This & That: November 17, 2023
Friday November 17, 2023

Thank you for reading TSLL. The first two posts are complimentary. You have 1 free post view remaining this month.

Become a Member for as little as $4/mo and enjoy unlimited reading of TSLL blog.

Updated11.3.23each Friday Every Friday

Released this past August from award-winning astronomer and physicist Marcelo Gleiser is his “urgent call for a new Enlightenment and the recognition of the preciousness of life using reason and curiosity—the foundations of science—to study, nurture, and ultimately preserve humanity as we face the existential crisis of climate change.” The Dawn of a Mindful Universe, written by Brazilian physicist, astronomer, and winner of the 2019 Templeton Prize Marcelo Gleiser makes the argument “that it is because we have lost the spark of the Enlightenment that has guided human development over the past several centuries” that we have lost our way. “While some scientific efforts have been made to overcome this increasingly bleak perspective—the ongoing search for life on other planets, the recent idea of the multiverse—they have not been enough to overcome the core problem: we’ve lost our moral mission and compassionate focus in our scientific endeavors” . . . within his book he “addresses the current environmental and scientific impasses and how the scientific community can find solutions to them”.

Released this past Tuesday, Anna Pitoniak’s protagonist Amanda Cole in The Helsinki Affair is a young female spy following in the footsteps of her father, who as the plot begins to unfold following the assassination of a US senator, whose warnings of said event went unheeded by her superiors, prompts her to want to investigate further. “Corporate blackmail, covert manipulation, corrupt oligarchs: the Kremlin has found a dangerous new way to wage war. Teaming up with Kath Frost, a fearless older woman and legendary spy, Amanda races from Rome to London, from St. Petersburg to Helsinki, unraveling the international conspiracy. But as she gets closer and closer to the truth, a central question haunts her: Why was her father’s name written down in the senator’s notes? What does Charlie Cole really know about the Kremlin plot?” Hmmm . . . sounds more than just a bit intriguing and with all of the travel, I think I may be reading this one soon.

In a translated work of Stefan Zweig’s autobiography originally published 1943, The World of Yesterday, re-published in 2013 “recalls the golden age of literary Vienna—its seeming permanence, its promise, and its devastating fall . . . Surrounded by the leading literary lights of the epoch, Stefan Zweig draws a vivid and intimate account of his life and travels through Vienna, Paris, Berlin, and London, touching on the very heart of European culture. His passionate, evocative prose paints a stunning portrait of an era that danced brilliantly on the edge of extinction.” Having learned of this book after reading a profile piece of Tod’s Michele Lupi who shared it was the best book he read in the past year, a book that was published posthumously as Zweig died in Brazil in 1942, I wanted to take a closer look and perhaps you will as well.

While I have dabbled in watching Doc Martin episodes here and there over the years, it was season 10 that prompted me to sit down and keep watching over the past couple of weeks as it is now airing on PBS Masterpiece, and I began to become very fond of the entire cast, storylines and thus the show. Of course, the English setting is exquisite, set in north Cornwall in the small inlet village of Port Isaac that looks so very similar to Ilfracombe in north Devon which I had the chance to visit a couple of years ago, I cannot help but remember fondly wandering about the steep streets that overlooked the Bristol Channel. But back to season 10 which is the final season of the series. What a delightful season, and especially the final episode. If you haven’t already savored this series, if you are an Anglophile and enjoy well written, consistent characters, a touch of humor, playful, but not too dramatic plots, you will enjoy Doc Martin.

I promised last week that I would share when Hannah Waddingham’s Christmas special aired, and here it is! Look for it to air on AppleTV+ on Wednesday November 22nd as she performs festive classics in front a live audience along with special guest stars both British and American. Have a look at the trailer again below.

I recently learned of a new book by Dame Judi Dench that is now available in the UK and will become available in the states in April 2024. In Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent, for the very first time, “Judi Dench opens up about every Shakespearean role she has played throughout her seven-decade career, from Lady Macbeth and Titania to Ophelia and Cleopatra. In a series of intimate conversations with actor & director Brendan O’Hea, she guides us through Shakespeare’s plays with incisive clarity, revealing the secrets of her rehearsal process and inviting us to share in her triumphs, disasters, and backstage shenanigans.

“Interspersed with vignettes on audiences, critics, company spirit and rehearsal room etiquette, she serves up priceless revelations on everything from the craft of speaking in verse to her personal interpretations of some of Shakespeare’s most famous scenes, all brightened by her mischievous sense of humour, striking level of honesty and a peppering of hilarious anecdotes, many of which have remained under lock and key until now.”

~Order it now wherever you live and have it shipped to you from Blackwells.

