Archive for May, 2011

…like a big pizza pie…!

Here is what I ended up NOT wearing on the day we went to Italy.
For lunch.

Yes, Gentle Reader, Wonderful Man and I went to Italy. For. Lunch.
Oh, it is so hard being glamourous and international….!

M wanted to check out the town of San Remo, site of a famous cycling race. So we headed on down the coast into Italy.

Where I got all frozen with fear at having to speak Italian. You see, I can understand Italian pretty well
(basic interaction-wise, at least–  I can understand only about 10-15% of this, for instance…Then again, do I really want to understand it…?),
but at crunch time I get that terror that is specific to speakers of more than one language:
“What if the person I am talking to replies with something BEYOND my capability to understand? Then what???
I suppose it would not be scary if I were more used to travelling in places where I don’t speak the language but I am
a) a big fat chicken and tend to travel only places where I do speak the language,
b) lucky enough to have English and two Romance languages down pretty well, plus a smattering of Italian and German. And, thus, I am a  total  er, bit of a snob– I admit it: I feel a bit superior to those who cannot speak the local language or at least make an effort. So, when I am in the position of having only a smattering of the local language, I feel very, very uncomfortable, not least because I know I deserve to suffer for the bad karma induced by the aforementioned snobbery…

Anywho, it was my first trip to Italy in 20 years– last time, I just let YVR use her lovely Spanish (the woman read Cervantes in the original!) as a not-quite-Italian-but-at-least-everyone-understands-it vehicle for communicating and I just rode along on her Castillian coattails. This time, I was on the hook to be the seeker of directions, orderer of food, etc. And I was terrified. And I chickened out, even though the first interaction went well.

But I hated having the locals have to speak English to me– it made me feel like I was in trouble for not having done my homework.

Thus, by the time we next went to Italy (a blog post for another day), I was determined to actually try a lot harder– by the time we’d been there for 2 days, I was no longer afraid and was feeling both confident that I could make myself understood and understand what was said to me,  and frustrated that my Italian is not stronger.  Clearly, the only solution is a year in Venice, immersed in the language, no?  Move over, Elizabeth Whose-its! 😉

Right, so I wore the outfit below in the morning to do some marketing in preparation for LHR’s arrival in France, but it proved waaay too hot (denim!) and so I ended up not wearing it to Italy and opted for a cooler outfit.

Trousers: H&M
— I bought two pairs and hemmed one to be worn with heels, one to be worn with flats.
Tank Top: Target
Belt: I cannot remember… maybe Jacob?
Shoes: Office
Shades: H&M

LOL! Our little French house was so tiny that getting a photo was a real challenge!

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You know THIS is gonna be taking up residence in our blogroll, over there on the right side of this page.

Oh, happy, HAPPY day!

(But I am a bit worried about Kate– do you think she is looking rather too thin?
I do…
And you know it takes a LOT for me to admit that there is such thing as “too thin”!)

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Kir, made with rose liqueur, rather than cassis. Like drinking a flower...! LHR's was made with violet.

In the two days LHR and I overlapped in France (M and I ditched and went to Italy for the latter half of her visit– long story), we did and saw some mighty good stuff. On Sunday, we went to Tourettes sur Loup (“Little Towers on the Wolf [River]”), a hilltop medieval village much like our own.

It was heavenly!

Chairman of The Bored.

Update: My wonderful man is concerned that the above caption is making him “look bad.” I explained that it is not, not at all— that no one expects him to be anything other than bored while LHR and I dither around, taking photos of pretty things and pretend-decorating the medieval French house we do not own.  I would like to point out here, to make him feel better, that he has been nothing short of fantastic on this holiday– he has gamely gone and seen places and done things in which he has next-to-no interest, with nary a complaint on his part. He is, truly, a Wonderful Man. 

And now he is going to take home all my heavy crap in  HIS luggage so that mine will conform to EasyJet’s ridiculous luggage restrictions.

Wonderful, WONDERFUL Man.

