Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Interiors - The World of MAX King - Day into Night

 I'm into red since I started watching Downton Abbey and became fixated on the red plush Jacobean settees in the library, and the red on Lady Mary's bedroom walls, and the fabulous red evening gowns she wears. 

MAX KING DESIGN is into RED. He did these swell divans for a Manhattan client. They are inviting, day into night.  Max, who could be wearing a salt-and-pepper Varvatos suit with the brown suede brogues right this very moment. Max, who could be uptown or down, inside a Park Avenue Penthouse, or creating The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Reading Room in the Stamford Library. Max gets around.

Recently he completed a tiny gem of a jewelry shop for Pedro Boregaard in Narrowsburg, New York. 

and just finished a vacation place on Coronado for a Connecticut client.

Don't you just want to lie down and look out at New York spread before you like a sparkling diamond?

If you read his blog, you will see more black and white and red, and Max will give you his take on design from the ground up, or the perfect Martini, whichever comes first. 



Monday, January 30, 2012

Downton Abbey - Series 2 - Episode 4

There are 3 kinds of dramas:
Oh my,
Oh my God.
Downton Abbey is absolutely OH MY GOD.

Episode 4 has so much drama, so many different scenes, (I timed a Lady Mary and Anna scene where Mary is preparing to go to London to see Sir Richard Carlisle, 55 seconds) so many incredible one liners and cliff hangers and tear jerking heroics that I had to watch it twice.

It is WAR, 1918 and in the heat of battle William pushes Matthew back into a trench and saves his life. We cut to Daisy in the kitchen feeling some one has stepped on her grave, cut to Lady Mary at tea, dropping her cup suddenly feeling very cold. These women have the sixth sense for their men. Downton receives the news both men are injured and the tears start to flow. Violet, the Dowager Countess goes to work to get William transferred from a hospital in Leeds back to Downton. Dr. Clarkson is stonewalling her and in frustration as Violet leaves she says "It always happens when you give these little people power. It goes to their head like strong drink."

Bates and Anna go together to church to pray for both Matthew and William, quite an image with the two of them at the alter. Bates tells Anna he didn't want to take her to the alter this way to which she replies: "I would rather have the right man than the right wedding." Good girl.

When Matthew is brought into Downton, Lady Sybil picks up his clothes and Lady Mary's charm for luck falls out of the pile. This naturally is what kept Matthew alive. Oh, it's all so juicy. And these are fictional characters, right? Well, maybe not, maybe these are based on real characters from Lady Almina Victoria Marie Alexandra Wombwell, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon's life. How is that for a name?

O'Brien, up to her usual trouble making, WRITES to Mrs. Bates to tell her Bates is back at Downton Abbey and she, Mrs. Bates shows up to blackmail him. MORE TROUBLE. Won't she ever go away and leave Anna and Bates alone to be happy??????

Cut to Lavinia arriving to be at Matthew's side.
Cut to William in a huge bedroom upstairs in Downton Abbey asking Daisy to marry him now, before he dies, and she will be a War Widow and be protected. Ah, chivalry is so genuine when it is genuine.
Cut to Lady Mary at Matthew's bedside as he wrenches out of her what his condition is, and in the most angelic way Mary then tells Matthew he and Lavinia can make plans.
When she gets up to leave her shattered face exposes how much she loves him.
OH, God, romance. I am definitely in tears by now.
Cut to Lady Mary traveling to London to request that Sir Richard Carlisle, newspaper man, the one she has agreed to marry, squash the Mr. Pamuk story Mrs. Bates is threatening to expose. When he agrees and Lady Mary offers to "pay him back" his response is "as my future wife you're entitled to be in my debt."  OH my my my here we go. MORE BLACKMAIL.

Of course Lavinia saying "I'll die if I can't be with him" isn't a good omen, and the look on Lord Robert's face when he realizes there could be no heir from his heir isn't exactly happy either.
Oh, there is so much to review. So many good tidbits. It's like every scene is eye candy, so much red in the drawing room, so many fabulous paintings, drapes, furniture.

I must go watch it again. Mrs. Hughes was being kind to Ethel, wasn't she? And I cannot tell you how it ends. It's too sad. Go watch episode 4 on the PBS website and tell me what you think. I'm obsessed.

Take the quiz again, and tell me which character you love the most.

Writers - Listen to Radiolab - HELP!

