My name is Cynthia and I love interior design, architecture, antiques, all things vintage, all things British (a tried and true Anglophile), a love of things that are time worn and hold secrets of days gone by. I love animals and try to respect their place in our world. I enjoying talking about the most beautiful places in the world, some exotic, some in our own neck of the woods. I love family and friends, music and movies. And most importantly, I love talking about these things with a daily dose of humor because I love to laugh and we all deserve to. So come on...let's go for a stroll.

AND PLEASE CLICK ON THE ENTRY AND LEAVE ME A COMMENT - I can't talk to you if I don't know you were here, dearest dahling...


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I'm back!  How have I been so neglectful? I should be ashamed...but when I tell you everything that has happened since my last post, you will say "whew...I understand."  Thank you for your patience and thank you for following along with me still.  I will be updating on a regular basis now, and have so missed has been such a large part of my life for so's time to get back to it.

For those of you who follow me but don't know me on a day-to-day basis, I finally made it to England.  Not only did I make it, I stayed almost 4 months.  I saw England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Paris.  It was the most amazing experience of my life, and I did it virtually alone.  My dearest and bestest friend in the world, Sharon, accompanied me to Paris and London and we had a great time.  I will be updating you with stories of our stupidity and hilarity in places like Versailles.  You won't want to miss it.

In the meantime, I am glad to be back and hope that you will be following along with me on this journey we call life.  It is quite fantastic!  In the meantime, here's just a little something from England.  I made it to Stourhead, which was in the top five of my all time bucket list.  It did not disappoint.  I don't think I've ever seen any landscape as lovely.  As someone who is obsessed with the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this was nothing short of a religious experience for me.  More pics and stories to come.  Cheers!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Love of the Past: I Dream of England (Queen Elizabeth I and II, C...

A Love of the Past:

I Dream of England (Queen Elizabeth I and II, C...
: I Dream of England (Queen Elizabeth I and II, Chatsworth, Led Zeppelin and Swinging London) Those of you who know me well, along wi...

I Dream of England (Queen Elizabeth I and II, Chatsworth, Led Zeppelin and Swinging London)

Those of you who know me well, along with those of you whom I have met through my blog, know of my dream to see England in all of its beauty.  I don't mean a two week trip to London...I mean a real  view of England.  And all of Great Britain for that matter. Ever since I was a little girl, when the other girls my age were dreaming of pageant dresses, tiaras and Donny Osmond, I can remember sitting for hours with some books that my grandmother kept in the bookcase at the end of the hall next to my bedroom door.  I can't remember the names of the books, but I remember that they were all about flowers.  My grandmother was such a gardener, and I have inherited her love of the same.  The books' focus was roses, so as one can imagine, there was page after page of English gardens.  I remember thinking that there couldn't possibly be places so beautiful...that the photos had to be staged, on a set somewhere.  Cottages with doors and windows with climbing roses, rock walls that lined old roads that can only be referred to as "lanes" in Great Britain.  I remember removing the books and taking them to my room and keeping them on the table in the corner between my twin beds...bedspreads covered in big yellow, green, black and white flowers.  And the table had a built in 8 track stereo.  I thought I was the coolest kid on the block.

My love of all things British eventually turned me into what my daughter Sarah considers an almost unbearable Anglophile.  She has informed me on more than one occasion, "Mom, I could never go with you to England...everything would be a life changing moment and I just don't know if I could take being with you if you saw the Queen." I think she decided it was official that I had a serious problem when I found one of my most prized possessions on Ebay and couldn't purchase it fast enough:  Smelling salts from the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  It came in the original leather pouch with the "HRH" insignia and is in beautiful condition.  I also have an original school photograph of the Queen from the age of around 10.  Another original photograph of the Queen riding one of her prized ponies as a child...the list is endless!  My good friend Ann, whom I met poolside at a hotel in Sorrento, Italy several years ago, lives in Manchester, England.  She and her mum were in London a few weeks back and actually saw the Queen in an unannounced public moment.  Ann said her mum cried, and then Ann's first thought was of me, knowing that I would have cried right along with her mother.   I know that, in some circles, it is no longer popular to be so enamored with the Royals, but in my heart, their sense of duty, history and tradition only make me admire them more.  I know all the obvious negative thoughts that easily come to mind...their money, the lifestyle that they were literally born into with extravagance that most of us can only imagine.  But none of that matters much to me.  I find them fascinating and hope that I always do, as it makes for such fun!  I have two large bookcases in my bedroom, from Ballards Designs (love!) and they are overflowing with books on the royals, and all things British, from country houses in England, particular Chatsworth (every book ever published about this amazing country house) to the timeless interiors of cottages scattered throughout the countryside of Ireland.  Books about British humor, British culture and what to ask and not ask while in England LOL!  Oh, and did I mention that I own every single book ever published about Princess Di...I know, it's not like I'm bragging.

