Friday, January 18, 2008

Country Dreams, City Views

Hello from New York.

Leap year is underway. How will we use that extra day?

In this country, a cartoonist of the 1950's who created the L'il Abner series, also created a holiday know as Sadie Hawkins Day. It is celebrated on February 29, and the cartoon character Sadie H was allowed on that day to propose to the batchelor of her choice, in her hillbilly community. The cartoonist, Al Capp is long dead, but many still laugh a bit nervously when the name Sadie Hawkins is mentioned.

That was not at all the way that I thought I would begin this posting. But the fingers on the keys know their rhythms and destinations. Typos, my fingers scoff at such trivialities.

We are indeed in mid January. The days are lengthening. In the States, the presidential election follies are well underway. We view these activities from the outside via media, and opinions of friends and family. And wonder. What we have got now is not serving our country well. Will the replacement inherit a condition that can be fixed?

New Year. Thinking again of cartoons, and the new year's baby in a diaper (nappy to most of you) full of hope, perhaps. Two weeks later. Wondering.

Within the company where I do work so many hours, I am so sorry to say that we have lost a colleague whom many of us held in very high regard. She has now "left the company" in official speak. Confidentiality prevents us from ever really knowing more. But, of course, in the fullness of time, we will know more. Her sudden departure has left many of us fellow shop managers wondering where our future, and that of our company may lie. The company is dedicated to being different, setting a higher standard. Now we wonder.

I may write more later, but cannot now.

In the week between Christmas and New Year's, a neighbor in my building took the step of sort of indicating that he would be interested in advancing our friendship to another level. Since then, I have done a bit of a dance, not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, but at this stage in my life, not really wanting to have any more entanglements in my life. Right now, I yearn for more free time. I cannot now paint or draw when I want to. I have so much stored up inspiration and ideas to release.

But, I do not want to hurt another person, who has gotten his courage up. Do any of us ever get beyond our teenage years? I know that I were even again really smitten, I would be a born again 16 year old in a second. But now, I feel all of my well-earned 62 years.

The full moon will have its way with us on January 22 (in the States) and perhaps after that this year will gain grace and elegance and we will proceed accordingly. As of now, the weather is very strange, the financial markets (upon which I pin any hopes of leaving the work-a-day requirements of the shop,) the global politics, and even certain local situations involving some dear to us on this site, are a bit in turmoil.

I have not written a blog in weeks and right now think that this lapse has led this one into too much of a summary. I usually like to just have a stream of consciousness, free flow in my writing, without any outline or agenda.

But, I do want to include a picture by Vanessa Bell ... so hoping that it will appear, that is just for our very special birthday girl of January 18, Camilla.

Art usually leads me into light, and I will mention that this afternoon, after meeting with representatives of the management of this apartment building to try to sort out the latest manifestation of the change of ownership of the building (incorrect figures filed with New York State regarding my current protected tenant-status rent) and this morning's lack of running water for four hours, I took a walk.

I walked through Central Park, warmish in advance of expected frigid temps this weekend, and went to a gallery on East 57th Street (a traditional block of fine galleries for decades) to see an exhibit by a favorite artist, William Kentridge. As anticipated, it was wonderful. If you ever get a chance to see his work, please do so. His drawing is sublime, but he takes these drawings to another level, and had made many animated films, and also designed sets for major opera houses. Today's gallery's site is

Maybe I will leave you with the hope of seeing this wonderful creativity. Still hoping for a happy new year.

Pleasant dreams.


  1. Thank you Frances. I always enjoy reading your tales of NY, and you have the ability to take us with you wherever you are, galleries, walking etc.
    How worrying to hear of your colleague's departure. This is something that must hang over you all.
    I love the painting, and indeed that whole era of painters.

