the unexpected strange melancholy of sense memory.

darlings

*specialquietvoice*

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…

*bites_lip*

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 –  – – – –

well

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.

*sweet_smile_to_camera_1*

(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.

*deep_breath*

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?

*peersatlaptop*

hmm.

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.

gosh.

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.

*giggles*

dreams do come true.

and some of them take twenty years.

which makes them all the sweeter, sweeties.

notes from abroad.

darlings

we requested a copy of Martha Gellhorn‘s book “Travels with Myself and Another” from the Library and when it arrived we devoured it in two days – she is glorious (caveat: she was writing about Africa, Russia and China in the 1940s so has many Scary and Slighting opinions of the residents of those Lands that were au fait in Those Days and most certainly are Not today – just saying – read very carefully).

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAas is our wont, we took notes and inscribed her words in the current moleskine (no. 148 if you’re curious) and yes, that is the inside-of-a-fortune-cookie from the tiny thai restaurant in hollywood last night (well wouldn’t you keep that one if you got it, love?)


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we adore people who (also) write-to-writers. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

we started to have a tiny Reverie about the Places We Have Been – will you indulge us as we go through the modern equivalent of one of those slide shows that “Bob and Nancy are having in the basement of No. 63 Acacia Lane” circa 1954 when they got back from the Cruise? (Bob and Nancie are fictional and motifs just to be clear).

ah yes, INDIA. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

here are the notes that who-we-are-in-RL made in INDIA:

I went to India last year for the first time.

It was a business trip – not an attempt to find myself or drop out or whatever else one is meant to do on a trip to India.

But it happened all the same. I loved the heat, the Namaste, the frankly curious meeting of minds and spirits. But most of all I loved the afternoon I got to slip away after work had ended and watch the cricket match before walking in the cool gardens of the temple nearby. The sounds of summer. Swishing saris, thwack of the cricket ball and flies buzzing in the thick air.

divine.

and That Heat.

astonishing.

and the curious sadness of an elephant’s eyes.

heart-breaking.

and CHINA. 

what can one say about CHINA?

(pause)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwell here’s what we did say while we were there.

as we recall, CHINA was a strange combination of the left-to-decay-of-decadence (a lesson for the future?), an ancient Land of mystery and contemplation and a subway straight out of Bladerunner – here’s our eyewitness account of That experience.

Travels are all very well.

but sometimes the journey is much more, how can we put this, is more of an internal one *wistfulLookToCamera*, in a metaphysical sense.

“travel is compost for the mind”

as Martha Gellhorn said.

as is Staying Put and not running or being busy or distracting oneself.

perhaps (undoubtedly, actually), Proust said it best.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Indeed.

where have you travel(l) to recently (or a long time ago and still think on it a great deal with affection), and learned a great Deal, darlings?

do. tell.

 

a northern pale winter light, a first edition of vita sackville west, 1940 and Mr. Everett.

It’s still early (7 ish) but we set the alarm for much, much earlier and could not, it seems be as sprightly as someone from lower III,  eager to greet the day, all prep done and with the fountain pen created ridge on the third finger still gratifyingly smudged with India ink and one’s sports kit all washed and redolent of lenor from the local commercial laundry. 

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In fact we felt quite truculent and Rather weary in a not at all depressed way but sort of wanting to stay and Read All Day instead.

A bit like the young Mr.Everett in Another Country, in fact.

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Have you seen it?

If you have a thing for cloisters and cricket whites and Marx and the poetry of repression and longing……..well……you will adore it.

So – cultural reference aside – we did get up, make coffee and admire the thin delicate almost Danish light in Manhattan today.

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And the dark embrace of caffeine kicked in.

We turned to today’s task on instagram for the #Decemberchallenge.

Today it was “red”.

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So thank you to gym c for the now blooming amaryllis!

Which turned our thoughts to gardening (we don’t have one, but one day we might).

And gardening of course brings us to Vita.

Always.

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After a few sips of new Orleans chicory infused coffee and a page or two of Vita (why yes, that Is a First Edition from 1940, clever you for knowing that), we simply Must get ready.

But the Mr. Everett reference is not altogether lost, for we are taking a portrait this morning before heading to more Consultancy-style-special-Advisor tasks and the inspiration might well come in handy……

More later, darlings.

Stay warm out there if you’re from the Northern Hemisphere. 

Which, judging from our “stats” (How Modern!)) many of you are not!

Bom dia, Brazil. In fact.

And howdy down under possums. 