I had originally planned to head to Great Britain in 2013, but then postponed that date until 2014 because of the Olympics, knowing that even though the Olympics would certainly have made for even more wonderful things to see, the expense of being in an already outrageously expensive city while hosting the Olympics was just not what I had in mind.  I wanted to go and stay long enough to take in every detail, everything...without the rush.  For now, my trip has been postponed.  In the meantime, I will dream of country roads that seem to go on forever, dream of bumping into Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and him becoming so enchanted with me that he drops everything and pursues me endlessly throughout the country LOL...dream of being able to see up close and personal where Swinging London was born in the 60's, and see where the greatest music ever made was born.  And to think there is now a royal baby on the way...maybe it's a good thing that I'm not there. William and Kate prefer, I'm sure, to have their child without intrusion from me.  But I'm only across the pond...

Curtains and upholstery by Colefax and Fowler

A dress by the late Alexander McQueen, England's greatest fashion designer and the greatest designer of his generation

Balmoral, the Queen's favorite of all 

I snapped this photograph in downtown Atlanta about three years ago...this lovey gal was visiting from England and was wearing one terrific English hat!


Love the wallpaper, the chair and especialy the tattered Union Jack throw pillow

My dream Hollywood Honey, Daniel Craig - he makes me want to slap someone!

This postage stamp is actually a rug, from
 Stamp Rugs Limited

I have this beautiful pendant, courtesy of Etsy seller.  Eizabeth Taylor, herself an English lass, is my all time favorite actress

English Club Chair, torn and tattered...and perfect

English interior...source unknown

Through an English window...source unknown

My pendant with a painting of Ann Bolyen, courtesy of Etsy seller

I purchased this postcard from an Etsy seller in Ireland. I love theimage of the woman bringing the baby to the jail window to see its father.  

Purchased this pendant, with a silhouette of the Queen, made from an old vinyl record, from Etsy seller

Another Etsy purchase, which only contributed to my Led Zeppelin obsession, courtesy of Etsy seller

And again...what's better than a Union Jack ring? From Etsy seller

And your point is? Well, yes I do love them.  I purchased this silly button, which is pinned to my overnight duffle bag, from Etsy seller

This lovely pendant is pinned to my bedside table lamp, courtesy of Etsy seller

My favorite postcard, also purchased from the Irish Etsy seller 

I bought these cupcake decorations from Etsy seller, not knowing what I would do with them because I do not bake! I have them on my desk, where I can look and laugh at them whenever I feel like it

Wore this one just last week...lots of compliments whenever I wear it, courtesy of Etsy seller


A winding little river in the English countryside...source unknown

from one of my favorite blogs, A Paper Mulberry

Second only to Daniel Craig in the list of British movie hunks, Henry Cavill. Watch for him as the new Superman in the upcoming film.  I like to drool over him in his role as Charles Brandon on Showtimes "The Tudors"

Add caption

Add caption

I know...I really need to move into the 21st Century...I promise that I do listen to music that was made since 1979. But not much.

This photo captured my abandoned swimming pool at a school in England...source unknown

Marc Bolan, UK musician and songwriter, who died back in 1977 . He's like a Raphaelite painting

Add caption

Add caption

One of my favorite films, 2005's Pride and Prejudice...see my last post for
more on this wonderful film

Add caption

Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, considered England's most beautiful country house

This scene of Elizabeth Bennet on the cliffs in the English countryside is more like a painting than a photograph

Union Jack as art...source unknown

The Queen with one of her Corgis as a young girl...source unknown

From Rachel Ashwell's latest book...She's the Queen of my favorite style.

Add caption

The Cast of "The Tudors" - catch the reruns if you didn't see it the first go's deliciously decadent

Add caption

More from A Paper Mulberry

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pride and Prejudice -- Lizzie, Mr. Darcy, the English Countryside and the Music

I must admit that I am a latecomer to the classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen and published in 1813.  I only discovered it after seeing the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Mathew McFadyen.  I enjoyed it immensely, but again, it wasn't until even later that I was completely smitten with the story of the Bennet girls, their pushy mother, their understanding and kind father, and of course, Elizabeth Bennet.  Lizzie, as she is often referred to in the film, is witty and feisty.  She meets the always mysterious and dashing Mr. Darcy, who has made women's hearts skip a beat for 200 years now.  It's no wonder that women the world over find him to be their romantic ideal...always brooding, unattainable, handsome, absurdly wealthy, and of course, English (which above all else, is what matters most in my book (smile).)

