Thursday, March 31, 2011


Looking back, I can still see her clearly, sitting triumphantly on the night table beside my ruffled bed. As pink as a prom corsage, wearing a circle of glowing white numbers like a necklace fit for the royalty she was. My very own Princess Phone! A most coveted step on the childhood road to independence, right ahead of a bicycle, just behind a driver’s license. No more would I have to suffer the indignity of conducting my most private girly conversations on the wall phone in the kitchen, half-hidden in the pantry amongst the sugar and the beans, desperate that my parents not hear the latest schoolroom rumour, or the ardent passion I possessed for that dreamboat, Paul McCartney. These vital communications could now be expressed freely, in the privacy of my own bedroom, greatly improving the quality of my pre-teen existence. My very own phone! I had arrived.
In last Sunday’s NY Times Style section, I discovered that the phone call has all but become another relic of the past. Designer Jonathan Adler claims to never use it anymore at all. I scoffed when first reading this, but then I laid the newspaper down on the table to think. Besides my daily call to my mother, when do I really use the phone? There are the occasions when The Songwriter is at the grocery store, unsure of which brand of apple juice to buy. There’s the quarterly call from the Symphony, reminding us to continue our patronage. And there are the quick rings on the iPhone, brief accounts of our whereabouts or what time we should be expected home. But long gone are the hours spent with the receiver resting comfortably betwixt my shoulder and my ear, talking with my best friend about everything under the sun, sometimes until one of us actually fell asleep. And needless to say, the days of calling radio stations to request my favourite song have certainly disappeared. In fact, during my recent trip to London, The Songwriter and I eschewed the phone call completely and stayed in contact via Skype, tickled that we could actually see each other’s faces from so far away. So yes, I had to concede that the article was correct - I rarely use the telephone these days.
Do I miss it? To be honest, I’m really quite grateful for email. I stay in touch regularly with friends far away, and I love the luxury of crafting what I really want to say, rather than relying on the sagacity of the words that happen to be loitering around on the top of my head or tip of my tongue. I do still write letters with a pen, which are luxuries - both to send and receive - and I am loathe to dispense with those. But the phone? As I sat there with that newspaper article in front of me, I had to admit, I don’t really miss talking on the phone. Let’s face it, it does ring at the most inopportune times, not caring a whit if we’re asleep, having dinner, or up to our chins in a hot bubble bath. And, like a difficult child, it always demands that we answer it NOW.
I suppose there is a certain romance to the telephone call that email and texting could never hope to equal. Remember Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in the movie Indiscreet, saying an amorous goodnight on the telephone - she in London, he in Paris - Cary laughing his charming laugh, Ingrid coquettishly twirling the phone cord through her fingers? Email just would not have been the same. And Skype would have diluted the mystery.
So I’m not yet certain how I feel about the demise of the phone call, but I’d love to hear what you think. Has email and texting replaced the ring of the phone in your world? Do you find you use the telephone less and less, and how do you feel about that?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


There are creatures on the roadside dressed in lavender.
Once rough collections of billboards and phone lines, once common thickets of pine. Now finely dressed in new gowns of wisteria, they line the lanes and the highways like the sweethearts of giants, waving hankies of violet in the afternoon air.
I drive along their parade route in awe of their beauty, their perfume rides the breeze through my wide open window.
I saw the first rosebud just yesterday.
Though still tightly fastened in a locket of pink, it was clear what she planned to become.
It is now only mere weeks till she and her sisters will spill up and over my window, an extravagant display that will gleam in the moonlight as a thousand blushing fairies en route to a dance.
They will scatter petals of pink on the floor of the garden, like the forgotten kisses of youth.
Disrobed for so long, the tall trees in the garden are now clad in vestments of chartreuse and lime.
They stand round the cottage like an army in Oz, guardians of all that is good.
And though I am the one in love with the cold - the fireside, the woolens, the winds and the mist - I have opened my door to this glorious season and welcomed her into my rooms.
She has filled all my vases with bouquets of yellow, she has taught the purple finches a cantata of joy.
She has sent the rains and now the streams remember laughter.
She is the season of hope and renewal.
The season of colour and light.
She Is Spring.
How lucky am I to welcome her, in each and every year of my life.

