roses, books, @2paperflowers and a train not taken.

darlings

firstly a mention for your aural/visual and imagination’s delight – may we present two very talented singer-songwriter-ballad-delivery-muses

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and then a gift (exchange) from Miss Vickie Lester given at Tea yesterday.

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signed copy – SIGNED COPY! of #TwiceOverLightly that we wrote so Extensively about (and from) during our last few months before Leaving Manhattan (not to be confused with that film by Mr. Nicolas Cage about *sad_look* Vegas – a very different sort of taking one’s leave from a city Indeed)

and then – today – we *almost* caught a Train.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbecause we saw one – on the way. 
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then got Rather distracted by a rose garden (sort of) nearby (if one took a detour through the Park en route to meet someone – if one wasn’t actually in the Wrong Bloody Place – and had to rush back to pick up the car – again – NOT taking a Train So Tempted as we were – and then drive another few miles south to the Correct Location). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

but the roses were lovely.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand Trains are Awfully Tempting.

especially because they remind one of Mr. Brian Patten’s Poems from the (early) 1960s. 

And later he caught a bus and she a train
And all there was between them then
was rain.

or perhaps they remind You of stanzas by Mr. Betjeman and his contemporaries?

“The train at Pershore station was waiting that Sunday night
Gas light on the platform, in my carriage electric light,
Gas light on frosty evergreens, electric on Empire wood……..

ah yes.

trains and poems and roses and songwriters……

perfect for a Tuesday.

or any day, really.

non?

 

hello spring! words by e e cummings, music by mozart and flowers lovingly captured by teamgloria

darlings

it’s spring!

firstly some music!

https://soundcloud.com/xavier-de-maistre/w-a-mozart-concerto-for-flute

and now some poetry – intermingled with flowers that we took yesterday on a walk with who-we-are-in-RL for her birthday.

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Spring is like a perhaps hand 
(which comes carefully 
out of Nowhere)arranging 
a window,into which people look(while 
people stare
arranging and changing placing 
carefully there a strange 
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

e.e. cummings

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAO Sweet Spontaneous

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked

thee
,has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy

beauty       .how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
(but
true

to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover

thou answerest

them only with

spring)

e. e. cummings

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbirthdays are getting easier and easier.

they used to be (almost) unbearably painful days for reasons we cannot divulge but which had (occasionally) nothing to do with us. the passing of time can be (if one lets it) be pregnant with regret or awful deeds OR – and here’s where we return to the sunny channel once again – they can be a deep but quite lovely Sigh about Everything that’s happened and what-is-about-to-happen-next and gosh-did-that-really-happen and did we get back to LosAngelesAgain (yes!), is who-we-are-in-RL now An Author (hurrah!)

in the meantime, there’s always mr. Mozart to wave us into a springtime of deliciousness…..

https://soundcloud.com/ray-chen-violin/w-a-mozart-concerto-for-violin

isn’t Monday always filled to the brim with potential?

we. think. so.

do you?

quotes, poems and playlists entwined amongst moments of reverie over vision board creation on a dark winter’s night.

darlings

a few choice moments for you from our grazing-of-popular (and some most classical) Culture.

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life.”
Somerset Maugham.

 

 

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar.

some music to do the washing up to and plan a long Voyage to France (yes, the accordions said thus)

 

Then is it scentless, weightless, strengthless, wholly
Untruthful? Try whispering it slowly.
No, it means you. Or, since you’re past and gone,
It means what we feel now about you then:
How beautiful you were, and near, and young….
– Philip Larkin

 

 

just in case you need to wake up and get in the car and d r i v e into the morning (as opposed to slip into a warm bubble bath fragrant with lavender) – here’s a good mix (we’re Loving this 8tracks site – it appears to be full of 20 somethings filled with angst and Vinyl and homework-to-do and fantasy television evenings with friends sharing beautiful playlists with each other across continents and other worlds.)

