cat on a warm sun-kissed balcony and other thanksgiving Tales of Great Beauty

darlings

are you American (or residing here)?

if so.

a very merry Thanksgiving to you.

if you’re not (and so many of us in the world are indeed from Other Places and Other dreamscapes), hope your Thursday is going deliciously well, thus far.

ours?

well.

we’re sort of Celebrating Thursday (as opposed to Thanksgiving) to be honest.

not having any childhood baggage and trauma happy memories of Thanksgivings-gone-By, we really don’t know how to participate.

there were a few years when we did attempt it.

but it was Awfully strange watching people get a little tearful (too much pie was the diagnosis but perhaps a hidden trauma as yet unreleased was the reason for Indulging in the pie – who knows what comes first the pie or the pain? we digress) about Thanksgivings they have known – and we certainly fell foul of falling into Family dynamics *shudder* at one particularly memorable (and unrepeatable) meal where we were playing a role that, how do we put this, no one had given us the script for.

actually, there were three of those – different houses – alternate years.

so we gave up.

which makes Americans very nervous (they adore Thanksgiving, even the ones who hate it profess to adore it so).

oh. well, we don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving.

response = slack jaw, slightly manic eyes, unwilling to speak

but we hope you have a delicious time.

the remedy is always to be Charming here and people feel quite mollified for a while while they process (actually that should be “process”) what you’ve just Said.

the shops – we don’t go often but Trader Joes was PACKED last night and we only stopped in for milk but people were quite Crazed buying up pre-cooked caramelized onions and green beans – such a very Strange Combination – were full of people saying things like:

I’m doing the turkey.

which sounds slightly naughty.

or

we’re going to His parents this year (pauses for effect).

and you just Know there was a Massive Compromise to be made behind That statement because it comes with a pursed lips and a deep sigh.

so back to us.

*smiletocamerafive*

we’ll be heading to Friends later (after they’ve finished the Meal portion of the proceedings) because we’ve been Promised a Movie and the opportunity to look through someone’s DVD library is always Most Illuminating, darlings – up there with scanning-the-bookshelves, one of our most Favo(u)rite things to do with a raised eyebrow and a small smile on the left side of the cupid bow mouth when one spots That oh and That – most i n t e r e s t i n g.

now.

as it’s Thursday in the rest of the world we’ve done a little work.

in fact someone called From Finland this morning at 0700hours which is deeply glamorous.

then we got back to our Editor in Mexico (more on that, with links, late January, love) and also did some final edits to our piece for Good Housekeeping (oh yes, big league stuff now) for their March issue (in the UK) and then took the 2nd walk of the day (the first was at 0610 hours so we were fully Alert and sparkly for the 0700 hours call with Finland).

pictures?

you know we *did* take the camera……..scroll on.

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we’ve been sending out more cards about the book and thank you notes to people who inspire us greatly to, well, say so. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

this is a house that we walk past often and admire its chinese lanterns.

there was a sound emitting from Every house that we walked past this afternoon – banging pots and pans – most amusing – OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

see the cat?

the cat spotted us. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the last latte before Everything closed down for Thanksgiving feasts. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

bits of los angeles really do remind one of Tuscany. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or Provence in heavy summer months. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or Paris in the (very) late 17th Century. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or dusky evenings in the Loire between the wars. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

palest pink ribbons on black boxes in the shop windows of an unmentionables store. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the sort of boutique where one would purchase (or one’s lover would buy for one) under-the-evening wear to a party where this would be the long entrance up to the Chateau…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

street art with an enthusiastic glow. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and the soft feline that guards the plant shop. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe will be taking a small chinese take-out box of Citrus for our friends to enjoy and cleanse the palate post their Thanksgiving Feast.

before we go, we leave you with This:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe *wish* we had time to write a review but alas we do not so here are a few impressions: decadence thy name is Rome, sex, deceit, cardinals, saints, nightclubs, faded glories and past mistakes of the heart and body and destroyed lives, wistful, pained, late-late conversations that turn to vitriol on rooftops in Rome, fountains at dawn, dust on the soul, regret, regret, regret – and finally – what happens to writers who do not write (it’s not pretty but god is it magnificent and wrong).

perfect for the night before Thanksgiving when you think about it.

or even before a regular Thursday.

not that we’d know a Regular thursday, of course.

*shysmiletocamera*

wait!

one last link. 

