darling noel.


a Night at the Wallis to see Brief Encounter with Mr. George Snyder!



with the deeply talented ensemble all the way from England (so dreamy to spend an hour ninety minutes or more surrounded by the voices from the country of our birth) called Kneehigh.

the Performance of Brief Encounter was exquisitely and delicately performed with baited breath of tired settled-for-lives-broken-out-for-a-moment-of-love and oh so terribly Heartbreaking.

the Production was gloriously innovative – back-screen Projection, breaking-the-4th-wall, almost a tiny bit Brechtian (if one can be so and god knows these Times probably do lend themselves to Mr. B. Brecht) in its pared down staging and then there was Physical theatre and movement and stagecraft and a lot of engendering of “gosh!” from the audience.

note to the english cast (we should say UK cast for there was a small Scottish vowel sound at one point which was rich and dangerous and rugged and most welcome) – yes, the Americans clap after everything clever.

it’s hard to get used to (or rather nice, in fact) – perhaps we should say – hard to go back to northern european audiences who wait until the end (to be polite).

americans though, will clap and show their appreciation Throughout the performance in an engaging and very Lovely way.

one of the reasons we’ve stayed.

people are so Friendly.

whether they are, or not, is really not the point.

they Appear so.

so it makes for a smoother life in L.A.

now where were we?

ah yes.

kudos to the fine director – a Lady Director – always chest-puffing up proud to see a woman at the helm (of anything).

let’s have a little Master Class about Noël Peirce Coward himself :

do you have a cup of tea and a throw on the chaise?


close your eyes and let these vowels caress your inner ear:

In other news:

c6d00d1296af11e38cbf12396517bfeb_8Some people have asked if we’ll be doing a Book Signing.

As you know, who-we-are-in-RL is rather shy.

so we’ve Persuaded her to do just a few book signings – mostly Private ones.

and last night she signed books (we prepped the pen and admired the chandelier in the main room overlooking the Hollywood Hills because #weadoreachandelier) at the Home of Mr. George Snyder, just before we left for the theatre.

it was lovely.

we felt emotional. it was delicious.

moving on swiftly.

especially because we poured tea not-so-long-ago while Mr. Snyder himself signed his own novels, for us, and, in a lovely occasion for a Friend visiting From Berlin (one must have such a friend in one’s group – it’s fitting)

do you remember this? we made a short film about the experience.

let’s leave you with another moment from darling Noel.

here’s the original trailer for Brief Encounter, the film, with a link to purchase should it not already be in your (extensive) cinematic home delights.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.10.34 AMoh, you’re welcome.

enjoy the rest of your Sunday and we’ll see you on the other side – Monday (not literally, the Other Side, not quite yet at least, we hope).

breakfast chez george with @missjulesberlin


@missjulesberlin was slightly surprised when we said the time we’d like to pick her up in the perfectly-silver-Prius this morning.

das ist 7?

well, ok, we said – let’s make it 7.30AM –


because we’re going to visit George for breakfast so we need to get there early (George gets up very Early to Write).


and then she smiled and was reassured – a breakfast encounter is always delicious.


and we had also made a Plan with George to do a little cinematic-moment-about-his-books (his own books that he writes as well as the ones he owns).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

doesn’t Spengler always remind you of the Waugh (that would be Evelyn) quote?

so I packed up all my clothes and two or three solemn books, such as Spengler’s Decline of the West, and a great many drawing materials, for two of the many unfulfilled resolutions which I made about this trip were that I was going to do some serious reading and drawing. Then I got into an aeroplane and went to Paris, where I spent the night with some kind, generous, and wholly delightful Americans.
when the going was good


we   a d o r e   Mary Wesley and Plum Wodehouse too. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as well as naughty Truman and earnestly-earnest Ish.

it was a Lovely Morning.

and yes, we did make a little movie.

you are so Terribly Kind to ask *MGMsmiletocamera*

to the revels of 17th century Paris!


a delicious evening’s entertainment at the sumptuous Clark Memorial Library for a new iambic pentameter (as opposed to the tougher-to-make-amusing-in-english Alexandrine form, of course) translation of Pierre Corneille’s The Liar hosted by the UCLA Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies (yes, we felt Most at Home).

