Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A First Day of Summer List

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass 
on a summer day listening to the murmur of water,
 or watching the clouds float across the sky,
 is hardly a waste of time." 
John Lubbock

The tiny beads of condensation on the silver dish of ice cream.
The crosshatch etched on bare thighs by outdoor wicker chairs.
The sleepy whirling metronome of the ceiling fan.
The just-caught firefly that makes your fist glow orange in the one brief second before you release it to the night.
The lazy dog dozing with his head in your lap.
The porch ferns.
The blue hydrangeas.
The smell of fresh corn on the grill.
The sound of splashes in the birdbath.
The feel of crisp cool sheets on a hot still night.
The sibilation of sprinklers.
The slap of the old screened door.


It is such irony that the very hour we celebrate the arrival of summer is the very hour we begin the journey into winter.  The days only shorten from here.   Bit by bit, these summer afternoons so beloved by Henry James have their sun-kissed seconds shaved by time, each growing shorter, infinitesimally, hardly noticed, until we lift our faces to a change in the wind and a spell is cast that turns maple greens to russet and daisy yellows to gold.  Of all the seasons, summer seems ephemeral.  Like the sweet beach memories we make at this time, the edges of each summer day feels softly blurred, like the old photographs so many of them are destined to become.  
So close your eyes.  Breathe deeply.
And love each summer day.

Here’s a list of fun things for this new season.

1.  Molton Brown Orange and Bergamot 
As those of you who follow me on Instagram already know, I spent some time in Yorkshire this past April.  A marvelous part of Great Britain, from the gothic moors of Bronte country to the bucolic dales of James Herriot.  Every single day of that journey was completely wonderful.  
For a couple of nights we stayed in a charming little B and B near Fountains Abbey where, on my dressing table, sat a ordinary bottle of hand lotion by Molton Brown.  Now, I’ve encountered this brand before and have always liked it.  But this particular fragrance was intoxicating.  It was as though they had managed to bottle summer.  Fresh grass, orange blossoms, salt water - I almost wanted to put it to my ear to listen for the sea.  Needless to say, I have filled my house with this fragrance since returning home. 
I’m not kidding.  It’s fabulously addictive.
Find it HERE

  2.  For Little Girls
 This would have been my favorite summer shirt when I was little.
Hands down.
Find it HERE

3.  Black Rabbit Hall
by Eve Chase 
The absolutely perfect summer book.
Atmospheric and irresistible.
Loved it.
Find it HERE

4.  Pillows
New Pillows Up Now!
Find them HERE

5.  Gardening Boots and Gloves
Love, love these!
Find them HERE
and HERE

6.  Lily and Lionel Scarves
It’s no secret that I lose my mind in the scarf department at Liberty of London, but it’s certainly a comfort to know I’m not alone.  It’s truly one of the most tempting places on the planet and I usually try and  bring something special back with me each time I’m there.  I’m particularly fond of Lily and Lionel scarves, like the one above.
Isn’t that the perfect scarf for summer?
Find it HERE


7.  Nelly Dean<
by Alison Case
Visiting Bronte country was  a dream come true for me and since returning, I’ve been immersed in everything Bronte, for a special reason. (More about that later)  While I usually steer clear of books that pilfer their plots from the classics, I dipped into this one out of rampant curiosity and could not put it down.  
The story of Nelly Dean, the housekeeper at Wuthering Heights.  
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
I loved it.
Find it HERE.

8.  Genius
If you are a writer.  
If you live with a writer.
If you love books.
Or if you just have a crush on Colin Firth.
Go see this movie.
See the Trailer HERE

9.  Sunny Afternoon
To be completely honest, I purchased these tickets primarily for The Songwriter.
But boy, oh boy, did I have a good time!
Trust me, if you’re in London over the summer….
Go see this!
See more HERE

10.  Julia Reed’s South
Just the most delicious bite of a southern summer
 you’re ever going to have.

Find it HERE

Happy Summer, 
from Edward!


  1. Thank you for this wonderful list Pamela. The books and movie have not reached my neck of the woods yet so I will look out for them. Edward certainly takes a beautiful photo too. Happy summer days to you all xx Lisa from Sydney

  2. Wonderful summery post Pamela. I'm always looking for good books as I am usually wrong. Can't even believe that scarf. It's wonderful. Happy days to you too. They do go by quicker now.

  3. Ah Pamela - there has been no summer here during June, that most Summery of months. Today is sunny after a day of rain yesterday but there is a strong cool wind blowing.

  4. I've always been a Bronte fan, so I appreciated the book recommendations.

  5. I always so enjoy the lists you put together. That is an especially beautiful picture of Edward. With his summer trim? May your summer be a very happy one.

  6. Lovely to look at your Summer suggestions as we've just reached the Winter Solstice here.
    Just had to click on the Stella McCartney T-Shirt to be sure that they really were for little girls (I know you'd love one of those Pamela.......me too!!).
    There's something there for me.
    Those Hunter boots are gorgeous and how winter prunning in the floral gloves would be so stylish.
    All lovely............and Colin Firth too
    Thank you

  7. Lovely recommendations all. I love Molton Brown and will place this fragrance on my list. I watched the Genius trailer and can hardly wait.
    Happy first day of summer.

  8. Lisa from Sydney again. I was just thinking of a wonderful summer cookbook that you might like from Down Under. It's called Sydney Food by Bill Granger. It was published in 2000 so is an oldie but a goodie. It has the most stunning photos of summery food and Sydney during summer. The food is simple, elegant and is a lovely snapshot of Sydney food in summer. You can still buy it on Amazon. xxx

  9. I'm really looking forward to Genius!

  10. Loved your introductory evocation of summer. I read and enjoyed 'Black Rabbit Hall' and saw 'Genius' yesterday. I still don't quite buy Jude Law's NC mountain accent, but it made me want to visit Tom Wolfe's grave here in town. The Molton Brown lotion sounds divine, and I love the gardening boots and gloves. Will have to look for Nelly Dean. Alas, I'm not visiting London, but that does sound like a rocking good time.

  11. That's my favorite Molton Brown fragrance too - I was introduced to their toiletries in the bathroom of my first safari khaya (bungalow) in South Africa and have bought it ever since.
    I hope to see Genius soon - we always stay across from the Thomas Wolfe homestead when in Asheville. From the trailer I think Jude Law may be up for an Oscar!
    Another lovely list for the current season Pamela. I'm sharing my Summer books tomorrow - I'm home recuperating from a big surgery so have plenty of time to read in the gazebo!
    Hugs - Mary

  12. Edward is certainly in fine form for the summer .

  13. Will have to check out those books! Thanks for the share!

  14. So glad you mentioned the movie Genius. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great story and Colin is one of my favorite actors.

  15. Scott Fitzgerald's only grandson lived across the street from me for some years. The grandson is an inventor and very unassuming. I only learned of his family because his girlfriend told me! He told me Zelda truly the more interesting of his grandparents.

    I am looking forward to the books you recommended. Thank you Edward and you have a good summer as well with lots of swimming!

  16. Beautiful list! Ooh, love the pillows. Off to see...


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