slaying dragons and then slipping into a radox bubble bath.

so that was tuesday, huh?

did yours go well?

Ours was delicious.

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it started out very early, while an inky darkness in downtown manhattan pervaded the skies (which called for early-morning-twinkle-lights and blinds-remaining-closed) and we sunk into the dark embrace of caffeine and caught up on our correspondence.

Thank you letters signed and sealed (and blue-violet ink stamped) and Other Letters and official Business all ready in a pile for the post office.

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A morning of consulting and special advice and Thoughtful interjections And half-smile-with-encouraging-nod and a Lot more besides. Especially when following along with the Presentation and noting the pace of the conversation and adding a moment of Colo(u)r and charm; when required.

Most enjoyable.

Especially with the meeting after the meeting over Toast (seven grain; never quite worked out what all 7 might be. Sort of stuck at wheat, rye…..nope…..give up) and coffee from a silver pot under a most Elegant light fitting behind or aloft from a velvet drape.

En route to our next appointment we spotted the English shop called myers of keswick (the W is silent) and stocked up on British goods.

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Why yes, that is Radox!

Flashback to the 80s here, darlings.

No. We are never without a powder pink bathing cap. We have our limits. And we generally don’t allow someone with a deep bass voice to do commentary on our day either (although sometimes we Do imagine a clipped John Gielgud knocking sharply on the door and saying “your tea is ready on a tray, madam”.)

no idea where we got that idea from….

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While we’re on the subject of the British (radox is a Terribly British product with its middle ages convent grown style herbal salt-ness and no messing around with vanilla-y-bubbles a la the deep fragrant southern belles of america magnolia essence and the Like) we received a plaintive return Post from the Royal Mail (not one of the Princes).

Is there anything more Poignant than the phrase:

Addresse gone away.

Almost heartbreaking in its Finality.

So different in the united states:

NoT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS

gone away.

#sigh

Luckily we know the person is a Company Director and so we just looked on the Most helpful interweb and sent it back with Fresh stamps and a dark blue navy Airmail (Par Avion as we used to write in a dramatic flourish at boarding school). Actually:

Par Avion SVP

Which is not a standing in Corporate America but a please and thank you politesse throwback to the days when everyone assumed everyone else spoke french when being nice.

Oh look! There’s a helpful guide on the Royal Mail (not princes) website.

Quelle interesting.

Look at this –

How do I mark my letter?

Blue Airmail labels are free and widely available. Or, you can write “Par Avion – By Airmail” clearly in the top left hand corner of your envelope. You don’t need to do this on Airmail letters posted from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.

(good to know – they must go Par Train)

How heavy can my Airmail be?

2kg is the maximum weight for Airmail items except for books and pamphlets sent via our Airmail Printed Papers service where the maximum weight is 5kg (with the exception of a 2kg weight restriction to Canada and Cambodia. Books only up to 5kg may be sent to Republic of Ireland).

(curious about Pamphlets……do people still write pamphlets with the widely available social media-ness? Lovely).

Makes us think of Basildon Bond.

Remember the thin tissue like pale boys’ school shirt and national health glasses blue sheets and the envelopes with the slightly contrasting lining?

Almost makes one want to take a stack of writing paper and a fresh ink pen and sit in a cafe and write a love letter with judicious quoting from Mr. Keats and the odd tear splashing onto the page and pausing by the frothy coffee cup. 

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In our session with our soon-to-be-former (because we’re Moving and won’t be doing it via Skype like other people we know) Confessor (what other people call a Therapist) this evening we talked about writing and tears (we left out the frothy coffee imagery we attempt to stay On Point and not in a balletic sense, although we almost reached Pointe Stage many moons ago)and Slaying Dragons of the soul and where-we-are-now with Those Issues and it all feels Rather HopeFULL to be honest.

And then we went to hang out with some friends and admire the pithy epigrams in the fortune cookies.

“so you’re seriously going to leave?”

