Thursday, May 21, 2015

Felice Beato - Japan in 1865




portraits of Samurai and Courtesans of the Edo period (1865), Japan.


More about Felice Beato here.


I'm taking a writing class again and here is an excerpt by Sei Shonagon, a Japanese lady courtier of even longer ago (the 10th - 11th centuries!) from a reading assignment we had last week.  I think it's a perfect match to the photos here.  


And too funny really, because her list of things from the Pillow Book


could really have been made yesterday.


The lesson of that particular class was: What affects you about good writing?  It's universality.  How a good or great book can speak to every human and their experience.

And so.....from Sei Shonagon:

 Rare Things --- 

A son-in-law who's praised by his wife's father. Likewise, a wife who's loved by her mother-in-law. 

A pair of silver tweezers that can actually pull out hairs properly.

A retainer who doesn't speak ill of his master.

A person who is without a single quirk. Someone who's superior in both appearance and character, and who's remained utterly blameless throughout his long dealings with the world.

You never find an instance of two people living together who continue to be overawed by each other's excellence and always treat each other with scrupulous care and respect, so such a relationship is obviously a great rarity. 

Copying out a tale or a volume of poems without smearing any ink on the book you're copying from. If you're copying it from some beautiful bound book, you try to take immense care, but somehow you always manage to get ink on it.

Two women, let alone a man and a woman, who vow themselves to each other forever, and actually manage to remain on good terms to the end.” 

Hateful Things ---

One is just about to be told some interesting piece of news when a baby starts crying.

A flight of crows circle over with loud caws.

An admirer has come on a clandestine visit, but a dog catches sight of him and starts barking. One feels like killing the beast.

One has been foolish enough to invite a man to spend the night in an unsuitable place -- and then he starts snoring. 

One has gone to bed and is about to doze off when a mosquito appears, announcing himself in a reedy voice. One can actually feel the wind made by his wings, and, slight though it is, one finds it hateful in the extreme.

A carriage passes by with a nasty, creaking noise. Annoying to think that the passengers may not even be aware of this! If I am traveling in someone's carriage and I hear it creaking, I dislike not only the noise but the owner of the carriage.

A lover who is leaving at dawn announces that he has to find his fan and his paper. "I know I put them somewhere last night," he says. Since it is pitch-dark, he gropes about the room, bumping into the furniture and muttering, "Strange! Where can they be?" Finally he discovers the objects. He thrusts the paper into the breast of his robe with a great rustling sound; then he snaps open his fan and busily fans away with it. Only now is he ready to take his leave. What charmless behavior! "Hateful" is an understatement.

A good lover will behave as elegantly at dawn as at any other time. He drags himself out of bed with a look of dismay on his face. The lady urges him on: "Come, my friend, it's getting light. You don't want anyone to find you here." He gives a deep sigh, as if to say that the night has not been nearly long enough and that it is agony to leave. Once up, he does not instantly pull on his trousers. Instead, he comes close to the lady and whispers whatever was left unsaid during the night. Even when he is dressed, he still lingers, vaguely pretending to be fastening his sash.  Presently he raises the lattice, and the two lovers stand together by the side door while he tells her how he dreads the coming day, which will keep them apart; then he slips away. The lady watches him go, and this moment of parting will remain among her most charming memories. 

Indeed, one's attachment to a man depends largely on the elegance of his leave-taking. When he jumps out of bed, scurries about the room, tightly fastens his trouser-sash, rolls up the sleeves of his Court cloak, over-robe, or hunting costume, stuffs his belongings into the breast of his robe and then briskly secures the outer sash -- one really begins to hate him.

All these things could have been written by Colette don't you think? And if not Jerry Seinfeld, maybe Elaine Bennis!  Timeless, universal.


HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND!   I hope you don't encounter Hateful Things!



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another Sunday Bonus Post Since I'm Such a Bad Blogger Lately




A Mexican Wedding - sorry, don't remember where I found this.


Gateaux Tropeziennes at Bottega Louie last weekend in L.A
(and here and here and here in Passage Paradis)




Illustrations by Ana Pez which I think I found in the Guardian's Arts section (via the Bologna Children's Book Fair - I can't find the link but here's a good post about it by Charlene Chua I'd love to go to it!)


A gorgeous clutch handbag, the result of a collaboration between Lulu Guinness and Rob Ryan so cool, huh?


An artichoke harvest from my garden a couple weeks ago.  LIFE IS GOOD!

Hope you all have had a LOVELY WEEKeND.  


And that you have much good to look forward to in the week ahead. xoxo









Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Just Because I'm Cheeky Doesn't Mean I'm Not Serious" - David Hockney




kind of says it all for me today.  (Well, at least in the art-and-greenery and cheekiness parts of life)

 (Photos above: Ben Quinton for the Guardian)

I love what he has to say about his parents.

(Photo of painting: Richard Schmidt for David Hockney)

And the English Spring.  He has two new shows scheduled at the Annely Juda Gallery in London this summer.  Painting and Photography and The Arrival of Spring.  So sorry I'll be missing them.








Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day (U.S.) Bonus Post - In Red



Some happy pics


for a special


day.


A little beauteous-ness.


Brought to you by Mlle Paradis


and the color RED.


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY !!!!!
****************************






Thursday, May 7, 2015

Country Living Fair - Part Three


And so it went on....the Country Living Fair.  In moments, perhaps a bit more


Ladylike.  For that Country Estate set (or those so aspiring)


to wear silky Liberty Prints and their big hats


with their riding boots.


The English will never tire of or be ashamed of their love of pattern, color


and whimsy.  Especially when it features little roses.


Or even if there's a whiff of Franco-philia or


points South in their passions and fashions.


It's true.  A little bit of everything...


was on offer.


Makings.


Or made.


Such a lovely variety.


But I did always find


myself coming back.  i.e., Full Circle


to the Dear Old Things.


And the table with the CAKES!


Happy Trailing Around Was Had By All, I Do Think.  What do you think?  Would you like to come along next time?

I know I promised a list of vendors in this post, but I have a shopping bag full of cards for some of those that I have already shown, and some of those who didn't want their work to be photographed.  (For fear of having their ideas stolen I guess.)  But I think I will do a separate post instead, and show you all those cards because some of them are quite pretty.

Meanwhile, if you are in the vicinity of Harrogate next Fall, another, similar Fair will be taking place.  Have a look!


Have a lovely weekend everybody!








Sunday, May 3, 2015

Country Living Fair - Part Two


O.K.  I've just had a dinner party.


And what I really need is a NAP!


but for you, dear Readers, I know.....so here, MORE of


the Country Living Spring Fair 2015, London....Islington, to be exact.


Fuzzy warm semi-gamboling new lambs to entice you into booking a farm holiday in the English locale of your choice......what say you to one?  Or some?


Gorgeous ikat from the Middle East.  Did you say you were in need of some new lampshades and cushions?


I just thought these vests were the best!  For all the little guys in your life and I hope that means little girls too.


I have a very soft spot in my heart for these sorts of wooly vests since my hubby was wearing just such a warming garment during our early dating days.


More felt, and irresistible!  Of the lovely doggie style persuasion.


I should have should have should have bought one of these shawls - Pashmina - and only about 29 pounds!?  But how to settle on just one color?!   (I will be posting the names and web links of many of the vendors shown here and who especially charmed me at the end of Part Three.)


More lampshades and little characters in irresistible pinafores.


Vintage silver......(sigh)


Can you tell by now that the Country Living Fair turned out to be quite my cup of tea???? 

What do you think?  Anything tickling your fancy?