Me, Myself & Muse
What do you do when your own worst enemy is...you? This hour, Radiolab looks for ways to gain the upper hand over those forces inside us--from unhealthy urges, to creative insights--that seem to have a mind of their own.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Books of the Times - Inspired by Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey has made me curious.

I am curious about this time, moving quickly from Queen Victoria to King Edward in 1901 and from King Edward to King George V in 1910. I am curious about the explosions of technology, and the coming of World War I. Consider electricity was being installed, the telephone was coming into wider use, the typewriter was also gaining ground which meant girls who previously had to live their lives in service as house maids could now become secretaries and have a better life. How similar is this to the explosion in technology today? Why does this matter? How are jobs being morphed into technology? Where will the jobs of the future be? How do you create jobs?

The New York Times printed an excellent piece by William Boyd in the Sunday Review on WHY WORLD WAR I RESONATES.


"A conflict between 19th-century armies equipped with 20th-century weapons..."

It matters because there is still the great divide between the master and servant, between the 1 and the 99 percent, because technology has exploded into our lives in such a way that if I am without my screen for a morning I feel out of touch. And now in an instant I can google when the typewriter was invented (1860's), just as America was going into Civil War. The secrets of the Manor House are not just facts like the 45 gallons of water that had to be carried up flights of stairs for one person's bath before plumbing, the secrets of the Manor House are the secrets of today.

Here are some titles that are interesting further reading, available at Book Soup, linked below.

*  Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Lady Almina.

*  Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Margaret Powell.

*  Rose: My Life In Service to Lady Astor.

*  Manor House: Life in an Edwardian Country House by Juliet Gardiner.

*  The Life and Secrets of Almina Carnatvon: 5th Countess of Carnarvon of Tutankhamun Fame by William Patterson Cross.

*  What the Butler Winked At: Being the Life and Adventures of Eric Horne, Butler by Eric Horne.

And of course Edith Wharton, THE BUCCANEERS.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Downton Abbey - Series 2 - Episode 3

The last thing Lord Grantham said to Lady Cora at the end of Episode 2, in their bed before lights out:
          "the world was in a dream before the war, now it's woken up and so must we."

They are awake at Downton Abbey now that it has been turned into a convalescent hospital with Lady Sybil working as a nurse, and Matthew's mother, Isobel pushing way too hard to run things. She rushes in to see her Ladyship saying,
Isobel: "My timetable has been wantonly disregarded. If I'm not appreciated I must seek some other place where I can make a difference,"
Lady Cora, "perhaps it would be best."
Isobel: "I repeat it, I mean it."
Lady Cora, "I'm sure you do."

Really, what does Isobel think pushing Lady Cora? It's HER house.
We've got Lady Sybil and her revolutionary chauffeur Brandon, Matthew on patrol with William the footman who both go missing and create more tension upstairs & down, O'Brien, so evil, and always, as my friend Max points out, depositing nasty ideas into her Ladyship's head when she is doing her hair. Makes her look a little bubble headed. What a wonderful observation. Isobel has left to make a difference in France, and her man Mosley has nothing to do so offers his services to his Lordship.

BATES returns, after Lord Robert goes to see him at the Red Lion Pub and asks him to "help me through the veil of shadow," trumps Mosley and he and Anna are in heaven again. Bates can get rid of his wife, Vera, he just has to give her MONEY. It's fun to watch Bates and Thomas snarl at each other. As my friend JACK said, "I loved Bates retort to Thomas about how Thomas is now running things at Downton, 'All the more reason to pray for peace.' OOOH, that was cool."

The telephone has been installed and the WAR office is calling, electricity is all over the house, the Crawley sisters are giving a concert.
Lady Mary: "I don't care about the stupid concert."
Lord Robert: "We have to keep going, whatever happens, we have to help each other to keep going."

Everyone assembled for the concert, and I almost fell off my chair when Matthew and William reappeared as Lady Mary was singing If You Were The Only Girl In The World. TEARS, tears and these are FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. Lady Mary LOVES Matthew and everyone knows it. How is she going to get rid of Sir Richard Carlisle and get back to Matthew? And WHAT about Lavinia? How can she easily disappear? How wonderful Downton Abbey is. How wonderful the writing.

You're so kind...
how very kind....

