better trickery: ordering Library Materials, blowing bubbles and Writing a new novel.


we were a Tiny bit Despondent earlier but after a Lot of Action and reading all your Clever suggestions at the end of that Post, we perked up no end and went online and ordered some Library Materials (so much more financially prudent than Ordering via Amazon and it’s all pre-1960 – can’t wait to share it with You).

miss Jules suggested blowing soap bubbles to engender happiness so we did…..


and Then the mysteriously-glorious writer-editor-minnesänger went one Further and brought our attention to the fact that bubbles-are-not-just-for-children anymore – look!

William said “commune with the waves” which is gloriously transcendent and very English (particularly if the Sea is Wild and Cornish).

George was singing a ditty from the Twenties and apparently that works – we just tried it – it Does!

Stacy reminded us to Just Begin.

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and so we did.

having delivered Emerald to our lovely agent in New York (such a splendid phrase, non?)

we have Started the Next One.

Meet Marion, darlings.

Marion peered out of the window as the taxi swung into Church Row, Hampstead. She could not see much because it was raining. Of course it was raining, she thought, this is England. At least it made the grass green and the houses look freshly washed and brushed up.

Leaning back she pulled her gloves on tightly and tried to remember what her boss back in New York had said: something about the London office needing rescuing. She knew it was a ruse. But things had got just a tiny bit too much in New York and she agreed to this transfer. Besides, it was only a year. How bad could it be?

A few moments later the taxi pulled up outside a tall white house with casement windows and a brightly painted red front door. A woman in sensible tweed skirt and cashmere lilac sweater set was standing with a clipboard, barely sheltering from the rain, in front of the door. Marion sighed. The woman was wearing pearls and lace-up brogues. Seriously? Did the English really play their part to the hilt so convincingly?

Marion paid the driver and opened the cab door. The driver sprung open the trunk but did not move to get her luggage. She wondered if she had not tipped him enough. Perhaps they just didn’t do luggage removal here in England. She struggled with the bags a little and smeared some mud on her camel coat. The coat had been pristine when she left New York, but a few moments in England and it was soaking and had a mud stain. Great.

The woman with the clipboard called out, cheerily, “Are you on your own?” but stayed firmly inside the doorway. Marion lugged her bags up the front path and dumped them hard on the stone step.

“In a metaphysical sense or in reality?” she asked. The woman – whose name appeared to be Diana Knoll-West, according to her business card – was undefeated.

“We assumed you’d be bringing your family,” Diana said. “It’s rather a large house for one.”

After living in a Manhattan apartment for the past seven years, Marion thought the house on Church Row was rather large, but she was damned if she was going to say so. “I have rather a large life,” she said, and gestured for Diana to open the door so they could both get out of the rain. Diana was not a former Head Girl of Cheltenham Ladies College for nothing. She drew herself up to her full height, which was actually not that impressive, and looked at Marion with a tiny bit of condescension. “Gosh. I forgot how confident you Americans are!”

“Brash, I believe, is the word you Brits use, Diana” said Marion, and took the keys out of Diana’s hands and opened the door.

what do you think, darlings?


well, it seems that who we are in RL has just popped next door to apply mascara and head out into the World in her guise as Special (digital) Advisor to be helpful and gainfully employed.

of course we are going to stay in with an apricot face scrub and lie winsomely on the sofa with a pashmina loosely draped and a selection of British DVDs and continue with The House on Church Row (which is already a completed screenplay so writing the Novel is going to be dreamy – a Lot Happens in Hampstead – you’ll see).

to brooklyn for breakfast with eleanor then a boat trip down the east river #eastcoastportraits


a splendid piece of devil-may-care-nes yesterday – we went on the East River and felt glorious – the sun trying to peek through the december gloom (occasionally it did and we Captured it instantly on the grown-up camera while trying not to fall Off the Boat) and the wind blowing hard on our Agnes B cloche hat (why yes, the one we bought in Paris during our Travels there).

but first we went to Brooklyn, again (we have gone so rarely during our time in Manhattan because we were Always leaving Town for the day job but now we are there Quite Regularly which is lovely).

and yesterday our Trip to Brooklyn was to have breakfast with Eleanor.


