Shacked Up At The Chateau

March 5, 2010

The big move, new friends and a knitting circle.

Filed under: Interiors,Life,Love — shackedupatthechateau @ 8:17 pm

The move from the City of Angels to San Francisco came swiftly and thus it was readily accepted and  welcomed without worry and pomp. You see, my ever so brilliant husband was relocated due to work. We had a choice between NY and Frisco and whilst my bestest friend (he’s my Jane and I am his Betty) resides in bohemian splendour amongst heaps of velvet patchwork, antique black lace curtains and vintage brass knick-knacks in trendy Williamsburg, I myself, was not quite in the mood for the upbeat constant flow of people and non stop information that is New York city. However, we may yet end up there. The option is not all together lost to us.

I found our new apartment almost at once, which never happens to me. I don’t have good luck with property hunting. I take the best of what I find and normally what I find is never the gem I long for in my minds eye. This time was different. The move came with its own luck and I was able to find a wonderful old brick building that used to be a warehouse that was transformed into 15 seperate HUGE apartments. Everything in it is giantesque from the windows which cover floor to ceiling and are strategically placed one on practically every wall. The light I tell you, the light is glorious! The ceilings are high and the floor is refurbished wood of some sort, I don’t quite know which species of tree but the hue is dark and rich and positively reverberates old world decadent charm through its numerous layers of thick varnish. I enjoy filling space with things, many, many things so I shall enjoy the challenge of turning this loft space into a cavern of bohemian rhaspsody. The furniture we shipped from our old cottage on the West Side hardly makes a dent in all this space and looks rather forlorn in one little corner by the window. I lived in England for the longest time and anyone who has ever dwelt there can appreciate how all this space is literally blowing my mind.

My teenage son has settled nicely into his new school and already, four months on has a new best buddy he cannot live or play Halo without. He’s a good kid with a constant 3.5 GPA. He seldom answers back, argues with me or throws tantrums but he is still a teenager and his job therefore is to piss me off which he manages to do with some wit and style so I don’t mind at all. In fact I enjoy musing at his behaviour, all the things he gets into which are new to him at present but have all been tried and tested by practically all teenagers everywhere throughout modern history. I was still so very young when he was born, barely a child myself, the consequence of which is felt today when we stroll arm in arm through the foray of choice that is China Town and people call me his sister or girlfriend. He doesn’t mind the first but the latter he says makes his stomach go queasy. Gee, thanks son.

This blog was not born of my mind. I mean to say, it was not planned or schemed and mused over as most things of this nature normally are. I never felt myself interesting although I can say with some modesty that I have thus far lived a tres interesting life. Yes, there has been travel to exotic locations, parties on yachts, lovers galore and dare I admit it — debauchery! Scandalous liasons backstage and in chauffered bodygaurded cars, trists in 5 Star hotels that once saw me running stark naked and giggling at three in the morning though hallways being chased by a drunken rockstar hellbent on finishing what he started in his dressing room; my hair flying out behind wildly, madly like a tangled flag teasing an already heated bull. More on this later, but suffice to say I have lived my youth fully not an ounce of its preciousness was ever wasted in dull boring class rooms and on even duller teachers. With a finger flip to the endless sky I cry “life is my teacher, to hell with maths skills”. Awfully wonderful stroke of luck then that my husband has a degree in mathematics and can balance my check book for me. See? Isn’t life genius! My mother, bless her, did not have any reason to worry after all.