There was a vide grenier (literally, an “empty the attic”).
It was not one of those French flea markets where you can get the REALLY good stuff (she says, remembering the Parisian puces fondly and with sadness at not being able to hire a container to ship back bits of old castles….), rather it was the community junk fair, but with some dealers mixed in for good measure.

These flowers were so impressive that total strangers kept stopping as they passed our table to comment on the floral arrangement. Ignoring LHR and I completely all the while.

After our lunch (“Oh, sorry, I forgot to tell you [45 minutes ago when I gave you the menus], we only have pizzas left on the menu.” Happily, they were among the best pizzas we’d ever eaten.), we headed over to check out the loot. Oh, boy, was there ever LOOT!
Wooden furniture, screaming for a coat of white/pale grey/pale blue paint? Yes!
Kitschy 1950s oil paintings? Yes!
Battered old picture frames? YES!

I thought my head might explode from all the cool, French crap available.

Yet, Gentle Reader, I bought….nothing!
LHR scored a WICKED coral top– I know you will see it appearing here– for 2 Euros! And, she bought a painting with which we both fell in love– pink peonies, painted in 1953 by someone named “Névia”. A total score, I must say.

WHY won't these fit in my luggage????

Edith Piaf, alongside a very 70s mirror...

We thought of you all, as we reminded ourselves, “We are Lucky Ducks!”
We knew MK and YVR, in particular, would have been ALL OVER the whole experience.

Here is what we wore and what we saw while we did it all.

 (Note: this is not quite like the time YVR turned up to pick me up at the airport in her hometown and we were wearing EXACTLY the same outfit, but is darned close… What can we say? We are travelling and there are only so many clothes from which to choose. 😉 )

Thanks, Mum-- those Sears modelling classes just keep on paying off!

Dress: Joe Fresh
Shoes: Office
Purse: Suzy Shier
Necklace: Gift from LHR and J (made from old chandelier crystal– perfect for the day’s activiites!)

LHR will have to add her info about her outfit when she reads this post.

Yep, more proof that those modelling classes were money well-spent!

What I (LHR) wore:
Dress: 60s inspired dress bought on eBay (worn more successfully here)
Shoes: silver ballet flats from Venise (they don’t look great with this outfit but I only had so much choice – travellin’)
Bag: Summer Canvas Thing from Ollie and Nic

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…to St. Tropez?
(Yeah, okay, I’m playing fast and loose with lyrics, but you get the idea.)

Yesterday, LHR arrived here in France and we headed off to St. Tropez to check out Brigitte’s stomping grounds.
(No, really, click that link!  “Pagan paradise”! Heehee!)

We drank too much rosé (not M, obviously– he was driving) and later we ate waaaay too much.

Here is what we wore:

T-shirt: Joe Fresh
Belt: H&M
Skirt: Zara (I have not owned anything YELLOW since I was about 9!)
Suzy Shier

On LHR (why don’t I have a photo of LHR on her own? Oh, wait– is it because my camera battery died and when I went to use my phone camera, I dropped my phone and smashed it to smithereens? My fancy new phone? Yeah, that’s the one. 😦 ):
Dress: BCBG
Shoes: A cute store in Covent Garden, whose name we cannot now remember…
Purse: borrowed from me, Aldo

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The spoils of our mountain adventure: chocolate made by nuns at the Cistercian Abbey.

I am sure you have all heard this story. In case it turns out to be true, I’d better not neglect my posting duties!
I only wish I had something spectacular and Rapture-worthy to post, (hello, vintage Dior!)  but you will have to be satisfied with this cute, summery little dress instead. It may not be what one wears to The Rapture, but it is perfect for exploring Les villages perchés.   My dear mum bought it for me in Grasse; I am so spoiled!

It was perfect for our warm summery weather down on the coast yesterday, but not quite warm enough once we got up into the mountains. Thus, the scarf. Oh, those clever French and their scarf-y ways! So very chic, so very practical.

Dress: Lili et Rose
Scarf: H&M
Shoes: Target
Wicker Bag: Aldo

Thanks, Mum!
And Happy May 2-4, Canucks!

