you’ll never get a cab. (sally turns back to laugh loudly).


new year’s eve.


we always thought (the sadly late) Nora Ephron caught the mood perfectly in her screenplay – you THINK it’s a good idea to go out for an occasion that requires a sparkly outfit – and then you realize it’s Hell.

and you can’t get a cab.

depending on one’s relative Youth or inexperience (or lack, thereof, of bad memories of years past) – you have very little recourse but to turn back to one’s date (or the person you just realized is sufficiently attractive for the evening – beware – end-of-year “relationships” are Very tough to get out of once one has started watching DVDs and cooking because it’s Too cold to go out – of course, this is Less Likely on the Other Coast – but Very Common – we use our words advisedly – in England).


we Adore new year’s Day.

so fresh. so hopeful. usually so chilly and requiring Lots of cashmere swathed around one’s neck (the Scar says hello, by the way, it is Fading but still gets Awfully Cross when people say “Oh! I can’t see it at all”. which we hear as “so we can forget about what happened.” garumph.)

but new year’s EVE is a different story.

especially if one lives in a highly-sought-after-piece-of-real-estate-area-with-restaurants.

last year, you might recall (unless you’ve just joined us and then, well, a cheery wave of a pale blonde gloved hand with a single-pearl-button-at-the-wrist in your general direction, dear) we went To Ojai and it was delicious. mainly because we had a Very Civilized travel(l)ing companion (always splendid to travel with other published writers – we are So Observant together and it’s delicious fun to make up BackStories for our fellow diners in late night cafes.).

in our Younger Days we enjoyed a new year’s eve party.

and maybe we will again – in a future house (oh, let it be in Montecito – we’d Adore to invite Oprah and Gayle over for a surprisingly gluten-free feast made by Nigel whom we hope is staying with us for the holidays that year).

but now we are Betwixt and Between.

this is a Quality Problem – we have two apartments – one on either coast – but only one has Us and our Possessions in it – the other one Awaits the arrival of the chaps-from-Edison to hook up the electricity – and a Van to arrive with our Furniture at Some Point – TBA/to be co-ordinated with Jonathan – we have other skills – packing is not one of them.

so we have decided to catch up on the lovely pile of books at home.

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and now we’ve finished the Amy Ephron (it was Jolly good – highly recommended), we are taking it Uptown (East – very fashionable) to read the funny bits out to someone who isn’t feeling too well at All and sip tea (so soothing).

before returning to our (current) new york Apartment to start dialing Friends* on the (pale ballet slipper pink) princess phone to wish them a glorious 2013.

*this can be staggered throughout the evening as we have Friends on many continents – some of whom we actually know in RL too.

but. not. all (as yet).

a final word from our new find – Doris Langley Moore

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oh. wait.


Nancy needs the last word.

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we are absolutely Convinced that Nancy spent many a new year’s eve pretending that she was going to attend the Ambassador’s party, but at the last moment, slipped into a soft cotton robe and scrapbooked-the-past-year (using those little gilt photograph corners with proper glue and a stick to apply it) – and then Telephoned England to gossip – and Wrote Letters.

we shall endeavo(u)r to do the same.

most excellent.

happy new year darlings!




just a short note to say we shall return with the autumnal light and soft breezes of september.

in the meantime, have a totally delicious summer!

thought for the day, as they say on BBC Radio 4…..


you never know quite which letter will change the course of your Life.

so do write Lots of them and leave it up to whatever magical forces you delight in ;)

please post in the proper boxes.

I am going to write some letters today. Don’t you love receiving crisp envelopes with tissue paper inserts and elegant cards in firm paper stock? I adore it. I wish I could “post in the proper box” but am not in London today. So I will drop them off with US stamps at the mailroom at work. Perhaps I need to buy some Basildon Bond in the pastel blue from 1935. Any suggestions on vintage stockists?