WordPress weekly photo challenge: Self Portrait.
In her book, The Thornbirds, Colleen McCullough describes a dress-fabric in a shade of ‘ashes of roses’. I was entranced and it became my personal favourite palette forever, with periodic and brief forays into brights. But I always return to pastels… Montage on my office noticeboard:

Thirty-two and forty-seven. Those were the birthdays my husband forgot. Thirty-two was understandable; we had a new baby, were moving into a new house and his older daughter was being taken to Canada by her mother. He had a lot on his plate. We got married on my fortieth birthday, so forgetting forty-seven was rather vexing. I sulked a bit. Forty-eight is looming, but he will be away and so, with us being childless over the past weekend, we celebrated my birthday and our wedding anniversary in advance.
I was eager to introduce him to Weltevreden Farm, after discovering it on Friday. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch; I had a chicken-pancake-stack and he loved his chicken-pot-pie.

For dessert he had cheesecake and I the frozen lemon meringue pie.

The farm has a few interesting shops, antiques and the like. One of the stores stocks clothing that caused our youngest stylist to proclaim “Cindy, I have found your wardrobe!” She was spot-on, each and every item could well have been made especially for me. After lunch I took my husband to see and he spoilt me with a generous budget. I chose a few outfits and accessories, some of which he confiscated to wrap; they will be hidden and he will phone me on the 8th of January to reveal the hiding place …

Until then, I have more than enough (thanks Paula!) and can only count my blessings.

In an aside; I tried to find a link to BelliButton on Google and failed. What I did find was this:
Sampling the nation for Belly Button Bacteria.

Folks are odd, hey? Gotta love this world…

97 Comments Add yours

  1. Sally says:

    Amazing pic Cindy.

  2. dearrosie says:

    I also love the picture of you Cindy.

  3. bluebee says:

    Fabulous pics, Cin – those gorgeous colours are definitely yours. (hope he remembers where he’s hidden everything!)

    1. theonlycin says:

      I told him to write it down 😉

  4. siggiofmaine says:

    Love your photos and the story behind each…what a lovely way to celebrate.
    Peace and love,
    and best wishes for a happy Holiday Season.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, Siggi, right back atcha 🙂

  5. Sparkle says:

    Pretty soft colours!
    Have a great day Cin 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I hope yours was good too, Sparky 🙂

  6. MaanKind says:

    Love your dress! And I always dream of the Ashes of Roses type of thing, but I am the bold orange, red, and kerriepink type of girl.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I also love orange, Trisa 🙂

  7. MissChris says:

    When you posted about your spoilings on FB I immediately looked for the shop too as I loooove some of the items and I also love the colours – of course, I found the same as you.
    I think a visit to Weltevreden farm is therefore a must – I think I will spoil my Schatzi there next week!!
    You are looking absolutely fabulous Cin!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      They have closed now, Chris, and will only reopen on the 7th of January, sorry 😦

      1. MissChris says:

        Mmmm – I will wait…………

  8. Pseu says:

    I love this exert from that belly button site:

    “Why begin with the belly button?

    Because no one volunteers when we ask for armpit samples. Because our belly buttons are relatively isolated, a place where microbes are safe. Because everybody has one, its what once connected us to our past. Yet, we barely notice it in our daily lives, to the point that few people actually wash theirs. Which is great for the bacteria! They are well protected, and provide a refuge of our wild nature. We can ask many questions about the microbes on our bodies (what controls which live where, whether the species on men and women are different, whether innies and outies sport different fancies, etc…) but a first step is to simply see who is there, the way the first explorers, upon arriving at new continents, simply wrote home to describe what they found.”

    When I have my bath this morning, my belly button WILL be washed!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh my goodness, Pseu, mine too :O

  9. Tandy says:

    what lovely gifts! Where is the husband going for January?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Simonstown, to climb his mountains 🙂

  10. gigihawaii says:

    I watched The Thornbirds series on TV so many years ago. It starred Richard Chamberlain as the priest. Great show! Love that lemon meringue pie with the spun angel hair above it. Unique! Happy birthday and Happy wedding anniversary, Cin!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Gigi, weren’t we all in love with Richard Chamberlain at the time?

  11. Leeswammes says:

    So your blue dress is new, too? I love it, looks wonderful on you. A good idea to celebrate early so there’s no chance of forgetting your birthday. I’m only 3 months younger than you are, it turns out! Still… younger! Whahaha.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The blue dress is actually dove grey and both frocks are very old 🙂 So your birthday is in April, Judith?

