Thursday, December 27, 2012

Outside and In

"The weather outside is frightful"......

Yesterday it was dank and dreary and monochrome.

It threatened snow at the dog park

and was plain dull walking home.

The dog sat in my armchair looking fed up.

In the afternoon it did start to snow

and was vile to go out in

though somewhat picturesque.

So it was bliss to go to Frances' house for tea and admire her decorations

eat yummy Mexican wedding cakes

and delight in red berries.

The winner of my most recent giveaway is Em Parkinson. Em, please email me so I can send you the $50 Novica gift code. I got a silk scarf and some lovely Thai paper....

Go to Cait O'Connor's thoughtful blog for a very kind review of my novel A Fortunate Child. I'm glowing. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Greetings from Penn Station

where Santa hats abounded

and Long Island where presents were opened

and new hats tried on.

And Chelsea where delis sold berries

and Bergamot had Bruche a Noel, a pretty Christmas log.

There were hints of spring

and holly with berries.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2012


The darkest day of the year.....always something chillingly romantic about it. The dead of winter --or the first day of the austere season.

A few last leaves on the trees and the birds who chirp so merrily much more visible than usual.

And pigeons swirling in groups.

I think I like our tree almost as much bare as decked out for the season.

What do you think?

This morning early it was so wet and dark you couldn't see the top of the Empire State Building. It was raining almost as much as in the hurricane.

So the lights glittered and reflected.....

When it got lighter the rain was still falling.

On Monday night it was wet too, so I looked at the reflections on the street...bright as Christmas tree baubles.

Herewith the table from tea the other day with my lovely tea cosy handmade by Liz Smith in Scotland. Go here to see her super blog! Maybe she can make you one too!
 The chocolate chip chocolate cookies look very messy, but gosh they are good -- though I say so myself.


4oz  or one stick of butter
4oz Sugar in the Raw (really crunchy light brown sugar)
vanilla essence
one egg
6oz flour
2oz Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate powder.
chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar
add salt and vanilla
beat in egg
fold in flour and choc powder

spoon on to baking tray
sprinkle with chocolate chips
bake at 350' for 15 minutes

Here is a mysterious house on 29th Street in New York to eat your cookies in or tell ghost stories about....

Here is a skyline at dusk --the best time for tea and cookies and stories.

ps You can read Jane in Winter, my story of magic and enchantment in the 1950's free on line here. If you do read it, please let me know!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hudson and another Giveaway

Such a lovely warm afternoon and I hadn't been down to the Hudson since the hurricane. This character on a little raft was a little nearer the water than he needed to be....

The sort of boat you can have supper on

A great deal of water of course

Then turning round to look at the Richard Meir building that echoes a sail boat

and the ladders and ropes and things that you need when messing about in boats...

Such light!

Novica, which sells the most lovely handcrafted items from all over the world, has offered one of my commenters a $50 gift certificate for going to their site and curating a group of their favorite items. Go here for more information. I'll probably wait until next Wednesday to draw the name of the commenter. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

So Many Santas

Santas buying tickets at Huntington railroad station

and the elves that had arrived at Penn Station

and the helpers with costumes and smiles

and Santas bent on snagging a beer 

gosh they we rushing about

but all very cheery

just what we need!

Quite something to look at 

while you wait with your mother.

Was it Santas who decorated the dead sunflower on the corner?
I'm glad someone did.

And when I got home from a party, there was a parcel from Scotland to greet me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tracery of Trees

A very foggy morning --unusual for New York -- we're heading to Long Island in a rental car.

Time to escape all this for a moment.....

and take rather bad Hipstamatic photos as we speed along.

I am quite besotted with bare branches --always have been. They always remind me of Shakespeare's sonnet #73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals all up in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long. 

This is the same picture as the top one --an echo or a rhyme perhaps

These branches are above a gas station where we stopped to fill up

and these beside the Northern State Parkway.

Notes: Carol Gillot of the lovely blog Paris Breakfasts just wrote a most amusing post about our dog Buster. We loved it and Buster's head if now full of his importance!

The winner of the Novica gift code is Mary who commented on the last post.  Mary please contact me so you can find something lovely.