I’ve been writing as “gloria” at teamgloria.com for three years now and it’s time to bring this part of my story to a close. An awful lot has happened since April 9th 2011. I started this site because I needed to find my voice again (not that I knew that then).
When I registered the domain teamgloria.com I had no idea I had three tumo(u)rs in my throat or that I was about to go through a five and a half hour surgery to remove them. I just knew that I had lost my way.
Writing teamgloria.com helped me walk away from my job, and life, in Manhattan and start again on the West Coast. Hay House published my book, “How To Stay Sane In A Crazy World”. So many people have written to me saying the book helped them. I am truly grateful – and very moved – by these responses. It certainly changed my life. When I got sick I searched for the book that would help me walk through the misery of illness, surgery and a painful medical leave. I could not find it – so I wrote it myself…….
Back in Los Angeles, after 7 years in NYC, I went back to my original career as a writer (I started as a journalist on The Independent in the UK in 1992). In the past year I have worked as a foreign correspondent for Red (UK), Good Housekeeping (UK), Esquire (Mexico), “Los Angeles, I’m Yours” and ELLE (China). I also started my own consultancy business, went to South Africa as an international judge for the country’s digital awards and have taught many wonderful people how to launch their businesses in the international digital arena.
It’s been an incredible journey.
And now I’m ready to start my next chapter. Sadly “gloria” cannot be part of this new life – it just wouldn’t be appropriate. By the Autumn I hope to be in an entirely new career. I’m thrilled to be able to start again – not many people get the chance to do this. I’ve done it several times, actually.
Maybe one day I’ll write a book about that ;-)
But for now – thank you for being on my teamgloria.com journey – you’ve been brilliant company.
Much love, sophs x
we returned to Whitstable (rather) Late last night, courtesy of British Airways, Southern Railways and a nice East End cabbie called Mr. Macbeef (who was not flummoxed at All by the marathon shutting down the road to Victoria and did a swift detour to Kings Cross St Pancras), all the way from Ibiza (via Deia) and will be leaving for Los Angeles tomorrow.
Quite a travel Schedule and no mistake.
but we took the time this morning to Drop in on Sophie at The Marguerite and it was a delicious visit indeed.
The Marguerite is a delightful spot to linger and dream while sitting at the wooden table, gazing out to sea (or down at one’s manuscript which is slowly shaping up to be a rather interesting novel), the sky-blue kettle almost at the boil, cups ready for tea, ice cold milk in a jug and perhaps one of Sophie’s handmade Hampers waiting to be delved into when the next page is written and spell-checked and set aside.
Sophie (much like who-we-are-in-RL) had a big fancy job (in Fashion) and decided to step off the ladder at the top and Do Something Else with her life. Part of this is The Marguerite – the rest we shall tell you about when we are given permission.
That’s Sophie in the picture above.
An excellent question.
Dave has his own Instagram account (shared with elder sibling-of-choice Dominic)
another excellent question.
The Marguerite (beach hut) got its name because Sophie found this portrait (see below) in a local vintage shop.
we did a little searching (you knew we would) and found that Miss Marguerite Ismay, *might* well have been the same young thing who appeared On Stage as a dancer – even as far afield as Australia in 1911 (can you imagine the journey in those days? who-we-are-in-RL and her Travels pale in comparison).
after a lovely tramp across the pebbles and the brisk air filling our lungs, we took a turn around the Town once more to top up our Britishness (required at six month intervals to keep the Vocab up to scratch) and generally engender a sense of well-being in the soul.
so glad that William decided to move out of London and settle down in the Kentish Coast.
it’s delicious to have friends-we-have-known-for-years with seaside houses.
and new-friends-with-beach-huts, of course.
that really is extra special and no mistake.
deia is glorious.
and we thought you’d enjoy these pictures we took today with some words from Mr. Robert Graves, who lived here and was Most Productive.
A Pinch of Salt
When a dream is born in you
With a sudden clamorous pain,
When you know the dream is true
And lovely, with no flaw nor stain,
O then, be careful, or with sudden clutch
You’ll hurt the delicate thing you prize so much.
Dreams are like a bird that mocks,
Flirting the feathers of his tail.
When you seize at the salt-box,
Over the hedge you’ll see him sail.
Old birds are neither caught with salt nor chaff:
They watch you from the apple bough and laugh.
Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself, and turn away.
Mask your hunger; let it seem
Small matter if he come or stay;
But when he nestles in your hand at last,
Close up your fingers tight and hold him fast.Robert Graves
In my body lives a flame,
Flame that burns me all the day;
When a fierce sun does the same,
I am charred away.
Who could keep a smiling wit,
Roasted so in heart and hide,
Turning on the sun’s red spit,
Scorched by love inside?
Caves I long for and cold rocks,
Minnow-peopled country brooks,
Blundering gales of Equinox,
Daily so I might restore
Calcined heart and shrivelled skin,
A morning phœnix with proud roar
Kindled new within.
and here is a splendid interview with Mr. R. Graves from the summer of 1969 (a very fine year) with the clever editors at Paris Review – he sounds like a Most Complicated human being (we can relate).
while the sun is high in the sky one walks and discusses Deep Things and then, as the night draws in, the twinkle lights come on and the sky is flush with stars, a small terrace (alas a small amount of rain but no matter), a late supper, tea at the farmhouse table and Talk of the future – or not – just dreams – or visions – with plans – or nots – or silent because One Really is not Sure. Just right now.
particularly when one sees the vast mountain ranges and That view down to the water and the gnarled olive trees and the scent of lavender on the breeze.
back to Mr. Robert Graves:
How many books have you published?
One hundred and twenty-one—but many of those are revised collections. Then I’ve written books for other people.
Why have you done that?
Because they had something to say, and they couldn’t write it down.
that’s what who-we-are-are-RL has been doing for the past 24 hours – helping people who have something to say but did not have the (digital skills) to write it o u t.
which is nice.
now we go to Ibiza to do the same all over again.
it’s a lovely way to t r a v e l, darlings.
even if it’s the last time we do something like this before we do something else.
which, of course, makes it all the sweeter.
we are feeling MOST restored by a mini break by the seaside!
and especially calmed by a morning in the Essex Street Pleasure Gardens over at William’s house – with a visit over the fence by Burt and Dottie – and a cheery wave from the clever landscape designer and his trusty mate from next door as they dropped by to pick up some fencing parts (for an actual fence – not a Duel at Dawn – it’s not that sort of a seaside Town, at least not for the past hundred years).
you didn’t even have to ask, love.
here we go…
here is the Essex Street Pleasure Gardens in all its springtime glory (note grecian blue shed – a lovely touch).
this is Dottie (on the left, not the daises, those are called Marguerite).
this is Burt (who appears to be wrinkling up his nose in some anticipation of his tea). while this is William (reading the Guardian and being very intellectual and Thoughtful – mainly because there are few funny bits in the Guardian).
and this is a poster advertising the vintage delights of Herne Bay – it’s just down the Coast – not far at all – and a gorgeous drive in the bright Kentish sunshine – and so we did Just that shortish and most delightful drive after a (light) lunch. here it is – Herne Bay itself!with a Cerulean blue sea.
before we leave you (metaphorically) in Herne Bay…..we thought we might introduce you to one of its famous Lady Authors: Miss Evelyn Whitaker, who was born There in 1844.
her work is Most Charming – and – due to the magic of the interweb – much of it has now been “digitized” and is available to read on a new-fangled device – thus allowing Miss Evelyn Whitaker – who remained anonymous much of her life, asking her publisher to keep her identity secret – to reach forward through time and sit with us while we enjoy her Tales of the past.
a little snippet?
Mr Clifford the vicar was accounted very lucky by the neighbouring clergy for having such a man, and not being exposed to all the vagaries of a young schoolmaster, or, perhaps, still worse, schoolmistress, with all the latest musical fancies of the training colleges. Neither had he to grapple with the tyranny of the leading bass nor the conceit and touchiness that seems inseparable from the tenor voice, since Mr Robins kept a firm and sensible hand on the reins, and drove that generally unmanageable team, a village choir, with the greatest discretion.
sly undertones of Austen-esque social commentary, non?
very Kentish Coast.
as Burt would say – if Burt could make his thoughts known.
actually, Burt probably can.
he’s that sort of a smart Kentish cat you see.
another Airport – and another Island.
we’ll see you late Thursday evening from a new Location.
in the meantime (*happy_smile*) – COSMOPOLITAN picked our book as (one of) their pick of the week (if you’re feeling depressed)!
