‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.’ -Shakespeare’s Cleopatra.

Know any older women midlife & beyond, like that? Helen Mirren, 96-year-old, fashion icon, Iris Apfel, comes to mind and let’s, not forget Twiggy, at 65, she became L’oreal’s Ambassador for 2015! &, one of my absolute favs! The ever elegant & astonishingly beautiful, Carmen Dell’Orefice, at 87, she is a statement of hope & belief that ‘age cannot wither a woman.’ As you can see below. (images c/o Getty Images & Pinterest)

A woman of truly great poise. I see a deep fragility beautifully combined with a resolute strength, I hear it whisper…’Age cannot wither me!’

At 52, I can’t help but feel stirred on to greater things, productivity,  a certain bold ‘carpe diem’ takes hold of me & I am strongly touched & motivated by their examples. It means I don’t have to be a model, actress or fashion icon but it gives me a greater incentive to ‘Go for it GIRL!’ & keep moving forward with my projects.

‘Older women,’ will be a term of the past one day, we will simply be women. Thanks to these amazing ‘pioneers’ of hope & bold courage, for they are extracting that word ‘old’ & saying: ‘be done with it!’

Go THEM! Go YOU! Go US!

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Spring is in the air! (even if it’s raining!)

 

I’m doin’ the countdown to Spring big time this year! Hubby & I spent 3 months in Tasmania, Australia, last year. Tasmania is an astonishingly picturesque island, truly beautiful  &, even though it was Spring when we were there, it actually felt like Winter. Cold, blustery days & lots of moody grey cloud. Of course, NOW, in France, we are only days away to Spring & it seems a weepy & sulky French sky is bidding Winter good-bye!

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Cherry trees are plentiful here, so much so that we pick copious amounts of them and Rob makes cherry liquor which we give as away as gifts at the end of the year. We have a cherry tree, too, it’s about to bud! The things in life that give us such remarkable joy are usually the most beautiful & delightful.  The French would say, “Extraordinaire!”

 

 

 

Our garden, too, is about to burst into a beautiful bouquet of colour. We prepared it well.  You see, Rob & I had a plan! When we were in Tasmania, we spent a lot of time at the botanical gardens, we took our books on days when the sun actually came out & STAYED! & we read, ate lunch there & then did our tour of the gardens & it was while we were admiring a particular section of garden (can’t quite remember exactly which one as we find all the gardens exceptional!) that we decided to turn our little patch of France into a beautiful one & so we rolled up our sleeves when we came back & got stuck into it! daffs, ranunculus, poppies, cosmos, heaps of lavender & hydrangea & many other colourful flowers are about to peel their Winter garb off & welcome Spring IN, as only a garden can!

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14 days to go! Whoohoo! In the meantime, we console ourselves by picking bunches of daffs in the countryside & so far, our kitchen table hasn’t missed a bunch!

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Rob’s making lunch. We both have colds. & even if it is a rainy day & the sun is teasing us by ducking in & out of a bad-tempered cloud, we have each other.

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Tomorrow I’m going to chat about what to wear in Spring. I guess, it’s an individual thing, so, it’s really about what I’m going to wear in Spring & if you need some tips…help yourself!

Cheers! Oh, that’s not very French!

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A bientôt!

When it comes to AGEING, what’s in it for ME?

Have you ever sat somewhere with a childhood friend & lamented about how the years seem to be just flying by & the mirror doesn’t seem to be as kind as it could be these days? Yep, I have. After a few deep sighs & a couple of good laughs, you actually realize that wrinkles, laughter lines & even that muffin top belly have been the consequences of a most remarkable & interesting journey… life.

What do we get from growing older? A tremendously beautiful sense of dignity. We can look back on markers & years, quite an astonishing thought, really, that, because of one single choice, our lives changed. Because we chose a certain path, in a certain year and met a certain person, in just that certain little place, our lives changed.

I went overseas at age 17, I left Australia. I was green around the gills, and when I returned, 3 months later, my life had changed in so many remarkable ways, I got a good bout of the travel bug & off I went back & forth between Europe & Australia, my eyes wide open & my mouth, too! Lot’s of wow! wow! wow! moments. Because of that rather scary decision, at that time, (I chose to go overseas on a random holiday with my dad, & celebrated my 18th birthday in Venice, whoohoo!) I am NOW a seasoned traveler.

 

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I’m 52 years old. I celebrated my 52nd birthday flying over the Indian ocean, 2 years earlier I was in Germany for my 50th birthday, & last year, I was in France. I don’t have that fresh-faced youthful 17-year-old face anymore, but I do have a face I’m happy with, a face that speaks of joy, & joy on a woman always looks truly beautiful & beats the best face lift!

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Ageing, what’s in it for me? Laughter lines, a much-loved & proudly prized cesarean scar from having my wonderful son at 35 years old, some varicose veins from that pregnancy, too, sad times from divorce & so, a furrowed brow, perhaps. What does it all mean? It means I lived. To age means to experience life, & I am still using all the colored crayons in the crayon box! To age means to go through unpleasant times, sometimes heartbreaking grief & then use those tears to help others through their ‘journey in the valley.’5238093.jpg

The most wonderful thing about ageing is all the love you get to GIVE &  GET, & all that love needs time to bloom & grow. Like good wine or cheese, the years bring maturity & stability, to our relationships, marriage & family.

