Friday, December 23, 2011

Moving Right Along

That's it, I'm done for the year. Apologies for the lack of all things Christmas here at The Hedge - the Chrissie decorations are up & my Christmas Playlist is on 24/7 trying to jump start my festive spirit, but that's about it. The (in)famous Millie sparkle has gone AWOL, but I've got 2 weeks vacation now & I'm going to make locating that lost sparkle & doing a reinstall my main priority. The second half of 2011 has been one of the most personally challenging I've experienced in a long, long time & I'm not sure I've handled it very well. Still I can't rewind that tape, so I'll just have to cop it & move right along.

This year only 2 of the boys will be gracing us with their presence on Christmas Day. #1 will be staying in Melbourne with the other side of his family, #2 is flying out to Burma tomorrow for a 4 week back-packing & filming holiday with his lovely girl, #3 is driving over from Melbourne tonight to join us briefly, #4 will be spreading his legendary good cheer at his workplace-the most remote mining site in Australia & #5 & his bride-to-be, the sweet Miss A. & puppy Tazzie will be with us. We were lucky to have 4 out of 5 home last Chrissie, so I'll take who I can get this year & be grateful.

I have a rendevous with our In-House Orthopaedic Surgeon on my birthday early in the New Year. I need to sort out a pressing issue with a very dodgy knee that has been causing me much grief this past year. The Radiology report was ominously presented to me in a black envelope & it made for a nightmare read! All the years I spent trying to impress the sons with my massive torpedo kicks playing footy with them at the park has come back to haunt me. Then it's off to the Company's Annual Sales Meeting in Sydney for a week & all the standard rah-rah stuff that brings with it.

Thank you dear Hedgies for sticking with me this year. It's been a yukky year for us here at The Hedge. The renos came to a screeching halt when MOTH's crook back appeared & put his entire life on hold for 6 months. It appears the last ditch procedure he had in Sept. is finally starting to help & he's now managing to do a few hours work each day in his business. Then there was my change of jobs & return to full-time - enough has been said about that & I'm putting all my ducks in place to effect happier times there. Chuck a few family issues in the mix & I'm over 2011.

The Hedge will be back on track next year, with the renos. ramping up again & more shocking Before & After images than ever! MOTH & I wish you all the most wonderful Christmas Day on Sunday with your precious ones. We value your comments, emails & personal contact more than you'll ever know. I love you & I love the joy this medium brings me. Onwards & upwards & let's do it all again in 2012!!

Image: Not On The High Street - Indian Garden Company


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Time To Start My Chrissie Engine

OK it's time to rev up my Christmas spirit! I'm on my second day of vacation, so dashed into the City with a long, long list, amazingly completed it all in under 3 hours, hurtled back up the Freeway, stopped off at The Stirling pub for a glass of bubbles & a mince pie to celebrate the successful completion of my mission & have plonked everything down on the sofa for Later to deal with. No-one else is home & the peace & quiet is magical, with just puppy Lulu & this year's Playlist of Millie's Worst & Most Cringeworthy Chrissie music loudly blaring softly playing in the background.

Thanks to everyone who left comments & voted in the previous post. It seems dear Hedgies we fell about 999,955 votes short of the 1,000,000 I was hoping to use as a bargaining tool in my network submission, but anywho........ What was most gratifying however is that Option #2 (Yes - as long as the blog disappears) to the question Should The Laurel Hedge become a reality TV show in 2012? received ZERO votes - yay!

I'll be back tomorrow for my last post of the year, in the meantime, I need to brace myself as MOTH the Christmas Grinch is due to make his annual appearance any moment now. My spies have forewarned me that he's heading up the Freeway now in the truck. It's easily recognizable as it's the only one without tinsel wrapped around it's bull bar!!

Image: From the lovely Rosemary at Content In A Cottage


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thinking, Thinking

I washed & ironed 6 director's chair covers on Saturday arvo. I can think of better things to do with my time & yes, it's pretty apparent that I don't have enough to occupy my unstimulated brain at present.

MOTH's been trying to cheer me up & suggested all sorts of ideas for a change of jobs for me next year. He still doesn't understand why I can't be making $100K.+ a year with The Hedge. If I hear him say one more time 'Geez Mills, get cracking & get a few big sponsors & we'll be on easy street!' I'll take to him with my designer Uzi. However a recent comment by a certain lovely chum on her blog 'Isn't Millie's blog great? I think she should have her own reality show. With MOTH doing the renos in the background. It could be the Kardashians meets The Block.' has got me thinking. Over the years there have been frequent suggestions along the same line. So is it time to think radically outside the square, do an audition tape & pitch the idea to the unsuspecting network bosses for Behind The Hedge - a reality TV show. Of course just like the Kardashian's, that would mean all the boys, their partners, assorted pets & rusty cars would have to move home. Yep that would work. What do you think dear Hedgies? And if you'd like to give me some ammo for my network submission, & I reckon about 1m. Absolutely's! might just clinch it, please do vote in the poll below - ta!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Down The Garden Path

MOTH told me I had to wander down to the Tennis Court early this morning as there was a surprise for me. His girls the Christmas & Oriental Lillies are starting to bloom, with the yellow Orientals beating their Christmas sisters by at least 3 weeks.