due to some last minute Decisions regarding not-feeling-well-at-all we Took a Train from Victoria Station last night (bought a refreshing cup of tea from the man on the trolley who made his way from First Class to the front carriage: milk-no-sugar-please-gosh-no-no-biscuit-thanks-ever-so-much) and some hours later………..arrived at the Coast.
the seaside air cures all.
and after a blissful full night’s sleep for the first time in *sighs* Five Days (not fun), we are slowly feeling better. a few sniffles. the tiny bit of dispirited-ness is Lifting, at last.
as dusk fell on the town of Whitstable we walked with lovely William (he lives not far off the beach road and just a short walk from the Railway Station – long enough to have a proper conversation while the Samsonite was wheeled ahead and the bags of groceries fitted nearly in the crook of one’s arm) – and everything started to fall into place again.
especially when – as you can see – the First thing we saw as we took a Stroll Down the High Street this morning – was a BOOKSHOP.
as befitting a british bookshop – Brian – one of the owners – who was there on the till (cash register for our American friends – and we did have a lovely chat) – there was a Large Selection (well-curated) of vintage finds, local authors and a whole shelf full of Mr. Maugham.
the Trouble with Mr. Maugham is that his famous book “Cakes & Ale” is actually a Satire (which the British do very well – but it is usually prefaced by the word Biting and it most certainly would be Here) – of, well, Whitstable.
but that does not deter the good folks of Whitstable for re-claiming its prodigal son in the upcoming Literary Festival (oh dear, we would LOVED to have stayed for this but we are needed – hopefully – back in the USA by then to start a new “gig”).
Especially sad to miss this as we’d be Thrilled to see Miss Selina Hastings do her talk on Mr. Maugham and his somewhat turbulent love life and literary leanings.
gosh! Ms. Lynn Barber is Also speaking at the Literary Festival – about her new book (*makes_note_with_pencil* of new book title)
now back to Oxford Books (so named because tis on Oxford Street, Whitstable, you see)
and some very teamgloria style Books for (be-bobbed and brave and british) Girls.
what did we Buy?
for more about the Mersey Sound and the poets Mr. McGough, Henri and Patten – there’s a lovely piece here from G. Cordon who knows his stuff.
Then – after lunch (a simple yet nourishing meal at the Whitstable Coffee Company where we shamelessly eavesdropped on two friends of an uncertain age having a gossip because it was fascinating and useful for future novels) – we took a blustery turn by the seafront to blow the cobwebs from the brain and tousle the freshly washed hair.
and a turn down the high street.
now – don’t you find small towns always have such interesting Libraries?
but this gave us Pause.
thanks to mr. google(.co.uk) – we are able to share with you some details about Joan’s life – as it was glorious and she deserves remembrance.
Joan Cavender, who has died aged 93, was known to her many friends in Whitstable, Kent, as an ardent socialist and a person of endless optimism about the possibility of creating a just and more equal world. For many years, Joan ran the Whitstable bookshop, Pirie and Cavender, a career she took up in 1949 after the sudden death of her husband. Her strong views about literature were not always sympathetic to all the tastes of her customers.A very important part of Joan’s generous social and political vision was an interest in worldwide politics, and it was this that drew her, after her retirement, to go and work as a volunteer teacher in the Gambia. At an age when many people might have been pleased to turn away from the responsibilities of full-time work, Joan entered with enthusiasm into the teaching of office skills to Gambian women. She described these years as among the happiest in her life. In this setting, Joan’s politics of limitless concern for every individual expressed itself in her commitment to her students.When Joan returned to Britain, she refused, with characteristic determination, to accept more conventional meanings of retirement. A passionate supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, she went to work at the movement’s London office as an assistant to Bruce Kent. In this context she found another focus for her political convictions, in particular the idea that ordinary human beings could, by their determined actions, correct injustice and prejudice. To turn one’s back on the possibilities of the political was, for Joan, never an option, and until her final illness she maintained that constant interest in politics which she had acquired in the 1930s.Mary Evans/The Guardian/Monday 10 April 2006
with a view from the Herne Bay Suite overlooking the Essex Street Pleasure Gardens (and next door’s washing/laundry on the line).
time to sip some tea and catch up with Correspondence from Abroad.
