Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pennsylvania Weekend

Kevin took Tallulah and Jackson to visit his family in Pennsylvania for two weeks. I stayed home to look after Harley, 16, as he has a job, and Cy, 10, as he had baseball. Saturday night it was a carnivore-arama at Kenny'nMikes place to meet all their rellies (who are from Pennsylvania!)

But first, on Friday night I met my friends at iconic Mexican restaurant,  Dona Tomas.

Always love Vanessa's layering

Vanessa and Nicole at Dona Tomas

Here's a few snaps Kevin sent from Pennsylvania:

Tallulah and Jackson at Lycoming County Fair

Jackson and Tallulah on the Delaware River
Kevin with kids and his father Bob and stepmother Patty at Penn State, just voted 50 university in the world, top 25 in the US (needs some good news after all that's happened.) 
Kevin is taunting me with this photo of Grandma Patty. Rhubarb is my favourite

Tallulah and Jackson are famed for their constant bickering - they do it like it's their job. I asked Kevin how it was going. "I haven't heard them speak to each other so far"he said.  Baby steps.

Then Cy flew out by himself to meet them in New York. He wore me down at the airport at 7am and left for the Big Apple with a big bag of candy. Not my finest hour as mother.

Tallulah, Jackson and Cy at the Yankee Stadium.  Apparently everyone puzzled by their A's gear.  Way to represent Oakland and keep 'em confused
Now some snaps from Kenny'nMike's BBQ.

I wore Nic+Joe blouse I got in France on bike ride -  bit pregnancy but I still like it
Kenny'n'Mikes backyard

Everyone out on the side deck now

Buffalo ribs galore
Not a great photo but you get the idea, forgotten how fantastic scalloped spuds were
Mike and his cousin Ryan. Beards are in! (I'm a fan of clean shaven, what about you?)
Mike and Harley

Awful news about Gaza Strip and the Malaysian Airlines plane that was shot down. The passports of the children flying by themselves; 10-year-old Miguel, who was traveling with his brother asked his mother before he left "What happens when the plane will crash" (the other brother took a later flight.) It's hard to know what to say. As usual FF hit the mark in her post today: "Love Fiercely People."

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wedding Day

Grab a cuppa char or a frosty glass of chard, it's a good one today. It's all about lurve. Your wedding day - do you wish you'd done it differently... or maybe just enjoyed it more?  I love this casual photo of Olivia Palermo in a sweater and tie-on skirt, though can't imagine doing the shorts. This has turned out to one of my favourite posts as some of you were able (with a wee bit o' nagging) to get your wedding photos to me. Friends, you'll laugh and you'll cry...

Olivia Palermo and new husband.  His hand-in-pocket and bent knee looks a bit model-esque (oh but yeah he is is a model)

More iconic wedding snaps...
Covered-up but she carried it off,  still the most expensive dress ever made?

So happy - and tanned!

Provenance of the dress clouds this one

Chanel free spirit
I've told you about our wedding day... We had three kids then and never really intended getting married. Our immigration lawyer (to get from London to the US) said get to the registry office toot sweet - despite having three children I would still be ejected from the US at the airport (tempting on some days...) I bought a white Armani suit which was a bit squeaky on the thighs (dang that M&S full fat mac and cheese leftover from the kids' plates.) Anyway on the day, I couldn't wear it to the registry office because baby Tallulah had a crook tummy and had to be changed every ten minutes.

At the Marylebone Registry Office with Harley, Jackson and Tallulah

Kevin and Tallulah between explosions

Jay who lives in Norfolk, England, says "I love this photo of us on our wedding day  - husband ignoring me and in a hurry to get to the cricket pitch (where we were having the reception) and me checking my not insubstantial cleavage!! - somethings never change..... Confetti get's blooming everywhere!!"

Jay of My Family and Other Cricketers

Elizabeth married her Italian husband in a Basilica in Florence and the old hotel Rolls broke down on the way to the church, so she arrived in a friend's VW: "Racing to the ALTAR on time! My dress was a bit tight and we had to lift it up above the knee to get me up the marble staircase! ...Two Priests married us! Yes, it was all in ITALIAN! My friend Daryl walked me down the aisle, my father did not come because my mother was going to be there."

Elizabeth from Vintage Hen House

Our friend Mike of Mike'n'Kenny says: "Even though we were together 15 years, we rushed to get married the first week it was legal as I did not want to risk the courts overturning the ruling. And we knew that Prop 8 was on the ballot in the fall. So I did not have a chance to do what everyone does - spend 6 months losing weight for the wedding photos. Oh well. Chubby but happy. "


Alexis Grace says: "Lukus and I are coming up on our 5 year anniversary in September. Our wedding was super small with just 18 people in attendance--- that included the pastor and the photographer and us! We decided to do an extra small destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, followed by our honeymoon in Ixtapa. At the end of our honeymoon we headed to my hometown where my parents threw a HUGE party for family and friends to celebrate with us! Basically our wedding was a 3 week long celebration...perfection!"

