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Saturday, 10 November 2012

In the lounge

I read this article the other day about how to have a successful blog. 

It said I should be posting blogs as often as possible to entertain my readers.  

But it's been a while.  But the whole point of this blog wasn't really to be successful it was primarily to entertain myself, and possibly my family. 

So the last few months I've been so busy enjoying my new love nest with Mr Rose that the blog is woefully neglected. 

An interesting outcome is that my family have got so fed up of waiting for me to write a blog they've started 'blogging' themselves.


So bitches, I'm back to retain my crown. 

I find myself currently in the Cathay business class lounge en route to Hong Kong to run a big event. 

It's fricking amazing in here. It has a noodle bar and endless champagne. It will be hard to leave.  

The purpose of doing business class travel on your own is to be as nonchalant as possible.  Nothing screams 'loser' like exclaiming to yourself out loud, forgetting for a moment in your excitement that you are all alone 'oh my god I'm going to have a latte and a vodka tonic AT THE SAME TIME!!!'  

So I'm wearing bright red lipstick, a killer frock and I'm trying to keep my shitty New Look cabin bag hidden from view. 

If anyone asks I'm the MD of a successful lingerie business, off to China to see my shareholders. 


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The big day approaches

I am fairly sure, nay certain, that you all watched the return to Downton Abbey on Sunday night.  It came as no surprise that Matthew and Mary got married and hope you all had a tear in your eye as they finally said 'I do'. 


As I watched the scenes unfold of the whole village getting ready for the celebrations I felt familiarity as we have Cousin LL's wedding approaching fast.  Mrs Patmore and Carson had been frantic getting everything ready for the big day, and we hope we can give our happy couple a similar sort of send off.
Matthew and Mary Crawley


We haven't baked any pies or shone the silver, but here is a sample of the sort of prep I've been partaking in as Maid of Honour:

A conversation with Mr Rose occurred last night.  I enquired as to which suit, shirt and tie combination he was going to wear to the wedding.  He glanced up briefly from The Economist, cocked an eyebrow at me and asked how on earth he would know as normally he decides on the very morning of the event.  I knew this was a lie as I have to watch him lay out the next day's pants and socks before bed, so I made a quip about that and insisted he give the matter some thought. 

With a sigh, he said:  "Well which suit do you think I should wear?".   I replied:  "The navy Massimo Dutti one".    A pause followed.  "Which tie do you think I should wear?".  I replied:  "I was thinking your red Aspinal one".  A further pause.  "And which shirt should I wear?"  I replied quickly "I was thinking light blue.  Definitely not white as you look enough like David Milliband as it is.  But obviously it's up to you".  

"So.." Mr Rose replied, "I think I'll go for my navy suit, red tie and light blue shirt.  I'm so glad I made that decision."  And with that, he went back to reading about Syria. 

The next day I quickly emailed Annie and Izzy, to make sure their Beau's weren't wearing anything that would clash – think of the photos!


I've scheduled sun bed appointment, Shellac appointment, had my hair highlighted to within an inch of its life, barely touched a carb in 3 weeks and already done 3 make up trials.  And I'm just the bridesmaid!!   Lord knows what Cousin LL has been up to. 

She isn't the sort of girl to pretend to her fiancĂ© she is going for a jog and then pop to the Tanning Salon.  Oh no.  Not her. 

We've been through all of the photograph running order to make sure we don't miss anything out.  My suggestions for various rude things were rebuffed.  Personally I can't see what is wrong with the idea of having all of the 7 bridesmaids doing shots. 

We've discussed the delicate nature of the table plan – she has managed to find the one person she knows who is interested in politics to put next to Mr Rose. 

I have trawled the John Lewis beauty hall for the perfect coral lipstick shade for Aunty Mame. 

My mum, Uncle R and Aunty Mame spent 3 hours tying ribbons on the orders of service. 

I've been for 4 dress fittings with a seamstress that appears to be a dab hand with the needle but has an aura of 'been at the cooking sherry'. 

We've all enjoyed it so much, weddings are lovely things because they bring everyone together – not just on the day but in all of the lead up and preparation. 


I can't bloody wait for it all to happen now!





Friday, 17 August 2012

A beauty tip or two

Yesterday I got this email from Cousin LL. 

"My mini blog…. Rose, you can reuse this content without copyright infringements!

So this Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Lip Duo is the best product I have found in ages.  It is amazing… yesterday I put it on at 11am and it was still there at 6pm… after coffee, lunch, and a full day of normal stuff.  The coloured end is the lip stain… its incredible.  You put it on and wait 5 mins… and then you can put the gloss on over the top but I hate having sticky lips so I either leave just the stain but that can be a little dry, so I put on nude lipstick over the top for moisture.
It lasts for ages….
My best beauty find in ages"

Well I trust Cousin LL's beauty recommendations so thought I'd pass it onto you guys, even though I have not yet tried it myself - my spare cash is a bit more focused on scatter cushions at the mo...

Let me know if you like it.  She says the colour she loves is number 22, exquisite pink.

