Wednesday 14 September 2011

Great cure for end of summer blues...and falling in love with Jane Birkin

When we were both working in schools we'd go away for the whole summer holiday...we'd drive to Europe with H in the old convertible with the roof down, meeting up with family and friends on the way, or taking some with us. Usually ending up in Northern Italy; where we would have wonderful summers in lovely old houses full of memories that kept us going for a whole year.  

Don't get me wrong we love England - but there is something a bit special about Italian summers...That something in the air...I love to see whole families from great grandparents to tiny new great-grandchild out for an evening-meal, late into the night...all talking over each other, laughing, joking, fighting....then the food, and the views, the architecture...just the warmth of the going back a century...perfect.... somehow it just fits our family...

Then we started missing English Summers (we'd forgotten what they were like!)  and the economy was a bit we decided to stay at home.   

We've been waiting for an English summer for the last two or three years now...and it still hasn't arrived yet,  or maybe just hasn't lived up to the expectation of my childhood memories...

Then I remembered something else I would do on a nice thick magazine.  Maybe Italian or French Vogue, or a Danish or German interior or architecture magazine..even if I couldn't read the language...I'd just feast on all the lovely images and read little bits with a phrase didn't really following Finish blogs! 

So I did the same here...this time British took me right back to childhood...I think my aunt had every single copy hidden away...I just loved looking at all the pictures of beautiful clothes...

...and some chocolate...I discovered my new favourite dark organic chocolate with orange zest and wait-for-it...'figs' has big chunks of fig in's absolutely delicious and must be good for you..dark chocolate and fruit... 

I've been pouring over the images ever-since...and now have a new fashion icon, Jane Birkin...I'm already a bit of a fan of her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg...(not so much CG's music but her acting [The Science of sleep])  

I loved Jane Birkin's answer when asked whose style she admires most:

"Julie Christie, in reading specs, taking out her dustbin in a raincoat and gumboots...and my sister, wading through parks in Paris making for Le Grand Palais, carrying a sketch pad and books, in pulled-down hat, great billowing skirt old tweed coat and very ancient buttoned -up boots.  Or Virginia Woolf, with dimples - you have to look pre-Raphaelite to pull that one off. " sentiments exactly...

I love that like me she still wears Converse trainers...(they are so comfortable) and jeans and men's cashmere jumpers, and the penchant she had for one of those little baskets with a lid in the 70's even taking it into nightclubs with her!   Her style is a real mixture of French chic mixed up with English quirkiness and eccentricity.  Not so much the see-through mini dresses or micro mini skirts of her youth, but what she's been wearing over the last twenty years or so...

image via

 'A'  even treated me to a new pair of jeans last weekend...and the best thing is that when I came out of the cubical after trying  them on, the assistant told me that I should try on the 10's instead of 12's...I argued politely with her that I am by no squeak of the imagination a '10.'   But she insisted that I tried them and they fit!  That was definitely the final cure of my end of summer blues!!!


  1. I do love the casual elegence of the French and I agree that there is nothing better than a big, fat fashion/ design mag to lose yourself in. It's the first thing I buy for a plane journey or a hospital visit too. As for the Italian summers, I live in hope!

  2. I know and it all looks so effortless.