Alexis Grace from North on Harper

My writing buddy Burnita says: "I had my dress custom made in New York and I was living in San Francisco. The dress from I. Magnin and we had done several fittings, but the dress got lost and didn't arrive until three days before the wedding. No time for more alterations . The cleavage was too low. Every man I met in the reception line I had to ask him, "What color are my eyes?"

Burnita, who is writing Quiver of the Pure Heart, on her wedding day

Naomi says: "Just to let you know that I still haven't opened up my boxes and as I mentioned my laptop is not working so I took pics from a little book the size of my palm!  We got hitched in 2009 in Marylebone Town Hall.  I postponed it but then we had to get it done bc he had a surgery in October so we planned it in one month and getting married in peak summer meant most good hairdressers were booked out even on a Monday afternoon when we were married! I didn't like my hair but it was the best I could do at short notice. Oh well...but we then went to the Dorchester for a private dinner with no family but my brother."

Naomi of Coulda Shoulda Woulda

Friend Julie L. couldn't resist sending this photo of her almost getting arrested on her wedding day! "Matt proposed to me outside the beautifully lit National Cathedral in Washington DC. We couldn't get married there (very exclusive), but the church across the street would marry us. I thought it would be great to have our photos taken on the beautiful cathedral grounds. They didn't think it was such a good idea since I didn't get permission. I kinda knew it could happen -- it was ask for forgiveness instead of permission. In the end they let us keep our film/photos taken and just asked us to leave."

Julie of Monkey Grass Hill. Police turning up to arrest her on her wedding day!

My writing teacher Ellen Sussman says: "In a two week period my husband and I just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary, hosted our daughter's wedding at our house, and I published my new novel, A Wedding in Provence. It's my Summer of Love!" (by the way her book was just named one of Summer's Best Reads by Time magazine!)

Writer Ellen Sussman and her husband Nick

From friend Lesley: "A photo of my brother sliding me under his legs and I have knee highs on. :) I wore knee highs because I thought they would be more comfortable. I never expected anyone to see them! "

Lesley dancing with her brother at her wedding

And from friend Karen: "Funny bit: great toast, where Nick's friend said that now that we were married, all the men who had a key to my apartment in NYC should come forward and drop the keys in the ice bucket. About 40 guys came up and dropped keys. He said the same for Nick, and one elderly lady tottered up to drop her key! Annoying bit: the second limo for the bridal party was used the night before for prom, and someone had yakked in it. Everyone has to hang their heads out the windows and gasp."

Karen and Nick

Classic! Now head on over to Naomi's place - she's done a really funny post about how you pick the face of the one you love - for example, Camila Parker-Bowles looks exactly like Prince Charles' nanny. And Tabitha has done a post on couples who marry someone very spookily like themselves...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The New Walk of Shame

There's a new Walk of Shame in our town. No, it's not that movie.

Old-style Walk of Shame depicted by Elizabeth Banks in the movie 

It's not that Walk of Shame from the olden days -  the dirty stop-out walk from the taxi to the door with the neighbours watching. It's worse than that. Much, much more humiliating than that.

In our town it's (cue: da da da dah! ominous chords) leaving the store with your groceries in paper bags.

Here in Oakland the laws have changed. Disposable plastic bags have been banned and if you turn up to a grocery store counter without your own bags you are charged 10cents per paper bag.

I have spent a small mortgage on an assortment of reusable bags. But why do they never make that 20 feet from our (solar-powered electric) car to the store?

As soon as the shop assistant has to say: "Do you need bags?" and you mumble "yes" you are marked. You are the pariah who forgot their bags. You are the one who's killing the earth -  the problem not the solution.

I don my sunglasses, check left, check right and I run my cart back to the car. I know one day they will be waiting.

The dolphins and the bees and the endangered yellow coneflowers will rise up. They will  flap you will their flippers and sting you with their stingers and leave yellow pollen on your white jeans. Because you are the devilwoman!

Arriving at the store today I muttered madly to myself: "I have to put a sign on the steering wheel." That sign would of course read "Remember the Bags!" But then I would need a sign on the dashboard "Look at the sign on your steering wheel!" And then I would....

And then I went into the store. Ooops, I've done it again...

The new style Walk Of Shame

(By the way, on Friday I'm going to do a wedding post - 'tis the season for remembering nuptuals. Please, please send me one of your wedding photos with two or three lines about the funniest, happiest or most annoying thing on the day - to jody@aboutlastweekend.com)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tudors and Wonder Woman

Thought I'd kick off with this photo of our friend's living room. Kim and John live around the corner from us and they were having their joint 50th on Saturday night. They have a Tudor home built in the 1936 but inside it's style de melee (remember I've banned myself from saying "eclectic") Love how they've used a painting which their daughter Mandela (then age 10) did of Wonder Woman.

