Friday, January 8, 2016

The Back Page - my thanks, and my 'WORD' - - - - - - -

Fiona is back in the news. . . . . . .and I just have to show you those other
 'wish list' gifts which actually arrived at the cottage on Christmas Eve. 
For those of you who questioned whether 'my Santa' was named Bob - yes,
 he definitely was!
Thank you Santa Bob, you were extremely generous. I may just do 
the 'wish list' via the blog again next Christmas as it seems to work for
those gift shopping challenged men out there - perhaps you have
one also!

Having recently acquainted you with fab Fiona HERE, and recalling memories
 of my amazing personal experience with Antarctic penguins a few years ago,
 I added this book to my list.
What a delightful true story - I'm about halfway through and loving 
reading about young Englishman Tom Michell's 1975 arrival in
 Buenos Aires, Argentina to teach in a prestigious boarding school. . . . .
then rescuing and adopting a penguin whom he named Juan Salvador.
The story is absurd and wonderful - a classic in the making.

The other books I will tell you about another time - they are waiting
in the wings and I'm anxious to read both.

Yes, the plum colored chunky, very cozy Lou & Grey tunic sweater arrived too.
 I love that it's long, tunic length, so can be worn over just leggings with tall
 or short boots  - perfect comfort and ladylike, important at this advanced age!
BTW, have you tried the new light fleece-lined tights or leggings? 
I bought a pair and find them really great - a good alternative to more restrictive
 skinny pants - totally opaque and lightweight, not too thick, and so soft. 
Mine are by Simply Vera Wang at Kohl's. 

 On the left on my dresser, Dior's beautiful fragrance, Escale à Portofino. 
 It too was on my list, and is now hard to find - most stores have discontinued
 stocking it - but great retailer Nordstrom came through as always, found
 Santa Bob a bottle and shipped it in time. It's a large one and I will have to make
 it last a long time just in case it eventually becomes irreplaceable. 
My first bottle, found on a cruise ship, became my favorite fragrance immediately.


I'm making this my 2015 wrap-up, yes the 'back page'.
I'm so ready for this new year - who knows what it will bring 
for each of us. My biggest hope is for good health for myself
and my loved ones. Hope for a chance to travel somewhere new,
 but hopefully have lots of time at home to do things I enjoy.
I hold great hope for the world to become a more peaceful and 
better place. . . . . .for its people, the animals - wild and domestic - Nature's 
wild and beautiful landscapes, the environment, and especially the oceans.
So, perhaps not unexpected, my 'word' for 2016 has to be HOPE.

Thank you for following my blog through yet another busy year. 
You helped make 2015 a very special time by reading my words,
 complimenting me on my photography, enjoying my travels from your
 'armchair', and then leaving such generous, often funny, always greatly
 appreciated, comments. By doing all that and often more, you then gave
 me the opportunity to 'follow' you, the best friends anyone could ever have.
Coming up soon will be the start of my 8th year of blogging. Yes, I plan to
 continue, using my blog as my creative outlet and my personal journal. 
Although some are quitting their blogs, or moving to other social media
 platforms, I only blog! I love blogging, I love you, I don't want to change a thing.
So, hope to see you here for a long time, you will always be welcomed.


  1. I think you were very clever with your wish list! I may just have to do this next November when hubby says I don't know what to get you!! I'll start my wish list now :) Fiona is gorgeous and well done to Santa Bob finding that perfume. Hope is a great word and I do hope you have a very happy and healthy 2016 my lovely xx

  2. The books sounds very interesting Mary. I love your new sweater too. Hope is a wonderful word for the year. I hope we get a chance to see each other this year!

  3. Oh for sure never quit blogging. I still enjoy it too. The books sound intriguing. I love when I have some in waiting on the pile. How lucky you are to have Santa Bob to notice what you wanted. I love, love that sweater. Have not heard of the fleece lined leggings, but they do sounds delicious. Happy New Year!

  4. Fiona is very cute and the book sounds interesting. I love your looks so cozy and I appreciate the tunic length too. I look forward to following along with you wherever you go this year Mary. Your blog is one of my favourites to visit as I've traveled the world through your eyes. Have a super weekend! xxx Pam

  5. Santa Bob is a star .... you need to keep him Mary !!!!! haha
    I only do blogging and I love it ..... here's to more of the same in 2016. XXXX

  6. Mary, I'm impressed! My Santa remembered two of the things I had mentioned. The other, my favorite French tea from Mariage Freres, he had to borrow from a friend and include a promissory note. He has since placed an order.
    Fiona is adorable, and the sweater is one I'd like my Santa to bring here. '-)
    Nice Christmas!

