home is where you hang your hat

Thank you for yesterday ('the blues'). I really do feel better. It's amazing. (Shini & I had the most lovely lunch/chat yesterday, at a wonderful cafe, Hurwundekii in Bethnal Green, and she said exactly what I feel: the response we get from posting is the reason we do it).

Anyone who's reading this, please take a moment to read the comments, they're so wonderful and beautifully written. Can I ask those who commented, or even if you didn't - if you have any photos of the places you miss, can you email them to me? (jill@haybooks.com). I'd love to do a post - or perhaps, a series on it.

Because I've realised what I've always known: home really is where you hang your hat.

I can get homesick for so many places. Sabine mentioned missing Italy. I long for Italy, for the places I've been there, the friends who I've been with. I've read somewhere that, because she travels so much, Kate Moss (according to her friends) will bring her own scented candles, start lighting them, fling a scarf over a chair.. that's just what I do. Not that I'm fanatically neat. I just like the colour accents to echo my mood that day. It's quick, innate, but it's important to me.

And then, when it's time to go, having made that room my own, I miss it. One more place to be homesick for.

Whew. I really am mouthing off. And this has really nothing to do with the post. I saw this girl the day we were back in London, in Marylebone, outside the original branch of Daunt, a wonderful wonderful bookshop (they've also got one now closer to us, on Fulham Road). The moment I saw her I thought 'See, that's what I love about London. They've got such great style.'

So when I introduced myself, asked to shoot her in her original pose ('No, more like that, that's right. No, a bit more to the left. That's it. Pretend you're reading the titles') it suddenly occurred to me: she's AMERICAN. From NY. So much for that, then. She - and her friend who joined her while we chatted - were on a work study thing, and returning home to NY the next day.

Her stripes reminded me of a shot of Norris, in the Dominican Republic, which made me homesick for THAT lovely house, and for Norris, who cried when we left. Especially saying goodbye to Annie. I was only a guest for a week, Annie and the boys lived with her for a month. I could see why her heart was breaking when she had to say goodbye to them. They had become family.

There are so many places I've been that I long to return to. Room 23 at the Hurricane Hotel in Andalusia, for example. The OMM Hotel, in Barcelona, where I only went for the weekend (shown here) and shared a room with my childhood friend Sheila while her husband, a lawyer, was on 'a boat with 1000 law partners'- actually a cruise ship going to Cannes. His idea, as he told me cheerfully after, of hell. (Hedvig, who has, by popular demand, just started her own lovely blog, Northern Light, is going there tomorrow, at my recommendation. I hope she loves it as much as I do: I'm longing to take Mr. Dot there someday soon).

I want to show you more shots from Barcelona, but for now, just this one, in keeping with my black and white theme. Across from the rooftop of the OMM, you can see the Gaudi museum. We happened - by sheer luck - to catch their first friday night Jazz night - champagne and a wonderful crowd. But more about that another time.

Oh one last rambling thought: speaking of bookshops, in a recent post when I asked what you'd pack to take to a desert island, several of you said a good book. I wanted to thank those of you who took the time to recommend favourite books ('what's black and white and read all over') - I actually took your list to my mom's library. I've read some great books this summer, The Secret Life of Bees, and now I'm reading The Help, and some great novels by Joan Didion, Democracy, and The Last Thing He Wanted.

I'd love to do a virtual book club post from time to time, maybe monthly. Or quarterly: 3 months notice to read a book & talk about it. Anyone game?

Is it just me? When I finish a great book, I can even get homesick for that world. I guess I just hate saying goodbye to places or people I love. I guess I just never can say goodbye.

And by the way, I haven't forgotten the agony aunt idea. I've got my first customer. We are in touch. Watch this space.


jazmine rocks @ jazzabelle's diary said...

isn't the hurwundeki cafe lovely? i just adore the decor, plus the kids play area outside is so cute. i went there a couple of months ago after popping by to natasha kerr's (have you seen her work before?) open studio. i then went to the v&a museum of childhood for the first time, and ended up confronting someone who was rude about my weight. i'm glad i did, i'll tell you the story another time. about next week, i'm meeting abi on monday, plus i have a horrible dentist appointment on tuesday, but them i'm free for the rest of the week. just let me know :)

about the virtual book club, what a great idea! i haven't been reading as much as i'd like to, so this would definately help. just make sure that the first book is pretty easy going, hehe. i hope you are feeling a tad better today.

love, jazmine. x

p.s. i love the shot with the chair and your flip flops, such a serene picture, and the lighting is so beautiful.

the style crusader said...

as always, such a beautiful post. i love that first shot you got of the girl looking into the window. that hat/skirt combo is lovely. i'm sending you my photo of where i miss... xx

DeZine said...

I've been 'homesick' a lot too, for places I visited last year. And the people, who I became really close with.
I've always wanted to go to Italy, but I haven't gotten there yet.
I have to agree, the picture with the chair & flip flops is really lovely--it's very calming!

mtg said...

excellent post, jill. thanks! I'll have to email you some of my pics that bring nostalgic feelings to me.
every time i see flip flops I smile because even though I told my soccer mom style bye bye- I still wear flip flops a lot. your pictures prove that you can wear flip flops and still look fashionable.
maya of http://byebyesoccermom.blogspot.com/

p.s. I had to mention one of your old posts on my post I am working on right now...

mtg said...

oh, and thanks for telling us about Hedvig's blog. I will have to definitely check it out. already exited about it!!!! i just know it's gonna be good! thanks!

Maria. said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now, but have never commented before. But i just have to now, because all i have been able to think about this past week is how much i miss home! Not just the little house or even the country, but most of all, the feeling! In this HOT, sunny, Florida summer, i miss the sweet exhaustion after having shoveled snow out of the driveway for hours under a darkening sky...

I really love how you don't just post streetstyle, but also about things that inspire and move you! You are a great inspiration and you really made me want to go to the Dominican Republic some day!

Shopgirl said...

I love the book club idea. When I find a book that I just can't put down, I almost mourn it when it's finished. Silly I suppose.

That striped dress is fabulous - I am loving the mid length at the moment


Carrott said...

Beautiful post. I am definitely sending you my picture, I couldn't comment on your post, but I hope you're feeling better.
Barcelona, oh Barcelona. It is beautiful, isn't it? I have to say it's not my favourite city in Spain, but I think there's something in the air that makes it so great.
And I love the idea of the book club. I don't read that much, but when I do, I just can't stop. xxx

Chele 20 said...

Haha - sometimes if I find a book that I LOVE, I can't bear to finish it! Oxymoronic, I know, but I have many such books left 'unfinished' because I couldn't handle the idea of them ending!!!
As for homesick, I live in NZ. My partner works some of the year in London, & for the past 3 years I have travelled over to spend time with him - & when I return home....I feel homesick!!! (Happily I will be hopping on a plane in 5 days to return to where my soul feels happiest - London!!) xxo

SabinePsynopsis said...

I can relate so much to this post (and THANK YOU for mentioning me :-). I don't know if it's because we moved so much when I was a child, but I do exactly the same when I am in new places - hang up my clothes and a few scarves, spray a bit of perfume... make the place mine. This way I feel I can live anywhere. I know a place I'm missing and would love to go back to... I'm sure I can find a picture.