trembling before the exhibition

darlings

we’re getting a Tiny bit apprehensive about the show’s opening tonight.

sort of not-wanting-to-be-the-centre-of-attention (which is deeply odd consider we spent so many years desirous of the limelight – and we don’t mean the dodgy club on leicester square in London either – although we did spend a few nights of our Youth there, tis true)

and – well – it feels so official – the new life, and all that.

which is good.

but scary.

still.

in the meantime, we take pictures.

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sparky was unwilling to wake up this morning – so we made the coffee instead (and rather strong it was too – magnificent blend) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

then we went to visit our friend Donna at her company Buy My Closet which is tremendously exciting a place.

although we did notice we seem to have taken pictures of two completely nude mannequins instead of the vast quantities of gorgeous designer threads on offer at the site itself – do lookOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

she even has a Chandelier!

*applause*!

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manhattan in springtime is most deliciously fragrant and floral.
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and still stern and impressive in Other Parts (this being Madison Avenue as we strolled by).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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and there was lots of time to pause for thought. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and reflect on our Life here – and there and elsewhere.

then (and it was only just lunchtime at this Juncture) we took our immigration attorney to lunch to say THANK YOU FOR THE GREEN CARD at a groovy parisian-esque bistro

where we saw the Bourdain himself.

remarkable.

all those times spent sipping black coffee and staring moodily into space during seven years in manhattan – not a peep – back for a mere few hours to pick up a green card, open an exhibition and say thank you to our immigration attorney – voila!

curious.

remarkable in fact.

ok.

getting a bit nervous now.

and Must get a fresh slim-fit sky-blue t-shirt on with black jeans and the merest dash of chapstick before heading out to meet our friends and *blush* a little at the pictures on the wall that we took.

late afternoon sunlight falls on manhattan

darlings

super tired #jetlag now.

but wanted to share a few pictures before we turn in for the night of late afternoon sunlight falling on manhattan as we walked up 7th avenue (felt very Calvin Klein and fashion-y saying “7th Avenue” so freely then – could you feel that?).

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand then we had chicken soup and did some study-hall-stuff in companionship with B.

yes, white roses.

wonder who bought those……

 

hanging the exhibition at #snice #soho

darlings

tis strange and surreal to be back Here (where we lived for 7 years if you’ve just joined us – and Welcome if you have *winninglooktocamera*)

and rather Glorious, of course.

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we had a coffee and a bagel at the counter of a 1929 coffee shop on Fifth and it all felt very teamgloria if you know what we mean – OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and then we met up with the lovely Jonathan (yes, from one stop nyc) who helped us Hang The Exhibition!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the landscapes (from L – R = Paris, Manhattan, Hong Kong, Taiwan) are on the large wall on the right as you walk into ‘sNice on Sullivan Street (in, SoHo, we are Enormously Grateful that we got to have a Show in SoHo, darlings)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

greg and jim are on the inside right of the front (french) doors. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

brooklyn is above the water cooler.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

nick is centre (drew is to the left but someone was standing there and we couldn’t quite ask them to move as they were Admiring the photograph) and Stacy & Zack are to the Right on the Left wall (if that’s not Too Confusing). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jorden is above the sweetners. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand Portugal is to the right of Taiwan (not in RL, just in our show – the Taiwan image has a lot of orange in it so we were trying to blend the colo(u)rs/shades/hues in some sort of Artistic Way).

and then we had Lunch with our Literary Agent at a very chic eatery and felt Quite Overwhelmed – by jet lag, by the exhibition opportunity, by being Back Here, staying with lovely friends and generally Life.

in a very good way, of course.

sleepless in manhattan

darlings

we’re Here.

in manhattan.

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and everyone else is Asleep.

except.

well.

us.

despite being up since 4AM on the Other Coast.

and travel(l)ing for what felt like Days and Delays.

it’s Awfully nice to be here though.

we’re Staying With Friends – and we bribed Sparky to come and hang out with us while we read him a bedtime story.

