Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas and Friend Friday

It's Friend Friday again and this Christmas edition of Friend Friday is brought to you by the MaxMara Christmas tree! Friend Friday is run by ModlyChic and if you would like to participate email Katy at

I'm back in London for Christmas despite the travel chaos incited by the recent cold weather. I was almost disappointed on arrival early Wednesday morning to see that all the snow in the city had melted as I had worked myself up to the idea that we would be having a white Christmas. I did however travel from 18 oC in Seville to about -8oC at Stansted airport so I promptly developed a cold the next day which kept me bed ridden.

Before I went to Spain I got to go on a buying trip for the boutique Image and check out the Autumn Winter collection for 2011/2012 from MaxMara who had this wonderful Christmas tree in their lobby.  The great thing about fashion buying is that it feels like an intimate form of window shopping, getting to see, feel and try on lots of beautiful clothes, selecting and adding things you like to a rail, all in the comforting knowledge that someone else is going to be footing the bill.  Shopping without the guilt!

I spent the day photographing clothes on the models.  It is very interesting what a difference a good model makes to selling clothes.  I've been on enough buying trips now to realise that there are some girls who have an instinctive understanding of how to wear clothes and others who don't have a clue.  Although you wouldn't think it would make a difference to how a garment looks and falls I can tell you from observation, it does.  You begin to understand why the likes of Kate Moss get paid what they do when there are millions of pounds of expensive stock at stake.

There were some very covetable and elegant clothes and accessories on offer from both the S and Weekend lines which made my Christmas wish list for next year (yep - starting already).

And on that note I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

And now to the Friend Friday Christmas questions:

1. Your favorite holiday memory:

Spending Christmas in Rome with Mr V. and going to midnight mass in Balisicia di Santa Maria in Trastevere which is one of the oldest churches in Rome.  Apart from being held in the exceptionally stunning surroundings of this ancient church, the midnight mass was made a truly magical experience by the music during the service.  The hauntingly beautiful and uplifting rendition of ancient hymns by priests with world class singing voices was unforgettable.

Image Source: New Liturgical Movement

2. Were you ever a victim of those family Christmas party photo shoots? What do you think about them now? Care to share an old photo?

Although I don't have an example to share everyone in my family loves taking and being in photos at every opportunity so I never feel a victim.  There is a shared understanding that photos at family events is all about remembering the love and togetherness that bonds our family and that one day looking back through these photos will bring back happy memories.  I love looking through old photos to see how everyone has grown up or grown older.  Its also fun to have a snicker at my sister and I working our eighties looks as young teenagers.  Yeah - I did the eighties the first time around.

3. Best Christmas gift you ever gave:

Giving up my last job last year to be able to be with my Grandfather in Australia for what would be his last Christmas.

4. Craziest/funniest holiday family tradition:

My family's Christmas traditions are fairly straight forward but I often spend Christmas in England with Mr V's family.  They have kept up a tradition of continuing to play the Santa sock tradition for the adults with someone sneaking into all the rooms at night and leaving an old sock filled with a collection of small silly toys and humorous knick knacks for each person in the house.  Past scores for me have been a wooden frog clock, glittery coloured fake eyelashes with matching nail polish for me and one year Mr V. received a miniature inflatable squashy silver alien.

5. Favorite type of Christmas cookie:

A big Christmas tradition in my family is to stay up late on Christmas Eve with my Mum and help her make Soogee biscuits and pineapple jam tarts, both of which are my favourite Christmas cookies.

It always use to be the job of my sister and I to decorate the pineapple jam tarts with little pastry decorations like Christmas trees, stars or Christmas angels with the spare pastry.   Since my sister has moved out of home this job has been left to me when I am visiting Australia for Christmas and in recent years Mr. V has gotten into the act too.  Though he takes the decoration job a little too seriously - miniature replica of scene of the giant squid attacking the Black Pearl in Pirates of the Caribbean? That's upping the ante on Christmas cookie decoration somewhat!


