Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday night, Monday morning...


Internet back on, thank goodness, after 48 hours of irritation and fiddling with widget and hanging on phone for Talk Talk call centre (no talking, just the 7th circle of limbo). Kind of appalled at how dependent I have become on constant online access, but without it, I felt like I'd lost access to a layer of the outside world.
Meanwhile, have been for a walk in the local park, where the leaves are just beginning to look autumnal. Pale clouds scudding across the sky, and on the horizon, Alexandra Palace looked close enough to reach out and touch.
Home to cook sausages and onion gravy with peas and baked potatoes -- comfort food -- followed by apple pie. Reading Bella Pollen's new novel, The Summer of the Bear, and very much enjoying it. It's such a lovely feeling, having been submerged in writing my own book, to discover someone else's. Whenever I'm working on a book, I tend not to read anything unrelated. Hence my reading list for Chanel was entirely focused on the milieus she inhabited -- broad enough to include Scott Fitzgerald, Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (Vile Bodies even mentions Chanel), so I can't complain -- but not much time for contemporary novels. So, lots to catch up with...
Up early tomorrow to go to Calcot Manor to talk at a literary lunch. Wish I was staying there for longer, but at least I'll get to sniff a breath of Cotswolds air.
Speaking of which, I've just remembered that I must remind people of a forthcoming event I'm doing at the Bath Theatre Royal on November 18th. Memo to self: must write down dates in my diary, as well as on blog, just in case Talk Talk goes silent again.
PS. Anyway with an interest in Virginia Woolf might be amused (or bemused) by my column about camel coats in the Telegraph today. Incidentally, has anyone discovered Mrs Woolf's articles for Vogue?

13 comments:

oxford-reader said...

Have fun! Whilst you're luxuriating in the ability to read things unrelated to Chanel, make sure you check out The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery!

Justine Picardie said...

Great title. Thanks for the recommendation...

kairu said...

That dinner sounds delicious, Justine. As do the book titles you and oxford-reader mention.

I haven't come across Virgina Woolf's Vogue essays, but I found "Three Guineas" in a used bookshop some time ago, and it is brilliant, direct and sometimes scathing.

I have a pale fawn-colored Jil Sander coat, bought several years ago, long-ish and fitted. Perhaps I will bring it out again this fall, along with an even older slouchy, black coat (also Jil Sander) that was a present from my mother. And on days I need cheering up, there is that bright red trench coat, this fall's purchase, already put to good use in the Seattle rain...

Still waiting impatiently for my Chanel book.

Lilacs In May said...

Your book arrived just in time for my birthday. Celebrated with tarte tatin. Currently reading Colette, Secrets of The Flesh - have to get my finger out to get stuck in to CC. I love the spare lines of Lagerfeld has used to capture the essence of CC.

Justine Picardie said...

Love the descriptions of Kairu's coats -- a trio to cherish forever. Glad to hear that LIM's copy of the book has arrived -- and hope it survives being read after Colette! You'll see I quoted Colette on Chanel in my book; a more pungent CC, possibly? And like you, I love Lagerfeld's drawings for my book -- the way he captures the essence of Chanel, within the elegant lines of a black and white sketch.

oxford-reader said...

Every time I turn a page I find a new picture that I love, and the Lagerfeld drawings are becoming fast favourites. I think I've got two supreme favourites though - but I've still got half of the book to read.
I should really hunt out a biography of Colette. If her life is half as intruiging as her stories (as you suggest in your book) it will be stirring stuff!

kairu said...

My copy of the book has just arrived, Justine! It is absolutely gorgeous - am completely gobsmacked at the masses of wonderful photographs and illustrations. And the tote is lovely; that sketch has the soft dreaminess of a watercolor, the lines pure Chanel (love the spot of black on the toe!).

Dash said...

Justine, the postman presented me with an amazon box with two copies of your book inside. It is beautiful; the photographs, illustrations, layout and doubly exciting as the gorgeous linen bag is
included which I was not expecting on a delivery to France. I know it is a book I will treasure. Have just posted the second copy to Belle Mere, she will be so excited as it is a surprise! I know she will love it.
will do a post about it when I have finished reading it. sorry to gush so much but it really is fabulous.

Young at Heart said...

Have this week been to a talk by Peter Morgan who talked about your book, If The Spirit Moves You (I book I loved and recommend to many that I cheekily had you sign when you were actually doing a Q & A with Nick Hornby about his book..... all those years ago) and the upcoming movie Hereafter which I look forward to checking out as and when it arrives. The new Coco Chanel books looks amazing, well done, hopefully will try to get to a reading!!

Rose said...

Nooo did Mrs Woolf write for Vogue?

sandyjaneskinner said...

Hi Justine Its 4am on Thurs 22/9 exactly one week to the day that my husband of 20 years told me he was leaving and that he was with somebody else - I and my 4 children have been reeling ever since. I have just read your article in the mail regarding Coco Chanel and it is like a life raft. Hearing how someone else has been through a similar situation, and survived, is incredibly important to me. I also, even at this early stage, need to believe that it will be possible to reach a good place in the future with my husband in order that it doesn't destroy all that we have had and shared over the last 20 years and because I do not want to become one of those bitter and twisted women who look so angry all the time. I'm sorry for using this forum to discuss such a personal topic but I wanted you to know how grateful I was and how your words had affected me.

enid said...

Just read wonderful article about you and chanel in daily mail. My book is still not here and I envy all of you with your copies. I should have flown to London to get my copy.

Justine Picardie said...

Sandy -- thank you for your message. I'm sure you must be reeling with shock and grief right now. One of the best pieces of advice that was given to me was 'remember to breathe'. Just try to take very small steps -- minute by minute, if need be. Spend as much time as you can with people who care about you. And I promise you, the pain will pass, and you will enter into a new chapter of your life. Your story isn't over. There will be so much to look forward to, and it will unfold in ways that you could never have predicted. Good luck, and take courage. You are not alone.