Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 30 August 2012

{quotable thursdays}

la prof
{via ZsaZsa Bellagio}
I apologise, I've missed over a month of quotable Thursdays, as I've been away and took a little summer hiatus from doing anything that was regular, routine, or required. Isn't that what summer is all about? So, this week marked the first week of teaching at the college where I work, so nothing like back to school to get you back to routine.
Today's quote, then, speaks to learning:
"The end of earning is limited and defined, whereas learning and progressing have no limit until we reach our end." -Petrarch (1304-1374)
So with that, here are some "back to school, back to work" images: 
cutest thing ever!
{via ZsaZsa Bellagio}
proper posture
{via Terrier & Lobster}
office style
{marie claire via terrier & lobster}
funky old green phone
{this & below from Ruche}
the louvre, alécio de andrade
{what life was like when I was an MA student in London...via poboh.tumblr}
Can't you see I'm organizing?
{this looks a little like my office:( via modern hepburn}

{Remember a pomme for the teacher! from Ruche}

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

{European Sojourn--Mallorca (first few days)}

The last week of my European sojourn was spent on the island of Mallorca. I was invited to a wedding of a fellow art historian (well, technically an architectural historian) and friend, Min, & so I decided to make a vacation out of it. Min and her now husband, Alex, organised a series of events & outings for the days leading up to the wedding. What an organised bride!!
I arrived on Sunday evening, took a taxi to Santanyi (where I spent the week in a fabulous house with 7 other guests), & was picked up by Min in the town square. Min took me directly to the beach for a late night snack & swim. How brilliant is island life? The following day we took a trip to the nearby island of Cabrera, (which is also a National Park)- delightful! A highlight was a stop off in an azure-water cave, jumping off the boat & swimming in amazingly blue waters (it reminded me of my childhood growing up on the boat & sailing the South Pacific).
{our rented house (front hall) in Santanyi}

{boat trip!!}

{swimming in the azure waters}

{market day in Santanyi}
Another day we took a guided tour of Palma, visiting the cathedral and the old streets of the city:
{main cathedral, Palma}


{plenty of cool, old bookstores in Palma, including this one with a coffee bar}

{Gaudi & Gaudi-inspired architecture across the city}

All in all, a fantastic first few days! next: a trip to a family-run vineyard...
until then,

Sunday, 26 August 2012

{Visit to Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle)}

{approaching Downton from the carpark}

All of you who read my blog know that I love love love Downton Abbey (blogs here & here). While it aired last year, a friend used to come over Sunday night & we'd watch it together, drinking wine, and commenting on the plot, dress,  house etc... So, we are waiting with extreme anticipation for Season 3 for sure!
While everyone knows it's a fictional world, Downton is filmed at Highclere Castle, a real stately home, belonging to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. It's not easy to get a ticket to see inside, as the family still lives there. But apart from that, when it is open to the public, the tv series has made such an impact that reservations are hard to make (you can also hire it out for a private wedding). The current Countess of  Carnarvon (#8) and hostess of the house, has recently written a book on Lady Almina, the 5th Countess whose life seems to have inspired much of the plot for the tv series. Lady Almina was the illegitimate child of Alfred de Rothschild, and during the war, converted Highclere into a hospital. Her husband, the 5th Earl, is famous for discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun, and there's an amazing exhibition on his Egyptian findings, available to visitors at Highclere.
I was so very happy when my cousins decided to take a holiday in the middle of the week (as all the weekends were booked up) and take me to Highclere. You can't take photographs inside, but the interiors are just as stately as they are in the series. Some of the rooms are closed, as they still sometimes hold guests of the family, and the house is littered with photos of the family with various elite individuals, including the Queen and Lady Di.
They are apparently looking for an Assistant Butler if you're interested!
My favourite part of the interior was the main hall:
{via hooked on houses}
But the dining room is pretty fantastic as well (& yes that's a Van Dyck painting--a real one): 
Downton Abbey dining room
{via hooked on houses}
& how was my experience? Fantastic! I kept living all the moments in the series, however in a little less glamorous fashion!

