no diving

So much to say, so little time. In phase three of our holiday: family summer place, end of Long Island, North Fork. Sister, brother-in-law and niece just arrived. Breakfast on the deck.

Shot near Tranquility, NJ, by my beautiful friend - one of my most cherished friends, ever, we go way way back - Maryann Kissane. Maryann is one of those rare, truly beautiful women, in every sense, and her husband Jim is a dear friend - of both of our (me & Mr. Dot) - and we love their son and daughter, too (Ben and Julie). We've gone sailing together, have lived - and laughed - thru many adventures. This was shot at Ben's lovely girlfriend Lisa's family's pool. There is so much more I want to say and show you, and I will, promise, but I haven't yet said hello to my little sister!

How's your summer going so far? Hope it's wonderful. What are YOU up to? I AM reading your comments, dear blog friends, even if I'm not having a chance to visit. Hope your summers are all going swimmingly.


whatever lola wants

Greetings from the eastern tip of Long Island - the North Fork, where I hear the sounds of the birds on the deck next to me, and the sea below. I've gone from one house on the sea to another. We're leaving soon for the city (NY, that is) then going straight on to Tranquility NJ to see our dear dear friends the Kissanes. Can't wait. But before I leave, I'm trying to get up a post that I'd started in Cabrera, but hadn't had a chance to post.

Meet Lola, the black dog. She's the one on the right. Ninja, also a female, is on the left. Apparently the females are abandoned more often because they're more trouble: they breed puppies.

As I wrote then: "Typing this as fast as I can from a fab internet cafe in Cabrera, Dominican Republic, sipping cafe con leche and listening to soothing muzak in Spanish. I CAN'T BELIEVE how gorgeous it is here, how much we've packed into such a short time. Annie's gone to pick up the boys from baseball practice, and I just have to let you know what kind of generous spirit is my friend Annie: these two dogs were abandoned for the summer so she's taken them in. She's also taming them and especially as she's also adopted a tiny kitten, she's trying to keep everyone friends."

And because the colours tie together - it's so in keeping with the architecture and flora and fauna of this amazing world - this is a shot of our lovely cat, Tigger, who I call Pooh Reincarnated, who is home in London with Mr. Dot. He saw me packing to leave for the DR, and pulled down the towels and managed to wrap himself in this shot, as if to say 'what kind of monster are you, to leave one so adorable.'

There's just too much to show you. The view from this house - the water is everywhere, the scene below our bedroom windows, the living room.. porches and decks.. it's just heaven. On earth."

As I pack once again for a few days away, trying to pack light for a heat wave, I'm inspired by the colours of the DR: tropical colours, neturals, browns, caramels. I'm going to keep this colour scheme thru winter and fall: the pop of brights against the browns that will be so much in vogue (speaking of, it IS in Vogue: I've had my sneak preview copy of August with me on this trip).

Mr. Dot is here with me now on the North Fork, our reincarnated cat is back in London, Lola and Ninja, the dogs, back with Nina the rescue kitten at the magic house near the sea in Cabrera. Now I'm here, soon I'll be gone. Different house, different sea. Still heaven, on earth.

Wishing you all a heavenly weekend, wherever on this earth you may be. Thank you for visiting, and leaving your comments. I'm reading them all, even if I don't have the luxury of replying. Sunglasses by the way, from Fabris Lane.


russian gold

First, big hug & thank you to those of you who are commenting - you know who you are. I wish I could visit your blogs too, and reply, but you know what it's like on holiday: quick trips to the internet cafe, and so on. I'll catch up with you soon, and hope you're having a lovely summer wherever in the world you are.

Okay, here's the story: we're (Annie & I and her boys) are meant to leave this lovely house on the sea near Cabrera, Dominican Republic, at 07:00 tomorrow. But Puerto Rico has closed it's airports, the one road to Santa Domingo airport a few hours away was flooded last night, and there's a chance we might have to cut our trip short a day and get down there today somehow, & stay in a hotel.

Of course, I want to soak up every minute. I want to swim in the rain again. I don't want to leave.

