Rae's Journal - Mother's Day Edition

Rae's Interview with her Mum

You are an interior designer, how did that happen?

I always loved colour and textiles. When my husband and I started the business, I was young and inexperienced. I was desperate to learn so when the kids were at big school, I took off to London and did a course at the Inchbald School of Design. The course lasted 6 months. It opened my eyes to a whole new world and a passion for interiors that goes on and on.

If you weren’t doing what you are doing what would you have done?

A pop star - Dolly Parton for sure!!

Do you have a favourite item of clothing in the AW collection?

I love the Lottie Cashmere Blend Tunic and the Draped Cashmere Blend Cardigan. Can’t wait for the SS14 version.

Who is your favourite designer?

Jean Muir was my absolute favourite. I still wear the pieces I bought from her and they go on and on. I love the Irish designer Louise Kennedy.

What does ‘total relaxation’ mean to you?

After supper every evening I read the paper - for me it’s my way of unwinding.

Who do you admire?

The Queen and Dolly Parton!

What’s your top tip for feeling your best on a hectic schedule?

Try my best to smile all day - sure to melt even the most sinister heart.

Special Feature: Lent Challenge

Ok so I have done over three weeks on my no sugar lent challenge.

I have been very good but I won't lie to you, I have had a glass of wine on three occasions. Sunny weather and rose - need I say more!!!!

I am never ever hungry and have buckets of energy. I am sleeping much better. Oddly the first few days I struggled a little. It took me a while to get to sleep and I experienced my first ever panic attack (documented symptom of early stages of no sugar regime).

My skin is noticeably better. Eyes cleaner and whilst I don't know if I've lost any weight my tummy is much flatter and less flabby. My whole body feels lighter.

The biggest surprise is that I'm not hungry. I have overcome the desire to eat chocolate late afternoon. I have a bag of almonds and seeds on my desk and I graze on them.

Four weeks to go and without wishing to sound sanctimonious I am enjoying it and will continue after Lent. Can’t promise to stay off the wine but hey... life’s too short xx

Rae x


Daunts Bookshops are without a doubt my absolute favourite. I love their no nonsense approach and their out and out integrity. I can spend hours just looking. Staff are always super helpful and more importantly they know what they are talking about.

In each Blog, I will feature a few of their recommended books of the week:


The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

This is the story of a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild—and to hatch an egg of her own. An anthem for individuality and motherhood, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly has captivated millions of readers in Korea. Now the novel is making its way around the world, where it has the potential to inspire generations of readers the way Jonathan Livingston Seagull or The Alchemist have. And with Nomoco's evocative illustrations throughout, this first English-language edition beautifully captures the journey of an unforgettable character in world literature.


The French Intifada

Beyond the affluent centre of Paris and other French cities, in the deprived banlieues, a war is going on. This is the French Intifada, a guerrilla war between the French state and the former subjects of its Empire, for whom the mantra of 'liberty, equality, fraternity' conceals a bitter history of domination, oppression, and brutality. This war began in the early 1800s, with Napoleon's aggressive lust for all things Oriental, and led to the armed colonization of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, and decades of bloody conflict, all in the name of 'civilization'.

Here, against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, Andrew Hussey walks the front lines of this war - from the Gare du Nord in Paris to the souks of Marrakesh and the mosques of Tangier - to tell the strange and complex story of the relationship between secular, republican France and the Muslim world of North Africa. The result is a completely new portrait of an old nation. Combining a fascinating and compulsively readable mix of history, politics and literature with Hussey's years of personal experience travelling across the Arab World, The French Intifada reveals the role played by the countries of the Magreb in shaping French history, and explores the challenge being mounted by today's dispossessed heirs to the colonial project: a challenge that is angrily and violently staking a claim on France's future.



My album of the week

The Trevor Nelson Collection

Compilation of the best ever disco hits!! Not one bad song on the whole album.


My song of the week

Eleanor McEvoy - Please Heart You’re Killing Me

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