hello frankfurt! hello new zealand! hello cross continental flight! and *shhh* OM to the sighting on a meditation cushion in berlin

darlings

we are so very VERY grateful for all the delicious sightings.

here are today’s.

THRILLED!

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darlings – oh look……..*proud_smile*……doesn’t the book look so very Pretty in New Zealand at Gallivanta’s house wearing two simple (and very beautiful) strands of pearls, on a soft cushion, fragrantly lounging next to some best-wishes-from-bay-leaves?

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and here it is again – this time on a cross-continental (the Americas, we believe, although we Could be wrong) with the inspirational design guru Ms. Gretchen Anderson

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this is Mr. Tom in Frankfurt enjoying the book while listening to some deep grooves.

beautycalypseand here’s the book in Digital Format (so modern, as William would say) on a m e d i t a t i o n cushion (speak softly for this one) at the house (yoga studio annex/rooftop aerie?) of Ms. Beautycalypse

glorious sightings all!

and in other news:

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we caught up on lots of work – sending out 50 handwritten (of the 500 ordered so quite a few to go!) cards promoting The Digital Check Up c667f1a4a6ff11e3b79212c22f46ab0d_8yes, those Are special edition Harry Potter stamps (and why not – we like to keep a British theme whenever possible) and yes, we did work, even though it was a saturday but we generally work 7 days a week if you have not already noticed that but we love what we do and there are Lots of gaps during time zones where our Editors from Abroad are asleep, when we go to the movies……

d37c143ca72811e3a50e128da8721583_8or ride around in floral delivery vans for an hour or two (more on that on Wednesday when the Column comes out in Los Angeles, I’m Yours)!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand sit in the car in an outdoor parking lot for a while just to admire the sun as it sets in blazing glory over east los angeles – before driving West again and singing to suitably rousing radio stations playing stuff like This on an intensely glorious rotation.

view through the trees

darlings

we went to see friends up in the Hollywood Hills for a long moment of reflection and quietness on a sunday evening and just before we turned into the driveway we thought “let’s take a walk first”.

so we parked the car.

got out on foot (sometimes we Do think we’re the last of the walking-people walking in L.A) and took the trusty camera and swooned under orange blossom and peeked through trees.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAyou see we spent Much of yesterday (after our lovely brunch at the Apple Pan with @mamzellev) WRITING and we needed to get back into corporal realm (we get quite dizzy and in-the-Zone when we Write).

we wrote 2 x articles (we’ll post their Links here when they arrive on the interweb at Los Angeles, I’m Yours during the week) AND (almost) 3000 words of The House On Church Row.

we’re Almost Done.

a mad trip to the Seaside and the whole plot will be tied up neatly as if it’s a brown paper parcel fastened with string and given to Mr. Postman as he does his rounds of the Village of a morning.

71,098 words!

a slim(ish) volume (we prefer those).

it feels astonishing to see the world unfold like this.

may we share a few lines?

you are Most Kind.

What could she do? You couldn’t interfere with the laws of the universe. When someone was dead, they needed to stay dead. But Elyse was so full of life and longing. It had never occurred to Marion that the chains of family could keep you close to the earth, not going, not leaving, not at peace. Distracted from her piece of paper, it started to unfurl open. Both Annabelle and Kelly looked at the same time, but Marion scrunched it up, lit it and threw it into the air.

It just hung there. Smoldering but oh-so-slowly. Not burning up. Not moving. Marion sighed and exchanged glances with Elyse who cheered up slightly for a moment. It wasn’t easy being metaphysical sometimes. She reached up to the paper and flicked it with her middle finger and thumb and then closed her hand quickly around it. By the time she opened her hand again a split second later it had gone.

“Was that a magic trick?” said Annabelle, admiringly.

Marion was irritated by that remark. “I don’t do tricks,” she said, shortly and broke the circle by getting up to find a bottle of Jack Daniels in the kitchen cupboard.  By the time she returned the mood was broken. Lydia had found the bit of paper with the closing incantation and everyone’s paper had burned up, rattles had been used to break up the energy and feathers piled on top of one another in the fire.

Rather pleasantly drunk, the seven women drifted into the garden to enjoy the full moon and a surprisingly large number of twinkling stars for Hampstead. Elyse hung back and noticed Libby watching them through the fence. She knew these were her last few hours on earth and she had a pang – one of the first in her life/death – that she would not get to know her niece. Libby pressed her hands onto the fence and thought she could still make out the shimmering ghost of her aunt Elyse. She leaned her forehead on the night warmed wooden slats and wished she could get to know Elyse. She seemed like someone who would understand what it was like to be Libby.

