14 Sep 2016

Her Point Of View: Serena Crawford

Serena Crawford, Her Point of View on vickiarcher.com


Do you know Serena?

I want you to.


She is vivacious, energetic and gorgeous and she runs at a 100 m.ph. She is the girl you want to sit next to at dinner, the one you want to drink long cups of tea with and the one you want to cosy up with and chat all night long. 


I first met Serena in Sydney, we had children of similar ages in the same school, but never knew each other well. What wasted time. It wasn’t until we moved away and re-connected through the blog that we became friends again. Serena puts a smile on my face with every email; her humour is not only superbly deprecating but also downright hilarious. She tells a magnificent tale with wit and vigour and has her thousands of Instagram followers in awe; we hang on her every word and long for her next adventure.


Serena is a woman after my own heart.


Serena Crawford, Cape Town, 2016

How would you describe yourself?

I am enthusiastic and I love life. My internal landscape is that of happy person. I am interested in so many things it’s exhausting. I’m a big girl, nearly 6 ‘ tall and I like being dramatic in my dress and style , though this has calmed down a lot as I’ve become older and calmer.

 

 

Tell us about your day-to-day life?

I’m leading this very peaceful life now as there is a wonderful lull after many years of building endless houses and moving countries and continents.. I’m loving the process I’m going through which is de-cluttering my life. I’ve been doing it for a year and I still have another year to go. This means literally my whole life is being sorted through and looked at…… including my computer , my address book, the things that I own…everything !!


This is the long story of what I actually do every day in this new phase of my life.


This is my winter life. I wake up every morning at 5 am and I post my Instagram photo I wrote the night before. I read and see I have made at least three grammatical errors. I correct it. I then meditate for half an hour and read some inspiring and positive and informative book. At the moment I am reading, ‘The Rhythm Of Life’ … Brilliant book.


I then write a page of the book I’m working on.


I eat breakfast in bed and do about 5 skype calls all over the world to my friends and family. I discuss design and business issues with my daughter who lives in London. We have just started a home wares business together and it is early days. She does all the hard work. I throw in years of experience and my design advice. The main theory is we have to want what we are creating desperately and passionately. (This is not an easy thing to fulfil.)


If I’m good I do a walk /run on the treadmill for 45 minutes and do a bit of power plate.


After that I do all my work and appointments for the day and my de-cluttering process.


I do a lot of international conference calls every week for study groups I’m involved in, So I’m a lot on my computer. I go for a walk with my husband and dogs around the Groot Constantia vineyards most evenings.


When we come home I light the fire, and we sit around it reading and chatting. I go to bed very early, where I read or research stuff on the internet. Sometimes we watch a documentary together or I watch a series on Netflix. Many nights we have friends around for dinner very casually. I’m an entertainer.


In summer my life is completely different as it is filled with people and lots of entertaining and I go to the beach whenever I can. In London and when I travel, I spend my life doing cultural things like galleries, exhibitions, and everything I miss out in my African life.


Serena Crawford, Her Point of View on vickiarcher.com


 

Are you the woman you imagined you would become?

Yes and no.


I have surprised myself completely by becoming deeply interested in a spiritual path. This totally unexpected way of life has given me great joy. I have become some of the things I really wanted to be but I have such a long way to go… and I’m going to have to get cracking!!


I think having a happy family and wonderful marriage has been always something I hoped and imagined for myself and I’m so grateful it came true. This has been an incredible gift and made me a person I might not have become without it.


I also have been lucky enough to be able express my creative energy with a very big canvas. This was a dream and it came true. Now I’ve got older and want a calmer life I’m going to have to express it in a smaller way, like writing and finishing the book I’ve started to write.


I think my struggle has been with having a disciplined and weighed and measured life and this is still not something I have achieved yet but I work on it every day.

 

 

What are the valuable life lessons you have all figured out?

That I cannot do my life on my own, I need a greater universal wisdom. I need loving kind and supportive friends and family which I luckily have. That investing your time and love and effort into your children is the best thing you will ever do apart from doing the same for yourself.


I have learned that failure and disappointment are part of the journey. That no life is a straight line. I am still learning patience but I understand this is a critically important quality in order to have a serene life. I have learned that nothing is worth having or doing or being if it affects my serenity and internal peace. I have learned that it is a choice to be light, positive, to be happy, have fun and to have a joyful attitude. I chose this everyday. . I may not always succeed but at least that is my intention. Being present is everything.