Ageing, what’s in it for me? Well, next time you are sitting with an old childhood friend, think of all the memories you have made together, the good & bad times shared. The years give us so much more than wrinkles, they have given us a remarkably beautiful sense of dignity & that’s a good reason to smile. Cheers x

 

 

 

 

Thrift Buy & Fashionably Thrive!

That’s me in Frankfurt, Germany, had walked all day & was feeling quite comfortably contented with myself on a bridge overlooking the legendary river Main. But, what’s particularly exciting about that pic is that super cool & very chic little black dress I bought, would you believe for an apple & an egg? (8 euros to be exact!) in a thrift shop, right in the heart of the city. It’s a good label. I bought a bargain, so call me BARGAIN QUEEN! because recently, as recent as last week, in fact, I bought in my all-time favorite shop ‘Down Under,’  a pair of Gucci glasses, authentic & just 3 bucks! Call me Bargain Queen! Because… I AM XimagesIt never ceases to amaze me the clothes  & accessories that women throw away! (Keep throwing them right my way, ladies!)I bought a platinum ring for 5 bucks in that same Australian thrift store & it was worth 6000 dollars!!! Noses up at Thrift stores, second-hand stores, Nah-uh! Not my nose! Thrift bought & fashionably thriving with my eclectic robe of all sorts, thank you very muchly! Grab a friend & spend the day doing a good thrift crawl. There’s nothing like a bargain to give you a fashionably good buzz! (Followed by cake & coffee, because a good thrift buy will keep those extra dollars in your pocket for other little treats.) Cheers X02-13-things-thrift-shop-wont-tell-you-new-clothes

 

“She threw away all her masks, & put on her soul.”

Confidence doesn’t come from what you wear. It’s true, a nice glam outfit helps, but eventually, that outfit has to come off & you are left with YOU. Be happy about that! I have stood naked in front of my mirror & faced myself, I wanted to wish those extra pounds away, I wanted to take ten years off my face, & what I had to acknowledge & do acknowledge is that I am who I am, warts & all, I am me. I am not perfect. That’s the key, fall in love with being YOU. There is no one on this planet like you. You are special. You are worth it! Don’t wait for others to give you that pat on the back or that praise from their lips, it all starts with how you talk to you. Adorn your inner self with the beauty of kind, gentle & supportive words. Clothes can’t do that.

I was talking to a woman the other day who has breast cancer. She is facing herself. I looked at this woman & thought…wow! This woman is truly beautiful. We sat & had a cup of tea together & as she spoke, I listened to her soul. There was such a mixture of fear, courage, tears & beauty, too. Her naked soul was openly exposed to me & she was frightened like a scared child. Everything she exchanged to me was real. Have we forgotten to be real?  Have we forgotten to have meaningful exchanges with people? To touch & comfort their suffering rather than just admire their outer garments! A truly genuine person revealing real feelings is very rare to find in a world that constantly bombards us with “Gotta be more, do more…you are not enough unless…” Bah! Don’t buy into it or you’ll never escape the knife of the plastic surgeon! YOU ARE ENOUGH! I think that is where it all begins, with YOU, not accepting the ugly, useless labels that society tries to slap on you. If you are 60 plus, great! Wisdom speaks from the lips of those who have walked this earth a little longer & what a fine adornment is that pearl of prudence, insight & respect, there is no outfit that can ever compete with such valuable qualities of the heart.

Personally, fashion does not dictate to me what I must wear year in & year out. I wear clothes that I like, I don’t follow the crowd & I prefer the truly timeless classics, a style that doesn’t date.

Just be your lovely self & KNOW you are lovely BEFORE you dress up glam! & when that outfit comes off, you will be left with you, someone uniquely special, someone who is real, who can be frightened, scared & courageous all at the same time. Collect real people, fake ones are a dime a dozen! In this life, when very scary things happen, you don’t need a glamour queen sitting across from you at the table, you do need someone who has got their real on way before they’ve ever got their fashion style on. Make up your inner wardrobe first, it is way more important than your clothes closet.  You can’t buy confidence, it can’t be found in a clothes store. Confidence is found within you, as you enjoy & appreciate the truly unique & beautiful person that you are.girl-2178157_960_720

The Scent of a French Woman

Long after one has forgotten what a woman wore, the memory of her perfume lingers. — Christian Dior

A French woman never leaves home without first applying a subtle dab of her favorite scent. It’s unheard of, it just doesn’t happen, it’s unthinkable! Beauty has a scent & French women are dedicated to wearing it.

I fell in love with the way French women choose their perfume, as if selecting a bouquet of flowers for a dearly loved one. It’s a highly personal affair & quite seductive to watch. & I have…from afar. They hold a bottle of perfume as if gazing at a lover’s hand.  Memories are held within that intoxicating potion, the light caress of a nose at the nape of her neck, followed by a satisfied, breathless sigh…

What are French women wearing these days?

I’m so pleased to say they are wearing my fav! Shalimar by Jacques Guerlain. It’s a deeply feminine fragrance, all woman! a heady mix of citrus/woody tones, it’s a romance!

 

Narciso Rodriguez for her. Men love it on women, enough said! (Ok, a very, very, VERY sensual perfume! And another one I love, too!) Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel. Quite an aristocratic scent, elegant, sophisticated & classy! And, Of course, Chanel No 5! Still a mysterious elixir of floral elegance, in a bottle. There are countless more potently beautiful mixtures! French women & perfume, they know it’s a very individual thing, they know the man they want to please. It takes a lot of lingering, just as a good scent should linger long, on a white linen sheet…pexels-photo-398069