Back when I was job hunting I just knew it meant I would have to move far far away from all the things I’ve loved over the years. Not so. Moving to Memphis has given me the chance to do all the things I loved to do in college like, Double Decker. Friday night WMC sent me to the square to report live at 10 :: today I sent myself there to shop and eat!
I haven’t been in four years. Today Mom and I loaded up and hit every store in Lafayette County. Proof….
The crowd has gotten bigger and the vendors all have such quality items. We did most of our shopping in all the antique malls around town. The same ones I blew my paychecks in back in college. This trip, though, I did make it in to a “real” store with new things and got this neat leather/gold plate ring from Amy Head Cosmetics on the square. It wasn’t there when I was in school. Neat addition. Worth walking in. The colors and design of the store will leave you with lots of ideas.
With the town soooooo packed we couldn’t find a restaurant spot to take a seat for a bit, so we crammed in a corner at Square Books.
We will be there next year! Great job to all the people who work hard to bring the community such an A + event!! Also nice seeing so many old friends like….Kathleen Jones Hamilton, if you read this. The four years I was there Mom made the 6 to 7 hour drive from the coast so often. I don’t know how she did it after teaching kids all day! Roaming Oxford together again was sweet.
I can still feel the gravel in my palms. As expected wearing high wedge sandals, (that are extra cute) I fell while reporting tonight. I was in front of a big crowd on the Oxford square for double decker festival. I didn’t get proper footing in a flower bed and ate gravel.
What’s a girl going to do? Cry? I already did that today.
Sometimes I get extra sensitive. Not often. When it happens you know. I cry at the end of basketball games, excessively when I finish a book that isn’t sad or just driving down the road listening to happy music. I’m not sad at all.
Today it was when I hung up with the leader of an unnamed city that hosts double decker. I called all happy and bubbly, ready to set up interviews and I instead got yelled at :: out of no where. It was so sudden and shocking that as we both growled out our goodbyes down the line, my eyes started to pool. I can take it just like I can give it, but today was just one of those days. No lesson learned from the embarrassing situations, but a lot of grace towards myself. We are all only human.
Moving on. Double decker was very nice tonight. Along with visiting with my best friends in town from Nashville and Chicago, I heard the soothing tunes of Iron and Wine all while earning a paycheck doing something I love. Life is good.
We are passing through Hammond, LA right now. Been on the train since 6:30. Another two hours to go before we get to New Orleans where Mom and Dad will pick me up and head to Stone County.
Sitting next to me is Lonny from Dyersburg, TN.
He’s also heading to NOLA where he hopes to meet some of his Dad’s people. His dad died when he was a baby, so this search is 53 years in the making. Lonny kept me alert this morning with funny statements like,
“I wish people still bought boom boxes.”
“how do I get my Beyonce tapes onto one of those pods.”
“those “kardasin” girls are pretty”
I find him refreshing!! He just found this BB King tape and is so excited. It has songs he’s never heard. He told me all about the famous bluesman, who I’ve seen live, as if his music was just released and I need not miss it.
By the way check out these pancakes….impressive
It’s my favorite transition now where the oaks now have Spanish moss. I’m home!!
I get this way from time to time. Totally amazed. For the last couple of months it’s been over technology, internet and social media. These things have proven to be mind blowingly cool, despite the fact that I’ve/we’ve been living with it all for quite a while now. I still can’t get over them :: it’s like I just discovered them.
Today I’m astonished by medicine. At the moment :: one medicine :: in particular.
ADVIL COLD & SINUS
This pill single-handedly brought me out of my sick-bed where I dreamed up every possible reason I was dying. First, I was convinced I had contracted meningitis while in England. I ached so badly all over, but also where my neck met my head, but was relieved when my mom reminded me that this started a week ago with a runny nose and sore throat. Safe!
Next, out of nowhere, I remembered the movie that came out recently, Contagion.
This is me. I’m Gwyneth Paltrow sitting at Heathrow infecting everyone around me, not to mention all the people I hugged and shook hands with in England. NOOOOOOO All thanks to that….let’s say cheese and chutney sandwich I ate in that little cafe. It tasted fine?