"Would you Kindly leave the room," MRS. HUGES says to Ethel when she catches her red handed with the very Ernest Hemingway looking officer she is rollicking with in one of the servants rooms. "You are discharged, without a reference or a character."
Ok, but why discharge Ethel and not discharge Branson for planning to pour a silver dish full of muck onto a Colonel's head in the Crawley's very lovely dining room? Mr. Carson said there would be too much scandal and publicity, the wrong publicity for Downton, but what about this event? Ethel turns up at the end of the episode, you guessed it, pregnant.

There is so much else to discuss. Mrs Burns and Mrs. Patmore in league to feed soldiers in the village, the Dowager Countess whose way of looking down her nose at everyone who isn't a family member is remarkable, Daisy who struggles away in scullery, but not enough time; I need to go re-watch episode 3.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Colburn School of Performing Arts - Los Angeles

                                "the arts give life meaning under the most dreadful of circumstances." 

           - Herbert Zipper, stalwart Viennese conductor who formed a secret orchestra in a Nazi concentration camp and later took concerts to America's inner-city schools. 

COLBURN 100, A Season Celebrating Richard D. Colburn's Centenary. 

THE COLBURN SCHOOL, Zipper Hall, yesterday's setting for two Operas; THE SECRET KINGDOM, by Ernst Krenek, and THE EMPEROR OF ATLANTIS, by Viktor Ullmann with The Colburn Orchestra and The Domingo-Thornton Young Artists of LA Opera conducted by James Conlon, Richard Seaver Music Director of LA OPERA.

The voices, sublime, all of them standouts, excellent, brilliant. The costumes, black and white, pleated, pointed, flowing, colorful red, yellow slashed green, striking, grabbed my eyes and held them. The conducting, precise, in total command. The audience, spellbound and astonished and for me, grateful at the same time. The composers, masters. Ernst Krenek, (1900-1991) presents a fairy tale with a riddle, and takes us into nature to unfold it. Viktor Ullmann, (1898-1944) exhibits a chilling work written in the Terezin concentration camp where he "took an active part in the musical life which flourished there amid the appalling conditions." This work was suppressed by the Nazi regime, and I am fortunate to have been in the audience. I am fortunate through the music to experience scenes of my own childhood, the electric blue of the morning glories, the blazing orange of Mother's Zinnias, and the delight in being out of doors in the open air watching blades of grass, cars go by, the postman on the street, the direct contrast to the horrors that occurred only few years before. I am fortunate to capture, through music, over the years, Viktor Ullmann's feeling for life.

This is a realized dream of conductor James Conlon and Colburn President and CEO Sel Kardan, to raise public consciousness to these suppressed composers work. 

THE COLBURN SCHOOL for the performing arts is the example of excellence in every way. Whether you are a connoisseur of music, dance or drama. Whether you can pay or whether you need to go free, go, experience world class performing arts and how they do, in fact, give life meaning.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Downton Abbey fans - Something to tide you over

It's Friday. Getting itchy for another installment of Downton Abbey? Those dresses? Those rooms? The upstairs and downstairs. Besides Lady Mary upstairs, downstairs I just love Mrs. Patmore, who seems to have a wonderful kitchen to create in, and from the looks of it turns out magnificent food for the Crawley's dining pleasure.

Listen, if you can't wait, you can switch gears and begin watching another PBS masterpiece, THE FORSYTE SAGA, written by John Galsworthy, (streaming on Netflix,) and get lost in this Victorian family drama from 1870's to 1920's London. The Forsyte's seem stiffer than the Crawleys, but the story, wardrobe and sets are just as much eye candy, truly if you want to disappear into a story, this is it. Soames, played brilliantly by a frozen Damian Lewis, (now starring in HOMELAND on cable,) is captivating as the husband who is anchored in a belief that he can have anything he wants and that his wife is his property. His wife, Irene, played by the magnificent Gina McKee has a similar haunting quality about her facial expressions that keep one's eyes traveling her face for exposure to what is in her heart. The blue and white ensemble she wears when Uncle Swithin takes her to Robin Hill is enough to make you swoon. Corin Redgrave as Uncle Jolyon is remarkable in his portrayal of the more sympathetic of the Forsyte men. Don't let him fool you. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Emily Dickinson - The Poet's Art

" This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me -
The simple News that Nature told-
With tender Majesty

Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see -
For love of Her - Sweet - countrymen-
Judge tenderly - of Me"

                      Emily Dickinson

Portrait of the Duchess of Fitz-James 1867
Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.)

Which Downton Abbey character do you love the most?