Then Annie piped up and replied to the email stating her undying passion for their concealer.

"I adore Estee Lauder double wear concealer – it has a similar effect. Once it goes on, it doesn't come off right until bed time when you wipe it off.  Really good colour match and sits well under eyes without clumping. "

Rose x

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Practically Perfect

So guess what?!

It's been a year since I first started this blog!


I've loved writing it. Hope you've enjoyed reading it. According to the stats it's now been read by just under 15,000 people. Who you all are is a mystery but I hope you stick around.


This is my nail varnish du jour - Practically Perfect by No7 available from Boots. It's a great natural colour that gives my nails that glossy healthy look which isn't easy to always get right. It's not too pink, too peachy or too white. It is practically perfect.


Rose xx


Friday, 3 August 2012

The Olympics of my life

The Olympics of my life.

A bit like knowing where you were when 9/11 happened I always think that the Olympics provide a snapshot in the memory of where one was.

Here are mine:

In 1992 I passed the entrance exam to my rather academic senior school.  My parents were so gobsmacked / delighted I was given an Atlanta 1996 sweatshirt as reward and wore it with pride for years and years.

2000 was Sydney.  It made me like the look of Australia so much I decided to go travelling there after uni

2004 was Athens. I'd been living in London a year and next door to Cousin LL.  Her bday is in August and I threw her a surprise Olympics themed birthday party complete with golden laurels, hummus and cardboard javelins to throw around.  I'll never forget the look on her face when we all jumped out and surprised her.

2008 was Beijing.  I was living with my dear friend Scarlett in Camden.  We went from having no interest in sport to being Olympics obsessed for 2 weeks.  We stocked up on Pinot Grigio and cheerios (COS THEY LOOK LIKE OLYMPIC RINGS!!!) and barely left the flat for 2 weeks.  Our preferred sport was the synchronised diving – two divers called Ping and Pong were our favourites.

2012 is London.  And aren't we doing well?  On the day the London 2012 Olympics opened we got the keys to our new house.  We sometimes refer to it as the Olympic House.  After 3 years of talking about it, saving up, planning and dreaming we are finally there.  And we couldn't be happier.  An Olympics I shall never, ever forget. 

Rose xx

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Eastend Snob

This little lip liner might not look like much, but it is a super, natural colour.  My friend Natalie wore it last night and I accosted her for the name - expecting her to say it was something expensive.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear it was Rimmel!  I hot footed it to Superdrug at lunchtime and grabbed one. 

It goes with any lip colour.  Rose's top tip - put it on all over your lips then put lipstick or gloss on top - you'll be amazed how much longer the colour stays on..

(Apols I can't seem to add a photo - COMPUTER SAYS NO grrrrrr)

Rose xx

Thursday, 19 July 2012

All that glitters is golden

So this time of year I'm normally looking my best.  I have colouring which suits sunshine, I've always tanned well and my hair goes naturally blonde in the sun.  I'm sorry if that sounds a bit smug but its true.  If its any consolation I still have a bottom the size of China, and by January I've gone a sort of yellowy grey colour from lack of sunlight.

As you may have noticed if you live in the UK, we are suffering the worst summer in YONKS.  It feels like it has rained every day since March and there is no sign of the jet stream moving.

I saw Aunty Mame last night for a terrific night at the Proms.  I said that I'd heard that the jet stream was due to move next week and she replied that "its just a rumour the BBC are putting out to stop everyone committing suicide.  Its not true."   :-(

No only is the lack of sun making me miserable it is making my beauty regime more extensive.  By now I normally have a tan, naturally blonde hair and my skin looks so good from Vitamin D then I don't have to wear foundation. 

However, this year my summer is proving to be a bit more reliant on beauty products so here are a few of my faves. 

First up is St Tropez Gradual Tan, available in light to medium or medium to dark.  This is essentially posh 'Johnson's Holiday Skin' - everyone remembers that right?   I love it because it moisturises your skin, doesn't smell so you can pop it on in the morning when you get out the wrong side of bed, and it doesn't streak. 

Top tip - there is a body one and a face one.  This is St Tropez trying to fleece you - just buy the body one and use it on your face. 

I use it about every 5 days to keep myself from looking like this: 

And a bit more like this (in colouring terms only!!!!):

Secondly I'm having to get my hair dyed more frequently, lest my natural mousey brown shine through.  I'm also trying to grow it for Cousin LL's upcoming wedding which means I can't keep chopping the ends off.  Both of these things mean it isn't in great condition and getting a brush through it is getting harder. 

My lovely hairdresser recommended this stuff and I AM HOOKED.  It is a divine oil which doesn't make your hair greasy it just makes it lovely.  Shiny, soft and in better condition.

You can use it as a mask, put it on before blow drying or put it on when hair is dry to style it.
Its available here for currently 25% off so get in quick as it isn't cheap. 


