tuesday: 1st proof of our book arrives! “how to stay sane: when it all gets too much”

we are Beside ourselves with excitement, darlings, because the 1st proof of our book about Tobias and his sisters and medical leave and What We Learned is Here!






we are going to read diligently, obtain guidance from lady-of-letters (who has already been super helpful) and meet with various Interested parties and if we are not with Publisher by year’s end we shall self-publish and be glorious under the steam of media-that-is-social.

Secretly we want to get our green card Months early (#bigwish) so we can tell the world who we really are and embark on a new life as an inspirational speaker, traveling by first class, wrapped in a tartan wool blanket on the night train to Geneva to talk at events across the Continent (all of them) and share what we now know about Life.

wouldn’t that be delicious?

In the meantime, the lovely Michele recommended a rousing punch-the-air-woman and be uplifted by the flame haired siren Florence. Tis AMAZING.


The world is changing – can you sense it too?


tranquil lunch: we will miss this (final day: medical leave)

we will miss these tranquil lunches – just us and a notebook and a novel and at least an hour stretching into the afternoon.

this medical leave has changed us; for the better.

more later, darlings.

but may we say we are looking Quite Sleek with our new haircut (still growing it out for future california life but a new shape and yummy shine – our own colour/color/shade – a radical rebellion in Corporate Life ;)

off for a walk with Jonathan.

and we started our day at ‘snice (cafe in soho) with the very sleek corporate warrior (on blessed hiatus so he had time to meet) jT and talked about love and relationships and magic. You know – our usual conversations during this pause in our life.

Not Looking Forward to returning tomorrow (and just heard that our favourite/favorite people are Abroad so ho hum on the re-entry feeling)

more later, definitely. doing lots of pix for our final day of medical leave………

flirting and Fellini and Mastroianni and Loren and love

If you’ve been following our medical leave, you’ll know that sitting in a darkened cinema while our glands grow back and we heal from the surgery has been an essential part of our journey.

so we were doubly-thrilled – Tickled Pink even – to slip into a double bill at the Film Forum and watch both Carlo Ponti’s Marriage, Italian Style – yes, Marcello and Sophia Loren (aren’t the italians glorious? Especially their movies: lots of bosoms, shouting, fervent and passionate hand gestures and the sort of clothing that demands significant underpinnings in the lace and satin slip with construction department) and a short by Fellini (starring the goddess-like Ekberg so more bosoms and serious boned corsetry).

And before the movie a very successful acquaintance, nay one almost might say intimate, of ours, came and lounged recklessly on our subtly shaded soft butterscotch/taupe sofa in Quite the Nicest Leather Jacket and we drank tea and took a walk so we could show off the fact we live Awfully Near a Keith Haring mural (at the once-upon-a-time-in-america era Italian baths, over the swimming pool, where De Niro plunged from a top floor deep into the aforementioned pool – where we swam this summer to get as fit as possible before our Surgery – in Raging Bull)

All in all, there were a Lot of Italian influences in our day.

Our guest wasn’t Italian. But the jacket would have not been out of place on a motorcycle racing through Milan to a fashion shoot for Gucci, darlings.


A Delicious Day.

Still a bit wary of the back to the Day Job (not-tomorrow-but-the-next-day #eek) but today was one of those days that contained experiences that most definitely helped us heal.

Our glands are growing back nicely.

What fun life is.

we also had the final flower delivery of our medical leave #sob, courtesy of our Agent (and delicious friend, LG, currently in England “thank you darling” mwah xx)


Kevin sent us a Very Funny postcard from Los Angeles.


And we found a bottle of bubbles in the back of the kitchen cupboard and amused ourselves for Ages while dancing (gingerly but with enthusiasm) to William’s Lovely mix-CDs.


Can you tell we’re On The Mend?

But don’t bust us: we’d like to milk it just a Tiny Bit Longer.

Just in case this is just temporary euphoria from the music, movies, bubbles and general bonhomie of having GB to stay, our spirits lifted by the lovely books (from lady of letters), walks with mC, novels from George (and namechecks in the Advocate!) William’s delicious care packages, a house Full of Roses and all the gorgeous visits, jT and Cheltenham Lady taking us to hospital and surgeon visits, B walking us and bringing bubble bath ingredients, tons of cards, quiet suppers with K, kC and her wit and understanding, txts from beaming one, leaning on GD’s arm one morning, and Jonathan reading-to-us and ABM marvelous evenings and the gift of DV and our instagram friends and spells and magic from M in the lake of silver and music from IB and yellow flowers to chase away the Blues So much love and attention from our local shopkeepers and those nearby and the Brit press from I and K and……..if we forgot you slap us when we see you!!!

