16 July 2017

Safari, College Tours and a Surprise

Resting leopard....Botswana

Dear Friends,

Life has been full since I last checked in! I am writing in between packing for a trip to Botswana and Zambia. This time last year, our daughter, Miss Claire, was packing for her two year assignement with the Peace Corp in Botswana. One year down and we are on our way to visit with her for the first time! I am so excited, I am busting! We are heading out on a two week safari to Zambia. I took the photo above on a previous safari through Botswana in 2005. I am hoping to have the same luck this time around. Fingers crossed!

Home....Tahilla Farm

College Tours...
I returned to Sydney a few days ago after a three week visit to Tahilla Farm. My youngest son, Connor, and I took to the highways and country roads around New England to tour colleges. It seems like yesterday when I wrote about sitting with him and Tika in a bus stop in England, the move to school in Vietnam and then onto high school in Sydney...and now he will be leaving Sydney for college in America. If you are feeling a tad confused about now...that's ok, me too. The good news is he is very excited to finally connect with his American heritage. I am excited for all the possibilities ahead of him. Ah...to be 17 again. ;)

Mr. H plans a surprise...
If you have followed Collage of Life for a while you will know that my partner in life, Mr. H, is a man of surprises.  The paint colour of Chateau Mango and the arrival of Henrietta Hippo in Vietnam (where she remains) have to be two of his biggest. My favourite of all time is his moment in England. He loves a surprise and I knew it was only a matter of time before he was at it again.

I received a message a few weeks ago from Mr. H to see if I would be at Tahilla Farm on a certain day and time to sign off on a delivery.  Knowing Mr. H, I started to break out in a cold sweat...delivery?? Two thoughts crossed my mind...he had either secretly arranged for Henrietta to be shipped to Tahilla Farm or...he had finally realized his dream, to have a life size bronze statue of a cheetah by the South African artist, Dylan Lewis. I can tell you quite honestly that neither was ringing my bells. Let's just say it has something to do with a farmhouse in New England...where bears, coyotes and bobcats roam...not elephants, hippos and cheetahs.

I tried every trick in the book to get some little hint out of him but he wouldn't budge. I had to wait and see....and lucky for me, it was one that I had been secretly wishing for.

I am taking my hat off to Mr. H for reading my last blog post! I swooned over a Kadai firebowl that I had spotted in England a few years ago. Bless his mischievous heart, he found one for Tahilla Farm and I love it! The firebowl is in place for a roaring fire with family and friends. A few more chairs and we will be ready to go.

Tahilla Farm..
It was wonderful to be back and see the gardens take shape. The house finally feels like it is coming into it's own with the landscape. I spent time with our architect, Sheldon Pennoyer, working out the details for the carriage house renovation and am excited for this next and final stage of Tahilla Farm. It's looking like it will be full steam ahead in 2018...but first, I need to finish packing for this trip!

A carriage house renovation in waiting...Tahilla Farm

I will leave you here wishing you all the best 
and sending my deepest gratitude for reading along. 
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Jeanne xx

PS...if you want to go 'safari' with me, 
you can find me on Instagram here

22 May 2017

For the love of a house and garden...

Guess Who?

You know how I said I do not like having my photo taken? Well, on special occasions, I will attempt the odd selfie, especially as it makes my daughters laugh..when mom does her mom smile. ;) I had a good reason for this one...I wanted to show you my latest purchase, the 'Glenmore' hat. The story follows...

15 May 2017

A Creative Sabbatical...

Hanging out in Sydney

Greetings from Sydney!

I hope you had a lovely weekend and Mother's Day! I spent the day in Sydney with two of my four children, daughter #1, Miss Christine and son #2, Connor. On Mother's Day I caught up via Facetime with son #1, Patrick and daughter #2, Miss Claire, who jumped in with a photo from Botswana to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Mr. H checked in from Hong Kong making my day complete. It was a cool..ish, rainy autumn day...we cooked, talked, read and relaxed together. I knew my day was on the right track when Connor suggested we watch a 'mom' movie together, Under the Tuscan SunI have trained him well!  I love hanging out, something I rarely get to do these days...it is the perfect time for letting your thoughts run away from you.

17 April 2017

Expat Diary: Hong Kong

Thinking about life at No. 43 with my velvet slippers
 from Shanghai Tang here

Greetings from No. 43 in Hong Kong!
I am in Hong Kong for two weeks continuing my efforts to set up a life in our apartment at No. 43. Shortly after my departure in March I made an executive decision, or rather, an executive demand to hire an interior decorator. Given that my time in Hong Kong will be limited in 2017, it is near impossible for me to complete all the tasks before me in two weeks.  Fortunately, we found someone to help us. Curtains, light fixtures, carpets, re-upholstery, art...it's all on the list. With decorating underway it allows me to focus on spending quality time with family...and carry on with my travel notes.

04 April 2017

The One Thing....


Sometimes I look at my 'to do' list and it gives me the shakes.

But then again...my outlook on 'to do' lists is probably not your average outlook.

25 March 2017

Going with the flow...around the world

Indeed it is!
(in Sydney)

Before musing on the flow of life...I want to thank you all for the creative and clever names you suggested for our 'perch' in Hong Kong. We loved them all!  They continue to come in and as soon as I am back in Hong Kong I am going to sit and contemplate each and every one!

02 March 2017

First Impressions and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Hong Kong

The day begins at #43... sun rising to the east, behind the mountain ridge 

Good Morning, Good Evening and Hello!
Well, here we are again, on the Expat Express to Hong Kong! Many of you have been with me for the long expat haul, from our first days in Australia (pre-blog) to last days in New Zealand ( started blog) to life in England, Vietnam, Tahilla Farm and now Hong Kong. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you..from the bottom of my heart and up, it is full of appreciation!

13 February 2017

The Productive and Happy Woman- Podcasts

Did you make any New Year resolutions this year?
How is that going for you?
Still on course or are you feeling adrift?

I thought about my New Year resolutions for about a day
and that was it. I wasn't interested in focusing 
on a long list of goals...again.

I just wanted answers to a lot of questions.
Life changing kind of questions, the kind
that make you want to pull your hair out
 in search of answers.
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