Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Release the Festive Fellow... A List for November

Release the Festive Fellow
A List for November
This is the week it happens.  As strange and unlikely as it may seem, the holidays start in just a few days and I am just about to release the festive fellow in the painting up above.  He who has been waiting and waiting for eleven long months - twiddling his fingers, tapping his toes - will fly out of his hiding place, laughing, and immediately set about filling all of my rooms with a holiday light.  That most reflective of occasions, Thanksgiving, is arriving on Thursday (yes, Thursday!) and it signals the start of the holiday season here at the house of Edward.  Wreaths will be up on the windows by Friday and a permanent grin stitched on my face for the foreseeable future. 
 For the start of this week, and to catch November before he packs his bags, 
here’s a celebratory list to enjoy!  
Isn’t this a wonderful time of the year?  

1.  Back To Scotland
I’m planning a trip back to Scotland.
And I can’t get this place out of my head. 
Is it just me, or doesn’t that room look like absolute heaven? 
Has anyone stayed HERE?

2.  The Further Adventures of Peter Rabbit
Beatrix Potter is a heroine to me.  Not merely for her graciously beautiful stories of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle, Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit himself, nor for her amazing artwork, but for her quietly remarkable efforts in land conservation in the Lake District of England.  Most of the gorgeous land around me in the photograph above owes its preservation to Miss Potter, or Mrs. Heelis, as she became upon marrying solicitor William Heelis in 1913.  In the second half of her lovely life, Beatrix became a respected farmer of Herdwick sheep, winning bouquets of ribbons at country shows. She used the profits from her beloved books to buy Lakeland property and at the time of her death bequeathed over 4000 acres and 14 farms to the National Trust.  What a glorious gift to her country.   
 As an unabashed fan of Miss Potter’s, and as someone leery of sequels in any form, I was seriously conflicted when I heard of the Further Adventures of Peter Rabbit by none other than Emma Thompson.  But then, over a cup of tea a few afternoons ago, I chanced to hear Miss Thompson give a radio interview about the writing of this new book.  She read a few excerpts and I found myself, despite myself, utterly charmed. 
 This new edition happily includes a CD of Emma reading the story aloud which, 
I’m not ashamed to admit, I cannot wait to hear.  
Hear the NPR interview with Emma Thompson HERE.
See the book HERE.


3.  Gorgeous Scarves
Love Scarves.
Love Liberty.
Love the UK.
Love Animals.
Love These!
There are so many fabulous scarves to be found at Liberty of London.
It boggles the mind.
These celebrate the wildlife of Scotland (pictured above) Ireland and Wales. 
Find them HERE.

4.  From the House of Edward Book
To employ one of my favourite words, the response to my book has left me gobsmacked!
Copies have been wending their way all over the world which is equally thrilling and humbling.  As a special treat for the holidays, we are offering to gorgeously wrap copies for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts.  You can even have copies mailed directly to friends and family if you wish.  Just put in the Paypal instruction box if you’d like this done.
   It tickles me beyond belief to know these books are destined 
for a cozy place in a stocking somewhere!
Get your copy HERE.
And a very special thank you to the beautiful Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen
for her incredible post about our book.
Read it HERE


5.  Manners, Kindness and Courtesy
The several unsavoury, anonymous, and totally off-topic, comments left on my recent post, Butterflies, (most of which I erased, a few of which I left), caught me off guard and caused me to view last week’s passing of Letitia Baldrige with more poignancy that I perhaps otherwise would have done.  In a New York Times article commemorating her life, writer William Norwich called Ms. Baldrige an “oracle of manners, kindness and courtesy”, and she displayed all three attributes in full measure during her years serving in the Kennedy White House as classmate Jackie Kennedy’s social secretary.  Her philosophy can be be eloquently summed up by the title of her last book, “Taste: Acquiring What Money Can’t Buy”, and though some might view her views as a trifle out of date, (she did, after all, once advise “infrequent shampooing when staying on a yacht, to be considerate about conserving water”) her elegant, stalwart defense of good manners and kindness in a fractious world should never be considered passe. 
 She shall be missed.
You can read Mr. Norwich’s tribute HERE.
Or read Miss Baldrige's book about her time in the Kennedy White House.