We started this blog to look for team gloria. Because of Tobias, the tumors/tumours (and his sisters), it seems team gloria was here all along.

Maybe that wasn’t decaf ;) just took a stroll and wanted to share these, darlings…..







This definitely reminds us of a drag queen we used to know circa 1988.

attempting to stay just ahead of the depression.

This had to happen.

you don’t go through surgery, anesthesia, 21 pills a day to replace gland and thyroid functions and then be confined to a square block radius of home for over 2 weeks without depression threatening its clouds on the far horizon coming ever closer each day.

here’s what we’re doing to keep one step ahead and stay sane: decoupage, visits and tea (lady of letters on her way at 10! Watching The Women – yes, the original, darlings, with ABM tonight), writing letters, writing this blog here, reading reading reading, naps, walks (can’t wait to swim but wound still too open for another few weeks apparently) but still it threatens to swallow us up, particularly around eleven PM, 4 AM and low points-mid-afternoon.

But it’s Sunday today (we were born on a Sunday – do you know the saying? Yes. We are ;)





a few pix from our morning-bugger-off-depression-Sunday-stroll.

medical leave day 14: sleepless in manhattan

we haven’t been sleeping that well.

tomorrow we’re going back to the surgeon for a second post-op check up and……….results?

you know darlings, results on whether team gloria has already joined team cancer.

we probably won’t sleep much tonight so we took ourselves for a small stroll and took some pictures to share with you.

hope you like them.

do let us know.

sleep soundly wherever you are tonight (or not if you scored love ;) #giggle


hell, no. humor/humour quite intact.

the rest of us? no clue.

we’ll let you know – as soon as we know. Ok?







we like mannequins.

make us think of Bladerunner.

(when we try to explain what we looked like in 1994, we say “an extra from Bladerunner”. we leave it to your imagination cos you’re certainly not getting a picture. thank god we were cRaZY before social networks, love ;)


we also did a marathon session of Torchwood (bloody brilliant).

and then, in less regular intervals than before, we had to lie down due to nausea.


this is our view during those moments.


and jW sent yellow roses, which help during those occasions.

night, night.

best thing about medical leave: TIME (to read an entire novel) #Idontknowhowshedoesit

the worst thing about medical leave is……dealing with the pain, the pills, the discomfort, the nausea, the scars, calls from our insurance company (did they not get the memo that we had our Throat Slit and can’t return calls easily? clearly not)…..

the best thing about medical leave (apart from enforced naps post-nausea post-pills) is TIME.

time to read.

the sort of time to read that we’ve not had in (*has to think hard for a second*) years. since university, in England, that thing called “reading week” (and even then we rarely got to read what we really wanted to read).

so today (apart from the usual list at the top of the page) we read AN ENTIRE NOVEL.

here’s what we devoured:

our absolutely favorite/favourite/chortle-worthy (almost made the feeling of internal bruising and swelling and throat scars pulling apart terror ok ;-) lines are unprintable for reasons that readers of the book will understand – as the bits we resonated with (as we sort of, ahem, chose not to have children this lifetime for various reasons) are about – how can we put this? gender-challenges-in-the-workplace. there, that should do it. and considering we have to go back to our Day Job at the end of september, we might need to be a bit more prudent than we’d like to be.

but here’s one that we can write here:

over the PA comes the voice of the pilot, one of those chummy call-me-Pete types. Heart sinks. At moments like this do not want pilot to be called Pete. Urgently want pilot to be chap named Roger Carter from Weybridge, Wing Commander, Battle of Britain type, mistress in Agadir, good friend of Raymond Baxter from Tomorrow’s World.

oh, damn it, here’s one we loved (risky, risky, team gloria):

When I first arrived as a trainee in the City, I assumed that meetings were for making decisions; it took a few weeks to figure out that they were arenas of display, the Square Mile equivalent of those gorillas grooming sessions you see on wildlife programs.

(shared this one with mC who took us for a little stroll to get some air early and we snorted so hard we had to stop walking)

and oh! the way Allison just throws away tiny lines that hit like darts to the soul…

But happy childhoods are no bloody good for drive and success; misery and rejection and standing in the rain at bus stops are the fuel for those.

we completely identify as the Americans say. #sigh.


why, of course:

Kirsty and Simon Bing are architect friends of Richard. The same age as us, they have no children but only one exquisite gray-blue cat that drifts like smoke through the Japanese porcelain in their Clerkenwell loft.

go (and) buy your copy right NOW.

the plots twists are brilliant, characterization/character-development is witty and poignant and you really want to find out what happens next (which is why we read it between naps, and OW pain moments and the medication schedule on the fridge – yeah, we’re Type A about illness – of course there’s a Plan on the Fridge).

