Sunday, May 27, 2007

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

The humidity rises, as we await a thunderstorm. The cagey storm is no doubt waiting for me to try to go to sleep, before unleashing the dramatic bits.

But, I can be passive aggressive and perhaps will wait this storm front out.

Meanwhile, it has been a busy weekend, and tomorrow will be another work day. I am still trying to sort out some assistance for the week, since my assistant is wisely staying home until her baby delivery date. I have sent out my messages begging for help, but no volunteers have so far stepped forward.

But, let me tell a sweet New York annecdote from yesterday. It was manic in the shop, customers filling all of our changing rooms. Mostly very pleasant people.

One lady came in with a huge bunch of peonies that she had just bought at the nearby greenmarket. She put down her peonies, tried on some clothes, bought them, and said she was off to meet some people uptown for lunch. Just a few minutes later, she returned to the shop and gave us the peonies. She claimed that she'd just realized that the flowers would not last out the rest of her planned day, and that someone should have the benefit of their beauty.

Magic. Blessings indeed.

We thanked her over and over, and then got those beautiful flowers into a tall glass vase of cool water. Today they have fully opened up and are even more lovely and fragrant than yesterday. It is this sort of generous gesture that make me continue to be cheerful in challenging times.

No sketching yet today, but I will still be awake for another hour or so. I have not yet had time to even read the morning newspaper.

This is beginning to dribble off, so best conclude now.

(I am having a difficult time getting on to CCW this evening.)

Hoping that you will have a lovely holiday Monday. Hope that our work day is not too tricky. We did vastly surpass our sales goal for May, so all the staff will soon be sharing in a pretty good extra bonus pay check. Success. But after lots of hard work. Balance ... unsure?

Pleasant dreams to all.


  1. Love the peonies story. It's the unexpected little things that keep you going. Enjoy your bonus.

  2. I adore peonies and have just moved several large plants to a new spot as teh old owner had planted them next to teh dog run where they could not be seen. I know they willahete me and not bloom now! But to get cut peonies such an unexpected luxury indeed!!

  3. I love peonies too and you remind me to get some for our courtyard-I always think of them as a 'vintage plant-reminds of me of our old garden when I was a little girl.

    Pleased about the bonus-well deserved.

    warm wishes

  4. My lovely pink peonies are on the point of coming out. It's raining hard at the moment so I am a bit worried in case they are ruined. I may end up picking them. They seem such a luxurious flower it would be shame for them to spoil.

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  6. Just discovered your blog so hope you don't mind me visiting. How lovely it is to receive flowers unexpectedly and such beautiful ones too. I've never been to New York but it sounds absolutely amazing where you are. I look forward to reading more.
    Best, Crystal x

  7. I have lots of peonies in flower in my garden; pink ones too. I shall think of your lovely story when I look at them now.

    (Magical blessing indeed, perhaps she was an angel...)

    It is a myth that they don't survive a move. One of the first things I did when we moved here was move them from the riverbank to a flower bed and they thrived.

    Thanks for the Jack Savoretti info to come,

  8. Oh that all customers could be so lovely !

  9. Hello Frances,
    Just been catching up on your last three blogs.The drawing a day seems like a really good idea, even if just one hour per day. Like yourself,I am just discovering the crayons and their potential, quite like trying new things and experimenting.I have several patterns of the scissors, like playing! I am being very strict and getting my jobs sorted out, so no later panic, keeping very calm. So not been near the blogs until I have done whats needed . You would not believe how much drawing I have done this last week.Hope work goes well, and everything runs smoothly. Take care.Milly x

  10. ah what lovley thing to come back with the flowers i love it when people do things so kind and unplaned hope your monday has been lovley frances xx jep

  11. Hello Francis,
    Absolutely adore Peonies, how lovely that you were all given these, a kind lady indeed. I could fill in as an assistant for you Frances, ah, takes me back to Sales Consultant in Knightsbridge.
    Enjoy the bonus Frances, do hope your Monday was relaxing for you.

  12. Hi Francis,

    If you add a small amount of baking powder to the flour it will be the same as self raising flour but they must sell self raising in New York ! And the bottom is supposed to be gooey, that is the lemon sauce. Mine turn out different every time but always yummy.

  13. Good to catch up Frances, I have just planted some peonies in the garden, don'ty have much success with roses so thought peonies are similar and so beautiful, apparently takes years to get a good crop of flowers off them though, will let you know, hopefully we will all still be blogging in years to come!

  14. Hello Frances. I have just fallen into your blog. I have never been to N.Y. and I have never lived in a city. I have lived on the borders of Wales U.K. for the past 30 years and have pink peonies in flower in my garden. Heavy rain will dash their hopes of full glory until the next year so I hope the rain holds off.

  15. Magic peonies indeed! I love them, and of course adore unexpected kindnesses.

  16. Good evening from Norfolk Frances,
    or should I say good morning, it is way past midnight here, I seem to be more of an "owl" rather than a "lark" lately. I have not wrote a diary lately, have been helping with my grandchildren, who are on half-term holiday from school at the moment. Hope you find staff to help out in the shop Frances, while your consultant has maternity leave, let me in there! clothes, clothes, LOVE them!
    Hope all goes well with the meeting. Speak with you again soon.
    Much Love,

  17. Good Morning Frances,
    The weather here today is much brighter, sun has shown it's head. Have not been able to tackle the garden for days due to the heavy rain we have had since last Friday, so the weekend will keep me busy, also my son will be arriving from London which is great,he usually travels up to see us every five weeks, still a batchelor at nearly 36! I forgot to mention Frances, let me know how you get on with the book of L.Woolf, and is it a first addition?
    Warm Wishes.

  18. Good Evening Frances, how lovely to receive such pretty flowers and ones that were totally unexpected. Its little things like this that make you smile and brighten up even the cloudiest day.

    I do hope you buy yourself something lovely with your bonus (lady shopping as my friend calls it). You have been working so hard that you surely deserve it.

    Take care as always - Jacqui x

  19. Frances - at last I have made it back to your lovely blog pages, it feels like an eternity! But I always see your blogs coming into the announcements with a great deal of pleasure - it is so reassuring. Good evening to you from the Scottish highlands by the way! I expect you will be in bed by now, so it will be good morning to you by the time you get this.

    It has also been clammy and stormy here. I hope the peonies are still beautiful - my favourite flower. I will be back soon, it is so good to hear your tales from across the ocean!