real boats and virtual bookshops, scented candles and cult video stores

darlings

we’re Live on Mr. Amazon already! 

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it happened yesterday – and we only knew about it because George said he’d pre-ordered a copy (*murmurs* Too Kind……darling man) and throughout the day our delicious friends on the world-of-instagram sent us little virtual notes saying they’d pre-ordered Their Copies and we had to go and lie down a little and let all the quiet bubbling feelings of thankfulness subside a little (we do get Overwhelmed easily).

then we thought how much we must have Confused the clever “back-end” (not in a rude way) of Mr. Amazon because our book has an American Publisher and is in American English (so we’ll need to go round and alter William‘s copy, putting in the ‘U’s and so on and so forth so he can read it comfortably in Whitstable) but we don’t know many Americans on Instagram – our fellow aesthetes over There are mostly from Berlin, Tokyo and Seoul so the virtual-packing-people (they have robots now) must have had to look Twice at the labels coming off the machine before they stuck them the right-way-round on the boxes.

oh!

the books will be Real won’t they? in Actual Boxes?

it’s almost too much.

thank goodness who-we-are-in-RL has been Very Busy Working or it would all shut down over here from sheer exuberance.

so while who-we-are-in-RL got on with her deadlines, we whipped up an Amazon Author Central Page (such fun, we snuck our own “logo” in there and she hasn’t yet noticed and again we’re grateful to George who showed us his page and suggested we make one too.)

we looked back through the last few days of Postings and realized we had Completely Forgotten to tell you about visiting The House Of Timothy Jay!

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 7.55.04 AMyes, the pictures are from our House, not The House of Timothy Jay because we needed larger format size-wise for our friends at Los Angeles I’m Yours so Tim said we could use Product Shots of his delicious candles which we happened to shoot here, not there. Hope nobody noticed…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMostly, we’ve been here – we like to write lying down from time to time and the many delicious deadlines have kept us near the phone (who-we-are-in-RL is being a Consultant, not a writer right now so her hair looks nice and presentable)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe rest of the time we write Here (or in a local cafe or “On Site” as the people in consultant land call it).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand then we took a little detour on the way back from a meeting with lovely people and took in the Marina Peninsula.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand had a moment of reverie from watching the Henley races back in England all those years ago……

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe sky was the blue of the scarf we have artfully lying around at home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand then we went to meet the fabulous duo behind Vidiots* for our column for next week (we’ll be sure to tell you about this one as soon as it comes out)

*naturally we are a card-carrying member of this establishment because it’s the coolest place in town to meet other cinephiles and wearers of black clothing and Doctor Martens shoes with an extensive appreciation of Foreign Films.

when in Rome, love.

we *almost* showed everyone yesterday our Amazon Author Central Page but managed to stop just in time but we did have an Unmistakable smile on our face for the Entire Day.

isn’t life delicious?

and now we get back to work.

as the Dowager Countess said:

What is a Weekend?

a night with angels who have fallen, in pasadena, under twinkle lights, with george.

darlings

we Just got back from the Farmers Market with an armful of roses and swinging bags of fruit and vegetables (and marinated olives from the greek lady) and need to get ready for Brunch (most definitely pictures Later – there’s a garden Visit as well – glorious).

But here was last night’s delight.

Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels at the Pasadena Playhouse – with George who also wrote about our evening here – and a smattering of courtyard twinkle lights and elegant conversation.

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the theatre was built in 1917 and has seen Many-a-Noel-Coward Production – and this one was SUPERB!

we expected it to be Good.

but it was bloody-good (as Noel might say).

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lots of farcical and Amusing behavio(u)r and a snappy sense of Fun. url

and a Lot of confused and silly-adorable-ness antics. 
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one usually doesn’t need to talk about the Set if the production was excellent (because it’s often all one Can talk about if it Really isn’t) but this one was a delicious chocolate box of a drawing room with painting and blue-blue-satin fabrics on the pert sofa and a baby-grand (complete with german-bar-room-singing-maid-smoking-furtively at one point – always wry and genius.)

the evening was a dream.

a lovely drive East to Pasadena as the sun set in the rear view mirror – Handel on the audio system – george in the passenger seat providing elegant conversation.

and we got the Time wrong so we were a full Hour or so Early and could even drift into a second-hand bookshop and find a stack of 1989 – 1990 H&G magazines for a steal which we spent several hours this morning pouring over while eating strawberries.

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quelle blissful sunday.

how’s Yours?

do tell!

 

falling asleep on the train back to new york

Yawn.

Oh.

Gosh

Hello.

We fell asleep on the train.

It left the hamptons as the chill winds blew in (apparently manhattan had Snow!)and the sunset glowed over the bare wonder branches.

The 4.18 was on time so we sipped our milky coffee for a few moments in the old fashioned tobacco shade walled waiting room.

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and then climbed into the train (top deck) and promptly fell asleep, dreaming of waking up near the ocean and Christmas trees at the the 1950s re-inaction of The Holidays at the museum…..

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A divine bookshop since 1971 on the tiny main street.