Published earlier this month on the 7th, Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking shares over 110 recipes drawing on Danielle Alvarex’s love of Italian and French food, her Cuban roots, time spent cooking in California and then in Australia, and all the incredible Asian influences that have coloured her time in Sydney . . . wherever you live, if you have a basic grocery store, you can adopt and enjoy the 100-plus recipes in this book. Every idea – from easy weeknight meals such as a Zucchini frittata or a hearty Cavolo nero and anchovy risotto, to more elaborate weekend projects like Bolognese with homemade Tagliatelle or a Sweet and sour cumin lamb shoulder, to gorgeous desserts such as Plum galette with a fennel crème anglaise – is designed to help you find happiness in your kitchen with the best that is available to you, and according to the ebbs and flows of your mood, budget, and tastes.”


Beginning last year, there has been much talk about the new film Maestro, starring Bradley Cooper as famed conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein, and much anticipation about what will be shared. Being released next Wednesday, the 22nd, the wait is finally over; however, I think it is worth noting that while the film’s brief synopsis speaks to it being about the love story between Bernstein and actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein, it is much more than that, as Bernstein was a complex figure. The profile piece on CBS Sunday Morning is worth watching, and listening to his children speak about their father is insightful as well. Have a look at the trailer below.

Next Goal Wins

Now this looks like a fun film to watch. Directed and co-written by actor Taika Waititi, the film is based on the true story of the infamously terrible (their words not mine) American Samoa soccer team, known for a brutal 2001 FIFA match they lost 31-0. And as Waititi himself shared in interviews about the film, he too didn’t know much about soccer (football), which is why he was most curious to explore this project. Have a look at the trailer below and look for it in theaters beginning today.

An acquaintance who knows I am an ardent Francophile heard of Georges Perec’s memoir An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris and mentioned it to me this past month. Published in 2010, Perec, on one overcast weekend in Paris in October 1974, set out in quest of the “‘infraordinary’: the humdrum, the non-event, the everyday–‘what happens,’ as he put it, ‘when nothing happens.’ His choice of locale was Place Saint-Sulpice, where, ensconced behind first one café window, then another, he spent three days recording everything to pass through his field of vision: the people walking by; the buses and driving-school cars caught in their routes; the pigeons moving suddenly en masse; a wedding (and then a funeral) at the church in the center of the square; the signs, symbols and slogans littering everything; and the darkness that finally absorbs it all. In An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, Perec compiled a melancholic, slightly eerie and oddly touching document in which existence boils down to rhythm, writing turns into time and the line between the empirical and the surreal grows surprising thin”. While maybe not my typical book of choice, I must say I am curious enough to pick a copy up and read it, and perhaps now you are as well. 🙂

To all fellow language learners! Here is a gift to give yourself this holiday season to continue to support and encourage you along your language learning journey. You can do it! We can do it!

Created by Netflix travel host, serial language learner, and lifelong journaler, Jo Franco, she has “combined a framework and helpful journal to make the path to fluency achievable, meaningful and joyful” with Fluentish which just became available earlier this month.

“The first half of this simple guide provides a practical blueprint to help you plan and organize your learning while developing skills and good habits for success. It includes all the tools you need:  goal setting, habit tracking, a clever workspace area to jot down and summarize notes, sections for vocabulary lists, verb tables, and more.

“The second half guides you through over 60 journal prompts in a range of thought-provoking topics that will build both your self-awareness and language awareness. You will be able to identify language gaps, practice what you’ve learned and start writing your story in a new language.”

E744b9fc Dec1 45a4 A049 059f7a70080c. Cr0015001500 Pt0 Sx300 V1 .png

The perfect stocking stuffer for your loved one who is learning a new language.

Menus Plaisirs — Les Troisgros

I cannot WAIT to watch this film. You may remember or have watched my recent cooking show episode, #4 of this season, where I share with you the recipe – L’escalope de Saumon à L’oseille, the recipe that earned the now famous French restaurant located just outisde of Lyon, Les Troisgros, their first of three Michelin stars. Well, now a new documentary, Menus Plaisirs — Les Troisgros, has already received 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and is being released next week in limited theaters and widely on December 20th. Director Frederick Wiseman, now 93-years old, embeds himself inside a French restaurant that’s held three Michelin stars for more than 50 years. I want his job! How delicious and awe-inspiring and insightful that must have been. Well, now we can see what it must have been like. Have a look at the trailer below and the next time you head to France, why not go to Lyon and find the restaurant that sits across from the railway station (tune in to my cooking show episode to know what I am hinting at ;)).


