15 July 2009

The Violet Hour

Peter the Great's 19th century pharmacy turned Baccarat wonderland, image frm Vogue Living Australia July/Aug 08

One summer when we were living in Brentwood Park we fell into a pattern of stopping work at four in the afternoon and going out to the pool. He would stand in the water reading (he reread Sophie's Choice several times that summer, trying to see how it worked) while I worked in the garden. It was a small, even miniature, garden with gravel paths and a rose arbor and beds edged with thyme and santolina and feverfew. I had convinced John a few years before that we should tear out a lawn to plant this garden. To my surprise, since he had no previous interest in gardens, he regarded the finished product as an almost mystical gift. Just before five on those summer afternoons we would swim and then go into the library wrapped in towels to watch Tenko, a BBC series, then in syndication, about a number of satisfyingly predictable English women...After each afternoon's Tenko segment we would go upstairs and work another hour or two, John in his office at the top of the stairs, me in the glassed-in porch across the hall that had become my office. At seven or seven-thirty we would go out to dinner, many nights at Morton's. Morton's felt right that summer. There was always shrimp quesadilla, chicken with black beans. There was always someone we knew. The room was cool and polished and dark inside but you could see the twilight outside. -The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion


the great lakes said...

miss leigh,
it is sometimes frightening how often we have the same thoughts and interests. i love peeking into the jezebel world and can't wait to share in some hangouts. see you in about 2 weeks! xo rose

little augury said...

a beautiful book-such idle memories from her happy days- we should all be so lucky for a moment. la

jezebel said...

Little A, you make me feel better. I was feeling guilty for gleaning a moment of sensory beauty from J.D.s extraordinary pain, but you are right. We should ALL be so lucky for a moment.

Rose, yipee!