Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Letting the Days Go By

How on earth did it get to be September so quickly?
Below, a recap of how I spent my three weeks of blog vacation.

*Our new garden pergola is slowly becoming a chic new destination for sunset cocktails and lazy Sunday breakfasts. Still on order: French cafe chairs, lanterns, cushions, and some trailing bougainvillea vines.

*Our dining table was a gathering place for some serious quality time with friends. 

*Our formerly-scary garage has been reinvented as a combination yoga/sewing studio (for me) and Playstation nerve center (for Luca).

(All photos by LBG.)

Actually...I did zero travelling this summer; instead, I edited my book and spent my time wandering through over sixty classic novels. But the hills around my house are an architectural treasure trove -- in an hour's hike, it's amazing how many countries you can convince yourself you've visited.

Since so much of my attention was firmly rooted indoors, I couldn't help but update a few things in my immediate sightline:

*The living room daybed is sheathed in a new French ticking stripe made by Sunbrella -- so I can't wait until the first person spills a glass of wine on it and I can sincerely tell them not to give it a second's thought. 

*My $50 flea market chair received a similar striped facelift -- along with a few vintage concert buttons so it doesn't feel too serious.

*The hall bench was recovered in a heavy gray-blue linen and then tufted to add a bit of come-hither appeal.

I didn't read all these books in the last three weeks, but I did read most of them this year.  And oh! the places I've been from my chair in the corner!

Note: If you ever decide you want to read Proust (and FYI,  it's worth it -- the characters are so comic with all of their gossiping and social-climbing and anxiety about being chic and cool -- it's very Woody Allen-ish, actually), I highly recommend these companion volumes:

*A Reader's Guide to The Remembrance of Things Past by Patrick Alexander -- Alexander is the super cool professor who makes sure you don't miss a beat (or theme, symbol, and motif). If you didn't read Proust in college, then you need this book.

*Paintings in Proust by Eric Karpeles -- In Search of Lost Time is such a visual odyssey and this book is lavishly illustrated with all the paintings Proust writes about. It's the next best thing to being there.

*Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret -- the tell-all memoir by his personal maid -- and she knew everything.

(And yes, I know Alain de Botton's book on Proust is there, too, but ehhhhh...it didn't move me.)

You know the Talking Heads song that goes:

Letting the days go by, water flowing underground,
Letting the days go by, Once in a lifetime...

Well, that's what I tried to do. Our summer involved a whole lot of nothing that somehow added up to everything.

*and paying for it*
Oh, but there were a lot of desserts this summer: home-made berry crumbles, blondie bars, trifles and more. I'm pretty sure I didn't say no to anything. Now I'm on day seven of Alejandro Junger's twenty-one day Clean cleanse and feeling -- dare I say it? -- as strong as a warrior princess from Game of Thrones. My sluggishness, foggy head and predilection for midday naps has vanished -- maybe because caffeine, sugar, white flour and dairy have too. *sigh* But to be honest, it's all good -- there's no question that my venti black coffee habit needed an intervention.

It's nice to be back.
I missed you.
What's going on? 
Are you getting ready for fall? 



jennifer said...

My New Years resolution (I make mine when my kids go back to school rather than Jan 1st) is to become an autodidact . I've never read Proust and would very much like to. With this I'm mind, how does one approach a companion/critical analysis? Do you read it before, after or alongside? I should remember, but I don't.

So glad you are back. You were missed. Your projects (every single one) are lovely.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Patrick Alexander's guide is meant to be read as you go along -- at least, that's how I did it. I liked having it near me -- anytime I felt a bit stuck, he was there to help me out.

Daniel Shigo said...

I always read your blog with great interest, but haven't left a comment. You write with such style. Really. It's quite engaging.

Wishing you all the best with your tome!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Love the addition of the concert buttons; what a great idea! Looks like a perfect summer to me and thanks for the book recommendations! I'm re-reading 'Remain's of the Day' for the 4th time and could use something else!

Beautiful Things - Cathy said...

You have an amazing outlook on life. Very inspiring. x

Unknown said...