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The perfect gold earrings

So back in January when Alexa and I chose a lovely coral dress for me to be her bridesmaid in I made a mental note to myself that by the time the day of the wedding arrived I needed to

A)  lose 5 stone
B)  get a lovely golden tan
C)  grow my hair longer
D)  go blonder
E)  get some perfect gold earrings to go with the outfit. 

I failed on A). 

B), C) and D) were easy - thanks to St Tropez Gradual Tan - the best fake tan on the market in my opinion and a good hairdresser. 

E) was tricky. 

I have been scouring the country for the perfect pair.  I looked in every accessory shop I could think of but what I really wanted was something relaxed but also a statement.  They needed to shine and stand out from my hair and skin, which is all rather golden in colour.  They needed to be glitzy but not tacky.  Obvious but subtle.  Chunky but classy.  You see what I mean?   DIFFICULT.   There was even a conference call with H, the other bridesmaid who lives in Exotic Scotland about what on earth we were going to wear in our ears.  I eventually found a couple of pairs that would have just about done, and had agreed to borrow a lovely pair from my friend Natalie if I couldn't find anything.

On arrival in Ibiza I bored Alexa senseless with a long discussion of the different earring options.  She patiently listened and suggested I bring them all to her room on the morning of the wedding and we take a look together.
We had such a lovely time on the morning of the wedding.  Alexa was as relaxed and happy as a bride could be.  We had a lovely breakfast in the sunshine on the terrace, got our hair done and pottered about drinking champagne and making ourselves look lovely.  It really was a day I'll never forget.  A highlight was when the other bridesmaid, H, and I realised that we both had bought the same identical pair of giant, seamless, beige pants from M&S.  Classy. 

In a quiet moment Alexa gave us both a box containing the most perfect gold earrings I've ever seen.  That girl has exquisite taste.  I can't think of a more perfect pair.  I needn't have worried because like everything else, Alexa had my earlobes under control. 


Friday, 1 June 2012

Our first holiday in a year

Not long after the Lehman Bros collapse when the City was full of doom and gloom I got made redundant from a job I adored.  It was all a bit shit, but one of the lovely things that came out of it was that my good friends from my job and I all became really close. 

3 out of the 4 of us were cut loose and the shared experience turned us from very pally colleagues to proper friends.  We named ourselves jokingly the Circle of Trust - and in that gloomy time at work when under notice of redunancy, we regularly found a quiet corner and had a good natter about what was going on - all under the understanding that what we said to the Circle of Trust was to go no further. 

Fast forward 5 years and they are some of my closest friends.  Alexa, Natalie and Nessa are 3 people I'm always delighted to see no matter how exhausted I am - they always cheer me up, make me laugh, give me style advice, realtionship advice, etc etc.  We all come from completely different parts of the country (The North, Wales, Essex and Warwickshire), have different backgrounds but we get on like a house on fire.   We still call ourselves the Circle of Trust (or COT) and meet up as much as we can.  Sometimes we do COT+HABS (husbands and boyfriends) to shake it up a bit.  I adore these girls. 

Next week Alexa will marry Ackrington in Ibiza and I'm delighted to be one of their bridesmaids!  So this means COT Goes on Holiday. 

So tomorrow Mr Rose and I jet off to Ibiza.  This will be the first holiday we have had in a year and my goodness we feel like we need it!  The past few months of ridiculous work schedules, house buying, living with The In Law etc etc have all taken its toll. 

I've only just got back from 2 weeks travelling with work so the suitcase hasn't even been put away. 

Last night I lured Mr Rose into the bathroom, shoved him in the bath and before he knew what was happening I got the Ladyshave out and reduced his hairy back considerably.  He thinks being hairy makes him magnificent but I explained we are going to Ibiza not Kazakstahn and it simply wouldn't do. 

I am really looking forward to spending time with my slightly less hairy boy, my COT girls, a bloody good book and copious amounts of sunshine. 


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

An Unusual Sunday

So I'm having an unusual couple of weeks. Last week I was in Brussels organising a 3 day conference, dinners etc and as I type this I find myself in sunny Singapore where I've come to arrange the opening conference and party for my firm's new Singaporean office.
Sunday was an odd day. I leapt off the Eurostar in London and into the arms of Mr Rose who'd come to meet me and escort me to Heathrow ready for my flight to The East. Normally after a big 3 day conference I collapse in a heap and hide from the world for 24 hours, but this time I had to pack myself off ready to do it all over again.
We decided to go to The Gilbert Scott for lunch in the new swanky hotel in St Pancras. It suited us both - it has a reasonably priced lunch deal which cheered Mr Rose and I was happy because roast chicken was on the menu.
After a very pleasant lunch we hot footed it to Heathrow. As he waved me off through the barriers I felt a little lump in my throat as we are not often parted and I felt rather overwhelmed at travelling halfway across the world to do a nerve-racking important event.
I soon cheered up when I saw Duty Free had the Tom Ford eye shadow I've been after for ages - I am a shallow beast.
So the flight was quite an experience. The firm I work for sent me business class which I've only travelled once on before. The cabin was gorgeous - my seat was big enough for 3 people. I was surrounded by very serious looking Singaporean businessmen who no doubt travel that way every week.
I sat meekly down and tried to look cool, calm and collected.
That lasted for about 30 seconds, such was my excitement. So I did what anyone would do, I texted Mr Rose photos of the menu, ordered a glass of champagne and a Singapore Sling at the same time, grinned like a Cheshire cat at the hostesses, ate an enormous and delish dinner, watched 3 episodes of Glee and then passed out for a mammoth 8 hour sleep - those flat beds are miraculous.
On arrival in Singapore I did a bit of work, had a quick swim then went to bed. At 4am I glanced at my phone to check the time and was greeted by the wonderful news that Izzy has got her first proper job starting just a few weeks after her finals finish in June. Am so thrilled for her.
Quite a day!

