Friday, November 16, 2007

City Views, Country Dreams

Good Friday evening from New York.

Winter is pushing its way into our city. The wind today was very strong, creating brilliantly blue sky, but also creating the need to bundle up. The trees in the Park are still mostly green, but by Monday, I expect they will have gone orangy, golden or even ruddy.

Right now, I feel as if I have somewhat squandered my day off. But then, if I pass by a looking glass, and see my splendid new hair cut, I revise that opinion. Do any of you also put off getting your hair styled, for various reasons, well beyond the prime time? And then, when the appointment is made, and the appointment is kept, and the stylist works the magic with the scissors, just take a look at yourself and think ... wow, that really did make a difference?

Well, that is my pattern for decades.

After this afternoon's visit to my stylist, even the blustery breezes could not disturb the shape that had been skillfully returned to my hair. What a treat.

The treat was welcome after yesterday, during which I logged in a twelve-hour work day. My choice, I keep reminding myself that I do make the schedule! The day began with a monthly get-together of various shop managers, designers, merchandisers, advertisers, etc., at which we review the pluses and minuses of each and every item in the prior month's collection. It is so much fun to bounce our opinions (and those of our customers, too) around the room. We all learn a lot, and hope that these sessions will yield an even more successful collection in six months' time.

After the meeting, I returned to the shop for the requisite responsibilities there, and then finished up with an after hours meeting with all the members of the staff. That meeting went well, and was also a time for sharing info, and ideas, and problems and solutions. (We had caterers bring in lovely sandwiches, salads and beautiful pastries. And...we also opened some of the white wine we keep on the premises for such occasions.)

When I got home, I found a phone message from a former colleague from a long ago career (I have known her for over 20 years.) She is in NYC for a quick visit and I look forward to seeing her tomorrow. How I hope that when she drops by the shop, the atmosphere will be relaxed enough for me to have a real reunion conversation.

Here are two more clothing selections I have made from our current collection: a black cashmere sweater with a v-neck line and some frontal shirring detailing and 3/4 sleeves. And an oddly appealing, to me anyway, green silk/linen skirt with embroidery around the lower foot of the skirt and some tulle around the hemline. The green is sort of a blued-loden green

Readers, I plan to wear this skirt over narrow black silk or velvet trousers, and under a black velvet dress/tunic. the black cashmere sweater will go over the dress. Good thing that I got the new hair cut, so at least that will be chic without doubt. Oh, will most likely wear some black boots. (My intention is to be able to sell at least some of these components to customers day after day!)

The company for which I work has been honored as one of the "best places to work in America" for several years and is up for this recognition yet again. So, this Monday, reps from the team that makes that judgement will be visiting my shop in the afternoon. This should be interesting. I suggested to my team that they should just be their usual fine selves. Nothing unusual. Just regular appearance and performance.

Then last night our vacuum cleaner (hoover to you?) died suddenly. We very much hope that the responsible dept of our company will be able to send us a worth replacement before Monday. We don't want our store to be a most dusty place to work!

Pleasant dreams to all.


  1. I do like the sound of your ensemble, Frances. Anything cashmere is lovely to wear...but so expensive to buy!
    It's amazing what a good haircut can do for the morale!

  2. You sound so chic. Looking at your photo, we have very similar hairstyles but sonehow you carry it rather differently from me. Sigh.

  3. I love cashmere and silk....and linen and cotton and gorgeous jewellery and freshly styled hair. Sadly though, most of the time they stay in the wardrobe and I fling on jeans and a sweater to go and feed the hens or work in the garden!

    Hope you get time to enjoy autumn in New York.

  4. I leave my hair until its a bush i'm hopeless, i hate sitting in the hairdressers, but i always feel a million dollars when i walk out, and that feeling remains until i have to wash it and style it myself, then out come the clips.
    I love to wear layers i used to do it in the shop and people always wanted what i was wearing! It also kept me warm... xxxx

  5. sounds a fabulous outfit! I was snooping at your mantlepiece and wondered: Is the little painting on card/board a Louis Wain?