 

 

What do you like most about yourself? What do you like the least?

I like the fact I’m engaged in the world and other people. That I’m always amused and find life very funny. I’m innately interested in people and what is happening around me. I am an open book and an open spirit.


I don’t like the fact that I’m extremely demanding. I try daily to keep this in check. I’m a slow learner!!

 

 

What do you like most about getting older? What do you like the least?

I love getting older as I’m kinder to myself…and to other people.


I practice radical self-care after a crazy life of being an extreme person. I don’t worry so much. I don’t care so much about so many unimportant things. I now know life is a movie and the scenery will constantly change.


I love what I have learned in my long life. …and it continues daily.


I don’t like,

Losing my eyesight and having to wear glasses.

The unwanted roll around my waist that just popped on without asking permission.

That I can do less and achieve less in a day.


Serena Crawford, Her Point of View on vickiarcher.com


 

What’s your favourite way to dress? Do you have a signature style?

I wear safari clothes and hat in the day time …that’s my look in the summer.


In London, I wear black leather leggings , boots, and a Anne Fontaine white shirt with black jacket…and interesting jewellery.


I also like Etro and I’m a Uniqlo girl…all my jeans come from there. I wear jeans everyday. (White black, khaki and blue) I hardly own a dress.

 

 

Do you have a beauty secret to share?

I think good white teeth are the biggest beauty secret and one you can always arrange if you are not blessed with.

Cheek highlighter by Lauren Mercier

A hat and sunblock.

No tanning ever.

 

 

What’s on the bucket list?

Cuba, Antarctica, Footsteps of Shakelton and the cherry blossoms in Japan.

 

 

If you could change one thing in the past, what would you do differently?

I would have never sold our house in London or our property in Oxfordshire.!! Or wasted so much time.

 

 

What age do you feel right now?

40 (tonight 78)

 

 

Who would play you in a movie?

Edina from Absolutely Fabulous

 

 

Your hero?

Steve Jobs /My husband .



Follow Serena’s adventures on Instagram HERE



images, serena crawford

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23 Comments

Taste of France

What a fascinating woman! Thanks for putting us onto her. She is so full of energy and at the same time she sounds so calm. The part about being kinder to herself and to others….how wonderful.

Reply
Vicki

She is a fabulous woman and so full of life.. Much of what she writes rings true for me too :)
Yes.. couldn’t we all take note and be kinder to ourselves …

Reply
Our French Oasis

I agree Vicki, much of what she writes sounds very familiar to me as well! I too struggle with glasses, I hate them, I have to use them for the computer, but I never wear them in public, I have a mental block about glasses and age – stupid yes, especially as my teenage children are begging for glasses as they are so cool despite the fact they have perfect vision! That and wishing she had never sold her London house, how many times have I wished I had never sold my apartment in London, if only I could look back on myself in my twenties! Still I shall have to read about Serena again, I absolutely loved this, I love her outlook on life and her sense of fashion. Just Brilliant, thank you so much for this series, am loving it. I find myself really looking forward to the next one.xx

Reply
Vicki

Me too… I have some more wonderful women in the pipeline… I love learning about everyone.. :)
Yes.. the real estate regret is a big one!

Reply
Vicki

I need to read her words over and over Lidy, I liked that idea too!
We just moved outside to work… Serena’s words were resounding here in London.. :)

Reply
Mimi Gregor

Although she is different from me in many ways, I can identify with the spiritual quest as I become more timeless. She says that (paraphrasing here) patience equals a serene life, and I agree; I just wish that I could be more patient — NOW!! ;-) I admire the spider as an avatar of patience; she builds her web, then waits for things to come to her. Patiently.

Serena also says that joy is a choice, and yes, that is so true. In fact, everything is a choice. We may not have control over everything that happens to us, but we do have control over our reactions. This is something I am still learning. It’s one thing to <know something, and another thing entirely to put it into practice. For that, one has to overcome one’s original programming. Very difficult to do.

I envy her lack of worry. I have not found that I worry less as I get older. I worry just as much, only about different things than when I was younger. Again, difficult to override the original programming. Worry is a habit, and a bear to break.

Once again, thank you Vicki, for an introduction to an interesting woman. I hope that this series goes on for a good long while. Gives lots of food for thought.