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Ginger Jubilee

So last weekend was eventful.  The entire clan schlepped to Somerset for a weekend of celebration for it was The Twins' (my mum and aunt) Jubilee.  They both are 'vibrant' redheads, so it became known as The Ginger Jubilee.

Other than booking the house and barking driving directions - the Twins had no involvement with the organisation of the weekend.  At the Super X Club Meeting we divvied up the jobs and made sure all were involved

Cousin LL - ordering the Ocado shop and general organising us all military stylee
Rose - Gala dinner catering, placecards, branding and theme
Cousin TL - All booze for the weekend and running a wine tasting competition
Annie and Izzy - Invites, fireworks, balloons, decorations

Mr Rose and I arrived after a bafflingly busy and stressful day which included actually completing on our flat, a 2 hour row with British Gas, seeing 2 houses and getting lost in Central Bristol on the journey for about 40 mins.  However, our spirits were raised as we arrived at the massive farmhouse in the middle of nowhere to find my entire family gently pissed and in the hottub ready to whoop at us. 

The lovely house decked in lime green balloons

Saturday was magical - we wanted the whole day to be full or surprises for the twins so we kept everything secret.  We woke up to glorious weather and went on what can only be described as a Mega Walk.  Just as we thought we would not survive, Mr Cousin LL cemented his position as Golden Boyfriend (after all, he has put a ring on it) and spotted an ice cream van and treated us all to a Mr Whippy. 

After a large lunch, a bit more hot tubbing, glasses of cider and afternoon naps, we kicked off the evening with a wine tasting, arranged by Cousin TL.   We all love a bit of competition in our family plus a bit of booze so this was a winning combination. 

Then Somerset's finest caterers provided us with a lovely dinner of goats cheese tart, duck confit and Dolphin Nose potatoes with lemon tart.  After the starter, Cousin TL asked us to go outside for the Wine Tasting Prize Giving but this was merely a clever ruse and we had a surprise fireworks display that took the Twins totally unawares and delighted us all - big thanks to Mr Annie for organising.  As Auntie Mame gripped my hand as we stood and watched, quite overcome by it all, I felt a tear trickle down my carefully made up face - fireworks always make me emotional. 

The table all dressed for dinner in our lime green theme

Once back inside I rehearsed, for the 80th time, my speech which I had been planning for weeks.  But just after main course was served, my dad noticed that the spot on which the fireworks had been lit was on fire - so we all ran out into the field in our finery, screaming and shouting, clutching bottles of Evian with calls of RING THE FIRE BRIGADE.  We soon realised the fire was totally minor and after chucking some water on it, all trekked back inside to finish our duck. 

After pudding of lemon tart and raspberry meringue was served, I cleared my throat and was just about to tap my glass with my fork and begin 'Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I would like to make a little speech….'

Would you adam and eve it?  Mame yelped to say the field was on fire again.  So - for a second time, we grabbed water, shoved on our wellies and ran out into the night in a moment's panic.  Fortunately we have some fairly competent menfolk who put the fire out very quickly and the drama was over as quickly as it had begun.  

So the moment for my speech evaporated into the night and there didn't seem to be another right moment over the weekend. 

But what I had planned to say was this:  We are an unusually close and happy family - this is all down to the two people who's birthdays we were celebrating.  They had a mixed childhood but they gave us all an idyllic one and for that we can never thank them enough.  We wanted the day to be full of intrigue, surprise, indulgence, good hygiene, fun, humour and glamour - because when you think about it you realise this is exactly how they have made our lives. 

So to Auntie Mame and my darling Mum - happy birthday from your biggest fans


I can't believe its not Lip Butter

Ladies, tomorrow as you find yourself running errands on your local high street, do yourselves a favour and pop into Boots. 

Buy yourselves a little piece of happiness for under £8 - a Revlon Lip Butter - it is basically a cross between a lipbalm and a lipstick.

Rose's product of the week - moisturising as 15 pints of alpine spring water, lovely colour pigment and under a tenner.  Problem is, most people have realised they are hot stuff and they are sold out in most Boots.  So if you see one, will you grab me one too? 


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Rose's new toy

So it has happened - Mr Rose and I have sold our flat and moved in with Dr Gustav while we try and find 'Rose Towers'. 