  7. What a wonderful haul, Mary. I hope you get all your wishes in 2016.

  8. What lovely gifts from Santa Bob, who really did pay attention! My Santa did, as well. Lists are great things and we get our children to make them up, too. No guarantees, of course, and there will always be surprises, but how great to give something you know is wanted, and to receive the same.
    The books look interesting. I'm going to write down the penguin story for future reference. Best wishes for a hope-filled and hope-fulfilled 2016.

  9. Santa Bob sounds like a real dream…especially for tracking down your favorite perfume.

  10. Love your word. I need that every day. Your dresser is beautiful! Best wishes for 2016!

  11. Yes, yes, keep blogging. Yours is one of the VERY best and is a real treat whether you are at home or abroad. Plus your photos are an extra bonus!
    I must look for the penguin book. I, too, received The Shepherd's Life for Christmas and am looking forward to reading it especially since we used to raise sheep on our farm. It sounds most interesting. Good books are getting harder to find........
    Thanks again for your blog and I hope your New Year is going forward in a good way. Hope, hope, hope. Hope for our world to be a more peaceful place.
    Farm Gal in VA

    1. Dear Farm Gal friend in lovely VA - you always leave such kind comments and I truly appreciate all you write. I love that you have enjoyed 'armchair traveling' with me over the past several years - knowing you are interested in the places I visit make all the work of writing and editing my photos for my posts so worthwhile.
      How lovely that we will both be reading The Shepherd's Life - I can't wait to get started but I must finish The Penguin Lessons first! It is such a wonderful story. The author now in his sixties, lives in Cornwall, not far from my English home in Devon - I would love to meet him next time I go back for a visit!
      Yes, here's hoping that this year will bring good things. Hope yours is a great one for you and your loved ones - best wishes and big thanks.
      Hugs - Mary

    2. Farm Girl, I want to read your blog if you had one! What lovely words.

  12. Mary, Please never stop blogging. I say this as someone who has practically stopped blogging. (Only three posts in 2015, I think.) I love reading all your posts. I think I enjoy your posts about your home and garden even more than your travel posts. I was watching a decorating show the other day and the host used another phrase for decorating: Curating your home. Don't you love that? My home decorating consists primarily of all the collections I have, so yes, I am a curator. Now that the Christmas decorations are coming down, I must go curate some more!

  13. That Penguin book sounds so curiously delightful! I would not be surprised at all if you one day met the author one your travels home. How fascinating that would be to read about too.

    Yes, Santa Bob certainly puts the jolly in those ho ho ho's come xmas mornings. Well done to him!

    I love your last paragraph and I am too VERY glad you blog. While, yes, over the 8 years you've blogged more and more people have stopped theirs, I have seen a certain uptick in the last 6 months of so. It is almost like a rediscovered indeed yours is most definitely. It is a treasure of beautiful photos, amazing journeys (even to the delights of your copious garden) and so forth. I am also trying to "Write" more too on my own blog as I truly love to write. It engages a part of the brain that I thikn even art can't reach. Then again, I just love the flow of words.

    Yes, HOPE is a good word. I'm afraid it is so needed and my outlook is no doubt FAR more gloomy than yours when it comes the the year ahead the world over. I fear it will monumental but not in a good way at all. HOPWE not!

    What was your world last year, by the way? I don't think I read that post. As I wrote on my blog recently, Mine this year is "Invigorate!" Let me tell you, your blog assuredly does that for me, dear Mary. May you keep it going for many, many year ahead. And yes, good health to you and yours! Thank you.

  14. Hi Mary, Michael suggested I pop over to your blog to read a few posts, specifically this one. You have a lovely, cosy blog with wonderful photography, to boot! It's wonderful to read how others still enjoy blogging. Like you, most of the peeps I have followed over the past 7 years no longer blog. I've discovered a few new gems recently, including yours, and look forward to learning more about you and them this year. Happy New Year and thank you for always being there, supporting and loving my wonderful Michael from afar. Blessings! xx

    1. Thanks lovely Alexandra - I love that you are visiting here and do hope you'll stop be often. Your Michael is one of my favorite guy friends, I feel like I've been through the ups and downs of life with him - even though we've never met! I guess being English and ex-pats we've had things in common to laugh and cry about. I always have high hopes to visit Colorado again - it's been too long - and now I'd be able to meet you both, that would be such fun.

      Hugs - Mary


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