(actual dialogue, not a fortune cookie there)

……..as if it is not just impossible to Go Away from NYC but almost unthinkable which we do enjoy, especially when said by Deeply attractive people Of either or one of several non gender conformist approaches to Life in black leather jackets and Mr. Owens’ elegant ensemble imported from Italia type garments and accessories.

so we bid our farewells (for the night, not quite yet to nyc) and came home to slip into a Radox bath. All dragons of the mind slayed for today.

And it’s only Tuesday.

Delicious. 

where is the Hogarth Press of today, darlings?

we need to share.

will you listen for a moment?

we Really want to do book 1 = “how to stay sane in a crazy world”.

we have a Most Delicious cover, courtesy of our design competition on 99designs.

we have an introduction:

I used to make my living from writing.

And then it all stopped and so I went and did something else, part of which entailed a whole new look from Brooks Brothers (it wasn’t really me, but it was necessary). A decade later (still working as a suit), I started to write again – during nights and weekends and frustrated lunchtimes and long haul business travel. One of the things I wrote (or which came to me, as I do believe in the whole muse concept) was a screenplay about a character called “gloria”, a trainee angel who sat “up there” waiting for her first assignment.

To occupy the hours she ought to have been studying humans and their foibles, she spent her time glued to the new celestial movies-on-demand channel and became obsessed by Doris Day. So you can imagine the confusion that unfolded when she arrived in modern-day Manhattan. But “gloria” was determined to see the world through rose-colored glasses with a delicious joy at life. So magical adventures started to happen.

I was really stressed with my (by now pretty big) day job. Suddenly I needed to see the world through gloria’s beautiful lens, or I was going to crack up. I started an anonymous blog to give me a place to write in gloria’s voice – it became teamgloria.com – and I started to document “glorious people, places and things”.

But then, in my real life, something terrible happened. My doctor found a tumor, in my throat. After a year of regular ultrasounds and biopsies, suddenly there were three tumors – and a mass was found which required a five and a half hour surgery. My blog became a place to tell the truth about entering the realm of the unwell, under a necessary cloak of anonymity.

Despite a long career in digital, I had never had the very personal experience of writing a blog. It had not occurred to me to do this anonymously before. And my job made it awkward to do under my own name. I had no idea how precious and moving it would be to see people responding, linking to me, sharing my words, and adding their own  “glorious people, places and things”. They gave me strength to go through the frightening and painful experience of surgery and recovery.

It was an incredible experience – I became part of a larger online community of people for the first time – and started to make this book while on medical leave of absence from work, sorting through all the photographs I had taken while traveling the world for the day job. It became, in effect, a meditation book.

In Renaissance Italy, women of noble birth would have a Book of Hours; a devotional object that gave them room to pause, to take a moment, to become spiritually refreshed.

It’s a crazy world out there. Most of us are stressed beyond belief. Perhaps a modern Book of Hours is needed: some beautiful images and a few carefully chosen words to inspire and soothe a troubled soul. Use this book, with its gentle suggestions, as your own little slice of tranquility.

Take the time to look after yourself. Find the gloriousness in your everyday life. Relish the delightful sparks of inspirational magic. You are important. You matter. It took writing as “gloria” to help me realize this. Don’t wait until you get sick, like I did…………..

Over at teamgloria.com we would love to hear about your glorious people, places and things. It would be delicious to meet you.

we have an introductory quote – from George’s first book

Celia

She’d shown me that it was possible to dream big and live large. She’d moved to New York and now traveled everywhere in a glamorous job in the world of high finance.

“My darling I’ve just gotten back from being around the world,” I heard her say without preliminaries. “Twice, actually,” she added while I was still wondering what had possessed me to pick up the phone. It had rung without any reaction on my part. I had ignored it, I could only assume, for as long as was humanly possible.

“I’m dying to hear the news,” she continued. “How are you? Tell me everything.”

On Wings of Affection by George Snyder (c) 2011

(available on Amazon and in all good bookshops)

and we have some Truly Delicious photographs:

with witty captions:

be camp.

and thoughtful observations about Life..

get a new perspective

there are photographs from abroad…

this one we took in INDIA, darlings.

and this one, just before we rushed back to Cathedral Close, for tea (as you can see on the clock, twilight approached).

but here’s the rub (as Shakespeare used to say)…..

we’ve tried to various self-publishing routes – blurb is lovely (but the resulting product was Awfully Expensive in printed form so impossible as a small business concept) – Lulu looked promising – but none are really designed for photography-based books. we even had a Most Encouraging conversation with the people at createspace (shhh, owned by amazon) but they are only equipped for illustrations, not for us….