Eleanor ALSO has a book coming out in 2013.

isn’t that delicious?

we will be writing about it instantly it comes out (and probably being Very Clever and linking to it from this post in-retro-ness – we adore the interweb and its confluence of hyperlinking and permanence in a world of Change).



as you can see – Brooklyn was in Fine protesting form again – we do find the place Exhilarating in the extreme.

and then we went on a boat on the East River!

an extreme way of “taking the long way home” – because we can – everything is Wrapping up now for the Holidays and we’re off on Monday to find a new home on the Other Coast.


so it felt appropriate and also glorious to get on the boat and say goodbye and thank you to Manhattan on a beautiful winter’s day. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we then slipped into manhattan proper (on the East Side which is Very Proper) and did our last two meetings to close loops and perform endings (tiny bit hard but we bit our lip and moved gently on). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

then SUDDENLY there were BUBBLES.

on park avenue (what would the Vanderbilts think?).


how perfectly delicious.

diana vreeland’s address book and the beauty of insomnia

so, darlings, yesterday we took a stroll through greenwich village as the sun warmed the morning-after-the-night-before landmarks……

and then, later, as the sun set over the trees, coming home.

and in between there was a lovely conversation at the day job which involved us blowing bubbles against the manhattan skyline (after all the important Talking was done, of course).

and – Quite by surprise – we got the opportunity to see Diana Vreeland’s address book (there was an event to celebrate the documentary which, naturellement, we are seeing on Saturday)


Oh, darlings, how we Wish we could have peeked inside.

Can you imagine?

Probably lots of naughty little anecdotes and annotations in the margin by each person’s Home Telephone Number like:

wears awful hats.

and comments such as:

adores Chinese blue.

of course we do the same (but in a Much Kinder way):

has lovely long-haired golden labrador called Max

and Where we Met:

that dreadful conference somewhere outside San Mateo, 1999 – met in the elevator – talked about Auden.

doesn’t everyone?

we also note names of books published, gallery opening nights, pets, children, partners (hmmm, probably should be in a different Order, oh well).

and moments of kindness – especially noted. always.

on the subject of the beauty of insomnia (as promised in the Title of this post) – we have found it has its “upside” as the americans say.

we’ve read a Lot recently (and we read constantly as you’ve probably guessed)

and the apartment is Very Neat (that’s sort of tous jours anyway – we abhor mess and own no clutter as you know)

but we’ve also been so Tired during the day that we’re drifting through some painful moments with something like equilibrium (Very Rare) – not too exhausted to care – but in some beautiful netherworld of below the surface calm-ness-and-joy.

it’s odd.

but quite Lovely actually.

and this is manhattan (for now – we mean it will always be Manhattan – but we’re heading To The West by the end of the year or Very early next – or perhaps a tiny bit bi-coastal until we’re sorted…..) so there are places to hang out and talk to a friendly chef (we adore chefs) in the late hours while looking up from one’s book (we took Paul Auster with us – in paper-pages, we didn’t have the Actual Paul Auster with us, in corporeal form) to speak a few words of Italian (just a few but we’re Very Charming and lilting in our use of the ancient floral language of Venezia and the crime families of Sicily) and order a little more Pellegrino, grazie – prego – bene – amore.

it’s delicious.

reading – late night conversations with chefs – a little Italian – a long walk around the well-lit bits of soho to burn off some energy of-the-day and then, a soothing bubble bath, radio 4 – yes, still Awake… finishing Auster and picking up Rick Moody (again, metaphorically, darlings) and suddenly seeing words on the page that help one feel Completely Understood.

well – isn’t that the beauty of words and writers and ideas and the beauty of insomnia?

a deeper understanding.

empathy reaching through paper-pages, written years ago, perhaps not far from where we read (many writers live Nearby, we’ve heard and sometimes seen).

