dawn to dusk with anne scott-james.


in between writing articles and chasing up consultancy tasks, we cooked and listened to Mr. Robert Elms on the wireless, popped out to meet friends at lunchtime and then decided we’d Done Enough.

and settled down on the sofa, with the pashmina over our shoulders and another throw near the feet, for comfort, and read and read and read Anne Scott-James, Most Happily.

may we share?


another rosy dawn. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

which gave a pinkish glow to soft cotton sheets. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and a sunrise kiss to the book (and the divine dorian)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the dawn reflected in a photograph we took of our friend Anna (where would she be now?) from the Theatrical Performance (circa 1989) at London University of a Torrid TaleOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


wonder if Anne’s Morris Cowley was Racer Green tooOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and then there was the cinema (note longing italics).


and love letters much an-ti-ci-pated….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ah. the Americans who invade the British offices.

we can only imagine. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

now Ms. Lesley Blanch sounds TREMENDOUS, don’t you agree?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

this made us a tiny bit homesick.

not that we grew up in the 1940s Or wore print dresses (perhaps once) and certainly cannot recall a village (there wasn’t one for miles) or Communal berry picking and jam-making.

but it’s the Sort of shot that makes one Linger in the lost England where people did such things. non?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

favo(u)rite line here – and yours too?

Visitors were frequent, mostly poets.

just like at teamgloria towers then ;-)


so we ARE old enough to have worked (adjacent to) on Fleet Street (actually Old Street, when The Independent offices were at 40 City Road (and we stayed with the paper through its move to the Docklands – a strange place) and, on one memorable occasion (which has been sadly lost to the mists of Time) we had to Phone Our Copy In to the copy-takers from, we *think*, the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

of course this was (long) before cellular telephones so we nestled into a telephone booth and a lovely lady took down our bon mots on the other end for the paper the Next Day *shivers*

back to Anne – can you imagine finding a Cable Office to send word to Our Man in Havana that one is arriving on the Clipper a tuesday from hence?


now this is Anne (on the right), unidentified lady extreme left and the blonde with the nice slim watch strap and pill box hat is none other than Miss Audrey Withers.

can you see this Transmission in your Territory (if not ask mr. you tube for “audrey withers vogue” and hopefully you’ll get a version of the British Pathe newsreel too!


oh look! Anne wrote a book about Sissinghurst!


so we *thought* she would enjoy a Spot in our bookcase next to Vita and above Nancy whom she also interviewed and not far along the shelf from Isherwood who, we are sure, enjoys the serenity of nestling next to Mr. William James (and everyone loves Plum Wodehouse) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe still felt a little crazy today and then, while typing not long ago, took a look up and saw the full moon.



that’ll do it.

we are Very in touch with the pull of the moon, darlings.

as one might expect.

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: http://www.amazon.com/The-Diving-Bell… “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.

#Her is the reason we were in a hotel room in manhattan with mr. joaquin phoenix and mr. spike jonze for #HerTheMovie



do you recall when we were in Manhattan (in a gorgeous hotel suite) and could Not tell you why we were there?


this is why.

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we DO have a Most delicious life these days.


oh you’re right.


the article is in Spanish!

(how clever who-we-are-in-RL appears to be *innocentsmile*)

sadly we can’t share the original (syndication in process to other Esquire potential happening now you see).

but here’s a sneak peek.

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If you’re feeling a general sense of malaise about real world relationships, you’ll feel comforted by the movie, “Her”, from writer/director Spike Jonze. The film is set in the not too distant future, in a Los Angeles that looks a lot like downtown Shanghai and stars Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore, a ghostwriter of other peoples’ intimate correspondence.

Theodore is definitely suffering from a lack of love. He’s unwilling to sign his divorce papers and has retreated to his apartment where he plays 3D virtual reality video games in desperate isolation.

The only hot action he gets is disembodied; in sex chat rooms accessed via his mobile device where the lonely, sleepless souls roam in the small hours, with their ever-darkening appetites. Which sets us up nicely for the premise of the movie: can you fall in love with a sentient artificially intelligent being that only exists in the ether of the cloud-based Internet, piped into your earpiece, whispering sweet nothings into your troubled psyche?

In the movie the answer is yes.

a bit further on…..

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 9.33.44 AM


Jonze is anxious to position the movie as a love story and not a dystopian tale. He told Esquire: “Really I was writing about relationships and I wanted it to work on both levels. A lot of people are afraid of both technology and intimacy – and that’s what the movie is about.” But this is a movie about where we are heading and what that means for love, human relationships and our dependence on technologically advanced devices.

In an effort to learn more about Jonze’s vision of a future where operating systems fall in love with us, and vice versa, we interviewed several experts from robot anthropologists (yes this job now exists) to neuroscientists and famous thinkers in the field.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 9.38.13 AM


Which brings us neatly to Joaquin Phoenix. If you want to find an actor that portrays human alienation and detachment and pain beautifully, you can do no better than cast Phoenix. Famously obtuse in press interviews, he is a remarkably gifted actor, whose pain and experience of a fractured reality is almost too much to watch onscreen.

Jonze met Phoenix over a decade ago when the actor read for “Adaptation” (the role that went to Nicolas Cage) and always admired Phoenix’s dedication as an actor. “Joaquin brings so much heart and sincerity to the role. Even though Theodore holds so much sadness, he also has a capacity for joy and playfulness and it’s a sweet contrast, all of which Joaquin brings to the performance—and more.  I felt that I watched him become Theodore.”

Phoenix agrees with his director that he tries to be purely instinctual these days when approaching a role.

“It depends on the movie – depends on the character – I’ve tried more and more to react to the moment, I used to impose my ideas on the scene too much and I wanted to get to a place where I respond to the moment as I get older I impose my ideas of what it should be and be more instinctual instead.”

so there you have it.

the reason we were in a hotel room in October in Manhattan and could not tell you that who we were with was Mr. Joaquin Phoenix and Mr. Spike Jonze.

did we like the movie?

oh, yes.

v e r y  m u c h.

in a delicious unsettling and glorious way.