      1. Leeswammes says:

        Yes, that’s right – mine is April 12th. But I’ll be 39 for one more year, I think.

      2. theonlycin says:

        Hahaha … I think I am going to start saying I am 50 so that people can tell me I look younger 😉

  12. suzicate says:

    Love your dresses in both photos…you have excellent taste! Happy Anniversary and birthday!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks so much, SuziCate 😀

  13. libraryscene says:

    A sharp lady, a sharp post and a bevy of sharp pics to prove my point…you’re fabulous! I shall wish you a happy day in advance “just incases” as they say in “love Actually”~

    1. theonlycin says:

      Loved Bill Nighy in that film, thanks 🙂

  14. Those colours are beautiful! (AND they look good on you 🙂 (and I like the montage – creative). The food looks absolutely divine – I also love lemon meringue; it looks beautiful with that funny decoration. It looks like a venue you will be going to a few more times 🙂 (What a fun idea to hide the birthday present. Gives you something to look forward to with the assurance that you’re going to l-u-v it 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      And I sure will l-u-v it, Lee 🙂

  15. ceciliag says:

    Gorgeous gorgeous, and those soft greys are exactly what i love to wear, i have pale blue eyes, i loved the shots you took of your beautiful self too! and so sweet that husband has hidden all your new clothes! Frozen lemon meringue, how does that work, a regular one and then frozen?! I will try it.. c

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, Cecilia, it is regular then frozen. I think I prefer plain old regular 🙂

  16. Wow… so much to comment on in this post… Thornbirds, my very first favorite book to read! Ashes of Roses… has become my favorite color. I think watching Black Swan renewed my love for soft ballet pinks… I think these colors are related? Birthdays… looks like he’s making up for those forgotten ones… I would have been miffed as well! The food photography… delicious (wish I could eat there). And the clothes!! I want that pink one on the right side… was that the bellibutton website you were trying to locate? If not, what is the label for those clothes… I want to shop online!

    1. theonlycin says:

      The colours are definitely in the palette 🙂 Will ask about their website 🙂

  17. colonialist says:

    Nice pictures of the camera! What; you were in them, too?
    *dashes for his life*

    Surely belly button bacteria would be fronteria? 🙂

    Luvverly grub and threads.

    1. theonlycin says:

      LMAO at fronteria 😉

      1. colonialist says:

        Thought you’d like it!

  18. slpmartin says:

    Loved this self portrait post with the photographs…I nice way to start the day here. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy every minute, Charlie 🙂

  19. souldipper says:

    The Thornbirds thrilled me to pieces. I didn’t remember “ashes of roses”. My eye often goes to the soft, muted and blending pastels (great arrangement for the photo) and I do wear pastel pinks and blues, but I’m a winter person. Deep, rich colours suit my skin and hair.

    I loved the brilliant colours that thrive in South Africa.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I like your palette too, Amy 🙂

  20. bb(adair) says:

    Looks like you had a fabulous lunch and shopping expedition! My knees still go trembly when I think of Richard Chamberlain in the Thorn Birds……yes,yes I know he’s gay…….

    1. theonlycin says:

      The best ones are always gay 🙂

  21. SidevieW says:

    I think I will now retire to contemplate mine 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Give it Christmas wishes from mine 😉

      1. SidevieW says:

        Great thanks,
        holiday from employment started today. now lots to do, treestumps to clear, carpet cleaners to prepare for

        then food to buy, prepare


  22. Ruth says:

    Love the montage, the self-portraits and OMG! the food!

  23. I love to just come and read you blog in silence. Thanks for every blog you wrote this year that cheered me up, made me smile, made me hungry and left me wondering … ‘If she eats all this food … how come she stays so beautiful?’ You are an inspiration. Hope you have a super Christmas and a blessed 2012!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks so much, Pienkie, what a lovely thing to say *heart* xxx

  24. Hotly Spiced says:

    Whoops! I bet he felt terrible about forgetting your birthdays. I haven’t read The Thorn Birds for years but what a great book. I love the look of that pie with all the spun sugar – I must learn how to do that.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It is very, very easy to make, HS 🙂

  25. leigh says:

    A really great “look” for you, gorgeous 🙂

  26. Tina says:

    Weltevreden reminds me ofF Joostenberg in the Cape…now I am homesick 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      The homesickness will never leave you, my friend, but hopefully our hospitality will make it easier to bear. love ya xxx

  27. Tilly Bud says:

    My comment seems to have disappeared. I can’t remember what I said.