Leaning against the trunk of the largest tree, Annabelle felt full and beautiful and sexy and glorious. She smiled beatifically at Marion who looked wryly back. It was amazing how congenial straight women were when they were tipsy.

“It’s a beautiful night,” breathed Annabelle, looking up to the top of the trees and the stars beyond.

“It certainly is,” smiled Marion. She touched the trunk of the tree with the tips of her fingers and all the twinkle lights in the garden suddenly lit up.

Diana clapped her hands. “Oh! How pretty!” Lydia crossed over to Annabelle and Marion and put her arms around them both.

“Marion, that was very thoughtful of you,” she said.

“I can be,” said Marion, “When I want to be.”

“I don’t believe you are as manipulative as you make out,” said Annabelle, flirting openly now.

“Your naivety is most seductive,” replied Marion, catching Kelly’s eye across the garden. Kelly saw her looking and thought sod it, even if the English rose is hanging around like a bad smell, I still like flirting with Marion. Marion raised an eyebrow and grinned. Kelly walked over, purposefully and then suddenly stopped. She looked at the trunk nearest Marion. There was no switch there. Kelly walked back over to the tree on the left. She touched the switch and the lights went off, very briefly. She looked around at Marion who put her fingers to her lips.

The full moon ceremony went late into the night. They drank, they talked and they danced, a little (but not to Joni Mitchell – Marion drew the line at that, despite Diana’s plaintive pleading). They talked some more and gently sunk into the dewy grass as the dawn started to break. Dead Can Dance was on the vinyl turntable, very low and insistent and gorgeous in its tonal quality.

we have a Mixed day ahead.

1. a new doctor to get an update on Our Situation after you-know-what

2. some work-related tasks

3. a swoon-y afternoon at The Library with our Requested Materials from the Special Collections (couldn’t be Happier at the prospect of quiet hush, pencils-only, notebook, white gloves, archival materials)

and then a celebration this evening of a fabulous friend’s milestone in life by candlelight which is always delicious.

*smileshappilytocamera*

oh yes.

and we’ve decided to take Personal Responsibility for the curves.

the scared bitchin’ about the you-know-what-and-subsequent-curve-emergence has Got To End.

yes, yes, it was horrid (can you believe it was TWENTY MONTHS ago now?!)

and yes, the medication is nasty (better than the original two they tried us on – synthetics have never Been Our Thing)

but we ate a lot of Cake (bagels/toast/jam/butter/cream/) over our scared feelings and Day Job stress and do-we-have-cancer-waiting and can-we-get-back-to-the-Other-Coast and will-the-Green-Card-Ever-Arrive *waiting12yearslater* (yes! it did!)

and we’d like to admit that.

sort of (like is a strong word).

so here we are – *waving* with coffee cup with non-fat milk and looking forward to those Bran Flakes.

this shall not become a diet blog (we never diet)

and there may be Cake from time to time.

but not as a regular thing.

movingswiftlyon.

because we’re Here now.

Starting Again with life.

and that’s delicious.

the 3rd book is Almost complete.

and then we need to decide what to write next.

we heard about this Clever “app-ness” called Atavist where one can Publish one’s Short Stories and add in maps and pictures and so on and so forth.

because we have a lovely short story called “Malachy’s Inn” and we’re Ever so Keen to share it in a creative way.

maybe we’ll pop that one into this little app-shop-wonderland and see if people would like to buy it.

here’s how it starts…..

The bleak road to Belfast airport was the last place on earth you would expect to find solace. But there it was, an old-fashioned inn, white-washed on the outside and a lamp burning to the right of the heavy door.

Kathleen had woken up at dawn to leave that miserable hotel, driving faster and faster until she could breathe again at the edge of the world. Away from the lonely old-fashioned room with that flocked wallpaper, strange tasting milk, burgundy threadbare carpets and bad coffee.

She had flown from New York to Ireland for a wedding. But perhaps the wedding was just an excuse to get out of her life. The wedding was beautiful but she barely recognized anyone. Everyone had children under six who ran screaming. Labradors slumped, depressed, by the grand fireplace. Fiery burning torches lit the gravel driveway where she scraped her hire car door trying to park in the near darkness by the flint wall. Driving down the gravel driveway she noticed a decadent lane of writhing couples pressed back into the yew trees, watched by a growing crowd of small boys, their eyes open wide and mouths in a little red o.

