beach pillows, daisies on the lawn, mr. colin farrell and ms. anjelica huston (not together but seen on the same day)

hello darlings

oh how Lovely – a SATURDAY!

now what can we tell you about Yesterday?

let’s see:

at a local cafe in Venice, California (called Local, rather confusingly although we guess Not if you really are Local), we saw a lovely bag and struck up a conversation with the owner (of the bag, not the cafe, he was very busy) and found out it was Emily Best and she’s deeply involved in the movie-making-artistry-world and we might well have to interview her for Where Shall We Meet at a not-too-distant date in the future.


then we drifted (purposefully) down Abbot Kinney to take photographs for this week’s WSWM – no, not at this lovely beach pillow emporia – you’ll have to wait until wednesday to find out…….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


then, not far away (probably about a 15 minute drive if the traffic is good and if you find out when That is, do let us know)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we saw a field of daisies. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and – *lookstocameraforhelp* – cherry blossom? or some other pretty planting of spring anyway. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

then we just Happened to be rather near a Barnes & Noble (this one in fact) and we persuaded who-we-are-in-RL to pop in (even though she’s rather Overwhelmed by the whole experience surrounding the book so we are Treading gently).

while she wasn’t looking we did a Search on the Terminal (how clever) and found out Where the book lived in this part of the bookshop planet. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


yes, we popped a copy here.

don’t tell anyone.

and then we met Gretchen who is very nice and works at this particular Barnes & Noble (very near the self-improvement section, yes, on the top floor – sort of cerebral and high in altitude – not Gretchen, per se, but the books).

we got talking (because we talked to Everyone) and we just Happened to Mention that we had written this particular book and suddenly there was a PEN and a requirement to Autograph and a copy was about to be placed on the Autographed by the Author Table (we didn’t take a picture because Gretchen was searching for the Stickers that say AUTOGRAPHED BY THE AUTHOR before she placed it on the table you see).

so we grinned all the way down the down escalator and into the early evening.

we had Plans at 19:30 hours (7.30PM for you Americans) and so we had some time to fill and we spotted a lovely neon-lit cinema nearby. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we chose Winter’s Tale but – confusingly – it was NOT by Mr. Shakespeare but seemingly by Mills & Boon but Mr. Colin Farrell was awfully Dashing in it (we stifled a giggle when he rode an actual White Charger).

after that?

well, let’s see.

we went to hear Ms. Angelica Huston talk about her life and work and memories and see clips and it was ever so delicious!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

that’s Mr. Joe Morgenstern on the left, he writes for the Los Angeles Times and asks Very Good Questions.

do you see the DVDs around them?

that’s because it was at Vidiots – and was actually Postponed from an earlier date which we wrote about for Los Angeles, I’m Yours if you recall (if not, we’d like to be helpful and here’s the link)


that was a busy Friday after a very busy Book Launched Week.

we’re taking it slow today – mostly sleeping, making nutritious food (on the good Conran white plates with proper silverware) – reading helpful books – watching British movies (more on that tomorrow perhaps).


and more reading.

we’ve had a Rather busy life, in fact, not just a busy week.

and took a moment today to look back at 2009, when we started coming up with the tips from the central section of our modern book of hours – the stuff that might help You get through that part of the day where one is Working or perhaps – like who-we-are-in-RL on stage at some conference……(can’t quite recall our fellow Panelists but one was from Playboy and the other from Vogue): march3rd2009

YES! that’s what it looks like when who-we-are-in-RL is *thinking* about the future book which will come out in 5 years after this shot. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

oh look at the era of the iPod (bottom right) – you can date it to 2009 from that alone…

this is who-we-are-in-RL at one of the offices she had while working in Manhattan (there were about 4 over a period of 7 years you see).

this office is VERY SPECIAL.

in the 1960s it belonged to Carrie Donovan.


and we were pretty convinced she still inhabited the office when who-we-are-in-RL inherited it too.

funny how that happens.

when you need a guiding hand, the right person (dead or alive, in book form or some other ethereal-ness) often just Shows Up at Exactly the right moment.

well, that’s our experience anyway.

have a beautiful saturday wherever you are.

see you sunday.

back here?


the author returns home a little wan and ready for something on a tray.

hello darlings

Author Here.


we made a little movie.

will you Indulge us?

did you like it?

it took HOURS (so deceptive, just sixty seconds of actual completed footage, you have No Idea – or maybe you’re as obsessive compulsive about your Tasks too and so you Do).

yesterday was an Overwhelmingly good experience.

thank goodness there were all the attributes that we need in order to feel balanced again.