    I like your notice board, anyway.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Tilly, seems the WordPress gremlins are having a merry time 😉

  28. nursemyra says:

    your photos look great Cindy. and so do those desserts

  29. Dee says:

    I have to tell you that I have been reading your blog for over a year now and have so enjoyed it. Your pictures make me want to be with you so that I may enjoy also. You have a wonderful sense of humor which often makes me smile. I am finding I love the blogging world, it’s so interesting, and I am learning so many things. I loved this one, and all the pics.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Dee, always wonderful to welcome a new friend 🙂

  30. nrhatch says:

    Everything looks GRAND . . . including YOU! Glad your birthday celebration is off to a great start. 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Nancy, I think next year is going to be a cracker 🙂

  31. Yvette says:

    Just a beautiful colour palette, and you know pink would have to be included on my list of colours…I’ve finished my first module in the surface pattern, and a few exercises were working with colour palettes, I did one of Red and brown…I think I’ll however always go back to pastels. Glad you had a wonderful birthday/anniv. dinner everything looks beautiful and presented charmingly with all those fresh florals.Just perfect! x

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Yvette, love red and brown too 🙂

  32. You look fabulous in these pics! I love the color gray, maybe a little berry mixed in. My husband sort of forgot my birthday yesterday. The 20th. Although how I don’t know since his was the 17th and our daughter in law’s was the 19th! If my grandmother were alive her’s would have been the 18th.

    I’m the one who forgets birthdays not him. So Happy Birthday to you now just in case I don’t read your posts around that time. I have been terribly lazy about reading and commenting lately.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I hope he made up for forgetting by spoiling you! xxx Happy birthday 🙂

  33. SidevieW says:

    The question now is will you pretend to be suprised, all by yourself on your birthday when you open it?

    1. theonlycin says:

      ‘course I will *wink*

  34. johnlmalone says:

    many happy returns for both occasions Cindy — and, of course, for Xmas only a few days away. I must say you look fabulous in the photographs!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you very much, John 🙂

  35. adeeyoyo says:

    Lovely clothes, Cin. I love the muted colours! Try searching Fbook for bellibutton – you never know… My hair will give you a run for your money now. Had it cut by an Algerian and he really went to town, despite my taking photo’s with me of how I wanted it. Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – so HAHAHAHA!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh Denise … bwahahahaha … what a blog-worthy story 😀

  36. Absolutely love the pics of you!
    🙂 Mandy

  37. Just in case I am not around when the D-Day will happen, I wish an advanced Happy Birthday to this young and pretty woman in pale grey and light blue dresses. Si élégante !

  38. theonlycin says:

    Merci beaucoup, Isa ❤

  39. Tammy says:

    I did not remember ashes of roses but it’s lovely and seems so fitting for you. Your self-portraits are gorgeous.

  40. pegbur7 says:

    Happy anniversary and birthday and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all that stuff. Imagine my surprise when I was checking out weekly photo challenge entries and was looking at Jesse Jaca and found your response. I immediately recognized your picture from my sister SuziCate’s blog. What a small world! I didn’t realize you did the photo challenges too! I posted mine for this week today. Nice running into you again!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Peg, it is a small world indeed. Gotta love the www 🙂

  41. Those clothes look gorgeous….have a wonderful holiday, Cindy. Your self portraits are stunning.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Kate, Merry Christmas ❤

  42. pinkpolkadot says:

    Another wonderful post, Cins! You are looking wonderful!! I absolutlely adore your clothes and jewelry!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Pinky 🙂

  43. Naomi says:

    Beautiful pics and palette, Cindy! Since we’ll be away in the Kalahari, Very Happy Birthday and Anniversary in advance…hope it’s super special, XO

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy your trip and drive safely xxx

  44. Tokeloshe says:

    I love your noticeboard, thank you for sharing.
    Love your style 😉
    Great self portraits!
    Wonderful post!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Happy new year, Tok 🙂

  45. sonsothunder says:

    Oh, man, I’m terrible with birthdates…Or, actually, dates period…But, love the Self Portrait.
    Bless You

  46. Wow, Cindy, what stunning photos of you! You could model – you are so stylish. Did you take the photos of yourself? I desperately need a new photo to go with my articles in the caravan mag, but everything my hubby takes of me is just depressingly awful! Any advice?

    My husband forgot our 15th anniversary – a small part of me will never forget that. I loved the Thornbirds – both the book and the tv series. Really enjoyed this post, thank you!

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