Painting above by NC Wyeth

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Weird Sisters

The Weird Sisters

My experience with school gym class was amusingly stereotypical. I well and truly hated it. I can still see myself, standing in the freshly mown green of a ballfield, calmly watching as a fat round softball rudely crashed into the daydream I was lost inside and rolled past me as if in slow motion. My lack of rapid retrieval caused our side to lose the game. Ah, well. See, my problem - other than that daydreaming thing - was the total lack of a competitive nature. If we won, well, good for us. If the other team won, well, good on them. It just didn’t really matter to me. This affliction was brought on, as I see it, by an absence of sisters. For as an only child, I had no one I needed to outrun or outdo - no rival to battle for my parents’ attentions. Exquisitely happy in my solitude, I relished my role as observer, and that is not exactly a highly prized quality in a softball player.

Having had none, sisters have consequently been a source of fascination for me since childhood. I would sit around the dinner tables of my friends and their sisters, in sharp, covert study of the interactions they shared - a pint-sized, ponytailed Margaret Mead on a journey inside the culture of sisterhood. I caught their sidelong glances and barely sheathed barbs - the fierce loyalties, deep love, and contention. I watched as they sabotaged each other and defended each other, learning all the while that theirs was a lifelong bond as curious as it was indestructible. I pondered the purported personality traits dictated by birth order. Were they accurate, or nothing more than myth? Was the oldest always the solid over-achiever, the youngest always the most beloved? And was the middle one doomed to forever be waving her arms just to be noticed between them?

I studied the March sisters, the Dashwood’s and Bennet’s. Read all I could on the Mitford’s, the Bouvier’s and Bronte’s. I spent time time in Ballybeg, Ireland with the five Mundy sisters of the poignant film, Dancing at Lughnasa. I wandered the streets of New York with Hannah and hers.

And now I have just finished a new book that took me on yet another tantalizing expedition into this exotic landscape of sisterhood. The Weird Sisters is writer Eleanor Brown’s first novel and it’s a captivating read. She has to be either a gifted clairvoyant or a sister herself, for Ms. Brown writes with such sparkling lucidity on the relationships between sisters, giving the reader a back stage pass to the complex interplay between them and decoding their secret language in such a way as to allow passage even to those who, like myself, are totally unfamiliar with the landscape. The sisters in this novel, Rosalind, Bianca and Cordelia, are the daughters of a Shakespearean professor whose love of the Bard is so all-encompassing that he not only named his three daughters accordingly, but also possesses a bewildering tendency to quote the great writer in every single conversation he has. With armloads of painful secrets accompanying them, the sisters have returned home to care for their ailing mother and immediately find themselves falling back into familiar roles they are no longer certain they actually want to play.
With a voice both unique and engaging, Eleanor Brown has reawakened my fascination with sisters as well as my admiration for a story well told. If you have sisters yourself, no doubt you’ll be nodding your head in recognition on practically every page. If, like me, you have none, then I encourage you to open this new book and allow Ms. Brown to lead you into their world. I know you’ll enjoy the journey.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Farewell, Elizabeth

What is lovely never dies, but passes into other loveliness,
Star-dust, or sea-foam, flower or winged air.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Edward By Moonlight

Edward By Moonlight

He had been called in twice already. And still, the big white dog remained in the back garden, his tummy cooled by the painted grey floor of a porch long abandoned by the warmth of the afternoon sun. It was late. Long past his bedtime. Already he had looked into the big bay window off to his left to see the lady preparing the fat fluffy bed for sleep - plumping up pillows, unfurling the downy duvet. He’d watched as she placed the book she was reading on her side of the bed and sat a cup of hot chocolate within easy reach. Just behind his right shoulder, he had heard the man in the kitchen, getting the coffee ready for morning, and had watched as, one by one, the lamplight left each cottage window, till only the bedroom glowed.

