Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Dozen of My Favourite Things for May

The Imaginative Art of
Gretel Parker
Illustrator and Toy Maker Extraordinaire
Her painting featured above, and below are a few of her latest toy creations:

Charles Dickens on PBS

The resurgence of wonderful wallpapers, as evidenced by
Grow, House, Grow...
a most creative company after my own heart...glorious wallpaper designs - each with its very own narrative!
I can just see a elegant entry hall... with this on the wall above glossy white panelling...

and dark antique furniture, sunburst mirrors, cut crystal vases of orange parrot tulips and a West Highland Terrier sitting on a black and white marble floor waiting patiently for the postman to put today’s mail through the bronze slot in the forest green front door.

Listening to Astrid Gilberto with the windows open while I make a pie and the dogs sleep on the floor at my feet.

blog that I discovered just as its writer was on holiday in London.
It has now become a regular morning coffee stop for me.

Sharp cheddar cheese melted on toasted sourdough bread

Planting flowers, flowers, flowers!

Lemon Ice Cream

My collection of cotton pajamas from
The Cat’s Pajamas

SPF 90 and sun hats by

This wonderful, wonderful

I can just see it, lying on a polished wood floor in a room painted the palest shade of citron, with a magnificent stone fireplace, weathered leather chairs with tapestry cushions, the complete works of Simenon and Conan Doyle bound in red leather in French Deco bookcases, and leaded glass casement windows that open out onto a peony garden where a vaguely surly bulldog is waiting to be let back inside before it rains.

And finally, this poem by Mary Oliver.
If only you could read it with your eyes closed.

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts,her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.

All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times

into something better.


  1. So many of these favorite 12 things speak to me, sharp cheddar cheese melted on bread, the first pic of your artist, the poem, just to name a few.That you may keep finding these wonderful things in life!

  2. Gorgeous poem--and I love the rest of your list too! Thank goodness for inspiration--wherever we find it!

  3. I love that poem!! And your list too!

  4. Isn't Gretel wonderful? I love her work.

    I have just noticed Edward's hat!

    Your blog is always joyous.

  5. what a lovely post, with great ideas !


  6. Yes, yes, such wonderful things.
    Gretel is indeed a genius - and also in her writing.
    Sourdough and cheese.
    Th poem.
    An excellent post.

  7. Hello~

    I have an award for you over at my blog~

  8. A vaguely surly bulldog! I love them! What a vivid image you create with words to surround the beautiful rug.

    I love this poem too!

  9. Ah, you paint such wonderful pictures with your words. After coming in from an arduous day in the garden, it was quite relaxing!

  10. Oh Pamela. So many of these favourite things I was about to respond to with 'me too'! And then I read the poem... Oh my heart. Never read anything like it.

    Thank you.

  11. oh my, Gretel Parker - Fabulous! - and I can see why you love the new blog you found - fabulous again! and may I say, the wall paper you showed did nothing for me until I heard you describe the whole room - now how can I live without it?

  12. Heavens, I'm at the top; you could have placed me discreetly in the middle or at the bottom and I would still have been thrilled - thank you! I have never had lemon ice cream, but I am going to have to hunt some down now!

  13. I feel as though I know you a bit better Pamela. What a lovely list.
    I especially loved- making pie with the dogs at your feet-Oh yes, and your jammie collection.

  14. Hello P&E,

    I could certainly manage a glass of champagne a la Ms Parker!

  15. Love the cheese one- while back home I tried to find Gob Burner cheese. Alas the Oxford Cheese Co. can't get it anymore. I brought back a lump of Poinard instead. I think you would like it- a very strong cheddar.

    I think the world is there to inspire us. Love that rug too. I think you would like one I made in cross stitch at the bottom of this post from a William Morris design:

  16. Your favourite things - I wish I could set this list to music, xv.

  17. I like your list and the poem!


  18. The Songwriter looks familar!
    Did he travel around Music Row on !6th Avenue?

  19. Your world always makes me smile, Pamela.
    I'm not surprised that it so beautiful here in May.


  20. I would love to share some of your favorite things! I am enjoying looking at the links you shared! Thank you! I came to your blog because of the beauty..and you never disappoint me!

  21. you just moved me and my cheese.
    your favorite things make me want to run outside in a lush green hillside and sing. (but it is late and I must go to bed, so I shall dream sweetly instead.)

  22. What super things you have chosen for your favourites in May. I love the way your description of their surroundings gives new dimensions and vibrant colour to the wallpaper and the rug. I can see it all through your words:)

  23. Your favorites are wonderful and I even saw a few of mine on your list. Enjoy my friend!! xxoxo

  24. I love Gretel’s painting too. Cool rug. Your blog is a pleasure to me.

  25. I love the bit in the Oliver poem about sleeping like a stone on the river bed!

  26. Hello again..I love all the things you mention in this lovely lovely post! I really like your blog and how you write. All that and my favourite poetry too!
    But oooowh! I wish you hadn't mentions 'sharp cheese on sour dough bread'. Agggh! just the best, it's gorgeous....and I can't have it anymore being dairy and wheat intolerant! ;(

  27. What a beautiful poem!
    And I so enjoyed reading your list.
    Gretel Parker,I agree is one very talented lady!
    Leaded windows and peonies... ah..
    I must stop by at the blog you discovered.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  28. Mmmmm, yes! What a beautiful list this is, inspiring too. And these images, pure enchanted deeelight!

  29. AHH Now I understand the moss you could lay down in.
    Thank you for the comparison.


I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!