A Country Home in Somerset...

Ever thought of living in Somerset? 
A little place, tucked away in the beautiful English countryside?
A place to write, paint, cook, dream away the days?

Here you go...

The Realtors at Jackson-Stops & Staff refer to this home as an enchanting 
period house set within beautiful well stocked gardens enjoying far reaching 
country views. It seems that every house in England has a name, 
this one is called Four Gables. The house boasts eight bedrooms, four bathrooms, 
six reception areas and a separate two bed cottage.
I envisage many a weekend filled with family and friends in this lovely spot.

Well stocked mature south facing gardens, streams, pond, 
small copse, kitchen garden, glasshouse.. need I say more?

The home is within a mile and a half of the village 
of Nicholas St. Combe with its post office, village stores, public house,
Church and primary school. I nice distance for a bike ride. :)

The principal rooms are said to enjoy glorious views. 
The house has so many features that the mind boggles. 
You can read them here.

For keen gardeners, you should know that Four Gables is set
 in beautifully stocked and timbered gardens with springs and well. 
The gardens lead to the pond which is shaded by a magnificent oak and has 
weeping willow and two rustic bridges covered with wisteria.

The small copse has a number of conifers, silver birch and maple and 
has an under canopy of tree peonies and other flowering specimen trees.
The west facing kitchen garden sits near an aluminum framed glasshouse.

The land is manageable...0.45 hectares (1.12 acres).
Perfect size if you ask me.

I can't stop thinking about that view...it must be wonderful.

Do you have a perfect house in mind?
I am still thinking on mine, I call it 'The Someday House'.. here.

For more information on Four Gables:

Taunton, 8 Hammet Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1RZ

Lost in London and Discovering Daunt Books

I had a wee adventure the other day. It started in Parsons Green and involved a very long walk that ended in South Kensington...no where close to where I wanted to be but I had fun just the same. I should mention that a bus was involved in this journey for a short distance.  Let's just say that I now have a better appreciaion of street numbers and looking for forks in the road. I love that you can get lost in London and not stress (if you have the time). Every corner is a new adventure and I had more than one on this occasion. My misdirection led me to Daunt Books on Fulham Road in Chelsea. It has been on my 'to do' list so I was delighted when I came upon it.

Daunt Books is located around London in Marylebone, Chelsea, Holland Park, Hampstead, Belszie Park and Cheapside. My first port of call in any books store, is to the travel section. These days I like to check out what is available on Vietnam. I was happy to see that they have one of the widest selections around. Second to Vietnam is travel writing. If you enjoy travel memoirs...you must have a look here. Better yet, check out the virtual tour here...this is why I love book stores and I hope this one rewards readers for many years to come.

 Before I left, I picked up this wonderful book bag. If you read my other blog, Collage of Life, you may already know that I am offering two book bags as a Giveaway. You can read about it and enter here

Having left Daunt Books, I carried on and on to another great spot...
I will tell you about that on in my next post. ;)


Our daily ride....

 There is nothing like a bicycle, just back from a fine tuning.
Tika and I took our daily ride today, down to the pond and back.
Me tooling along, she running behind.

 You know of course, with a Springer Spaniel, it is all about the water.
She knows what awaits her at the end of the excursion.
The local pond holds all sorts of interest including bird life.
She runs with eager anticipation...
until we get there and then it is always the same look.
Why not?

I tell her the same thing every time...the signs say 'no dogs allowed'
the ducks are not interested in a canine swimming partner.

I always stop and look around when I get there. 
There is usually a photo or two taken. My file is growing.
We are going to miss this little spot when we move.
It speaks to us.

In all seasons...

Do you have a favourite spot you like to visit?


Finding magic in Kew

I was popping into my car in Kew (outside of London), focusing on the traffic around me and determining how long it would take to get home. If you know Kew, you will know that you have to anticipate these sort of things at the end of the day.  Just before I drove off, I stopped and looked out the window. This was one of the moments that you do not pass up. The sun was shining, the light was right, I knew what must be done. I turned off the car, grabbed my camera, took this photo and stood their for a while. It is so easy to take what is around us for granted. We race, we hurry, we plan ahead but when we stop and take it all in...it's magic. 

Do you know the feeling?
I am sure he did.

Speaking of stopping and taking it all in.
I have done that with one of my blogs, CJ Sytle Notes.
If you followed me there, I thank you most sincerely.
My last post is below, if you enjoy style, read on...

I started this blog as a test. I was working on a presentation 
to show a group of women how to start a blog. 
I called it the first thing that came into my head. 
I was looking at the photo above and thought..perfect..
..everything I love... cashmere and jeans. 
Once the presentation was over, I thought on it and decided to add a few 
more things and before I knew it I was compiling another blog. 
Over time, Cashmerejeans became CJ Style Notes and
16 months later, here I am. 

