the tale of georgia macmillan and olivia Tsicalas


Photography: Kate Lewis Makeup: Hedi Kalmar Words: Georgie Abay

One of the greatest parts of motherhood for me has been the new friendships I’ve formed. In fact, I’ve never needed the support of my friends — old and new — more than I have in the last two years. The first time I met the now Dubai-based Georgia Macmillan I was working at Harper's BAZAAR magazine and she was working in public relations. I attended a glamorous party she was hosting for Moët & Chandon. If only we knew then that in a couple of years we’d cross paths again, but the next time, we’d be sitting bleary eyed in a room at a community mother’s group, cradling our newborn baby girls (her: Olivia, me: Arabella) taking turns to air our issues with the other women in the room which ranged from successful settling techniques to well, not so successful ones.
Becoming a mother for the first time is as exhilarating as it is exhausting and I really believe having the support of your girlfriends is the key to survival (at least, one of them). A few sessions later and we branched off and formed our own group. We still got down to the nitty gritty of motherhood, but also discovered we had far more than a new baby in common. Over the next few months, we leant on each other constantly, laughing and crying our way through those early days of motherhood, and actually, we haven’t stopped doing that.
Georgia is one of the most stylish women I know. She’s also smart, generous, funny, thoughtful and really, really creative. I love all her qualities, but I find her creativity particularly inspiring. Georgia is also our Lifestyle Editor and we profiled her on the site when we first launched last September. Recently, she relocated with her family to Dubai and so I wanted to profile her again. Why? To give you a glimpse into her new life and also an example of her enviable ability to transform everything around her into something beautiful. Also, to get her thoughts on motherhood a year and a half in.
Having spent a decade working in PR before the birth of her daughter, she has recently returned to one of her first loves: art. Creativity clearly runs in the family - her mother and grandmother were both artists. This week she’s launched her online store www.georgiamacmillanpaints.com, where you can buy everything from watercolour paintings of rosy cheeked children and beautiful blooms to large scale abstract paintings on canvas. “Like most children, I started painting at an early age but was blessed to have an artistic maternal grandmother and mother to support and encourage this early interest. My mother was an incredible artist and sold hundreds of pieces throughout her early married years,” she says. Georgia has also recently started writing again (she started her career as a broadcast journalist) and now writes for Harper’s BAZAAR Interiors and Harper’s BAZAAR Junior in Dubai.
On motherhood, she says: “I can confidently say it has taken a good year to settle into the role of being a mother. The transition from career driven, young and married to a stay at home mother to learning the juggling act when work commitments arise is tough and no one can prepare you for it. Now, I can’t imagine life without Olivia. She brings immense joy and love to our lives. And ‘they’re’ right, it only gets better as they grow older. Motherhood has taught me to chill out, go with the flow and let go of the things I can’t control. Life goes on, work commitments resume and we’re meant to make mistakes in order to grow and learn from them. I now realise you don’t need to let it define you by trying to be ‘supermum’. It’s impossible. I just try to do it my way and stop comparing my mothering style to another – we all do it differently and our children are all just as happy.”

Georgia’s little list of loves:
Our Nespresso machine – I can’t live without coffee in the morning.
Afternoons watering the garden – Olivia has a mini pink water can and follows me around while I hose. She has the best time and ends up drenched. Freddy runs around with her ball. It’s such a happy time in our day.
Vegemite toast.
Writing stories – I love immersing myself in a story and am lucky to work at home. In the cooler months I would sit under our garden umbrella with my laptop. It was the perfect workspace.
Mornings at the beach with our little family Skype with family and friends.
Baking cakes – it’s a new love interest.
The petunias, bougainvillea and hibiscus flowering in our garden – they bring so much joy.
Olivia’s fits of laughter – it’s so happy-making. We do a lot of laughing.
Our dining table – we bought it from MCM House just before we left for Dubai. It’s our ‘base camp’ and the round shape encourages group conversation. It’s my favourite piece of furniture.
Painting in my studio.

March 2014


COMMENTS