Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Despite It All .... A Little List for January

Despite It All, A Little List for January

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” 
Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl

There’s no denying these are difficult times here in the states.  To pretend otherwise seems both trivial and insensitive.  Having always found healing in nature, on inauguration day Edward and I were as far away from the news as it was possible to be without a plane ticket.  Lost in a winter forest, trees bare and silent save for the occasional chirp and scurry of the creatures around us, we wandered and roamed all day.  We sat for a while alone in a little forest chapel, offering up a prayer or two.

Certainly, one of the many benefits of sharing one’s life with a dog is their unique ability to bring goodness, joy and comfort into one’s life on a daily basis.  I am forever grateful to Edward for being a constant source of kindness and laughter, no matter what. 

 Just look at the face in that photo, taken on our long day out,
 and tell me you don’t feel just a bit better.

Here’s a little list for January, despite it all.
I hope you find a thing or two here that interests you.
Love and Courage,
1.  My Stylish French Box
One of the rewards of being a blogger is getting to occasionally meet one’s fellow bloggers.   I’ve been incredibly lucky for I’ve shared tea in Los Angeles with the captivating Lisa Bornes-Giramonti, of the sadly now quiet, A Bloomsbury Life. (Though one can still find Lisa on Instagram.)  I’ve met both the beautiful Jeanne Henriques (Collage of Life)  and Vicki Archer  for breakfast on separate occasions in London and spent an utterly charming afternoon with Brooke Giannetti (Velvet and Linen) at her home in Santa Monica.  And just this past summer both Edward and I had the chance to meet the lovely Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home.  You can easily see from the photo above how proud Edward was. 

In addition to her popular blog, Sharon is also the author of My Stylish French Girlfriends, a beautiful book that’s about, well, just what the title says.  It’s delightful.  And now she’s just launched a new venture that promises to bring a little bit of France right to one's front door.  My Stylish French Box is a gift box, specially curated by Santoni herself and shipped directly to you or anyone to whom you wish to send a fabulous gift.  
What a treat, no? 
 Find out more HERE.

 2.  A Few Books
Just click on photo for more.
Where’d You Go Bernadette
by Maria Semple
Goodness, I laughed.
Sweet.  Smart.  Snarky.  Fun.

Today Will Be Different
also by Maria Semple
Same wit, different story.

The Book of Joy
by The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
A good friend dropped this off in my mailbox 
as a thank you for his Christmas fudge.
Wonderful, wise, and needed.

Bitten By Witch Fever
by Lucinda Hawksley
Wallpaper and Arsenic in Victorian Homes
This is just too tempting.

3.  Pillows
Just restocked a few new, antique, pillows.
Lovely additions to brighten up a winter interior.
This one looks like a winter night.
Find them HERE.
4.  Magical Globes
I have always been fascinated by globes.
Particularly old ones.
This company makes new ones 
with all the mysterious charm of the antique.
Truly magnificent.
The celestial version knocks my socks off.
Find them HERE.

5.  Tea and Tattle
The blog, Miranda’s Notebook, has always been a favourite stop of mine on the internet highway.  It’s a wonderful window into London life, courtesy of the lovely, Miranda Mills. Well now, Miranda has joined her good friend, Sophie Perdita, to produce a entertaining podcast called Tea and Tattle.  It’s like sitting at lunch in a cafe eavesdropping on British friends discussing a wide variety of topics, all with that undeniable flair and charm of the Brits.  
I love to listen while I’m preparing dinner. 
Find it HERE.  

6.  Wood Stoves
When I traveled to Yorkshire last April, the weather was appropriately Brontë-ian: all bruised skies and blustery winds.  Each afternoon after my ramblings on the moors, I would return to our inn ( the utterly delicious Ponden Hall ) to find a fire roaring in the wood stove of our room.  All evening long, as wind gusts rattled the windows and whistled round the stone walls outside, we kept adding logs to this stove and stayed toasty warm.  I decided right then and there - wood stoves are the best. 
And this is my current favorite.
It comes in green! 

6B.  Ponden Hall
If you’re interested in more about the wonderful Ponden Hall in Haworth, I’m thrilled to tell you that they just won an award for Friendliest Hosts in Britain, which I can honestly say they wholeheartedly deserve.
See what I mean... HERE

7.  The March
I was too young to protest anything in the sixties.  If it didn’t involve Hayley Mills or dogs I wasn’t interested.  In this current world, I no longer have that luxury.  So on January 21st, along with tens of thousands of men and women in my city, I braved a raging thunderstorm and boarded the subway into town to march for the first time in my life.  I marched for compassion, empathy, decency and truth.  I marched for immigrants and for a free press.  I marched for Serge Kovaleski.   I marched as a woman, an American, a Christian, a friend, a wife, a daughter.  I marched for the America I grew up believing in.  I marched for the values expressed in the painting above.  
The rain was blowing sideways as we made our way to the start of the march but just as our Congressman, John Lewis, began to speak, the rain stopped and the clouds rolled off.   The march was a remarkable experience that was shared by millions around the globe.  If you were there, you know what I mean.
There were many clever, heartfelt signs on display during the marches, but I found this one most poignant.