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YYZ: Paparazzi

On Tuesday, M and I found our way along the ridiculously scenic bord de mer, past the insanely luxurious yachts docked at every single port along the way (i.e., the entire length of this densely-populated coast) to a little place you may have heard of…. Cannes.  During Cannes Film Festival. Oh, yeah.

We took a picnic lunch and ate it in the beautiful garden at the eastern end of La Croisette (boardwalk) that is the centre of all things glamourous and celebrity-related.

Then, we wandered from our peaceful, quiet spot overlooking the harbour full of super-yachts into the thick of things. All unwitting, we were gobsmacked. Nothing I can say here and no photos can ever begin to really capture what it was like.

First of all, the Festival is an industry event, not open to the public, as you know. This means that the city is overrun with haggard, stressed-out people with media passes around their necks, looking exhausted, eating on the run and all shouting down their cell phones at each other in every language on earth (heavy on the French and English) as they try to a)wrangle deals, b)find each other, c)catch up with the offices they have left in order to be in Cannes, d)schmooze their way into events/parties, etc that are NOT TO BE MISSED.  There is also a heavy dose of senior citizens from cruise ships and tourists of all stripes, all looking as bemused and awe-struck as we were.  Mixed in, are the paparazzi, with their gigantic camera lenses and their step-ladders so that they can see over the heads of the crowd to get the best shot.

If EVERYONE has a step-ladder, what is the advantage in having a step-ladder to help you see over everyone else?

Also, there are the official, accredited media types, with their own “camp” set up– blocked off and exclusive, each official media outlet has its own little green room along La Croisette, for schmoozing and being schmoozed by film types.  Finally, there are all the poeple who are just there trying to be seen, get discovered, report for their blog/community access cable channel, etc, setting up shop on any tiny square of pavement they can find.  There is a frenetic air of desperation to the whole thing and you get the impression that it is a bit like those Saturday nights in high school when you are trying to figure out where the ‘it’ party is happening and whether or not you can get into it and end up driving around all night, missing out on everything. (If you were popular in high school, that description will mystify you– for the rest of us, the dorks and socially awkward, that description should ring a few bells. 🙂 )

Anywho, pretty much immediately, at the eastern end of the La Croisette, we came upon the Hotel Martinez. The place oozes “cool.”

Hundreds of people, hoping for a star-sighting outside the Hotel Martinez.

And, out front, were about a hundred paparazzi, with their ginormous telephoto lenses trained on the end of the hotel’s private dock, where launches were arriving from the super-yachts, to deposit the rich, famous and wildly glamourous.

Just as we came upon the hotel, RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, this happened:

If this were a fashion week and not a film fest, the paparazzi would ALL have been trained on Garance & friend. As it is, no one noticed her except me!

I missed the chance to get a decent, front-on photo because I was too busy clutching M and shouting, “That’s Garance Doré!!!!” and then stammering incoherent answers at him as I wrestled my camera into position while trying to answer his exasperated, Who?!”  I am a bit of a crap paparazza, it turns out.

Here is what Garance went upstairs to do with her 6-foot tall model pal, 10 minutes after we saw her:

In the end, we both decided the day made for pretty much the best people-watching we have EVER seen.
If you get the chance, go.

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I’m an accessories girl. I think most of our readers know that about me. As YYZ, pointed out in the Vault, I’ve always been a bit over the top as it relates to accessories.

So, it makes total sense that I would want to accessorize my Kindle (a gift from my parents this past Christmas). So, when I saw these change purse inspired Kindle cases at Chiki Chic, I had to have it. I love the fact that it looks like a big purse. They are made by Helek Design Studio out of Tel-Aviv. Here is my Kindle case in action.

Kindle Bag by Helek Design Studio

Accessories of the Day

Kindle co-ordinated outfit

Photography challenged

Shoes by Mistress from above

Accessories up close

What I wore?
Kindle: Kindle case by Helek Design Studio
Ring: Gift from J bought at Caravan on Redchurch Street, London
Jeans: bought in Paris about 10 years ago
Tank Top: burgundy tank top by Jacob
Cardigan: cream vintage cardigan (worn many times before)

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