actually several.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAa painted ceiling.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAlook at the DATE….. *shivers*


a nice english porcelain tea service.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand the set of Many A Movie

we had a lovely day of driving to Century City and interviewing someone special for a Where Shall We Meet (here’s this week’s one before we Forget) then getting back-into-the-perfectly-prius to drive all the way Downtown to wait (at the Biltmore, above) until a parcel we needed to pick up was Prepared (it’s all to do with something exciting that who-we-are-in-RL is writing for ELLE China if you can imagine That) and then back-into-the-car again (this being Los Angeles) and stopping at the Grove to admire the Twinkle lights…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand wait for our good friend Richard…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAvery near the Fountain


and then *blushing_furiously* go inside Barnes & Noble to visit the lovely freshly launched book.

by that time we were Rather Exhausted and so, like the Master, Mr. Noel Coward, we drove (again) home for something on a Tray.

Something on a Tray

by Noël Coward

Advancing years may bring about
A rather sweet nostalgia
In spite of rheumatism and gout
And, certainly, neuralgia.
And so, when we have churned our way
Through luncheon and a matinée,
We gratefully to bed retire
To rest our aching, creaking vertebrae
And have a little something on a tray.

Some ageing ladies with a groan
Renounce all beauty lotions,
They dab their brows with eau-de-Cologne
And turn to their devotions,
We face the process of decay
Attired in a négligé
And with hot bottles at our toes
We cosily in bed repose
Enjoying, in a rather languid way,
A little ‘eggy’ something on a tray.

Advancing years that many dread
Still have their compensations,
We turn when youth and passion have fled
To more sedate sensations,
And when we’ve fought our weary way
Through some exhausting social day
We thankfully to bed retire
With pleasant book and crackling fire
And, like Salome in a bygone day,
Enjoy a little something on a tray.

When weary from the fray
Something on a tray
Sends weariness away,
Something on a tray,
Thank God, thank God we say,
For something on a tray.

it’s Rather fun being an Author.

we highly recommend it, darlings.

another journalist turned author comes to stay (in the pages of her novel). #LaelWertenbaker


if you’re on the Other Coast – or all the way across there in northern Europe – here’s the sunshine from here to cheer you up and remind you that spring is if not around the corner then at least Possible.

4d12c7fe92a311e3b5c712f7c4b3dcac_8rooftop pools are just so optimistic, don’t you think?

and a feat of engineering of course.69658de291ef11e38e39123e0d74e4df_8we’ve been hard at work over here.

fe26bdce929f11e3aa500e149370af7a_8when not grabbing some lunch at a Philippe Starck hotel

and then settling down to finish reading a novel because the time difference in the countries that one awaits responses from today is so Vast that they are Asleep.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAso we read (always delicious). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAespecially when the Author started out as a Journalist (as well *smiles*). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and writes about New York…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand London….and Hollywood (by Ship – wouldn’t have That been amazing?)


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand life on the Boulevard of silent movie star lairs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthere’s something about an Author’s work waiting on the arm of the sofa for one’s Return (from one’s accountant which was actually a nice, if incomplete, Tax experience – Mercury is so very much in retrograde tis true – we shall return Post the 28th of this month.)

that is so appealing and also strange.

we settled down to read and got completely caught up in the story and suddenly three whole HOURS had gone by.

which is fine.

Australia is awake now.

China we’re not so sure (but they never sleep anyway).

and who-we-are-in-RL decided we still had time to write a little review about the book.

it felt only polite considering Lael Wertenbaker had been Such good company for the afternoon.

just in case you’re not on goodreads (and we are aware that, as they like to say on the BBC, Other Brands Are Available), here’s the review in full.


a woman – in her 80s – lies with “locked in syndrome” (just like Jean-Dominique Bauby:… “the Diving Bell and the Butterly) and communicates by blinking her eyes.

trapped inside her motionless body she goes inwards; looking for evidence in a long life that she Mattered.

born in NY before the turn of the 20th century, the book goes from Montana mining settlements through NYC prohibition and the market crash to Hollywood and back East again.

much to wonder at.

despite the unsettling nature of “hearing” the thoughts of a woman who can no longer speak.