there’s a fish supper this evening and another early night after some diverting television program(mes) on the BBC and tomorrow a fresh start with more photographs of morning coffee cups in the garden as the dew melts into the newly laid down turf.
the seaside is good for the soul.
especially when one was rather Under the Weather and Confused about the Future.
best-laid-plans and all that.
you see we’ve come down with something unmentionable in the sickness of body and soul department (not terminal but not suitable for Town either).
and so the meetings in london must be carefully but gently eased out of and we are heading back to the seaside (a different one this time – we were there today – at the seaside – but brighton – and now – tomorrow – we’ll be heading to Whitstable where William has said the Herne Bay Suite is available for a healing rest before we go to do the Speech in Deia)
one Never knows what will happen you see.
but one thing that you can be sure of – if emotions are left unchecked and sniffles not Attended to – it can only get worse
but before we retire, a few pictures from the past two days to share with you if you’d be so kind as to hang around and scroll down and imagine the sea-salty-air and the shouts of the marathon supporters and quiet cups of coffee in a just-dawn-broken morning with good friends and late night suppers after Trips to the Supermarket and CD playlists burned and walks through a park – actually three parks – blossom heavy on the bough – a metaphor as well, we’ll admit – but not ours to tell – either of them – a walk – actually two by the seaside railings and a deep conversation or more – exploring – remembering – sometimes catching one’s breath – did That happen There? how did we ever recover from those days? and now? where to now?
where one can think and sleep and prepare to head to the other two islands on our trip.
and then, when one thinks all might be sort of on the wrong Path – there’s always a sign – not necessarily one that says “Turn left teamgloria” but when it’s a plaque on a building that one didn’t Search out for but there it Was – well – that’s magical – and helpful – and very much smile-inducing all over again.
see you back at the beach tuesday morning for a catch-up (in a virtual sense – unless you’re planning on being in Whitstable too, of course, but we might not be able to come and hang out – much Rest Cure to be allayed you see).
and being ever-so-prudent with the Lodgings so we’ve found a Charming (former butler’s pantry next to the back kitchen perhaps?) room with a single bed and a small window looking out onto drainpipes of the next door similarly appointed 1800s listed building in an unfashionable side of Bayswater.
and it’s glorious.
we just took a walk at Dusk and the grown-up camera was Thrilled to be back in London too.
the Most Amusing thing about London (when one has lived Abroad for almost Thirteen Years) is that it feels strangely reminiscent of a film starring Mr. Colin Firth and Mr. Hugh Grant in that everyone is speaking with a Jolly nice accent, slightly diffident and bashful when crossing the road to the local hostelry and buying the Daily Telegraph (printed form seems to be popular in the unfashionable side of Bayswater near Hyde Park still it seems) or while weighing bananas (we are eight hours behind everyone else here so it’ll be curious to see whether we can sleep through the night or might require a mid-night-or-thereabouts snack).
luckily there’s a kettle and Tetley’s tea bags and small packets of UHT milk on a small white plastic tray (not shown) in the room by the power adaptors.
we’re not that tall so it was hard to zoom in or get near enough but safe to say – this was the front door that MR CECIL BEATON walked through in the late 1920s after a day languishing in the hot studio lights with grande dames and duchesses who desired a kinder lens and the chance of a spot in Vogue.
and one hopes he Never fastened his bicycle at 223 Sussex Gardens to the railings either or it surely would have been removed as he clicked away upstairs, age 20 or thereabouts, in his first photographic studio at Home.
whenever one travels, it is always good to look up and observe the blue plaques – one can then Imagine the footsteps on the pavement – with a purposeful stride – heading to the Tube – and follow in their wake, a cloud of cologne on the breeze still clings.
and we’ve only just arrived.
tomorrow – Brighton!
to the Seaside!
is that an oxymoron for you? or are you happy to be Back in the general Swing of things?
we have been thinking about Needs (as opposed to desires) today.
not all day.
but, you know, intermittently.
de temps en temps as they might say in la belle france.