Nihao Hong Kong (which might be our friends in CHINA re-routed via off shore servers, of course with a geo IP lookup to denote device type for optimum UX)*

*this is the sort of dialogue we get to use in RL. #smart huh? Yeah. We keep a straight(ish) face ;)

picture albums and reveries

darlings

so we’ve been looking through the collection of Photographs from our travels (because we needed to put together something of a slideshow for someone in our RL-existence) and here it is – on a special page called (rather helpfully, we thought): Photos. (or you can click on the picture and it will take you there (the miracles of The Hyperlink – we still remember the first day we learned how to make an “a” tag, ah heady days.)

so many places.

so many memories.

actually, if you’re curious about how we got into digital (and learned about the a “tag”) the story of our digital beginnings is here (but remember it’s about who we are in RL, not our teamglorianess so it’s all “I” and a bit British-in-tone not wonderfully-We as we are here ;-)

the Ozwald Boateng screening.

the day started beautifully – some light reading, taking notes and some ideas for book number 2 (oh yes, we have Lots of Ideas and, Rather excitingly, our contract with the Publisher – blush – has an Option for Book 2 so we thought we’d go ahead and write one).

we then spent time with our Correspondence – thank you letters, introductions and “We’d love to meet as we have an opinion on your – insert here – and would love to help, if we can, before we Move to L.A” type. And yes, we’ve become Quite Obsessed by the new stamps and ink pad (this is the car we drive, in our head).

en route to doing something Rather Important, we stopped and drank a skim latte and admired the crisp Fall (and freezing) sky.

it’s good to have a moment to pause and smile, don’t you think?

at Salon Musa we enjoyed the company of the Very Talented staff (who are all defiantly chic and slim and Japanese and all wearing what-looks-like-Rick-Owens-leather-ensembles).

and then carried on into town to a screening (we adore a screening).

before we tell you about the screening, we’ll just finish up with the photographs while we remember….

there was a chandelier (#weadoreachandelier) at one Place of Business (and art)

and a long conversation about our latest device (the Galaxy Note, in case you’re curious and yes, we love it – we had many a Palm reverie from 1998 PDA-life, actually) over egg roll at a chinese place in the Village.

so – back to the screening.

Ozwald Boateng is interviewed by the (esteemed) BBC here.

and he makes some very good points.

our take on the documentary is this – the scope of a man’s life cannot be summed up in a good headline (although god knows we’ve tried).

Ozwald’s life (the past twelve years of it – while he was being filmed) has been yes, full of drama (and unbearable heartache) and some extraordinary Success and some dastardly bad fortune – not necessarily in that order. It is unclear whether the documentary is meant to give us more of a philosophical view of Success/Failure Love/Disaster Career/Family (we feel sure that it was Someone Clever in Marketing who came up with the “every dream has a price” because it’s not true – one isn’t given gifts just to wait for the sky to fall – but hey, we weren’t trying to see a documentary at Cannes this year either, and they were).

Is anyone’s life a parable, an allegory, a Tale of Some Import?

No.

It’s a Life.

And Ozwald has done some rather Splendid things with it, especially in Africa (and good god, his SUITS are divine – the colours/colors/shades, the CUTTING, the line, the view of masculinity – the wanting to dress Men like Men, not like children – ahem – his view of Americans, not ours, darlings).

But back to Africa.

Do see the documentary if it comes to a Netflix near you. For a couple of reasons. One is the fashion shows (especially, oh – wow – YES – Givenchy in Paris and the promo shot in CHINA).

but mostly to see how Ozwald – flawed and beautiful – like a caged lion – pacing and preening and Trying to Change Things – gets the great and the good of African American Men in Hollywood (a press conference that makes one sit up and weep) and makes a difference in Ghana.

the moment where he stands inside the holding cell where slaves waited before going through the doors and onto the ships to god-knows-where they did not know what Fate would bring – he stands there – his beautiful head bowed from his great height of 6ft 4 – and is completely still.

the whole documentary is worth it for this (and the bit in CHINA and the fashion show in Paris).

but mostly that bit.

that bit we will take to our grave.

a wonderful day.

and there was a chandelier.

it couldn’t get much better.

but we know it just will – isn’t that delicious?

 

jet lag: new york city style.

we fell asleep (after cooking for the first time in, gosh, months – we knew it felt weird….)

and then – whaddyaknow – wide AWAKE again at 1AM.

hello, jet lag.

welcome back.

ok: team gloria recipe (RX for our american friends is the usual terminology and if one is terribly old-fashioned “receipt” for recipe – yes, we know it’s strange, but that’s what they used to call them) for new york city style jet lag:

1. watch LA Story: best line: “it’s a place where they’ve taken a desert and turned it into their dreams” (#bighugesigh)

2. turn on the tweets (gosh we MISSED twitter in CHINA – all those conversations and bon mots flying around and we couldn’t catch them….) – oh dear though, it’s a TERRIBLE opportunity to “catch up” on people that one used to have a crush on without them knowing (eek).

3. coffee pot gurgling sound soothing us, windows open and the sounds of SoHo revelers/party-goers heading into the small hours

4. btw, victoria tennant’s character is an early prototype for team gloria (british, the hat, the questionable driving, the engaging naivety and clever-clogs writer)! we only just noticed….

5. it’s entirely possible that we should (horrid word) do a little work for the day job – MAIS NON.

6. because we did an astonishing amount of ordering on amazon before we left for abroad which meant we came back to LOTS of yummy packages – like these:

book #1: gully wells: the house in france

book #2: 1938 edition: irene kuhn, assigned to adventure (a RIPPING tale of a female journalist/girl-reporter)

I wanted to write and I wanted to travel.

we love it already.

ok. it’s now 2.55 AM and the heat is unbearably intense in nyc right now. back to the cool sheets and the blast of air-con/AC unit to read……..

night, darlings.

in case you want to read on there’s more jet lag stories here:

a. jet lag: italian style

b. jet lag in madrid, spain

c. walking off the jet lag in london, england

d. nihao, 3AM (beijing, china)

e. enfin, Paris on less than five hours sleep

Stranded in Canada. Send caffeine and glossy magazines.

