Saturday, August 6, 2016

Last Month of Summer.... A List

Last Month of Summer.... A List

This week, here in my little corner of the world, the school buses rolled.  Incredibly for someone like myself, who grew up with three long, long months of summer holidays each year, school started here on August 1st.  This seems almost unbearably cruel.  The air is still as thick as cream soup, the sun still glares straight down from high.  Each afternoon brings thunderstorms, fierce, vociferous answers to the searing heat.  And yet there they are at the bus stop, all pressed and combed, impossibly young and a little bit glum, waiting to be shuttled off to a brand new school year.  Once more, I realize that adulthood has its perks.  

There is one more month of summer here at The House of Edward.  (Though for cold-weather-loving Edward, this is hardly a celebratory fact.)  One more month of watermelon for dessert, for fresh corn and fried okra.  One more month of bare feet and white linen.  Of Astrid Gilberto playing at dinner and bird song as our morning alarm.  Of the heady fragrance of nicotiana and rose drenching the pavement on our evening walks, lines of robins waiting their turn in the birdbath, and driving through the city with an ice cream cone in my hand.

Summer’s puzzle is just not complete without August.
So here are a few more pieces for you to enjoy.

1. Prince George
No doubt many of you saw these photographs of Prince George,
 released last month to celebrate his third birthday.  
(Three years, already?) 
  But I simply couldn’t resist. 
 Cutest kid in the world.

2. Jacobites
Of course, for me, one of the most exciting things
 about the last month of summer,
 is that autumn is getting ever closer. 
 This autumn will find me visiting Culloden moor for the first time,
so I was thrilled this new book on the Jacobites was just released. 
 I’m in the middle of it now, and it’s brilliant.  
For all of you Outlander fans, this is for you.
Find it HERE

3. Florence Foster Jenkins
I’ve always found this woman’s story completely fascinating
 and I’m a total fan of Meryl Streep. 
 So boy, oh, boy,  
am I looking forward to this…..


4.  Love, Nina
Having adored this book when I read it a couple of years ago, 
I cannot wait to see Love, Nina.  
The true story of Nina Stibbe’s experiences 
as a nanny in 1980’s London.
It looks every bit as delightful as the book.  
And I cannot wait to read her new one, Paradise Lodge. 
Find it HERE
And here's the trailer for Love, Nina...


5.  The Shepherdess
I found this fascinating woman on Instagram before 
I knew anything of significance about her. 
Following the links to her website, I was just enchanted.  
Her name is Alison O'Neill and what a remarkable life she lives.  
And what gorgeous clothing she makes.  
 Take a look for yourself, HERE

6.  Eat, Sleep, Knit
Two years ago, I traveled fourteen hours by ferry from the mainland of Scotland to the Shetland Isles.  Upon docking, I drove up island forty minutes to catch another small ferry out to the Isle of Whalsay where I was to take a class on Fair Isle knitting.  The only people on the ferry that grey morning were other knitters bound for the same class.  As we made our introductions, I told them where I lived.  A woman from Australia brightened and said, “Oh yes!  Eat, Sleep, Knit!”

It’s true, my local yarn shop is world famous, and rightfully so.  I’ve been in yarn shops all over the globe, but none, and I mean none, compares to the one just ten minutes from my front door.  I feel almost unfairly blessed.

Now, it’s always dangerous to share one’s most treasured resources.  You all could, it’s true, clear out their shelves and leave no treasure for me.  However,  whenever I post something I’ve recently knitted on Instagram, (like the shawl I finished last month, above) I receive so many requests for information on the yarn I’ve used, I feel I owe it to the knitting world to share. 
 And besides, ESK is really an online business first,
 so I feel they are prepared for any onslaught of purchases.
So here you go…. all the world’s beautiful yarns… HERE 

7.  Harry Potter
Yes, I have the book.  Now the question is….
should I read it now, 
or wait a few years till I can get a ticket to the play?
Who's seen it?  Who's read it?
Find the Book HERE
Website for the play HERE

8.  Gilmore Girls
Like many people, I adored this show.
Witty and charming, it was a most enjoyable place to go every week.  True, the writer left in the last year and the quality suffered, but now I’m thrilled to say she is back and four new ninety minute episodes are scheduled to premiere on Netflix at midnight on Thanksgiving here in the states.
  I am tickled!
Till then, check out the old episodes
 and see if you don’t get hooked like I did.
Find them HERE

9.  This Book!
Has anyone read it yet?
Find it HERE

10.  Escapes
This time of year, I can almost physically feel the pull of the sea.  It happens every August.  I lie in bed at night haunted by the sound of phantom waves beating against an unseen shore.  I search the late summer sky for seagulls, only finding cardinals, mockingbirds and doves.  This annual feeling is stronger this year, no doubt due to the turbulent sturm and drang of American politics, and I find myself longing more than ever for an escape.  Happily, my toes will be in the sand before too long and until then I’ve been dreaming of these two enchanted places. 
 Who wouldn’t gratefully escape to either one of these?  
Nothing but good books, good food, good drink. 
 Maybe a couple of jars of bubble bath.
  And Debussy.
Find the one above HERE

and the one below, HERE

How are you enjoying the last few weeks of summer?
PS:  The delightful sketch at the start of this post
was done by Kevin Nichols, 
who illustrated Edward Speaks at Midnight.
Christmas is coming, so get your copy HERE!