It is Day 3 in the Big Gustav House and so far, so harmonious.  The house is a charming, Georgian house in leafy Highgate which is covered in his extensive china collection, books, paintings and other things necessary to be a North London Jew. 

Packing up our flat was a mighty task.  Both Mr Rose and I are hoarders.  I have so. much. makeup. and have sworn not to buy any for yonks.  Mr Rose likes to keep everything he has ever owned.  He obviously gets this from Dr Gustav - so far I've found not one, not two, but three old dead irons that no longer work.  One of them is brown so it must be an antique!  

But he has made us very welcome and one of the best things about the house is a lovely roof terrace which is My Next Project.  I'm thinking all white flowers this summer - so elegant!  Normally I go for the Parisian look of all red geraniums, but I think now I'm in my 30s it might be time to go subtle.  Watch this space. 

Now I've been meaning to tell you for a while about my New Toy.  I've blogged before about the wonderful Babyliss Big Hair which quickly turns boring hair into a glossy K-Middy style blowdry, in the comfort of your own home.  I love it dearly. 

Then I investigated other Babyliss hair products.  And I have found the holy grail of hair stylers.  The Babyliss Waving wand is so easy to use, so lovely and so quick that I am tempted to use it every day.  It gives you that carefree wavy look you can imagine Kate Hudson works so hard to get on the red carpet. It also adds tonnes of volume which is always a good thing. 

Here is my hair with it done.  Every time I do it I get tonnes of hair compliments, it is something of a crowd pleaser.

So if you have long hair, get yourself one pronto!   And if anyone wants an iron from 1976 in a lovely shade of brown, do let me know  ;-)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Glow like a 21 year old

I don't see my baby sister Izzy as much as I would like. She is hundreds of miles away in Newcastle doing her finals (best of luck kiddo!).  I'm in London working too hard and trying to move house. But I'll see her in a few weeks when I'm going to give her a massive hug and occasionally stare at her a bit. 

The reason I stare is because I'm fascinated in the differences between my skin and hers. I'm only 9 years older than her, but our skins look different. Even though we have similar eyes, face shape and colouring she has something I have lost along the way that I'd love to get back - a glow. 

I don't mind about the odd wrinkle setting in but losing that light reflecting glow that makes your skin look luminescent is pants and I've spent a lot of time and money trying to get it back with skincare, but you can't turn back the clock you can only pretend with make up! 

I used to use a Bobbi Brown shimmer block which comes in a huge variety of colours 

But recently I've looked closely at my skin and it doesn't sit as well as it used to, it makes the wrinkles look more pronounced so I've relegated it to eyeshadow which it does brilliantly and is very long lasting. 

I heard about Jemma Kidd's dewy iced gold radiance cream from one of Tanya Burr's make up tutorials and can report it is soooooo easy to use, it has a lovely creamy texture and you just slap it on wherever you want light bouncing off your face. I'd recommend staring at a 21year old to see where it needs to go - I use it on cheekbones, just under my eyebrows but also tiny bit on top of cupid's bow on the lips and tiny bit on bridge of nose. 

It doesn't stay on for a whole day at work so I carry it with me for touch ups. Can't let the glow fade! 

For a night out where I want the glow to be really pronounced, so I use Barry M Dazzle Dust which costs a couple of quid in Superdrug. The colour that suits me the best is Gold Iridescent no 27.  I either add a touch of it to loose powder for all over glow, or with a small blusher brush to the apples of my cheeks. 

Rose xx 

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Post script on Bill's

Last night I received the following charming email from my friend Alexa, as in Alexa and Ackrington. I thought I'd post here in its entirity:
Loved the blog.  You make it sound like you're all straight out of some charming Enid Blyton novel.  Were lashings of ginger ale and jolly hockey sticks involved?
With regards to Bills, I agree that it is a fabulous place and thought you should know that there is also one in Angel.  Where Jamie goes, William will follow...
Alexa xxx

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Every gang needs a club house

When I was about 6 years old, the rents took Annie and I (Izzy was not yet born, not left at home) on an old fashioned family holiday to the Isle of Wight.  I remember the whole trip very fondly.  Probably more fondly than Annie, who at 3 years old was persuaded to alert the hotel receptionist when my tooth fell out so they could get my parents out of the hotel dining room and to come and help my dire medical situation. 

One day we had a day trip to a theme park on the island, and my dad and I went on one of those flight simulator rides.

I've managed to find a picture of it - it is exactly how I remember.  God bless Google. 

I remember the whole episode being utterly thrilling, but best of all was the sticker I was given as I darted off the ride, leaving my green looking dad trailing behind. 
It said, simply, the name of the ride - SUPER X.  It was a big glossy thick sticker and I kept it clutched in my paws all day long. 

I knew exactly what to do with it. 

