Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Life & Lessons From 2012...


And so we come to the end of another year. We survived the apocalypse, applauded the Olympics, waved at the Queen on her Jubilee, smiled at the royal pregnancy, cried at the effects of Hurricane Sandy and mourned the Connecticut kiddies. We saw Obama re-elected, Jill Meagher die a terrible death, and Julia Gillard hold her own against some misogynist pollies. It was a year of heartbreak, happiness, more heartbreak, hope, a little more heartbreak and then, finally, a hallelujah that it was all over.  (Incidentally, have you seen 'The Voice' singing Hallelujah in tribute to the kiddies of the Connecticut shooting? It's beautiful. Link here: Hallelujah)


But 2012 was also a year of something else. It was, in a strange way, the year of kindness. Don't you think? Looking back, I think that's the only way we managed to survive 2012. Kindness. Lots and lots of it. Several months ago, checking out of the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, one of the loveliest hotels in the world, I jokingly asked the concierge how they coped with the diva-esque VIPs? "Kindness," he said with a smile. "We win them over with kindness." I've never forgotten it. Next year, we'll be running our Garden Tours with the same aim. In fact, we've already started implemented it into our company philosophy. {Beautiful 'Looking for Love' Paris street photo by Irene Suchocki from Etsy.}

And now, as we look towards Christmas, and to 2013 beyond it, I'd like to encourage everyone to do one thing on the 25th. Be kind. Compassion. Courtesy. Consideration. Respect. Even humour. They all go a long way in life. Don't let others' negativity and criticism get you down. Keep your dignity. Keep your spirit. Keep your happiness about you. But most of all, be nice. It doesn't take much. Truly. A word. A gesture. A hug. A note. A hello. As Robert Alan once said: "The flower of kindness will grow. Maybe not now, but it will some day. And in kind that kindness will flow. For kindness grows in this way."

On this note, I'd like to thank you all for dropping by The Library this year. So many people have emailed to say hello, while others have been kind enough to comment, and all of your notes have lifted my spirits and kept my soul joyous this year. They've also kept The Library blog going through all the 2am nights. I very much hope that The Library has inspired and enlivened you all in return. 


I know I promised to post some 'insider' tips about Paris, plus details of our lovely new tour, but I hope you'll forgive me if I leave it for a fortnight. It will really need a special post on its own. And it will offer some holiday reading over the New Year!

In the meantime, I'd like to show you a peek at what's happening in 2013, as it's shaping up to be an exciting year. Hopefully, I'll also be able to hold my earlier promise of featuring more interviews and even more exciting interiors and gardens here on the little old Library. 

Until then, wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas. And a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you. 

With love, from my family to yours. xx



Mock-up spreads for a beautiful new cookbook and memoir from The Landing Hotel and Restaurant in the Bahamas. The Library is very lucky to be involved with this project, which will be the first in a series of exciting new projects, and I look forward to showing you the evolution of this lovely, incredibly luscious book as it unfolds, page by page. Oh – and you'll love who's writing the forewords too! (Clue: An Officer And A Gentleman.)




More mock-up pages from The Landing's beautiful book. {Dummy spreads only}



Dummy spreads from another whimsical but lovely little book, How To Live A Beautiful Life: Following In The Footsteps of Chanel

I'm also going to show you this as it unfolds, so you can see how a book is produced, from conception through contents to photography, page design and production. 






" The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. "
Coco Chanel

45 comments:

  1. Dear Janelle, thank you for your wonderful blog. You are so generous with your knowledge and experience. I am sure my photos have improved as a result of your tips. Ooh, and I can't wait to put into practice your travel packing tips!
    Wishing you a kindness filled Christmas and a happy New Year.
    See you in the New Year.
    Claire xx

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    1. Your photographs are superb Miss Claire. I'll be looking to YOU for tips next May! Thank you for the beautiful, beautiful fashion book too. Do you know I was going to buy that very one in Paris but practised great restraint! So I'm really touched you thought of it.

      Sending you a big hug at Christmas. xx

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    2. PS Thank you for taking the time to send a little card and gift to Jane Green. She was just so overwhelmed by the email response, but was especially touched by those, such as yourself, who sent a small envelope. Thank you for being so beautiful. xx

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  2. Janelle, you have certainly achieved much, and inspired many this year. I'm in awe at your industriousness! Do you know though, that when I think that I haven't achieved much in the year/ in my life, that I'm always reminded about the eulogy of a very good family friend whose funeral I attended when I was 19 (she had died aged 51 of breast cancer). It had quite a profound effect on me, because when you looked at her list of "achievements" there weren't any to compete with someone driven and intellectual etc. Rather she was such a lovely and warm person that she had impacted those she came in contact with in that way. It made me realise (at a time when the girl's school I went to was pushing us all to be superwomen) that the real impact you can have in the world can be much quieter, and much more about touching others lives, and leaving that as your legacy. The Library has done touched so many readers, as have your personal emails to so many, and your posts about people such as Jane. You have achieved much, even if you don't think you've ticked enough off on your list (although frankly, that's quite long and impressive as well!). Enjoy the Christmas break xxx

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    1. Your friend reminds me of Dame Elizabeth Murdoch. Her achievements weren't so much about philanthropy and money in the end as having a wonderful spirit and sense of generosity, and encouraging others to be generous with their time as well. The interview Andrew Denton did with her (which was replayed recently, and certain to be on YouTube), really affected me.
      Thanks so much for dropping by. Oh – I deleted the para about this year's list: it just didn't seem appropriate, or even needed?
      Much love to you in Adelaide. The hubster has just set off to drive to that city this morning! xx

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  3. Lovely. May you holidays ans new year be blessed.