we also have a confession to make about Allison Pearson (if you’ve been with team gloria since we were on that last round-trip for the Day Job to Madrid-Milan-Paris-London you might remember this post: (where we talk about being on the same newspaper as the Author many moons ago, before we moved to America and became a suit and then got tumours/tumors and became team gloria) and how we’d like to be the fourth female journalist to write a hit book/column/movie from those days on City Road (before they moved us all into the bunkers of Canary Wharf before they even built a bloody Tesco Metro). anyway, that bit of our story, that coincides with Allison (we were a minnow, not sure we ever spoke to one another) and her time there is here. 

and here’s the most important bit – the movie has (according to reports) A DIFFERENT ENDING. so read the novel – before the movie opens – so you can be one of those people who say “Oh, interesting treatment of the original text”.*

*if you live in NYC, SF, LA, Seattle, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Berlin or Paris (you’ll thank us, the rest of the world probably will just enjoy the movie, but you need to hold your head up high missy in the wine bar after with the ladies. no problem, happy to provide a service)

we ought to sleep now.

but there are so many delicious books waiting to be read.

tomorrow is another day.

such a good line. really ought to be in a film. 

chet baker, a light supper of scrambled eggs and another handful of calcium pills.


ironically, this is how we like to wind down on a sunday evening: novels, listening to 1930s music from the Savoy hotel, then Chet Baker, a light dish of scrambled eggs (and peas, we Are British after all) and candlelight – but we could do WITHOUT the intense pain, the immobile neck and the handful of bloody calcium pills every four hours (as our body isn’t making any of its own, poor body, all hacked and bruised and sad and quite frankly pretty weepy).

by the way – weird excitement – we have a burn mark below our right collarbone. swiftly we checked the other side for a similar mark – PADDLES? DID THEY LOSE US?!!

oh. right. apparently it was the heart monitor. left on for five hours it got hot and singed us.

we are Very Sensitive.

and sore. did we mention that?


ok – we gave ourselves a strongtalkingto – a week to be really sick and then two weeks to build ourselves up again.

B (another B – we know a few, actually, all special in their own way) came by at 4pm to “walk us”. sort of like an escort to the Plaza. we’re far Too Vulnerable to go out alone (and very shaky still).

felt nice with the slight autumnal breeze on our neck dressings.

ah. the seasons change.

more tea? why not.

home. sleeping.

we got discharged yesterday.

and now we’re entering the long, slow, path of healing.

everything hurts.

the 14 (yep, count ’em) calcium monsters (we’re not producing any minerals due to removal of aforementioned glands) pills per day are nausea-producing (too much info? sorry, darlings) and the antibiotics are much needed as we fear any small bug/infection and there’s a bunch of other stuff too – but no narcotics, thank god. we couldn’t go There.

B stayed over and was a Superb Nurse.

and he gave us sophie (the loveliest dog in the world) to keep us company for a few hours.

we are sleeping.

and not returning all the lovely calls, txts and emails at this time – please don’t be offended. we are feeling Very Under The Weather (delightful British phrase).

at least the collar with our own blood (UGH) drain was removed.

and this morning we were able to unwind the TORTUOUSLY tight bandages.

and very gingerly and with a few tears we were able to wash our hair for the first time in days – not a good look, prior, although B did say we looked rather Kate Hepburn with a strict turtleneck look with our neck brace and our barely-there-voice – OUCH sore vocal chords from tumours/tumor damage – sounded a tiny bit like Tammy Grimes (Mary Poppins – not the lovely Julie – the mummy of Jane and Michael with the gum drops voice and the suffragette sash in blue).

so now we’re down the penultimate layer of dressings for a week or until we see our surgeon and get the C results and stitches removed (OW).

resting now.

more tomorrow.

day one: medical leave: surgery tomorrow

as we left the skyscraper in manhattan where we work last night, we set the outgoing email message to tell news of our absence on medical leave until September 29th.

the office was empty.

we turned off the lights (we never use the overhead – we have aesthetic standards so we have beautiful lamps).

and took the lift/elevator to the ground floor. got the subway. and tried to release the last conversation: “you’re not seriously going to be offline?!”


it’s called medical leave for a reason.

we’re sick.

and tumours/tumors/Tobias and his sisters (and other bits of our body they’ve damaged) are going to be cut out.

and that will be painful.

and scary.

and we’ll take the time to heal.

so we said: Yes.

and left it at that.

if we’d spoken up before, we might not have had to learn this lesson the hard way. which would be surprising to people that know us in RL (we have a pretty forceful, albeit quite charming, personality ;)

sometimes the outsides don’t match the insides.