Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Month of April

Friday night drinks with friends by the river...
An early Saturday start to visit cousins in Swindon. A really lovely family day, eating, laughing, talking and a windy walk.
Continuing March's tradition of Sunday Biscuit Baking and a roast.
Meeting dear girlfriends for mis week suppers in town. Eating too many mini eggs. Basking in the April sunshine. Then shivering as it turned cold again.
Painting toenails for the first time this spring. Loving OPI original nail solution it really does work.
Starting on Mad Men Series Four.
Leaving work promptly and driving for supper at my parents. Being abruptly woken at 4.15am to catch the 5.55am ferry to France. Arriving in Arras to join family Warmth in time for Breakfast. Sipping cafe au lait, toasting Mama Warmth's 70th with champagne and a delcious meal. Sitting with sunglasses in the various cafes around the square.
London holiday days. Popping to the Persephone shop for books, bought my first Whipple, calling into Caravan, brilliant book finds in Canterbury's Oxfam book shop, kicking my heels along the Kings Road (oh how I have missed you), foresting in Forest Hill, a trip to Tring. Supper at The Dartmouth Arms.
Much daydreaming about our potential new home...
Visiting Seville - oh my Semana Santa a time of awe and wonder.
Gorgeous Easter weekend in London. Mooching along the southbank viewing Miro and Gabriel Orozco
Then drinks -back at The Dartmouth Arms again. Baking Nigella's delicious Easter Nest Chocolate Cake. A sunny and delicious bbq with dear friends. Eating eggs, hot cross buns, simnel cake on a repeat cycle for two days. To mama and papa Warmth's for Easter Sunday.
Making the place names and table plan for a dear friends' wedding, handing them over... meeting for a Pain Quotidien supper the week before.
Enjoying the Royal Wedding - immensely - far more than I'd imagined. Watching it by myself and with twitterhen travelling to NW3 for lunch with a friend and what turned out to be a street party - my first street party.
And then waking up the next day being a guest at a dear friend's wedding. So in the mood after Friday's wedding.
Reading As I walked out one Midsummers Morning by Laurie Lee, Mrs Tim and the Regiment by DE Stevenson, All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West, Devoted Ladies by M.J. Farrell, The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham

Complete, Invincible, Perfect

My dear dear friend marries today.

'Together we shall be complete, invincible, perfect,'

DE Stevenson Miss Buncle's Book

I think the bride will be wearing these beauties....

Christian Louboutin

Friday, 29 April 2011

All Passion Spent

Reading All Passion Spent provoked many thoughts. Reading it whilst surrounded by all the Royal Wedding excitement and enthusiasm provoked thoughts about Kate Middleton. How will she feel about her life when Lady Slane's age? Will she have put her desires, wishes on hold for her husband, and country? Is there a secret artist, dreamer waiting to escape from her?

And this is how it all started....

'Those words which he must utter so earnestly, in order that his tone might carry their full weight; those words which he seemed to produce from some serious and secret place, hauling them up from the bottom of the well of his personality; those words which belonged to the region of weighty and adult things... He had gone. He had left her. Even while she conscientiously gazed at him and listened, she knew that he was already miles away. He had passed into the sphere where people marry, beget and bear children, bring them up, give orders to servants, pay income-tax, understand about dividends, speak mysteriously in the presence of the young, take decisions for themselves, eat what they like, and go to bed at the hour which pleases them. Mr. Holland was asking her to accompany him into that sphere. He was asking her to be his wife.' Vita Sackville-West All Passion Spent

Despite what seems a negative post on this royal wedding day I am excited and shall be watching...

Happy Extra Bank Holiday To You!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

String My Thoughts Together

Another lady, in some ways very different to Lady Slane but in her memories a little similiar. I really enjoyed reading, or rather devouring a couple of train journeyseant it was swallowed up rather quickly, my second DE Stevenson - Mrs Tim of the regiment. This passage slightly sums it up, and is also the diary entry for my birthday.

'...a blessed feeling of idleness encompasses my soul....
My thoughts drift across the garden and hang upon the trees like fairy lights, or curl upwards and vanish like the smoke of Burnside chimney. I can take a thought from the cupboard of my memory - just as I take a dress from my wardrobe - give it a little shake and put it on, or fold it away.
... How nice it is to lie here in blameness idleness, and let these vagrant memories flow through my body like a cool stream!
Somewhere in the world there must be a formula (am I trembling upon the edge of it now?) which, could I but grasp it, would reveal to me the Secret of the Universe. For there must be a secret, of course; the world would never roll over and over on its way through Time and Space if everyone's thoughts were as vagrant and purposeless as mine. This secret, once known, would string my thoughts together like a necklace of pearls.
But where to look for the secret - where to find it? Those mountains, dreaming so peacefully in the sunshine - do they possess it? ...Shall I find it in the swallow's jagged flight, as it darts across the garden in pursuit of flies? Shall I find it in the call of the cuckoo, echoing sadly from the pine-clad hills? Or is it hidden deep in the hearts of human beings - a piece here and a piece there - so that if you could find all the pieces and fit them together, the puzzle would be complete? But the hearts of humans beings are so difficult to find...' DE Stevenson Mrs Tim and the Regiment


Where does the secret lie for you?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Beautiful and Gracious

Not when I am an old woman I shall wear purple but when I grow old I would like to be like Lady Slane.