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listen and weep.

sadly none of it is linked there but if you have a spare hour to find a local service near you that contains such beauteous music (perhaps after you’ve indulged in the Thanksgiving feast or a particularly sumptuous thursday supper?), you’ll thank us.

which is what we hear today is all About.

isn’t that just d i v i ne?

like these tracks from the film:









fantasies and realities – writing, dreaming and picking up the meds.

darlings

we drift between fantasy (of the movie variety) and realities (off to the Chemist in a moment to get those horrid little pills that have replaced our thyroid function – *shudder* post-surgery) and then come back to Write (always delicious) and dream some more.

bcb397defb9311e2ad9722000a9e2977_7And then people send electronic post from Abroad asking us what size we wear (thrilling! a Photo Shoot for an Article – more on that another time – of course it’s not for Us but who-we-are-in-RL but we’ll definitely tag along and tell you what it’s like) and other people from the sub-Saharan portion of the world *mysticallookoffcamera* ask about our Availability for work and then – well – it’s probably almost Time for Lunch.

hurrah!

(that wasn’t just for lunch although we are a tiny bit hungry so it was foremost in the mind as it’s been hours since we had no-sugar-added Alpen which we buy from Laurel Canyon stores because they stock it for all the British musicians renting houses nearby.)

in the meantime – we’ve been Busy:

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we wrote a nice piece (at least we think so – hope you agree) about Yolk.

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this week we also went to a delicious private screening room (Extremely Comfortable Seats) and saw a very funny (and rather twisted, actually – so be warned if you see it) British Comedy.

aren’t those British people Naughty!

but Exceedingly nice.

why yes – we did write about it.

thank you for asking.

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and now we Must concentrate.

we have a deadline for some lucrative writing work.

(*sighs* we adore saying that).

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to Pasadena to see #MadsMikkelsen (not literally) in #theHunt (which was jolly good)

darlings

we’re Mid-Writing so Must Get Back to It (because someone is paying for our time)

it’s now 11.15 AM precisely (as the Speaking Clock used to say) – so this is what would be our Mid-Morning Tea Break if we still worked on the newspaper back in England – heady days *farofflook* when the lady-in-an-overall (british sort so a dress in nylon with a zip up the front and usually small blue diamonds on a white background, not american dungarees – confusing, non?) would trundle round with the trolley (again, british sort – tea tray on stilts – not a mechanical conveyance taking you up a steep hill) and say (invariably)

cup of tea love?

oh. yes please, doreen.

and a nice Arrowroot biscuit?

don’t mind if I do.

glad to see you’re not on a diet like those girls *sniffs* on the fashion desk *nodsintheirdirection*

oh. perhaps we won’t today.

nonsense. here you go – have two.

*sighs*

(this is why we only did 6 months on the Fashion Desk and mostly wrote about Photographers instead of Collections ;-)

gosh.

we digress.

and we only have a few Moments.

where were we?

aha!

Pasadena.

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we went to see The Hunt – and it was jolly good. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the light when we emerged at 7’ish was glorious!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a blushing floral experienceOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

an antique clock (pretty sure our grandmother had this exact model – is that possible? or an English Version at any rate)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pasadena seems to be Rather Radical in its “street furniture” (yes, that’s what they call it and not just in Pasadena – generally, one does, apparently)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ah. the twilight. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and the long drive home. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and the Dennis Hopper-esque scenes from the window (when paused at a traffic light we hasten to add)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

cutting through downtownOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and admiring our Stash of old magazines and books which we found in Pasadena at Cliff’s BooksOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAah. This is a Treasure and no mistake.

we shall write more about this in due course.

what’s that you just said?

oh.

the movie?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAyes.

we did like it – very much.

and who-we-are-in-RL wrote a very deep and meaningful Review as well.

yes she does write Very Quickly.

which we must do now as well.

because we’re working on a movie (post-production – they’ve already made it).

isn’t that exciting?

which one?

we can’t possibly tell you.

sorry.

we signed all sorts of things *saidvaguely* but we’ll tell you later this year if we can.

must dash!

and not an Arrowroot biscuit in sight….

*sighs*

looks like that half a grapefruit in a white bowl on the counter is our mid-morning snack then.

yum.

*painedlook*

thank goodness there was cheddar cheese oatmeal for breakfast or we’d be very hungry right about now.

more movies #thehotflashes

darlings

just a short one today – we’re behind with Tasks…..

so we went to a screening the other day at the beautiful 1930s Laemmle Music Hall on Wilshire Boulevard (yes, the one near the Academy of Motion Pictures – do you know it?)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhat did we see?

thank you for asking…

it was called The Hot Flashes

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now, it’s only open at a Very Few Cinemas, sadly – so here’s the Trailer (if you can see this Transmission in your Territory).

oh!

wait!

looks like somebody-wrote-a-review…..

