entering into the deep silence with a tiny bit of apprehension.


we have RETURNED from our new year’s Contemplatives Retreat!

it’s not for Everyone (and as we pulled up the driveway and saw the Others arriving in their ecologically-appropriate cars with snappy slogans on bumper stickers we Had to wonder if it was for Us, to be perfectly Honest)

“The call to the creative life is a call to dignity, to a life of vulnerability and adventure and the call to a life that exquisite excitement and indeed ecstasy will often visit.”
― John O’Donohue

but, you know, it was delicious.

we Entered the Deep silence (as one of our spirit-filled-teachers at the Retreat sonorously urged us to do post-banging of a small Gong) to say goodbye to the last day of 2013 and great the fresh new 2014-ness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthere was lots of Walking, eating nutritious meals, early to bed, early to rise and all that good stuff, lectures, a LOT of meditation (we’ve never been so contemplative for so long) and some bonhomie before chapel (we skipped out of that bit – it was Late and there’s only so much bonhomie that one knows how to do while wearing a name tag under one’s Pashmina).

“The call to the creative life is a call to dignity, to a life of vulnerability and adventure and the call to a life that exquisite excitement and indeed ecstasy will often visit.”
― John O’Donohue


we paid a Supplement for a single room because we used to do “dorms” but our memories of schooldays sadly faded with the reality of No Trunks, Matron or lights out or the rustle of a mint-in-a-wrapper passed surreptitiously to the next bunk.

quiet and rustic – in the middle of a grove of ancient live oaks.

we wrote for a while and then tried to sleep.

“The world rests in the night.”
― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom


but what Nobody tells you about deep contemplation and Quiet and rest and Silence and HOURS of Meditation is that one becomes so still, so completely emptied Out of the quotidian worries and distractions that – well – *nervouslookoffcamera* – It is a Bit Scary, to be honest.

there’s a reason why all those distractions exist, you see.

“May all that is unlived in you blossom into a future graced with love.”
― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom


“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
― John O’DonohueTo Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

all we can say is This:


we have returned from the Contemplatives Retreat at a (former) convent nestled in the live oaks of california – speak softly ;)


tea in NZ while registering scripts in Los Angeles #veryModern



while we slept – due to the Magical Nature of the Interweb we took tea with the charming Gallivanta in New Zealand while managing to Get Ready for what’s next (whatever that is – that’s the most delicious thing about What’s Next – it could well be Anything, really).

it might be CHINA.

(we’ve had an introduction to a conference that might just want who-we-are-in-RL to talk about Stuff-we-have-Learned and the book, of course, which would be splendid and probably sell a few copies at least).

or Helsinki. Or even Stockholm.

(we’re on some shortlists for digital events in 2014 and sort of waiting-by-the-phone in a curious-to-see-what-transpires sort of a way).

in the meantime, there’s Consulting Calls.


and sending out nice mash notes.

while “putting it out there” (as the Americans call wishing-and-hoping) that we’re ready for an Agent on this Coast (we adore our Agent on The Other Coast but she does books and we’ve also written several screenplays).

which we needed to Register (again – we had before but that was a different address and these things Lapse, apparently).


so that was jolly exciting.

we (re) Registered 4 screenplays this morning (practically before dawn) and so now we’re ready.

because we’ve learned that Not Being Ready is another word (actually 3) for sabotage.

so – basically – we’ve done our bit – now it’s time.

for the phone to ring.

and because we never actually wait by-the-phone, we booked a silent retreat for new year’s eve.

silentretreatthis is where we’ll be to say goodbye 2013 and hola 2014 (if we decide on a moment of spanish, which would be appropriate with the surrounding architecture themes now we come to think of it).

have you made plans?

do. tell.


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.

418485-L viewer-1 viewer-1 viewer-2 viewer

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

viewer viewer-4



oh. wait.


Nancy needs the last word.

viewer-1 viewer-3


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!