Once I do, tho, I'll have all the time in the world to post more holiday shots, but there's a ton I didn't show you before I left. For example, Viktoria, who was visiting from Moscow - it was her last day in London (she's a PA to the head of a Russian bank, not a model or an actress, to my surprise). She's lovely lovely lovely, like a petite porcelain doll, and really nice - we've been emailing, her English is incredible.

I met Viktoria when Jen (Style Crusader) came into town just before I left, and altho I didn't shoot anyone that day, when I saw Vicky we just had to get the cameras out. For all I know Jen has already posted about her - I haven't had the luxury of time to go to anyone's posts. And as you can see, my words are written in haste and neither witty nor profound.

Apologies. I can't even think straight to edit these down - I'm sure I'm forgetting to post the best shots of her - all I want is to go back to the pool and the beach, and the other beaches Annie's told me about that we might not get to see this time round. All I want is to stay here, and to come back. I have fallen in love with the DR!

Viktoria's gorgeous gold dress is by arinov & fedyshin. Here's a link she sent me of some of their fabulous frocks on sale. She said they're a little known brand, even in Moscow, so please check their blog out, too.

Can you see the details on her finger and toe nails? She did them herself - 'a little hobby of mine'. Please give her a shout out, I'm hoping she'll become part of our blogging world, as she's a real sweet human being.

When I next post, I might be on the end of Long Island. Neither Annie nor I - who are flying separately to JFK - are thrilled about flying in a storm. Even Toby was asking how it works if there's lightening (apparently planes get struck by lightening all the time). Well, she promised me a Caribbean adventure, and we're certainly having one! Having the most splendid time, and wish you were all here.


with annie @ manny's

Typing this post haste - back @ the internet cafe while Annie makes a quick call to Fairfield Connecticutt. It's like a hurricane here - was swimming in the pool earlier, fantastic, until finally Annie called me out cause Mito heard thunder - we've left the boys back with Mito and Noris, swimming in the rain.

It's just amazing here.

Playing that game again of opening the first shots I see. This was from the most amazing dinner we had with the boys the other night, at a brilliant place called Manny's, on the sea.

This is my lovely friend Annie, on the right.

This is Bob Dylan singing It's a Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall, cause altho it's not remotely matching these shots, hey, that's what I'm singing in my head today.

Tee, American Apparel. Shorts, H&M. Necklace, made of coconut shells and bought from Edison, on the beach. Plastic sandals, somewhere in London. I know I promised I'd show shots of the house: coming soon. Wish you were all here!!! xoxo

wallace, the baby beckham of baseball, making noris laugh

What a lovely feeling to come back to the internet cafe and see your sweet comments! To know that the time spent posting is worth it, that there are people out there visiting my virtual world. We've packed so many stories into these past few days, I've shot hundred of photos, and it's overwhelming to choose the best or any particular theme, so I've decided instead to simply click open randomly and post what I can, when I can. I'll continue to post Dominican Republican shots while on Long Island, I'm sure (and London street style: I still haven't posted tons of those!)

Today's focus seems to be Wallace, the younger of the two Clark brothers. He is a total character, a bundle of energy. Both brothers are excellent athletes - they're local heros with the baseball community here - everywhere we go, everyone knows them - but as their mom, my friend Annie has observed, Wallace is pure action: he's like a baby Beckham. The Beckham of Baseball. Toby is more ethereal, analytical. When it rains, I discover his writings: he's literally memorised the Cabrera team's batting averages.

Above all, Wallace is a total clown, and reminds me a lot of how Mr. Dot must have been as a child.

And at the centre, the heart, is Noris, who is so wise and kind. There are three staff at the house, and each are incredible in their own way. All the people we are meeting here have such heart. I love this country, I don't ever want to leave.


new dawn

So many images, so little time. And sometimes, words are superfluous.

I arrived in Santa Domingo in the middle of the night: 3:44.