 

need a giggle?

look No Further!

and now let’s w i n d down c o m p l e t e l y.

pull that blanket closer and gaze into the tea light flame on the mantlepiece.

ready?

e x h a l e

and we made a tiny satin-covered vision board because we just wrote about doing so for Good Housekeeping (the British one) for their March Issue *shiverswithdelight* and wanted to have a few up-to-date shots to send The Picture Editor (who is very nice).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthis is the back if you hadn’t guessed – do you recognize those pins?

we bought them the day George took us to the flower mart. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

did you spot the oil burner?

delicious fragrance of lavender oil throughout the apartment here at teamgloria towers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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and here’s the finished piece!

yes.

it’s tiny.

and there’s a lot of bejewelledness. 
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which goes very well with the early morning sunrises…..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and this was the sky over Beverly Hills as we drove back from meeting friends for coffee by the beach – Santa flying between the buildings.

how very los angeles.

in a really Very good way.

poetry fragments from abroad and the first REVIEW is in @goodreads!

darlings

we just have to share some poetry fragments that we were sent from Abroad in the thankfully not-too-early hours of this morning.

you’ll notice by the intriguing Author’s Name that this is someone who wishes to remain if not anonymous (and yet bold and brave) – as his picture – or IS that His picture? *curiouslooktocamera* (we know, but we’re not saying) – is There but slightly obscured (isn’t that always the most delicious way to have a portrait done?)

anyway.

we digress.

read on.

it’s delicious.

Screenshots_2013-11-25-06-17-13 Screenshots_2013-11-25-06-17-55 Screenshots_2013-11-25-06-18-53 Screenshots_2013-11-25-06-19-27

 

lovely.

we adore having friends with a yearning soul and a poetic spirit.

and now to this-just-in!

our FIRST (PREVIEW) REVIEW!

review

Tickled Pink doesn’t even begin to cover this delicious feeling.

now all we have to do is persuade Mr. Goodreads that we are who-we-are-in-RL and get Her Name linked to ours (because she’s impossibly busy consulting now and has no time to stack the virtual Bookshelves over at Goodreads so we just did it – rather hastily – but no less lovingly).

are you there?

do join us at Goodreads – we need a few suggestions for the shelves (interior decorating is always fun when it’s free, virtual and contains books).

 

goodnight mr. seamus heaney

darlings

we just turned on the digital device to catch up with the latest from BBC Radio 4 and heard of the passing of Mr. Seamus Heaney. 

oh.

*pauses*

here’s the radio broadcast if you can hear this transmission in your Territory.

and a Fine Tribute of the man in the Irish Times here. 

may we share a few pictures from yesterday and today interspersed with words from the great, now late, Poet?

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From The Frontier Of Writing

The tightness and the nilness round that space
when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect
its make and number and, as one bends his face

towards your window, you catch sight of more
on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent
down cradled guns that hold you under cover

and everything is pure interrogation
until a rifle motions and you move
with guarded unconcerned acceleration—

a little emptier, a little spent
as always by that quiver in the self,
subjugated, yes, and obedient.

So you drive on to the frontier of writing
where it happens again. The guns on tripods;
the sergeant with his on-off mike repeating

data about you, waiting for the squawk
of clearance; the marksman training down
out of the sun upon you like a hawk.

And suddenly you’re through, arraigned yet freed,
as if you’d passed from behind a waterfall
on the black current of a tarmac road

past armor-plated vehicles, out between
the posted soldiers flowing and receding
like tree shadows into the polished windscreen.

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A comet that was lost
Should be visible at sunset,
Those million tons of light
Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,

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Sunlight

“Now she dusts the board

with a goose’s wing,

now sits, broad-lapped,

with whitened nails

and measling shins:

here is a space

again, the scone rising

to the tick of two clocks.”