They are so strong & vigorous this year & are taller than me (but that's not saying much!). Whatever secret MOTH concoction he's put on them has worked I reckon.

I was surprised to see these beauties as well. MOTH had a client who didn't want them any more in her garden, so MOTH's dug them out & adopted them. I did suggest that in this early phase of his crook back recovery & return to a few hours work a day he remain vigilant about any heavy lifting. I can see that suggestion was taken on board - NOT. I thought that a freezing cold Adelaide Hills Winter wouldn't be the best for the Dracenas, but then I looked at the Oriental Lillies & figured they do OK.

His spud patch is coming along well. It's full of his favourite Tasmanian Pink Eyes. If you've never tasted them do yourself a favour & hunt them down, they truly are the King of Spuds. Thanks to everyone who left kind comments on yesterday's post. I really have run out of emotional steam & am so looking forward to restoking my coals tomorrow & Sunday. Its the weekend my friends, go enjoy!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Sweet MOTH

With work being totally responsible for me now actually having lost the will to live (MOTH reckons trying to deal with this particular group of clients is akin to herding cats!) & a major family issue that needed me to hang the Dr. Millie Family Therapist shingle out urgently, it's been a tough, tough, tough, tough week. I'll share the family thing with you when I can get my head around it & I've lowered the level in the vodka bottle a bit more. MOTH's been his normal 'Deal it with it & move on Mills' self, but this morning he rendered me speechless.

'Hey Mills, I noticed Balhannah By Design have got a VIP shoppers night on tonight. They had a new container of stuff from France arrrive last week & one from Belgium on Monday. Mon's had to hire out the Balhannah Village Hall temporarily to fit everything in. If youse like, I can come home from work early & we can go up there together. They've got free grog, free gift wrapping & 10% off everything. Would that cheer youse up?'

Would it ever babe, fire up the Millie-mobile & let's go! Oh & if you or the girls are reading this Mon, for goodness sake if MOTH offers to man the gift wrapping table & gives you a story about his prowess in that Department - DON'T LET HIM!!!
Images: Balhannah By Design


Friday, December 2, 2011

A New Star

A Library of Design

'Really Millie, who wants to read another blog?' Ummm........that would be me Janelle!! Every now & then something very special arrives in our wonderful world & Janelle McCulloch's new blog A Library Of Design ticks every box I need to become an instant devotee. Wonderful words, scrumptious images, a delightful sense of humour, eclectic subject matter - all from one of Australia's best known design journalist/photographers & published author of 15 architecture, interior design, travel and gardening books.

Trust me, there are no fusty musty Shush Keep Quiet signs over at Janelle's library. Go & treat yourself to a visual & cerebral banquet here. It's the weekend, so go enjoy. I know I will, I swear this new job of mine is causing me to lose the will to live!!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Classic MOTH

MOTH had momentary control of the remote last night & while channel surfing stumbled across that UK telly show One Born Every Minute. After watching a poor hapless Pommie woman in noisy labour attempting to deliver a very large baby, he yelled out to me ' Ya know Mills, babies should be born small & then pumped up afterwards like a footy.' Yep his form is back, along with the well deserved improvement of his crook back!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Travelling Well

I have yet another flight to catch to Melbourne tomorrow for the rest of the week. I like to walk to work, so stay in a fine hotel in Collins Street, but sometimes I wish the office was closer to the very elegant Villa Donati Boutique Hotel in Richmond.

Or it's edgier, funkier sibling Apartment 401 in Flinders Lane.

Life's a blur at the moment, keeping a minor Millie melt-down at bay is my Numero Uno priority.I've promised myself one early night tucked up with room service & some serious blog surfing. I'll be by soon, promise. As that famous Aussie pugilist once said 'I love youse all.'

Friday, November 18, 2011

Millie Archer

First thing Monday morning I'm heading to the Registrar of Births, Marriages & Deaths & changing my surname to Archer. It seems yet another Aussie Archer is experiencing great success with a bonza product. Not only is brand French Essence attaining world dominance faster than you can say ' Blog Superétoiles' than another Archer makes their mark.

Chris Archer is a well-known Aussie winemaker now living in New Zealand. He's created a cheeky non-vintage carbonated Riesling called Ritzling. He suggests drinking it with a twist of lemon & viola you have what the clever Mr. Archer calls a blend of 'pure happiness'.

Ritzling comes in a four-pack of 250ml. bottles & just check out that exquisite packaging. I'm sure Madame V. Archer would give it her tactiturn approval & may even want to add it to Shop French Essence.

So after what's been an extremely average week, I reckon come Monday & the name change, big things are in store for moi. I see a stunning farmhouse in the idyllic French countryside, an olive grove & a big book deal on the horizon - bring it on!! And Vicki if you read this post, I reckon you & I need to open a bottle or 3 of your relative's product for quality control purposes. It's the weekend, so go enjoy!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Change Is Coming

Over the years many of you have blogged about the take-up of online shopping - how it's affected your shopping rituals, online vs. bricks & mortar, etc. Last year I did about 50-60% of my Chrissie shopping online, this year I've already knocked over about 70% of The List & I'm yet to enter a High Street store. Returning to the full-time work grind this year has probably influenced this to a degree, no more glorious no-work Fridays & Mondays to leisurely wander around the stores. It's been a natural progression, quite unintentional on my part, but I have set myself some online ground rules.

