“Country things are the necessary root of our life – and that remains true even of a rootless and tragically urban civilization. To live permanently away from the country is a form of slow death.”
― Esther Meynell

We bid adieu to the summer with a very lovely and generous invitation for a weekend house party in Devon on the coast.  There was minimal communications, croquet, amazing food, and wonderful company–we had a amazing time.
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The weather was very British and temperatures and sunlight varied by the hour, but we got glorious chunks of time in the sun and good enough weather for a long hike on the Saturday afternoon. Mornings were spent at the massive kitchen table or out on the terrace, after a brisk swim in the sea, we played parlour games at night.  The villages we hiked through and stayed in were beyond charming, there is no other word for them. Here, have a photo smorgasbord:

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It was exactly what we needed to round off the summer. Quintessentially British, restful, and invigorating at the same time.  I’m ready for another helping!

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Weekend Links

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus

Kittens, this is a week for rejoicing. First of all, in a month, the US election will be decided. Secondly, Jeff and I have managed to do most of the furnishing of our flat in record time…seriously, we thought it would take longer to source some of our pieces but we are (if you’ll forgive me) ace sales shoppers. A couple of big ticket items will be purchases for 2017–slight pearl clutch to think how close we are to a new year–but from tomorrow we will have both internet and a sofa actually within our apartment. #adulting

Finally, we are planning an upcoming trip to Spain with good friends and really looking forward to is.

And so, lo though a new Monday is nearly upon us, we are not in despair and we have links.


Super excited for this. PS, if you didn’t already subscribe to British Vogue’s Youtube channel, you really should. From mini series to interesting content and with influencers, it’s got an authenticity I really enjoy.

Because it’s not a “distraction” from the issues.

I think this should be SDS canonized, or whatever our equivalent action of reverence is.

I’ve long coveted a Moicun cluster ring, so you may imagine how much I loved this interview with the designer.

First Lady Michelle Obama gave an amazing speech in New Hampshire, the second half of which is a good but somewhat typical stump speech. The first half, however, was an emotional punch to the gut on the issue of Mr. Trump’s language about women. The FLOTUS has given the best speeches by far in this cycle, in my opinion.

Hm, and I’ve just realized our entryway decor consists of an Ikea bag (full of shoes) and a Fortnum and Mason basket that I claimed from company gifting leftovers last Christmas season. Time to plot that space out a bit more.

So not only is his sweater a meme, but Ken Bone seems to be a legitimately decent (and funny!) person on the internet. 2016 was not a total waste of humanity!

Speaking of good things, if you haven’t given Solange’s new album, A Seat at the Table, as listen to, rectify.

Secret apartments in libraries. Catnip to C..

Incendiary Monday: Lady Rage and Internal Conflict

“Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.”
― Neil Gaiman

I don’t know much about the history of assault allegations against President Bill Clinton (though I’m trying to research it to be informed) but my opinion, my experience at a police department, and my own persuasions around women’s issues tells me the right thing to do is believe a woman who comes forward with a rape or assault claim until evidence proves otherwise. Period. And so, until I read enough creditable reporting to convince me otherwise, I’ll accept these allegations as truthful.

The allegations that Secretary Clinton threatened Ms. Broaddrick or others are trickier for me as what I have seen has been largely reported on a platform that is quite literally hand in hand with her opponent’s campaign. I’m unsure if/where propaganda and spin begins, or even if it’s ethical for me to try and parse between the allegations against one person and another. I don’t think this allegation is as credible and I’ve not seen nearly enough to back it up yet.

(Usual disclaimer: I’m always open to my mind being changed here and I admittedly don’t know a lot about the allegations of threats against victims. Send me your links or suggestions of where I should seek out creditable reporting on this to be better informed.)


There is a long, ugly history of trying to make women culpable for the actions of men. Whether blaming skirt length as a provocation to rape, questions over consent, or–no biggie–Biblical narrative, this is a problem that goes way back. I cannot help but see this in attempts to make Secretary Clinton culpable in her husband’s actions and it makes me angry.

I am angry that in 2016 in the developed world, the best way to attack a woman is still through sexuality. I’m even more angry that the double standard is such that you can still effectively attack a woman through someone else’s sexuality.

I am angry that Mr. Trump can make explicit remarks about his own alleged actions, and Secretary Clinton is expected to account for an entirely other person’s actions in response.

I am angry that the sort of language heard on the released tapes by Mr. Trump has been deemed “locker room talk,” as if that somehow makes the idea of sexual assault okay or more acceptable–at least in conversation. His history is being reviewed and some unsurprising parallels to his language are starting to emerge, but more importantly, it doesn’t matter if men do talk like this in private (and I don’t for one minute believe most do), it’s still repugnant.

I am angry that so many of the responses on the part of his supposed colleagues who were hastening to abandon him cited the feelings of their wives and daughters as reason for withdrawing support. Yes, it is admirable that these (mostly) men are putting themselves in the shoes of their loved ones. But if they wanted to make a moral argument, they should have been able to put themselves in the shoes of women who had no relation to them whatsoever long before this, in reaction to any of Mr. Trump’s decades worth of comments on women (and Muslims, and people of color, and…). Choosing to cry foul now holds no moral sway with me. Women shouldn’t be related to you in order for their experiences to matter.

I am angry that women still need to state this fact.