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he got sleepy too though, when we got past the more fast-paced action bits of The House on Church Row, and settled into a slow soft calm up-and-down-body-yawn-sleep-ness.

which is lovely.

but now we’re Wide Awake.

and realized we can’t find our glasses because they’re in the back pocket of 4D on flight 2622 from LAX to JFK.

luckily we sent out a Very Modern search party 

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 11.51.06 PMlet’s see how good their social media team is ;-)

*tappingfoot*

and smiling.

it’s fun to be back in Manhattan.

we probably would have just shrugged and bought over-the-counter reading glasses at the local chemist if back on the West Coast.

but not here.

here we like to get Results.

amazing how quickly one snaps back into a NYC style attitude ;-)

#gosh

I m p r e s s i v e

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random thoughts with green card

darlings

we’re still Very much in a daze.

and *smiling*

so a few Random pictures – and thoughts – and let’s see what happens next…as we type (we didn’t mean In the Larger Sense – too early for such concepts and we’ve only just begun to slink into the dark embrace of the first cup of caffeine at 07:49AM in Los Angeles, USA)

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we have manhattan to thank for the green card.

for tis almost impossible (legally) to get a green card (through employment) unless one has a grand Job with a large established outfit (the company, not the clothing one wears to the Office).

so we got one.

and it was intense and full of world travel and machinations and some very good moments and some not such good times during you-know-what

we learned to Compete and subsist on chutzpah and caffeine. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

but all with an english accent (this is the truly delightful Royal Academy) which helps a Great Deal in American Business (even if they are rarely listening to the Content of one’s impassioned speech). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

but England was always a slight pang of sadness for us – we never fit in there (and we hope to mine that rich seam through the novels and in some way Move On from the early pain of not having the right Background, true Accent or country pile with dogs and batty parents and some nice-pearls-from-aunt-charlotte).

yet the Americans have always found us charmingly british so we slid gracefully into something close to their perception and bought our own pearls (from a street fair in perry street in the village-of-greenwich)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

yet there was always France.

until our 25th birthday, we had a french passport.

and then the immigration rules changed and it was Taken Away.

we were Stateless for almost a year (we didn’t keep a diary or a blog – pre-interweb-days, darlings) until the Editor of the Newspaper we worked on (gawd bless ‘im) insisted that the Authorities Help (as we had to fly to Atlanta for the E3 technology conference and cover the launch of Lara Croft – original game – for computers – not the movie, love).

at that point, we became British – but we look Irish – (which if you know your history was always a point of tension – we’re not underplaying this – but this is Not the blog for that discussion *lookstocamera* #newblogs?) – because that’s where 50% of our blood comes from (of course we are a virtual-ness so have no sanguine-component but who we are in RL is very lyrically freckly with a sing-song voice).

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so when we first came to Los Angeles (on a Visit) in 1999 *looksvaguelytocamera* it felt like home.

one could be Anything one wanted here.

everyone had mixed blood (and amusingly many had it in the same combination – 50% irish, 25% english, 25% french) and everyone Wrote and made movies and music and generally wore great sunglasses and still admired the sunsets even after years of residency here. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

los angeles is also as verdant as a summer garden in england – and remains thus all year round. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

they also have magic places called SOUNDSTAGES which are delicious. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

not everybody reads here – but those who Do – have a Lot of Books (some of which they have written themselves). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we picked up a camera again around that time and realized that looking-through-a-lens was soothing to the soul (and fun to take pictures of people we love). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and it was here – in America – that we started to Write again – something we thought we’d never do – we had such grief about losing (? walking away? torching?) the career as a journalist 


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yet now we regret nothing.

we have had a Huge journey and travel(l)ed widely and met the Most Interesting (and beautiful) people.

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so, as Madonna sang:

now what?

gosh.

well, the first thing that who we are in RL went and did as soon as she had finished Squealing and crying-a-bit was pick up her camera and go next door and shoot some self-portraits (we put the kettle on and waited patiently – it took a while for her to find the right lighting and liquid eyeliner swoosh) so she could update her Headshot from serious-corporate-manhattan-lady to i-am-so-happy-now-in-los-angeles.

it’s adorable.

she can be very sweet.

as long as she realizes that we need to buckle down and finish Church Row because Charlotte Jones has arrived (and we had No Idea she was behind the door) and Marion goes on-a-date-with-Dovinda (who just appeared off a 1st class direct flight from manhattan without a by your leave).

may we?

*blush*

you are Most Kind.

The three of them walked slowly down the hill. Simon fuming, Annabelle being bossy and Marion caught between them, delighted.

As they reached Church Row, Marion unzipped her tracksuit bottoms to get her keys out. Annabelle helped her open the door but demurred at her offer of a coffee. Simon felt triumphant. Until Annabelle said, “Oh, darling, I forgot to mention, your mother just showed up, she’s in London to sell her house.”

Simon spluttered. “My mother is here?”