Use reputable Aussie stores that have a retail outlet with a great online presence (note to David Jones - you guys REALLY need to get your act together with a much more comprehensive online catalogue than your current woeful offering!), check the gift wrapping option each & every time, not pay more than $10 delivery per order & use a direct debit facility or move on if it's not offered.

Are things changing at your place this Silly Season? Are you hitting the Buy Now button more than last year? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

ADDENDUM: Thanks to Jac for reminding me that MOTH needs to do his 2011 Christmas Gift Wrapping post. For those new to The Hedge, here's what you can expect. Last year's post didn't eventuate 'cos The Ten Network didn't cough up to televise the 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Australia. Crumbs I hope they've seen the light of day this year & done the deal with the US network or he'll be impossible to live with!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, Monday good to me, Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be. Three gorgeous people did three equally gorgeous things for me today - totally independent of each other, unasked for & very unexpected & in three different cities. I have finished the day with a huge case of the warm fuzzies. Kisses to K, J & P, if only you each knew how you lifted me up & sent my spirits soaring. You didn't have to, honestly you didn't, but I'm soooooooo glad you did!

A quick travel report from my week in Melbourne. The Metropole was AMAZING - please put it on your list of places to stay when next in the City of Millie's Many Sons. Slick, sophisticated, minimalistic, occasionally dark & brooding, with rooms big enough to hold an International Tango Workshop, I loved it & them some.

Then there was Spice Temple, oh my goodness what a night we had. A stellar, stellar meal, with impeccable yet relaxed & friendly service - my little tootsies still curl up deliciously at the memories. And my favourite indulgence, Billecart by the glass (or 3), Neil Perry & the Rockpool group, 5 Millie stars you legends!

MOTH's off to Dog Grooming class & he's taken puppy Lulu to practice on tonight. He's had 5 classes now & has had a ball, even though he's the only bloke. He's under strict instructions to trim not clip Lulu's shaggy coat. I just hope his mind hasn't wandered during the theory lessons, & that puppy arrives home still recognizable. Off to pray to the Patron Saint of Dog Groomers for a miracle.

Images: Arne Maynard


Saturday, November 12, 2011

For Jeanne

Many of us read this week that our dear Bloggie mate Jeanne & her family over at Collage of Life have received news of their next posting. They are off to live in Vietnam in 2012. In her inimitable style, she's up for the challenge, so here's a little taste of what's to come Jeanne - from my very favourite homewares company Vagabond Vintage. Full screen & volume on & I promise you'll be transported to this magical destination in a heartbeat. It's the weekend, so go enjoy!

Vagabond Vintage Vietnam 2011 from Arthur Thompson on Vimeo.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Week Away

A busy weekend here at The Hedge has seen me dashing out to walk puppy Lulu amid all the other stuff on the agenda. I thought I'd give her some variety, so took her over to the other side of Stirling to show her my favourite set of entrance gates to one of the big estates.

No house to show her (or you) as it's set so far back from sticky beaks like me, but puppy was very impressed!

Sometimes I must walk around our place in a daze, 'cos when I went out to see how MOTH's garden terrace rock steps project was proceeding today, this was staring me in the face. It sure adds some glorious colour to our garden.

I'm off to Melbourne tomorrow to work. There's an Asia Pacific work conference on for the week. Don't really want to go, but there are a couple of side benefits.

Work's been generous enough to book me a suite at the new Metropol Hotel, really far too very swish & swanky for moi, but I'll take it while it's being offered thanks!

Lovely en-suite, unlike the wreck we currently have which dear Hedgies, is now sans a loo, thanks to a nasty incident involving a careless Plumber recently. Russell the Plumber was still swanning himself in the south of France with the profits he made from 2 days of light work here in the Bathroom-From-Heaven a year ago, so couldn't attend. His recommendation was not up to Russell's standards, & in the process of fixing a delicate issue with the said loo, dislodged it from it's base, sending it rocketing skywards. What goes up, must come down & according to MOTH, who was watching from the doorway, it came down alright, smashing into numerous pieces on the floor. MOTH then made the following big statement to the wide-eyed Plumber, which subsequently earnt him 2 nights in the sin bin aka the Living Room sofa. 'Don't worry mate, Millie will clean it all up when she gets home from work.' He reckons he's never seen a tradie scarper off to his truck so quickly!

I have a dinner date with my favourite Melbourne sister-in-law on Wednesday night. We are going to enjoy a night out at Neil Perry's Spice Temple.

I hope to be enjoying this.............

............followed by this. And of course it will be lovely to catch up with the Melbourne sons & hear all the latest goss. So off to pack a bag - see you soon.

Images: Moi, Crown Metropol & Spice Temple

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