But that warm glow was no competition for the light hanging low just over his head. For this was a moon unlike any he’d seen in the whole of his life. So close, he felt he could bat it round the firmament with one furry paw if he wished to. So bright, it had utterly transformed the once night-hidden garden into a luminous stage set where even the shadows shimmered like noon, and the big dog had the best seat in the house. He would miss no performance tonight. Even now he could hear them, the cast of the nighttime, rustling in the ivy with no place to hide - the raccoons and opossums, the rabbit, the mouse. No unseen interloper would pass through his kingdom tonight.
Would the raccoon be so foolish as to stare at him from the crook in the maple tree far back by the hedge?
Would the grey rabbit dare try to hop through the garden, planning, as usual, to slip under the fence, only showing his white snowball tail when he knew it was too late to follow?
And what of the most wicked Milo, the neighbourhood tabby? Would he risk peering round the cottage corner, green eyes taunting, on this incandescently moonlit night?
Ha, let them try.
The big dog was ready, he’d stayed awake just for this.

He shook his head vigorously, trying not to consider how tired he really was. It had been an eventful day. Two long walks, one to the park and one to the library. Lunch in an outdoor cafe where he’d had his head scratched by strangers and been told, once again, that he looked like a “stuffed animal”. He didn’t know what that meant, but the lady never seemed offended on his behalf, so he generally let it go. Coming home he’d played catch down the long hallway, with his favourite green ball, running and running till he collapsed in a furry white heap. Now he yawned, trying to focus.

Then suddenly, he heard it, the sound of a change in his plans. Unnerving, unsettling, in a language the big dog could never understand - the low-pitched, mysterious sound of the owls. So. They were out tonight too, flying in silence high up in the trees, their glossy wings unfurling like dark feathered flags as they flew from limb to limb like a ill-kept secret. They made him uncomfortable, more than he liked to admit. The lady always told him they were wise, that their presence was an omen of good. But he was convinced they were sinister.

The big white dog stood up slowly, a rising wave in a sea of silver moonlight. He froze, marble still, trying to decide what to do. Then he heard the back door open and the lady’s voice whisper, “Really, Edward. It’s past time for bed. I strongly suggest you come inside. Now.” Much preferring to be thought of as obedient rather than frightened, he immediately trotted inside like a gentleman. Yes, best let the owls take care of things tonight. They are perfectly capable, after all. Snuggling down at the foot of the large fluffy bed, the big dog could still hear them calling, out there in the moonlight, as he drifted far off into sleep.

Painting above by Atkinson Grimshaw

Monday, March 21, 2011

Right and Wrong

Right and Wrong

Back when I was a teenager, I used to get into thunderous arguments with a good friend of mine over song lyrics. He would sing along with the radio and interject the most irritatingly erroneous lyrics imaginable. I would, of course, in true feminine know it all fashion, alert him to the error of his ways. He would then proceed to disagree with my interpretation, and we were off. “No!”, I would say...” Eleanor Rigby did NOT pick up her EYES in a church where a wedding has been! She picked up the RICE! And she LIVES IN A DREAM! Not in a TREE!!” Did it matter? Probably not so much. The culture was in no real danger, I suppose, if one sixteen year old boy thought poor Eleanor lived in a tree. But it wasn’t accurate and somehow that bothered me.

Imagine how I feel these days. I open the morning paper and it seems history is being reshaped like marzipan fruit in every corner of the country. We currently have a newly minted congresswoman who recently spoke at a fundraiser in the state of New Hampshire and lavished praise on her audience by saying “You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord!" Really? Wasn’t that Massachusetts? It would have been easy to consider this lapse an anomaly had it not been for a later speech in Iowa where she declared that “our founding fathers worked tirelessly until slavery was no more”. Really? Are these the same founding fathers who owned slaves and who stipulated in our constitution that they be counted as three fifths of a person? She then continued to wax rhapsodic about how welcoming and equalizing America had always been to its early settlers by saying, "It didn't matter the color of their skin. It didn't matter their language. It didn't matter their economic status. It didn't matter whether they descended from known royalty or are of a higher class or a lower class. It made no difference. Once you got here, we were all the same. Isn't that remarkable? It is absolutely remarkable."
Well yeah, I’d say it was remarkable. And I bet if you talked to the Jewish families, or the Japanese families, or .... let’s see.... the African-American families of our history, they’d think it was pretty “remarkable” too. Especially since it’s a pretty long way from accurate.

Now Lord knows, we all misspeak on occasion, saying things off the cuff that make us cringe later on. Consider the poor road-weary rock star who bounds onto center stage to shout a full-throated greeting to the city of New York, only to be vociferously told that he is, instead, on stage in Cincinnati. But this is something different. These were prepared remarks from a woman who was elected to the United States Congress and who apparently harbors White House aspirations. This is a Congresswoman so disenchanted with the American public school system that she has home schooled her five children, as well as a passel of foster children. One can now only wonder if there might just be more than a few breezy spots in the education of those children.

