock strikes four pm. The army of black ants we are.  Walking to the corporate mines, and getting into the soup mix.

Just jumped out of the pot of soup.  The bus.  The one I ran for knowing it would be another twenty minutes of purgatory if I missed it.  Running with your dinner, black Russian coat, hefty bag and boots to rap on the closing door, eyes pleading for a break and if given, huffing to take my place standing with the soup mix on board.  Victoria Beckham may glide into a waiting car with her heels, but the rest of us plebs find space beneath armpits, fighting those shopper wheelie things, some strange specimens who shout and curse to the gods and iPods. The soup in the bus pot reeks of Subway, Maccadees and strong whiffs of curry. The Noodle mix of Russian, Slovakian, Polish, cockney, Italian and French confuddles the brain with memories of my beloved Volvo add to the aching of lungs and heart. How the f…k did I end up in this soup mix on this evening?  Keep thinking of that line ‘James Bond never had to put up with this shit.’ and ‘I’m too old for this’ comes to mind but I don’t go there, alighting intact and walking like a cadaver to the door of my apartment. Fish greet me. They have turned the colour of dull, just like this season.  As they say, it’s wine o’ clock somewhere, oh yes, it’s here!

But I am not totally depressed, the black dog is outside ignoring it’s owner to do the business in the cold.  I am summer minded in the wedding plans being made.  A wedding to plan!

Let it be dark outside, my heart is sunlight in romantic planning for joy.  This accredited Wedding Planner is with book, with timelines and pinterest passion.  Detail in Ribbon shops, floral designs, calligraphy and menu plans.  Everyday is a box of crayons for colouring beauty. Spent the afternoon searching for cake inspiration, theme hues and the personification of love visible.  As I sigh with satisfaction of a travel itinerary well executed, I adore the making of a day of love tangible.  

You see, we all need this in our lives.  Times the reality may be heavy as a winter coat, the day as long as loneliness, but we need to find the small things, the pretty ribbons of love and hope to thread through it.

And in case you are wondering … this Silver Streeter is a Jane of many things.  Travel Consultant, Wedding Planner, cafe apron wearer, landlord and mom. Like many the baby boomer, she has years of experience, torn through life, pain and joy, to multitask and manage her life – she is the CV confounder, the detail muddler, the putting in one box Houdini.  I am beginning to build a life that makes a living doing all the things she loves to do – it ain’t going to be the bonus boss or the trophy collector, but she is struggling and carrying on to create a life she wants to for herself.  To make her children proud, to make herself proud.

Running for the bus and falling into the soup mix is a needs must at the moment.  She learns from every face, every story in it and takes it home to say … I learnt something new today. She gives as any woman does, and she does the job to perfection (she hopes) as any woman would. 

Times getting  into the soup mix to rise above to the glory of a wedding dream and the colours of love are worth it all.

Images: cityam and pintrest.


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 

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


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.

Coup de battery and Elizabeth Bennet.

There she was with a dead, dead as the possum on Davy Crockett’s hat, battery.  The battery she is f…ed.  

And of course, of course dear heart, the discovery should happen on Christmas Eve, when the closure of the world commences.  Why do things go wrong on ‘no absolutely any way you are going to get some help days? Murphy of course.  Not even the shock therapy of jump leads would spark a reaction.  Her heart was quite broken.  So darling younger beloved daughter had to take a cab to the airport (I am one of those with the always have someone waiting at arrivals kind of romantic) and facing another day with comatose England, delighted to find that Halfords was open.  To battery to buy!  Oh why did I cancel the AA membership – is it a curse?

Tubes still hungover, bus to Putney. Eleven o’clock and the sun fading fast (damn you winter) I found three young lads working, which I am sure they were reluctant to do.  Nifty stuff though, punch in the registration and computer delivers battery needed – except no batteries in stock. Cough, cough. Tally Ho!  To Wandsworth she must go – bus, another bus, waiting for another bus and dark by one pm. Cold, miserable, over this bloody nonsense till ghostlike in non-business mode, the doors opened and the battery was bought.  With wrench and scant directions of how to replace.  Needless to say, the walk back to the bus depot, avec cadaver of new battery biting into the shoulder bag, I made it home with more determination than Lady Macbeth to do the dirty and get the little car rumbubling again. Did I mention the mortal fear of blowing myself up in the process?

With surgeons hands at the steady, careful, careful, undo the plate – oh shit there goes the bolt into the depths of car never to come out the other end. Bah humbug – moving on.  Old heart out, new heart in, the leads are too small for the new terminals! What the ….! The thought of having to do the trek again was just too much and far to early for wine, so called Halfords.  Imagine if you will the explanation of this thingy does not fit onto that thingy.  Oh, said the man, some have more casing around the terminals, simply pry them off and bob is your in law for life. By now I am Medusa – spanner and hatred are a great combination, not without the grease and wound inflicted.  Now she is bleeding but disregards like Rambo the gashed hand and scarlett fluid dripping on the battery.  James Bond never had to put up with this shit … remember the line, but I am now single and there are no Galahads on the horizon.

Voila! Success!  The purring of motor is a feat this lady has never experienced before.  I have changed the battery on my car, with tools, without blowing myself up.  You needed to be here to experience the euphoria of that moment – I was mechanic supreme. Have mastered a new skill, have overcome the iffy cannot do this from the past.  In the dark. It’s three pm. Dutifully I return to Halfords to donate the dead organ and explain to Mohammed about the thinny that fell into the bowls of under the bonnet – and whoosh, he produces a magnet pointer thing, retrieves thinny and all is well with the world.

So empowered I was, returning to the flat I vowed this woman power needed more endorsement.  Flurry in furious gone to the head fervour. Gone are the Christmas decorations (after all we have been doing Christmas for a month already) and onto Elizabeth Bennet. 

For me, this day, now already four hours into night, means only one thing.  Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Austen. Some may swoon over Darcy, I over Elizabeth. Candles lit, wine poured and Lizzy. All the hours of Lizzy, literature and eventually, trying to get the grease out from under my nails. 

Pity about the newly painted nails, but ’tis nothing to the pioneering achieved today.

One small step for Karenkind, and if I can do it … you can too. 

The small achievement is enough to dream of empire making. Avec Sauvignon blanc …

Images Twitter, Vintage Everyday.