Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bejeweled Expression

A recently read passage in Mary Soames' memoir - she was Winston Churchill's daughter - started me thinking about women who expressed themselves in an unexpected way with jewelry.

 Here is the passage.  It is the 1940s and  Mary is visiting at Petworth when Lady Violet Leconfield comes in.

"Suddenly the door burst open, and in came my hostess in her warden's getup: trousers encircled with bicycle clips, uniform jacket - and, swinging under her the steel helmet surmounting her grizzled locks, the grandest and most beautiful pair of diamond pendant earrings I had ever seen in my life!"  

Lady Leconfield
Could these be the under helmet diamonds?

Later Mary recounts:

"Lady Leconfield was in excellent form dressed in a pale blue V-necked jumper - loaded with jewellery and wearing scarlet corduroy slacks!!"

Mary explains that "It was extremely unusual then (other than when "on duty") for grand middle-aged ladies to wear trousers - let alone while also bejewelled."  Hence her amazed comment.

The Book

Then there was Sara Murphy - friend of the Fitzgeralds, Picasso, Leger, and others.  She did pearls on the beach perfectly.

Sara Murphy
French Riviera 1920s

Read more here

Bracelets anyone?

Nancy Cunard

The interesting life of an
heiress advocate.

Excess?  No, not quite yet for then there was Luisa Casati, who besides wearing jewels, often wore her snake and walked around with dual cheetahs.

Perhaps a bit much

 Interesting to note that all of the above - with the exception of Lady Leconfield - were photographed by Man Ray.  When I tried to locate a Man Ray photo of Lady Leconfield, Lady Gaga kept coming up which is a whole other story to which I need not contribute.

So in regard to bejeweled expression today?  I rather liked the way necklaces were worn at the recent Ralph Lauren show. 


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Practical Paper Dolls

I want the jacket.
But, good grief, is that a girdle!!
The gloves, please.

All courtesy of:


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Writers and Are You Famous?

I spent the weekend in the Berkshires at Wordfest.  It is a biennial gathering of writers at the Mount.   This year the roster of participants  was amazing.

I went specifically to hear:

Francine du Plessix Gray
Read "Them:  A Memoir of Parents" to know why she talked about her family's history with "Vogue", and her escape from the Nazis.


John Berendt
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"

And I thought I collected eccentrics - he is the master.  He is currently conducting research for a book on New Orleans.  We will have to stay tuned.

I also heard Adam Gopnik, Roxanna Robinson, Matthew Pearl, Suketu Mehta and others.  A fabulous event!

Meanwhile, Edith Wharton was a woman after my own heart

Dog cookies at the dining table

One of the dog beds
At one of the presentations, there was a group of twittering folks behind me.  One woman eventually approached.  Apparently, they could not decide if I was:

Laura Linney, or

Laura Dern
This was absoulutly mortifying and the disappointment I caused when I said I was niether was awful.

Then after the John Berendt talk, an official from the Mount itself chased me up the drive to ask if I was:

Elizabeth Gilbert
author of
"Eat, Pray, Love"
This time a bit annoyed and had the creeps.  Why do people ask such things?  Yet, that night, Mr. Weston and I had a hysterical laugh over G&Ts via cell phone.  He was at home, while I was still in the Berkshires.


Monday, September 10, 2012

A Moonglow Birthday, Criterium, and New Boots

The weekend started with a birthday party for my niece.  It has been previously mentioned in this blog that her birthday is September 11.  In the ensuing years since that terrible day, we have worked really hard to make it special for her.

On Friday after work, friends and family assembled at my house for the celebration.  All were bearing gifts and an abundance of produce from the garden.  The cornucopia included tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, cucumbers, peppers, fresh herbs, sweet corn - it is miraculously still out here - and more.  We all worked together to prepare a simple and fresh meal. 

Later, when the lights were turned out and the candled cake brought in, Mr. Weston played  "Happy Birthday" with great fanfare and chords on the piano.  He then proceeded to play other tunes - including my favorite, "It Had to be Moonglow."  The house rang with joy, music, and laughter.

The next day, we zoomed up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to stay with friends.  They very kindly treated us to dinner at the delectable Black Trumpet.  This restaurant is now, a new favorite.

On Sunday, we cheered our friend on as he participated in the Portsmouth Criterium.  Bravo, B.D.!  You were fantastic!

Later, we drove across the bridge of the Piscataqua to Kittery, Maine where there are outlets.  

Recently, while field/woods walking my right boot has necessitated a plastic bag lining.  After several years, it is cracked and I really have not been up for purchasing another pair - just yet - since the plastic bag still made the boot useful.

In Kittery, we turned into the first plaza where one was able to bellow out "Eureka!"  Barbour had a plethora of appropriate field walking boots on sale for half the outlet price.  Boots were to be found for a mere $26!  After Mr. Weston and I selected ours, out came the cell phones to call family and friends to see if they needed/wanted any.  Based on the availability of sizes, we came away with several pairs.

Old boots meet new in the back hall.
Dog leashes also hung here.

Old boot - still useful.

The only downer - I was on the second floor of Orvis trying out the dog beds when Mr. Weston came up the stairs and reminded me that Puppy Weston already had 5 beds and did not need another one.  Did I ever mention on this blog that she is not spoiled? 
This one was quite comfy.

All and all, a splendid weekend.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Bailey's Hot Fudge Sundae

Last night I went out with a friend to a movie and afterwards we decided to get hot fudge sundaes.  I had not had one in years and it was sublime.

Oddly, we both remembered being taken to Bailey's in Boston for hot fudge sundaes when we were children.  Bailey's sundaes were magnificent decadence.

My first was when I was on a shopping trip with my mother and aunt.  At lunch time we went into Bailey's.  They ordered some boring sandwiches.  I was allowed to order a hot fudge sundae. When it arrived at the table, I could not believe my eyes.

Contrary to the traditional, pokey sundae that was served in a neat glass pedestal vessel, this was served in a stainless steel silver vessel on a stainless steel silver plate.  What's more - there was so much hot fudge sauce that it overflowed luxuriously to pool on the plate.  One was able to consume spoonfuls of just the hot fudge. 

Sadly, Bailey's has closed - I do not know when - but I did find the hot fudge recipe.