Into town: hats, gloves and Radio 4 and barrel-making in a Portuguese village square.

It started beautifully (coffee, the sunshine-y view over the green hills, Laurie Lee to read and birdsong and dogs barking happily at imaginary rabbits) and ended peacefully (light supper, family Telly viewing of vintage British-ness).

And, in between, there were long(ish) drives to and from Lisbon, listening to radio 4 and companionship (we could have done without the ‘single still?’ comment but considering we’ve had Quite a Lot of family of Origin time in the past few days, that was easily smiled-at and talk of lovers and friends and anti-domesticity and love-of-adventure and probably-not-settling-down-again at least not-in-the-traditional-sense and all was Well ;)

In Lisbon?

Ah.

Very teamgloria-type-shop-window-admiring-ness, darlings – 1920s glove emporium, an 1885 hat shop, vintage books and faded cartes postales.

20120430-175949.jpg

20120430-175957.jpg

20120430-180003.jpg

20120430-180009.jpg

20120430-180015.jpg

20120430-180021.jpg
And a Most curious and Unexpected stop at one of the last barrel makers in Portugal in a village where we were also invited to see an olive press from napoleonic times and a slow stroll through the tiny square, kissing on both cheeks those to whom we were introduced and a cheery “boa tarde!” to the surprise of others (we Do like to be friendly and locally-engaging).

20120430-180437.jpg

20120430-180442.jpg

20120430-180450.jpg
Back to the Quinta. To watch British vintage Telly. And admire the fullness of nightfall.

20120430-180545.jpg

20120430-180551.jpg

20120430-180558.jpg
A dog just paused outside our door.

This has been the only really sad moment of our trip.

Usually we love Nothing More than a dog snuffling and dreaming and sighing at the end of the bed.

But the Scar is a bit afraid of scratches.

So we had to keep the door closed.

That feels weird.

And sad.

Not as weird and sad as we felt at Madrid airport en route to Lisbon, when we felt too, too tired and scratchy and a bit Nervy about coming here.

And now we feel Relaxed and grateful.

and ever so slim and freckled and lots-of-deep-breathing-relaxed-ness.

How on Earth are we going to re-enter the sniper fire of midtown manhattan?

Gosh.

Perhaps we are Just too European to do it for that much longer…….

The Fates will decide.

Not us.

That much we know ;)

Packed and not at all prepared for what’s next.

And feeling nice and loose and relaxed about the Prospect, actually.

How have You been?

We do miss you.

reading in bed, smiling at the sunshine on trees outside the window.

sometimes, when we’re here, in Portugal, we remember being 13 (when we first came for a Visit) and how we dreamed of being GrownUp with an apartment and a job and international travel and money to buy books and afternoons in cafes, writing sophisticated screenplays and A Diary full of wicked-and-wonderful-tales and friends and lovers and a long blue-blue-dressing-gown (like Noel Coward).

we used to go into the city and hang out taking photographs of the Trams and tourists.

everything happened (well, we didn’t predict getting sick, but we wrote our way through it, with your help, so even That felt part of the Plan).

and this afternoon we’ll show you the tourists and the trams too ;)

for now – curling back down under the blue-blue-linens, a moment of reading and a last sip of the milky coffee that was so kindly brought in after a rat-a-tat Very British knock at the door…….and a cheery “Good Morning!”

Yes.

It is.

20120430-033321.jpg

20120430-033328.jpg

20120430-033333.jpg

20120430-033339.jpg

a day in Portugal.

a day of driving, dogs (both excited and dozing in equal measure), lunch, Family of Origin (both heart-warming and full of sadness in equal parts), British television via satellite and excellent supper on-a-tray and more driving and much of it photographed to share with You.

20120429-181844.jpg

20120429-181854.jpg

20120429-181925.jpg

20120429-181935.jpg

20120429-181945.jpg

20120429-181954.jpg

20120429-182005.jpg

20120429-182013.jpg

20120429-182024.jpg

20120429-182032.jpg

20120429-182042.jpg
We’ve always known a blog helps.

Even when we can’t write in Great Detail.

But sometimes just knowing that many of you walked us through you-know-what. Both those of you who know us in RL and those of you who only know us Here (and goodness knows we are More us here than Out There it feels). The thing is, we couldn’t tell them about Tobias the tumor story while it was happening. For many reasons. Some were good reasons (how do you tell your parents you are waiting to see if you have cancer?). Others were not necessarily good but necessary reasons (not everyone can Cope when stuff is not happening to them but to others and they are frightened and perhaps ill equipped). And god knows they have Their Own Issues (there are many reasons we find it Helpful to Have. A. Therapist, darlings).

What we are trying to say is that today was easier because we knew you’d be there at the end of it.

Thank you.

Hope you like the photographs.

It made today more beautiful looking for beauty to share here later.

A couple of times we almost let the name gloria slip ;)

In time, we guess, we will tell.

And if you’re reading this then – we did the best we could at the time.

en route once more: Madrid to Lisboa

after a Most delicious desayuno and a quick teaching-someone-Very-glam-and-Spanish-to-set-up-a-blog (welcome to the interweb new Clandestine Columnist!) and a swift’ish walk in the (surprising but sadly covering Much of Western Europe or The Continent right Now) rain – we set off for the airport and for the Next country (literally – turn Left for Portugal – if one is facing North, of course, and one Often doesn’t have a Clue which direction one Is facing and we Rather enjoy it, darlings).

beyond Tired.

and rather grumpy and feeling non-body-love (the new word for fat, apparently) or Rather generously curvy due to sitting on bottom for DAYS and not swimming and………

#sigh

Eating cake.

got to get off the sugar again.

Oh god.

we just don’t have the energy to detox.

