Monday, March 12, 2012

You Are Here

(Early morning writing session.)

Someone asked me recently how I come up with ideas for blog posts.

The answer's easy.

I think of you.

When you leave a comment on my blog, I become the reader and you become the writer. Suddenly you and I have switched places and I become the one who is learning from you. And my world opens up. Bigtime.

I can't tell you the number of books I've read thanks to your recommendations.
(I read "The Wind in the Willows" this weekend, Lily, and underlined half the book. Other tomes that pop into my head are "Miss Hargreaves", "The Tangier Diaries", "London Belongs to Me" and "The Englishman's Room", all discovered via your comments.)

Or the insider tips you've given me when I travel. (When I went to Marrakech, someone told me I should meet Maryam. And I did. And she was one of the most amazing people ever. Now I'm off to London soon and can't wait to finally visit Dennis Severs' House -- again, recommended by one of you.)

Or the expert style advice I sometimes get from readers who seriously know their stuff. (Architect Design, you were so right when you told me to paint the ceiling the same dark blue as the walls in my office. It made all the difference.)

In 2008, when I wrote my first post, I shot a message out into the endless ether, hoping against hope that chance or fate or sheer luck would connect me to a like-minded soul.

Somehow, miraculously, you started trickling in and now, in 2012, there's a whole tribe of us, a collection of virtual friends on a journey we were going to take anyway, but now we're taking it together.

We read, we discover, we comment, we link, we share.

We are different and yet the same.
(All photos by LBG.)

So thank you. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for the captivating conversation (four years and counting). Thank you for your honesty, your passion and your effervescent enthusiasm. You -- yes, you -- are the heroes of this blog, not me.


P.S. Gratitude also to Apartment Therapy and photographer Marcia Prentice.
(Reason revealed HERE.)


pve design said...

You inspire each of us to lead a more cultured life.
Have you read "The House of Intellect?"

AlwaysMe said...

Again one of the reasons I read your blog - your graciousness. I am so thankful to have found you years ago. You have brightened many a day. I remodeled our kitchen based on your cosy one and couldn't be happier. I have enjoyed traveling vicariously through you and it looks like I will actually be going to Paris myself this year! Your writing is inspiring because your heart shines through. So thankful for your gift.

Jessica Thor-Miller said...

Thank you for taking a chance on us, the unknown, blog-reading world, when you decided to embark on this journey in 2008. I know my life has been enhanced as have many others. As I'm now currently in the thick of decorating a new home, you are there with me in the back of my head. When I'm entertaining friends, you are there with me; when I want to be courageously creative, you are there with me. You have brought so much to so many, I don't know if you can even fathom your impact.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Love that we share a love of jellies and jams!
As for books.... you simply must read The Snow Child. Magic!

So happy you're going to the Dennis Severs House. You of all people will lose your ever-lovin' mind.

Heather Taylor said...

beauty! love your writing nook.

maria s. said...

I thought of you when I saw this feature on Bloomsbury-inspired crafts in a recemt Marie-Claire Idèes:,les-explications-des-coussins-en-tapisserie-esprit-charleston,2610258,68548.asp

The needlepoint patterns are download-able.


maria s. said...
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The Buzz Blog @ Diane James Home said...

MT says it so eloquently and every one of your posts is a little jewel in my inbox! Thank you for sharing your home, your recipes and your adventures with us! Have a fabulous time in London, Cynthia
PS: Just finished The Night Circus which I loved almost as much at the Magician King.

Lee Nicholson said...

I love your blog & find it so inspiring. Your book recommendations are fantastic.

Tara Dillard said...

My father died recently and helping my mother has been like Toads Wild Ride.

How to explain that to someone who hasn't read Wind In The Willows?

XO Tara

Lily said...

Oh Lisa,
I love this magical confederacy of storytelling and sharing that you have created through your adventures in travel and art and family! It's all been such a treat, these weekly picnics with you, our very gracious hostess... Really it's how the spirit of the original Bloomsbury must have been!
And aren't you now assigning everyone to a Wind in the Willows category( I mean really I know a few Toads!)...
Merci to you for all of this,

Unknown said...

hello, Lisa.
your generosity -- including the explicit nods to others -- is part of what moves me to read each of your posts.

in honor of that generosity, and in hope of contributing something to the community that gathers here at A Bloomsbury Life, i'm recommending an art book designed for the iPad (or iPhone). "As It Is Again" is a digital book of photographs taken in Italy by JoAnn Verburg.
there's a free download of it available in iTunes.

