Summer Approaches

The Sound is perfectly calm.

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The picnic table awaits us.IMG_1003

No one on the beach yet and the water is chilly.

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The children go in anywayIMG_0996

to look for interesting stones

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to toss as far as they possibly can.

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Peonies from Union Square

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like debutantes in ball gowns.

Flowers at Liberty’s

Utterly good taste, astoundingly lovely flowers cluster round Liberty’s front entrance.

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I don’t remember them selling flowers when I worked there in the early 70’s. I just remember learning that you can clean book covers with Windex and lusting after Tuffin and Foale Liberty print dresses.

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Such an enchanting meadowIMG_0450

with lupins and peonies and foxgloves... IMG_0452

all in terribly chic shabby chic containers.IMG_0480

There are even late hyacinths

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and all these can be made into bouquets by skilled hands.

Claudia and I had a cream tea instead

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and bought swanky jasmine soap.

Chelsea Physic Garden

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What bliss it would be to overlook the garden! I hadn’t been there for many years and a visit was much overdue despite horrid cold changeable weather. The oldest botanical garden in England after the one at Oxford.

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I ended up buying a red plastic poncho from the little hut in the middle background of the picture. The poncho prevented me from getting drenched.

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This almost looks like the countryside – right in the middle of town. Cow parsley – so evocative of wet walks many years ago.

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Arum lilies evocative of church.

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Wicket fences which make me think of useful projects I’m entirely unlikely ever to do.

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The sky reflected in water

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and again.

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Such green

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and more green!

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And all so assiduously tended.

Sunday

Spitalfields houses

A walk round the neighborhood.  Such lovely 18th century houses. Many beautifully restored.  

Of course I want to live in all of them.

We discover one is open as part of The Heritage Trust’s 50th anniversary. We go in.  

As lovely inside as out.    The proportions are perfect.   

The windows either have internal shutters or else reflections.
Or ghost writing by the doors.  

 

Some haven’t been done up yet.        And some have excellent door knockers.

It’s rather hard composing posts on the phone so please excuse errors!

Friday

First to London and crossing Waterloo Bridge.   

A bright clear morning. Thence to Russell Squarewhere a London pigeon wandered by a green door.  

The Foundling Museum was fascinating and a mixture of happy and sad. What stories here. What names!

    Each one an invitation to imagine their tale.Such bleak little black beds.  A menu rather heavy on bread and milk – in the days when so many children had nothing.   Babies held by older foundlings on their christening day.
  A dancing sprite on Oxford Street
   
 And flowers at Liberty ‘s.

Surrey

A lovely sunny day.

  
A garden surrounded by fields.

  
Daisies in the grass.

  
English attire.

  
Some water

  
And a wisteria draped window.

 

A cottage

   

And white lilac.

Water

A warm day. We dusted off the bicycles and headed down to the Battery.

The Statue of Liberty In the distance

  And a ferry to take you there.

Masts of tall ships at South Street Seaport.
  Not much left of It after Hurricane Sandy then a awful fire.

    Just dreams of distant places.

A Walk

At last when I look out of the window

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I see green which is a great thrill. The weather is suddenly astoundingly hot -80F. I have discovered that my new cell phone has a sort of device on it which records how far I walk. Like David Sedaris, in his amusing recent New Yorker essay, I have become obsessed with bumping up my numbers.

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So I decided to walk to Macy’s instead of going the one stop on the subway. I am utterly outside my comfort zone but snap pictures anyway. Macy’s is the usual madhouse with very nice salespeople who work out how much one can get off anything.

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I am too lazy to hike home so get  a cab

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which is reflected in a swanky SUV

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and I spy another cab. New York is looking rather gritty.

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In the afternoon, still determined to rack up miles on the phone, we walk to the Hudson and back via 20th Street.

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It is a lovely sunny day with bright crisp reflections

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in windows

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wisteria blooming

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and pink petals underfoot.

My phone said I walked more than six miles. Yippee! Almost about as boring as people who discuss their weight loss or lack thereof.

Night and Art

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The moon has been extra splendid lately. Very large and bright so I rushed up to the roof to capture it.

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And this from ground level.

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A really bad photo but mysterious.

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Yesterday morning we went up to the roof to take photos of Robert’s latest paintings which are to do with people interacting – or not interacting – in the city. We looked down on a tour bus.

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Bright clear day with the Google Building in the background with all sorts of people being creative. Robert’s people look forward – but not at each other.

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Here there are lots and lots of people mingling as in a great stream flowing through the city.

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Here is an artsy wall from 22nd Street with shadows of torn paper and graffiti.

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I couldn’t resist the tuilps at Union Square looking like a Dutch still life already.

May Ist

What have I been up to this week? First of all I have been working on editing a little book about the time we spent in Marrakesh. Here below is a map I made of the places I most frequently visited.

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There are several wonderful map makers out there like Jennifer Thermes and Adrienne Ottenberg who put my feeble efforts to shame – but it was fun experimenting.

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Next we visited the grandchildren whose flower arrangements are a delight. Nature study in the backyard is a wonderful exercise in observation.

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I have also been playing around with my phone’s tintype app which produces wonderfully mysterious effects – almost the openings of short stories.

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Here some children on their way to school.

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Here the flower pickers in dappled sunlight

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and teaching the smaller one checkers.

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Here a mysterious old house on Long Island – though what looks like snow is in fact grass.

I’m reading The Brothers Karamazov for book club and finding it rather hard work. A friend says that it doesn’t really get going until page 300…umm…I have ditched the Penguin edition for the kindle one since that has bigger writing and is easier to hold. Maybe too much of a spring challenge.