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and adorable floral tattoos on one of our Hosts. 

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We have Such interesting friends (and hopefully, with Picture Approval sometime during Sunday, we can show you other moments from our day, darlings.

For now, we are Changing Trains at Jamaica (long island) and awaiting the18.22 to Penn Station and anticipated another falling into quiet brief slumber on a train.

re-shelving nancy mitford @mcnallyjackson

darlings

does it still count as the dog days of summer*?

or now that the (fake) fur collared chunky knit sweaters are in the shop windows and the light dimmed a little earlier than we expected this evening, surely this means fall (or autumn) is on its way?

we had a lovely day. did you?

it started later than usual (jet lag/L.A time) but there was a lot of reading, some excellent swimming (so odd to be back in the lane with a slick black swim cap on, next to thrashing young athletes in goggles, after a week of rooftop, long’ish hair back in a low ponytail and the freckles joining up, blushing at the sun’s attention, creating a light yet attractive tan), just a small amount of socializing and then some hunting for a new book to read.

amusing dialogue in the bookshop just now.

man-at-information-desk: “have I read The Ice Storm?”

teamgloria: “no. who wrote it?”

(although we were then dying to ask – well, yes, have you? and did you see the movie first and then buy the book – like we did? wasn’t S Weaver Extraordinary in her mid to late 70s carmen roller-done-hair-do? have you ever been to CT and been stuck in an actual ice storm? we have. a few years ago. on boxing day or st stephen’s day or the day-after-christmas-day. there – on the train platform – a bloody great ice storm started chucking it down and we ducked onto the train as soon as it arrived, grateful to be drying off and out of the dangerous ice floes falling en route back to manhattan)

man-at-information-desk: “Oh.” (unless he was psychic – and that is possible – this is a Very Good Bookshop – he heard none of our intense in-head-dialogue – he checked the computer instead) “Rick Moody”.

teamgloria: “Right!” (looks around slightly helplessly, with jet lag).

man-at-information-desk: “Rick Moody: The Ice Storm: American Literature, Rick Moody: The Diviners: American Literature…” (he reels off all of the Rick Moodys in the shop).

teamgloria: (bit desperately now) “Where is American Literature?”

man-at-information-desk: “I’ll show you.” (he stands up – a tall glass of water indeed, as they say in TX – and marches off towards the back of the store).

teamgloria (much smaller legs, hurries behind) and they stop short in front of all the Rick  Moodys on offer.

and – bizarrely – a Nancy Mitford.

we picked The Diviners and then (helpfully) re-shelved the Nancy Mitford, back in English Literature (although if there were an Expat Section, we would have placed her there as she lived mostly in Paris, as you know. That’s Paris, France, not Paris, Texas).

gosh. just noticed. British and Irish Literature. That’s odd. in NYC there’s such a focus on Irish Ancestry that an entire section is usually given over to the Emerald Isle. Hmmm. Interesting.

we had some more amusing (to us) dialogue on the way out….

cashier: “would you like a bag?”

teamgloria: “no thank you” (pointing helpfully to swimming bag and across-the-shoulder-messenger-bag in black from elizabeth street)

cashier: “here’s your receipt – would you like a bag?”

teamgloria: “um, no thanks” (mad pointing again)

cashier: (hands over Rick Moody book) “oh god, I was just going to ask you if you wanted a bag again”

teamgloria: (backing away gently) “i’m going to go now”

cashier: “have a beautiful night!”

teamgloria: “you too!”

(clearly he was from California – probably Santa Cruz – he had that sort of sea-salt-sun-bleached curly hair – New Yorkers are firm and dismissive with the traditional parting shot of “Have a Great Night” which is sort of a demand and quite clipped – but we could be reading too much cultural significance into this exchange and, let’s face it, that wouldn’t be the first time we have.)

the heat was stifling today so we’re sure the bookshop people were quite frazzled and tired (and the lovely thing about mcnally jackson is that it stays open Very Late which is so useful when you’re lying at home on the sofa and it’s too hot to sleep, even with the AC on full blast which feels so Awful for the Environment and life Would Be So Much Better with a copy of an Italian fashion magazine so one pops down there and buys one and sips an Italian soda with a slurp of raspberry cordial in it – refreshing, both).

Then with all that thought of Paris (Nancy Mitford and her place of residence for many years), we went to Cafe Gitane, sat at the zinc-top-bar and had a delicious frothy coffee (we can do that late in the day because tomorrow is another holiday in the USA and we can stay up into the small hours should we so desire – of course that will make tuesday hard – but to quote the one in the red shoes – right? – (Tuesday) is another day)

on the way home we saw that someone with a delicious sense of fun (or vandalism, depending on your Voting Pattern) has been In Town while most of the middle classes (and those with actual money) are far away in the beach towns and expensive-handbag-shops, trying to get a reservation for supper before a last hurrah by the ocean with the liberal application of aloe vera on that sunburn.

we’re sure Nancy would have stifled a giggle as she was walking a small dog, a bag of books from the Lending Library in a cloth bag from Marseille, hanging loosely over the crook in her left arm.

