Thursday, April 3, 2008

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Spring is officially here, so sayeth the calendar. We New Yorkers, however, are still wearing our winter coats and keeping our scarves, hats and gloves nearby.

In Central Park are some areas that are sheltered, and get continuous sun. In those areas the daffodils are fully bloomed out. But in most parts, the daffs are just now coming into bloom, alongside their fellow prophets of spring, the crocuses and forsythia. Tulip leaves are well above ground but the stems with the buds are waiting for more warmth.

I actually prefer this sort of cooler spring, because it extends the blooming season.

My long-lasting cough is still lingering just a little bit, but I have been to yet another doctor, a specialist, who has assured me that the annoying tickle in the throat that causes the cough will be vanishing soon.

At the shop, there are few signs that our clients are experiencing a recession. Our sales consider to be quite astonishing. We now have our April collection on display, and I have chosen a few styles to wear in the shop. (It may be spring, but my choices are still mostly black!) I have a great pair of black Irish linen cropped trousers which will go with everything, and be very cool in the hot weather to come. I also chose an interesting new jacket design in a heavy silk georgette crepe. It is about hip length, and based on a kimono shape, complete with wonderful "lantern" sleeves. I should take a photo of this jacket to show you how swell it is.

The jacket has no front closure, but I fold one side over the other, and then secure it, obi style, by wrapping around a long ecru Fortuny-style-pleated silk scarf, and tying the ends. The ends of the scarf are trimmed with beads, and the weight of the beads keeps the scarf tied round my ... 25 inch waist. I wear the jacket over a knee length black silk dress over long black palazzo trousers. It is fun to be in a "costume."

Now, even if the weather outside is cool, I am warmed up enough to respond to dear UPL's request for seven secrets, or sort of secrets.

1. I am another left-handed person.

2. I am the oldest of three children, having two younger brothers.

3. As a child I loved to help my mother with certain household tasks, such as polishing silver.

4. Being angry will make me cry. I rarely now cry from unhappiness, perhaps because I am rarely feeling really unhappy.

5. I have an old-fashioned rotary phone, and no air conditioning.

6. When I cannot sleep, instead of counting sheep, I remember the Tube ride into central London from Heathrow and try to remember the stops, and the rooftops I would see from the window.

7. I only east tomatoes in the summertime, when I can buy them at local greenmarkets from the farmers who raised them.

This afternoon, I visited my expert hair stylist who has got my bob back into perfect shape. She is a marvel!

Earlier this evening I finished the forms to file the New York state and city taxes. And ... great news is that I do believe I am due for a refund!

On that very upbeat note, I will wish all of you pleasant dreams.


  1. Frances, I love thinking of you with your perfect haircut and your amazing 'costume' - such a marked contrast to my untamed mane and slatternly clothes.
    I can so imagine you polishing the silver too... you wonderful Virgoan you!
    Very lovely.

  2. Oh I hated polishing silver as a child! Mummy made us do it before Christmas - no-one will notice I used to protest - no, but they will if its not clean she said. I too have a rotary phone, if by that you mean a dial phone. I love its ring, ring!

    Is your waist 25" - how trim! Mine used to be 24" when I was 16, now its 29", not so good.

  3. Your 'costume' sounds fantastically elegant and very metropolitan. I am most envious - not least of that trim figure which will show it off.

    Spring is gradually unfolding here too - although we are threatened with a return of sleety cold this weekend. You are quite right - don't put the scarves and gloves away yet.

  4. 25 inch gods! the last time I had a 25 inch waist I was about 12! Would love to see a photo of that outfit.

  5. I love layerd clothing,and used to do it all the time in the shop it helped to keep out the cold to...
    I think my waist must be 40 inches now Ye gods 40 40 40 I'm a barrel!!! xx you mentioned reession is the shop quiet at the moment?

  6. Hope the refund is big enough to let you spoil yourself with a vist to somewhere exciting or at the very least indulge in some new art materials!!Thanks for the interestign glimpse into your secrtet self..see it didnt hurt that much did it!

  7. 25" waist is a long gone memory. That jacket sounds divine but sadly I'd look like one of my potato sacks in it.

  8. Ah, my dose of chic NY life...have not a clue what georgette is, but it sounds very delicate and not tramping in the woods material! We are having a tricky spring too, arctic winds this weekend!

    Thank you for injecting a little elegance into my rough and rural life :)

  9. I used to love polishing the silver with my mum too!
    Sorry to hear your cough lingers on.
    It's good have your hair styled isn't it, i'm booked in for next Friday, though mine is never very elegant.

    Thinking of you walking i central park looking at at daffodils!

  10. Good morning, Frances. I'm sorry to hear that the cough lingers. That flu is a plague!
    I enjoyed your list, and can just imagine you in your very urban setting, surrounded by fast life, but holding on to a rotary phone and fresh air - even on the hottest days.
    I must look on the net to see if I can find a photo of the pants and jacket you're describing. Of course a photo from you would be even better! I, too, love black - can't have too much, especially when you can tie it up with a swathe of ecru silk!

  11. So it can still be chilly in New York . . think at the moment our weather is on a par - mind you we woke up to a blizzard this morning - I wonder what you will be waking up to.

    As I was reading about your description of your outfits I was thinking ooooo pictures please . . . and then you said perhaps you should take photographs. I would love to see your clothes and if where you work would permit it I would love to see photographs of your work place.

    We have all picked up on the 25 inch waist - I am quite small, but doubt my waist is that tiny.

    I loved your list and found it refreshing to read that you feel happy a great deal.

    Hope the cough really does go soon - once we get some warm sunshine . . . Have you tried cutting down on dairy products for a while that can exacerbate a tickly cough.

  12. I am glad your cough is on its way out.

    Your 'costume' sounds fabulous. I shall have to look on your company website, can you pm me the link? You may have done this before, apologies, I may have it?

    I have a bob hairstyle too, it has always been my favourite cut and I had one the first time round, did you? It was called a pageboy once too wasn't it?
    What is a rotary phone?

    I enjoyed your blog and your seven facts. Left handed people are so often artistic, must be a brain-link.

  13. Some child stole my waist some years ago, drat her!!! Hey ho, at least I can enjoy the idea through your lovely blog Frances. Isn't it great when you get your hair sorted - mine is just beginning to form curtains over my eyes and will drive me insane no doubt before I actually do anything about it. How lovely itfeels when it is done! xx

  14. Hello Frances,

    So sorry I have arrived here late, just trying to catch up.

    Well I think you look lovely from your picture that you are elegant with wonderful haircut.

    I was a size 12 moons ago in teens, then when menopausal did go up to size 16, now have gone down to size 10. I am crazy about clothes, and love the layering of them too. I too am left handed Frances.

    I loved your list Frances, thank you for sharing it with us.


  15. Got your message via the blog!
    Wore my new skirt - the steel/blue/gray linen yesterday for he first time - most suitable.
    Glad to hear that spring is approaching in NY.
    I posted pictures of a walk in England - when it rained on my other - now defunct - NY blog
    you might laugh at it.
    All best wishes

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  17. Loved thinking about the tulips and other lovely spring flowers out all around you, dear Frances!

    I am so with you on winter tomatoes - eeeeeeuw - they're plain wrong.

    Glad registers are still ringing gaily at EF - credit where credit's due - you obviously make it too hard to resist!

    Hope you lose the last of that cough soon.


  18. Hi Frances
    How are you?
    Marrakech is wonderfully visual as you point out in your comment on England.
    All best wishes
    Looking forward to a new post about the big Apple!

  19. Thank you for visiting my blog. I love the way you write, and I envy you your 25" waist. And pleasant dreams to you too!