#sigh.

oh where oh where is the enterprising Virginia of a Hogarth Press type operation of today?

we’d love to pop over there (wherever they are) for tea – with a Sheaf of prints, a thumbdrive or two (with a blue ribbon attached for easy finding in the bottom-of-the-bag), ideas for the cover and a mug of tea in our hands as we nod and listen to Mrs. Woolf and her ideas for us.

it just doesn’t feel possible to do ourselves.

any ideas, darlings?

in the meantime, Manhattan has become a Winter Wonderland.

we awoke to the crunchy sound of those little roller machines that people use to lay salt on the ground and the hush of snow-bound streets and branches heavy with frost.

after a mug of milky coffee and some crunchy vaguely healthy appearing cereal we headed out into the day – tis saturday – so there was therapy (So Many Revelations!) after a long SWIM.

this was our locker at the swimming pool.

crammed with new yorker style black clothing, you note, right?

we are Nothing if not on brand, love.

post-therapy there was a delicious brunch with the elegant and slightly raffishly unshaven JT.

we do love having stylish gorgeous friends.

don’t you?

after all – you are our friends.

so if you have Any Ideas about how to get a lovely small-format photography book (print and e-book) made – Do let us know!

thanks for listening.

we feel better now.

oh – one more thing – the scar did Not Like being under the turtleneck yesterday – tis itchy today. ouch. and another thing – oh, no, sadly, sigh, we can’t share that. just a little romantic possibility that faded like bubbles into the daylight.

deep sigh.

so good for the Art though ;-)

pain.

you Understand, non?

art-y projects: we thought about etsy….and then had another latte.

so we thought about setting up a little shop on etsy* (see latest art-y projects below) – and then we gave up – and ordered another latte and decided to write more on the latestscreenplay.

why did we give up?

it’s not hard to sell on etsy (although god knows the paypal-setting-up-account-ness was a lousy UX – user experience, darlings and after the warm glow of etsy-world we felt thrust into a strange and dark Corporate scary-fraud-panic-unfriendly-arena and we’re Not Keen) but the troubles-behind-the-scenes and changes at etsy are a little unsettling.

why, oh why, isn’t Judi Dench the CEO of a lovely crafts and antiquing and arty-y site – we’d feel Very Comfortable if Judi was In Charge (of pretty much everything, actually).

so here are the art-y projects from the past week.

we Do love them.

perhaps we’ll send them to you as a gift instead. maybe it was just about the therapy of taking all those gorgeous photographs, buying canvas and glue and glaze and getting a tiny bit sticky and covered in glitter.

maybe that’s what it was about.

we don’t want to stop making them.

but we are Running Out of Wall Space chez nous ;-)

on a lighter note ;-)

we did feel that last post was Rather Dark and brooding.

so here’s how we spent our day when Not sobbing over medical bills ;-)

the rest of our activities were Delicious.

we got up super early – headed to the swimming pool (after some anger releasing writing) and then to therapy (to read the anger releasing writing and – triumphant with some deep and meaningful insight – tear it up and throw it, carefully actually, in the therapist’s wastepaper basket/trash can/receptacle of pain) and took a delicious walk in the sunshine (a tiny bit chilly so we are swathed in cashmere – yes, it’s black) to have brunch with the chaps.

they were so lovely and let us sit at the head of the table so nobody would accidentally bump our poor scar.

we loved it at the head of the table ;-)

as you might have guessed…..

then home to do some Art Projects (some of which are going to be businesses…….yes, plotting, darlings)

art project drying…

and this is going to be the First Ever Prototype for our Kindness Kit.

it’s now painted a bright soothing blue hue and drying at home while we sauntered out to a cafe – and bumped into some Very Glamorous colleagues freshly back from Paris.

quelle CHIC!