Maybe (once we return to the USA) we’ll slip some Ridiculous amount of cash to the juice people and they can have those bizarre re-fridge-a-rate-Or bags at the ready so we can weep and wail in the comfort of our own apartment while Reducing.

This is turning into one of those Lady’s blogs about increasing/decreasing bottom size.

Not Happy.

We’d prefer to go back to the Scar.

Which says hello, by the way.

It’s an awfully polite scar.

Unlike its Disgruntled owner today.

And we Must get a better attitude because – at the other end of This Flight – members of our Family of Origin will be waiting.

Strewth.

As our colleagues from the New New world might say.

One must Be Prepared.*

*we were never a scout. But we did get asked to leave the Brownies for an incident involving our jealousy and apparently unwarranted accusations of nepotism – yes – we had a Large and vibrant vocab even at 8 – of Brown Owl’s daughter’s amassing of Badges at a more Rapid pace than teamgloria. There were insults thrown (guilty) and perhaps a Tantrum Thrown (not much change there then). We resolved never to submit to Wardrobe Inspection again – outside of a dimly lit nightclub in Sarf’ London or was it the East end of the East End? No matter. You get the idea, darlings ;)

star strewn comforter and english roses fabric at the window

And so our work event ended, at last and we got our spirit attended to (friends, conversation and a walk in the sunshine between cloud bursts) and our poor tired body back into the swimming costume and Into The Pool (our concierge found us a hotel about 30 mins away with a delicious spa set-up.) We winced slightly at the amount it cost, considering we’re paying for the high end corporate warrior place back in NYC too, but heigh ho, needs must and the curves were bursting and Not Happy until Several Lengths had been achieved, after three nights of Dinners and hours sitting on a clear Perspex chair For-three-whole-Days! (apart from our speech giving moments when we stood behind a podium (also Perspex).

Now?

Ah.

We’re outside the centre of Madrid, in a lovely tranquil spot, with our friends L & m at Their House, under a star strewn comforter next to the window softly draped with English roses fabric and an old-fashioned atomizer/room fragrance (fig, in case you’re curious, darlings) on top of a Balenciaga monograph, the paper lantern diffusing happy light spots on the tartan/plaid blanket.

20120427-173349.jpg

20120427-173356.jpg

20120427-173402.jpg

More pictures from our day?

Why, of course (and thank You for the lovely text from the Other Coast saying how much you were enjoying such Spanish scenes ;)

20120427-173707.jpg

20120427-173713.jpg

20120427-173726.jpg

20120427-173739.jpg

Waving from Spain!

Off to Lisbon tomorrow………

to the casino, by night.

Tonight’s event was at the casino de madrid

And it was glorious…….

20120426-172858.jpg

20120426-172909.jpg

20120426-172915.jpg

20120426-172920.jpg

20120426-172926.jpg

20120426-172933.jpg

We are Beyond exhausted…..but have to admit it was Rather Glam at the casino de madrid this evening, darlings.

Gosh.

No.

Not gambling.

But celebrating.

That’s all we can say.

The scarlet pashmina was a (Spanish-themed) success.

And now we can pass it on to a new home…….

The ballet shoes are a keeper.

We bought those very good quality leather soled Italian ones and Thoroughly enjoyed the way they encourage one to g l i d e through the streets of late night Spain, pashmina pulled tightly around one’s shoulders, satin clutch-clutched-to-the-bosom, long (black satin) bias cut skirt floating prettily like diaphanous butterfly wings beneath the tightly woven helmut lang knit-to-the-ground.

Not sure we Really want to dress like A Lady that Often (one feels awfully stared at and yet invisible and powerless and a Bit Silly all at the same time).

But occasionally, we now know, it’s something of a Pleasure.

And a Certain Very Chic person gets a kick out of it (you know who you Are) and that Pleases us Tremendously!

;)

Sleep well, darlings (or have a safe commute home to our American friends and good morning, Asia!)

So Modern, as William says.

Buenas noches, jet-lag. #madrid

Oh dear.

We felt we had Quite Escaped.

But no.

Jet lag has Arrived.

We have a Long Day ahead.

And it’s now 1.27 AM, precisely, in Madrid.

Lying here helplessly.

Despite watching Korea Today (the presenters had Most distracting Ivy League accents) and comparing news bulletins on american, middle east and the BBC channels and a dubbed soap with some of the actors from beverlyhills90210 (could not Quite place the year – the skin tone was ultra smooth and tank tops in vivid brights have never gone Out of fashion in L.A, it seems) and then an Arabic sub-titled quarter of an hour of Atonement (lovely satin gowns and drop waist cotton sprigged dresses and bobs and Black Tie for Dinner and mind your manners, Briony) until it got to the sad bit and then……..oh, you get the idea.

Jet Lag is hideous.

Still.

Thanks to diptic (app-thingy), we had a Burst of creativity.

20120425-193533.jpg

20120425-193544.jpg

We’re going to be Ever so cross in the morning with Frown Lines.

#sigh

How was your day, darlings?

20120425-194405.jpg

shoes and chandeliers. #madrid

Not Doctor’s Orders to do three night-time-day-job-engagements so we fulfilled our commitments today (two speeches, both went Very Well, we thought Modestly) and showed Up to the fiesta this evening (long black dress, ballet shoes, sleek hair, pearls, pashmina – black one tonight, scarlet went down Rather splendidly Last Night) albeit Briefly.

and then took a little walk back to the hotel for an Early night, following a Light supper.

20120425-155424.jpg

20120425-155432.jpg
The hotel is lovely.

And we did enjoy a chandelier supported by a more Modern lighting rig ;)

Oh! Forgot to share……..our lady colleagues wore quite Delicious shoes – we took a few snaps…….

20120425-155601.jpg

20120425-155612.jpg

20120425-155629.jpg
Impressive, non?

20120426-184322.jpg