Kim and John's living room

I wore my old Ella Moss top that has copper discs on the shoulders

Turned up the ankle on these in a revolutionary move. I like these DL white jeans but they have a weird ankle: its neither cropped nor long and fitted

Here were the lovely greeters at their home, daughter Mandela and her friend.

Their 15 year old daughter Mandela (right) and her friend Kaitlyn were the greeters
John greeting us in shorts paired with a cream dinner jacket, just because

There are some people who are "anywhere but here" types. (I used to be a bit like that) There are others who stay where they are and make things better. Kim and John have worked really hard in Oakland, putting time and energy into our local public schools and ensuring the buildings here are awarded the historic status they deserve.

Kim and John (right) with friends Hamilton and Gina. Look at all the lovely wood paneling in their house.

Kim and John bought this 1936 Tudor a couple of years ago and renovated it. Funny story - when we moved from London to Oakland (the same place we now own) we found ourselves surrounded by streets named after English towns. Many of the houses here are Tudor built around the 1920's and that style is prized, much more than say our modern house. One neighbour even has a old coat of armour in their hallway.

View from their living room window

Birthday girl Kim with Kevin and Ian 

Kim's new sandals. They were just in Capri and there was a store that made sandals to your design

I'm not much of a sports watcher, even of my own kids' games, but Cy's All Star baseball has been gripping. They won the Section 4 (whatever that is) and then went to champs in Petaluma. He is scared during the hitting but while he is pitching he is extremely relaxed pitching, calm as anything on the mound which would be the opposite of how I think I would be. 

Isn't funny what makes you nervous? I would no sooner pipe up at a small PTA meeting than kill a chicken but I would have no problems addressing hundreds of people from a podium (though funnily enough no one has asked me to do that lately) What inexplicably makes you nervous or calm?

Cy in the dugout

They won! the section four thingy

In hair news, I got a Brazilian. Not that one, it's a hair straightening technique. The bumph says it's all natural but watery eyes beg to differ. Counterintuitive, but all those fresh chemicals actually make your hair shinier as well as straight.

My friend says I did not sell The Way trip to her husband and could I please post a more "realistic" photos. Here you go, bucolic village amid impossibly idyllic woods.

Shoot, how did that second one get in?

What did you get up to in the weekend?

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Way - El Camino de Santiago

At the end of August Kevin and I are going to do The Way of St James, otherwise known as the El Camino de Santiago. It's a 28-day centuries-old pilgrimage through Spain and France, though like many others we won't be doing it as a religious thing.

The Way of St James

We will be away five weeks, allowing my Mum and her friend Pam, Kevin's brother and babysitter Conrad to spend some quality time with the kids.

My sister, Pietra, has done the walk twice and I asked her to send me some snaps...

My sister Pietra (left) with fellow pilgrims in suitable garb.  So not a glamorous walk then
There's quite a few brownish mountains to climb

Pietra at day's end with wine and melting pot new friends: Brazilian on the left, Spanish on the right. 

Pietra reaches the end
Here's the shell you get at the end. (You mean I walk for 28 days and alls I get is a shell?)

Most people here didn't know about the Camino until the movie The Way was released. Not a great movie, stars Martin Sheen and was made by his son Emelio Estevez who lives in Spain (yes that's what happened to him). Despite my less than enthusiastic review, you may still want to watch it as some friends have said it's their favorite movie of all time.

You start in the South of France and usually end at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in Northern Spain, though its a total of 670 miles to the little church on the sea, which is further. It's not an organised thing, but most people do it like this: you walk with everything you need, most people end up giving away most of their stuff and carrying one change of clothes only. You start your day at around 6am and walk until early afternoon. You stay at pilgrims' hostels or on the floors of churches in communal rooms with communal toilets. One meal is cooked for all the pilgrims. Details here.

Not really looking forward to that communal sleeping (or the unisex loos) but I understand it's all part of the mystical discovery process. No champagne-sipping chakra cleansing or Malibu Beach sun salutations on this walk, it's just time hours and days trudging along a dusty rocky road.

Am I selling it to you?

Okay, did I tell you that my sister lost about 18lbs both times she did it? Looky here.

My sister says pilgrims start the walk with a question and by the end of the walk that question is answered.
(After doing the walk some people change careers, lifestyles, or split from their partner)
"I don't know that I have a question." I said.
"Then by the end of the walk you will have found your question" she said sagely.

Maybe one of you has a good question, I can loan yours and cut to the chase?

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