    I love your painting of the different cups too, if I saw it here, I would buy it!

  6. You make NYC sound so exciting. My sister has been a few times now and enjoyed it each time. I've never been. It always looks amazing at Christmas time on the films. Have a great weekend and enjoy your reunion.

    Crystal xx

  7. ah i have not the legs for narrow velvet trousers... nor do i have hair that can be blown by the wind and have it settle back down in place. and it's not the fault of the haircut; it's the fault of the hair.

    i love the calm chic feeling i get when i read your blog.

  8. Lovely blog, Frances and lovely clothes too. Like Mountainear I love fabric and lovely clothes but am very likely to be found in jeans and fleece (home) or black business suit (work). not very interesting, unlike your outfit which sounds glorious.

  9. There! I've been saving up a couple of your blogs and have just read them together as a Sunday treat - what I love about your writing, and I know I've said this before but it bears repeating, is its tranquility. It seems to be that you cram so much in without sounding frantic or rushed - I tend to feel as if a starting pistol has been fired every morning. I also really enjoyed reading about your clothing choices and the joy of a new, good, haircut. I'm a hopeless clothes shopper and stick to my uniform of jeans and t-shirt so it's a vicarious pleasure to hear what you've added to you wardrobe! I feel we're lucky on this forum to be able to look into other peoples lives and I always enjoy reading about yours.

    Ps Interesting to read your thoughts on Norman Mailer.

  10. Frances, your life is so very chic...I come here for my little NY style fix, (before coming back down to earth and fixing my woolly beanie more firmly on my head).

  11. you will look so lovely in your layered combo, but I can't do layers, look quite frankly a bugger

  12. Dear Frances,

    Love Cashmere sweaters, anything cashmere come to that. From what you describe, you will look totally fab. I do not tend to buy much in the colour Green, although in the summer could not resist buying a linen dress with bow-detail to waist.

    I am to visit the Hair-stylist early December, have been to her for 22 years.

    Do hope you managed to have some special quality time with your friend Frances.


  13. Ooh more clothes. How lovely Frances. I love the sound of that skirt; I really love things that are a little diffferent don't you? You made me laugh about the optimum timing for aircuts - I am dreadful about getting mine cut regularly and wear it in a style similar to yours I think. It gets longer and longer until I look truly dreadful and then finally I make the appomintment ( this weekend actually). Oh the relief and the asking myself why I don't keep it looking better! xxx

  14. I agree with Chris about the tranquility that comes through your writing, despite the long hours and hard work involved in your day to day life. I do so agree about the haircut, and the clothes sound wonderful.

  15. Haircut sounds fab Frances, the right cut can be a real 'pick me up', the outfit sounds lovely friend was over in NYC last week, shopping, her husband was there on business, she came back full of wonderful tales and vivid images of the shops and hotels....ahh. I would have met you for coffee had I been over tooo...we can but dream. Good to catch up.

  16. Lovely post. Just dropped by from a link elsewhere. Hairdressers? Mine always leave me to take up other careers. Is it me? I don't know but when I find a great one they have it away on their toes pretty sharpish and I am left wondering who to trust next. One hairdresser many years ago made my hair look like something my granny would have sported. It was a disaster and I have been scarred for life! It is a great feeling when it has been done and it looks good and your head feels light because of all the head massage and loss of extra hair! I must make that appointment before this hairdresser scarpers off to pastures new.

  17. Hello Frances, At last I am catching up on your blogs and all that you have been getting up to. Well done making a start on the cards, glad to hear you had such a long well earned holiday, which sounded like lots of fun. Liked the visit down memory lane.
    Lucky you, selecting all those beautiful clothes, living in the country doesn't require such elegant garments, neverless we can all be jealous of your stylish wardrobe. Feeling cold and wintery here. Still enjoying my Tai Chi, busy sewing and of course drawing. Best Wishes Milly x

  18. Hi Frances - I'm glad to hear that the cold hasn't settled in on you and that you are feeling better. I'm going to have to google your company again to see what's new for the season and have a look at what you're wearing! It sounds very glamorous!

  19. Idea excellent, I support.