Jack Bauer and his field mate Inspector Clouseau (Jack and Clue for short) actually belonged to my brother-in-law, but because we all live on the same farm, the donkeys would spend part of their year in the field next to our house. A few months ago, my husband Christopher was walking past that field when Clue ran up to him in utter panic. He was hee-ing and haw-ing as loud as he could and he looked scared. Christopher jumped the stone wall into the field where Clue was crying and followed him towards where it looked like Jack was lying down. Christopher instinctively knew in that moment that Jack was gone. Why would he be resting or sleeping while Clue was in such a state? As he approached him his fear was confirmed. Jack had died. Clue continued to run around, completely freaking out. Poor Clue. That afternoon we rang a neighbour who has donkeys and she agreed to adopt Clue right away so he could begin bonding with hers. ..
Don’t we all feel like we’re going back to school today? Whether it’s a job, an actual school, or even just returning to a daily routine, it’s that back to real-life feeling. I will be getting back into my regular writing days at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and when I go to the town most famous for it’s esteemed university, I love to dress the part. For me that means corduroy trousers, Grenson lace up boots, a cozy sweater and my trusty canvas backpack (which I bought at a surf shop in Brooklyn) that holds my laptop and notebooks...
When I was at a crossroads in my career in my late twenties, my mentor Diane Von Furstenberg encouraged me to strike out on my own, saying to me, “Every woman needs to be known for something, even if its for making the best apple pie.” I don’t think either one of us thought I would eventually take that idea so literally, but it seems that I have (if you switch the apple for rhubarb and pie for crumble). Yes, rhubarb crumble. That is my thing. ..
My friend Rose invited us to join her family for a holiday in Zakynthos, Greece this summer. Christopher and I have been eager to get back to Greece. For about 5 years we went to Patmos every summer before we had kids. For me, Patmos is the most beautiful Greek Island. But then we took Coco there when she was just one, and we didn’t find it so baby/kid friendly. We haven’t been back since, and really missed Greece, so we jumped at the chance. ..
I know. As chic as she is you probably feel you don’t ever have to see another style icon pic of Jackie O as long as you live. I’m with you on that. But now that I have gotten so into riding, and what to wear when riding, Jackie O’s style on a horse has rekindled my awe of her chicness. These days, riding gear has gotten very technical and branded. I am constantly cutting off visible tags, blackening out logos with sharpies, and trying to find the most classic and pared down jackets, jodhpurs and boots while still keeping an eye towards practicality...
As I’ve often told you, there is no shortage of heartbreak on the farm to balance out the intense joy and deep sense of happiness we often feel from sharing our lives with so many wonderful animals. Sometimes I look out my kitchen window while I’m making tea in the morning and see a cat or two, a dog or two, a pony or two, a handful of hens and/or the occasional lamb or pig escaped from their enclosure. I can also usually hear a combination of calls from the horses, the donkeys and the rooster. Often the whole scene makes me laugh out loud, but other times it makes my throat tighten up and my chest hurt. We came back from our Easter vacation to the news that our three hens – the only remaining three that is – had been eaten by the fox while we were away. It was particularly sad because we had raised those last three from birth and they had just started laying a week before we left. After giving ourselves a week to mourn them, we decided to start again and went to see Mabel at the local bird sanctuary to collect a new rooster and ten hens. ..
Over Easter we visited my parents in South Carolina. As you can imagine, the area is typically southern – with cheese grits served in every restaurant, spanish moss hanging off the oak trees and alligators in all the ponds. It is beautiful. But what really blew me away, and has yet to escape my imagination, was Angel Oak, a 1500 year old tree that is rumored to be the oldest living tree east of the Mississippi. When standing in front of it, it was difficult to even comprehend its reach and scale. They say its shade covers 17,200 square feet! And it’s limbs are far larger in both diameter and length than the trunks of most other trees. I find that this kind of mind-boggling beauty only appears every now and then, and so I had to go back for a second visit, and then share it with you. ..