I was Gwyneth Paltrow and have now infected all my loved ones and colleagues not to mention the whole world, just to make it worse. Though, if were just me, I was surely going to have to go on part-time disability while I racked up medical bills in the hospital and eventually lose my job because Ursula couldn’t possibly fill in for me over the course of the 3 months it would take me to feel like a normal human again. Oh, how the mind wonders when you are home alone and never get sick like this. Is it possible to feel this bad from a cold??
The truth :: whatever crud the English gave me in retaliation for my ancestors leaving them :: has now been masked by Advil Cold and Sinus.
What a blessing that this is out there. It works. Just imagine. Only a hundred of years ago some doctor would rub some sort of ointment on my forehead in hopes it would reduce my fever or poke a hole in me to take out some of my bad blood?. Sure, I’m still sick. I can tell since I’m still sweating when it isn’t at all hot in my apartment. Though, I wouldn’t know it.
Thanks to the upper in this medicine I’m typing faster than I’ve ever typed and I’ve got a new lease on life. I was up early and even met someone for a working breakfast! Hurray for life.
I even felt good enough to pick and stare at these.
From my yard
So, I’ve broken my rule about talking about sickness :: no one really cares.
Though, hopefully, when you feel in the way I’ve described you will RUN-DRIVE-BIKE-HITCH HIKE to a store and feel better in 20 minutes like I did
Bath is maybe the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It depends on what type of beauty you are talking about, but for me the Bath stone and rolling green hills just do it for me. For others, it’s some tropical paradise that gets their juices flowing. Well, despite all the beauty around me, the building below and the stories I know surrounding it were all I could think of and look for around me there.
This is the Bath Police Station on Manvers Street. It was right in front of me as I got off the train. Here I thought I’d have to search for it.
In my books Peter Diamond is the Chief Inspector Detective in Bath. The murders all take place in Bath or surrounding communities and feature many of the well-known spots like the parks, the abbey, the Roman Baths and the theaters.
While, yes, I’d been wanting to go back to Bath since I was 17, visiting the city where all my favorite books were written was a main reason for the quick trip there.
Problem is none of my new Bath friends had a clue who CID Diamond is. I know I sound crazy, but I’ve read around 12 books featuring him. To me Peter is real. Since I was on vacation my imagination was on super speed and I just allowed it to be since I was on break. I saw Peter walking through Victoria Park, the same park where his wife was found murdered. I saw him, grumpy and out of shape, walking through the pretty streets, just as he would in the stories. The writer, Peter Lovesey, apparently lived very near bath in Bradford on Avon for years, but no longer does. We drove there and it was lovely. I read they are trying to make a television series out of the books. My fingers are crossed!
This is the one shot I got that most looked CID Diamond. This man was a wee bit too thin. It still works for my one shot.
If crime fiction isn’t your thing :: there are many other beautiful things to see in Bath. I’ll post some of my fave pics.
I was lucky enough to meet a friend who hung out with me for the two days I was there.
Rich joined me for a great warm dinner and told me all about his life there in Bath. I try not to act like a reporter, but after only a couple sips of beer I’m slinging the questions his way. The next day he showed me what was tucked away in those amazing green hills surrounding the city that I’d been eying all day and can still remember being enchanted with at 17. Sorry the pics don’t match. I was using 3 different cameras on this trip.
The Bath Abbey
There is a great space under it with lots of benches
It’s right near the Roman Baths
(Peter Diamond likes to sit here while he ponders the crimes)
The Cricket field
These dudes almost hit me twice as I walked by to my hotel
I saw myself without teeth and it was sad
This is where Rich grew up.
Oh my how different lives we all live
What a view he had in this old manor house
I wonder how long it would take me living in England to stop trying to get in the driver’s seat when I’m a passenger??
I’ve thanked him over and over, but I’ll do it again
What an amazing time I had seeing what was around me and not just staring from a distance
Inside Bath Abbey
The view outside my hotel room
I loved my hotel, The Brindleys
The view outside my hotel the next morning at 5 am
I couldn’t sleep :: sore throat :: at least I caught this shot!!