{we had tea in the garden}
{via a whitewashed cottage}
We perused the grounds....


We lunched on the grounds: 

{tea at downton via black tie & flip flops}
& there was plenty of lovely walks to be had around the gardens & further afield...
Downton Abbey (2010)
{tea on the lawn via austenprose}

{this walk required wellies!}
Downton Abbey Christmas special
{via the guardian}

All in all a fantabulous visit. Thanks to my cousins for taking me there! Following closely on this lovely visit, I headed to Spain. More to come on that, all in time!
cheerio for now, 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

{back to blog land}

Hello Blog readers!
I just returned this week after being in Europe & the UK for 5 weeks. Teaching starts up again next week so things have been busy. very busy. But I've got loads to report on, so stay tuned to hear about a visit to Highclere castle (aka Downton Abbey!) & a fantastic time in Mallorca, including amazing wedding celebrations  of a dear friend!
Here are some images to whet your appetite:
{me at Downton Abbey}
{a trip to a vineyard}

{a wedding}

{& cava celebration in the main square in Santanyi, Mallorca}
plus much much more...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

{Chartwell & Goodwood House}

{Goodwood, home to the Duke of Richmond, since 1675}
This past weekend was spent driving in the English countryside and visiting grand estates belonging to famous individuals. This is what trips to Merry Ol' are all about!!
On Saturday, we drove to Chartwell, the former home of Winston Churchill. The house is preserved as it was when the Churchills lived there, but there's also a museum recording the history of the place, the relationship between Churchill and his wife, and his important political career.
{Chartwell House, home of Winston Churchill}
The next day we drove through torrential rains to Goodwood House. When we arrived the place looked remarkably quiet and empty, especially for the UK (where most of these homes are teeming with visitors). Upon arrival at the door, an elderly man greeted us and welcomed us in. We entered into this beautiful stately reception room, with wall to wall paintings by Van Dyck and George Stubbs. The smell from large bouquets of fresh cut flowers permeated the air, left over from the grand balls and parties recently had there during the weekend and previous week, in honour of the Goodwood horse races. I had to use the loo, and asked where I might find it. The butler-gentleman was called upon  and answered "I'll direct you to the Ladies" and he walked me to a lavish lavatory. When I exited, I was told "the rest of your party is waiting for you in the library." I entered a lovely room full of paintings and some books, and found my cousins sitting on a lovely sofa, waiting for our private tour. Goodwood, as I found out, was first home to the illegitimate son of Charles II, who was made Duke of Richmond. It has been the home to the dukes of Richmond ever since, and the current Duke of Richmond lives in a smaller building on the estate, while his son, Earl of March, resides in one wing of the house. For more on the history of the house & the family, check out the Goodwood website here.
At the end of the tour, we were guided into the Gallery, which doubles as a ballroom and also as a tea room. We sat drinking cream teas out of silver pots & enjoyed the paintings surrounding us by Van Dyck, Veronese, and David Teniers. EXQUISITE!
{waiting for our tour in a stately room}

{cream tea in such a lovely lovely room, surrounded by old masters}

{Van Dyck portrait of Charles I & Henrietta Maria}

{Choo & me outside Goodwood}

{such a stately home}

{cricket on the estate at Goodwood}
 What a fantastic weekend! We did much more including a lovely walk around Petworth & a BBQ at our friends the Weatherups.
I'm off to Mallorca this weekend, and am anticipating a week free of internet. So until next time!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

{cottage mini-break}

I spent last week at a cottage in County Durham with two girlfriends. It was a lovely little cottage, with old stone walls, a large kitchen for cooking, with a darling back garden. The cottage faced the large green of West Auckland, across from the old hunting lodge of King Henry VII. We occupied ourselves by taking long 4-5 mile walks in the surrounding countryside, and putting our feet up, drinking wine & watching the Olympics. We also cooked some yummy meals, with Sylvie as head chef, from roast chicken to bouillabaisse. Yum!
{cooking dinner & drinking prosecco in the gorgeous stone-walled kitchen with fireplace}


{we walked to a lovely old Saxon Church in Escombe}

{gorgeous walks in the English countryside}