A bit of a melange here.
I have always liked fountain pens (something I share with my dear friend John Wilson). And ink bottles are a big part of why I like them. I think I bought this bottle in Berlin when I lived there.
Cris and I went to the Amherst Farmer’s Market this morning. Lots of root veg. And something I had never seen before except in a bottle.
We then went up to Blue Dog Leather in Orange where Keith is making a one handed belt for Peter. Got to hang out with his donkeys and his two American Bashkir horses. They grow this coat in the winter and shed most of it in springtime. They are such beautiful animals.
Thanks again Alex. I love the camera.
My dear friend John Wilson makes stock out of any vegetable materials left over from his cooking preparations. When Peter and I were with him in March he told me how he does it. So for the past several months I have been collecting bits of carrot, onion, garlic, brussels sprouts, celery, tomato; well, you get the idea. I have put them in a bag in the freezer while waiting for a good time to start the process. I have no idea how it will turn out, but I’ll know more in about 3 hours. It is smelling pretty good so far.
I love this painting. John had given it to me in December, but since it needed to be taken off the stretchers for transport back to the States I wasn’t able to get it until Peter and I were back in the UK in March. We rolled it into a big cardboard tube and I was able to carry it onto the plane. Michelle at Hope and Feathers did a fantastic job restretching it and built a great frame. I was so happy to pick it up yesterday. It looks great in the living room.
I am pretty close to mailing the first of the Kickstarter rewards. So for those of you who backed the project at the $10.00 level, watch your mailbox. These are the first prints I have made of this work, and I am thrilled to finally see them on paper. Each print is signed and so the process is a bit slow; tonight I will start addressing the envelopes. You might notice the beautiful Yard-O-Led pencil in the bottom of the photo. It was a gift from my great friend John Wilson and it is the perfect writing instrument for signing the prints. It makes me so happy to be using it.
Peter and I drove from Stratford upon Avon down to High Wycombe today for another of his interviews with football clubs (Wycombe Wanderers). John had a free day so he rode along with us and helped a ton with directions. The weather has cleared out and the rest of the week looks to be lovely. / I took this shot at the far end of the car park at the Oxford Services on the M40, which is a regular stop anytime we head in this direction. It reminds me of a shot I took of John on the Isle of Sheppey some 20 years ago. We’ve both aged since then, although to look at us you would hardly notice.
I’m in the UK for a few days helping my friend John Wilson do some work on his house in Chiswick. We don’t get to see each other often enough, but when we do it is always a treat. We met when we were both living in Berlin in the 1980’s and became close immediately. I have always been fascinated by his personal history. He was born in Trinidad, went to boarding school in Barbados, moved to the UK when he was 16, and has lived and worked all over the world. His family had been in the Caribbean for generations, and his father’s father was the Postmaster General of Grenada. (Charles Livingstone Wilson) Today we were in his studio and he wanted to show me a suitcase that contained some family items. (Suitcases seem to be a theme for me lately.) The name tag above is sewn on to the tennis shorts that he wore while at the Lodge School in Barbados.
The Pan American tag was on the inside of the case. It was full of family items and lots of folders, including reports to his mother and father about his progress at school.
I really like looking at old documents. There is something about the typefaces and writing in ink from a fountain pen that appeals to me.
Above is his housemaster’s comment (turquoise ink). And he still is quite the gentleman.
The comment above from the headmaster is a true reflection of the times. This is from his last term at school. / I am constantly reminded of how amazing all of my close friends are, and am so lucky to be a part of their lives.
When I started this site, I vowed I would never take photos of food that I had cooked. Since I lived alone in Ithaca in the “80s, I have taken pictures of my dinners from time to time, but lately with the whole food on tv thing, it seems kind of self indulgent. But, as Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds”. So, I will write about love and friendship while posting a picture of something I cooked. John Wilson sent me a cookbook by Raymond Blanc a while back, and around holiday time, I use it alot. My son Peter loves it when we have big meals planned, and so it is lots of fun to put energy into producing something really good. Last night was French onion soup. Tonight was coq au vin, potatoes Dauphinoise, and for dessert, a lemon tart, all from the Blanc book. This picture of the lemon tart features the crust, of which I am particularly proud. / Yesterday as 2010 was winding down, I spoke to three amazing people on the phone. Alex Ross and I speak 4 or 5 days a week, Peter Carroll and I about the same, and John Wilson in the UK and I skype regularly. After our chats I just felt so blessed to have them as friends. Later in the day Cris and I ran some errands and went to a movie, then she, Pete and I had a quiet New Year’s Eve. / I was at my sister Karen’s just after Thanksgiving and got to see her entire family. At Christmas, we went to Maine to see my brother Bob and his family and had a great time. And this past Wednesday, Brad Edmondson and Tania Werbizky spent the night while on their way to the White Mountains. / As we were eating dinner tonight, after a long day of cooking, I fantasized about a huge long farmhouse table with all the people who give me so much love and support sitting around me. What a meal that would be. / We take Peter back to Union tomorrow, and I always get a bit melancholy when he leaves. In his words, I am “waxing a bit poetic” here, but if you can’t say how much your friends and family mean to you, something isn’t quite right. / So, to all of you dear people in my life, best wishes for the new year.