"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from the Lodge!

The girls are costumed and ready to greet any hobgoblins that come seeking treats.

Queen Marie-Antoi-mutt, proudly posing with her crown...

...and her chief courtier, Devil Dog.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Return to London...and Elsewhere

In the midst of planning my next visit to London, I finally got round to creating my October-November 2009 travelogue. Here are the individual page links (eventually they'll be added to my sidebar) but they're continuous so you need only click the first one to follow the trip.

Visiting My Characters

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace Gardens

The Hague

Het Loo Palace


Chelsea Physic Garden

Remembrance Sunday

Dogs of London

I know some activities slated for the next jaunt--work and play, but more of the latter than the former. I predict I'll do a 2010 version of the Dogs of London! When I'm there, I miss the girls so much that I point my camera at every pup that passes me on the streets or parks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

White & Festive Weekend

The White Mountains were white, and the bride wore white, there was lots of festivity and feasting for us over the past three days. Last week was so uneventful I never bothered blogging, and this weekend so busy that I never took the time.

We dropped Ruth & Jewel with their "other mother" the kennel-keeper, and began our northward journey.

"Could we stop so I can take a photo of Mount Chocorua?" I asked when we reached the Tamworth area."

"I'd rather keep going."

"All right."

So I took this shot from inside the car. The mountain is perfectly framed by trees but the lake isn't visible.

We did stop briefly at the North Conway rest stop, because it was our best view--so far--of the White Mountains.

It's easy to chart your drive on the diorama.

Our destination was Gorham.

We stopped again at the entrance of the Mount Washington Auto Road. Snow had fallen overnight, frosting the mountain peaks and accumulating in shady spots along the roadsides.

We visited the wedding couples' house for tea and brownies, then returned to our hotel to change for dinner, held at an awesome restaurant a couple of blocks away.

Their "first wedding"--private and small--took place at the lake cottage on the 31st of July. This event was larger, with family and friends from all round the country, and took place at the church where the bride is Rector. Because they are already married, the Bishop blessed their union and there was a Eucharist.

As well as being a Witness (so was the Chap), I dressed the bride and did her make-up. Here I am with the dress for which we had all those fittings in Concord.

There was lots of lovely music, on the Bediant organ...

...and this harpsichord.

And the cello, but I didn't get a photo. The choir was fantastic.

As an auxiliary official photographer, I was busy with my camera. Weddings are fun to shoot, everyone is so happy!

After the reception in the Undercroft, catered by the same restaurant that fed us on Friday night, we returned for the restaurant for another dinner. The food was superb.

This morning we attended church, with the bride presiding. And there was another reception/luncheon in the Undercroft. The wedding cake was chocolate, and there was still plenty left!

This is my favourite view from a supermarket car park. The supermarket is unfortunately closed, due to the economic downtown and competition from another corporation. Perhaps it could've stayed in business by charging tourists money to take photographs!

We left town by a different road, heading west, driving up to Randolph Ridge Road for more lovely views.

Look, snow!

As we descended through the Notch from the high country, we hit rainshowers. Nonetheless it was a pleasant drive back to the Lodge, with only one stop. The trees in our region are still very bright--yellow, copper, and bronze dominating the landscape. The reds are nearly all finished but there are a few bright orange leaves to be seen still.

It was a perfect celebration of our friends' marriage. A wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends and make lots of new ones.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It's what we do at this time of year. The recent winds have played havoc with the trees, but there's still some really good colour to be found. Immediately after church I headed to the mall for a few errands and took the scenic route home. Well, all routes are scenic at this season, but I took some country roads instead of the highway.

These first photos were snapped along a country road.

This photo is at a scenic lay-by on the highway.

I brought home a dog toy for Ruth and Jewel...according to the packaging, "for Power Chewers."

It did not, I regret to report, remain intact so long as an hour. What's the next level up from power chewer? Beaver? Woodchuck? Jaws of death? Both of our girls qualify.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

A beautiful October week concludes with this wet, dark day with powerful wind and flood warnings for the state's rivers. As typical of a New Hampshire autumn as the crisp air, blinding sunshine, and clear blue skies we've been basking in for so long.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday passed in a blur. There's photographic evidence to remind me of my activities.

