Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why Pack When You Can Procrastinate?

Oh, the best-laid plans.

I deliberately set aside today to figure out what Luca and I were going to pack for London and Marrakech. (Piero's already in Europe waiting for us.) Two radically different destinations, two distinct climates, two completely unrelated wardrobes.
(London, March 2009)

(Marrakech, April 2007)

No biggie. It was 9am. I had all day to figure it out. How long could it take?

(Note to the Judge: Let me state for the record, Your Honor, that everything started out according to schedule.)

The first few items flew into the suitcase with the rapidity of a meteor shower.
Plug adaptors, check.
Toiletries, check.
Reading material, check.

But then the territory became murkier.

Pink kurta and felted Edelweiss jacket?

Tartan skirt and vintage kaftan?
Down jacket and gold gladiator stilettos?
Wellies and sunscreen?
My head was beginning to hurt.
Wintry London and sultry Morocco?
What were we thinking?

I decided to take a break and focus on something of equal import, like the fact that my desk was in the midst of a massive styling crisis. I slid the bronze Thai hand slightly to the right and moved my new One Kings Lane candle on top of the Paul Smith notebook. Much better.

After that important decision, I set about making sure everything on my inspiration board was securely attached. Whew.

I had just begun to arrange the pens in my desk drawer by color and size (so vital!) when my elbow knocked this book onto the floor.

Leafing through it, I came to a full stop at the painting Duncan Grant did of James Strachey in 1910. The patterned rug, the low reading chair, the Japanese screen in the background and of course James himself sitting there looking like a young Colin Firth -- it felt so immediate.

I looked over at my iPhone. It was only 11am. Plenty of time to pack later. What I obviously needed to do right this minute was to challenge myself to create a modern interpretation of the painting.

I moved the little French chair into the office, dragged the rug over and grabbed a stack of books to fan out on the floor. Yes, this is clearly what I should be doing.

I sat there for a bit, legs lazily crossed, imagining myself in a Marlene Dietrich-inspired suit and crisp white shirt. I picked up the book on the little stool that just arrived yesterday via Amazon. "Bright Young People" by D.J. Taylor.

A few moments may have passed.

Suddenly, I realized I was hungry and that it was almost 1pm. I could hardly pack my suitcase on an empty stomach, could I? Plainly, the sensible thing to do would be to make myself a quick lunch.

The teapot looked so pretty that I couldn't not photograph it.

And then I felt obliged to take a picture of the woodpecker teapot too so he wouldn't feel slighted.

I knew things were getting slightly out of hand, but I couldn't help myself. I just kept taking pictures.


After the kitchen, I moved into the dining room...

...and the hall...
...and made my way through the rest of the house, recording more and more vignettes for posterity. At one point, I realized it was nearly 4:30, time to pick up Luca from school and buy fresh flowers for the couple who is housesitting for us.

Suffice it to say, it's now 11:47pm (past that, actually) and I'm writing this post and I'm still not packed.
But as soon as I finish writing this, I will. (Although I could just set the alarm and get up really early.)

33 comments:

Jane said...

Hmmm Procrastination, My good good friend. It is quite pleasing to see he \ she also visits other packing people.

Also pleased to see baked beans have their place just as they do in my home (for the children of course).

And Duncan Grant. I never got him. Do you think he and Vanessa B were really happy? I don't.

Packing for cold countries is a nightmare and I feel for you. Take one coat each lots of layers and scarves and buy clothes in relatively inexpensive Morrocco.

I hope you have an amazing time xoxo

helen tilston said...

I loved this post. You describe beautifully how we distract ourselves in a gently flowing way. You needed this type of day.. an arty, do as you please sort of day to relax, unwind and appreciate your home and possessions. I love what you already chose to bring and would say a cashmere cardi is all you need (no wellies) Have a wonderful Christmas and happy travels. Don't forget us.
Helen Tilston

Blue said...

Ah, those avoidance strategies! For London pack something that will mitigate the bone-sapping cold dampness of the winters there and make sure there always a supply of Drambuie, or my favourite winter tipple, Pedro Ximenez sherry, at the end of the afternoon - or lunch.

Black treacle - I have not seen a can of that for a long time. It is the best thing for gingerbread (that actually has ginger in it) and for parkin, the Lancashire oat version.

Style Court said...

Lisa -- the Grant painting and your office vignette are going onto my inspiration board.

Anonymous said...

I was feeling grumpy about staying in London for Christmas but you have reminded me that it is my favourite city - that's why I chose to live here in the first place - and that other people fly across the world to be here for their holidays! And today it's lovely and sunny here and really not very cold (though of course, I realise that we natives are tougher than you are!)
I'm sure you'll be making a visit to Fortnum&Mason - so do make sure that you cross the road and step into the Royal Academy's courtyard ... where there is the most magical silvery construction by Anish Kapoor which looks lovely in sunlight but even better against grey, steely skies. It might reconcile your son to some jam-shopping!
Have a lovely time!

Tricia said...

Been there, done that....last night! 1/2 a suitcase to go... so I'm here writing you a comment instead! Have a WONDERFUL trip making memories with your clan.

Anonymous said...

I hope I haven't blighted your trip by mentioning sunny skies ... 10 minutes later, the sun went in and we had a flurry of sleety snow. So pack everything!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

sounds just like a day before traveling for myself! LOVE that little french chair and the upholstery! Gosh -and the little vignette with books and tea makes me yearn to be somewhere else than my office!

Modern Traditionalist said...