Downton Abbey, Season 2. Episode 2. 
Ok, I am addicted.
I love the entire package; the setting of Downton Abbey    (aka Highclere Castle http://www.highclerecastle.co.uk/)   and it’s interiors, the massive paintings, the pale green fabric on the walls in the dining room, the red walls in Lady Mary’s bedroom, his Lordship’s desk in the library, and of course the costumes, the actors, the acting, but the writing is the real juice in this turn of the century drama. 
It’s the writing that fills O’Brien with humanity when she looks at herself in the mirror after she has failed to pick up the soap that has fallen underneath Lady Cora’s tub, and says to herself "this isn’t who you are..."
It’s the writing that makes the Dowager Countess so fun to watch, the writing that gives her fabulous lines like her response to making Downton a convalescent hospital...
"what’s next, amputation in the dining room, resuscitation in the pantry?"
It’s the writing and the creation of all these characters that makes us feel as if we are there, just out of sight, just behind the curtain watching all the fabulous comings and goings of the Crawley family in their quest to establish Matthew Crawley as a suitable heir to the estate after the known heir went down in the sinking of the Titanic.  

Who do you like the best?


And let me ask you this: Does Matthew feel that Lady Mary hesitated on giving him her answer because of the question of inheritance and status, or was it a moral question for her? Was she conflicted about Mr. Pamuk? Will O'Brien's act of pushing the soap in Lady Cora's path become known? Does everyone have something to hide?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Downton Abbey - Lady Mary's Wardrobe

Not only is the blouse fantastic, front and back, but what about the wallpaper in the dining room? The paintings? Or is it the sitting room, I can't be sure, and then of course there is Matthew in his uniform.

Season 2, Downton Abbey. I love all these characters, from Lord Grantham, to the Dowager Countess, to O'Brien, deliciously evil, and Thomas, the things he says, so heartless, didn't care that Lady Cora lost her baby.

These scenes between Lady Mary & Matthew, now that he is at War, with Lavinia Swire waiting in the wings, and the Dowager Countess and her daughter, Lady Rosamund Painswick plotting to get rid of her are wonderfully romantic.

Ever read SNOBS? Julian Fellowes really nails his characters.

I don't know which character I love most, Violet, his Lordship, her Ladyship, Mr. Carson, the house itself, Downton Abbey, or the music. Delight for the senses.

Winter Poetry - Robert Frost

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

                       Robert Frost 1874 – 1963

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village though; 
He will not see me stopping here 
To watch his woods fill up with snow. 
My little horse must think it queer 
To stop without a farmhouse near 
Between the woods and frozen lake 
The darkest evening of the year. 
He gives his harness bells a shake 
To ask if there is some mistake. 
The only other sound’s the sweep 
Of easy wind and downy flake. 
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Books - 1984 - George Orwell

I just finished book 1 in Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, which according to Diane can also be used as a doorstop if you are not ready to read it, and thought it was time to re-read Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Oh yes, the ministry of truth,
the ministry  of peace,
the ministry of love,
the ministry of plenty,

and newspeak, doublethink, the inner party, the thought police, the Junior Anti Sex League and their red sash emblem, thought crime, being vaporized.

Oh ORWELL, you had it all, on both sides of the coin.
                            War is peace
                                     Freedom is slavery
                                                  Ignorance is strength

This broke-the-mold piece of work has not escaped my memory hole, and "I love you...these words gave him, Winston, the desire to stay alive."

Golden Globes - It's the WRITING

Jessica Lange, BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS in a TV show, AMERICAN HORROR STORY. In her acceptance last evening Ms. Lange said "it's more and more rare to come up with something that is beautifully written."

Jack Grapes on OUR TOWN at the 
Broad Stage in Santa Monica: 

"It was writing that allowed the actors to be so good, 
it was the writing that invited the ingenuity of the director,
it was the writing that brought us all to something transcendant.

God knows,  I've seen that play a dozen times,
saw it with josh when he was 16,
saw it at a friend of his's high school,
saw it somewhere else can't remember.
high schools do it 'cause it's not only cheap and easy to stage,
but it's so easily written,
even kids shine in it,  and when they play,
the older people,  it's charming,  but it always works.,

There's Beckett and O'Neil and Pinter and Williams, but this play,
so almost old fashioned and quaint,
is so timeless and so beautifully written you hardly realize someone,
is cutting you with a razor blade."

Art - Celebration of Harold Pinter at the Odyssey


Sunday January 22nd at 5 p.m.