Unfortunately she is not the only example of a rather suspect rewriting of history. Last year, the Board of Education in the state of Texas approved sweeping and questionable changes for the history and social studies textbooks used in their public schools. This newly approved version of history renames the slave trade with the much more innocuous sounding “Atlantic triangular trade” and audaciously removes Thomas Jefferson, the man responsible for crafting much of The Declaration of Independence and the voice who, perhaps coincidentally, coined the phrase “separation of church and state”, from a list of great political thinkers whose words sparked revolution. Hmmmm. So Thomas Jefferson had nothing of importance to do with either the French or the American revolution? Really? It is perhaps interesting to note that the school board is an appointed body and that the vote to pass these changes was made exclusively along party lines.

Of course we are, and have always been, a fairly partisan country. When one party is elected the other seems to immediately launch the next campaign to oust them, so often sadly missing any opportunity to compromise and work together for the good of the electorate. But how far will we go to advance our agendas? We are all entitled to our own opinions and I will stand with anyone to defend that right. But we are not entitled to our own facts. Eleanor Rigby did not live in a tree. And just because we want our country to be the happiest place on earth, founded by men whose beliefs precisely mirror our own, does not always make it so. To alter or deny the facts of history, with all their warts and glories, is a dangerous thing that too often trivializes, or worse, ignores, the experiences of our fellow citizens. Not only does it strip us of the opportunity to build on the good and remedy the bad, it can eventually render our political speech, and perhaps even our textbooks, as nothing more than propaganda.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrating The Irish

Celebrating The Irish

Oh, the music in the air!
An' the joy that's ivrywhere -
Shure, the whole blue vault of heaven is wan grand triumphal arch,
An' the earth below is gay
Wid its tender green th'-day,
Fur the whole world is Irish on the Seventeenth o' March!
Thomas Augustin Daly

As the Irish Wolfhound above indicates, we are celebrating all things Irish here at The House of Edward today. Our Mayor will soon be out performing his annual duty of dyeing all the fountains green and I am wearing my best green tartan jacket. An emerald bow is around Edward’s neck, music of The Chieftains is flowing through the house and we are drawing the name of the lucky giveaway winner at midnight tonight.
Don’t forget to enter HERE!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Congratulations to The Weaver of Grass!
The winner of the Novica Giveaway!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Into White

Into White

We thought the snows of winter had completely disappeared, but we were wrong.
As we dreamt around the fire, wrapped up tightly in our thoughts, the snowflakes were gathered up from their wet melted state by the bushels and boatloads, the hampers and crates. For weeks and a day Mother Nature turned them over in her celadon hands, commissioning the angels to wash them clean, to flute their edges like bridal gown silk. Now thusly refashioned, all over town, the white snows of winter have reappeared on the pear trees, copious, fluffy and clean, the passementerie of angels, the first sign of Spring.

And I, who always send flowers of white to honour the dead, have heard the great empty silence from far over the oceans as thousands of souls rose up through white clouds.
So I plant white allyssum in planters and windowboxes.
They spill over the stone.
Their fragrance floats on the afternoon air.
With a delicate beauty, they are flowers brave enough to weather all the cold yet to come - each blossom a prayer, each petal a remembrance.

I thought when I was old enough I would understand more, thought the candles on my birthday cake would signify a wisdom denied to the young.
But there are mysteries more enormous and questions more complex than I could ever have imagined when placing my hope in the breadth of my years.
So I plant and I pray, and hold hands with the earth.
As the world turns into white.