It was my neighbour and new friend *Minnie who set up this blog for me after making me swear solemnly that I will at least try to jot something down weekly. Here is an account of how we met… One morning my husband and I had a little tiff. He charged out our apartment and as he was half way down the stairwell at the point where it begins to turn, I took off my quilted French Sole ballet flat and hurled it at his head. He ducked, pertinently turned and blew me a big smacker of a kiss. Unable to make any intelligible response fast enough, I think I may have throat screamed. I heard him whistling satisfactorily all the way down the stairs and through the main door. Nothing, I repeat nothing is more infuriating than trying to pick a fight with someone who does not have the decency to fight back! My husband knows how to handle me better than any man I have ever met. In this way, in his inimittable style, most of our arguments are resolved, dissolved, rendered useless on the spot. How in truth can I stay mad at an angel? I think here, I should explain something: my husband is ridiculously intelligent in that bookish academic way. It is scary that he can use that much of his brain all at once. But he has another arsenal, one far more potent and dangerous to me – he is unbelievably, uncategorically good looking. I don’t mean attractive in the healthy athletic sense or even the classic all-american chiselled jaw college type. I just mean, plainly put, beautiful. Like Michelangelo’s David, he is timeless. I don’t know how else to exlain it. Perhaps if you were to breed a hybrid of Cary Grant, Rory Calhoun, John Gavin and Christopher Reeve with the delicacy of a few elfin features here and there in particular the mountainous cheekbones and elongated green eyes and the pursed softness of full pillowy bee stung lips, you may get something closely resembling my husband. But I digress, while all this hullabaloo was going on my dear friend and new confidante *Minnie, opened her door and proclaimed in that booming husky voice of hers “you are fabulous my dear!” Fabulous, me? I didn’t for one minute believe so and I had to blink several times in that way I have that lets others know I am indeed thinking. “I love your look darling, it’s the perfect look for an argument with a gorgeous man” she continued, smiling and gesturing with her cigarette. I looked down at myself. One shoe on, one shoe waiting to be collected at the foot of the stairs, child’s vintage 70’s tank top, panties and oh yes, bright red lips courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Opium Red. In retrospect, yes, I suppose anyone who applies red lipstick for the sole purpose of shouting at her husband should be deemed fabulous.

I invited *Minnie inside for morning coffee and homemade (by me) frangipane filled croissants. Thus a strong new friendship was forged over boy talk and pastries. Darling *Minnie inro’d me to the other ladies in our building, all I must say just as eccentric and barking mad as myself so it is no small wonder that we clicked at once. Their names are *Sophia, *Betsy and *Leigh. So far we have met for many brunches, lunches and dinners. We sneak off to have guilty smokes on the rooftop terrace like a gaggle of miscreant teenage girls bunking off school. By far the best thing we have done, to my mind anyway, was to create a knitting circle. It made perfect sense since all of us are artistic and creative. *Minnie is a fashion stylist, *Betsy is a supreme hair stylist/colorist and Leigh like me is a painter/fine artist although she she is more inclined towards illustrations. To date we have had something like twenty-one knit-meets and it’s all a rollicking good laugh. I play The Inkspots, Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London and Monica Zetterlund on my gramaphone. Sometimes the mood will call for Carla Bruni, Madeleine Peyroux and Édith Piaf but always there is Irish Coffee (very laced), Red Wine, Caipirinha’s and tons and tons of tea. Earl Grey, Oolong and Green Jasmine in particular. We sit, we knit, we talk about life, love and fashion. Slowly, I noticed more and more that I was voted as the one to come to for crises and affairs of the heart. Whenever my girlfriends have a problem with their men, it is me they call without regard for the hour. *Sophia, who never gives out compliments unless they are dished out on her first actually called me wise. As I reflect on this word, rolling it around in my mouth like a gumball, I can’t quite see how it fits with the woman I see in the mirror. Alas, none of us are to ourselves the way we appear to others so I must trust in my friends. They think it clever that I should share this apparent insight I have with…strangers. It’s OK I say, as long as no one really listens to me. Being held accountable has never really been my thing.

Best Thing I read This Week

Piers: ‘Kate Moss kicked me’.
The newspaper editor-turned-TV personality strutted his stuff down the runway of a Haiti fashion benefit last month alongside Naomi Campbell, who organised the bash to aid victims of the country’s devastating earthquake in January. And after Morgan stepped off the catwalk to make way for Dame Shirley Bassey, he felt something hit his leg – and found an hysterical Moss on the floor behind him. He wrote in Live magazine: “I suddenly felt a large thudding pain in my leg. ‘Ouch!’ I yelled, in genuine agony, ‘What the hell…?’ “I turned to see Kate Moss scrunched up into a cackling ball of laughter, looking like something straight out of The Witches of Eastwick. She’d just run up and kicked me as hard as she could in the upper calf.”

Words alone are not enough to express how much I adore this woman. She does exactly what she feels, the way she feels it. Although I suspect she is a deeply retrospective thinker. No one can possess the soulful eyes she has, with all that worldy experience and not be a thinker. Her diesel is emotion and thats all this model runs on. Mossy, you are a bad bad bitch!

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