Mr. Einstein (didn’t see that coming did you?) said that a (wo)man just needed the following to be completely at ease and inside the comfort-ness-of-life:
a table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
it’s the Violin that really makes that sentence sing, doesn’t it?
well, let’s see:
we have a (lovely farmhouse) table, two chairs (and a sofa and a bench that matches the lovely farmhouse table), no fruit in a bowl today (we’ve eaten the fruit up before we go on our Trip To Europe) and, nope, oh that is disappointing, no actual Violin.
oh – WAIT!
we *do* have a virtual violin – there are, in fact, plenty on mr. soundcloud.
then we started to think (not always a good idea but fine as the sun is going down) – what’s our Equivalent of Mr. Einstein’s small yet beautiful requirements?
pulling over on the side of the road and standing on the cliffs above the ocean and feeling the breeze ripple through the (freshly bobbed) hair.
breathing deep in beverly hills as the road winds through the verdant streets.
and taking to the o p e n r o a d with the windows rolled down while listening to Ms. J. Joplin.
the open road, music, cashmere blankets, tea lights, ocean breezes and a regular dose of Doris Day movies, of course.
what’s your list?
we finished our work tasks at a nice and early hour yesterday and realized we had a TON of laundry to do.
(that wasn’t just for laundry – although we will admit that in Manhattan, we dropped it off every friday morning, super early before heading to the office, and picked it up when we got the saturday edition of the Financial Times, Times Have Changed – we do our own Laundry now).
back to *horrors*!
because the (small but perfectly sweet with a view of the front plantings and fragrant they are too) Laundry Room at teamgloria (apartment) towers – was CLOSED (new floor being put in, which is very nice, but rendered the room Unavailable).
we *thought* for a moment about dropping off the two (rather large) bags for a Service Wash and then we reconsidered (we have time, and we are being Prudent with cash) – popped the bags in the perfectly Prius and drove to the nearby Laundromat/Launderette.
It was an engaging experience.
Because ANYTHING can be so if one has an eye for Adventure and a nose for a Hollywood reference or two and just takes a look around to sink into the Atmosphere.
so. we. did.
at first glance it was not a Great deal like the Levi’s 501 advertisement (if you can’t see this transmission in your territory ask your mr.local.google for “Levi’s 50s nick kamen”, you’re welcome)
but then it WAS (the actors woke up and came to do their Laundry before heading out to the gym and, hopefully, an audition).
we took a look around (the wash cycle is 29 minutes and the drying cycle 30 so we had some time to Observe our surroundings).
there was a Spanish soap opera – telenovelas – playing – and then we switched to a ladies-in-a-row-at-a-roundish-table talking about Matters of the Day (movie stars, something clever with a fillet of fish and a beauty treatment), a 3D bas relief mural on the back wall, several vending machines (for washing powder – but we bought our own – and snacks – again, we brought a small picnic), outdoor tables (this is california, despite being March), a gossipy attendant (we chatted for a while, because she put up a postcard for the book a while ago and remembered us) and Lots of People Watching.
we did feel a little Doris while folding the clothes (always nice).
while also remembering our (mis-spent but useful for material) Youth watching ground-breaking films like this one.
we always keep an eye on the Machines because there was that One episode back in – when? 1980-something? when Cindy Beale put her washing in the Albert Square launderette and it Got Stolen (this would be SO awful – not the programme – we quite liked it – strangely enough – and its Still Running!).
finally – after all the People watching (and writing in our moleskine and enjoying the small picnic outside on the white cast iron tables not bolted down but you’d be hard pressed to nick them) – the laundry was done and folded and another engaging experience was made Better by a good Attitude.
Thankful that the laundry room is now Open in teamgloria (apartment) towers, we may not have to see the Laundromat again for a while – but we are open to (many) new experiences. Or even re-inventing old ones.
so we went to the Movies.
where we saw…….
what did we Think of it.
it was perfect for a friday after doing laundry.
it was sensuous and full of longing but little meaning apart from why do we meet the people we do and what happens if we follow them up to hotel rooms (probably best not attempted outside Paris) and tell them Secrets that we cannot tell the people in our real life – whatever real life is – does it exist?
even the middle bit – where they hold hands and see amusing street musicians and feel close-in-a-crowd (we are not ruining the plot for you – it’s a Film/e Francais/e – being a bit Violette LeDuc there et pourquoi pas?) and have Big Questions about their Lives and France (the two are Always intertwined), trains (might) be Missed or Caught and regretted, or not.
yes, it’s a French movie.
and that’s why it’s perfect for a Friday after doing Laundry.
just so you know.
what have you seen recently?
and all our clothes are freshly washed.