As I write this on a bright sunny Christmas Eve I wonder where the year went and why we have a cloudless blue sky in mid-winter London.

I am conscious that it is the fourth Christmas since I left Melbourne and my ‘gap year’ far exceeded. I am conscious that my enjoyment has far exceeded my original expectations, as has my learning and knowledge gathering. And I know now, if I didn’t before, that my cravings for new learnings, new understandings and new experiences are very well satisfied living in Europe.

I have been back in London, after a wonderful summer in Tuscany, for around four action packed months.

2015-12-12 13.20.332015-12-12 16.40.08 Highlights definitely are the 9 week History of London course that took me       from the Roman ruins near the Barbican to the brilliant Shard designed by Renzo Piano, who also designed the iconic Eureka Tower in my hometown, Melbourne, and the Art History course that meandered through many galleries, most noteworthy being the Sir John Soane’s Museum of amazing objects and art, and the new Damian Hirst gallery in Vauxhall. Both courses were led by incredible women whose collective knowledge of London and art fills my curious mind with the top of the iceberg and an invitation to dig deeper.

Other exhibitions I enjoyed included shoes, Indian fabrics and Indian jewellery at the V&A, Ai Weiwei at the RA, Goya and Audrey Hepburn at the NPG, just to name a few highlights.

2015-09-10 09.07.58September s2015-09-10 14.25.49aw Hugo and I in Cornwall for a few days to celebrate his 25th birthday and I realised that, too many years ago, my own mother came to London to celebrate mine. We enjoyed the lovely coast and gorgeous villages, some great meals, the Barbara Hepworth and Tate Museums in St Ives and catching up with a friend for lunch one day.

One of the things that constantly amazes and impresses me is the magnificent way collections are housed and displayed in the many museums in London. A pre-opening tour of the Imperial War Museum’s World War II exhibit was extraordinary, and a day at Bletchley Park guided by Ruth, one of the Bletchley Girls in the 2014 book of the same name was fantastic. Remembrance Day was celebrated with the Canadian Women’s Club with a wonderful speaker who had an extraordinary collection of War Memorabilia which had us in stitches and shudders for a good couple of hours.

I took up my role as President of the Australian Women’s Club and together with my amazing committee enjoyed many great activities such as cooking lobster in Brighton, the Chelsea Psychic Gardens, a fabulous Melbourne Cup Day Luncheon, Christmas Cocktails at the Australian High Commission Residence, drinks, dinners, films, theatre and wonderful speakers at our monthly Coffee Mornings.

At Australia House I have drunk lots of wine – South Australian for a blind tasting, and West Australian for a very fun evening; listened to Germaine Greer deliver the annual Arthur Boyd lecture (attended by Barry Humphries and Lord Jeffrey Archer) and spoken to the wives of Australian officers at the AHC on the delights afforded members of the Women’s Club in the hope they come and play.

2015-10-21 15.08.51In Octob2015-10-23 12.07.28er I enjoyed a 5 day visit to Alsace in the east of France with 4 days walking amongst the russet and gold leaves of the autumn vines – organised by the Kensington and Chelsea Women’s Club. It was a very lovely few days enriched by some brilliant whites at the end of the day and a Michelin lunch on the final day.

I’ve had two weekends at Westbourne with my dear friends Linda and David and looking forward to being with them for New Year’s Eve and a bit of boating if this magnificent weather continues. I did have a trip to Bruges booked with my Aussie friend Jo, over here for work, but it was during the Brussels lock-down and we decided to play in London instead of risk our socks when we didn’t need to.

Theatre wise I enjoyed Nicole Kidman in Photograph 51, The Distance (coming soon to the MTC), Teddy Ferrara at the Donmar, a brilliant production of Orsteia, and a couple of Sunday in the Apartments showcasing young and fabulous Aussie talent.

November’s2015-11-13 14.21.22 highlight was a 4 day visit to Venice with my friend Linda to see the Biennale. The Pavilions were mixed but the Japanese and Korean exhibits were outstanding. We loved most the Palazzo Fortunay and the extraordinary buildings of the Arsenale. But the piece-de-resistance was a private visit to Elton John’s apartment which Linda and her business partner had created about 15 years ago. It was mind blowingly brilliant: every piece was stunning; floors, cupboards, objects, curtains, and 2 incredible chandeliers by world leader Dale Chihuly from Seattle. Such a privilege to be there, and, sadly for you, no photos!!

Then a return to London to gear up for Christmas. Fabulous decorations everywhere, marvellous lights, window displays. Four Carol services to sing in, and four Christmas fairs: in Spitalfields in the old Truman Brewery, an Italian one at the Chelsea Old Town Hall, a rather upmarket Belgravia street fair and the best of all in the Draper’s Hall in the City: full of exquisite things to buy, champagne to drink, Richard E. Grant to talk to, and David Frost’s son, and a diary note to return next year.

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My tree has been decorated, my fridge groaning, good wine waiting to be opened, presents and of course a stocking for Hugo under the tree.





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It’s been a fabulous year. I’m blessed to have the ability to live here in this magnificent city which fills my senses and stimulates my mind. I’m planning lots of travel next year- mini breaks- Paris in January,Tuscany in February, Bruges in March and then some… I hope my good buddies from Oz will visit and I know my sister is. It’s all looking rosy and so i hope it is for you.

My very best wishes for your Christmas and New Year – may it be whatever you most want, and above all healthy and peaceful in a world that we sometimes no longer understand.

Saluti for now