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    1. You too Tiff. Wishing you a lovely Christmas. x

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  4. Thank you for your inspiring blog,beautiful pictures all delivered with integrity and intelligence and your final message for 2012 for kindness in all we do. How much happier we would all be if we could remember to do one selfless kind act every day, and to be gentle with one another.
    And if you think you have not achieved much in 2012 (whew 3 books amongst other things....) then you should think again and be proud!
    Have a lovely Christmas!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, Thank you for taking the time to write. I deleted the para about 2012 achievements because I wasn't sure it was appropriate? And it was probably very boring. For me, the best achievement is having such lovely readers, all of whom are very, very kind indeed.

      Wishing you a wonderful, joy-filled Christmas! xx

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  5. Thanks for sharing so many inspiring things on your blog Janelle. Good luck with the tour this year and all the best for 2013.

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    1. Thank you so much. You too. Thank you for being such a kind reader this year. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a restful New Year. xx

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  6. Janelle - thank you for sharing your insights into kindness and all that you have achieved this year. I needed a cup of tea, a bex and a good lie down after that! May you have a very Happy Christmas and may 2013 be all that you wish - and more! Jan

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    1. I think we all need a cup of tea, a bex and good lie down at this time of year!

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with the family. Best wishes for 2013. xx

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  7. Thank you Janelle for your wonderful posts...I want to say more but I will just bumble on. Have a lovely Christmas with your loved ones and I certainly look forward to 2013 with you.

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    1. Oh you can bumble on all you want! We love bumbling on here! Hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family as well. And I'd like to thank you for reading The Library. It's so nice to have such great readers. xx

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  8. Janelle, I want to thank you for your always beautiful posts. They have inspired me, they have educated me, they have made me smile (love your wit) and now and then, they have even made me cry. You should be immensely proud of what you do. It really is quite remarkable.
    A new year always promises such hope and happiness I think. This year hasn't ended for me how I ever imagined it would and I look forward to welcoming in the new year with my two kids. I wish you and your family a happy Christmas and a year of hope and happiness to follow.

    Sharyn x
    PS: That Hallelujah link was beautiful...and yes...I cried. :/

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    1. I cried too Sharyn. It was a lovely tribute.

      You are so kind to write - thank you. I'm sorry this year hasn't ended the way you wished. I do hope it hasn't been disappointing in any way. I'm sure that 2013 will be better. Hope you and your two boys had a wonderful break, with lots of love, joy and anticipation of good things to come.

      xx

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  9. And every best Christmas wish to you and your family too Miss Janelle. Your new projects look v exciting and interesting.....life on that island looks utterly idyllic, quite the reverse of life on this island! Ah, escape between the pages of a beautiful book.....Rx

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    1. Oh, life on Tassie is pretty perfect, from what I've heard! Although we're all saddened to hear about the bushfires. Do hope you're all okay. Can't wait to catch up in May! xx

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  10. Dear Janelle

    This is an inspiring Christmas/end of year post.

    Like your other readers, I want to say thank you for your blog and your wonderful posts and pictures. Always so interesting and so glamorous, and yet also so thoughtful. I really appreciate your generosity and sincerity and hope that you too will have a very Happy Christmas - and that 2013 is another year of kindness - and happiness for you.

    Also love to read the comments from your loyal readers - so stylish but also, and more importantly, such genuinely nice women. You've brought together a great cyber community. As FF would say, luff it 11/10. Warmest wishes to you and to all, Pamela

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    1. Dear Pamela,
      In turn, I'd like to say thank you - for all your marvellous comments these past 12 months. Each has been filled with the most wonderful wisdom, humour and insights about life. Your experiences in the diplomatic service and abroad have truly been astonishing - and the stuff great dinner party conversations are made of! I shall look forward to listening to more lovely tales of foreign ports in May. And thank you, too, for kindly sending a little gift to Jane. She was very, very grateful. Warmest wishes back to you. Janelle xx

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  11. A thousand wonderful wishes to you.. so sorry have not been round to visit blogs for a while though... And I totally agree, kindness and compassion costs nothing and a smile is free. Really hope that we will be able to meet up again either here in Australia or in UK in 2013.. Warmest wishes, Sarah x

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    1. Dearest Sarah, So lovely to hear from you. Don't worry about blogging or commenting - it's so difficult to keep up, I know. I hope you had a gorgeous Christmas back here in Australia with the hubby and family. I'm sure you won't want to go home to wintry, snowy Wiltshire! But we'll pop in and see you in May - it will be beautiful by then. Lots of hugs to you. xx

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  12. Thank you Janelle for your wonderful blog, you are truly inspiring, and I think you have achieved a HUGE amount this year, congratulations on all that you have done.
    Wishing you and your family much happiness and health for the new year and a gorgeous Christmas.
    Millie
    PS I love your beautiful words on the importance of kindness, it is a lovely reminder of what is important in this life.