This is what we were seeing out my window
I didn’t know there was water down there until we walked down a bit
If you are ever in Bath :: I recommend it
I had a time I won’t forget
Plus, the bed was so soft :: everything so elegant
Dinner with Rich at the White Hart Inn
They also have some rooms for rent upstairs
The inside was so cozy with local art
The food was good and all the serving pieces were so homey
Rich and I had fun trying to figure out what these ladies were talking about!
You can barely see her, but the pub pooch came for a kiss from Rich
My favorite shot
When am I going back? Sooner than later!
I mean this is the best way possible. Brighton is weird. I had no idea. I just wanted to get out of London and the sweet older man at the front desk of my hotel said, “Go to Brighton!” I said, “Sounds good!” To be so close to London, the city exudes funk. Not that London doesn’t have funky parts, but this community has really embraced all things cool, neat, hip and indie. Whatever you call it :: it’s fantastic. It’s known to have one of the biggest gay communities in England, and lets admit, more often than not, they are pretty creative people. Anyhow, as soon as I stepped off train and wondered down one of its many and well-known narrow lanes, I walked into a record shop playing the best music. Soundtrack to a fun day of running away from rain, staring at handsome men and browsing through epic antique/junk store called Snoopers Paradise in the lanes. I’m not sure why but most people I told I went to Brighton asked why. Well, sounds like a great place to live, actually. They get lots of killer bands coming from London and the seaside location casts a very relaxed glow across the city. Looking back through the pics now just makes me want to dance, but I can’t because I was such a fierce traveler that now I’m sick. No dancing with headache, runny nose and sneezing.
Pebbled beach. Just a quick walk from all the main streets
There was a placard on this bench that read ::
“His favorite place in the world”
I totally see why :: said a little thought of appreciation for Erwin’s spot
I finally broke down and bought myself some comfortable shoes
I like vans because they look like keds. They weren’t selling keds at the store.
I never figured out what these are for :: maybe people sell things out of them at peak times? They stretch the water line.
The houses were a lot different than many of those I’d seen along the trip
Very white washed
The Pavilion in all its bizareness
It really was/is a palace
Crazy, right!! That wacky Prince Regent
I walked through Hampton Court on a very rainy April day. I was stunned by the beauty. The flowers were so vibrant I thought they could be fake. Who would do that? Right, they weren’t fake. Just perfect.
Pics from my iphone. Jeez my hands were full with THREE cameras. Worth it. They all have their own role.
Isn’t this one of the best parts. Taking out all of your treasures and putting them in a spot where you can see them and remind you of how pretty the day was or how the rain forced you to hide out in a neat restaurant where you then met a new, hopefully, lifelong friend? I couldn’t sleep this morning so I took out all my purchases to make sure they made the trip home. Nothing broken! I don’t buy expensive things…have you checked out the conversion rate? ouch! I like to just find little things, often free, to place around my home. Here they are! All of these were either made or designed in England. I hope, at least. It’s tough finding things that aren’t made in China. China would be fine if I was visiting China.
Clearly this one didn’t cost me a lot
I really like this beer :: made in Bath
Great design, too
My friend Rich tells me Bath has a very good rugby team for its size. Richard spent two days with me. He’s a marine and was also on break.
You should see him in his uniform, very handsome.
He gave me this sweet mini ball
I went a bit leather crazy on this trip
I bought this great bag in the lovely Richmond
Mo sold it to me. He was quite the salesman.
I had a strict two book rule
Isn’t this one pretty!
2nd book :: I’m a sucker for design
This below is a candle designed by the folks at Kew Gardens outside London
Love the color
Bought these in Hampton Court, not the palace, but the town
leather bag number 2. This one I got in the beach community of Brighton
I’ve been looking for a real leather backpack/purse for years
This one smells like a giant cow. Perfect!
As always a sucker for the english rose pattern.
