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by Linda Smyth September 01, 2021 4 min read

I first met Lar in 2017 when we stayed at  her air bnb on the Dolphin Coast in Durban, South Africa.  We've stayed in touch ever since and I love that a friendship has formed from that momentous trip.  Lar has recently relocated with her family to a beautiful island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  I was so delighted Lar agreed to answer our 13 questions.  She's a fun, interesting, styley, playful mum of two in a new country, and an exceptionally talented photographer - basically the perfect portrayal of women in their forties.

1. Hi Lar!  I'm so happy you're answering our 13 questions, thank you!  Can you please tell us your age?


2. What’s the song that takes you back to childhood the most? (I couldn’t choose just one so multiple songs are totally acceptable!

What a question! I am such a nostalgic person and there are so many… my folks were super young when they had us (my Mum had 4 wildlings by the time she was 26, and then her 5th at the age of 37) so life felt festive and there was always music playing. The first two that sprang to mind were ‘Father and Son’ by Cat Stevens and ‘Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da’ by The Beatles.

3. Who was your first real life teen crush?  Did you ever get together?

His name was Dane, I can still see his face.  One stolen kiss in the convent courtyard during a school dance is as far as it went.  No regrets about that one.

4. Who, What or Where makes you feel good every time? 

My current mantra is ‘the best things in life are free’.  I would say that any carefree ‘down time’ spent with my family, our dear friends (who feel like family) and time spent immersing ourselves in nature - or anywhere wild - is when I feel most content.  Combine any of these and the heart goes boom!

5. What's your favourite item in your wardrobe?

You’ve caught me at a time in my life when we’ve just moved countries and have become fledgling ‘minimalists’.  I want to be cool and have something radical and unique to describe, but in reality I adore a simple white blouse from Zara.  It feels vintage but fresh, and has buttons down the front and slightly puffed detailed 3/4 sleeves. There it is…

6. What's the most worn item in your wardrobe?

High waisted mom-jean style denim shorts, mostly paired with a tucked in loose linen shirt, T-shirt or blouse. Also my baby blue single-strap Birkenstocks.

7. Who is your style hero?

Jane Birkin. Forever.

(ed - Lar included such a beautiful selection of Jane Birkin shots with her answers that they needed to be permanently included here. I agree Lar, Jane Birkin's style is so perfect.)

jane birkin style icon


8. What's your perception of the 40's? Has that changed since you joined this decade?

For me - my greatest personal shift took place when I hit my thirties. It was a momentous time in my life; I felt brave and reborn. I always thought there would be a similarly dramatic shift when I turned 40 this January - and definitely felt a vibration of anticipation… but instead the 40’s have welcomed me with an easy embrace and there has been no emotional aftermath (just yet). Life feels slower - but in the best way. The things I used to sweat for seem to have fallen behind the importance I now place on ‘feeling present’; recognising what is making space for more fulfilment in my life and finding balance. Maybe it’s simply a case of ‘Island Fever’ and living in these easy going surroundings has re-centred me.  There is so much beauty to be found in simplicity.

9. How do you feel about the 50's?

I want to say excited, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am not 100% comfortable with how much my body is changing physically. Yet. Am working on embracing these changes instead of feeling daunted by them, but it’s not a battle easily won.

10. What are the 3 words which come to mind when I say 'menopause'?

I can’t seem to get past one word: Transformation.

11. How do you feel about menopause?

I haven’t asked myself that question till this moment, which could tell a story of either indifference or denial. My husband and I have only very recently given in to the reality that we won’t be trying for a third baby. I think I’m still mourning the idea of this - and if I’m truly honest with myself (and you) - I think I am in complete denial that menopause is on my horizon just yet.

12. What would you like to be known for?

Open hearted and generous of spirit.

13. What are you looking forward to today? 

Taking my daughter Luca on a ‘scoot & milkshake’ date.

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