5 Reasons to Love Summer

Monday 15 June 2015
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Outfit: panama hat, Love Sam top,  J.Crew shorts (sold out, similar here), K.Jacques St Tropez sandals, Miu Miu sunglasses and Barbour tote.

Reason 1: Bare legs

In my alternate reality (aka fantasy La La Land), I have toned and svelte legs that go right up to my chest. Legs that demand attention as I strut down the runway like those Victoria Secret Angels. Ah...those sexy winged beasts. And then I woke up from my dream to my full height of 5 feet 2 and a quarter (the 1/4 IS important) and a long torso. Pffffft.

I've stockpiled enough broderie anglaise tops, shorts, dresses and skirts to wear this summer as I'm heading off to somewhere with guaranteed sunshine and miles of beaches next month. I'm determined to come back to the English shores with tanned legs. Right now, I'm relying on Nair Argan Oil products to get my legs silky soft and smooth for summer. 

peonies peonies-2 peonies-3

Reason 2: Peonies

I blame Instagram for my current obsession. If you follow my Instagram feed, you'll realize that I've been photographing flowers...and more flowers. The cherry blossoms gave way to wisteria (yes, I wandered around the streets of London looking for wisteria). When the wisteria season ended, I promptly re-diverted my attention to peonies. They're unbelievably difficult to find in Winchester. I harass the guys at the market stalls whenever they're in town to get me peony buds. They have this cornered/trapped look....."Oh gawd, she's here again" whenever I stop by. Aw...come on, guys.....

rawberry Rawberry-juice coconut

Reason 3: Juicing for health

I started 1st of January 2015 with an over zealous plan to detox, strip my intestines of toxins and devour enough healthy vegetable and fruit juice till my complexion glows like a halo (remember this post?) I got lazy. The overflowing jars of linseed and chia seeds make fabulous ornaments on my kitchen counter. After a reminder from a friend about beauty from are what you eat..... I've jumped back on the bandwagon. I've also found this pretty awesome healthy eating place called Rawberry. Their vegetable and fruit juices are d.i.v.i.n.e. I'm still drooling at the thought of inhaling their heavenly 70% cocoa and beetroot cake that didn't contain a million grams of sugar.

I stumbled upon these Thai coconuts from Ocado recently while trawling through their website and have been buying them whenever they go on sale. The coconut water tastes like ambrosia and brought back memories of my early childhood with my paternal grandmother in Borneo. She lived in a traditional wooden house on stilts that my grandfather built in the early 1900s with coconut trees growing in the backyard. My cousins and I would wait till a coconut dropped from the treetop and raced to pick it up. My grandmother would take a cleaver and hacked the top off.


Reason 4: Taking walks

The days are getting longer and longer. The perfect antidote after a big dinner is a walk. I love it when the streets are emptied of people and market stalls. The setting sun bathes the medieval walls in warm golden shades. Living in a beautifully preserved historic town meant every building, nook and cranny has a story to tell.


Reason 5: Al fresco dining

Dining al fresco in England outside of the hotter months can be a dangerous affair. You're more likely to be pounded by the incessant rain or whiplashed by the strong winds. Neither option seems particularly appealing when I want to sit by the sidewalk, chill and people watch while sipping a cup of coffee. Picnics at the Cathedral grounds is another favorite. It gives me a chance to catch up with friends while the kids knock themselves out doing cartwheels and leave the adults alone.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Nair.


  1. Beautiful photos Marlene and great to see your place in rays of sunlight. The coconut drop from the tree makes me smile and brings back a portion of my childhood memory too.

    May you enjoy your summer days and looking forward for more of your great photos.


    1. Those of us who grew up in South East Asia would've similar experience, particularly if we lived pretty close to the beach. Thank you for your support and kind words.

  2. I have a similar leg conundrum, which started ever since I turned 25 and my svelte stems became...somewhat chicken drumstick looking...thanks to the inevitable change of my figure. Damn you, maturity! But at least we have good Asian skin genetics on our side, yes? Forever fresh to death, yo. Now THAT's something I look forward to every summer! x

    Jasiminne / Posh, Broke, & Bored - Luxury lifestyle blog

    1. about metabolism.....I don't have to eat to put on weight!

  3. Love this post - I can agree with all of those reasons! But will you stop giving your fab legs such a hard time?! Adore those pics of Winchester...makes me want to come over and spend some time there. I always feel we rush around it on each visit x

    1. Ah...Avril, you're so good for my self esteem. I so wish I have your height! Next time, we need to spend more time without racing. Or perhaps I need to make a trip to Ireland.

  4. Flowers really are the best part of summer.... they are the reason of color everywhere you look.

  5. A little advice of someone who had sheet-white legs when she was 22 with a red haired dad and a very pale mother..... take it slowly. Don't start spending hours in full sunshine the first week. Your skin cannot take that. If you sunburn you are back at square one and can start all over again. plus healing time, pain and cancer increase. Increase the amount of sun on your skin every day. Start with two hours. Preferably in the morning or the afternoon and always, always avoid being in the sun when the sun is at its highest (take into account the changing of the summer and wintertime clock).
    It took me a long time, but I am now tanned when summer arrived. The price I pay for it? Blodges, old women's spots etc. But hey, I am 61. I will have them removed this winter. I think.
    Well, a lot of unsolicited advice from a total stranger. Hope you won't think I am weird (although I am probably). I am also Dutch. That counts for some weirdness. We are very direct.

    1. LOL! No need to apologize for being direct. I'm a Kiwi and an Asian to boot which means no beating around the bush. You won't believe this but I was once very tanned. That was what happened after living in the tropics but after a couple of decades of avoiding the harsh sun in NZ, I'm back to square one as you've mentioned.

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