the email (how modern) arrived a few short weeks ago – from george – asking us if we would like to attend a play from 1644 at an elegant library downtown – yes, we squealed (prettily) too.

and tonight we went.

and it was glorious.

george even bought a small picnic hamper (berries, a light brie and fizzy Italian mineral water in real glasses with Chinese Blue plates) and we dined in a small Grecian column enclosed atrium.



well, wouldn’t you?


when george returned to pop the hamper in the motor vehicle we got to say one of our most favo(u)rite lines:

we’ll meet you in the garden.


and we took photographs of the May blooms. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and the vibrant shades on the Other Theatre-goers (note the bag – a seriously chic choice). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the theatrical setting was perfection – chandeliers, low lighting, a cast of superb actors, performing in front of mikes as if doing a “radio show” (Very BBC, as george pointed out, sotto voce).

of special note (although we have a Sneaking Suspicion george may be picking out Other members of the Cast – and we developed a new quite amusing meme to denote this: “your blog, not mine, love” when spotting a young Blade that might inspire George for a new character in his Trilogy) must be Tara Lynne Barr – still a teen-ager! – winsome, winning and curiously knowing in her role as a young to-be-wed well-born Parisian.

and let’s talk about Martin Jarvis who directed this piece!

so splendid to see him on This side of the world – and a fine well-paced production with plenty of nuance and ease of language and depth of Wit he did preside over this evening.

we saw him much in the old country – mostly on the television and sometimes when we got up to Town to the National Theatre – and most regularly as the glorious voice on “Plum” Wodehouse audio tales (which we listened to, usually while weeping gently in a bubble bath, sipping weak milky Earl Grey, during early bouts of homesickness).


during the short intermission we walked the grounds again with a little coffee (jet lag still overwhelms us from our trip to Manhattan) and admired the softly gathering twilight.

the 2nd Act was Tremendous – all was revealed but slowly, tantalizingly and beautifully paced – lean forward, lean back, a gentle laugh, a tap on the shoulder of our companion to denote pleasure at the Plot, a belly chuckle (but sweetly done), a small tear as the loved ones come together demurely – and all is well in 17th Century Paris once more (as it should be, being Paris n all).

by this point the grounds of the Clark Memorial Library were glowing with lamps and night jasmine and soft blooming roses as the audience drifted into the lawns and out towards their motorized vehicles and perhaps a late supper awaiting them in the back parlor. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


thank you george.

*applause* to the splendid Cast and Crew and our fine Director Mr. Jarvis.

up at dawn and off to the flower mart.


we got up at 0530 hours and picked up george (whose idea for an Adventure this was) and  talked all the way into downtown as the sun came up over the skyscrapers and peeked into the low slung buildings bursting-with-blooms.


and Most Fragrant.


now we Adore flowers (well most specifically creamy white roses, to tell the absolute truth).

but we fell Breathlessly into the floral-accessories-shops en route back to the car and wandered happily up and down the aisles of ribbon and bows and vases and glass votive bud jars and grecian columns (3/4 size and most intriguing *lookstocamera*) and bought a small packet of corsage pins (there were black ones too but we edited those out for the shot)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we have never worn a corsage (having not gone to an American High School or appeared as a walk-on actor in the movie Footloose or one of those films by the intense Mr. Tyler Perry – these are the only places we have seen corsages), and so were most curious to see a description of How To Pin here:

Using corsage pins can be a tricky process. For young gentleman, offering a corsage before a dance doesn’t necessarily mean you should be the one to pin it. In order to make sure you pin the corsage only to the dress, and don’t poke the skin, you really should insert a hand behind the pin while you are pinning. When young ladies wear strapless dresses, this may be impractical and inappropriate. Instead you might want the young woman to pin the corsage herself, or get another lady in the house to help her with the pinning.

so now you know, darlings.

why did we Purchase corsage pins with no interest in wearing a corsage?

for the Bulletin Board, naturally!


and now we know where to go when we want to buy some 3/4 size grecian columns too.

awfully tempting.

have you ever worn a corsage (or pinned one on someone else, carefully?)

and do you have 3/4 size grecian columns?


do invite us round.

we’ll wear a corsage (pin) or two in celebration.


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


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.


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).


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. 