There was one really touching moment. Just as she picked up her coat, the bride appeared from behind a long red velvet drape in the anteroom leading to the house. Swaying, lost in her own bliss, she tried to place Kathleen. With a heavy heart, Kathleen realized she was no longer part of this world.

ah yes.

we’re Very Fond of this story.

and we’ve been writing and re-writing it and sending it out and now it’s time (due to the shocking lack of response) to Publish it Ourselves.

most exciting.

have a beautiful monday, darlings.

we’ll be thinking of you most warmly.

 

Annabelle gets a job (in the house on church row).

darlings

who we are in RL needs to be Up Early and driving-north for a lovely work-thing so we have no time to write (need to make her a packed lunch and some of those organic carrots chopped up in a little ziplock bag) – but we wrote yesterday – a LOT – we wrote our new column for next wednesday (previous – prior? – ones are here), and a submission for KINFOLK (crossed fingers that they like it) and 2000 (!) words for The House On Church Row (up to 60,000 words now – a Slim Volume at last – and one very fast-paced exciting chunk to complete – we Are enjoying writing this one) – then, much later on, we met with friends on a hilltop overlooking Hollywood for a 20 minute meditation at dusk – because That’s the sort of things people do Here (isn’t that just delicious and Inspirationally Isherwood?)

firstly – a floral Moment (farmers’ market find yesterday):

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and now back to our friends at The House On Church Row:

He liked taking care of Annabelle. She was so appreciative and pretty and liked to giggle and spend time watching him while he watched sports on the television. She had a thing about Ritz crackers and would eat them very slowly while sipping Earl Grey tea with milk. Their sofa was full of Ritz crumbs in those days.

As he dropped his mother off at Paddington he saw there was a late night grocery shop open at the back of the terminal. He walked around and picked up some milk and then, on a whim, some Ritz crackers. It felt good to remember what his wife liked to eat. And then he remembered that she had just had surgery on her throat and Ritz crackers might hurt. He put them back and picked up some butterscotch Angel Delight instead. Annabelle had waited up for him last night. Or so he thought – maybe she was just too excited to sleep before her first day in an actual office.

They made the Angel Delight and took it upstairs in sundae glasses to eat in bed. And then carefully and slowly he kissed his wife all over until she got tingly and started to unbutton his pajama top. Thinking about it now, on the Northern Line, about to change at Bank, he almost blushed behind his copy of The Telegraph.

Back in the kitchen, Libby tried to get details. “Where are you working?” she said. But Annabelle told them they’d be late and anyway she wanted to start this new job life slowly and would tell them more about it when she felt settled. Mark went upstairs to get his school bag and football kit and bumped into Libby on the landing.

“I’m suspicious,” said Libby.

Mark really didn’t want to have a conversation with his sister before school. She could be really prickly and he had double Chemistry and was dreading it, he could not for the life of him remember the entire Periodic Table. He smiled sweetly and pointed at his watch. They were going to be late. But Libby wasn’t letting him get away that easily.

“Did we become poor all of a sudden?” she said, worried that there wouldn’t be enough money for her to go to sixth form and then university somewhere as far as possible away from here – like Sydney, Australia.

Her brother was less prone to dramatics and more practical in his thinking. “I believe she just wanted something to do,” he said, slipping past Libby and rushing down the stairs. Libby stared after him. Why on earth would you want something to do if you didn’t have to earn any money? Her mother called up the stairs that they were going to be late. Libby walked slowly and thoughtfully down the stairs. This would require some processing. A lot was changing around here since her mother had that nervous breakdown or cancer or whatever it was that gave her the scar on her throat that no one was talking about.

Once the children had gone, Annabelle checked the clock in the hallway. It said seven forty-five. She had no idea what time a creative agency started work but it seemed as good a time to get going as any. She grabbed her navy blue wool coat, which was remarkably similar to the one she had worn at boarding school and took an umbrella from the stand. This was it. She was going-to-work. It all felt tremendous.

The morning passed really quickly. Annabelle had a small office next to Dorian’s and was shown around by Kelly who seemed a bit angry for some reason. Dorian finally showed up at eleven o’clock and stared at her for a long time. Then he decided she’d do and showed her the latest mock-ups on his computer. Annabelle was impressed – she hoped she could learn to use the computer like that.

yes.

yes.

you May have noticed there’s a scar and tumo(u)rs that slipped into this Tale.

we didn’t intend that to happen.

it. just. did.

as these things tend to do.

we’re leaving that in the book rather than sharing it online as we Do Feel we shared Rather a Lot here before – from you-know-when.

but isn’t it Exciting that Annabelle has got a job?

we loved writing that bit, most especially.