Ridley Scott’s new epic bio-pic is a film that has spared no expense and looks to be fascinating if nothing else to step back into history and watch the story of Napoleon Bonaparte as it “details the checkered rise and fall of the iconic French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, played by Oscar®-winner Joaquin Phoenix . . . The film captures Bonaparte’s relentless journey to power through the prism of his addictive, volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine, showcasing his visionary military and political tactics against some of the most dynamic practical battle sequences ever filmed.” Premiering on Wednesday November 22nd, have a look at the trailer below. I think I will be going to watch this one in the theater as now doubt the Scott-effect needs to be seen in a large-scale setting.

Add a touch of London fun to your packages with gift tags sporting recognizable and beloved details seen in the city.

A06267 Xs23 220 F

The Citizenry, 35% off site-wide

Many, many, oh so many online shops have already begun their Black Friday sales, and the speculation as to why are vast, but if you know what you are looking for, now is the time to begin perusing, and Citizenry, an online company I shop for baskets as they are ethically sourced and re handmade pieces of art, is a place to know. I have shopped a few items specifically below, as well as in the scroll.

Totora Floor Basket Medium 11.jpg


Eberjey Gisele printed Tercel modal long robe

Low Res R1141 Vbiv F.jpg

A beautiful long robe that dances between the middle ground of warmth as it made from modal fabric, Eberjey’s blue and white stripe robe is striking yet classic in its style.

I am beginning to love this new style when it comes to pajamas. A wrapped top, much like a robe, but instead, simply a top, and cozy pajama bottoms. The monochromatic look keeps it classic, and Lake now has five different stripe colors to choose from.

The sales have already begun at UK brand LK Bennett, and yep, everything is 30% off. I have hand-picked a few items, but be sure to visit the site and explore to your heart’s content. 🙂


You know I love a good vase, one that is unique, offers a lovely patina and brings a touch of character while it showcases the flowers or branches that have been chosen, and Neptune’s Bayswater vase meets all of these requirements. And it is now on sale, both sizes (small seen below).

Neptune Flowers Plants Eucalyptus Mini Spray 35079290454173 2048x.png

In October’s Pondering post, I share my new must-have workout and walking wardrobe item and it is from Sweaty Betty and with their Black Friday sales beginning yesterday, now is definitely the time to scoop up the gear you love from this British workout wear site.

Sb6435 Navyblue

Veronica Beard Jardins du Monde Green Pitcher

One more find for a unique vase, or used for what it is made to be, a pitcher. From Veronica Beard (although no longer available in her shop), but still available here at Neiman Marcus and if you are in the UK shop here where it is found in Nina Campbell’s shop, this vase is full of character, sturdy and just plain gorgeous.

Jmx65b Gimg3 1a 800x.jpg

I neglected to share this worthwhile series when it premiered in June, but if the many holiday series and films that are launching this month and next aren’t to your taste, this one might be. Based on a true story that took place in India, Scoop is based on Jigna Vora’s biographical memoir Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison and follows the real-life story of Jigna Vora who was accused of murder of a fellow reporter and Vora becomes the prime suspect in the crime. The events began in 2011 with the murder and subsequent unjust imprisonment of Vora. Have a look at the trailer below and watch the 6-part series on Netflix now.


Officially it feels as though the holiday season in the states has begun as Bend area students are now on their Thanksgiving week-long holiday break and everyone begins to step into Thanksgiving travel and preparations before them (and perhaps simultaneously) gearing up for all of the other winter holidays that follow.

However, I am taking a slower approach as I will be staying home for Thanksgiving this year and savoring cooking some trusted as well as new recipes, some of which I will be finding this weekend in a cozying-in with piles of cookbooks as I make my final menu. As well, there is a full week of posts and episodes next week on the blog, including the annual Holiday cooking show episode where this year I will take you to bake with me in the English countryside. I cannot wait to share with you this episode, so look for it to go live on the blog this Thanksgiving afternoon – Thursday November 23rd.

With preparations for heading out into the snow when it arrives, which should be soon! (we are all in anticipation as captured here in the pic – although this is merely N & N asking to go outside ☺️), all is set for the pups (coats and booties are acquired and fitted!), as well as our (my) passes purchased – I just purchase the $30 sno-park pass that gives me access all-season to the many cross country skiing and snow-shoe trail parks, and the skis are waxed, we wait with giddy eagerness of the winter season to commence here in Bend. After all, I just read in the WSJ that our Mt. Bachelor was ranked #5 in top ski resorts in the states. Why? Because of the beer. Oh well, not for me – the beer nor the alpine skiing – but that was quite cool! And speaking of Norman and Nelle, this weekend is groom weekend, so I will be doing my best to get them ship-shape for the winter weather ahead, as well as looking their best (yep! I am their groomer). ☺️

And before I sign off, another film, one I mentioned a couple This & That’s ago, that I highly recommend you going to watch if you are going to be seeing films this holiday season, is What Happens Later with Meg Ryan and David Duchovny. I popped in to watch a matinee showing of it this week and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be writing about it in December, but in the meantime, go watch. It is unique, it is a romance, not a rom-com and I loved it, and I think Nora Ephron would as well, to whom the film is dedicated.