If you have seen the 2005 film, then maybe you are also familiar with the soundtrack.  Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Dario Marianelli composed most of the score, and for me, it is the most romantic and beautiful music from any film of the last 20 years.  The opening scene features Elizabeth walking through a green pasture on a lovely sunny day, all the while reading a novel.  As she walks, the music plays sweetly. She approaches her home, with farm animals running everywhere, people working outdoors, her family buzzing around inside, laughing all the while.  Lizzie enters the large country house to the sound of her sister playing the piano.  The scene flows perfectly with the musical score and to me, is what makes this scene so gorgeous.

Throughout the film, the score is paired perfectly with each scene.  I now find myself listening to the soundtrack almost daily, and watching the film almost as much.  As I do chores, pay bills, work, or whatever I find myself doing during the day, I often have the DVD of the film playing in the background to keep me company.  I never tire of this beautiful tale of love between a common girl and an extremely wealthy man.  Director Joe Wright has captured what makes England so enchanting to Anglophiles such as I...hills and land so green it seems hard to imagine that it is real.  Beautiful meadows, jagged cliffs, and architecture that makes my mouth water.  One scene in particular, in which Lizzie argues with Mr. Darcy during a rainstorm, is one of my favorites.  Another scene close to my heart  is when Lizzie is traveling and her companions wish to stop at Mr. Darcy's house for a glimpse inside, and yet they are speechless when the coach pulls in front of the grand estate, for they are not prepared for his vast wealth.  My favorite English country home, Chatsworth, which has belonged to the Duke of Devonshire for centuries, stands in for Mr. Darcy's home.  The house is seen by Lizzie for the first time as her coach emerges from a wooded trail.  Of all the places I hope to see in England, Chatsworth is at the top of my list.

If you haven't had a chance to catch this 2005 version of this classic novel, I encourage you to see it.  Then, you must check out the BBC version starring Colin Firth, after which time you will be well qualified to argue with any woman about which Mr. Darcy, Colin or Matthew, is your favorite.  I am a fan of Colin Firth, but I must admit that Mathew's portrayal grabbed my heart.  And I have always adored Ms. Knightley.  I also recommend another film in which she starred as the Duchess of Devonshire, "The Duchess."  I can hardly wait to see her latest film, Anna Karenina..she's always wonderful in her parts in period films.

So again, if you haven't seen the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice, please do.  I don't think you will regret it! And then get yourself the soundtrack.  But be careful...both are highly addictive. My dear friend Karen and her daughter Hannah, share in my love for this film and the soundtrack, and have selected songs from the soundtrack to be played at Hannah's wedding in February 2013.  Girls after my heart!!!

As for me, I am now in search of a Pride and Prejudice 12 step program. Enjoy

The opening scene, in which Elizabeth strolls through a pasture while reading 

Elizabeth Bennet, as portrayed by Keira Knightley

Mr. Darcy, as portrayed by the handsome
Matthew McFadyen

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth dance together.  She decides that she cannot tolerate him, but deep down in her heart, she knows differently.  He is already in love with her, but won't admit it for quite some time
Lizzie's sisters and mother gather beside a massive
 tree near their home

Lizzie and her sisters, along with her parents, portrayed by Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn, gather on a balcony at a dance in a nearby mansion, where Lizzie sees Mr. Darcy again after a very tense first meeting

Stunning scene, in which Elizabeth gazes from a high cliff while thinking
of her love for Mr . Darcy
The impossibly beautiful Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire for hundreds of years, stood in for Mr. Darcy's home in the film.  This photograph is from the scene in which Elizabeth and her travel companions see Mr. Darcy's home for the first time.  Chatsworth is considered by many to be England's most beautiful country estate.  There are many interesting books available about Chatsworth...I think I have them all.
Stourhead Gardens, featured so beautifully in the scene in which Elizabeth, during a rainstorm, informs Mr. Darcy that she will never find him attractive and has no interest in him.  We already know that she is in total denial.
Publicity shot from the film

Composer Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who wrote part of the soundtrack
to the 2005 film version

Composer Dario Marianelli, who also composed a great deal of the music
 for the film

Listen here for "On Top of the World" which plays as Lizzie stands at the cliffs,
thinking of Mr. Darcy.  It is utter perfection.  Copy and past into your web browser.  Link Courtesy of  "Gurkiball" on

All Photos Courtesy of Working Title Films

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...