  2. I enjoyed my visit to NY today too.
    How will we use that extra day this leap year? I will use part of it explaining the concept to Hannah, who is six and Rosie, four. I always love it in your blogs when you write 'I walked through Central Park...' It is one of my ambitions to do just that! xx PM

  3. I watch with interest your elections, how much better it is with you than with us two terms then a chance to change not just the goverment but the person in charge of that goverment. Here they can stay until given "The order of the boot" Like dear Mr Blair who only stayed as long as he did so he could say he had been in power longer than Maragret Thatcher, not a way to rule over the lives of others.
    Lovely to here about NY again and get thoses brushes out!!!! they need the exercise. xx

  4. Hello from Wales. As I write this, looking out onto a very misty, wooded hillside I'm imagining Manhatten just getting into its mid-morning stride.

    Are you working today I wonder? Or are you able to indulge in a little of that elusive 'me' time?

    Enjoy the full moon!

  5. Thank you for your art recommendations and a beautifully written and thoughtful post. Gosh, lots to think about there - you have been very sweet about the approach made to you and I'm sure you leave this other person feeling good whatever you decide to do.

    I'm recommending your blog to a friend who has just returned from New York and had a wonderful first trip there (lucky her!).

  6. OOooooohh A fancy fella!! as my mother would say!!.. Keep dancing and dodging if he was anywhere near right you'd be wanting to paint him for us!
    I didnt even know it was a leap year! I proposed to colon you know! I was wearing beer goggles at the time. but guess what the &*&$% said NO!

  7. Dear Frances,

    I'm sorry for your unrest, but am sure that your honesty and kindness will be good companions, and help deflect any hurt feelings. Some times in our lives seem to be full of turbulence when other periods drift by without a ripple. All part of the greater ebb & flow I guess.

    Look after yourself, and no needless angst-ing,now.


  8. Dear Frances,

    Oh thank you so much for the Vanessa Bell picture, so sweet of you and for my birthday too.

    Thank you too for the info on Artist and Gallery. Being an avid collector of Art, always thrilled to learn of Artists I may not of heard of.

    As to an aquaintance, take little steps at a time, enjoy whatever creative moments are blown your way, good companions is something to behold, I am sure your kindness and gracefulness will let person know how your feelings are meant.

    Love and Best Wishes,

  9. Sorry Frances, I am so behind with my blog reading and hadn't realised you had posted this one. I know what you mean about not blogging for a while and then feeling you are writing a summary. I find that happens a lot to me and it is thye reularity which makes it more personal. Yours, however, truly didn't feel this way - it was personal and eveocative of you. That painting and the whole Bloomsbury era is so wonderful. Good luck with the work situation and also your neighbour, dear soul xx

  10. Most enjoyable and thoughtful, as ever, Frances. Your life sounds very rich and full, yet for all of us the big wide world is constantly shifting.

    I quite understand your indecision in handling your admirer's attention - I feel sure that, whatever you decide, you will handle things sensitively and thoughtfully.

    I love Vanessa Bell and that whole Bloomsbury era (just came from ElizabethM's blog, where she speaks of having a photo of Virginia Woolf in her study, funnily enough).

    A Happy New Year.

  11. My daughter in law has a birthday on 29 Feb..this year she tells us she will be 7! Some explaining to do with a son of 10 months! A friend was eagerly showing me pictures of her sons travels in the USA ...central park was there in all its glory!
    Enjoy the friendship from your admirer ... it is something to be treasured ...I am reminded somewhere of the words of I will have to look it up....

  12. Just catching up with your blogs, I have missed reading blogs, been too busy with one thing and another.
    This one,like all of yours is another precious gem.
    I will check out the artist and the gallery.

    As a 'mature' woman myself I think friendship with males at my time of life is a wonderful thing, I've made lots of male friends in the library. found people with similar tastes, Perhaps you and your new friend can be just that?

  13. Hello again, Frances. Lots to think about in your blog. I hope you somehow find the time to paint and draw. You've let us know just how important these things are to you - you'll find time one way or another.
    An approach from a suitor. Oh dear - these things are fraught arent' they? I know that you'll find just the right note when letting him down. He'll be down, but he'll recover, and you'll be left unencumbered, if you are clear at the outset. Good luck!

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