overcast like an out-of-season bank holiday weekend at an english resort town.

darlings

tis very strange and grey/gray/overcast outside the window – it doesn’t look like los angeles at All – more like an out-of-season bank holiday weekend at an english resort town.

*lookstocamera*

oh.

wait.

all the bank holidays are In Season, right?

but still terrible weather if we recall rightly.

back to the simile and metaphor and meta-ness.

so today has got us in mind of a day inside a (3 star) hotel at a english coastal town, hands up against the window (“take your grubby hands off the window and go and wash up”) nose pressed to the glass, trying to find the beach through the raindrops and wondering if it’ll clear up long enough to build a sandcastle and maybe eat an ice-cream (rum and raisin in those days or a 99 with a flake from the vans with the tinkling italian music).

perhaps it’s because The Persephone Biannually arrived in the post yesterday.

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we devoured it after breakfast (bran flakes, 1 per cent milk, coffee – 2 x cups).

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gosh!

well.

we stopped in our tracks Instantly upon reading this.

you see at the age of Eleven we went to school in eastbourne (although we re-named it Charstleymead in our novel called “Emerald”*) and spent Many Hours lingering in Old Town (waiting for the bus which went along the coast road – in the times when we weren’t boarding – we only got to stay when we were Doing A Play, sadly.)

will you indulge us?

She had no idea she still believed in magic. As if expecting the stone to transport her back, as if by closing her eyes and wishing it so hard that her heart felt it might break again, she could wake up in the Upper IV dormitory upstairs, tucked in tightly by matron under thick white cotton sheets. A faint smell of lavender from the linen water used to smooth out the pillowcases at the local laundry service. The casement windows open to the elements, birds singing outside and the clatter of kitchen staff frying sausages and making endless rounds of buttered toast.

But it was not possible. She knew that – even if she wished and wished and wished so hard. There was no way of returning. She whimpered in fright at the thought of returning to London, to her horrible cold life in that terrifying building.

Earlier that day, on her way to interview the actor, the rest of Charstleymead had looked the same. The beach still had pebbles, not sand. The same line of striped blue and white deckchairs sat waiting on the promenade, their linen blown out by the sea breezes. The Devonshire Park Theatre was doing its umpteenth revival of Noel Coward’s Private Lives and the old art gallery still showed watercolors by talented local painters of the surrounding chalk cliffs and Sussex Downs. Charstleymead was the same but it had no place for Emerald.

Suddenly she saw someone sitting on the wall over by the Lawrence College playing field. Emerald wanted to run across the old grass lawn now worn in places and in need of fertilizer and love. Automatically, the bit of her that was still Emma ran down through the punishment list:

1. A nuisance mark for using the wrong entrance.

2. An untidiness mark for having hands covered in rust from the gates and not having brushed her hair for at least three days.

3. An order mark – if not two – for being caught smoking.

4. And definitely disapproval for not being a good sport and loyal Old Girl who showed up to support Harcourt Hall over the past decade.

There was a girl, about fourteen, she guessed, scuffing the backs of her school shoes by hitting them on the other side of the wall, rhythmically, angrily – and, noted Emerald with a wry grin – smoking.

*no update yet From New York City on the reading of Emerald (our own literary agent – such a lovely phrase – said it was “poignant” and “very good” and has passed it on to another to “co-read” as the Other Agent is a Special YA – young adult – Agent – still waiting with crossed fingers – only metaphorically so or we couldn’t finish the newest novel, of course).

talking of writing we always find it Difficult With Jet Lag – so we need to nap a little more and Build up our strength before we get-back-to-it. 
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luckily we have lavender spray from The National Trust (doff cap) from William (darling – a Lot of Hairy Chests on that tumblr we note ;-) to put us in the English bank holiday mood.

because we really Miss Annabelle and Marion and Lydia and Charlotte and Simon (he’s making tea in the kitchen next door and wondering if Marion really is a Witch just as the BBC camera crew have left).

lots happening.

we hope they wait for us to get plenty of rest so we can come and watch and write-it-all-down.

are you having a delicious sunday?

what are you Up To?

do. tell.

we love to hear your news.

croquet, cricket and cracked hearts #cheerfulWeatherForTheWedding

darlings

an English treat.

cheerful weather for the wedding

Unknown-3

one of those Terribly Clever movies (brilliant, tersely, elegantly) portraying the extraordinary capacity of the English to keep Absolutely Everything Bottled Up until everyone has had a large amount of gin and there’s a family occasion and a Panic (but no one Mentions it) and suddenly All the secrets (from five generations back, those in the Portraits glowering down from the walls) come Pouring out and a small boy usually sets off something incendiary.  Unknown-1

but there’s also Cricket (and boaters and boats and oars and picnics and kissing under leafy branches). Unknown-4

general bucolic and Byron-esque behavio(u)r that is Always there, just beneath the surface.

especially when one has Come Back from Abroad (and thus seen how those with deeper richer blood and more sustaining natures manage to get through life without an ulcer). Unknown-2

yes! Lady Mary’s mummy is in it. (but she’s not an American in this one). Unknown

and the Whole Thing is based on a simply splendid book from Julia (sister of Lytton). Unknown-5

all in all, a lovely-looking movie with raging passions underneath and keeps one on the Edge of one’s seat waiting for the first English person to blow up and blow everything sky high.*

*but only after luncheon.

(naturally).

highly recommended.

but it’s no Downton Abbey, we warn you.

less warm milk-with-cocoa and more a spiked punch that knocks out the Curate and he is found poisoned on the cold stone floor of the scullery sort of a concoction, if you know what we mean (and if you’re a regular here, you probably Do.)

Perfectly persephone.

A delicious morning with a cup of coffee, a half of grapefruit and the new fresh copy of the Persephone Biannual from Persephone Books

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Doesn’t Everyone cut out the Books they’re thinking of Purchasing?

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Here’s our latest moleskine.

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No. 132!