Sunday, May 20, 2012

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.


This is a very beautiful day in late May and it shocks me that so much time has gone by since I returned home from my holiday in early April.  It does not seem possible.  However, it is indeed possible.


I have been swept back into a rush of work obligations and necessary errands, tempered by regular connecting with friends, a little bit of creative dabbling, some reading, and a continuation of the baking experiments I mentioned in my last post.


Sometimes I am not sure which day of the week it is.  Clocks and calendars seem to be measuring time at a new speedy fashion that I do not like, and so I decided to go for a slow paced walk this afternoon.  Often such walks provide me with time for contemplation.  I remembered to take my camera with me.


Rose season is in full flower around here.  My neighbor's roses are putting on quite a show.



I so enjoy walking past this brownstone's front garden and letting the breeze bring me the distinctive rosy perfume.  I often see another passerby tenderly taking one of the rose branches between his or her fingers, bringing a bloom closer to said person's nose, so to better appreciate the sensory opportunity.


There are four or five rose bushes in this garden, each a different color and shape.  I do hope that this year's blooming season will last a long time.


However, as I continued to walk around the neighborhood for a while, seeking out more roses, it was apparent that our recent warm days have sped up the first rose blooming cycle.  Many of the blossoms were already very blousy or quite spent.


I was so happy to discover these showy multi-colored roses in a brownstone's front garden on a nearby street.  Aren't they exquisite?  Of course, I have no idea what the official name of any of these roses might be.


Earlier this week I had the great pleasure of a breakfast meeting a fellow blogger, Vagabonde, and her husband.  We had met each other last year and so found it so easy to  immediately fall into conversation about varied topics, and several very enjoyable hours flew past.  That morning, I forgot my camera, and apologize for not having a photo of our delicious breakfast table, with its fresh orange juice, fortifying coffee, waffles, syrup, eggs, bacon, hash-brown potatoes, toast, butter and jam.  


The restaurant we chose is one of a vanishing type of classic New York City coffee shops, with seats at a counter in one area, and wonderfully vintage leatherette booth seating in an adjacent room.  Very attentive waiting staff and reasonable prices add to the popularity of the place.  We hope that the continuing upscaling of the neighborhood will not eventually lead to the restaurant's disappearance.


I thought it might be fun to show you all a painting I did in the last century of a flower arrangement.  I am very sad not to have been doing more painting.  I continue to resolve to find more time for my art.  This may require some additional conversations at my workplace.


I wish to remind my readers that I am still contemplating where I might choose to go sometime within the next year, making use of an upcoming Tenth Anniversary Travel Bonus from my employer.  Any suggestions are welcome.


Meanwhile I've done some browsing in my library's travel section and clicked around a few places on the web.  So far, I have decided that I would not want to travel in the summer months, but that any of the other seasons would be fine.


The little book pictured below is a gem of a guidebook that I purchased many years ago from Barnes & Noble.  Obviously, all the pricing information is now hopelessly out of date, but it's still quite good about the history and cultural aspects of various places, even very far out of the way places.





I do not think that I would want to stay in a city, but would prefer to try to find a place to stay, possibly on my own, possibly not, but a base in which I could relax, do some painting, 
have some sort of access to public transportation that could allow me to get around a bit and perhaps meet more of you all whose names I know so well.  All my thoughts are quite vague at present.  It is pleasant to do some daydreaming about countryside places where one can see the stars at night and enjoy landscape views daily, even in rainy weather.


Tomorrow morning, my alarm clock will beep quite early to signal my return to a demanding  work day.  Meanwhile, right now, there are still many minutes left in this sunny Sunday and I am so glad to have added this post.


I thank everyone for your visits and comments.



22 comments:

Karen@PasGrande-Chose said...

Dear Frances, your rose-filled walk in the sunshine sounds perfectly lovely! I'm also full of admiration for that beautiful painting of yours - you are so very talented indeed.
And I find that the daydreaming and planning part of travel is as much fun as the real thing. There are so many lovely parts of the countryside in Italy and France that would be ideal to visit outside of the hectic summer season, though I'm sure you've already considered these. I wish you happy planning and already looking forward to hearing about the real thing in the not too distant future!
All best wishes, Karen

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Here am I still enjoying tulips and you have roses in full bloom! And holiday plans ... what fun!

Canadian Chickadee said...

The flower photos are lovely, and your painting is exquisite. Such lovely colours!

If you are looking for interesting places to visit outside of London, you might want to check out Meike's blog site, "Mental Librarian." (I think that's right; you may have to access it by going to Scriptor Senex's blog first, and then clicking on her site.) She just got back from Yorkshire, where she spent several idyllic days in and around Harrogate, visiting Fountains Abbey, and Lewis Carroll's childhood home, etc.

It's always so much fun to plan and dream, isn't it?
Love, Carol

Canadian Chickadee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MeMeRose said...

Hello Frances, I do love your posts and hope your flair for words rubs off on me! Two years ago we visited the Italian Riviera on a rather fleeting visit, but the places we stumbled across were truly wonderful. Little medieval towns built in the hillside with winding narrow alleyways. I have always wanted to go back and just stay in one of the towns - Dolce Aqua was a good location. Old town Monte Carlo would make a fascinating stay also... don't do what we did and visit when they were setting up for the Formula One driving!! Enjoy the sunshine... we even have it here at the moment; it is helping to life my post holiday blues x

Chris Stovell said...

