Thursday, March 31, 2011

Looking back, I can still see her clearly, sitting triumphantly on the night table beside my ruffled bed. As pink as a prom corsage, wearing a circle of glowing white numbers like a necklace fit for the royalty she was. My very own Princess Phone! A most coveted step on the childhood road to independence, right ahead of a bicycle, just behind a driver’s license. No more would I have to suffer the indignity of conducting my most private girly conversations on the wall phone in the kitchen, half-hidden in the pantry amongst the sugar and the beans, desperate that my parents not hear the latest schoolroom rumour, or the ardent passion I possessed for that dreamboat, Paul McCartney. These vital communications could now be expressed freely, in the privacy of my own bedroom, greatly improving the quality of my pre-teen existence. My very own phone! I had arrived.
In last Sunday’s NY Times Style section, I discovered that the phone call has all but become another relic of the past. Designer Jonathan Adler claims to never use it anymore at all. I scoffed when first reading this, but then I laid the newspaper down on the table to think. Besides my daily call to my mother, when do I really use the phone? There are the occasions when The Songwriter is at the grocery store, unsure of which brand of apple juice to buy. There’s the quarterly call from the Symphony, reminding us to continue our patronage. And there are the quick rings on the iPhone, brief accounts of our whereabouts or what time we should be expected home. But long gone are the hours spent with the receiver resting comfortably betwixt my shoulder and my ear, talking with my best friend about everything under the sun, sometimes until one of us actually fell asleep. And needless to say, the days of calling radio stations to request my favourite song have certainly disappeared. In fact, during my recent trip to London, The Songwriter and I eschewed the phone call completely and stayed in contact via Skype, tickled that we could actually see each other’s faces from so far away. So yes, I had to concede that the article was correct - I rarely use the telephone these days.
Do I miss it? To be honest, I’m really quite grateful for email. I stay in touch regularly with friends far away, and I love the luxury of crafting what I really want to say, rather than relying on the sagacity of the words that happen to be loitering around on the top of my head or tip of my tongue. I do still write letters with a pen, which are luxuries - both to send and receive - and I am loathe to dispense with those. But the phone? As I sat there with that newspaper article in front of me, I had to admit, I don’t really miss talking on the phone. Let’s face it, it does ring at the most inopportune times, not caring a whit if we’re asleep, having dinner, or up to our chins in a hot bubble bath. And, like a difficult child, it always demands that we answer it NOW.
I suppose there is a certain romance to the telephone call that email and texting could never hope to equal. Remember Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in the movie Indiscreet, saying an amorous goodnight on the telephone - she in London, he in Paris - Cary laughing his charming laugh, Ingrid coquettishly twirling the phone cord through her fingers? Email just would not have been the same. And Skype would have diluted the mystery.
So I’m not yet certain how I feel about the demise of the phone call, but I’d love to hear what you think. Has email and texting replaced the ring of the phone in your world? Do you find you use the telephone less and less, and how do you feel about that?


Totally loving the texture and colours of these paintings featured on "Close Up and Private"

found via here


Wednesday, March 30, 2011
For some reason I forgot to put these bookshelves on this post
soooo .... here they are, I think they are actually my favorite !!!
 via here


There are creatures on the roadside dressed in lavender.
Once rough collections of billboards and phone lines, once common thickets of pine. Now finely dressed in new gowns of wisteria, they line the lanes and the highways like the sweethearts of giants, waving hankies of violet in the afternoon air.
I drive along their parade route in awe of their beauty, their perfume rides the breeze through my wide open window.
I saw the first rosebud just yesterday.
Though still tightly fastened in a locket of pink, it was clear what she planned to become.
It is now only mere weeks till she and her sisters will spill up and over my window, an extravagant display that will gleam in the moonlight as a thousand blushing fairies en route to a dance.
They will scatter petals of pink on the floor of the garden, like the forgotten kisses of youth.
Disrobed for so long, the tall trees in the garden are now clad in vestments of chartreuse and lime.
They stand round the cottage like an army in Oz, guardians of all that is good.
And though I am the one in love with the cold - the fireside, the woolens, the winds and the mist - I have opened my door to this glorious season and welcomed her into my rooms.
She has filled all my vases with bouquets of yellow, she has taught the purple finches a cantata of joy.
She has sent the rains and now the streams remember laughter.
She is the season of hope and renewal.
The season of colour and light.
She Is Spring.
How lucky am I to welcome her, in each and every year of my life.