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Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

goodnight, sweet man.

now to more prosaic (forgive us) Thoughts:

if there Is an Afterlife *shivers* – do they have a special cloistered 16th century former monastery (perhaps one of those taken away by naughty Henry VIII) where the Poets go?

and if they do have this place of dwelling for them to continue to inspire and dream while sitting on the corner of a stone seat, do they watch out for Keats and Yeats from the corner of their eye and wait to be invited into the special turret room at the top where you can see Elysium?

and does Sappho pick fights with stevie smith who retorts with a sharp “Wait until the Poet Laureate gets here, madam!”?

makes one want to write a Poem just to see if one might get access even if it’s just for Exeat from wherever they send Us………

cue: *wistfullooktocamera*

poems chosen by P. L. Travers, photographs by teamgloria

darlings

while “winding down” (makes us sound like a Clock – *ironiclooktocamera*) this evening we listened to the Radio from 1977 (so Clever, these digital devices all connected to the interweb).

P. L. Travers (Pamela, as we like to call her) regaled us with her stories of magic and Mary Poppins and the Celtic Twilight and life growing up in Australia many moons ago.

and in a surprising twist (not that Surprising when one of course considers the Source) – she chose not Music (as is usual in the programme – and we use the British spelling advisedly) but POEMS.

how glorious.

and so we thought we’d list some of them here for you – together with a few photographs of our own which are no way related (as far as we know but with P.L. Travers would wouldn’t be surprised – and she did live in America for a while so perhaps she trod these paths too….)

Los Angeles Times: April 25th, 1996 
Travers often said her famous character sought her out.

In a 1970 speech at Scripps College in Claremont when she was a writer-in-residence, she said she “happened to be there at the moment [Poppins appeared] in order to take it down.”

Travers was also writer-in-residence at Radcliffe College from 1965-66 and at Smith College in 1966.

She was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1977.

Travers, who never married, lived in London’s Chelsea district, where she prided herself on her rose garden, complete with the yellow Mary Poppins and the crimson Pamela Travers roses.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

home

T S Eliot 
Little Gidding

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

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Cymbeline by William Shakespeare

“Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

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Chose Something Like A Star – Robert Frost

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

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“This is our country, nowhere else and we shall not be outcast on the world.” John Hewitt, The Outcast

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and this is a photograph we feel sure P. L. Travers would have enjoyed – we turned round a corner (in reality, not metaphorically, but we know it’s hard to tell Here) and saw this man trimming a topiary! how delicious!

we were going to say Only In Los Angeles but actually topiary is terribly British but perhaps not that many giraffes at Chatsworth*.

what’s that?

you’d like a giraffe topiary in Your garden?

you have a garden?

why have you not sent us pictures (links please!) – we adore a garden (sadly we don’t have one – but there is a swimming pool and plenty of succulents-in-pots so we are not lacking in anyway)

back to You *winningsmile*

here’s where to buy a giraffe topiary frame of your very own.

*actually we must not slander Chatsworththe Duchess had a Christmas festive topiary Educational experience for the Public back in 2011

Table centre and topiary tree 2 and 5 December
Design a festive table centre with a nostalgic Victorian theme using elegant candles, berries, evergreens, cones, nuts and spices. This workshop also looks at designing a spiced topiary tree with cones, cinnamon, gilded nuts, fragrant Norwegian blue spruce and wonderful preserved fruits.

one last photograph from today –

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAah yes.

*sighs*

to live somewhere like that.

but in its natural habitat – in the south of France (this is a house in beverly hills which is contrasted with the house next door that looks like something from the Rule of the Medici family and the one over the road hails distinctly – but on a whole other scale – from Somewhere in the Shires of England).

but there again – we’d be happy anywhere.

that’s the point, right?

*calmBuddhaPose*

btw (as the Young People say) did you know there’s a new Film about P. L. Travers at the cinema soon?

guess who’s playing the charming yet feckless Father-of-P.L.-Travers drowning in the celtic twilight poetry of his own twisted glorious imagination?

who else?

poems by mr. lawrence durrell and sir. charles johnston with pictures by teamgloria.

darlings

the Oxford Book of Travel Verse (thank you Los Angeles Library Request Materials Service) was a hodge podge of strange (and sometimes pretty xenophobic but alas those were the days, my friends) bon-mots-from-abroad but this one tickled us no end….

