vintage treasures discovered on road trips


as you know we always take the long way round whenever possible because life is just too short to miss anything along the way when one is on a road trip.

for instance – when we found ourselves on some interstate highway *sighsvaguely* not absolutely sure which one – we suddenly *gasped* at a sign for a place called “Lake Elsinore”.

because one adores Hamlet (Shakespeare, not the cigar brand)

so we scooted over several lanes of traffic, quite deftly, actually, and took the road we had not yet taken before.


Lake Elsinore (they added the Lake bit in the 1970s probably as part of a group Marketing exercise to draw attention to their – yes – Lake) is twinned with the original Danish town of (you guessed it) Elsinore which is considerably older than the one in America (as so much of Europe appears to be).

What is it famous for? apart from the Lake of which they are justifiably proud and where the Olympic Hopefuls trained in the 1920s – (can’t you just picture their dashing outfits? pre-Spandex of course, but ever so s l e e k no doubt)

let’s see: we saw a Lot of antique sort of bric-a-brac shops of the sort you really have to root around to find something and not mind the dust (of which there was, sadly, lots).

it’s also famous as the former dwelling place of the fervently-fervent Aimee Semple and the lugubrious and sharp-fanged Mr. Bela Lugosi.

neither of which were much featured in the bric-a-brac shops (we did look) but what we did find was this marvel(l)ous pamphlet which was designed to help the Americans “decode” the British while Stationed on those fair Albion shores.

do read on.







isn’t it splendid (and we’d actually forgotten some of those curious Differences between the two nations)?

so that was that for Elsinore.

we continued on the journey to San Diego as who-we-are-in-RL had a Business Lunch to attend (we went to the spa of course).

but after the Business was completed, we took a drive into the sunset over the Bridge and down onto Coronado Island and the next day (for we stayed the night at a charming hostelry) we visited the Friends of Coronado Library!

and what did we find there?

a glorious stack of vintage Victoria magazines from the late 90s!

now Victoria (in the late 90s) was edited by the very fine Nancy Lindemeyer and was a deeply elegant glossy pleasure chest full of Quotes from English lady novelists, chandeliers and tiny-shops-in-Paris and the palest of organza dresses.

if you’ve spent any time here at all, you’ll know that we *swooned* at seeing such a stack.

we had some time to spend well (one never kills time over here darlings, it’s rude and wrong) before our next appointment and so we sat in the sunshine, on a park bench, actually, and tore out all the bits we wanted to keep, to read later, to send cards to certain female entrepreneurs and shop-keepers (yes, some in Paris) about the book as well as – you are already ahead of us on this one, we can feel you mouthing the words as we t y p e:



so nice to have treasures from the Road…………..



it was monday today.

not always an easy day.

how did you do?

do. tell.

learning patience in paradise with the kindness of strangers.

we did not realize that when one seeks to be a More patient human one is thrown a whole bunch of agonizingly difficult life circumstances with myriad opportunities to, er, well, Practice it.

one might assume – almost 12 years later – that waiting for a green card would have given us the patience of a saint (were they particularly patient? serene, we’re sure, yes, but patient? why? do tell if you know).

on good days, it has.

or at least it has given us a delicious sense of fun to distract us While we are waiting.

because magical things happen when One Waits.

for example, today, we wait to see if our application for an apartment has been accepted.

and while we wait someone glorious emailed us and said “let’s have tea!”

which is Quite the Nicest thing to happen today (and it’s only 9.19AM on This coast).

what we haven’t Confessed thus far (and this is only going to be a Tiny bit of what is a Really Long and not-for-the-faint-hearted life story – but it’ll make many movies some day – not merely one – no one would believe that such Adventures have befallen just one human being – and If/When one is in a Hollywood pitch meeting, one needs just one good Hook and three distinct acts – we’ve lived Many More than that and we’re pretty sure we’re not even Half-way through as yet…..darlings).


large exhale.

we’re hard to quantify.


quick moment of distraction here to pause and say, don’t you just adore the way the californian sun tantalizingly peeks through the wooden slatted white blinds and caresses the 1960s style lamp? delicious.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

more distraction – this is the view if one (just to give you a visual) – pops one’s long hair up in a ponytail and ties up the fluffy white hotel robe and ventures forth onto the communal balcony to take a photograph…….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and this is the blue-blue (but alas quite Chilly, for L.A) sky. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


back to the Point.

one is never sure whether one will get Approved for anything in America because we are hard to quantify.

you see we have no debt, no loans and don’t use other-people’s-money-to-buy-things (because it’s illogical).

which means we don’t Exist.

in. a. way.

(and in many ways, we don’t. we are pretty self-realized as opposed to self-created – we would not dare assume we did this – it’s been Rather magical and inspired/inspiring non?).

so people get quite freaked out when they look for Records.

we are very Honest.

we tell them all the names we have used (and there have been quite a few).

and we offer to pay more of our own cash to make them feel Comfortable.

but then we Wait.

to see if they call.

if not.

what shall we do?

it’s worked so far.

but not always.

there’s always the possibility of getting another flight back to NYC – waiting here – finding another apartment – seeing if someone else appreciates our mode-de-vivre on the ebb and flow of energy/money and let’s us Live there. wherever That is.

in the meantime, we write to you.

which we love doing.


and we wrote a letter to Victoria magazine (do you know it? all southern ladies and tea and trips to Venice and paris and entrepreneurs of beauteous things? we adore it).

here’s our letter.

because it’s a thank you letter, in a way.

and there’s nothing that makes Waiting easier than saying thank you for what one already has (smiling gently and beatifically at you via the interweb darling).

Victoria magazine was asking for letters on the theme of the “Kindness of Strangers”.


Dearest Victoria Magazine

The kindness of strangers is often virtual and via the internet, these days, and no less precious for that.
In May 2011, I was traveling the world with a big corporate job and suddenly got diagnosed with three tumors in my throat. I was shocked beyond belief and could not tell anyone close to me for the longest time.
Instead, I posted on Instagram, the photo-sharing site, anonymously, using my teamgloria moniker, keeping my real identity hidden, due to my job.
I follow, and am followed, on Instagram by about 300 people and they walked me through the diagnosis, surgery and subsequent month’s medical leave. I posted pictures from my hospital bed. They posted photographs of bouquets of raspberry pink roses with messages of love and support from as far afield as Tokyo and Berlin, Australia to London.
When I was confined to my apartment in a great deal of physical and emotional pain, I took still-life images of candles, bed linens and endless of cups of tea. They took soaring landscapes and breathtaking sunsets from all over the world and told me I would see the world again.
In time, I started to write about how to get through difficult times and used all my photographs to compile a book. I got signed by a literary agent and she sold my book to a publisher. None of this would have been possible without my Instagram virtual friends who showed me the kindness of strangers.
Much love, teamgloria (sophia stuart).

so that’s our take on the Kindness of Strangers……….what would yours be, darlings?