J.Verburg is a widely acclaimed photographer. NYC's MoMA held a mid-career retrospective of her work in 2007.

i'm a huge fan of her work, and i hope it appeals to you as well.

all good things - Elliot in Minnesota

Lasca Sartoris said...

visit the John Soane Museum in London too if you can
- xL

helen tilston said...

Hi Lisa

Your blog has brought me much joy over the years. I have taken many of your recommendations for books, movies and I adore reading of your travel adventures.
I am reading "The Secret Scriptures"by Sebastian Barry. He is an excellent writer and I feel you will enjoy his works.
Have a marvelous time in London. I particularly love Fenwicks Store on Great Bond Street. Also Penhaligans Perfumery. If you have not been you must visit this beautiful, hard to find pub, (excellent for lunch and dinner and people spotting) The Grenadier, Wilton Mews Belgravia. I promise it will be a favourite

Helen xx

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Dear Lisa,
You writing has enriched my life since I first laid eyes on it, a couple of years back! You are generous, funny and I love your witty stitches...
May we keep on inspiring each other! I feel as you do!
Many a idea has been born from reading other blogs!
Filled with gratitude!


Acanthus and Acorn said...

As time eludes me more and more for some of the most pleasurable things, such as reading your blog, It is a reminder to indulge in the things big and small that make me wildly thrilled...starting with 2 of our shared passions books and travel!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

PVE: By Jacques Barzun? Haven't read it... have to look for a used copy because it's (gulp) $95 on Amazon! xx

AlwaysMe: That's so exciting about your kitchen! And Paris -- lucky girl. Bonne vacance! xx

Modern Traditionalist:
There's a lump in my throat now. xx

Pamela Terry and Edward: I still need to send you that jam! And thank you for the book rec. You have impeccable taste. xx

Heather Taylor: Sweet Heather, you must come over sometime! xx

Unknown: Wow. Thank you SO MUCH for that link! Very appreciative. xx

Cynthia: Have taken note of the books -- and thank you for being a conduit between me and Schuyer -- love her. We're going out next week. :) xx

Lee: I'm reading something amazing now -- stay tuned...! xx

Tara Dillard: First of all, I'm so sorry for your loss. Second of all, that is such a powerful testament to the way literature adds meaning to our lives. xx

Lily: Thank you for your style, your erudition and for all the wondrous things you've taught me too! xx

Unknown (Elliot in Minnesota): Done - I'll download it tonight. Thank you for so kindly telling us all about this! xx

Lasca Sartoris: John Soanes Museum is one of my favorite places in London, and your idea is excellent -- a repeat visit is absolutely necessary:)

Helen Tilston: Fenwicks and Penhaligon's are favorites of mine too -- Fenwicks because it feels so 1938 still, and Penhaligons just BECAUSE! And Grenadier sounds totally up my alley -- good tip. I'm taking note of your book too. Thank you so much for your "virtual" friendship over the years. xx

Victoria Art: "May we keep on inspiring each other..." That's it in a nutshell! xx

Acanthus and Acorn (Rebecca): Books and Travel. Those two words make me swoon -- we are obviously peas in a pod. xx

Michelle said...

You explained it perfectly when you said, we are different and yet the same. Two years ago (I am guessing) I serendipitously happened upon your blog, and being a fan of all things British, I immediately meandered in. Your site was added to the top of my favorites list that day and has remained there ever since. When entertaining or decorating, I too, often think of you. My 23 year old daughter who has never even been to your blog knows who you are. I come from a small, poor, midwestern town. You a sophisticated, worldly, domestic explorer -- and yet we have more than a few things in common -- mainly a similar taste in books, decor, and music. So many people say computers are keeping people apart, when I think it's just the opposite, I think they are bringing people together. As Mr. Wilkin's in Elizabeth Von Arnim's "Enchanted April" said, "Where else would I meet such interesting people?" You are my style, cultural, and all around domestic guru, Lisa!

Ty said...

Hello Lisa, I follow (and truly enjoy!) your blog in Reader and have done so now for a considerable while, but this time I feel such a compulsive pang to actually comment (I am usually one of those shy internet users!) as I'm having a seriously freaky moment!