Phew! I was so pleased to read your thoughts about the disappearance of the old-style diners as that's something I picked up on and referred to in the book that's about to come out!

On a less self-centred note, I notice that your life is as busy as ever - I think you are just one of those people who is determined to make the most of every minute of the day!

May I suggest a trip to Wales ;)? We are buried in deepest west Wales, an hour away from a train station, however, Cardiff is a wonderful city packed with interesting architecture and not impossible for a 'Coo' meet-up.

elizabeth said...

Super roses!
I vote for Bruges in Belgium
Small and an utter treat with art and old buildings and yummy food to boot.
Buster and I hope to see you soon!

Magic Cochin said...

Oh those roses! and your mentions of it being a "very beautiful day in late May". Where has the English Spring gone? It came early, in March, the week you were over here. Then it went away and we've had more rain in Suffolk than I've ever remembered!!!! Our village street even flooded!

Autumn sounds like a lovely time to travel. And so much choice, given such a generous offer I'm not sure where I'd go! Tuscany? Umbria? The Basque Country of France or Spain? Languedoc? Andalucia?

I wonder where you'll choose?

Celia
x

Fennie said...

Frances I second Chris' suggestion - and we should certainly keep a welcome in the hillsides for you here. But I fancy you ought to be whisked - at least for part of the time - to somewhere vast and exotic. Paraguay comes to mind, though it has probably changed a great deal, and be rather less full of shady generals overdressed in gold braid. Or maybe India. Yes, in fact you would make an excellent mem-sahib and instead of your leatherette diners you could be sitting on an evening veranda taking your tea while the punkah-wallah gently fans you from a corner. You could track the steps of the lesser Mughal emperors and live life in their forts, bathe in the Ganges and rejoice in chaos. They have jaguars in Paraguay and elephants in India and maybe - half way from one to the other - you could ride a camel in Morocco and down across the Sahara to Timbuktu - twinned, incidentally with Hay on Wye, here in Wales. I am, I realise, being a little facetious and probably absurd, but if you are serious about slowing time that is the way to do it. It is routine, familiarity, the sense of the known that makes the clock go ever faster.
Instead of photographing roses you could take pictures of Macaws in Paraguay and of the great steamy railways in India and the mud pyramids of the Sahel. Boldly go, Frances, and time boldly slow to match! Bon voyage!

Pondside said...

Frances, I understand the tug of desire for more time for the really important things and the pull of the work that's necessary to keep everything running!
May I suggest Odense, in Denmark? From May through September, Denmark is magical (okay, magical all year, but most pleasant in the good weather). Public transit is great, the area is full of castles and churches and wonderful things to paint. You are withing easy visiting distance of Copenhagen on one extreme, and the small islands on the other. Go for it!

mountainear said...

I have to echo what Fennie and Chris S suggest. There will be a welcome in these hillsides. Come and see us.

Realistically Europe is a small place linked by good transport systems. So many places, so little time. And then there is the rest of the world....

Me. Back to Greece.

Frances Tyrrell said...

Such a beautiful array of roses already in May, how glorious.
That is a beautiful floral painting Frances and I hope your chosen holiday includes time to appreciate beauty and to paint to your heart's content.

Friko said...

What fun you'll have choosing a place for your holiday next year. If you are after public transport you'd better not come and stay anywhere in the countryside in the UK. Public transport is not something the Brits go in for, outside London and some of the big cities. But there are some wonderful areas otherwise, the Shropshire Hills among them, where you would find everything else your heart could desire.

I am glad you still take the time to go for leisurely walks, all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. It's too early for roses round here, June is the rose month.

Vicki Lane said...

We have country views aplenty in my corner of NC but public transport there is none.

How nice that you and Vagabonde could meet! It must be interesting meeting with someone you feel you know well from blogging.

Vagabonde said...

It was a real pleasure indeed to share breakfast with you in New York dear Frances. The time went by so quickly. We then went to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and saw thousands of roses in bloom. I just could not stop myself and took way too many pictures. Many of them had wonderful fragrance – mostly the “old fashioned” roses. Your painting is absolutely splendid. I sure hope you take more time to do more painting - you have a gift.
How exciting to plan for a future trip. I am not sure where you have been already so it is hard to tell. There is a lot to see in Europe – I heard Croatia is magnificent but then Asia has also so many sights. My husband bought a book called “1001 places to see before you die” or something like that – see if you can find it in your library – it will give you pictures of different places.

♥ a little of me♥ said...

good morning or afternoon? im hosting a bloghop on tuesday's and will love if you join...is nice to share with others...thank you if you do...the lord love friendship

Lori ann said...

such a lovely walk, all the roses near you seems lucky indeed. your painting is so beautiful, i really hope you find the time to spend more time with your art.

and how lucky too to have bonus travel to look forward to. i love the research and planning too. we were planning our next trip even as we were on this recent one. i think you would love africa frances.

Chavezqhzb said...

It was a real pleasure indeed to share breakfast with you in New York dear Frances. The time went by so quickly. We then went to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and saw thousands of roses in bloom. I just could not stop myself and took way too many pictures. Many of them had wonderful fragrance – mostly the “old fashioned” roses. Your painting is absolutely splendid. I sure hope you take more time to do more painting - you have a gift. How exciting to plan for a future trip. I am not sure where you have been already so it is hard to tell. There is a lot to see in Europe – I heard Croatia is magnificent but then Asia has also so many sights. My husband bought a book called “1001 places to see before you die” or something like that – see if you can find it in your library – it will give you pictures of different places.

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