Then Petra flashed by in a wink
It looked like Eaton Square – but pink

Sir Charles Johnston

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now Mr. Clive James has written a deeply interesting Review of Sir Charles (may we just call him Charles? or “Chuck?” as one of the Masters at school would say in an effort to be dry about their exasperation regarding the American culture creeping in on English soil).

After the war there were various other appointments before he took up his post in Australia. Clearly the accent has always been on uncomplaining service. Nor do the poems in any way question the idea of dutiful sacrifice: on the contrary, they underline it. Trying to identify that strangely identifiable voice, you finally recognise it as the voice of someone who has not talked before, but who has been so amply described that you think you know him. Johnston is the sort of man who has been written about under so many names that when he writes something himself he sounds like a legend come to life. He is the faithful servant of Empire, who now emerges, unexpected but entirely familiar, as its last poet.

_ Clive James

isn’t that a splendid allusion? The Last Poet of the British Empire! *cuesomethingceremonial*

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and here’s one from brother-of-Gerald – actually a quick quote from Gerald First if you will indulge us:

“Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colorful as a child’s transfer and with the same tinge of unreality.”
― Gerald DurrellMy Family and Other Animals

and just to set the scene – here is a snapshot of Lawrence, the elder brother, then about 23 years old:

“At length the Turk turned to Larry:

‘You write, I believe?’ he said with complete lack of interest.

Larry’s eyes glittered. Mother, seeing the danger signs, rushed in quickly before he could reply.

‘Yes, yes’ she smiled, ‘he writes away, day after day. Always tapping at the typewriter’

and one more!

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“Why keep in touch with them? That’s what I want to know,’ asked Larry despairingly. ‘What satisfaction does it give you? They’re all either fossilized or mental.’
‘Indeed, they’re not mental,’ said Mother indignantly.
‘Nonsense, Mother… Look at Aunt Bertha, keeping flocks of imaginary cats… and there’s Great-Uncle Patrick, who wanders about nude and tells complete strangers how he killed whales with a penknife…They’re all bats.”
― Gerald DurrellMy Family and Other Animals

and now to the POEM by Mr. Lawrence “Larry” Durrell

Owed to America

America     America
I see your giant image stir
O land of milk and bunny
Where the blue Algonquin flows
Where the scrapers scrape the ceiling
With that dizzy topless feeling
And everything that simply has to, goes!

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Land of Doubleday and Dutton
Huge club sandwiches of mutton
More zip-fastener than button
Where the blue Algonquin flows
Home of musical and mayhem
Robert Frost and Billy Graham
Where you drain their brains but pay ’em
Then with dry Martinis slay ’em
Everyone that drinks ’em knows.

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America    America
Terra un peu hysteria
For me as yet incognita
I see your giant image stir
Here no waffle lacks for honey
Avenues paved with easy money
Land of helpless idealism
Clerical evangelism
Land of prune and sometimes prism
Every kind of crazy ism
Where the blue Algonquin flows.

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America    America
So full of esoterica
One day I’ll pierce the veils that hide
The spirit of the great divide
The sweet ambition which devours
You, super duper power of powers —-
But for the nonce I send you flowers.

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If there was a cake you’d take it
If I had one heart you’d break it
Where the blue Algonquin flows
Looking forward, looking back
There seems nothing that you lack
America     America
Pray accept this cordial greeting
On a visit far too fleeting
Rest assured I’ll soon be back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAoh look! there’s a Society regarding Larry Durrell – how lovely – we adore a meeting of minds.

*peersatlistofofficers*

hmmm.

nobody on This Coast, it seems.

ah.

but there’s also a Journal.

and a COMPETITION (we love to enter things).

*looktocamera*

how about you?

fancy writing a poem about islands today?

“No, you should have picked one from a poem
Being written softly with a brush-
The breathless ideogram for love we writers hunt.”
-Lawrence Durrell, “A Bowl of Roses”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe may do so ourselves.

but only after a day working-in-the-photographic-studio (where we work on thursdays and have such a lovely time).

*thinking*

feeling very elegiac actually.

and it’s still only 07:23 AM in los angeles….

it’s going to be a            g l o r i o u s   d a y – darlings.