I'M A LIL' BIT COUNTRY

Feeling run-down, irritable, disenfranchised, and city-weary…? Congratulations, you’re a real Londoner. Oh sweet Metropolis, I do adore you so, but there’s only so much one can take. Even a hardened urbanite like me needs to get away sometimes and swap congestion charge for corgis & clear air. About to tear your hair out from city-related stress? Do as the English do and pack an bag, hop on the train, and seek refuge in le country house.

Sadly, my family home is just under 9000 miles away in a different continent. Happily, my friend India very kindly invited me to her home in the country, where we could turn off our smartphones, take off our heels & city rags, and walk around braless.

It was my first time in the home counties, never mind the English country, so I was more than a little excited…!

L1040425

Love how the juxtaposition of blue sky next to storm cloud perfectly sums up the weather those few days…No doubt walking in the woods without a brolly only for the heavens to open up and start raining contributed to this mild fever I’m nursing at the moment. 6 years in London and I still haven’t learnt to prepare myself for all kinds of weather! D’oh.

L1040286 L1040287

You know you’re among equestrian lovers when the guest bathroom is kitted with Polo Ralph Lauren towels and Hermes toiletries. I matched my perfume and nail polish to the countryside—-CHANEL’s Cuir De Russie leather, earth, & tobacco scent and CHANEL Particuliere’s earthy greige were the perfect accents to what I erroneously dubbed ‘country-chic’…

Photo 42 Photo 47

…’country chic’, that is to say, faux-tweed, naff jumpers, walking sticks, pipes, and misappropriated hunting hats. My jumper is from Agent Provocateur, my tweed is Zang Toi, my scarf Givenchy.

My attire was less than practical so India lent me something far more suitable for walking the dogs in the woods…

L1040346 L1040307

The classics; Barbour jackets and Hunter wellies.

L1040313L1040303 L1040329

Hector & Horace, the gorgeous ridgebacks.

L1040308 L1040312L1040327 L1040326 L1040324 L1040316

Smoochies!

L1040356

Is there anything more adorable than a tuckered-out dog?

I wanted to ride the horses but they were away from the stables…

L1040382 L1040365

…but this noble steed allowed me to mount her. Fagget Fairy’s Feed The Horse came to mind. Feed the horse, nyam nyam…

L1040352

Bullet belt. Shoot from the hip. Literally.

L1040371

I love how the tranquil country, free of the distraction & the decadence London saturates itself in is most conducive to creativity. Friends calling you, tweeting you, texting, BBMing you to come to dinner at DSTRKT, tables at Project, Le Baron after, Scotch afterparty, after-afterparty in some stranger’s townhouse? Sorry, I’m in the country, playing my guitar and singing heart-wrenching songs about the impossible lightness of being.

L1040401

Wings, to be turned into a headpiece or hat.

L1040445

.

.

.

The next day, Lady Butterworth who up till then had been napping, came out to play. Look at her riding the stud, the saucy little minx.

L1040418

It was a sunny day so we inched ourselves outside…

L1040289 L1040415 L1040412

Lady Of The Manor.

Lady Butterworth explores the garden, but responsible pet-owner that I am I didn’t let her roam too far. Heaven help if a fox ravaged or a horse kicked her. MY BABYYYYY!!!

L1040422

Hiding…

L1040423

Climbing…

L1040427

Hedge-jumping…

L1040426

Peeking…

L1040429

Getting stuck in bushes…

She’s such a good girl!

India and I strip off and have a little dress-up session!

L1040455 Photo 50 Photo 52 Photo 54 Photo 62 Photo 59 Photo 61

Does my butt look big in this…?

On to the red room, where treasures and things of wonder are stowed. At this point the antique-lover in me imploded with joy. My late grandfather, he who collected vintage Jaguars, Islamic arms, and had an airplane cockpit in his garden (which he turned into a lounge!) would have approved.

L1040448 L1040439 L1040449 L1040453

More dress up ensues…

Photo 35 Photo 42-1 Photo 40 Photo 39 Photo 38 Photo 48

I KEEEEL YOUUUU

L1040432

Lady Butterworth gets in on the action. Little attention-seeker!

L1040452

Lady Butterworth getting feathery.

L1040437

Lady Butterworth trooping the colour.

L1040443

Lady Butterworth in armour.

.

.

.

We got back to London well-fed, with fresh air in our lungs, and well-rested! I did end up a little bit poorly, but that’s probably all the city toxins leaving my system.

I love the country and all of it’s serenity, and am definitely going to make these lil’ getaways more often. I leave you with one of my favourite prayers, Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity prayer.

L1040354

Xx
May 17, 2012

I'M A LIL' BIT COUNTRY

Feeling run-down, irritable, disenfranchised, and city-weary…? Congratulations, you’re a real Londoner. Oh sweet Metropolis, I do adore you...