I collect dish towels
this one is sweet :: cuter in person. Bought it in Bath from the shop where my hotel bought most of their decorations
One of my favorite places was this old house called Ham House in the town of Ham
I love this tour booklet :: I might frame it
And here’s to some major restraint
Only one piece of clothing
This great vintage style dress by Louche
My favorite part is the top with the flowing sleeves
It’s 7 am and I’m up. Couldn’t sleep. I got home last night with some mild body drama. I have a pretty strict personal rule that I don’t bother people with how I feel. Usually if someone asks I just say fine, ok, great, wonderful, awesome….you know. However this case is a bit special. While in England, not only did I come down with an exhaustion induced cold (sore throat, headache, aches and runny nose) which is fine because we all get colds, but I also really messed myself up on the flight home.
Yes, that is my foot. I normally have a very slender/veiny foot. Not when I woke up from the 8 hour flight. I freaked. My mom has always warned me about blood clots on long flights. Both feet were this way. This photo doesn’t even do them justice. For example, when I walked, I could feel the fluid in my ankles shake. OMG I had slept the entire 8 hours bent over with my head on the seat tray in front of me and my feet on the ground. They were never numb so I didn’t worry. I never needed to use the bathroom, so I never got up. I was a window seat. Also, the night before I left I drank white wine and ate a big plate of cured meats and cheese. Lesson learned. Get up move around :: lay off the salty meat. Don’t do what I did.
So instead of going home, looking through my new treasures, watching my favorite online show, I got on the ground with my feet up on a chair. My good friend had the strange task of talking to my mom and massaging the fluid out of my angles. The humiliation. The good news. I checked them out as soon as I woke this am and they are 90 % back to normal size. My coffee is making and the birds are singing me a welcome home to Memphis song. Now…if I could only find what I left in my fridge to make my apartment stink!!
I took loads of photos and can’t wait to look at all of the!!
Just got back to my room from adorable/delicious breakfast downstairs. I ate 6 croissants along with my meal of eggs and salmon. Hungry/unfortunately growing girl. No one even noticed my greedy eyes. Everything a pretty floral. Say a little prayer for your travel warrior, though. I have a dreadful sore throat/headache that woke me up at 5 am. Got to see sun rise at least. Amazing over valley.
Getting dressed for trip to Bath. Feeling a little reflective and dreamy. Good mix for traveling. Listening to…..Wild Nothing.
Can’t figure out how to properly post link with my iPad. Doing the best I can. Pretty satisfied with my on the road blogging. Easier than I expected. These iPads really are amazing and almost necessary for traveling. I’m always checking addresses and travel sites….thank you Design Sponge!!!! Anyhow the link is below….tell I’m feeling dreamy?? Xoxo
Woke up early today…now an hour south in Brighton. Wow! What a funky :: quirky city. It’s on a pebbled beach with little narrow lanes full of locally owned vintage clothes shops and design stores with lots of pretty books. Dream, right?? I’m tempted to stay the night and go back to London in two days. They call it “London by the sea” I’m having some tea at this cute little place called Plateau. Building up my energy for more wandering.
At the moment :: tea and the adorable waitress brought me some olives, nuts and pistachios.
Little rain :: finally broke down and bought some comfy shoes :: funny with my long dress
My guidebook circa 1983 aka year of my birth
kids and backpacks everywhere!!!!
Set off today for short trip outside London. Riverside town of Richmond was so adorable. Neat shops, green grass, pretty river (Thames) and nice walks.
Here’s a bit of Richmond.
Walked bit along river to OLD Ham House dating back to 1600’s. Ham house is in Ham village. House with original design and furnishings was amazing. So elaborate. Ran into PHD history student from NOLA there. He’s also alone. Both glad to have partner for evening. Chatted of old religion and furniture over pints back in town. ( hence any spelling issues)
Pics of Ham House. I couldn’t stop oohing and ahhing. The national trust has volunteers in every room. Very impressive.
In one of the closets with all the miniatures neatly hung…there was this very old painting of Elizabeth I.
Did little shopping too. Sweet feminine dress.
Also decided I will name my first boy Barnaby. Adorable, right?