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.


quelle blissful sunday.

how’s Yours?

do tell!


other places, other times and letters sent c/o Thomas Cook.


we had a moment in our day yesterday after a Tres Chic lunch under the trees somewhere over there, in the Valley, sort of, awfully near where movies-are-made (or at least Meetings-are-had-to-Plan-and-budget-them – we understand they are usually shot in Toronto or Torrance) when we found ourselves (quelle bliss) in a vintage bookshop.

now as you know – we adore a bookshop.

we prefer a bookshop with bargains (alas, so few of those left) or at least some well-preserved orange-spine-Penguins or a subtle shelf of whimsy.

which we found.


a loved-and-reassuringly-read edition of Stephen Spender’s letters to Isherwood.

curious how pleading some of the letters were – a young acolyte yearning for validation (how horribly we Relate as they say in California).

and then – later – as Spender’s own work grew and his love affairs turned to naught – the letters become cold and distant and rather “Fine! You keep Berlin! I’ll go Elsewhere!”.

they all loved and were entwined with each other in a way that we have not observed since our own days at University – tis strange how these men of letters and privilege lived as though the Quad were somehow nearby and Rules Applied and all of that nonsense. Which in those days, was not Nonsense but how one gained acceptance or rebelled (and thus was accepted by the rebellious, fled for warmer climes like Santa Monica).

viewer-2This letter was one of many in a similar vein – longing, loss, and how to get by without an inheritance (we relate, once more) and yet look at the address: c/o Thomas Cook Barcelona.


Imagine clipping on one’s shades on top of reading glasses and a large brimmed hat and an overcoat (it might get chilly later when one Dines With Maugham) and taking a stroll to Messrs. Thomas Cook to pick up one’s Post.



We could do this, of course.

There are still Postal Services (or mailbox companies) dotted around Sunset Strip here in California. We hear there are others but we particularly noticed the white single storey bungalows as they off-set themselves so well on the Strip with all those houses clinging to the Hollywood Hills above dotted with citrus trees and broken dreams.

but Thomas Cook, Barcelona (or Berlin, or Paris, or Vienna for that matter) circa 1930-something.

One can dream.

we have our own adventures, of course – and this is where we store them in the Physical Realm.

Moleskine #147 if you’re curious, awaiting its debut on the Left (actually, it’s a Leuchtturm1917 – the art supply store was all out of plain moleskines) and what-happens-after-a-month of notes, dreams, panic, pain, giggles and Plans on the right (#146).

and twilight brings up so many stories and ideas and moments of longing and glimpses of a glittering future. 

back on the subject of Spender – we’ve been looking at pictures of writers from that era of tweeds and pocket squares and notebooks and pencils and letters-left-at-Thomas-Cook because we’re going to be taking a portrait of George Snyder in a few days.

any suggestions of Links to Inspire most welcomed – this is one of our favo(u)rite ways to prepare for portraits – we love homework – or Prep as they used to call it back in the Boarding School days – *whimsicallookintothedistance*, darlings.

Isn’t life delicious?



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.

Screen shot 2013-02-11 at 3.28.38 PM

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).

tea and textiles with George – then a shock in the night.


we woke up in the small hours Literally on the Floor.

a tiny nail.

hidden in the tawny blond(e) carpet Punctured the aero bed upon which we sleep while awaiting our furniture to arrive from The East Coast.

and it’s not even our aero bed; it’s lovely greg’s.

Oh my.

The delights of bed, bath and beyond (sort of a grown up mothercare-slash-housewares-dept-of-debenhams for our British friends) await us today.

But no matter.

We can handle things as long as we don’t get into an Overwhelming Panic about everything that Might go wrong (overwhelm was a Large feature of our childhood personality – lots of brooding walks on the Cliffs and staring out into the English channel like a daphne du maurier heroine).

So we truly appreciate Tea and Textiles and a soothing conversation about Life and literature – with George.


Especially because George has a chandelier – and a View of the Hollywood Hills.


We have a delicious View too.


And in the absence of actual Furniture; a nice long counter for our Library books, the first utility bills nestled inside our new mail box yesterday, a thank you note or two to be Posted and lots of To Do Lists – including one for bed, bath and beyond that starts with “buy new aero bed”.



We are a Tiny bit Overwhelmed.

But it is Sunday.

And Sunday is quite the nicest day (and the name of that striking Ms. Kidman’s eldest, if we do recall).