6.  A Beautiful Garden Wall
In November, we rake lots and lots of leaves. 
The magnolia blooms have disappeared.  The hydrangea bushes stand leafless and stark.  
 We put out mulches and blankets of pine straw to shelter the tulip bulbs just beginning their long naps till Spring.  It’s now that the garden reveals its architecture, the frames that encircle the paintings of summer and spring.  We see with new eyes the hedges, the benches, the moss-covered pots.  Garden walls are in their element now and when I saw this one, I was completely enchanted.  
It’s wonderful.  Don’t you agree?
See more HERE.

7.  Value

One night when I was much younger, I happened upon a PBS production of a play entitled, Best of Friends.  It was an exploration of the friendship between three remarkable people:  Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, director of Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Sydney Cockerell, and Dame Laurentia McLachlan, a Benedictine nun at the Stanbrook Abbey in Worchester.   Taken mostly from their own writings, the dialogue was witty and smart - the ideas considered, expansive and illuminating.  I was utterly enthralled and thought about this play for weeks afterwards.  Without the benefit of public broadcasting, I would never have known of this production as it contained neither the bombast nor the torpidity required to entice television advertisers.  So much of the most memorable, moving and thought-provoking offerings on American television are to be found on Public Broadcasting. Freely given, it is where we turn for  symphonies and ballets, enlightening documentaries and theatre.  I continue to be grateful for its existence in my everyday life.
Eons ago, books were luxuries filling only the houses of the rich.  Then came the wonderful invention of the public library, making the magic of the written word available to everyone, opening minds and fashioning ideas.  When television and radio came along, the idea of free public access to both became a reality in the states with National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System.  Throughout the ensuing years, NPR and PBS have become the places I turn to for the type of programming that makes me think and lifts up my heart. 
 It was disheartening to hear the losing candidate vow to end public financing for these institutions during the recent presidential campaign.  Public access to art is vital to our national health, and PBS is about so much more than Big Bird.  While federal funding only counts for a fraction of these budgets, to me, the issue is not about money.
It is about what we value as a country.  We ignore expressions of grace and beauty at our peril, for nations are remembered for their art. As President Kennedy once said, “I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.”
I was tickled to see that the play that meant so much to me years ago is now available for purchase. 
 You can find it HERE.

8. The Perfect Holiday Shoe
Exquisite black dress.
Hair worn down.
One extravagant ruby ring.
and these shoes!
Find them HERE.
Stay tuned!
I have so many things planned for the holidays!
Book lists, gift lists, recipes!
Like I said, isn't this a wonderful time of the year?!


  1. From this list I feel a kinship with you. I think our hearts sing over many of the same things. Have a lovely holiday season.

  2. fyi



    Wishing you and your's a most wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. The list is glorious indeed. I'm off to "The Country of The Pointed Firs" (see Sarah Orne Jewett) and poor as a church mouse, to share sumptuous feasts with deer old friends, and no high heels for this old Dame, though very pretty to look upon. So, wishing you and yours, and all of good heart and kind intention who visit here the very most thankful of thankful times!

  4. Pamela I love this time of year! You shared so much with us today and I look forward to hearing more!

    Giveaway from Scalamandre!

  5. Pamela your posts are always my favourite. I couldn't help myself and had to go back and have a peak at all the comments under your Butterfly post - WOW what an unexpected can of worms! Great how we're all different - 8 billion of us all with a different story! Happy Holidays to you and the Songwriter and Edward and Apple....B:)

  6. Another luscious list from The House of Edward! Wouldn't you love to just sit for a very long time in front of that stone tree?

  7. Being someone knew to your blog I have to find some time to go back and read earlier posts.
    I just love your writing style, it flows and is luscious to read.
    The Lake District is close to where I grew up so I know the area and love it. It is the complete opposite of where I now live, Norfolk, once famously described by Sir Noel Coward after he visited, as 'very flat'. It is true to say there aren't many hills, definitely no mountains, but some gentle undulations here and there. But the skies, oh the skies... vast. A painter's paradise.
    Thank you for another wonderful read.
    Maggie x

  8. Pamela, your lists are always a wonderful inspiration and your title images are absolutely divine.
    Once again Edward has captured my heart with this image of him sporting a rather spiffing new hairdo no less. Happy thanksgiving.
    Paul x

  9. Dear Pamela,
    What a super list. You do have exquisite taste.
    I'm happy to report that my copy of your beautiful book has arrived --to my great joy.
    Buster mentioned it on his blog (ewix2.blogspot.com).
    It really is a delight.
    This year I feel very Christmassy already.
    Maybe because things have been a bit grim round here.
    All best wishes for a glorious THANKSGIVING to you and yours....and Edward and Apple.

