Birthday indulgences

Jun 3, 2013 |

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?

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. 🙂

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