Saturday, September 6, 2008

An important message from the queen.

I mean THIS queen...........

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English.. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.' Like, ya!

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist,then you're not ready to shoot grouse.

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public. Thank god I already have one!

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar. And Mayonaise!

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. Australian beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion. YUM

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater. OUCH

11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). hehe -Nancies.....

12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad. Me too!

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
(I totally agree with #15!)

Friday, September 5, 2008


Have you ever been to colonial Williamsburg? It was funded and restored by John D. Rockefeller back in the 30s - creating many jobs during the great depression. It's a beautiful example of colonial towns in our country. I was there a few years ago -here are a few of my photos :-) Educational and in a beautiful part of the country. There are many cute B&B's in town: great for a weekend getaway!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Charlotte Moss reader question

I received an email from a reader asking about the illustration in a picture in a post I did awhile back on turquoise and red. The image in question is in Charlotte Moss's study - she writes
The illustration in question shows the lower half of a woman holding a handbag, located in far left corner of her office, below a group of 4 smaller photosDo any of you recognize what it is? Can we help my friend out?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I got the new William Sonoma home catalog yesterday in the mail and it's full of beautiful things. However, I'm not here to talk about how great they are or how wonderful the catalog is this time (I swear they don't pay me!! But if someone there reads this and want to send me a gift certificate, I won't argue!), but on the cover was this beautiful scene with large barndoors. The tradition of converted barns as living space goes back a long time. Remember the movie, White Christmas (my family's favorite movie, I've seen it 1,000 times). In this fantastic movie, a retired general opens up a ski lodge, in an old barn: complete with a big theater in a barn where bing and rosemary put on some fantastic shows! This look with barn doors goes way back here the 40s and 50s -but they were harking back to America's past. It's all part of the American tradition -and it's back yet again! I think this recovered barn look is very similar to this industrial craze we've been going through, only more grounded in history and homey. Warm woods, large windows, open spaces -whats not to like?
Another similarly great movie is Holiday Inn. In this movie Bing Crosby tries to get away from show business by opening a dinner theater only open on holidays out in the country (was it Conneticut?) out on an old farm. The house looks very similar to this WS home look - good taste never goes out of style and neither do these great old movies!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Band Wagon

I spent the morning of my labor day watching one of the great movies from the 50s, Bandwagon. Released in 1953 and directed by Vincent Minelli -it's everything you would hope for in a technicolor extravaganza. The colors are amazing; Vincet Minelli was a master at designing his movies. Bright clear reds, yellows, blues -but especially yellows seem to be a theme throughout the movie. Cyd Charisse in one of the 'numbers'.
another colorful number.
a party scene at the end of the movie.Notice all the brightly colored costumes and sets!
this act was performed in front of a backdrop of watercolored lines - very striking!

The all encompassing producer / actor / director character (based on Minelli) has this beautiful colorful apartment -may of the pieces come from Minelli's own home. I love the stage sets here in the yellow sitting room and the blanc de chine pieces!

In the yellow sitting room, a fireplace wall is glazed in antiqued mirror -really glamorous!The entry hall has the ceiling, doors and trim all painted the same shade of blue/gray with this perfect chandelier with beautiful shades. I love the contrast of the red den in the background. Red, blue, yellow -all in one apartment! Brave indeed!

The story is as wondeful as the sets - lots of fun, great music and singing and dancing provided by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse -this is a fun weekend movie! Check it out!

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos!!