dawn to dusk with anne scott-james.


in between writing articles and chasing up consultancy tasks, we cooked and listened to Mr. Robert Elms on the wireless, popped out to meet friends at lunchtime and then decided we’d Done Enough.

and settled down on the sofa, with the pashmina over our shoulders and another throw near the feet, for comfort, and read and read and read Anne Scott-James, Most Happily.

may we share?


another rosy dawn. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

which gave a pinkish glow to soft cotton sheets. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and a sunrise kiss to the book (and the divine dorian)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the dawn reflected in a photograph we took of our friend Anna (where would she be now?) from the Theatrical Performance (circa 1989) at London University of a Torrid TaleOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


wonder if Anne’s Morris Cowley was Racer Green tooOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and then there was the cinema (note longing italics).


and love letters much an-ti-ci-pated….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ah. the Americans who invade the British offices.

we can only imagine. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

now Ms. Lesley Blanch sounds TREMENDOUS, don’t you agree?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

this made us a tiny bit homesick.

not that we grew up in the 1940s Or wore print dresses (perhaps once) and certainly cannot recall a village (there wasn’t one for miles) or Communal berry picking and jam-making.

but it’s the Sort of shot that makes one Linger in the lost England where people did such things. non?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

favo(u)rite line here – and yours too?

Visitors were frequent, mostly poets.

just like at teamgloria towers then ;-)


so we ARE old enough to have worked (adjacent to) on Fleet Street (actually Old Street, when The Independent offices were at 40 City Road (and we stayed with the paper through its move to the Docklands – a strange place) and, on one memorable occasion (which has been sadly lost to the mists of Time) we had to Phone Our Copy In to the copy-takers from, we *think*, the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

of course this was (long) before cellular telephones so we nestled into a telephone booth and a lovely lady took down our bon mots on the other end for the paper the Next Day *shivers*

back to Anne – can you imagine finding a Cable Office to send word to Our Man in Havana that one is arriving on the Clipper a tuesday from hence?


now this is Anne (on the right), unidentified lady extreme left and the blonde with the nice slim watch strap and pill box hat is none other than Miss Audrey Withers.

can you see this Transmission in your Territory (if not ask mr. you tube for “audrey withers vogue” and hopefully you’ll get a version of the British Pathe newsreel too!


oh look! Anne wrote a book about Sissinghurst!


so we *thought* she would enjoy a Spot in our bookcase next to Vita and above Nancy whom she also interviewed and not far along the shelf from Isherwood who, we are sure, enjoys the serenity of nestling next to Mr. William James (and everyone loves Plum Wodehouse) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe still felt a little crazy today and then, while typing not long ago, took a look up and saw the full moon.



that’ll do it.

we are Very in touch with the pull of the moon, darlings.

as one might expect.

the unexpected strange melancholy of sense memory.



how was your wednesday?

oh good.

we had a strange one.

it started very early – 5AM actually –OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and there was a drive across town (into the sunrise) and meeting up with friends and then listening to someone who needed to talk (we just listen, we have no particular or even general training but it’s a nice human trait; to listen) and then a drive back and some work emails and who-we-are-in-RL had Plenty to be getting on with (the calls came back, the commissions from Abroad are here – we’ve not seen her much at All today) and – most Excitingly – there was a Pre-Recorded Radio Interview to do….6e5e3134942711e38f071285a6421f42_8and then we’re not sure what happened.

the rest of the day was shot (as the Americans call it – not literally – no firearms here).

you see…


the Thing (there is indeed a Thing) about making-a-living via one’s ImaginationOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and force of will and inspiration and ability-to-ask-interesting-questions and Spin a Tale and let the listener feel as if They Were There is –  – – – –


when we *do* that – we are there too, you see.

and if the Experience we are Recounting was at all painful (yes, Tobias et al) – which it often is – but delivered with a Light Touch (we are known for a Light Touch you see) – we, well, there’s no way to say this but directly –

we relive it all over again.

which is *gulps* painful.

so the day was shot.

we took an extended nap. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit’s now almost 10PM and we’ve managed to pick up the pieces of the psyche and get back to work (which will make thursday surreal we’re sure) for probably several hours.

all is well.

but we just wanted to let You know.

because – well – you Know.

and that’s delicious.

while being Rather Comforting.


(while picking up tea cup and taking a thoughtful sip).c0808128936a11e3b7090effa017eb17_8on a more Upbeat note (as you know we do like an Upbeat Moment), whenever we just Happened to be Passing a major bookshop chain, we like to pop in, use the (extra special) British accent and ask the Person in charge of Customer Service whether they have ordered copies of you-know-what (because although mr. amazon has been delivering copies early to our friends in the USA, bookshops are Much Stricter and Wait for the “on sale date” which is 18th Feb, you see).

the Nicest thing about doing this (and yes, we always buy something to be suitably grateful) is that one gets to show them that who-we-are-in-RL is Very Excited about (our) the book.

did you know that if you are Very Nice to booksellers and show up in Person they generally order more while you’re standing there?

2b5915e6937a11e3a7a90e7c491880f5_8true story (happened in 3 bookshops recently).

isn’t that glorious?

we are Very Touched.

if you’re anywhere near Santa Monica next Tuesday, do pop upstairs at B&N (yes, “self-help” or “self-improvement”) as there should be a nice stack up there.

or if you happen to be at The Grove (and there are a lot of nice movies opening so you might well be, if only in spirit) at, say, seven PM (19:00 hours if you’re a european), well, we will see you there.

apparently a lovely new book will be fanned out elegantly On The Front Table (just as you enter, before the International magazine stand on the right).

gosh, no.

not doing a signing. per se.

although they’ve asked us to sign a few at our leisure that they’ll have upstairs on the table with signed copies.

we just want to visit it.

to see what it looks like – you know – in a public space – on its own – enticing potential purchasers to pick it up and take a look.


it’s rather nerve-wracking all this, you see.

which is probably why we took an extended nap this afternoon after pre-recording the Radio Interview with the lovely Diane Ray (being broadcast at 11AM Pacific Standard Time on Monday).

just to “re-calibrate”.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwonder if Anne Scott-James did that when Sketches From A Life came out.

deducing from the signature (lovely flourish, non?) but no dedication we’re assuming that ASJ signed these for a bookshop (perhaps Foyles?) and then left them there in a neat pile while she dashed off to have tea at a chum’s flat on the King’s Road.

we’re certainly glad of her company right now.

as we write in the book (said airily and with a little cute smile): books *do* make good companions. Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 10.12.17 PMas do interior designers in fact (yes, we thought that was a neat connection too) we encouraged our Readers at Los Angeles I’m Yours to grab one this week and visit Mulligans. 

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 10.15.34 PMgosh. is that the Time?



10.17PM in L.A (wednesday)

SO – that makes it 2.17PM (thursday) in CHINA?

where one of our Newest editors is sitting, waiting for our notes for a piece for their June issue.

yes, we’re now (also) writing for CHINA.


together with the published pieces and commissions for publications in Australia, UK, Mexico and now CHINA………that means we can (most officially) say we are now:

A Foreign Correspondent.

at last.


dreams do come true.

and some of them take twenty years.

which makes them all the sweeter, sweeties.