  10. I've attended a dinner at Prestonfield house, if that counts? All elegance and tartan and bagpipes.

    I take it you know about Beatrix Potter's Scottish connection? http://www.birnaminstitute.com/index.asp?tm=9

    Looking forward to ordering your book soon, as a Christmas present to myself!

  11. tartan and cozy ~ that picture is pure christmas.
    i love your blog and you and edward! and apple and the song writer. just so thankful at this thanksgiving time for beautifully creative people who share their creativity. we are kindred souls.
    thank you dear heart!
    tammy j

  12. I adore that picture of Edward watching and waiting. Seems he is looking forward to Thanksgiving too.

  13. Liberty scarves are certainly lovely, aren't they? But then, for me there's something magical about a lovley square of silk no matter who designed it. I hope you get to Scotland soon. I'll be in Oxfordshire for Christmas this year. Nice and cozy in our little West Cottage in front of an open fire. Can't wait.

  14. Where in the world did you find that teapot picture? How fantastic! Yes, that fireplace setting looks perfect. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  15. P.S. Ha ha - just figured out that's Aladdin's lamp with the genie. LOL Looked like a teapot, albeit a mysterious one.

  16. Oh I adore this list! I want to look into all of these items. The place in Scotland, the Liberty scarves, and Emma Thompson reading Peter Rabbit have captured my imagination. You always infuse magic into the holidays for me!
    xx Sunday

  17. What a beautiful and cozy list! Scotland...land of my people. Enjoy it heartily!

  18. Pamela,

    So many favorites, the trip to Scotland, Beatrix Potter and Emma Thompson, the fabulous Liberty scarf and the list goes on.

    I am so excited to follow along on all of your adventures and see what you have planned. Thank you for weaving your magic and making life just a little more special.


  19. Pamela
    I love this list. That Liberty scarf resembles an Hermes scarf. I'm looking forward to listening Emma Thompson's interview. Most of all, I so enjoy this time of year...from this week through January, I love the fun, decorations and remembering why I have so much to be thankful for.
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

  20. What a darling list it is... some of these things made it on mine too and I can't wait what else you have up your holiday sleeves....Emma Thompson's book as well!
    And yours already on my bedside....
    Happy Thanksgiving, I am grateful for your friendship!

  21. We have much in common, soon , hopefully , even where we live.
    I also mourn the passing not only of the wonderful Letitia Baldrige but for what she stood for.. and there is sadly no better place to see that loss than in a place where some hide behind anonymity.
    We have an adventure awaiting us, which will include stone walls and gardens and views, I will annoy you to no end with questions.
    Until then, say hello to Scotland, the place of birth my grandfather.. (the crazy one :)
    besitos, C

  22. Dear Pamela, Oh how I adore your posts, each and every one!!! I await with the anticipation of a child at Christmas for every one!! I simply can't get over the way we have oh so very much in common!!!!! My husband and I travel to Scotland and England whenever we get the chance, we just love it so much there! And, Liberty is one of my all time favorite stores ever as I have sewn since I was about 13 making everything I wear! I could spend days there in the fabric and yarn departments!! And Scotland, Edinburgh, oh my, my favorite city in the world! Well, my dear, have fun planning and dreaming about your next trip and may I tuck myself into your suitcase? ;). Barbara Aine

  23. We've had lunch at PF. It's very special and think you'd enjoy staying there (we were staying at the Balmoral, so it's a place for us to go next time). Hope you enjoy it!!

  24. we stayed at The Scotsman, next visit we will look at The Prestonfield, yes there will be another trip to Scotland we loved it! I could visit UK every year...will look forward to photos

  25. Years ago, I had dinner at Prestonfield House with my brother and his wife. We had drinks in the salon and while we were waiting to be seated in the dining room, a server brought us dinner menus to study. How we laughed when we realized that only my brother's menu showed the prices! I guess my sister-in-law and I were considered too delicate to know how much our meals would cost.

    By the way, the leather-walled room upstairs is just the perfect place to enjoy coffee and dessert.

    Enjoy and thanks for reminding me of my own wonderful trip to Scotland.

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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!