names from the Past.

well, darlings

we have been Very remiss this week at updating our digital-diary (this one, we don’t keep another one – not digitally, anyway).

and as we drove home from consulting this morning over There *pointsvaguelytowardsthevalley* we came back via Coldwater Canyon (because the lovely people at the Library said they had More Books Waiting for us) and had the oddest Sensation.

it was as if we were suddenly thrown forward (metaphorically, not Literally, thank goodness, as we were in the process of operating an automobile) in TIME (yes, it was s t r a n g e and m y s t e r i o u s – but that sort of thing happens now and Then).

the moment only lasted, well, a Moment.

but it was profound.

we just had this overwhelming sense of peace.

not sure how far forward we had gone (and there wasn’t time to check the Outfit to see if we were indeed Of The Future in garment choices).

the general feeling was one of “everything is perfectly as it should be”.

now we *might* have been reading too-many-books recently (and many of those are of a Science Fiction Nature due to the current commission about technology/digital which required Research into What People Thought The Future Would Be Like) and watching movies of a similar nature (for exactly the same reason – Such fun).

or maybe that’s what happens in L.A

it does appear to exist on a few fault lines *saidnervouslytocamera* (with reason, as it happens – editing this from the Future) so it’s likely to be a different sort of place to live than one that is built on bedrock (does that come with a comforter and bolster pillows or just european square ones?)

we’ve been Back in Los Angeles for 239 days now.

isn’t that astonishing?

do you remember the Day we Returned? If not – here’s the link (we did the search query for you).

such a lot has happened in 239 days. and nights.

a lot of sunrises.

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many naps.
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a vast amount of Reading. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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a tremendous amount of dreaming. 
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and wistful thought. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

some re-shoots for the Book as it slips (elegantly) into Final Layout Stage

we HAVE enjoyed this process working with our Publisher in Manhattan (such a delicious phrase) on the Manuscript (although it wasn’t written by hand – at least not the majority of it – but typed on a Macintosh-to-go) and captioning and selecting new pictures and enjoying the Designer (for there are Two – cover design and interior design – or do we mean internal design – gosh, that doesn’t sound right – you know – the pages in the middle of the book) and Proofing and seeing the galley *innersqueal*.

perhaps tomorrow – or the day after (when we’ve delivered the First Draft of a New Commission to our Editors in Mexico City) – we’ll show you a couple of pages.

it’s all terribly exciting.

b8d5cc581bb011e3b5fc22000ab5a7de_7before we go there is just One thing that we’d like to tell you.

although we are hesitant to do so.

without going into a long story (because we don’t know much of the story at all) – – – – this week we found out the names of our great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother.

and it sort of shook us.

you see we don’t know very much about the lineage of who-we-are-in-RL – secrets, early deaths, the War, emigration/immigration, silence, pain – – these are the elements that make families become just a collection of individuals thrown to the Four Winds, struggling (sometimes) to make it out there or relieved to have nothing to hold them to ancient traditions that might stifle one’s own Path…….

anyway.

sarah jane summerson & elizabeth bourcier

names.

of. real. people.

whose foibles and speech patterns and freckles-on-the-nose and long lashes and a tendency to get plump if one doesn’t exercise and a love of music (did they both play the piano? sing?) and Reading and walks on rainy days without taking-an-umbrella we may well have Inherited.

or not.

one thing we do know.

they never Published.

we wish they had.

sensualist gourmands: nigel slater, sybille bedford, rowley leigh and elizabeth david

….for those of you who didn’t grow up in england, here are a few of team gloria’s most loved food writers that you might (or might not) have heard of:

1. Nigel Slater is a glorious sensualist (Nigel writes for The Guardian and its sister Sunday newspaper in England, The Observer)

here’s an example of his richly evocative prose:

Rhubarb, stewed with brown sugar, maple syrup or honey, is an uplifting start to the day. The clear, piercing juices glow in the breakfast bowl on a grey February morning. A winter wake-up call if ever there was one.

sexy, right? we think so.

2. Nigel’s book – Toast – was made into a most excellent programme on the BBC (the trailer is here)

3. Toast is also being screened at select places in the USA (if you’re in NYC, the tickets should go on sale soon for the Walter Reade Theatre at the Lincoln Center for next Saturday as part of the From Britain with Love series)

4. Sybille Bedford (whenever I talk about Sanary Sur Mer, it is in appreciation of Sybille) wrote exquisitely about food in all of her novels, but most particularly in her collection of journalism for Vogue, Esquire and Encounter magazine, Pleasures and Landscapes – here’s a taste:

A back room attached to a kitchen, bare communal tables, benches, cool scowls for welcome, crowded to overflowing, but no queue. No diamonds, no foreigners, no Giuliettas. The customers: Florentine aristocracy and workmen with a sprinkling of professional men. Good bread, olive oil, bowls of grated cheese, fresh-cut lemons…..

I wish I could have driven a little European car, with Sybille, between the wars and eaten at little places like this as we meandered our way to Portofinio…

5. Rowley Leigh is another fine chef and columnist – this link might not work because of the paywall thingy so just in case – here’s a tiny excerpt for your edification

A hundred years ago, the Sussex Pond pudding was considered a favourite with children. I am not so sure it would be today, although I urge you to give it a go and find out. There is something quite grown-up about the marmalade-like flavour of the pudding: there is the anticipated sourness from the juice with an additional bitter quality imparted by the lemon’s skin (choosing a thin-skinned lemon will help to reduce this if desired). These traits are in no small measure offset by the sugar, not to mention the considerable density of the suet crust, but those enjoying the pudding will benefit from a long walk while it steams happily on the back of the stove. The reward will not be just in an extremely indulgent pudding but in a taste of history, too.

Rowley Leigh is the chef at Le Café Anglais

6. And then the queen of them all – Elizabeth David – if you’re not already a devotee, we suggest starting with A Book of Mediterranean Food (we have a Penguin edition from 1955 which made its way to Park Avenue, NY from England and the former owner typed up a conversion table and sellotaped/scotch-taped it into the book – wonderful).