Celebration of Harold Pinter
directed by John Malkovich

Julian Sands works his heart out channeling Harold Pinter's spirit, through his POETRY, which utterly comes alive in the intimate setting of the Odyssey Theatre.

The work is bookended with a poem that is repeated 3 times throughout the evening:

"I know the place.
It is true.
Everything we do
Corrects the space
Between death and me
And you."     - Harold Pinter

Only one performance left. Please go see this so we can discuss, so we can correct the space between death and me and you.


Friday, January 13, 2012

All Things Downton Abbey - Themes of Great Literary Writing

The New York Times say: 

"Publishers are convinced that viewers who obsessively tune in to follow the war-torn travails of an aristocratic family and its meddling but loyal servants are also literary types, likely to devour books on subjects the series touches.
So they are rushing to print books that take readers back to Edwardian and wartime England: stories about the grandeur of British estates (“Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle” by the Countess of Carnarvon); the recollections of a lady’s maid (“Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor” by Rosina Harrison); and World War I (“A Bitter Truth” by Charles Todd), the bloody backdrop to the show’s second season, which had its premiere in the United States last Sunday onPBS, drawing 4.2 million viewers.
“We’re just riding that ‘Downton Abbey’ wave,” said Stephen Morrison, the editor in chief and associate publisher of Penguin Books, who watched Season 1 last year and began planning which books to release around the time of the Season 2 premiere. “I think the story lends itself to great television but it is also the themes of great literary writing, with all the twists and turns in the characters.”

Have you taken the Downton Abbey quiz? Check out Jack Grapes comment on the quiz from yesterday.
I took it. First I was Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, then I was Bates.

You can STREAM series 1 on NETFLIX, did you know? Watching it over again catches so many nuances once you know the story.

Lovely Elizabeth McGovern, remember her in Ordinary People? Once Upon A Time in America?

Martha Stewart loves Downton Abbey, says it is her favorite show.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Downton Abbey - Lady Mary's Bedroom

Don't you just love this? This RED on all the walls, her dressing table, her sitting area, the lovely sofa, the fabulous drapes, oh, my God, Downton Abbey is so delicious.
There are three kinds of period dramas:
Oh my,
Oh My God.....

Downtown Abbey, definitely Oh My God...

and Goddess.

Lady Mary loves Matthew.

New York Times is on it:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Take the Downton Abbey Quiz

Are you watching Downton Abbey? I'm addicted.
Lady Mary's dresses, everyone's dresses,
Lady Mary's bedroom with all that red on the walls is utterly fabulous.

Take the test and see what character you are:


and go to the PBS website to look at more fabulous images of this fabulous show. Just can't imagine Lord Grantham in the dentist chair, or parking a car, or waiting in line, or standing in the rain. This series is so wonderfully done I feel as if I am at a window looking in.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Most Emailed on NY Times yesterday - YOGA

WATCH your back.

William Broad's New York Times article yesterday HOW YOGA CAN WRECK YOUR BODY is an eye opener and something no one talks much about. There are too many injuries in yoga, which is why I advocate restorative yoga, and gentle yoga. There is too much ego in doing the posture correctly. Be the posture. Competition (in yoga) leads you nowhere.

This is the one and only body I am going to have, and besides, the physical part is only one part of yoga and was designed to relax the body in order to sit in meditation.

Thank you William Broad and the New York Times.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday - January 9th, 2012 - TV

It's the best thing to hit the air waves since UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS and BRIDESHEAD REVISITED.

The sets, the costumes, the story, DOWNTON ABBEY, I love it.

I know, I know, the New York Times said the second season isn't as good as the first, but I disagree,
and all that
that entails.

I love it, I love the window into a world that no longer exists. Can't we just see it for our pleasure?

Next summer, I am there. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Function of Poetry - Francis Ponge

               Francis Ponge            http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/francis-ponge
Francis Ponge
translated by Robert Bly