Welcome back, Lisa.
You were missed!

The consolation (for me, at your absence) is that we were synchronized on Proust. I picked up the terrific Lydia Davis translation of _Swann's Way_; for me it's the new standard.

Will you say what the chair fabric is?
- Elliot

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

I often feel as if I have traveled.....after visiting your blog. You are so very inspiring---waiting for your book!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Welcome back!
I cannot believe we both read To the Lighthouse, Dorian Gray, and Romantic Moderns this year. Weird.
Off to Scotland soon.
I shall think of you in a tartan skirt.

Veronica Roth said...

Welcome back Lisa. I've been in England for two months and now it's time to leave here for Vancouver, (actually today). When I get back to my second home I imagine I'll take time to regroup and "de-Englify" in a very similar nesting you've just gone thru. :)

Sandra Sallin said...

Oh, such a pleasure to have you back. I also walk the Hollywood Hills and feel like I'm traveling through Europe. You are a delight for the eyes and the soul.


Emily said...

I remember seeing one of these homes on your IG and I thought you were in England! I've been reading many books this summer too, but my selections have not been as sophisticated as yours. I've enjoyed "The Chaperone" and "The Girl You Left Behind". Easy breezy, but so good! I have never read Proust either.
Fall is my favorite season, so I am ready!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Daniel James Shigo: I am so honored that you chose to leave a comment! Made my day. xx

ArchitectDesign: So great to hear from you -- ah, but "Remains of the Day" IS such a wonderful book, no?

Beautiful Things: Thank you so much!

Eliot: Interesting about the Lydia Davis version -- I read Moncrieff and liked it as well. Chair fabric is from F and S Fabrics in LA on Pico -- maybe you can email them the photo and they can tell you if it's still in stock?

Vava: Lovely to hear from you -- you inspire me too!

Pamela Terry and Edward: Weird (or maybe not) about the books - just goes to prove we're kindred souls. Lucky you going to Scotland!!! Say hello to the wild heather for me. xx

Veronica Roth: Two months in England sounds like heaven -- although some nice nesting in Vancouver sounds pretty good too!

Sandy: The Hollywood Hills rock, right? Thank you for your lovely words. xx

Emily: Anything you choose to read is bound to be interesting -- I will check those books out! xx

Unknown: I hear ya. It's 100 here in LA as well. Autumn isn't even a whisper in the air yet!

I bought it at F & S Fabrics in LA (the same place I bought the chair fabric -- see comment above). Do you think you could send them an email with my photo attached? I'm sure they can identify it for you and send you a swatch of it. Their phone number is:

F & S Fabrics
Address: 10654 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone:(310) 441-2477
Hours: Thursday hours 9:30 am–6:00 pm

If you have any issues, email me and I'll try to help out.

My Soulful Home: I think the pumpkins here are all roasted in this heat! I vote for jumping in the pool! xx

Michelle said...

I am anxiously awaiting fall. And believe it or not, Proust is on my nightstand awaiting to be read. But he keeps getting shuffled to the bottom. Your post inspires me to nudge him to the top. Have you done the "Proust Questionnaire?"

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Michelle: I've done it in my head every time I read the new Vanity Fair, but never on paper -- now YOU'VE inspired me!

Unknown said...

Hey i've missed you here too! We had a similar summer, not a lot of traveling but still a ton of experiences within a few miles of our apartment. I'm drooling over that grey bench in your entryway, so CHIC. I was trying to get through Proust last year and dropped it in frustration, but you're inspiring me to try again - with the companion this time, I think. Welcome back!

shiree segerstrom said...

Great post Lisa. You are SO talented my dear. Happy nesting. Shiree'

Unknown said...

So nice to see you back full steam!
The same here, home this summer, lot's and lot's of reading, Proust sounds good, I read some of his years ago, another thing on my list. You would also enjoy Robert Musil's Man Without Qualities....(Austrian writer)
Now: Writing, more raw food and reducing of our overgrown household.... Too much stuff!

PS: Give away until Saturday.. If you feel like looking.
; )


Blog Widget by LinkWithin