'She was a beautiful old woman. Tall slender, and pale, she had never lost her grace or her carriage. Clothes upon her ceased to be clothes and became draperies; she had the secret of line. A fluid loveliness ran over all her limbs. Her eyes were grey and deeply set; her nose was short and straight; her tranquil hands the hands of a Van-dyck; ...Looking at her, one could believe that it was easy for a woman to be beautiful and gracious, as all works of genius persuade us that they were effortless achievement.' Vita Sackville-West All Passion Spent

How are you hoping to be in your older age?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Through groves of orange

We're off to Seville. In preparation I re read As I walked out one midsummer's morning by Laurie Lee. Inscribed in the front cover 'A present to take with you to Spain love mum'

(That would be when I went on a school trip aged 13 years.)

'Ever since childhood I'd imagined myself walking down a white dusty road through groves of orange to a city called Seville....

In fact there was no white road, not even a gold-clustered orange tree, but Seville itself was dazzling - a creamy crustation of flower-banked houses fanning out from each bank of the river.' Laurie Lee As I walked out one midsummers morning.

Tiny white Daisies

See you soon x

Monday, 11 April 2011

Where it was always April

The blossom is still just hanging in there and Love in the time of cholera is still in my mind... '...he saw her transfigured in the afternoon shimmer of two o'clock in a shower of blossoms from the almond trees where it was always April regardless of the season of the year.' Gabriel Garcia Marquez Love in the time of Cholera


Where would you like to be driving to this afternoon?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

And two hearts

I've just finished reading Love in the Time of Cholera. This quote sums up the book for me.
'The music stopped after midnight., the voices of the passengers dispersed...and two hearts, alone in the shadows on the deck, were beating in time to the breathing of the ship.' Gabriel Garcia Marquez

breathing of the ship

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tidy Grace

Alongside blossom I think tulips are the other flower that heralds spring for me.

'The spring boxes for the verandah steps have been filled with pink and white and yellow tulips. I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace... Their faint, delicate scent is refinement itself; and is there anything in the world more charming than the sprightly way they hold up their little faces to the sun? I have heard them called bold and flaunting, but to me they seem modest grace itself, only always on the alert to enjoy life as much as they can and not afraid of looking the sun or anything else above them in the face.' Elizabeth von Arnim Elizabeth and her German Garden


What heralds spring for you?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mothering Sunday

'Mrs Sedley, you may be sure, clasped her daughter to her heart with all maternal eagerness and affection, running out of the welcome the weeping, trembling young bride... How the floodgates were opened, and mother and daughter wept, when they were together embracing each other...may be readily imagined by every reader who posesses the least sentimental turn. When don't ladies weep? At what occasion of joy, sorrow, or other business of life? and, after such an event as a marriage, mother and daughter were surely at a liberty to give way to sensibility which is as tender as it is refreshing...Good mothers are married over again at their daughters' weddings: and as for subsequent events, who does not know how ultra-maternal grandmothers are? ... Let us respect Amelia and her mama whispering and whimpering and laughing and crying in the parlour and the twilight. 'William Makepeace Thackeray Vanity Fair. pretty little flower
For all our mothers and grandmothers x

Friday, 1 April 2011

Slips and Stocking and Shoes to match

I've been searching for The Perfect Outfit for an April London Wedding of Dearest Friend. I have now found it but for a time I thought it could be a little like this.

"They spent three crowded hours together in the large square room. Virginia was most exacting, she flung dresses on to Barbara and tore them off again. 'It's not your style at all.' she told Barbara when the latter expressed a preference for a brown crepe-de-chine with a straight bodice and flared skirt.... Just wait a moment till I find what I am looking for,' and she burrowed into the cupboard again. Barbara tried on coats and jumpers and frocks and hats until her newly-waved hair was like a wind-blown haystack... When at last Barbara emerged from the shop she felt somewhat dizzy, and tremendously excited - she had never known until now that clothes could be exciting... There was a bottle-green coat with a fur collar and a hat to match, and a jumper suit to go with it; and then there were two 'little frocks' and an evening gown - and then there were slips and stockings and shoes to match." DE Stevenson Miss Buncle's Book


No need for a slip, I have shoes, now just need to buy the stockings.