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    1. Dear Millie, I'm very touched, but I think we all manage to achieve something every year, even if it's just reaching the end of the year! I'm just thrilled The Library has such lovely readers, such as yourself. That's the best thing of all. Thanks for commenting. Warmest wishes to you. J x

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  13. The library has inspired and enlivened me and much more.

    What a lovely Christmas posting, I hope you and all your loved ones have a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

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    1. Your comments have been some of the wittiest, most inspirational and educational on The Library Miss SMR. And I've loved your emails too. All of your notes are so thoughtful. Hope you had a great, great Sydney Christmas with those fantastic boys. You deserved a rest! xx

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  14. It's Chrissie Eve & I'm at work. It's no big deal 'cos as MOTH reminds me so succintly 'Mills, at your age you should be happy & grateful to have somewhere to go that's not a Bingo Hall.'

    I have loved every post you have done this year mate & rest up over Chrissie, as I reckon 2013 will be an incredible year for you in every way. You are so generous in all you share & that in itself has a really positive knock-on effect. The FF&HF tour is going to be awesome, I'm so looking forward to being Madge to your Dame Edna. Love to you & Mr. Library.
    Millie xx

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    1. Oh Millie, You are such a lovely friend and supporter. We're all thinking of you this month as you prepare for The Knee Op. It will be worth it, I know. Get MOTH to brush up on his cooking / bbq-ing skills so he can do dinners every night while you recover. Lots of love back to you. Bring on that new knee! xx

      PS Have you seen the fim 'Quartet' yet? Perhaps there's a Home For Retired Bloggers where we can all go with our dodgy limbs and forgetful minds and drink G&Ts until the sun goes down?!

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    2. PS Not that you will have the forgetful mind. That will be me.

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    1. Thank you Miss Samantha. Hope you had a great Christmas too. Thanks for being such a supportive reader. xx

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  16. I love this deep and beautiful post. I'm so glad I discovered your beautiful blog this year. Here's to many more years of blogging success!
    xo
    Sharon

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    1. Well, I'm so pleased I'm found your blog too! Can't wait to read more in 2013. Toasting a glass to gorgeous bloggers like you. XX

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  17. Merry Christmas Janelle and cheers to a bright, safe, exciting and prosperous new year.

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    1. All the very best to you, too, Miss Chateau de Lille. Have loved hearing from you this year. Thanks so much for dropping by and offering such kind comments. xx

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  18. Oh Janelle, you darling girl. I can't thank you and your kind readers enough for your recent kindness. You've all touched my heart more than you will ever know. You've had a splendid 2012 her at The Library - I can't wait to read next year's chapters! J x

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    1. You're very welcome Miss Jane. I saw your lovely post on Christmas, and I was just so thrilled we were able to help. I'm going to personally write to those people who so kindly and graciously sent things (many of whom were complete strangers) - thank you for letting me know who they were. I really hope you, hubby and the pixies had a splendid, stress-free break over Christmas, with lots of food and no worries! That was the least we could do for you. Sending you lots of love. J xx

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  19. Wishing you all the best for 2013, and continued success, you uber writer!

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    1. We're just trying to keep up with your sparkling wit and Wilde-esque bon mots Miss Tabs! Have loved your posts this year. You've kept me amused through the long, grey days of writing. xx

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  20. I think you have much to celebrate as the year draws to a close: things seem to be falling into place for you. And here's raising a toast to exactly that in 2013! Enjoy the break - it's my favourite week of the year. xx

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    1. I've loved your blog this year Miss Glamour Drops. Your photography is just superb, and the garden posts have been so beautiful. I loved the pix of your home too. Such a stunning place. Thanks for giving us such inspiration this year. (And cocktail recipes too!) Lots of love to you. xx

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  21. Hi Janelle,

    I am new to your blog and I must say I am very excited to spend some time over the holidays catching up on all your posts. I hope 2013 is a fabulous year for you and I look forward to getting to know you through your blog. I too am an avid reader and my husband would rather scratch his eyeballs out than read so hence he cannot understand my constant buying of books and filling up my library. As I say to him "Darling there are worse things I could spend money on!!". Luckily our 10year old son shares my passion for reading and he has just devoured 4 books in the last week. Kind Regards Nataliexx

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    1. Always great to hear from a new reader Natalie, especially when they take the time to write! I'm so thrilled to hear your son is a reader like us. It will stand him in good stead when he reaches high school / university. 4 books is very impressive! Wish I could manage that kind of literary productivity! Hope you had a lovely New Year. Warmest wishes, J xx

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  22. Another new reader here too , great blog! Elle

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Thank you for stopping by. It's always lovely hearing from The Library's readers.

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