The author, Lael Wertenbaker, clearly drew on her own life (although it looks like the main character is her mother’s generation and the daughter, Wendy, a journalist, is Lael).…

read (almost) the whole novel in a three hour stretch – needed to stay with Lael’s voice – not because I wanted to know what was going to happen (that bit is clear from the outset) but to sit and listen to a story of a life that had not been recorded and only now, as the woman is dying, is examined.

the perilous voyage (of the title) is the going within to see how one lived.


sometimes *wistful_sigh* we wonder about the people who will return from a day at work and there she’ll be – Our Book – waiting for them – and hopefully they’ll find something therein to soothe, uplift or have a winsome sigh over.

then there are the people who (as of yesterday) not even yet Received their copy from mr. amazon and were Kind Enough to do a little Preview!

hopefully you can see this Transmission in your territory:

there’s a lovely Fragrance review first and then Mr. Lanier (cue it up for 06:37 minutes) leads into his second “spot” with these words (which we ADORED)

“it’s a great fragrance with a nice casual look of slacks, a white blouse and a blazer”

doesn’t that make you want to Run Out Right Now and find a tailor? Love!

then (cue 07:00 minutes) Mr. Lanier starts to talk about – well – *blush* – Us.

how delicious.

how very, very delicious.

thank you dear.

we might have to Request that everyone who does a video review slips into a little something satin…….considering we wrote most of the book wearing something very similar.

tales of scary movies, an homage to #LALaw and the 1st extract of #HowToStaySaneInACrazyWorld

well, darlings

who-we-are-in-RL has been Very busy.

lots of consulting *shhhh* – no details available there, we’re sorry to say.

but she did whip up a very nice EXTRACT for How To Stay Sane In A Crazy World as the pages came winging their way from manhattan via a hi-speed telecommunications line (or was it 802.11ac?)

and worked as a Production Notes Writer for a HORROR movie (if you’re squeamish, do NOT, repeat, do NOT watch the trailer – and we suspect you’re deeply sensitive souls so best avoid any scariness).

which one?

oh – well – the one that was directed by Eli Roth (he was in that movie with Mr. Pitt) and just did splendidly at Toronto, as described by our friends at The Hollywood Reporter

what’s that?

gosh, no. Production Notes Writers don’t get IMDB credits. But it was ever so much fun (even if we did watch the footage with our hands over our eyes).

what else?



we had lunch with Mr. Keanu Reeves’ lady-lawyer – Melanie Cook – a deeply impressive individual (and such a delicious luncheon companion) and Wrote about It (because she said we could).

also just delivered the 1st Draft of a story about the Future for a magazine – more on That when we’re allowed to tell you about it.

and that’s about it.

we think.

now you must excuse us – we need to go and *sigh* gently over our 1st extract of the BOOK and then head to Mr. Fedex who has a parcel for us apparently (most exciting).

hint: you don’t need to put your reading glasses on to see the words if you click on the picture as you’ll get a bigger version then.

you’re welcome, darlings.


1st peek at the Book Cover #HowToStaySaneInACrazyWorld


look what arrived today via the magic of email!

HowToStaySaneInACrazyWorldlo-reswe are faint with happiness as you might imagine.

the “format” as they say in the business is 6 x 7 inches (what *is* that in old money? – bijou! that’s what it is – bijou and no mistake.)

this, of course, is perfect for a nightstand.

one of those nightstands that’s a Philippe Starck stool in (the now discontinued shade of sky blue or) heavy cream with a deeply ornate lamp and some exquisite pen and pad of paper from a far-off foreign and mysterious hotel.


like the ones at our house.

or yours.

do you have a nice nightstand that might benefit from a 6 x 7 inch book?

oh good.

it’s out on Valentine’s Day 2014.


headshots, the novels of miss pym and burning sage.


so it’s here.

who-we-are-in-RL has had her Picture Done.


she was Terribly Nervous.

we like it.

we just sent it to someone who Knows Things and he said:

No bad thing, at all. Like it. Strong, centred, ‘don’t even think about it….’

and someone else this morning said:

you remind me of Fiona Shaw with that Celtic fierceness.


we adore Fiona.

who took it?

the talented Joanna Brooks no less.

we helped in doing a Pinterest board as “Inspiration” for both Joanna and for Kate Hollinshead who did our hair and make-up

if you just *clicked* on the link to Kate’s page you might have noticed a familiar picture top left.

did you?

click again.

yes – we are a small close-knit community of creative types over on This Coast.

almost a medieval guild type of arrangement from time to time.

which is delicious.

let’s take a second look.


sophiastuartheadshot72dpithe pearls are a lovely touch – and most surprising with that leather jacket (DKNY, apparently, we had hoped for a vintage something from an Italian mechanic acquaintance but that’ll do – we Adore donna karan).

now do excuse us – we must return – Barbara Pym’s letters are waiting in the room next door.


we never really discovered the Novels of Miss Pym – but when we read her Letters to Philip Larkin we just knew we needed to get to know her better. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and just to give you a sensory experience too – teamgloria towers are aromatic with the scent of sage.

this isn’t just a textual blog – you can almost scratch and sniff this one.


not literally, darling.

pack that in.