Image above - Spring Landscape by Linkoku (1517-1618)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Stage Set For Our Dreams

The Stage Set For Our Dreams

When The Songwriter and I married, we moved into our cottage with nothing but a baby grand piano and a bed. Our priority boxes were ticked and, as far as we were concerned, we were starting out with the most vital of possessions.
Music and the perfect place to sleep.
Really, what more does one need?
As an unabashed and inveterate nester, the bedroom is always the room I decorate first, long before the more public spaces are considered. They are the rooms most personal, most illustrative of who we are when no one is looking. Bedrooms are our sanctuaries, our havens -they are the stage sets for our dreams and as such they should always mirror the purest, most colourful, parts of ourselves.
A beautiful bedroom is, in my thinking, crucial to the well-being of the psyche. One should always be able to banish the rigors of the world to the other side of the bolted bedroom door and retreat to a spot where the provisions of beauty can be found in abundance.
This is where the best books should be stacked on the downiest chairs.
Where the loveliest paintings should hang on the walls and the sweetest photographs grace the polished bedside tables.
Here, the fragrance of fresh flowers should always float in the air and, weather permitting, the windows should always be open.
There should be a windowseat for daydreams and a magical bed, lavender scented and dressed to the nines, to snuggle inside when the dark darkness falls.

I’ve felt this way since I was little. I was most particular about the arrangement of the Teddy Bears and Babars that shared my bed - one wrongly placed paw could have thrown the whole thing off. Of course, when I was little, the penultimate bed was a canopied one. No surprise, I suppose, that my bedroom contains a paneled, well-curtained, four poster today.
Growing up, I would get lost inside the rooms of fiction, imagining the London bedroom of Jane and Michael Banks with patterned carpets on the floors and a dappled rocking horse in the corner.
I would conjure the opulent bedroom of Countess Olenska in New York, giving it red damask walls, silk sheets and white lilies.
My mind simply danced when I considered the treehouse bedroom, lit by boatloads of stars, that belonged to that lucky Swiss family by the name of Robinson.
And how I loved the delightful description, in My Family and Other Animals, of little Gerry’s bedroom at the strawberry-pink villa in Corfu, where the tangerine trees hung thick with flowers just outside the shuttered window and an ash- grey owl named Ulysses slept each day away atop the window pelmet.
I have no doubt that all those literary wanderings greatly influenced my preferences today, although I must admit that I do now prefer my owls outside the window rather than in.

When traveling, where I sleep is infinitely more important than what I eat. Quite candidly, I often forget to eat, especially when it comes to lunch, which is but one more reason I love to travel in Britain. Their afternoon tea is so perfectly timed for someone who’s forgotten to eat since breakfast. But where I lay my head is another matter. Before booking into any hotel or inn, I scrutinize web photos of the bedrooms as if in preparation for an exam. I read guide book after guide book, choosing carefully in order to find a writer who obviously shares my proclivities for comfort. I mean, after all, who wants to spend an enchanting day out under the skies of a new world only to return to a room devoid of any sort of magic? No matter the strength of the wifi connection, or the thread count of the sheets, if a room doesn’t have the right ambiance, I am as miserable as that poor princess and the pea.
Fortunately, The Songwriter indulges this persnickety peccadillo of mine, and we’ve stayed in some truly wonderful rooms as a result, often over the protestations of the proprietor who attempted to place us in a more “modern” room, insisting that the stairs were too steep to get to the tower. Ah yes, but the climb was so worth it!
My recent trip to London was no exception to this rule and I thought you might like to see the room I chose for this solo adventure.
Believe me, it was like sleeping in Aladdin’s lamp itself!
Do tell me about your bedroom!
Any owls?

The Ellen Terry room at The Draycott Hotel, Chelsea

and a teeny glimpse of my own,
where there is also a wee bit of tartan,
and a fat, paisley dog bed.

There's still time to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page.
Drawing is on the 17th!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Impossible Question

