Posts

Showing posts from July, 2017

Some Sunny Day

Image
Enid Maude Good (nee Hayden) 7/30/1925—4/22/2012
My parents both had birthdays this week. I suppose would have had is more grammatically correct. My mother would have been ninety if Alzheimer's hadn't taken its final toll in 2012. My dad might have made it to one hundred but for the liver disease that took him out over twenty years ago.

My mother was born in London; she was fourteen when World War II broke out. Accompanying her two younger brothers, she was one of the millions of British children the government sent to the English countryside to shield them from the blitz. Miserable, she returned home and went to work as a clippie on the iconic red double-decker buses. She loved running up and down those stairs, taking money, making change. Making it home before curfew, diving under the Morrison bed when the bomb sirens squealed. Dating Yank soldiers stationed in the UK. Later, working at a munitions factor, she had to wrap up her hair so it didn't get caught in the works…

Happy Birthday Daddy-o

Image
Happy Birthday Dad!

Gosh, you're looking as handsome as ever. I always did think you looked like a movie star and here you are in this sepia tint print as suave and debonair as David Niven. An officer and a gentleman, immortalized at age 26. Twenty six! Don't be offended if I say you looked older, that's the way it was back then. It's only these days, with fewer responsibilities on our shoulders, that we try to look like kids for as long as possible. 

You left home in England at seventeen, lived in Egypt, danced the night away in Alexandria and told us you tried 'hashish' in an Egyptian bath but didn't feel a thing. We didn't believe you, by the way, you know that right? By the time you enlisted to fight for England in World War II you spoke Arabic, French and Italian fluently. Imagine! A boy from Preston in the North of England teaching himself to speak Arabic. No wonder you served in the North African campaign. 

You'd be 102 today, if you'd lived…

Dreaming of France: Paris doors

Image
There's something about Paris. #ilovedoors#doors#doorsandwindows#doorsofinstagramhttps://t.co/Qz3uiQU1us — Chapter1-Take1 (@simcarter) July 24, 2017
I don't know why but even with the ugliness on the left side of the image, there really is something beautiful about French doors. Amateur photogs like me try and capture the feeling on our iPhones, posting our images on our Instagram feeds but there's a world of amazing photographers who really know how to put the magic of Parisian doors in a picture. Luckily for those of us who can't get to Paris as often as others, they share their stunning images online and in gorgeous books that have us drooling. 

One of my favorites




Doors of Paris: A Photo Essay
Photographer Rebecca Plotnick has some stunning doors on her blog.


Do you share my love of doors, especially French doors? 
There are instagram accounts devoted to nothing but doors. Just plug in #doors and see what comes up. While I'm equally obsessed with doors I'm not…

Baker Street Station—Sherlock Holmes was there

Image
Baker Street Station The main thing my husband wanted to see in London was London ... as Sherlock Holmes saw it. So our first move, like any fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation was to take a double decker bus to Baker Street. As it turns out I read the map upside down or sideways or maybe it was backwards but we found ourselves in Putney at the bridge. Very much in the wrong direction. Over half an hour by car, which we didn't have. We wound up taking the tube back in the right direction which delivered us to the Baker Street Station. The station is one of the original stations opened when the Metropolitan Railway—the world's first underground railway—was built in 1863.  While we don't immediately think of Sherlock dashing out on the tube, he very well could have and in fact the rail, train etc is alluded to in several dozen Sherlock stories.

The Baker Street station is situated on the very block where Sherlock lived at 221B Baker Street. Or should I say the fict…

Dreaming of France: Evening in Paris

Image
When we were in Paris this past May we stayed in the Saint Germain des Pris at the weirdly named Welcome Hotel. Despite the generic moniker—which to my mind sounds like a youth hostel with cots, bathrooms in the hall and community rooms with pingpong tables and tvs—the hotel was charming, clean & comfortable. 

It was small but super affordable and in an fantastic location, just a couple of blocks from Les Deux Magots, Cafe Flore and Brasserie Lipp, the places Hemingway and all the other expatriot glitteratis hung out, along with artists like Picasso and intellectuals like Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Bouvoir and Camus. John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein. All the folks we saw in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.

We could have taken the metro which was also just two blocks from our hotel but since we were a ten minute walk from the Seine, we decided to spend our first night taking a nice long walk along the river, all the way to the Eiffel Tower. It took about an h…

That Thing We Did: We’re ready for our close-up, Mr. Hanks

Image
My boy and me on the set of That Thing You Do with Tom Everett Scott, 1995





“What size?” the wardrobe assistant asked, rifling through a garment rack full of pointy white cotton bras and silky slips, a measuring tape hanging from her neck. I was suddenly acutely aware of the line of women behind me, waiting to pick up their own period-perfect brassieres for the filming of Tom Hank’s directorial debut, That Thing You Do. I briefly debated tying that tape tightly around the wardrobe woman’s neck.

“34?” It came out as barely a squeak. Even with the additional plumpness that comes with motherhood, my breasts would never be called knockers.

She gave me a quick glance, and without asking my cup size, handed me something white and institutional looking — they were all white and institutional looking—the kind of serviceable bra I would have worn myself when I was a teenager in the sixties. 

“I don’t want to wear someone else’s bra. Can’t we just wear our own stuff?” a young brunette behind me in l…

Happy Fourth of July! [Joyeux Jour de l'Indépendance???]

Image
It was May 27th. It wasn't Bastille Day—that French fete is coming up on July 14th. It wasn't the national Fete de Musique, that happens on June 21st. And it definitely wasn't the fourth of July. Still, for some reason, on May 27th, our last night in the small beach community of Saint Raphael, the town was putting on a feu d'artifices to rival any Independence Day celebration.



My hubby Mark and I had enjoyed one last day down on the sandy beach, taking a couple of quick dunks in the mediterranean and then strolled back along the promenade, looking once more for souvenirs from the south of France. 


We stopped at Spar, the small convenience store where we found ourselves shopping every day for sunscreen and shampoo, beach mats and beer. We picked up one more package of the sesame seed biscuits we'd grown incredibly fond of over the last few days for the road. My husband had his little chat with the pretty young blonde cashier who complimented him on his French. Really …