This is a quite an extraordinary young man, named Tab (nickname: I can't properly pronounce his name, which is like Tabias). Annie and her husband Tim had met his father first, and become friends. He's lived and gone to school in Michigan, and is back home here, getting his MBA. He had driven two and a half hours from Cabrera in the middle of the night, where he lives and where the house is, to the airport in Santa Domingo. He was waiting, with a sign with my name, got me a perfecto cafe con leche, then took me through.. again, can't find the right words. Paradise. (Perhaps it's because I'm surrounded by Spanish, which is not a language I know well, but I'm starting to think a bit in Spanish, and to zone out, and to use less words... so I start inventing Spanish sounding words out of English, and start channelling my limited French or Italian.)


Anyway, we emerged from this primordial splendour - Tab said they shot Jurassic Park in the Dominican Republic - and he drove onto the sands of a beach. I got out - by this time, it was dawn, and simply walked into the sea.

The house is magnificent, perfect in a wabi sabi way that I feel I am one with the owner, who is also the architect. He took an old house - a big box, as Annie described it - high above the most beautiful sea (the land is on its own peninsula) and carved from it something old, something new, something blue in infinite shades of sand and sky and sea.

The floors throughout the house look like old polished stone, but are actually beautifully painted plaster. And the night watchman, an incredibly kind, dignified man named Ignesio, found a tiny kitten, abandoned way too young and starving, who they've named Nina. She's like a little ET creature, and sleeps on my shirt: the tiniest little spirit, who is inspiring me by her sheer will to survive, her joy in being alive, being rescued.

My mind is slowing down here, and I'm feeling so at one with the world, at peace. I have so many images to share with you, my dear blog friends. I'm finding the colours here inspiring and informing my choice of dress, and expect it will carry me into the autumn and winter. At least, I hope so.

Today's theme is dawn, which is the colours I'm wearing now: mostly white, pastels in shades of palest blue, faded sea foam and mint. The house is beyond perfectly everything I love in a home: I want to live here. The colours of the Dominican Republic change with the moods of the sky and the sea, and everything is beautiful.

My mint tee by American Apparel. Everything else: Mother Nature's Own.


let's play ball

The last time I saw Annie and Tim's boys, Wallace, left, and Toby, they were mere babes in arms. They are so so cool: polite and feisty and fun. I hit the ground running after something like 27 hours of air travel and transfers, and soon as we arrived, before breakfast, the three of us played endless Marco Polo in the most perfect pool. Wallace, being 8, bent the rules in his favour every now and then because, in his words 'I've got the eight advantage.'

Just shot these today at the gorgeous house they're renting in the Dominican Republic. Annie wanted them to learn Spanish, they wanted to play baseball like their dad (who was in the minor leagues), and besides Cuba - which, as they say in the states, you can't get to from there, the DR is known for their good baseball.

Shot these earlier, before Annie took them to baseball practice with local kids. Do they not kill you with their adorableness? We're sipping cafe con leche @ the internet cafe in Cabrera, I've already uploaded a ton of shots, and I am having way too much fun. As Annie said, it's like everything happens here, and nothing, and it's just all so beautiful.


can't give it away

Your comments were so lovely yesterday, thank you. So much for my 'give-away'. It looks like the consensus is: those of you with hour glass figures shall search for something similar, but some are saying to hold onto mine anyway. Meanwhile I've given up the search (temporarily) for my original dress, but have found a rather dark photo, shot on my ex (David's) 50,000 acre ranch in New Mexico. David's family are Texan millionaires and he's a nice guy who has since also become good friends with Mr. Dot. They stayed at our little London home (which is still so not done up the way we'd like) with his then girlfriend, who got very ill. We have no curtains in the living room, so hung up old Welsh plaid blankets with moth holes in it, and the place became dark and covered with bottles of medicine and crumpled, used tissues. They were meant to stay a few days and stayed a week instead, while she convalesced. Mr. Dot called it the Crack Den.

