Monday, June 3, 2013

Birthday indulgences

I had the entire weekend all to myself and, after a rough start with tornadoes and storms, it turned out to be a lovely extension to my birthday. Though I did get some writing and housework done, I mostly indulged in my favorite things.


Like tea, for instance. I hadn't yet used my Minton Haddon Hall china, and my indulgent birthday weekend seemed the perfect time to do so. (We visited Haddon Hall during the summer of 2011, and I fell utterly in love with the place. When I saw the china in the gift shop, I had to find a way to make it mine.) For this particular afternoon tea I enjoyed an orange scone from Panera with Lychee Coconut White Tea from Tea Forte. I particularly recommend the tea. It's light, refreshing, and quite good without sugar or milk. (AND it's supposed to make your skin radiant!)


I also spent a fair amount of time in front of the TV. Rewatching Bright Star was particularly delightful -- such a feast for the eyes and ears! But it struck me this time around how Jane Campion's film is really about the drama and angst of young love -- how it can be so fervid and profound, but at the same time somewhat self-indulgent and performative. I could see all that (and hey, I've been there and done that), but I still ached for Fanny Brawne and John Keats. And, as always, watching Ben Whishaw with the cat made me swoony. What is it about men and cats?

Oooh look -- "Hot Guys with Cats"! Heh.

This tumblr is cute, too.

*Ahem*

Along with TV, I indulged in reading. I finished The Visconti House by Elsbeth Edgar (in which two teens uncover the mysteries of a crumbling Italianate house), and read the first third of Kate Atkinson's Life after Life (in which, to massively oversimplify, a girl relives her life over and over, adapting as she goes). I'm a huge Atkinson fan, having loved all the Jackson Brodie books as well as Behind the Scenes at the Museum, but I have a feeling this one will somehow manage to be even more fabulous. How will I get any work done?

Finally, I gave myself a present by finally framing (& hanging) a painting created for me by the wonderfully talented Heather at Audrey Eclectic. A while back I sent her an ARC of The Dark Between, and she painted a scene of the three main characters together. I love it so!


Here you can see Kate (plain and pragmatic), Elsie (beautiful and languid -- LOVE the drowsy eyes!), and Asher (handsome and arrogant), sitting in front of Summerfield College, which is based on Newnham College, Cambridge. In the border you see the ghostly images of family members and loved ones who haunt the main characters, sometimes figuratively, other times literally.


The frame is more ornate that I ordinarily might have chosen, but it seemed to fit the early Edwardian setting of the story. It looks wonderful on the wall!

Stay tuned for a Dark Between ARC giveaway in which I might just offer goodies related to this painting. Weeee!

In the meantime, tell me how you've indulged yourself lately, for a birthday or otherwise. :)

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]

8 comments:

  1. What a perfect birthday! You certainly celebrated in style! (Love the china and the painting.)

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    1. This birthday started out a little lame -- takeout on a stormy night -- but finished well! I am far too good at indulging myself. :)

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  2. A very happy birthday to you!~ And what a lovely indulgence-- the tea sounds amazing and the tea set is just beautiful!
    As for my own indulgences--- well--- probably more than I should ;) the other day I had cherry pie for breakfast ;) I made it the evening before since we had a dinner guest, but he had to leave before the pie was done because those pesky storms were coming. So there I was....with tons of pie...what's a girl to do?

    And I love the way the painting looks in the frame! What a fun project that was to work on :)

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    1. Cherry pie for breakfast sounds AMAZING. I heartily approve. You wouldn't want it to go to waste, would you?

      The painting does look very fine on the wall, doesn't it? THANK YOU.

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  3. What a lovely weekend. Beautiful china AND artwork. I lovelovelove her depiction of the characters!

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    1. So glad to hear that! Steve is pleased that Elsie is at the center -- actually, this arrangement of characters is exactly how he described his idea of the perfect the book cover.

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  4. Fantastic birthday celebration! That tea set is simply divine.

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    1. I do love that tea set! Must put it to use more often.

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