In a few short days we here in America have seen government agencies from the EPA to our National Park Service ordered to be silent.  Any comment from these agencies on climate change has been forbidden and information on that issue has been removed from the White House website.   Our press continues to be attacked and discredited by the highest in government.  The very first statement by our new White House press secretary was a blatant lie, expressed forcefully and defiantly, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Our health care laws are being stripped as I write and, as most of the world now knows, our new president placed travel ban on “certain” immigrants by executive order this past weekend.  On the same day he demoted the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as well as the Director of National Intelligence from the National Security Council, paring that board from twenty-three members down to six, while giving his "personal advisor",  the head of a white nationalist website, a permanent seat.  These are scary times and looking away is not exactly an option for those of us with even a shallow knowledge of history.

"Dialogue, with all that it entails, reminds us that no one can remain a mere onlooker or bystander. Everyone, from the smallest to the greatest, has an active role to play in the creation of an integrated and reconciled society. This culture of dialogue can come about only if all of us take part in planning and building it. The present situation does not permit anyone to stand by and watch other people’s struggles. On the contrary, it is a forceful summons to personal and social responsibility.”
Pope Francis

8.  The Wonderful Photography of Kirsty Mitchell
See More HERE

9.  This Skirt
Crazy, crazy about this.
Find it HERE

10.  Beauty
Ah, what human beings can still manage to create together…..
Enlarge the picture and turn up the sound.


  1. Thank you, Pamela. I needed to read this today. I also marched on January 21st, in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a huge crowd of incredible Americans. It was thrilling to be with so many women my age (68) and older, plus so many younger women and men. Wonderful, positive energy. I would despair but for reading the thoughts of people like you! Bless you. A favorite sign in Ann Arbor was the quote from SNL "I'm not giving up, and neither should you".

  2. For the first time, I couldn't read all the things in the list. I feel immensely sad and wonder what has become of the land of the free. And what more horrors are going to unfold :(

  3. A lovely post. Of course, as you know, there are parts of the world where life has unchanged priorities and the police send out tweets like this http://www.orcadian.co.uk/police-appeal-stromness-dog/s :

  4. Sad times indeed, Pamela, but what a lovely list you have put together, reminding us of so many lovely things. Thank you so much again for the inclusion of Tea & Tattle Podcast on this list - I feel very honoured! Miranda xxx

  5. Ever interesting Pamela - all on your list. It does help in these dark days. Thank you for getting involved and standing up to the despots. As an introvert, I have always been more comfortable around animals and truly believe that dogs are angels amongst us.

  6. Thank you, once again, for a wonderful list! It was just what I needed, today~

  7. Thank you for your words of courage.

  8. Two of my favourite things in life Pamela -dogs and log burners.

  9. Thank you for taking the time and care to put together such an encouraging post. Light does and will overcome the darkness. We must not lose heart along the difficult way. And especially thank you for the picture of the Japanese-American child; very beautiful.

  10. Pamela, I meant to say that the picture of you and Edward in the chapel is very touching and lovely. And we simply could never have too many pictures of Edward (whose face indeed lifts hearts).

  11. Thank you for your thoughtful and comforting post. I was married in that little chapel in fall of 1969.

  12. I've avoided the news because it only serves to sadden my. We are further saddened by the fact that we had to put our sweet rescue dog, Winnie, down today. She was 15 and without illness up til this past week.
    Edward's sweet face gave me some solace but it will be difficult to get over our loss.
    Thank you for your great list.

    1. Karen, I am so sorry. I know full well the sadness you are experiencing and there's really nothing to compare. The connection between a person and his beloved dog is a unique one. You are in my prayers today. Take care of yourself.

  13. As lovely as I'm sure Sharon Santoni is, you must be aware that a good number of your readers cannot afford to spend over $700 a year on wonderful, but self indulgent gifts for themselves or as gifts to their friends. Try to be realistic and thoughtful to all of your readers. These are very difficult times for all of us. We wake up in the morning worried about our world and what we want and strive toward for our children and grandchildren. We, that are lucky enough to have comfortable lives, must remember, that the majority of the world does not. And some of them may even read your and Sharon's blogs.

    1. These posts are never intended to be a shopping list. They are simply little bits of inspiration and exploration. I myself often browse through antique shops, marvelling at items far outside my price range. Should I complain to the shop keeper that he stocks things I cannot afford? Then I would miss the fun of seeing them. Seems very dull to me.

  14. you're a light unto yourself. we need all the light we can get right now.
    and your posts make me feel better about so much of the darkness going on. just the face of Edward alone! so thank you dearest girl! for being with us and simply in the world. xo

  15. Thank you for this wonderful post. The chorale absolutely filled me with joy,something so needed these days. Thank you,thank you for the inspiration.

  16. Lots of lovely things to look at there Pamela........thank you
    I'm a huge fan of tea and tattle too.
    Just love those sweet girls chatting away.
    Anita xx

  17. Wonderful list Pamela. I adore Tea and Tattle. Just the thing to cheer us up!
    xx Sunday

  18. Thank you for a lovely list today. I can't wait to explore. I so enjoy your blog. I am confused about one thing you mentioned, which was the removal of climate change issues from the White House website. From what I understand, at the end of each presidential administration the entire contents of the site is removed and archived by the National Archives and Records Administration so the site is available for the incoming administration. This is not by orders from a new president. Granted, the new website does not have that category.

    1. Mary, I suppose it was the silencing of the scientists that work for the EPA that was most concerning. They were instructed to stay off social media, to cancel all speaking engagements. This seems worrisome to me, particularly in light of this new administration's other actions.

  19. I too marched in Atlanta. John Lewis is a hero, no?


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!