Oh lordy.

We are stranded in very far north America in the bit that has a border with the USA but no yellow cabs to get team gloria home!

All flights are delayed.

No idea why.

And no brain to question as to why because, darlings, we just got off a BLOODY 13 HOUR flight from CHINA.

During which we slept for ten hours.

So no need for the drama, Maud.

Giggle.

All one big delicious adventure.

And always an opportunity for a tiny flirt…….surely?

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still life in a chinese hotel room.

ok – we’re going to work now……

we’ve been up since 3AM – swam (29 mins!!), sauna, steam, the funny lightbox room that we’re not sure what it does but the blue-ness and warmth is kinda nice (perhaps it’s reading our brain waves? hell, enjoy ;-), breakfast (still on the “reduce” which is going rather well, despite the feelings……oh, those, right, we’d forgotten those…..and we couldn’t be all holier-than-thou with the “no thank you on the carbs” yesterday as there was someone in the room we had a business meeting with in Paris and we bought her a PAIN AU CHOCOLAT. she didn’t eat it (huh?) and we had to physically restrain ourselves from taking it with us when we left – she just allowed it to rest, casually, on the side of her desk. who did that remind us of? yeah, oh god, how annoying. what bugs us is what we do/did ;-)

ok – over-excited – over-caffeinated – BRING ON THE DAY JOB – we’re here in china and READY TO WORK

yes, we know, there’ll be tears and weak tea with milk by mid-afternoon.

hello, 3AM. (+ what we’re not seeing)

there’s a huge summer storm in beijing tonight – or is that today – it’s now 3AM – we are wide awake (of course) – and opened up the curtains/drapes to see the sky fill up with lightning and huge fat raindrops hit the window up here on the 76th floor. there’s nothing like a summer storm at 3AM when one has jet lag in a hotel room to make one ponder the meaning of life.

or not.

can’t get the bloody espresso machine to work (and we have an above average IQ so there’s definite frustration behind that statement although we now have a moment of self-ironic glee that we are in a hotel room with its own espresso machine so thank you for listening to that mini rant ;-)

so here’s what we’re not seeing – these are from the last (day job) business trip to china where we took three hours under hugely jet lag swamped conditions to take photographs once before. so here’s what we’re not seeing on this trip (team gloria is feeling all bruised at the idea of another nine hours in an airless room again with back to back meetings BUT we did get windows on this trip – we’ve flown thousands of miles before to sit in rooms without windows, and it was HIDEOUS.)

we’re really naughty about “marking up assets” (i.e re-naming files) but we had a quick go here – so tiananmen square (no comment, for obvious reasons, but that was a transformative moment saying a prayer in the middle and being quiet and respectful and horrified at the same time), summer palace, forbidden city and a three level high modern geisha image at the mall above.

btw, we were also very naughty last night and skipped out of the business dinner – we used tobias and september 9th as an excuse. and then sunk into a massive depression at the very thought of tobias and september 9th to be honest. lots of nightmares about heads being cut off and throats slit. but the main reason we just couldn’t do the dinner (despite legitimate tiredness and tobias feelings – we know that we have to be somewhat fit for the surgery in order to recover properly)……..ok, deep breath……we couldn’t go to the dinner because we overheard someone saying “the coach will pick us up in 30 mins”

we don’t do coaches-to-dinner.

unless they come from the cinderella era.

seriously.

but dear god don’t tell them.

we’ll be in terrible trouble ;-)

 

a fashion moment in CHINA reminiscent of Monocle.

so the good news is that team gloria has had 6 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours.

the bad news is that those 6 hours were spread out in 3 blocks of 2 hours each.

scratchy eyes. a bit grumpy and yet zingy from the morning walk, swim, sauna, steam and a few minutes in the light box room (we’re not sure what it does but it makes us giggle being inside it before we shower and get dressed)…..

…………..yet in the pool this morning there was another human.

we were a little perplexed by this as we are generally alone at 7. 25AM while doing lengths.

the other human was STRAIGHT OUT OF A MONOCLE FASHION SPREAD – it was too utterly amazing (you haven’t seen one? – oh – ok – think about a slim, professional Japanese man wearing the sort of elegantly cut swim shorts one buys between flight changes in Zurich).

here’s Monocle’s site – we couldn’t find a fashion spread (we thoroughly recommend buying a copy of the magazine anyway – we’re a HUGE fan) but we did find their “guide to summer” here ……yeah, it’s an old guide to summer, but who cares? for a brand that is so definitely inspired by northern europe circa 1948 mixed with japan circa 1982 and a dash of monaco (pre-Grace) we’re not sure it matters….

ok – one more espresso in the hotel room on the 76th floor and we’re off for a day and evening of (day job) meetings.

time to put the interested-frown-and-slight-head-tilt-at-curious-information-before-speaking-look.

works every time.