When we were kids, Cousin LL, Cousin TL, Annie and I had a gang.  Cousin LL was in charge and bossed us all around.  Obviously.  I was the creative brains of the gang and bossed the younger ones around.  Cousin TL was the muscle - very useful if you needed to dig a pond or get someone to dress up as a doctor.  Annie was in charge of props and toys.  We spent our summers charging around gardens, building dens, fishing in streams and creating mysteries that needed solving (who can forget the case of the Chicken Skull Mystery, Dorset,  July 1988?).   In winter, we mostly got under our parents' feet, watched MGM musicals, acted out MGM musicals and chucked bits of monopoly at each other. 

Upstairs in our house was a cupboard in the eaves, small enough that only children under 10 years of age could get in, but plenty big enough for the 4 of us. 
As soon as we got home from the Isle of Wight, I headed upstairs, stuck that sticker on the door and hey presto - the Super X Club was born. 

From that moment on, the 4 of us were The Super X Club.  A gang can be great fun, but till it has a club house, it is nothing.  Incidentally, my parents still call that cupboard the Super X Club. 

So recently the 4 of us needed to meet up, just us, not plus 1s or anyone else for a Business Meeting.  You see, in March we are all going en masse, to a village in Somerset for some very jolly times over a long weekend to celebrate the Matriarch's birthdays.  This year it is a special birthday.  (Yes, 39 again). 

I suggested we meet at Bill's in Covent Garden, a fantastic cafĂ© / restaurant you might never come across as it is tucked down a side street.  Here is a pic of the aperitif - blackberry and banana smoothie. 

It is utterly charming, totally packed for brunch but worth the wait. 

We all agreed, we had found our new club house.  As soon as Izzy hot foots it to the big smoke, that is where we will take her for her initation ceremony..

We had a great and productive time and are all very excited about giving the Matriarchs a wonderful fun weekend, as you can see - they have given us many many happy times so it is lovely to be able to repay them.  I urge you all to go next time you need somewhere decent to eat in central London. 


Saturday, 25 February 2012


 It is mid Feb and yet here in London the last few days we have had some glorious Spring weather and it has been glorious. I feel like whooping: WE MADE IT WINTER IS OVER AND WE ONLY HAD ONE COLD WEEK!!!! 

Of course Spring isn't really here but for a few days we can all wonder where our espadrilles are and dream. 

To make the most of my gardenless flat I like to fill it with flowers especially in the Spring when all of my fave flowers are around. So on Friday evening I shot out of work like a bat out of hell, hot footed it to the northern line and gasped the fresh (ahem) air of the A1 at Highgate Tube.  In the evenings there's a lovely lady selling flowers so I hastily bought an armful of orange tulips and blue hyacinths and took this pic as I walked home thinking to myself that I had an armful of Spring. 


 Once home I realised I didn't have quite the vases I needed so I improvised and voila 




Enjoy it while it lasts guys, it will probably be -3 next week 



Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Happy birthday, Charlie boy

I am something of a fan of Victorian literature. 

To illustrate this, let me tell you that growing up I named a cat Charlie after Dickens, Tess after Tess of the D'Urbervilles (I don't think as a 13 year old I quite understood the rape scene…) and my illustrious mother had a cat called Trollope. 

As a fan I have been so pleased to see the publicity old Dickens is getting on his bicentenary.  He wrote some of the best characters and stories in English Literature and any publicity that will drive people to actually read his books is a Very Good Thing. 

You can barely move today without seeing an article about him, or a TV adaptation.  Even Google are honouring him on their homepage.  Here are two of my suggestions about how you can gain a little insight into the fellow. 

Firstly the Museum of London (where I used to work) has a fabulous exhibition all about Dickens' life and his experiences of London.  More information here.  While you are there you should check out the London Wall Bar and Kitchen, a fabulous restaurant within the museum walls  

Secondly, one of my fave websites is Letters of Note. It does exactly what it says on the tin - it is a collection of interesting letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes etc.  It is fascinating and charming - nothing can make a person from history come to life as reading a letter they sent their mum / husband / school teacher etc.  Dickens was a great letter writer and I urge you to read their selection of his letters here and here specifically this one  (warning the last one brought a tear to my eye)


Monday, 6 February 2012

Golden things

I have long had a stationery fetish.

This is well documented.

One of the most acute aspects of my fetish is diaries. I have been given a 2012 diary. I have bought two 2012 diaries. None of them were right.

They have to be slim enough to fit into my handbag without weighing me down. Soft enough leather to feel luxury. Week to view is of utmost importance as I have to see a week ahead what I'm up to.

Above all, I have to like how it looks when I get it out of my handbag in a smart cocktail bar to write in the next meet up with a girlfriend. Or, when I'm frantically scribbling in a dentist appointment whilst getting the 134 bus up Archway Road.

So as I wasn't getting on with any of my 2012 diaries, I decided to see if I could get into the modern era and just use my iphone. This hasn't worked and I nearly booked a hair appointment during the First Twin's 60th Birthday Weekend Away Planning Meeting with all Cousins!!!!! Lordy lordy, my roots need doing but that is one lunch I CANNOT miss.
So I happen to spot this in the Aspinal sale. Just a subtle little number. And only 11 quid!