If only my avoidance mechanism was as inspiring as yours! I typically sit on my couch with a steamy cup of tea and stare vacantly at DVR'd episodes of Gossip Girl (that is, after all, the only way to watch the show!). Thank you for the lovely vignettes.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Jane: I know what you mean about Vanessa. I think in the beginning she loved him so much that she overcame his little peccadillo of sleeping with other men. But maybe it grew tiresome. She definitely wore an air of sadness and resignation in later photos (although the death of her son Julian in Spain obviously had something to do with that). xx

Helen: Cashmere cardi is going in...

Blue: I bought a loaf of ginger parkin in Yorkshire two years ago and have been wondering how to make it ever since. I'll have to Google recipes with black treacle when I get back. Thanks for the tip!

Style Court: I'm honored! xx

Anonymous: Will definitely check out the Anish Kapoor sculpture. And will pack everything! :)

Tricia: Have a great trip as well...safe travels. xx

Architect Design: Don't try to fool me. I'm sure your office is a paean to style and glamour.

Modern Traditionalist: Don't knock sitting on the couch with a vacant stare. It has its benefits!

Alexandra said...

well, now I don't feel so bad.

I've come to the decision that all packing should be done at the last minute. No matter how carefully I plan, I'll regret something, wish I has something else and wonder why I don't have more room for things I want to buy.

Have a great trip!

Blue said...

Lisa, I have a few parkin recipes which I will type up whilst you are away and email them to you. They will, I'm afraid, be in Imperial measures rather than cups and spoons.

MySpecialStash said...

I have to ask...are you staying at La Mamounia in Marrakesh? I remember you mentioning the name a while ago, and my parents are staying there in February. They have no idea what a treat they have in store for them, and nothing would illuminate them like a recap post from you!

Nishant said...

Architect Design: Don't try to fool me. I'm sure your office is a paean to style and glamour.


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Kate F. said...

Ha, I read this while avoiding my own packing dilemma: Nothing as insane as yours, but 10 days in frigid NYC and warmish/damp Oregon has me puzzled enough for now! Do I just decide to freeze in NY so I don't lug a too-heavy coat to the West Coast? How many pairs of heels do I really need? Ugh.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

MySpecialStash: La Mamounia has been booked since July (which is when I tried to get a room there). My parents stayed there in 1960, so we will DEFINITELY be stopping by, room or no room. My son Luca has a framed luggage sticker (from the days when travel was still glamorous) in his bathroom -- even HE is obsessed with going there now. I just want to stroll the grounds and have a drink in the Churchill Bar...I'll let you know!

(I'm so jealous your parents are staying there in February. Tell them to read this month's Town and Country magazine -- there's a huge article on La Mamounia and Marrakech in it.)

We're staying at La Sultana, a Relais and Chateau-owned hotel in the heart of the medina. It's filled with moody glamour and antiques and looks just as amazing as La Mamounia, actually, but in a totally different way.

Kate F: Packing for two climates is certainly a challenge. But check the NY weather because having lived there for 10 winters, freezing in NYC is NO fun!! xx

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Blue: That would be amazing! Don't worry about the imperial measurements...I can convert them. Thank you! xx

Laura [What I Like] said...

Have a fabulous trip...I hate to even bring this up but Ms. Paltrow did a newsletter on Marrakech today if you're in need of ideas from her majesty. I'm really loving all of these hands you've got around your house by the way!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Laura (What I Like): I saw the Goop email. Most of her picks were pretty obvious, I have to say. Although her guide for the day looked beyond chic -- and I definitely want to stop by the vintage kaftan shop that she mentioned! xx

Laura [What I Like] said...

Her picks are always obvious! I recall her recommending the Beverly Hills hotel as an L.A. spot...couldn't believe it.

Miss Cavendish said...

Ahh--you have my two most favorite drinks on your tray: Pimm's and Lillet. How refreshing . . .

Angie Muresan said...

Well, if I lived within such gorgeous walls, I'd always miss my plane! Safe travels, Lisa and Luca! We'll miss you.

Cathi said...

Shades of the book "If you give a mouse a cookie" :) Have a fantastic holiday and trip!

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

Ooooooo there's nothing like the last minute rush to get you going - you'll be fine and all the packing will be done within time. Good luck and have a blast on your travels. I was in London in October and fell in love with it all over again - having lived there for 13 years but not visted for ages.... enjoy!

Hermione said...

Absolutely lovely!
Love the list of the packing combination, priceless:)
Beautiful shots of beautiful thins too, inspires me to organize my own mess here at home. Merry Christmas!

sanjeet said...

Take one coat each lots of layers and scarves and buy clothes in relatively inexpensive Morrocco.

Work from home India

kanishk said...

Duncan Grant. I never got him. Do you think he and Vanessa B were really happy? I don't.

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prashant said...

Take one coat each lots of layers and scarves and buy clothes in relatively inexpensive Morrocco.

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Wireless ISP software said...

This is just what I needed to procrastinate. I’m so busy working it’s time to set aside everything and relax for a while.

Accounting Software said...

I hope you did not pack the whole house. LOL! Good luck on your trip.

Sildenafil Citrate said...

I tend to procrastinate many of my tasks, homework and stuff like this because I don't really like it to do it, but then I realized I should have divided my time in a better way because I end up regretting not doing the stuff I had to do in the first place

Moving Company said...

I just hate packing. Last Time, When I shifted in my new home, I was just frustrated with packing of my all stuff. But this time I booked movers company shifting. They have removed my lot of burden. Thanks to them.

Rynth said...

That was nice idea just go and do want you want to do that was help you... good luck..

Procrastination Free Living

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