New York City, noteworthy for its insomniacs. Light upon all the insomniacs, across this city, metropolis of insomniacs. They are there, in the despair of another night, out on the couch in the living room to avoid waking their husbands or wives, or insomniacs are in the tub, and they are reading, or they are thinking, or the insomniacs are regretting at the instant of dawn. No one asks how they spend the middle of the night, no one who doesn’t suffer with insomnia wants to know. The insomniacs are the witnesses to the dawn, they are in the tub and looking out on the air shaft, through the one tiny window, where a tiny patch of sky is visible…….

Rick Moody, The Diviners P. 13 – 14

sod the insomnia – we have a new literary crush-ette.


(all we can say is thank Goodness for YSL)




eat, pray, love, bubbles, parcels, fierce footwear, caffeine, paranoia, medical bills = wednesday.

hello darlings.

it’s wednesday.

isn’t it?

the throat aches with a vengeance now (scar tissue? problems? chill wind descending on manhattan? breathing re-constituted air inside a skyscraper all day?)

who knows. actually the surgeon will (if it’s physical rather than spiritual) and we see him tomorrow at 3pm. so we’ll let you know..

in the meantime, this is our wednesday so far – do describe yours!

we were a Bit Gloomy upon awakening: so blew bubbles while the synthroid kicked in and the coffee percolated

listening to eat pray love with the utterly delicious elizabeth gilbert reading it herself made applying mascara ever so nice. felt like she was with us, reading to us (although our manhattan bathroom is Awfully Small so she’d have to have been sitting on the side of the bath but still, Awfully Sweet image.

TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS poorer now :-( #medicalbills

gasp. for. air.

sent a parcel (we Adore a Parcel) to the lovely Stacy Morrison (yes, we do know her in RL, we’re not being strange and stalk-y ;-) it’s one of our decoupages and it reminds us of the bit in her book when she talks about moving to the big city to become a glam-and-glossy-magazine-editor.

en route to the subway: caffeine and paranoia (new york observer mental health issue)

then AT the office (at last – <ahem>) we just had the Most Fabulous meeting at the Day Job today with a glorious young woman who wore such Fierce Footwear (see pic)

we have never worn such spikey-cool-heels (while sober) but she walked with an Attitude that a drag queen would die for.

of course, we prefer doctor martens – like these – especially the shiny ones.

and it’s only just lunchtime (tummy growling) so we’re going to nip out to forage for something comforting (that isn’t bread – sigh – yes, we’ve been skating close to the edge with the “spelt” and “sprouted wheat” that is So Dangerous for us…..just felt like sharing. please don’t judge. or if you do. please Be Kind (we’re Very Sensitive) ;-)

tell us about your Wednesday!

(no) tea at The Waldorf and a radical imprint launch later.

the day started well.

dP blew bubbles to indulge us before we went into a Very Important meeting.

Then (yes, Lots of Work in the between hours) we headed across Town to Park Avenue and a meeting (but sadly no Tea as the restaurant was closed for a Private Function) at The Waldorf with a Delightful (and rather inspiring) personage of Some Note (and accomplishment). 20111024-204537.jpg20111024-204543.jpg

do you recall Weekend at The Waldorf? The hotel has it on a lovely loop in the inner sanctum lobby

We were a little early for the evening’s appointment so spent a while at Housing Works, on Crosby, noting the splendid number of classic New York set texts.

Then to McNally Jackson (on Prince) for the radical imprint launch of Evolver.

The crowd was attentive and clad in various Fall shades in corduroy or chunky wool knits.

Apart from a woman of an uncertain age who was in sparkles. We leaned in closer to see what she was reading, shocked that she was there for the new imprints offerings on Sacred Economics or shamans or internal spiritual confusion.


Our keen powers of Observation had Not failed us.

She had a pile of Candace Bushnell glossy paperbacks and was clearly skimming to see which ones she didn’t yet own.

btw, the cafe at McNally Jackson has fruity-good enriching quotes- like these:


Off to an early night now.

Giving a (not that early, they’re European, not New Yorkers) breakfast presentation in the morning…….