Aspinal gold snakeskin diary

Friday, 27 January 2012

Something every house should have

At the moment it is not only Mr Rose and I who are battling with the property market. My parents are selling our lovely family home in Warwickshire for something a little less big. Looking at the photos of the house online yesterday made me think, again, how gorgeous it is and how lucky I am to have grown up there.

It made me think about the elements that make a house really special. Auntie Mame commented yesterday that her favourite ever house was great because of its great party space. Some houses are born great and some houses are made great.

My parents bought our house back in the mists of time when it was a tiny cottage, they have gradually extended it over the years and bought bits of land. Looking at the photos I found one of my fave places - the gin and tonic seat.

This is at the end of our garden, positioned so that it gets the last bit of sun in the evening. It is where we pop out just before supper to catch the last bit of warmth from the sun, with someone bringing a tray of ice cold gin and tonics rattling in crystal glasses.

The best bit about it, is that it was designed and built by my clever dad. How cool is that?

So I made a resolution - when Mr Rose and I finally find our new home, I shall make sure that there is a sunny spot in the garden where we have a bench on which to enjoy our gin and tonics. So the tradition may continue.

Now if the nice folk of East Finchley could just hurry up and put their houses on the market that would be super duper! Thanks awfully.


Thursday, 26 January 2012

An Interview with Auntie Mame

Apologies for no posts for a week or so, dear readers, I've been busy growing my eyelashes and working too bloomin' hard. 

The grand matriarch and doyenne of good taste, Auntie Mame, has very kindly answered a little interview I sent her today. 

1)   If you had to only celebrate one of these for the rest of your life and forsake all others, which would it be?  Christmas / Birthday / Easter
Xmas (I like it visually, tree, lights, dark rooms, candles, lots of people)

2)  What is your opinion on why Seal and Heidi have split up?
Seal cheated for sure

3)  Which flowers are vulgar?
Carnations (even in a mixed bunch)

4)  What is the most appropriate pudding served at a dinner party for close friends on a Friday in February?  Main course is beef. Queen of Puddings with thick un whipped cream  (Find the recipe here)

5)  You have been a style icon in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s.  Which would you say is the fashion you have enjoyed the most? 
Flared jeans and white cheesecloth smock a la 1970 mode as worn to Rod Stewart at The RoundHouse

6)  With both of your children being married this year, what is the advice you will impart on how to have a happy marriage? Well defined roles

7)  If you won 40 million pounds on the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?  Serviced flat in London on the Thames

8)  Which has been your favourite blog on Rose to the Occasion so far? Christmas with my family blog particularly your Mum's air of disappointment when there is no new car to be seen.

9)  Throughout history, who has been your favourite monarch? Queen Victoria, India, loads of children, a goer, a doer, a real queen

10)  Of all of the houses you have lived in, which has been your favourite and why?
Our house in Bucks in the 90s, wow kerb appeal and great Entrance Hall for parties



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Rapid Lashes

There are many things I don’t like all that much about myself.  But you get to 30 years old, and you realise there are somethings that are just not going to change.

1 – My love of Country Music is embarrassing.  You don’t ever meet anyone else who likes it so it is a lonely passion.  It is acceptable, just about, to be a bit potty about 80s House music, 70s cheese or even One Direction.  But songs about slammin’ that screen door, sittin’ on the front porch, daddy’s pick up truck etc etc are JUST NOT COOL.  
2 – I really enjoy liquor.  And that is just not ladylike.  I don’t mean gin or vodka, I mean the really hard stuff.  Give me a good Armagnac and I’m a happy as a clam
3 – The only chocolate I really like is stuff you can buy in a newsagents.  Anything posher than Nestle or Cadbury’s and it just isn’t the same. 
4 – I think one of the nicest smells in the world is fabric softener.  I have been known to wash clean sheets again if they come out of a cupboard rather than the tumble dryer.

All of these things are odd.  And I’m not proud of them.  But they are me.  The other thing I’ve had to come to terms with is the biggest secret of all, which very few people actually know. 

Even though my hair is naturally mid brown I have completely blond eyebrows and eyelashes.  YES I KNOW – this makes me a freak of nature, right?  Surely one of the good things about having brown hair is that you have a nice frame to your face of defined eyebrows and eyes.  But no, I must have really unusual colouring.  This is something I mostly keep secret but always always always wearing eyebrow pencil, lashings of mascara and for special occasions I get eyelash extensions. 

When I was a little girl here are a few of the women I was desperate to grow up to become:  

CZJ in Darling Buds of May

Scarlett O'Hara

Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables

Elizabeth Taylor

All of them have gorgeous strong brow and long lashes. 

But instead I have more similar colouring to this chap. 

So I’m going to try a new product which promises to make my eyelashes and eyebrows grow thick and luscious. 