  1. Great list. A House Full of Daughters is definitely on my list, along with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. Love Hugh! Glad he still pops up now and then.

  2. The PONs here will be celebrating with Edward when the cooler weather arrives.

    School on August 1st ? Dreadful.

    Love the book about the '45. We have a chair that the Old Pretender sat on while waiting for a French frigate to rescue him and carry him off into exile. It is a bizarre and supremely uncomfortable thing to cart around Europe but is too fraught with history to sell.

  3. I just retired from teaching this year. Until now this has felt like a regular summer, but it's starting to sink in that I don't have to go back in a few weeks, and I can actually enjoy and appreciate fall this year! Here the kids go back after Labor Day, but the teachers have to go 2 weeks earlier to suffer through endless meetings and "helpful" workshops. Never again! I'm a full-time artist now and so very grateful!

  4. Will definitely get the Jacobites book!, be sure to see the surgery drama at culloden if they still offer it!, only 2or3 actors in a small stone hut. There were only four , including the two of us the morning we went. Go early to avoid crowds waveney

  5. I have been eyeing the Shepherdess's gorgeous tweeds for a while now but the prices-!! Totally worth it and I am sure they would last a lifetime and more. I admire her so much.

  6. I adore Alison's clothing and am tryihg hard to resist it.

  7. Saw "Love, Nina" in London last year--good, but just not enough (compared to the book.) The Shepherdess has lovely things, but her prices are enormous, even for Brits who don't have to worry about exchange rates. There are many lovely shops in the North and Scotland, with equally lovely fabric at half the price. I often buy fabric and yarn in the UK, then have tailoring done in the US to save VAT (20%, which goes to the government, not the maker.)

  8. I live in southern Arizona where, even in the summer, I am out early birding and hiking in nearby canyons and mountains. In the mountains, due to the high elevations, it can be 30-35 degrees cooler than Tucson. But, an important thing I am doing this summer is humanitarian. I, with many others, am stashing water, food, and medical supplies in the desert between the international border and Interstate 10 for those migrants who are crossing the desert this summer. While their entry is illegal, those who do so should not have to die.

  9. Oh, I have to see Florence Foster Jenkins. I'm a Meryl Streep fan, too. And both books look quite interesting. Lovely photos and poetic writing of your post, as usual. I always know I'm in for a treat when I come to this site.

  10. BTW: Kudos to Michele above for helping those in need.

  11. I always enjoy your recommendations, books, movies and all. I long for cooler temps and count the days until we can expect a few! I tolerate August and try to be happy with this month, typically the warmest of our summer. Edward and I share that in common. :-)
    Enjoy the remaining days of summer.

  12. Oh Pamela, this is indeed the A list!!!
    I spent hours looking at this last night..........thank you xx
    The magical are all those you tube clips and her clothes and bags.........yes those bags.
    I searched for Florence Foster Jenkins on coming soon listings and she wasn't on the radar here.......she will come.......I just have to be patient.
    House Full of Daughters was the BBC book of the week a few months back and it was read by Juliet Stevenson.......she did a magical job.
    Finally, the houses. I would love to know your favourite. I can't choose, impossible.
    Pamela, I believe the Lake District could be my next adventure.
    Beatrix Potter is calling me and James The Shepherds Life.
    Pamela, I think we need some sheep.....hahaha.
    Again, thank you for the time you've spent on compiling this list.
    xx anita

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  14. I always look at your book recommendations and just started "Black Rabbit Hall" from one of your other posts. There are so many great books out there it is helpful to have a testimonial that goes beyond the blurbs on the cover. So thank you for sharing your favorites. I read "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" as soon as it came out and relished the chance to be in that world again. I would love to see the play, although I don't know if I will get the chance. But in any case, for me, having read the book would not spoil the fun of the play. Enjoy those last few weeks of summer. Your writing is lovely.

  15. Culloden is very well presented. On a recent visit after many years we were impressed. Good historical accuracy, especially that it was part of a civil war and not gallant Scots v. Dastardly English, as pro-Scottish independence romantics would claim.


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