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 8.46.42 AMyes, you’re right.

we Did suggest that opening line.

To paraphrase the great Mary Poppins, if you want to deliver a serious message (such as, “When it comes to breast cancer, early detection saves lives“), try a spoonful of sugar.

you guessed, non?

*smilingwinningviatheinterweb*

it’s a lovely sweet and funny and heart-warming movie.

and we even got to meet some of the stars afterwards.

because Ms. Camryn Manheim, Ms. Daryl Hannah and Ms. Virginia Madsen were all there!

isn’t that delicious?

and when we went to speak to Ms. Virginia Madsen at the end of the screening we even managed to restrain the words on our lips which were:

we adored you in the final season of Moonlighting when you played Maddie’s cousin….

Moonlighting

because it’s considered Bad Form in Hollywood to talk about former roles when the Stars are there to Promote the current Product.

so we just talked about The Hot Flashes because we liked it, a lot, which is why we wrote a Review to say so, darlings.

and because we know that George enjoys an amusing set of keywords or “tags” as the dark-art-of-SEO-chaps call them – we added in “spandex” to the keyword/”tags” dialogue box on the Content Management System’s Dashboard at The Huffington Post when we “uploaded” our story.

such fun.

come with us for a moment to Florence, darlings

darlings

we opened our email (so Modern) this morning and almost fell back onto the plump white cotton pillows as the satin robe fell off the edge of the bed (bear with us) and the SOUND of BELLS from FLORENCE rang out in the early morning…..

courtesy of the glorious Mr. Sophisticate (still anonymous but we hope against hope to persuade him into chronicling his Life and Travels via a “blog” at some point) – here they are:

aren’t they just the most gorgeous thing you ever heard?

shall we stay in Italy for the briefest of moments?

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Charlotte Bartlett: In my small way I am a woman of the world. And I know where things can lead to.

Room_with_a_View

“It is fate that I am here,’ George persisted, ‘but you can call it Italy if it makes you less unhappy.”
― E.M. ForsterA Room with a View

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“Then she lay on her back and gazed at the cloudless sky. Mr. Beebe, whose opinion of her rose daily, whispered to his niece that that was the proper way to behave if any little thing went wrong.”
― E.M. ForsterA Room with a View

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George Emerson: My father says there is only one perfect view, and that’s the view of the sky over our heads.

Cecil Vyse: I expect your father has been reading Dante.

dearest Sophisticate – thank you thank you.

more glorious travels ahead please.

Unfinished Song, the beautiful gardens @NHMLA and writing in a car park in culver city

darlings

do you recall when we went to visit Richard at the Natural History Museum gardens?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwell who-we-are-in-RL wrote a piece for the lovely Los Angeles, I’m Yours which just went live a few hours ago (not a Column – this was more of a deliciously expanded News Piece – which in Newspaper speak used to be called NIB – news in brief – but we – well – it’s Not Brief, put it that way but it is News-y)

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the rest of our day?

oh it was lovely.

plenty of blue skies and palm trees and feeling Uplifted

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and then we went to see Unfinished Song (which is called Song for Marion outside the USA – not sure why the Americans wanted to be all metaphysical about it – they usually like a nice direct title – maybe Marion, the name, didn’t “test well”, love)

if you can see this transmission in your territory it’s very affecting (not affected – affecting – as in Engendering Feelings – yes – we W E P T in the cinema, in a very good way).

and may we say how beautiful Mr. Terence Stamp still looks? – his performance is wondrous. truly.

1357206878_song7 UnfinishedSong-tease

why yes – we Did write about it more Fully – for the Huffington Post in fact –

isn’t life delicious?

especially on days that look like this………… *sighs*

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how was YOUR monday?

oh.

Is Mercury Still Retrograde?

that explains a Lot.

*sympatheticLook*

we have an ISBN number…and an artistic crush on Mr. Neil Jordan

darlings

we are “Mid-Edit” with The Publisher of the forthcoming (can February 2014 be counted as forthcoming? or far off? so hard to tell in this fast-paced-interweb-world) BOOK and it’s a thrilling back and forth conversation with learned copy editors and design chiefs – a whirl of loveliness about “what did you mean here?” and “can you expand?” and “Andrew McCarthy wasn’t in About Last Night” (we got our Movies mixed up in the List section of books-we-read and movies-we-watched while on medical leave!)

it’s delicious.

but the Most Glorious moment happened when we went through all the bumpf that that they use to Make A Book – like copyright line and so on.

we stopped dead in our tracks with our fingers poised over the keyboard.

there. it. was.

our very FIRST ISBN NUMBER.