Bidding Jewel and Ruth farewell as I depart for a diocesan convocation meeting on Tues. evening. They are my fashion icons, so I often wear black & white--which they do every day of their lives. As usual, Jewel is dignified before the camera and Ruth is goofing around.

Wednesday was my day of "lasts". Last meeting of the Fish & Game & Marine Resources Committee and our final Executive Session on our sole remaining bill. The State House cafeteria provided a free lunch for legislators and staff. I don't usually eat much at midday, but couldn't resist the clam chowder, half a tuna wrap, spanikopita (the caterer is Greek) and a brownie.

In the afternoon the General Court gathered in their respective chambers for the Veto Session. I used my laptop web cam to take this shot--a few minutes later the Chap was seated in the gallery directly behind me to watch the proceedings. The Assistant House Clerk read out his name as my "special guest."

The House overrode one veto. There's was plenty of hugging and chatter and farewells, and our business didn't take terribly long. We concluded with memorial remarks on behalf of a fallen serviceman from Goffstown and two former colleagues. One of them had died the previous day and was someone I knew--she and I entered the House the same year, and she was a monumental human being and a force for good in the world and I shall never, ever forget her address during one of our most intense and emotional debates, it had me in tears. She intended to serve only one term and did so with distinction, she accomplished the primary goal she set for herself. And throughout my second term I missed her presence very much. To say that I was devastated to learn of her death is a massive understatement.

After the session there was a farewell reception at the Upham-Walker House.

When I arrived home, I found the neighbours cruising round the little lake in their bright red boat.

Yesterday was filled with diocesan business...creating a communications plan for one of my committees, followed by a music lesson, followed by the Diocesan Council meeting, interspersed with lots of weird stuff and disappointments and re-orientation. By the time I returned to the Lodge, I was absolutely shattered.

So, a quiet, un-busy rainy day at home with the dogs is exactly what I need. After this week of finality, I need to start something new!

Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


The anniversary was terrific. Hilarious cards and mutually useful and desirable gifts. Something with a plug for the Lodge, something to enhance life at the cottage, and something extremely sparkly with both carats and karats.

Thursday was a day of shopping, errands and lessons. On Friday the dogs and I had a lovely walk in the warm sunshine and I completed more garden tidying--including the bed that I'd neglected in the springtime.

Yesterday we went to Manchester to the Currier Museum of Art, La Carreta Mexican Restaurant, and the NH Coin Show where the Chap found a few items worthy of investment.

At present we're at the cottage, taking care of end-of-season tasks. It's breezy and cool but wonderfully sunny and lots of nice colour. Because we spent part of our honeymoon beside the Bay, it's nice spending time in the very same spot.

This week brings my last official duties as a legislator in this session. Plus other meetings and some socialising and a party.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Our Anniversary

We started celebrating last night, with dinner at our favourite Concord restaurant. That was the prelude to more celebration today.

A very odd week. I'm either at the Lodge, nesting and not doing anything terribly thrilling (garden tidying, bird watching, office puttering). Or I'm in Concord, cramming in meetings and shopping and errands enough to fill two days. I do like driving round, though--the trees are so nice.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Let There Be Light

We're facing an active weather period. The tropical storms are headed for New England, and flood warnings are already posted for the western portion of this state even though the deluge hasn't reached us. At the moment it's strangely warm and humid, as it has been in recent days, and there's not a drop of rain. Yet. That's destined to change very soon.

I'm watching birds as I type--the juncoes are back, so is a phoebe. And all the regulars--purple finch, chickadee, nuthatch, jay, mourning dove, and every sort of woodpecker. And chipmunks in abundance.

The shipment with the final batch of back-ordered drawer and cabinet pulls arrived. I duly installed them in the kitchen. The dining room Persian rug is back from the cleaners, looking like new. And our renovation project is well and truly finished. The next phase will be the guest bath, but I haven't decided the timing.

The changes to our bedroom were more cosmetic than invasive. The missing piece was a pair of matching lamps that had to combine traditional features and modern shades. While out and about yesterday I found them, unexpectedly, and at an excellent price.

The old-style dial telephone was originally at the lake cottage. When we changed to push-button phones there, I decided to bring it to the Lodge and use it.

For the next couple of days we'll have crazy winds and rain. After that, evening temperatures will go down to the mid-30's. And then it's due to warm up a bit. This contradictory and unsettled weather indicates that it's October in New England. (And the gorgeous foliage confirms it!)