Annabelle was tight-lipped. “Yes, she said she had warned you she was going to arrive. Perhaps you forgot to leave me a note on the fridge?”

His wife was never bitchy – unless Charlotte Jones was concerned. Simon’s heart sank. His mother had emailed him last week but in all the excitement over the gorgeous American neighbor and the subsequent revival of his married sex life, he had forgotten.

“Jesus Christ,” he said, quietly.

Marion was amused. She paused on her doorstep and watched them walk slowly to the house next door. “What’s she like?” she asked. Annabelle turned round and put her hand on Simon’s arm in sympathy.

“A credit to the British Empire,” she said, sighing.

“I thought you guys didn’t have an Empire anymore.”

“Don’t tell my mother-in-law that,” said Annabelle as her husband almost smashed his foot on the new lavender and rosemary pots outside the front door.

The door opened from the inside and a statuesque older woman with the most magnificent ash-gray helmet of hair stood there, surveying the scene. Charlotte Jones was a British version of Catherine Deneueve. She had the steely backbone of a matriarch with the gorgeous curves encased in serious lingerie from the Queen’s purveyor of silk unmentionables, Rigby and Peller. Her dresses were beautifully cut, from Dior, the neckline set off with a single strand of pearls (inherited) and she wore low-heeled Gucci pumps in matching navy.

Marion was transfixed. If Annabelle was a sweet English rose, her mother-in-law was a vast and glorious bouquet from a country house weekend. She was magnificent.

Charlotte took in the situation instantly. Her son was bruised, emotionally, her daughter-in-law was flirting with women again (Simon was right, it wasn’t the first pash she had had) and the American next door was trouble, her grandson had already filled her in on that. Well she would sort everything out, she always did. She gave a cheery wave to Marion who was still standing in her own doorway.

“I’m Charlotte,” she said.

“I heard,” said Marion, with a significant nod to Simon who groaned.

“Come for dinner tonight,” said Charlotte.

Annabelle swallowed her fury. How dare Charlotte do this – come and take over her life without the slightest compunction. There was no food in the house, she was going to Lydia’s for a light supper anyway and Simon was taking Mark to Scouts. She appealed to Simon for help but he was hanging up his Mackintosh coat.

“Another time,” said Marion, “I have a date tonight.”

“I’m here for a week – we shall reschedule,” said Charlotte crisply and closed the door. Then she looked at Simon and Annabelle who were standing sheepishly in the hallway. “Seems like a little drama is brewing on Church Row, darlings,” she said, walking ahead of them to the kitchen to put the kettle on. Thank goodness she had arrived in time, she thought. Simon looked helplessly at Annabelle who mouthed “A WEEK?” and they both headed into the kitchen, both of them wondering who Marion had a date with tonight.

*******************************************************

Kelly grabbed the rolls of campaign sketches and her tablet computer from the back of the taxi. Marion paid the driver and marched into the showroom. She had not said much to Kelly all morning. Last night she went on a disastrous date with some American executive in town on business. It was an unwelcome reminder of her former life.

The woman asked her to meet her at the hotel and kept her waiting in the lobby for ages. She hated that. And then they went to a restaurant but the woman – whose name was Dovinda – probably not her real name as after a few glasses of wine she revealed a solid Midwest upbringing and there are not many Dovindas there – was very picky about the table, the menu and the music.

When the food finally arrived Dovinda ate nothing, of course, as she was on a perpetual diet. But she did pop a few pills not that discreetly before she pushed a lettuce leaf around her plate. Marion could not resist. “What are those for?” she asked, innocently. She wished she had not bothered. They were part of an interminably long story about allergies and pain medication and surgeries and despair.

Dovinda confessed that she did not even have to visit her many doctors’ offices anymore – they came to her. Marion had forgotten what a life divorced from any hands on self care was like. She had had doctors on call too. Her insurance covered it and her lifestyle demanded it. Funny how moving to England with just the local GP in his High Street cozy wallpapered surgery had changed her view on healthcare. She had gone once to ask about her sleepless nights, and he had patted her hand and told her to remove stress from her life and go out dancing. Dancing? She expected hot cocoa and a glossy magazine too, but that didn’t seem to be on the prescription pad. In fact he refused to take out the prescription pad at all. That was a first, for Marion. Leaving a doctor’s office without some shopping list for pharmaceutical candy.

