Oh I wish it could be Christmas every day

After an intense week that included 153 Windows updates, a very reluctant and slow Macbook, a new baby second cousin, a leaky roof (resulting in a damp-stained bedroom wall) and of course, non-stop rain, I'm celebrating the completion of one of my projects with a glass of red and the online purchase of a sensible winter coat. Wheee! 

But on to my long overdue Christmas present post! This is a quick selection of some of my faves taken during a random walk around the house. Ready?

Boyfriend excelled in the present department this year, getting me something I had wanted for a long time. I first saw it in Zara about 3 years ago but couldn't afford it at the time and then they ran out, and the year after they sold it in very ugly colours only, anyway, long story short: I got my grown-up lady bag! The first photo is much more true to colour, it's a nice deep orange. 

Unfortunately I can't say the quality is fantastic. I guess that's what you get from buying Chinese Etsy lookalikes...

To go with my new bag, Boyfriend got me a new wallet. It's a lovely soft grey and I believe it's made from recycled plastic bottles. My mind is officially blown. 

This is possibly my favourite present because it was supposed to be a birthday present for next year from my Mama. Only she had it delivered to my aunts's house and it happened to arrive on Christmas eve while we were visiting so it was granted Christmas present status. Isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen? It's Hornsea.

A lovely gift from our lovely neighbour and friend was this Wedgewood set (there are 2 dinner plates in the set too but they were in use when this pic was taken!). She told us she saw them and thought of us. It's nice to be thought of as fancy and refined even though we're really not. I mean, we drink champagne out of wine glasses. Come on.

Not a Christmas present as such, but a beautiful and intricate new year's card from a dear friend in Paris. I have big plans to frame it and hang it on a wall one of these days. 

And last but not least: this beautiful jewellery frame from my Mama that I had on my Cox & Cox wishlist for months and months. I think it goes nicely on my nightstand/dressing table and it's an excuse to show of some of the things I never actually wear but still find pretty (I'm looking at you, weird rose cocktail ring that I demanded for a birthday a few years ago and have never worn because even though it's adjustable it is still too big)

My theory is that you can never have too many woodland creatures sitting around the house. Or too many friends to give you cute little presents. 

And just for the sake of it: my "redecorated" bedroom wall. What do you think? Is damp-stain the new ombre? Two guys came round this morning (why of course they arrived while I was sitting at the table in my pyjamas screaming at my uncooperative laptop while Boyfriend was still in bed! Why do you even ask?) and did a bit of roof-climbing and sealing off of chimney pots. I just hope it actually solves the problem as they didn't seem too sure...


Snippets of spring

I must say I'm a little dissappointed in the Yorkshire weather. I was expecting massive snow-storms and freezing temperatures. We even got winter tyres fitted on our car. Ok so it's been a bit cold recently, but not PROPER cold. And it's rained, that's for sure, but it hasn't snowed.

Now I'm only really saying this so that murphy's law can kick in and we can all have a bit of winter before spring sets in. In the meantime, this is a pretty random selection of what HB has looked like on our last couple of walks. And Heptonsall. And yes, we did walk all the way up!

****** more pics on my flickr page here in case you're interested ******


Rio - part 2

Well hello and welcome to day 2 in Rio! If only I had a better memory (or if I found a copy of the schedule, because I'm pretty sure I've kept it) I could tell you the name of the beautiful archipel that we visited on this day, but I can't so I won't.

I can tell you that a festive atmosphere was provided on our boat-trip by these three musicians (and an open bar that served the yummiest caipirinhas, bearing in mind it's only 10 in the morning.).

This is one of the boats that took us to our destination. Well, after a first stop on the edge of a sandy beach where the braver members of the group had fun jumping of the bow of the boat. The idea of losing my bikini top in front of all my colleagues was a bit more risk than I cared to handle. I like it here in my comfort zone.

I also liked it there, in our own little slice of heaven. A yummy lunch, a pool, as much sun as you can possibly soak in, and great company. 

The more adventurous colleagues (what can I say, I'm never in the adventurous group) had games of volleyball and football and other sports that you don't really want to be playing in full sun when it's + 35°C.

I, on the other hand, took a walk around the estate and found a beautiful house that nobody seemed to live in. A nice lady who worked on the island told me I could have a look inside if I wanted (at least I hope that's what she said, coz that's what I did!).

Ready for a tour of the dreamiest little island cottage you've ever seen? 

I didn't stay long because it felt like I was invading someone's privacy, but then later on in the day I found a bunch of colleagues sprawled on the sofas hiding from the heat. I think it was just part of the island package. Doesn't it look like something from Elle decoration 1994 (in a good way)?

So In case you were wondering, there was of course a nice sandy beach where a lot of the afternoon was spent trying to realise just how lucky we were to be here. And not getting cut on the incredibly sharp rocks that lined the bottom of the sea. And trying to remember the name of the island.

We returned tired and happy and not sunburned (I was extra careful on this trip and it paid off) to a slight commotion (read total mayhem) at the Windsor: Prince Harry had arrived!! Yay!!! I caught a glimpse of him the next day from the 4th floor pool but some of my colleagues were lucky enough to get to snap actual pics with him in the lobby. Why am I never in the right place at the right time?


Rio - part 1

As I sit here typing this, I must confess I've got Barry Manilow singing Copacabana on Youtube (because I don't own this song...obviously).

So this was a company trip, like the one to Martinique if you've been following since then. We also went to St Maarten the year before Rio, where I had my first taste of extreme 5 star luxury. It's not my favourite way of travelling but I definitely won't say no to it if it's handed to me for free on a silver platter...

So, back to Brazil. It was a very short trip, only 6 days (including a 3 day extension that we splurged on because, well, when were we ever going to get the chance to go back to Brazil?)

We spent the first 3 nights at the Windsor hotel on Copacabana beach (where we were later joined by Prince Harry. I'm not kidding, pics to follow). This was the view from our bedroom on the upteenth floor.

This was also the view from our bedroom, looking straight down onto the 4th floor pool.

There was, of course, another pool on the top floor of the hotel. This is the view from up there.

This is the view of the hotel building from the 4th floor pool. So there you have it. We arrived a day early (along with the 50 other colleagues/husbands/spouses who went for the extra long visit), but to be honest we didn't get up to much on that first night. A big of lounging by the pool, of bit of jet-lagged wandering around the neighbourhood, dinner near Ipanema, and bed.

The next morning we were taken to Confeitaria Colombo to have breakfast and to join the rest of the group who had only just landed. Let's just say we were looking a bit more refreshed than them...

Amazing architecture and amazing coffee and pastries. We had a little walk around the town, trying to take it all in.

This is St Sebastian cathedral. It's pretty weird looking but nice inside (and cool!!!)

We kept spotting this guy from a distance...a much closer shot is coming in another post though...

Lunch in a churrascaria, which basically means barbecue in Brazilian. Now I'm not a huge fan of meat, but I have to say it tasted pretty good in there. And I like the ways the waiters stacked plates. It's all about optimisation, yes?

At sunset we took the cable car up to Pao de Acucar (sugar loaf mountain) to snap some pictures. I can see our hotel from here, it's basically the tallest building in the photo.

Another post is on its way. We got up to so much in so little time it's hard to remember it all, but I promise it gets a little more authentic and less touristy towards the end!