Painting above by NC Wyeth


Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Really liking this New York studio space, artist Landon Metz
(love his work) has taken it over from a friend for a few months, I found the photos on Landon and his wife Hannah's blog Hannah and Landon, one very cool couple indeed !!!

via here


 A bit of a mixed bag of interior shots from this site.

found via here


Monday, March 28, 2011
You may remember this post ..... well the "messy room" is now the "almost empty room".
When we moved into our house this room was a converted garage, there was carpet on the floor (not great, but ok) for a while it was a playroom for our kids (and a very good one at that) but as they got older and stopped using it, it slowly became more of a storage room.
Then we had a leak which wet all the carpet and it was kind of down hill from there and just became this.

So now we have plans to polish the concrete and give the walls a new coat of paint and a new lease of life ...

..... the desk was bought from a secondhand shop years ago, it is such a great desk but has never really been used properly (it was used for the kids computer back before the time of laptops and it was good to play shops, restaurants and games on) ....
but now it's time to make this little corner a bit more functional .... 
I love the challenge of a blank space ...
wish me luck !!!


Sunday, March 27, 2011
My friend recently sold her house ... a bit sad as she lived just around the corner from me, we had lots of very fun times there and I really did love that little house .... such great bones, nice old floorboards, big windows, lovely doors, picture rails, and lovely trees ....
these shots were taken mid-move, but I did manage to get some photos around all the boxes  ....
yes I will miss the little house, and having my friend living so close, but lucky for me she hasn't moved too far away (just not walking distance anymore, darn !!!)



I will show you some of the outside next week.

The Weird Sisters

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Weird Sisters

My experience with school gym class was amusingly stereotypical. I well and truly hated it. I can still see myself, standing in the freshly mown green of a ballfield, calmly watching as a fat round softball rudely crashed into the daydream I was lost inside and rolled past me as if in slow motion. My lack of rapid retrieval caused our side to lose the game. Ah, well. See, my problem - other than that daydreaming thing - was the total lack of a competitive nature. If we won, well, good for us. If the other team won, well, good on them. It just didn’t really matter to me. This affliction was brought on, as I see it, by an absence of sisters. For as an only child, I had no one I needed to outrun or outdo - no rival to battle for my parents’ attentions. Exquisitely happy in my solitude, I relished my role as observer, and that is not exactly a highly prized quality in a softball player.

Having had none, sisters have consequently been a source of fascination for me since childhood. I would sit around the dinner tables of my friends and their sisters, in sharp, covert study of the interactions they shared - a pint-sized, ponytailed Margaret Mead on a journey inside the culture of sisterhood. I caught their sidelong glances and barely sheathed barbs - the fierce loyalties, deep love, and contention. I watched as they sabotaged each other and defended each other, learning all the while that theirs was a lifelong bond as curious as it was indestructible. I pondered the purported personality traits dictated by birth order. Were they accurate, or nothing more than myth? Was the oldest always the solid over-achiever, the youngest always the most beloved? And was the middle one doomed to forever be waving her arms just to be noticed between them?

I studied the March sisters, the Dashwood’s and Bennet’s. Read all I could on the Mitford’s, the Bouvier’s and Bronte’s. I spent time time in Ballybeg, Ireland with the five Mundy sisters of the poignant film, Dancing at Lughnasa. I wandered the streets of New York with Hannah and hers.

And now I have just finished a new book that took me on yet another tantalizing expedition into this exotic landscape of sisterhood. The Weird Sisters is writer Eleanor Brown’s first novel and it’s a captivating read. She has to be either a gifted clairvoyant or a sister herself, for Ms. Brown writes with such sparkling lucidity on the relationships between sisters, giving the reader a back stage pass to the complex interplay between them and decoding their secret language in such a way as to allow passage even to those who, like myself, are totally unfamiliar with the landscape. The sisters in this novel, Rosalind, Bianca and Cordelia, are the daughters of a Shakespearean professor whose love of the Bard is so all-encompassing that he not only named his three daughters accordingly, but also possesses a bewildering tendency to quote the great writer in every single conversation he has. With armloads of painful secrets accompanying them, the sisters have returned home to care for their ailing mother and immediately find themselves falling back into familiar roles they are no longer certain they actually want to play.
With a voice both unique and engaging, Eleanor Brown has reawakened my fascination with sisters as well as my admiration for a story well told. If you have sisters yourself, no doubt you’ll be nodding your head in recognition on practically every page. If, like me, you have none, then I encourage you to open this new book and allow Ms. Brown to lead you into their world. I know you’ll enjoy the journey.