Reply
Vicki

Thank you Mimi… and yes.. how we approach what is dealt with us is the key.
We should choose joy over everything else and I think I will make that my everyday mantra.. :)

Reply
Frith

I love her posts, her experiences, her incredible life and her sense of humour and wit, I have been following her for sometime and look forward to her well written (always) anecdotes and stories.

Reply
Vicki

Yes her stories are what I love… she is a wonderful raconteur… and I believe her vivacious spirit opens up these experiences to her… Joyous and wondrous is her written tone :)

Reply
Kaye

Incredible style in so many areas . . . thank you for this.
She rented my beach house in the Caribbean a while back, so lovely to get to know more.

Reply
lisa thomson

Another lovely interview, Vicki. Nice to meet you Serena. The photos are gorgeous and I love your approach to life—humor with some patience. That sounds like a formula that works. In the very first image, is that a photo taken on safari? It looks like a model shoot.

Reply
Dr Jill Ladbrooke

Wonderful. Thank you so much for introducing us to such an inspirational woman. I love that we are all wiser and calmer with age. I feel a much ‘ better’ person and a ‘better’ doctor with increasing age. Some compensation for the bigger waistline and wrinkles on the face !! x

Reply
david terry

Hmmmmm…..as for glasses?……I’ve worn them every waking hour since I was five, so I don’t even notice them——–except to be frank, during those times in my adult life when I’m in bed with someone else —–the fact remains that I don’t do ANYTHING without my glasses on, but many people expect one to do so at just those times when you would, actually, prefer to know that they really look like. As you might guess, this can get awkward, but I’ve always won out by insisting that the glasses and me are a package-deal.).

As for patience?….I’ve never particularly noticed whether I have it or not…..until the past year, when one client and two acquaintances told me (within a month of each other) that I was “impatient”. One pissed me off by referring to me in an email as an “impatient little man” (I’m 5’6″), but I got over it and realized that all three were probably right. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. As usual, I followed my customary routine of thinking “Well, they might not be right, and you might not be able to ‘change’ at your age, but it never hurts to at least listen to identical critiques from three people who don’t even know each other, but do know you”.

So, I try.

Not entirely incidentally? I’ve been wondering if I need new bifocals (I’ve had the current pair for five years). I realized, just twenty minutes ago, that I definitely DO need them. I (and this is the USA) read a posting on the neighborhood-message-board about someone’s having found an obviously lost “English black dog”, and I thought “How can they tell if the dog is English? Does it have an accent? Does it TALK????”……

…..and, then, impatient me realized that the headline actually read “Elderly Black Dog”.

High time for me to get new glasses and stop reading so impatiently/quickly, I think.

Amusedly,
David Terry

Reply
Vani

I am in awe and an avid follower of Serena. She is fortunate in that she has the means to do such amazing things and travel so often and so widely. But here’s the thing: she is never boastful or racist or condescending! I was born on ‘the other side of the tracks’ in South Africa, and could feel resentful, but, no, I am drawn to her humanity and her spirit of ‘ubuntu’!

Reply
Kim

Her IG account is one of my favourite reads each day. Serena is a great story teller, full of interesting anecdotes and information. She shows humour and empathy in all her writings – definetely someone you would like to chat to over a cup of tea.

Reply
Joel

I thank Serena for introducing me to Vicki. I just found Serena a few weeks ago and am so fascinated with her. She has opened the world to me, most of which I will never see in person, since I am 78 years old, but traveling with her on IG is very inspiring.

Reply
stephanie thonet

hello vicki,
i follow you both on instagram and thought it such a wonderful idea for you to write a post about serena! i’ve told her, too, how very enjoyable it is to read her – it’s just like reading a book of fascinating short stories, don’t you think. :-)
and i love looking at the gorgeous pictures you post; so varied and beautiful and fun!
all the best, stephanie thonet

Reply
stephanie thonet

oh – and i also meant tell you – i thought the questions you asked were interesting ones! :-)
stephanie t.

Reply
Susie

Hi Vicki I know I rarely comment but just wanted to say how much I am still loving all your posts, blog & everything you do Its is my window into another world I am really enjoying Her Point Of View fascinated by all the women so far and Serena is fabulous – but most of all I really loved the first one about you! I am such a huge fan Thank you for your inspiration wisdom ideas suggestions beautiful imagery fashion beauty house & garden Its always so relevant So please know I am always admiring from afar Thank you xx

Reply

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