Hollywood ahoy! tea with Vickie Lester (then later with #FrancesHa)


a Most splendid afternoon was had at the house of a certain Ms. Vickie Lester!

we took tea (and calcium-enriched california salads) and talked about Life and Literature and England and Los Angeles

now as Many of you know – Ms. Vickie Lester’s “beat” (as it would be called if she was a lady-reporter on a 1920s Newspaper Downtown with a metal desk and a phone and stacks of spare nylons and Notepads in the drawer) is Hollywood and there was Much to talk about there – and Mr. Lester (not his real-name) was There Too and also has a Hollywood “beat” which was fabulous and oh! oh! we had the Loveliest Time.

bien sur there are pictures!


we took a small gift…..

…..we were going to take white roses – we adore white roses – but we knew that Vickie Lester has a beauteous garden and that would be taking coals to newcastle


is there any American equivalent to that saying?

perhaps “citrus fruits to california”?


the garden was lovely – lush and mellow and sun-kissed (or rather sun-embraced-with-a-vast-bear-hug)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the heat is gorgeous on That side of town

*saidvaguely* (we used the Perfectly Prius global positioning system to get there but it didn’t know that Zoo Drive was closed for repairs or that one of the Freeway On-Ramps (could it have been I-134? we think it might have been) was Also Closed (shock) and so we were a tiny bit late (we hate being late)

but Vickie was gracious and the tea awaited us with a cool glass of water in a lovely rich shade of crimson glass. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

quelle succulents (very California) set off gorgeously with blue shards of glass.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a simple fleur set off with the oil jar – very Grecian. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and rich blooms Everywhere.


silky shadows and falling jacaranda. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and soft breezes through linens and cottons drifting through half-closed windows as if beautiful eyes were lowering their lashes in modesty-ness.

while we were admiring the soft linens there was the simply glorious sound of a piano being played.

yes – yes – it was a Perfectly delicious afternoon.

there will be Many More!

and a book launch (of which we shall speak of when Allowed to do so by Ms. Vickie Lester Herself).

and now to our Evening activity:

Frances_Ha_5the light was still bright as we drove back West into Hollywood-adjacent-by-sunset-boulevard to see the movie Frances Ha.

this was a Charming (and elegantly shot in B&W – very Truffaut and not just the bit set in Paris) look at how Young People live in Manhattan – their hopes, dreams, leather jackets, dancing-to-Bowie (Modern Love and much of it was Very Modern Love in the Script itself), getting by and not getting enough, Modern Dance, Day Jobs, awful jobs, jobs-that-take-people-away and jobs-that-are-only-possible-with-rich-parents as well as Art (and what that takes to keep alive) and apartments and a place of your own to dream and make art and possibly, maybe, find Love.

but mostly it was about love itself.

between friends.

the nicest sort of love.

and after the Movie there was a Q&A (we adore a post-movie Q&A, as you know) with Greta Gerwig not just the Star of the movie but also the co-screenwriter.




and the audience was packed with people in their late 20s who Identified (as the Americans say) with the movie and asked Intense questions about Motivation and goals and dreams and hopes and Why-did-That-Happen and what-will-the-characters-do-next and Why Paris?


that was a question.

Why Paris.

gosh, we wanted to say:

Paris doesn’t need a reason.

and nor do tea parties with lovely authors and conversations about Hollywood and roses and books and designs and citrus fruits and Plans for the future.

no reason required.

because they are both glorious.

a convertible, a celebration and the oldest restaurant in hollywood.


quelle delicious evening!

our most Excellent friend Eric Shaw Quinn picked us up in a convertible (Terribly Tinseltown) and we drove down Hollywood Boulevard to have supper at Musso and Franks (since 1919).


we went to Musso and Franks (since 1919) because we were celebrating the arrival of the first part of the Advance (such a lovely word) for the book.

eric was the perfect Companion to celebrate such abundance as he is also an Author (and a New York Times Best-selling Author at that) and so we talked a lot about characters-that-take-over-the-plot and curious feats of imagination and the sheer grind of writing-everyday (but also how delicious it is to live in one’s head much of the time).


while we were eating the thursday special (chicken pot pie) and sipping our tea, Eric said a very funny line – and then picked up his digital recording device and through the miracle of Technology sent it to his cohort on The Dinner Party Show and it will undoubtedly appear in this sunday’s show (do listen, it’s extremely witty). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And then we drove back down Hollywood Boulevards and felt so special to be in an open top car with the lights of tinseltown (and modified-to-look-vaguely-glam chain stores) beaming down like kleig lights making Jean Harlow’s blonde hair into a shimmering crown – we’re pretty sure we spotted a super trooper left over from the most recent Premiere at the Chinese Theatre too.

just like the one ABBA sang about. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe really love this whole writing-life.