On that note, I have decided to consolidate. I am in downsizing mode. 
 I will continue to write over at Collage of Life, my HQ so to speak.
Style will always be on my mind...the kind that suits women of my age, 
the very best kind of age. :)

I want to thank each and every one of you who followed this blog.

If you enjoy the same sort of style, you can still find me 
pinning away on CJ Travel and Style Notes @ Pinterest.

I will also write about my kind of style @ Collage of Life.

Before I go, I will end with the most popular posts
during the past 16 months. Is there any better way
to end than with women of enduring style and elegance?

Vanessa Redgrave here
Candice Bergen, here

Lauren Bacall, here

Diane Keaton, here
Meryl Streep and others in Praise of Older Women, here.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis, here.
Grace Kelly, here.

Katharine Hepburn, here

In the end, it really is about just being yourself.
Don't you think?

Jeanne xx

The End.

Victor Tardieu and the Duchess of Sutherland

I love new discoveries, especially when I find them in unusual places.
I came across an small article in Country Life magazine..written
by Art Market specialist, Huon Mallalieu...

"A highlight of the fair (BADA) is a group of paintings shown by Abbott & Holder. 
Victor Tardieu (1870-1937) is an artist who deserves to be much better known, and his series 
of studies of the Duchess of Sutherland's hospital 'camp in the oatfield' in 1915 should be 
bought by the Imperial War Museum forthwith.


This naturally raised my curiosity. Firstly, I was delighted to discover Abbott and Holder gallery.
It is conveniently situated on Museum St, opposite the British Museum. I look forward to the opportunity to visit one day. In the meantime, if you are interested, you can view their 
LISTS, introducing 100 oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints. It is available on the first Wednesday of every month (here).

More importantly, the paintings above are included in a series of ten WWl oil paintings by Victor Tardieu (1870-1937) which record the tented field hospital established and run by Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland (1867-1955) at Bourbourg, twelve miles south-west of Dunkirk during the summer months of 1915. The paintings were given to the Duchess by the artist and have remained in the Sutherland collection ever since. This is the first time they have been exhibited.

The entire collection is not to be missed!
Be sure to read the History of the collection as well...fascinating!

If you plan to attend the BADA Fair ( British Antique Dealers' Association), 
you will see them on display with Abbott and Holder. I hope to be there. 
I feel these are not to be missed. The fair will be held March 21-27 2012 
at the Duke of York Square, by Sloane Square, London

In case you are wondering...
Victor Tardieu, painter and
Dean Indochina School of Fine Arts1925-1937
Millicent the 4th Duchess of Sutherland
received the Croix de guerre for her Red Cross work
during World War l.

Some of you may know that we will be moving to Vietnam in a few months time.
I was interested to learn that Victor Tardieu spend much of his time in his later
years in Hanoi, Vietnam where he founded the Indochina School of Fine Art.
He had a profound influence over Vietnamese painting and art during that time.
I hope to discover more of his work one day.

A Hanoi girl by Victor Tardieu (1870-1937)

A Morning in South Kensington

Last week, I checked in on Facebook 
to say that I was having breakfast with my notebook.
I was here at Le Pain Quotidien in South Kensington.
I sat at a long wooden communal table and sipped an extraordinary large 
bowl of cafe latte along with a delicious bowl of organic porridge 
with honey and stewed fruit. Did I mention it was delicious?  :)

Energised, I then moved on, past South Kensington Station....

Filled with witty English books...

Before leaving...just one for me.. because I love bicycles 
and this book has the most wonderful photographs by Horst. A. Friedrichs.
If you love bicycles too...you must have a look at this

You can appreciate, that this was hard to resist after leaving the bookshop. :)

More importantly, I am having a giveaway, you can read all about it here.


If you are interested in London style, fashion, shopping in London, hen houses
and much, much more, you can check it out on my Facebook page, here.


Sentimental in Surrey

Call me a sentimental fool, I have written about this before, but
I can't seem to let go... I have a weakness for our local bus stop.

Three mornings a week, my son, our dog, Tika and I head out
to meet the school bus. Thru the woods and over the pass 
to the bus stop we go.

You might say...it is just a bus stop. 
 I view it as a special time with my son and
a time to reflect on the day to come.
The morning traffic flows slowly by as 
woman, boy and dog sit and wait for the bus...patiently.

Well...almost patiently. Tika has discovered a family of ducks
that have taken to the pond recently and has shown a keen interest, 
a very keen interest.

This morning, I took my bike to carry my son's wellies back
to the house. The rain has come...we are in season, but, that's ok
for we have the bus stop. :)

More on our bus stop...here