The Impossible Question

“So you like art, do ya luv?”
My gregarious cab driver posed the question as he drove me across London, from The Wallace Collection to The National Gallery, through the teeming traffic of the afternoon.
"Well, yes. I suppose you could say that I do”, I replied, reluctantly turning my gaze from the window through which I’d been admiring the amusing juxtaposition of a round little woman being yanked up Regent Street by three sleek whippets at the end of a long red lead.
And then came the next impossible question.
“What sort of art do you like then, luv?”
My head clouded.
I mumbled something about the Pre-Raphaelites and Atkinson Grimshaw as all through the boundaries and balconies of my brain a host of heads turned to gaze pointedly into my mind’s eye. A variegated assemblage, they defied any coherent categorization.
Several elegant ladies of Sargent who sat beside a bouquet of O’Keefe flowers that rested in a vase by Chihuly.
Scores of French bathers from Monet and Seurat and a crowd of lush Tahitian natives, their bronze arms smoothed by the brush strokes of Gauguin.
There was Howard Pyle’s Mermaid and N.C. Wyeth’s Giant, and Lord Leighton’s Flaming June even awoke from her nap.
All the while, a rather imposing horse named Whistlejacket cantered round the periphery underneath a flock of Van Gogh crows that swung and swooped in the foggy air.
All these, and many more, were waiting expectantly, certain they would be mentioned.
Too much, too much.
The cabbie’s question hung in the air and, as I teetered precariously close to the edge of a nonsensical babble, his phone suddenly rang, and I was spared the embarrassment of attempting to speak coherently about art, which is, after all, totally exhausting in scope and a highly subjective concept besides.
There is just too much.
How can I possibly narrow it down?
Let me share just three of my encounters during my recent trip to London and I know you'll see what I mean.

1. Brizo
My trip to the old city had been a personal quest for inspiration, and of course, London is incapable of falling short in that department. In just a slight span of days, I was rocked back on my heels by astounding art. Some I gazed at with affection, like Rosa Bonheur’s lovely portrait of the shepherd’s dog, Brizo, that hangs in a stairwell at The Wallace Collection and is shown here at the top of this post. As I was, at the time, especially missing Edward’s soulful gaze, there is no doubt why that picture spoke to my heart, now is there? Sweet and sincere, it beautifully captures the dignity and the devotion that shines in the eyes of a beloved dog.
Just gorgeous.
2. Isabella
Then later that same afternoon, I entered a tiny, closet-like space off one of the contemporary rooms at the National Portrait Gallery and simply stood there, quietly stunned. In front of me was an object which at first (and even second) glance was simply grotesque. Resting atop a wooden stake was a taxidermied glob of rats and ravens, magpies and snakes, all held together with faux moss and wood. I had not read of this piece, didn’t even glance at the title before entering the room, so I came to it cold, which is almost always the preferable way to approach something extraordinary. I stared at it in silence and then, suddenly, I noticed the shadow on the wall. Oh my goodness! It was Isabella Blow. Wearing one of her infamous Philip Treacy hats. Her shadow, at once flamboyant and unmistakable, was emblazoned on the stark white wall, a striking sum of parts both morbid and macabre. A startling work, it stood in flagrant defiance of the expected and banal, a fitting testament to a woman who did exactly the same.
I saw many wonderful portraits in the gallery that afternoon, but it was Isabella’s head that I remembered most.

3. The Dennis Severs' House
I had stood before paintings and objects of wonder, but a couple of days later I entered into both, as a wanderer in another age, a breathing spectre in a time-traveling tale. I had waited on the cobblestones of Spitalfields for the opening of a polished black door and, when allowed admittance, I entered the world of The Dennis Severs’ House and left my role as observer behind, for I was now a participant in the art around me.
I was in the painting, an actual visitor in the candlelit rooms of the long ago.
The spicy fragrance of pomanders flooded my senses as I tip toed through the bedroom of the lady of the house. I spied the sugar mice hiding amongst the teacups in a kitchen redolent of fresh baked scones and pies. And later, in the bleak, Dickensian attic bedroom, I could hear the bells from Kensington tolling the death of King William IV, signaling the birth of the Victorian age.
When I left this place, it took me a while to regain my emotional footing in my own century, and I am dazzled by the experience even now.
It is a work of art as enthralling as it is unique.

So you see, even though I knew he wasn’t expecting an exhaustive answer,
when my cab driver asked me what sort of art that I liked... I just didn’t know what to say.
Should I bring up the works I find beautiful - the ones known to bring a tear to my eye and cause me to sigh? Or do I mention the ones I find challenging and, perhaps, a bit disturbing? The ones that push me outside the gilded doors of beauty and force me to reconsider its very definition?
And what of photography, or sculpture, or fashion?
I just cannot narrow it all down to encapsulate into one casual answer. There is too much that astonishes, too much that stretches my imagination and renders the world amazing.
I am still grateful for the ring of that phone.

If you find yourself in London, you must not miss:
the utterly amazing Dennis Severs' House

and don't forget to enter the giveaway in the post below.
The drawing is on the 17th.