Packing to go, I've got so many lovely, CURRENT, shots to show you but will only do so if I have time, as I've got to leave for the airport in a few hours and Mr. Dot is still across town, battling Citibank (we're not as keen on them: he was on the phone with India all day yesterday, they still haven't sorted it out - we still can't get to any of our money - and he thought he'd show up at the nearest branch on Hanover Square first thing, but sod's law, they don't open til 10 on Wednesdays. Of COURSE THEY DON'T!!)

Oh and he had walked there - an hour each direction - and I said well just take the tube home. Asked if he brought his travel card, he did, but it needs topping up AND WE HAVE NO MONEY. You couldn't make this shit up.

So he's there, I"m here, trying to pack as little as possible. I've got a huge pile which I'm now attempting to edit down, and look pretty much like in this shot except I'm wearing Mr. Dot's white tee and undies, kneeling on the floor with stuff scattered round on the carpet (and NO, I'm not taking a self portrait). The white dress, like the cat, will be staying behind. And I might, too, if we don't get this sorted out!

(p.s. 1234th follower: that will never happen again. I love that stuff.) And while 'embedding is disabled by request', you've GOTTA click here and see Chantal Kreviazuk's version of Leaving on a Jet Plane.


ah but i was so much older then

First, is it just me who feels sad the World Cup is over? The last time, when Italy beat France, I was IN ITALY, WITH ITALIANS, at the best restaurant, on the lake, watching it on a sheet hung up with a tv somehow projected on it, people jumping during the game, shouting, others shouting at them in Italian to sit down, they're blocking the screen. And when the Head Butt Incident occurred, and they won, I was literally lifted off the ground by the tiny wife of the owner of the restaurant. Fireworks in the town, wonderful chaos.

When England lost to Germany, we were at a ping pong party, sweltering outside and getting knocked out in the first round, during the last two decisive goals.

This time, it was just me, Mr. Dot, and the cat.

Because I'm a woman and can multi task, I was following the game (he said to pick a side, and I chose Spain), while I dug out clothes and started layering things on for a half time photo shoot. I was actually dressed like this for the first half. 'You look like a mad clown', said the Dot Dude. 'You'd really better be ready, because you're getting four minutes for this shoot.'

The reason I did it is I did a post recently ('take a bow') that I'd shot with a timer and a tripod on the roof of my NY apartment, a million years ago. Two shots. And I wanted to show that I can still do splits in the air.

This is the dress I wore for the ping pong party, when I got a heat rash, and afterwards he said 'that dress is so wrong for you.' And it is. I wanted to show it to you to show that a) I can get it so wrong and b) that not every shape is right for every figure. This one doesn't work, I feel, because I don't have an hour glass figure, the waist is too high and exaggerates my torso being proportionately shorter than my legs (at 5' 4", I'm probably average to small height, but my legs are proportionately longer).. and the prevailing reason, the reason I'm now good friends with Louisa, formerly Anonymous, is IT IS TOO CUTE FOR MY AGE.

TOO CUTE. I can't stress that enough.

So I'm gonna give it away. I don't know how I'll manage this as I'm fleeing the country this Wednesday, for a few weeks. But you can start now: if you want it, it's yours. Just tell me in comments that you want it, and why, and we'll take it from there.

It was really hard to narrow down the shots for this post - Mr. Dot just basically shot a ton, like it was movie film, and we were back inside before halftime was over. I'll probably post more another time, as I literally cannot choose. Mr. Dot and I, after Spain won (which immediately turned me into a Holland supporter: I can't bear to see anyone sad), were wishing we were at our favourite holiday spot (one of them), the Hotel Hurricane outside Tarifa, on the coast of Andalusia. To be there, huddled round the one tv in the lobby, when they won.. we were scrutinising the photos because it looks like my leg isn't totally straight, and I was comparing it to my self back then, and we agreed, not bad for an old lady.

You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but at least this one can still do her old ones. And the song? I can't do the original, by Bob Dylan, who wrote it (the lyrics are amazing) but the Byrds do a close second:

Dress: Topshop, barely worn. Leggings: American Apparel. Black suede pom pom flats, Topshop, practically vintage at this point.