So the date was a wash-out. Dovinda had an early call. She suggested Marion come up for a night cap but Marion got the distinct idea that if they had sex it would be the quick thirty minute and thank you version with no remote possibility of staying the night. Which was a pity, The Savoy looked glorious. So she kissed Dovinda (nowhere particularly interesting) in the lobby and drifted into the bar to down a few Jack Daniels before falling into a cab and going back to Hampstead.

yes *nervouslooktocamera* it IS getting a bit Fifty Shades of Laura Ashley over at The House on Church Row.

we had no idea, darlings, when we started writing it.

these things write themselves, of course.

(ahem).

a tale of two authors, both alike in anonymity, in fair manhattan, where we lay our scene

darlings

– a tale of two authors – both alike in anonymity – in fair manhattan, where we lay our scene

do you remember ages ago (more accurately Jan 25th, 2012) we were in manhattan (so the scene in your head needs to reflect January – and NYC – yes, Large Coats and hats and gloves – very good) and happened to stroll by the delicious bookshop mcnally jackson where picked up a copy (by the grand self-publishing machine) of a tiny-gorgeous-tome that said “The Paris of Fashion Insiders”

– voila!

20120124-214235of course we Swooped on it and bought it instantly (mainly because we were About to go to Paris for the Day Job) and read it cover-to-exquisite-cover.

as you know – we adore writing to authors and yet looked in Vain for a name or a website or a blog or a small shelf denoted at a chic boutique in Paris – but there was just an (aol) email address #quellevintage

so we wrote.

and waited for the secret author to respond.

they did – but stayed silent as to their identity – as did We (at that point, being all anonyme avec le silence due to you-know-what) but even under the Cloak of Disguise we bonded and shared a (tinkling) laugh and eventually Agreed to Meet.

but first, we said, we must say who we both are!

(pause)

*looktocamera*

gosh.

it appeared that if we had been in a Shakespearean play we would have been in quite different noble families.

for we worked at One Major International Publishing House with (then) digital responsibility for the Vision behind the 31 Harper’s BAZAAR titles around the globe and (ahem) Carole Sabas is the New York Correspondent for Paris Vogue (gasp!).

just too, too, too delicious.

so we had tea (we ate, she didn’t – she’s a Parisian) at a glorious Manhattan hotel and Talked and Talked about her delicious books (by this time she had also published the guide to Manhattan too).

20120211-161210of course being all Smart and Chic and anonymous had attracted the attention of deeply interested book publishers who wanted to make her books into new editions on Their List.

who is your agent?

we said (because people say things like that in Manhattan all the time).

(shrug)

because that’s what Parisians do in response to things they don’t have an answer to, which is Charmante.

you must meet ours!

we said, because we are Bossy and care-about-writers.

so – to cut a long story (well, probably not that long) – Carole met Our Agent and they Signed and Lisa (our agent) Made a Deal (just like she did for our book).

Carole’s books are now available for pre-order via the interweb in tres elegante editions!

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and the Venerable fashion correspondent Cathy Horyn just gave both books, and Carole, a lovely send-off in The New York Times – glorious stuff.

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so there you go

– a tale of two authors – both alike in anonymity – in fair manhattan, where we lay our scene

(yes, yes, we Know that sounds familiar ;-)

 

take off and landing.

darlings

we took off from JFK – lightly packed and ably fit with reading materials…..

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and six hours later – whoosh!

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11:40PM LAX and a smooth ride home.

Not sure where our spirit is – it takes longer than the corporeal self to touchdown. Perhaps it stopped off in Chicago to admire the windy city and the soaring skyscrapers of Ad-Land.

It may even have decided to re-visit Kansas.

There’s no knowing until we realize it is back.

Of course with the amount of Travel we did for the Day Job, we often wonder if Bits of our psyche are scattered with the four winds throughout CHINA, Paris, Milan, INDIA and near that lovely temple we visited after work meetings in Taipei.

We will just have to go around the world again (more slowly and quietly and reflectively) on our Book Tour and re-configure our fractal-shaken-soul into a new cohesive CPU (central processing unit for the less geeky of our Friends).

Delicious.

But first we  s  l e e p.

*waving*

sleep calls.

darlings

a good day – and all-clear on the immigration-medical-front – so That’s Done – and delivered to the Attorneys (in a sealed envelope – not sure why – we weren’t at all tempted to add notations, notions and corrections).

and now sleep calls………..

would you mind just a Picture Post to represent today?

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no Wonder we’re Exhausted.

many miles covered…….

some by foot, others by train, mostly flights-of-fancy too, of course.