*shivers*

we must return to our Notes but we just wanted to visit you Here and leave a few pictures from yesterday.

*wavingfromlosangeles* (we’re lying back on the vast pillow-y-pillows as it feels very Lady Author to edit chez one’s boudoir ;-)

a few notes between pictures and then we Really must Dash…….

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yes, the sky turned pink the other evening – like a night in a small Tuscan village. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we’ve been sleeping badly as it’s Just So Hot at night (not hot flashes – as yet – although those will be exciting when they arrive but it was 90 degrees whatever that is in old money last night) – the air conditioning unit is Very Loud so we avoid it – but needs must – hot milk with a cinnamon stick is a good pre-sleep-soother. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as is a satin throw and soft white cotton sheets and something small and sprigged in the flower department on a pillowcase, darlings. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

in MALIBU yesterday for an appointment with destiny.

beautiful pink roses. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and cool waters. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and lamps as if from a carriage house in a grand country Pile In Sussex. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

softly blowing lavender in the side verges along the roadside. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and Bougainvillea everywhere! 

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and now to our newest passion.

neil jordan.

we watched Breakfast on Pluto – how had we MISSED THIS BEFORE?

it was unbelievable – joyful, painful, glorious and oh-so-wickedly-funny and then heart-breaking……

here’s the trailer (hope you can see it in NZ or do ask Mr. Google for a local version!)

so we decided we needed to learn more about Mr. Jordan’s work (yes, yes, we had heard of him – The Crying Game was ELECTRIFYING when we first sat in that darkened cinema in brighton and wept at the screen – but we didn’t know whether we’d read his novels……..we’ve read a Lot as you know so sometimes we forget….)

so we went to a bookshop and there it was – a copy of Neil Jordan.

……………………..SIGNED.

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it’s a sign.

we’ve decided we need to work on his next film.

so we’re going to Write To Him.

of course we’ll let you know, love.

we tell you everything.

(actually that’s not True – we leave a Lot Out – but the basic Plot is here).

then we drove up to Hollywoodland to meet with Miss Jules Berlin as it was her last day in Los Angeles *sighs* and brought her a copy of Mr. Raymond Chandler‘s quotes.

some of the quotes were So Good that we had to photograph them in our car before we meet up with Julia.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand there you have it.

we are in possession of our first ISBN number.

a letter is forming in our head to write to Mr. Neil Jordan because we want to work for him.

and Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles is still very much extant.

delicious.

and sort of shivery at the same time.

happy monday, btw (as the young people say).

how’s it going so far?

*peeringthroughtheinterweb*

nice hat.

new?

have you been working out?

shoulder pads?

they’re back?

gosh.

a philosophy of life by diego (or diego and his audition tape for @Bruce_Weber)

so Diego called us (of course, we speak “dog”, darlings, we grew up in England) and said:

“Richard just showed me ‘A Letter To True’ made by that nice photographer who wears the bandana”

Bruce Weber?”

“That’s the one.”

“Did you enjoy it?”

“Very much – in fact I’d like you to shoot an audition tape for me so I can be in his next movie.”

“Oh, absolutely – delighted to do so.”

“One more thing…..”

“Yes, Diego?”

“He shoots a lot in black and white and it’s kinda arty and has a strong message, can you do that?”

*lookstocamera*

“Oh, yes. With your looks and our talent, we can do an excellent audition tape for Mr. Weber, darling Diego.”

“great – Richard and I will see you on Sunday – we’ll put the coffee on.”

beautiful.

so here’s what we did….

 

after the shoot we let diego look through the Rushes and he turned to us and said, with a small almost winsome smile –

“I like it.”

Relief.

 

blonde curls, bubbles and rose petals.

darlings

a sweet little photographic shoot this morning with kate & millie

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– lots of smiling and blowing bubbles OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and tossing-curls and giggling.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and winsomely examining roses-in-bloomOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and having a soft, quiet moment together.

isn’t life delicious?

you know we *did* take our motion-camera there too.

*smiling*

you would?

most kind!

doesn’t it feel all 1930s with floppy straw hats and sunbeams-on-eyelashes and cake-for-tea?

we thought so.

gosh. this just in – our take on #WorldWarZ and Mr. Brad Pitt @HuffingtonPost

darlings

this just in – we saw World War Z last night and when we got back who-we-are-in-RL wrote up a little review for our mutual friend Arianna and it just went Live (isn’t that delicious?

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did you see the film?

what did you think?

you’re right – we didn’t mention the Zombies.

we thought it best not to.