Weekend Links

“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ”
― Roseanne Barr

Hi, kittens. This week’s links post is short but brought to you mostly by a big heaping dose of Lady Rage. Sit back and let it wash over you.

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First and foremost, Trump. I’ve long been baffled by his candidacy, actively dismayed in fact. But the whole garbage fire situation boiled over this week when lewd comments that frankly should have surprised no one, given his decades long public personality/persona, found their way into the light of day. Shock, surprise. Writing this, the fallout is still coming down, but at the end of the day, I’m more disgusted that this is what’s getting people to publicly distance themselves from his campaign. Not his racist comments or other sexist comments, not his strongman attitudes or attempts (or success) at demagoguery, not his statements flat out contradicted by fact checkers, his own previous public comments, or other world leaders…but this is the deal breaker? Being lewd/about a married white woman? You could not have encapsulated all of the conversations and flaws about our current political cycle and society, from gender and race, to rank and privilege, better if you tried. Political America, check your priorities.

Utah stikes again, but the cheerleaders strike back. #supportyourlocalgirlsquad

I enjoyed The Girl on the Train, but it lacked the same punch for me that Gone Girl did. This piece on the genre of women hitting back violently against the world/patriarchy and why it’s not going away anytime soon is worth a read.

How on earth is one supposed to be a woman in public these days?

A dive into the psychology behind victim blaming.

Book art. Because we needed something pretty.

And lastly, a touch of humor because FINALLY the questions will be answered!


Five Things I Loved in September

“I don’t mean what other people mean when they speak of a home, because I don’t regard a home as a…well, as a place, a building…a house…of wood, bricks, stone. I think of a home as being a thing that two people have between them in which each can…well, nest.”
― Tennessee Williams

We’re in the new place, we’re largely up and running but for the key element of internet not being set up. I type this tethered to one of our phone’s wifi, which is a band aid over a bullet hole as far as communications goes, but is survivable. Proper updates on the care and keeping of a new apartment coming soon. In the meantime, here’s a short rundown of things that captured my attention this month.

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Ginger Pig Meat Book, by Tim Wilson and Frand Warde. I discovered this in the kitchen of the house we stayed in whilst in Devon and read it voraciously until we left. More than a cookbook, it starts by detailing the types of animals that The Ginger Pig (a famous butcher with a stall in Borough Market) farm rears and why. It details how the stock are reared, bred, butchered, and how different cuts of meat are best used. It also goes into the attempts of the owners to prioritize and reestablish British breeds whose bloodlines have largely been replaced by industrial style farming and the breeds that this sort of production favors. It’s not book for vegetarians, but it is a love letter to anyone who cares about good meat, ethically reared and harvested, and offered with care. I’ll definitely purchasing my own copy once the horrendous amount we had to put on the credit card to buy a sofa is paid off.

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Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil. A former nail biter and still occasional nail picker, I’ve dealt with hangnails my whole life. And yet, even as a woman who paints her nails almost as ritual once a week, I’ve been incredible slow up the uptake of cuticle care. I have reformed, thanks to this stuff.


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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I wasn’t sure what I’d think going into this book, as I enjoyed whole chunks of Eat, Pray, Love while feeling that the overall book came off feeling enormously privileged and a bit over the top. I also don’t tend to love books that fall under “self help” with only rare exceptions. But the buzz around this book was enough for me to grab it in audio form and I ended up enjoying it tremendously. Parts personal anecdotes that didn’t feel preachy, part sensible advice around prioritizing and supporting creativity, it ended up being both an enjoyable and motivating listen.


Furniture shopping. Who knew I’d get into this? I still have no idea what we’re doing but slowly and surely a picture is forming for our new apartment. Even more slowly but surely, we’re figuring out how to make it happen in a way that doesn’t break the bank. Though the experience does have me hoping that my dad decides to hold onto his prized collection of middle eastern carpets for my siblings and my collective inheritance. Rugs are hilariously expensive, people!


Travel. At least one post on our trip to Devon will be up next week…subject to the internet gods smiling on us. Suffice it to say for now that getting out of the city and to the sea was exactly what we needed.

Monday Links

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
― Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Saturday was a long and occasionally vexing day, but we got the whole move done in it. On Sunday Jeff got to go gallivanting off to an NFL game because we’d bought the ticket long before our move date (I still think sneakiness might have been involved) but we got our first batch of shopping done and almost all our things organized any way.

Next stop furniture, and what a doozy that will be. We’re preparing to be permanently poor for the foreseeable future! However after crunching some numbers, budgeting, and planning, we were able to afford plane tickets for Christmas in the States, which means we get to see both sides of the family two years in a row. Adulting, we are getting there.

…but we do not yet have internet so your links are a day late, though not a proverbial dollar short! Let me know what your weekend held in the comments!

Daunting but kind of exhilarating at the same time.
Daunting but kind of exhilarating at the same time.

In case you missed it, this Tiny Desk Concert was pretty great.

An intriguing piece on Secretary Clinton and the common problem of reactions to women looking for a promotion. Regardless of political affiliation, I’ve found her now famous comments about being torn down when seeking a new position as opposed to being relatively well thought of when doing that new position to be insightful.

Books, glorious books!

A query I have often posed to myself. I carry kit enough to invade a small country on a typical day.

Loved this essay from Mike Birbiglia.

This man has lived.

I literally cannot tell the different between satire, news, and fiction sometimes these days. Headlines and situations like this do not help.

It’s October, Halloween is coming, start prepping!