I read about RapidLash ages ago, and have since heard loads of good reports from very reputable sources and am going to give it a try.  I know it sounds totally infeasible but listen to the science bit:  some doctors noticed that patients being treated for glaucoma were growing longer and thicker eyelashes so some clever people used the technology for this product.  It is about £30 in Boots, but you can get it for about £20 on Amazon.  I’m now using it every night – but it takes about 8 weeks to work so I’ll have to keep you posted.  I expect by then I’ll look like Liz Taylor.  Cos something that comes in a tube can do that, right?  

Rose xx

Monday, 9 January 2012

Surviving January

So possums, how are you all doing? Survived the first week back in real life? I'd give 2012 a 6/10 so far.

Mr Rose got a mahoosive and unexpected tax bill. Which is shit.

My dear 'rents had buyers fall through on our family home. Which is really shit.

But some good stuff is happening too. My job is shaping up to be fun in 2012, with some nice events in exotic locations.  Mr Rose and I have been house hunting ready for our impending move and although we haven't found The One yet (or even This Would Do) it is fun nosing around houses and imagining finally having a kitchen that can fit more than one of us in at once.

The variety of ways in which people display their houses when on the market is extraordinary. We saw one yesterday which had the glossy finish of a 5 star boutique hotel. It was divine. If it hadn't been in the wrong area we would have snapped it up, purely because we would love to see ourselves living the lifestyle. You suddenly imagine yourself with polished French antique furniture mixed with interesting finds from bijoux flea markets - conveniently forgetting that everything you own is from Ikea and seeing as Mr Rose thinks spending over 500 quid on anything that isn't a holiday is an outrage, that situation is unlikely to change.
But you can dream.

One house we looked round was perfect for us on paper - but was priced so high that we thought it must be in a wonderful condition with added benefits such as huuuuge landscaped garden, divine ensuite and kitchen you could be lost in. Alas, it was fairly bog standard. I was utterly horrified to see in the downstairs loo a large handwritten sign about how if you wanted to do a poo you had to go upstairs and weren't allowed to use this one. I mean HONESTLY who would leave such a sign up for everyone to see?????!?!?

We ruled that one out pretty sharpish.

But it hasn't all been poo. Here is fun stuff I've been up to this week.

  • Reading 'Major Pettigrew's Last Stand' by Helen Simonson. It has all the components of an excellent book - hilarious characterisation, thoughtful comment on race relations in rural England, romance, so much humour about village life and golf club politics it has had me hooting. 
  • Culture 'init. I always book theatre this week as it is cheering and doesn't involve carbohydrate or booze. Necessarily. On Thursday I went to see Strictly Gershwin - the music of Gershwin performed by an orchestra accompanied by the Royal Ballet. I got a mild surprise as the curtain went up and the music started, as I'd got my Musical Jews mixed up and was expecting the music of Bernstein. Oops. But Gershwin was totally lovely, if unexpected.  
  • Then Friday I took Mr Rose to see One Man Two Guvnors which was hilarious. Go if you can. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket.
  • Keeping my new year's resolutions. This year I decided to wear a different pair of earrings in January to make use of my vast collection.  (I never understand why people set themselves hard ones they won't keep, like learning Mandarin. Aim low, I say, and feel smug when you achieve). 
  • Living vicariously through Cousin LL who has not only pretty much planned an entire wedding in a week (with my help) but last night went to the Royal preview of Warhorse sitting 3 rows away from K-Middy and Wills.  Jealous beyond words.  
  • Thanking the Lord Jesus and my parents I was not named Blue Ivy
Rose x

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year's Day

The news came through the airwaves at 10am - Cousin LL and Mr Cousin LL are getting hitched!!! 

By 12.40pm Cousin LL was getting worried as she had not heard from me. She had visions that I was either:

1. Crying in a jealous heap and yelling at the sky 'Why God, why isn't it me?!'

2. Beating Mr Rose over the head with a rolling pin saying 'go on ask me ask me ask me' 

3. Dancing around the room in a leotard doing the Single Ladies dance frantically thrusting my ring finger in his chops

But none of the above was true. I was in a heap. But I was not sobbing in a jealous rage I was snoring gently with what can only be described as a Class A hangover. 

After ringing her and whooping excitedly, for I really am very pleased for them, the cold realisation set in that I felt like a port soaked badger had died in my head and was slowly rotting. 

Last night was NYE and we hosted a small supper for our pals Alexa and Ackrington. It was a raucous evening and I'm feeling the effects of too much champagne, Sauvignon Blanc and port. It is the port which has laid me low today- every time I drink it I swear I never will again. Sigh. You'd think at 30 I would have an idea about how not to poison myself.  

In order to shake off the feeling of slow death, we had an uber healthy lunch of chicken casserole filled with lentils, spinach and veg. 

Then I had a delightful bath with my top reviving products: Elemis herbal lavender repair mask, l'oreal elvive renutrition hair mask and a lovely body lotion from Cowshed- called Horny Cow! 

I now have shiny hair, glowing skin and smell less like a tramp. Bingo. 

Now I can get on with the serious business of the day, finding pictures of mahoosive rings I think Cousin LL should get!  

Happy new year, possums. 

Rose xx