  1. Merry Christmas!

    Honestly, I'd happily trade my white Christmas for a less snowy one. I'm not looking forward to driving to my grandmother's house today with the white stuff coming down.

    I remember hating family photos as a kid. Seriously ... temper tantrum hatred. Obviously, as I've gotten older, I've appreciated them more. Like you said, it's fun to look back and see how we've all grown. (Even if there's one where I have a red, tear-stained face!)

  2. Merry Christmas!

    ♥ V
    twitter: @gritandglamour

  3. Yes, Merry Christmas! I'll send some snow! It's snowing again here, thought it's fluffy and light. Okay, light for Minnesota.

    I wish it were possible to show more of what you mean between women who wear clothes well and those who do not. An acquaintance who's a model said she spent all of last summer learning how to stand. "All these years! I didn't know how to stand!" She was laughing.

  4. Merry Christmas!!!

    The idea of fashion buying sounds super fun! I would be a workaholic with a job like that!

    That mass in the church you mentioned sounds like a dream!! I love visiting old churches and plan on seeing a lot of them whenever I make my first trip across the pond!

    I hope you have an awesome Christmas weekend and can't wait to read all about it! :)

  5. merry christmas! i'm visiting through fbff & that photo you have of the church is gorgeous - and indeed, there's something magical about people singing songs/hymns that are ancient, being passed down & infused with tradition ... can give you the shivers just thinking about it.

  6. Merry Cxmas my dear, dear firend. We have already started with tapas for lunch. Yuju!!!

  7. Merry Christmas!
    You as always have the most interesting stories for the answers!

  8. Merry Christmas Veshoevius!

    It's precious reading about you and your sister cooking with your grandmother, that kinda togetherness is priceless.

  9. Christmas in Rome is wonderful! I spend last year`s NYE & january 1st in the Rome and received the pope`s new year`s blessing - I`ll never forget these beautiful moments.

  10. Merry Christmas to you, Veshoevius and Mr. V! I really loved reading about your Christmas memories and traditions -- the midnight mass, the family photo enthusiasm, the Santa sock glee, the pineapple tarts.

    Oh, my sister and I went through the 1987-1988 family photo album this Christmas meetup. Painful! My most awkward years ever -- 12-13! That was the year of the coke bottle spectacles, bad haircut and permanent, and an unfortunate degree of pubescent avoirdupois. Oh, and 1980s fashion, but *not* the cool 1980s. But...we looked happy with our lives and in our skins, so that's all one can ask.

    Okay, off to get dressed and painted before the cameras come out for gift-opening!

  11. Merry Christmas! Glad you got home safe! Stay warm.

  12. What touched me the most was your giving up your job last year for your grandfather. It reminds me of what's really important, people over things every time! How special that you got the time with him that is absolutely irreplaceable.

    BTW, thanks for the comments on aging on my blog! I'm hoping to follow up with another post and list everyone's great tips! ~Serene

  13. I hope you had a wonderful, enjoyable time, Veshoevius. It's lovely to read your Christmas memories/associations, and I totally agree with you about the quality of models (I also recently realised that 'the perfect model' has a certain nonchalantic attitude, i.e. being able to go with the flow and not having too many own ideas about styling etc.) xoxo

  14. I hope Xmas was fabulous for you. Your last present reply brought a tear to my eye. xxxxx

  15. So much love and gratitude in these recounts, Veshoevius. .

    Hope you've had a fabulous holiday x

  16. Awww these are lovely memories Miss V - you gave up your job to be with your grandfather?! You are one very special woman. xoxo

  17. Rome is spectacular any time of the year, but I find it especially amazing around the holidays. Everything seems so much more stunning and awe-inspiring. I love that it is one of your favorite holiday memories. - Katy

  18. Love Rome in Christmas, the golden details are brighter there on this season of the year :)
    Fantastic post!

  19. Hope you had a lovely time - that trip to Rome sounds incredible.

    Father Christmas still comes to our house, on the insistence of my 25 year-old sister. He even left presents for Mr Bossa this year, and he's 33!


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