Ending The Summer Vacation: In A Blue Embroidered Jacket And Jeans

After many lovely weeks of summer vacation spent with my family in the USA, I am home! In the last few days of my vacation we attended a family wedding.  I met many relatives I had not seen in a while and they were all keen to know what I was doing since our return from India. I was a bit reluctant to talk about the blog as I did not want to be seen as one of those people who only talk about themselves and their latest endeavours.  My brother must have sensed my hesitation and later  gave me a pep talk about how I must tell people about my blog and promote my creativity and hard work.

Landing at Gatwick, it was lovely to see the lush green English countryside and feel a surprising warmth in the air. As I waited in the immigration queue at the airport, I couldn’t wait to get home and have a nice cup of tea.  Finally, it was our turn and we were called up to the desk of the next immigration officer. She checked our passports and then asked the usual questions like where we were coming from and how long we had been out of the country. She then asked me, “What do you do?”

My mind darted back to my brother’s pep talk and suddenly I decided to take the bull by its horns.  “I am a fashion blogger”, I said confidently.  As the officer looked at me (possibly wondering what kind of fashion blogger I was as I looked like I I had stuck my finger in an electric socket), my younger son piped up and said, “that is not a profession mummy, you don’t make any money doing it”.  I looked at his little face, still in shock at his statement, when he continued with his pearls of wisdom for the officer.  ” At the moment, she is a house…house…what do you call that thing – yes she is a house keeper!”

Highly embarrassed, I looked sheepishly at the officer who was trying very hard not to laugh.  “Housewife, housewife – is the word you are looking for darling”, I said wondering what the chances were of the ground opening up and swallowing me  – or preferably him! By now, the officer looked like we had made her day, so I quickly picked up our passports and rushed off mumbling my thank yous.

Once I had retrieved our bags and some of my dignity, I asked him why he thought house wife was a profession as I didn’t recall getting a formal pay check in that line of work either! He didn’t have an answer but I assume he learned the word ‘housewife’ at school. It is now high time for him to return to school and learn that very important lesson of not talking to immigration officers unless he is spoken to!

On a different note, I have definitely been having a ‘jacket moment’ throughout the last few months.  They lend themselves so well to creating an ‘effortlessly chic’ look that works for everyone, from housekeepers to housewives. These ‘boho’ type jackets are perfect for the transitional weather we will experience in the next few months and they add a layer of warmth without suffocating you. They can be paired with so many tops and jeans and I find that they have a synergistic effect in that the sum of the whole outfit is greater than the parts that make it up.

Now that I am back, I am looking forward to ‘lookbooking’ autumn/winter looks as the weather gets colder.  Please do let me know if there is a particular kind of look you would like to see on the blog. As always, thanks for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Jacket – Zara, Top – COS, Jeans – Gap, Sandals – Dolce Vita)

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Grecian Adventures: Part 1

One of the many wonderful benefits of Easter break is the chance to go on a vacation, especially in pursuit of some sunshine! This year we decided to go somewhere where no family member had been before, which is a harder task in the modern world then one would think.  Greece sounded like a wonderful destination that ticked all the boxes and we decided to visit Athens and Santorini.  We arrived in Athens on Easter Sunday and embarked on our city tour the next morning with our first destination being the Acropolis of Athens. Pictures do not do the ancient citadel perched atop the city of Athens justice – the ancient buildings are a magnificent sight to behold as is the sprawl of modern Athens below. Amongst the many buildings on the Acropolis are the Parthenon, The Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. The Erechtheion is an ancient temple dedicated to Athena and Poseidon supported by a porch on its South side called the ‘The Porch Of The Maidens’. This porch is supported by six caryatids (sculpted female figures that serve as architectural support in place of a column or pillar) and their unusual and tragic story had me intrigued!

It all started with the  guide asking us if we thought these caryatids were original or replicas.  I guessed original and I was wrong – the six caryatids supporting the ancient temple are replicas.  Five of the original six sisters have been moved to the New Acropolis Museum, which was our next destination. Where is the sixth sister you may ask? The sixth caryatid sister was removed by Lord Elgin, a Scottish nobleman diplomat, who was the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799 to 1803. He took this sixth sister, along with various other marble antiquities (known collectively as the ‘Elgin Marbles’) back to Scotland to decorate his mansion.  Later, he sold these antiques to the British Museum for 35,000 pounds to repay his increasing debts. The sixth caryatid remains in England, and can be seen at the British Museum.

As we headed towards the New Acropolis Museum I couldn’t wait to see the five sisters.  They stand together, tall and glorious, but I felt a great sadness as I looked up to view them. In the middle of the group of sisters, stands an empty space for their sixth sister and this continuing geographical separation has all the hallmarks of a Greek tragedy.  Legend has it, that when the sixth statue was removed, the other sisters could be heard wailing at night for their sibling!

I am fully aware of the ongoing debate about whether the United Kingdom should return the Elgin Marbles to Greece.  It stands as one of the most prominent repatriation cases in this domain and I have read the arguments for and against returning the antiquities taken by Lord Elgin all those years ago. Standing at the Parthenon, looking across at the six sisters that represent part of the ancient glory of Greece, I cannot help but feel a sense of injustice at this forced separation!

The next day we left for the island of Santorini.  I had heard so much about its natural beauty and the blue and white island does not disappoint!  Blue and white are the official colours of the island, with the blue symbolizing the heavens and the surrounding Aegean sea and the white to reflect the intense heat in the summers. Many of the blue and white domes that dot the landscape are private and public churches. According to our tour guide,  there are 550 churches on the island, with more churches than there are priests! More about Santorini later……….

I hope you enjoy these pictures of Greece and I hope to bring you many more in my next post.  By pure chance (yeah right!), I brought along my blue Pankaj and Nidhi embroidered kaftan top to wear and the gorgeous blue was the perfect complement to the magical surroundings – I felt like a Hindi movie heroine but my husband warned me not to sing as it may lead to us being asked to leave immediately!

(Clothes and Accessories: Red Sweater – Cos Stores, Blue Top – Pankaj and Nidhi, Jeans – Zara, White Trainers – Dolce Vita, White Sandals – Arturo Chang)

 

A Few Shades Of Grey: With Jeans and Sneakers

Most of us have an innate preference for certain colours and are constantly drawn to them – regardless of how many clothes we may already own in those colours! I can’t resist grey knitwear – I find myself drawn to grey sweaters like a moth to a flame. I think the source of this compulsion may lie in an article I read as a teenager that suggested that grey knits were the staple of a sophisticated woman – I have been trying to achieve stature through grey sweaters ever since! As always, thanks for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Grey Dress – Uniqlo, Grey Cardigan – Marks and Spencer, Handbag – Salvatore Ferragamo, Shoes – Dolce Vita , Watch – Cartier, Horn Bracelet – Michael Kors, Silver Clasp Bracelet – Agatha)