*talking of the dog days of summer: our lovely friend and concierge-to-the-hip-chic-and-time-pressed, Jonathan, told us about a short story competition – the details are here – we’re going to enter – are you? it’s not the prize so much (although we Adore a Prize) but the idea of being in a short story collection that is left in every room at a Standard Hotel (where such rock star types stay) is truly delicious.

the only problem (and let’s face it, it’s a luxury one and Quite Modern as William would say) is which name we’ll use…………gloria nimbus (for tis the name on one of our emails), or teamgloria (which is sort of becoming an actual Brand – if the book deal comes off) or the original name we were published under as a journalist (which we don’t use at all anymore but is the one on our British Passport) or the name we use professionally in our soon-to-be-ending Corporate Job in Corporate America?

gosh.

such choices.

and such a metaphysical and modern dilemma.

;-)

off to see some unfeasibly good-looking-french-people now.

a saturday back in manhattan: street art, salad, sumptuous with an air of Vivienne Westwood

firstly, a few photographs on our first saturday back in manhattan after being Abroad:

after Therapy (Most Interesting), we took a walk around the area to feel our feet on the pavement/sidewalk/street again and to notice how the jet lag started to lift as we noticed things anew – streetArt, people, accents, puff-ball-skirts-on-Japanese-tourists (girls) and pork pie hats on New Yorkers (both genders – or at least two of the seven we observe possible, perhaps more, in the Spectrum – but the usual ones that people identify Others as anyway).

the art store (Blick) was open so we stocked up on new moleskine journals and cartes postales and blue-blue-envelopes with satin paper inner linings and a Radical magazine (for tis in such an area in such an art supply store that one Finds such things – so Deeply Interesting in this Time Of Change) and then More of caffeine’s dark embrace as the jet lag subsided and then Returned, idly twisting our brain cells into something Almost akin to Sadness but not really.

new graffiti abounded on the streets around Bowery and a magazine torn up and pasted on a concrete wall from 1930s Barcelona (how had we missed that before?) and new (proofs) and vintage (second-hand) books on the shelves at housing works on crosby opposite a movie shoot (isn’t there always one around, it seems? NY in the spring/summer is full of film crews in bomber jackets and terse expressions and we-ve-been-up-since-dawn-weariness).

the day has felt different because we’re wearing a new fragrance.

actually, it’s a fragrance we wore back in 2002.

from Vivienne Westwood

it’s called Boudoir (blush).

and we ordered the tenth anniversary edition (from 2008) without realizing it has been a decade since We wore it (curiousness) – mainly because we remember it fondly (orange blossom, vanilla, deep tuberose and cinnamon) from our days in Los Angeles – but also because we adore toiles de jouy (and the bottle is thus embellished).

drifting around manhattan, still not quite here, fully, in spirit or physically, it seems, and surrounded by a once-beloved fragrance on our pulse points and subtly perfuming our pashmina (the celestial blue one), we were reminded of that line by MFK Fisher – which we can’t find so forgive us for paraphrasing or misquoting:

I was wrapped in a passionate mist

here are some other quotes from Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher that you might enjoy.

she always had wonderful things to say about life, and food, and fragrance and love.

don’t you think?

we’ve just woken up from a nap……………..don’t you adore a nap on a weekend afternoon? with nothing but the sound of birds outside, taxis whisking people back to their hotels with packages from shopping, tired feet resting on the little leather mats they have beneath the TVs that all residents turn off instantly and perhaps a few Tourists watch – just for the news or the weather or the excitement of being in NYC, the sous chefs prepping for the many restaurants in SoHo, and maybe Patti Smith is hanging out on her stoop, writing poetry and glancing darkly up at the sky (she lives Quite nearby, we just found out – and we saw her last Winter as we were trying out our new Swedish wellington boots in the snow – she came swooping round the corner in a Russian greatcoat which looked like it came from a used vintage store but probably came from Prada or Balmain – she’s Very Impressive close up, as I’m sure you’d imagine, darlings).

so you see – lots of not joined-up-thoughts – post-nap – still inside the jetlag from Abroad and now off to walk up to the swimming pool and exercise before surrendering to the expert hands of a masseuse.

life is utterly delicious, isn’t it?

how was Your saturday, darlings?

what did you do?

Update: #blissfulMassage post-swim (feeling So Virtuous – 3rd time this week, despite slug-like-jet-lag) and a long, slow walk back through Greenwich village (and, ahem, a moment’s musing in #milkandcookies for a – yes, you guessed it – a glass of milk and a milk chocolate cookie – oh yes, the raw juice fasting plan didn’t exactly get underway ;) Yet.)

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oh the places I’ve been: Norwich, England

memories of Norwich, England: the quiet hush of shuffling into pews as evensong is about to start, candles and soaring boy sopranos, emerging into twilight, the bookshop opposite still open with a dusty and wonderful collection of set texts for schools and rare finds, small children with their mouths in a delighted O outside the sweet shop where victorian-era delights like pear drops still get served in waxed paper bags that never fail to get really sticky when you dig out the last remaining sweet at the bottom.