Bit nervous about seeing the surgeon on Thursday. Just thought we’d mention it. We had blood tests done. And the medication still feels ‘off’ (we wake up feeling Very Old). And it still feels like a small yet not unfriendly creature twists our vocal chords every time we swallow.

Not to complain. But just to be au courant, darlings.

Lest we forget.

Noel Coward, Yoda, C3PO, Asterix the Gaul – the many secret loves of an Executive.

such a delicious surprise!

a parcel arrived (and you know we Adore a Parcel)

and our executive assistant (because we are supposed to be an Executive during the daylight hours that is….) came in and we whooped when we saw it was a gift from ABM of delicious Noel Coward (at the BBC, no less) plays – Too Kind!

this made our day.

which, we have to admit, was Almost Ruined, by a thoughtless person who saw our poor slain neck and said (hold your breath for a second):

oh, that’s not so bad.

yeah, right, we nearly hit them too.


we managed to extract ourselves without committing homicide (although we are well-versed in how to clean up a mess after watching the quite lovely Maria Bello #deepsigh in Prime Suspect – yes, after a few moments, one *almosts* forgets Helen Mirren as Maria makes it her own, completely) and told them in no uncertain detail about the five hour surgery and the painful glands growing and the calcium pills nausea – and then we carefully backed into our office and faked a phonecall (it was the best we could do at short notice and not enough caffeine).

you may have guessed – we don’t always Act like an Executive, with the whooping and such like (but people appear to enjoy our exuberance anyway, darlings)* especially when we ask them to blow bubbles (see below) before we start a “meeting” to discuss Very Important Things (that require sketching diagrams and such like – thank you jw1).

*the other Clue to our Not-quite-being-a-proper-executive (apart from the bubbles and whooping) are these, our workplace gods – the divine trinity of Yoda, C3PO and Asterix the Gaul.

we had several Very important Meetings today (with people who went into speaking Russian and German at crucial points during which, you’d probably be amazed to know, we didn’t get flustered – oh no, we are used to this) and we couldn’t quite meet Yoda’s dignified gaze as we said (with no sense of irony at all, just a broad smile and a head to the side charming-ness):

well, of course, as we said in Milan, earlier this year……

we Almost giggled.

but we didn’t.

because we are meant to say stuff like that at the Day Job.

we know. Quelle Glam.

elegant encounters

Oh! We had the loveliest encounters today (and yesterday too)


lady-of-letters has the Most Awesome Rolodex (is there a plural? Rolodexi?)


Somebody terribly glamorous brought their Hermes bag to visit.


We were tickled pink to be asked our Opinion about a career matter. And, in return, we asked them to blow bubbles so we could try a new #instagram filter/filtre/effect.


Then we met a delicious plump and haughty cat while purchasing more “thank you” cards.


One of which we shall be sending tout suite to jC who took us to supper tonight. A Most Elegant Occasion.


(there were tough bits in the past couple of days but we are choosing to be Very Doris Day about everything and see life through a new and rather Rosy lens)

Because it’s just easier if one does, darlings ;)

bubbles, boots and letting the chips fall where they may.

Tis curious to be back in the office.

We give an appearance of “adult” ness (not in the naughty sense, darlings – fully-swathed in baby blue cashmere actually, not a hint of skin – apart from the brutal scar of course).

But we are Quite Different.

When it gets too much we blow bubbles (brought the little kit in and people stare but say nothing – #giggle)

And a small yet subtle rebellion saw us put a sticker (forbidden) on the window.


Isn’t he adorable? (we brought him back from CHINA).


Then we felt this Rage in our body this morning so “wrote it out” (which helps, enormously). Sadly tis hard to do a ceremonial burning in a NYC apartment building (we Did used to enjoy burning stuff in the back garden when we lived on the Other Coast).

btw, darlings, here’s how we do it – get a piece of unlined (so you can scrawl at will with no structure) paper and write this at the top:

I feel ANGRY when

and then start writing…….and don’t stop until you’re done.

Gloriously Clearing.


This is our horoscope today ;) gosh.

So we thought it was a good time to pause, write to you and “my, is that the time?”

have a spot of lunch.

How’s your day, love?

Do tell.