I haven't been back to London in absolute ages and had a strange urge out of nowhere to look through a certain collection of memorabilia this morning... just so happens I was reading old journal entries of a watering hole I used to frequent with this boy I fancied in 2008 (The Water Poet -- suppose I'd recommend the food as such, but there's always too many city boys around which is a real drag..) Long story short I found an album I had developed but never seen before from round Bishopsgate and Spitalfields and up to Shoreditch High Street and there was an obscene amount of photos of this midterrace house with candy apple shutters in a state that didn't quite fit with all the other re-modernised places on the street. And so here I sit, and having visited John Soane's house many times and always on the prowl for heteromorphic haunts, clicked the link to the Dennis Severs house. Folgate Street -- that's it! Wow! I'm going to be ashamed at how long this comment is becoming but am just wistfully perplexed by such a surreal coincidence! So I hope you have very safe travels and visit it for me & enjoy! (Also, If you are visiting next month you ought to try to snag tickets to see Gross und Klein at the Barbican as well!)

PS It's funny seeing the Norman Collins London book mentioned, I have a second edition I believe (something like that, it's from 1945!) with this very old, sweet note in shorthand written from a gentleman to a lovely lady in the front. It really made the stories all the more real and wonderful. I rarely find old editions worth buying; this one was very cheap and speaking of people and recommendations -- came from a charity shop after hearing the actress Romola Garai speak of it. Good on you to jog my memory!

Emily said...

After all of this time, your blog remains my favorite. Your point of view is always unique, witty, and full of interesting, yet often simple ideas. You inspire me so much Lisa, and yet you come here to once again thank us. Your graciousness floors me!
I loved seeing more of your home. Thank you, and thank you Apartment Therapy for making it happen!

Lisa B. said...

I agree with all of the sentiments expressed in these comments; I also look forward to a new post on your blog and will especially enjoy your London posts--my body is in St. Paul, MN, my heart is in London. Your blog is wonderful! Thank you. said...

What a perfect way to start my day...dark with tea in hand & reading your post. As I am close by, I am bringing my cuppa' over right now to Kenmore Arms. The house tour was exactly as I would have wanted it to be with a few surprises - the plaque on the stair I love, the dutch door divine. It is so very soulful...that is what I strive for here in my diggs as well. I scribbled down all the book recs from u & the comments. My hubby leaves for London next week so he will be going to the John Soane in my stead this time...& also maybe he will even fit in the Grenadier! I am so so happy I found you. As I may have commented once before, I was checking the dates on the Bloomsbury era, as I named an item made for my etsy shop the "Bloomsbury pillow". There you popped up....the pillow didn't get on the shop for hours as I read all your prior posts & watched some videos. I enjoyed getting to know you right then & although I am new to the group I know I am here to stay. Enjoy your trip immensely ...bring us back lots of stories, ideas & photos please...

Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange how a house becomes a home and a home becomes a "different" home in the early hours of the morning or in the late hours of the night?

It is quiet, peaceful, and serene.

I love my home early in the mornings when the sun is still hiding but the moon is going to sleep.

karina said...

A lovely sentiment; blogging is certainly a collaborative community effort and you have genuinely earned your authoritative voice, Lisa. Thank you.

For a fellow Angelino, do you have any recommendations for book clubs? I'm craving one that is "live" and not just blog based. There appears to be a (self imposed) drought among my peers (working mom of a couple of elementary school kids).


Bumble at home said...

You are what inspired me to take some pis and write a few lines and send them off into the ether.And speaking of like minded people try to go to Ben Pentreaths shop in London.

Bumble at home said...

In my last comment it is meant to say take some PICS , (not pis) that will stop me from using abbreviations!!!

Helen James said...

THANK YOU LISA Such an inspiring and captivating blog! Your blog was the reason I started blogging Here's to many more years

Lily said...

I had to tap out a post script... Getting a direct nod from you is as thrilling as if the Queen would have winked at me from her carriage! Tipsy from that, I stumbled over to Apartment Therapy and wandered through your gorgeous and unique home, trying to read the clues of your fascinating life and, I suppose, realizing that your blog is like a favorite book that never ends and the main character actually strikes up conversations with her readers! A dream come true!

Suzanne said...

Just visited your home on Apartment Therapy, wow it is absolutely a home with lots of heart, so personal,beautiful and interesting, can we come and visit to feel all the texture and read all your books, well it might be too long a visit.

Thanks for great posts, and please tell us more.

shiree segerstrom said...

Hi Lisa, thank you again for putting Joy of Nesting on your blogroll! I will look forward to all your wonderful posts! Shiree'

somepinkflowers said...

glad you could meet maryam
& were charmed
Here is
hoping you saw her Peacock Pavilions...

you, BTW, have inspired moi
into embroidery
everyday subjects
like STOP signs
& such.

isn't life grand!

Miss Maxwell said...

I stumbled upon you by accident and how fortuitous for me! i so enjoy reading you each week, we have so much in common my sister-in-law says you're my doppelganger. Thank you for sharing your like with us.

Miss Maxwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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