"...In these terms, one will surely understand what I consider to be the function of poetry. It is to nourish the spirit of man by giving him the cosmos to suckle. We have only to lower our standard of dominating nature and to raise our standard of participating in it in order to make the reconciliation take place. When man becomes proud to be not just the site where ideas and feelings are produced, but also the crossroad where they divide and mingle, he will be ready to be saved. Hope therefore lies in a poetry through which the world so invades the spirit of man that he becomes almost speechless, and later reinvents a language. Poets should in no way concern themselves with human relationships, but should get to the very bottom. Society, furthermore, takes good care of putting them there, and the love of things keeps them there; they are the ambassadors of the silent world. As such, they stammer, they murmur, they sink into the darkness of logos - until at last they reach the level of ROOTS, where things and formulas are one.
This is why, whatever one says, poetry is much more important than any other art, any other science. This is also why poetry has nothing in common with what appears in the poetry anthologies of today. True poetry is what does not pretend to be poetry. It is in the dogged drafts of a few maniacs seeking the new encounter. "

Friday, January 6, 2012

Across the Universe - Back to California

 It never ceases to amaze me. We are there, then we are here. From the agricultural community of Fife at 45 degrees to the metropolis of Los Angeles at 80. Lovely. I can't look down at Greenland, though, gives me the pip.
I read Diane Keaton instead. Alarmingly funny, honest, astonishing, particularly the list of what she ate in her early New York days with bulimia. Gosh, that she can be so truthful, and kept it to herself all these years. I admire that.

Back to Los Angeles, the views, the weather, the fabulous movies that are all waiting to be seen, the new series 2 of Downton Abbey on PBS, farmer's market, flea market, art museums, writing, reading, cooking, exercise and participation next week in ROOM TO READ.

Please write me, tell me how your world is turning.

Monday, February 12, 1951

"...I must consider this work as a way of life which is never going to change, not as a book to be finished this year or next. That is the only way it will ever get done. I must not want to get it done. There should be no sense of right or wrong, beauty or ugliness, but only relationships of one kind or another..."   - John Steinbeck journal entry in writing EAST OF EDEN. 

Train to Edinburgh - Good bye to Fife

Nothing like taking the train from Fife to Edinburgh. It gives me a thrill of the possibilities that are before me.
The man in the Kirkcaldy train station reminds of the man who produced Mrs. Miniver's rose. I can see Edinburgh just across the water, sail over the railroad bridge Hitchcock made famous in THE 39 STEPS, look up at the Edinburgh Castle, and arrive at the marvelous Waverley Station in under 45 minutes.

Have tea at the new Missoni Hotel on the George IV Bridge.
Walk down Victoria Street, discover the BEST Tweed shop. New jacket.
 Observe the Library.
 Walk over the Bridge from Old Town to New Town.
 Stake out a photo of St. Andrews Square.
 Wish I'd had a drink at the club room in the Dome. Makes me feel as if Noel Coward will turn round the corner at any minute.
and walk past Robert Lewis Stevenson's Edinburgh townhouse.

Edinburgh, a city of half million that hosts the most fabulous festival every August, has the old town and the new, and a flat in my future, I believe.

"World is ball." 

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Kingdom of Fife - Order

 Last day in the Kingdom. Christmas and New Year's is over. Time for order. Time for organizing and packing and clearing out. January 2nd and time to put away the ornaments from the tree, take down the cards, pack up the new tweeds, the photography books, the cashmere socks. How lucky we are to have friends, lots of them, in this remarkable village of Pittenweem.

Next summer Ian Hamilton Finlay's genius work of art, LITTLE SPARTA will be open again. http://www.littlesparta.co.uk/home.htm
 If you haven't been, you must go. Take the 702 South of Edinburgh to the Dunsyre turn off and follow the road all the way through twists and turns to the car park below. I cannot show you photographs as I do not have permission, but LITTLE SPARTA "is a place of contemplation and receptiveness." Please go visit while you have the opportunity. It takes a lot to keep this work of genius going.

Goodbye to the Fife Coastal Path

 Goodbye to tide in at the west shore

 Goodbye to a windy day view from the park

Goodbye to the Dovecote
Goodbye to Kellie Castle and Garden

 to the Anstruther fishery museum
to the R & A in St. Andrews, home of golf, where the course meets the city in a square of green.
 to the chariots of fire beach
   to Elie beach, tide out

to Kellie Castle again, my love, a distinctive element of the National Trust
the Lorimer sculpture studio
Kellie in summer
St. Monans church
the St. Monans windmill at the salt pans
Elie beach, tide out
a secret drive off the Anstruther road
St. Andrews beach in the winter moonlight
Pittenweem Parish in winter
the Christmas day harbor
 the same lovely summer drive

Cambo house, magnificent....goodbye to all these lovely things in the Kingdom of Fife, and to my spectacular friends, you all know who you are.....see you very very soon. lots of love, Kathleen