Okay, now to the weekend! Wishing you a delicious Thanksgiving and until Monday, bonne journée !


~Oh, goodness, this home tour of an Arts & Crafts house in Putney is full of inspiration and so soothing. [House & Garden UK]

~Thoroughly enjoyed this article – How dogs help us to lead longer, healthier lives [WSJ]

~The importance of communication and critical thinking and how humanities majors in college are priceless to learn these skills no matter what job you find after university. [The NYTimes, gift link]

~The first-ever female head chef at the Ritz Paris, Eugénie Béziat shares where she eats on her days off [Vogue]

~10 Christmas markets in London worth visiting during the holiday season [CN Traveler]

~Hiking Scotland’s Cairngorms, U.K.s biggest national park, and where the royals have roamed [Afar]

~Thank you TSLL member Rona for sharing this article – Why high quality clothes can break the psychology of fast fashion [WP]

~10 European-style Christmas markets in the U.S. [Travel + Leisure]

~From Paris to Normandy – A guide to the ideal road trip around Normandy [Frenchly]

~5 things to know about French pâtisserie [The Local]

~Olivia Colman covers December’s issue of Vogue UK and shares a fun profile piece about fame (and why it’s embarrassing) as well as much more.

~Thanksgiving in Paris: Shop Likę a Chef [Hip Paris]

~10 Terrific Turkey recipes from around the world [Saveur]

~And because yesterday (I wrote this post before I sat down to savor the first, maybe two or three, episodes of Julia on Thursday evening) kicked off the delicious second season of Max’s series centered around Julia Child and began in France of all places, an article to read – Julia Child’s dishes shouldn’t look like food porn [Vanity Fair]


~And for all you Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis and Lady Gaga and well, just great music fans, here is a duet you may enjoy . . . (be sure to watch Sudeikis when he is in the shadows in the background while Waddingham sings her first stanza).

~Please note: TSLL is supported by you, readers who take the time to stop by (merci!), peruse and sometimes welcome into your life mentioned and recommended finds. Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL when you purchase. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here.

16 thoughts on “This & That: November 17, 2023

  1. Once again, you have managed to find the best of the best. I look forward to this post each week and open it as soon as I get to work on Friday morning. I have already reserved The Helsinki Project from my library and have added it to my Christmas list for my daughters. Thank you for your extraordinary content each week and for making my life simpler and more luxurious. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Thank you VERY much for your kind words about this regular weekly posting. It truly is a pleasure to compile and what makes it even more enjoyable is knowing readers like yourself look forward to it and enjoy it. 😌 Wishing you a wonderful day at work and a happy weekend. 💛

  2. Today I am at my usual café, but instead of my standard beverage, I am trying something new…a London Fog. Seems fitting on this wonderfully dreary day.

    I am very much looking forward to Hannah Waddingham’s Christmas Special. Her role as Rebecca in Ted Lasso is the prime example of a breakout role, although she has had an extensive career in film, television, and theater. What a marvelous voice
    and she slayed Shallow! It should make a great kick-off to the holiday season. I recently saw Dame Judi in an interview and loved her choice of book title. Very fitting for such an esteemed Shakespearean actress. Next Goal Wins looks like an enjoyable film with such a creative trailer.

    The Jardins du Monde Green Pitcher is quite the stunner.

    Months and months ago, you shared a Sezane Jute Tote that I bookmarked with the hope of purchasing, however, other things always took precedence. Well, I ordered that tote today to celebrate my new promotion. I cannot wait to receive it and carry it in on my first day. Thank you, Shannon, for always sharing the best items on This & That. Sometimes it may take a while, but slowly I have been adding an item here and there to curate this simply luxurious life that we are all here for.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! It may sound a little cheesy, but I am thankful for you and all of your content here on the blog, the cooking show, and the podcast.


    1. Michelle,

      Thank you very much for stopping by and I am grateful for you, your comments, such as your reflections on what spoke to you on the This & That and your courage to be vulnerable and introduce yourself regularly to TSLL community. And oh my goodness, most importantly, congratulations on your promotion! That is wonderful! Cheers and Santé! Tickled and so very happy for you and a wonderful idea to celebrate with the tote. I do love that one. 🙂
      Wishing you a delicious Thanksgiving and giving us all a taste of your weekly ritual. It sounds quite cozy today. xo

  3. Shannon, there’s so much to enjoy here. I shall be dipping in further over the weekend. Have a lovely Thanksgiving next week and can’t wait to see what you choose to make. Ear scratches to N and N. X

  4. Shannon, what an incredible list of amazing finds and wonderful readings, above and beyond on this T&T!
    I very much concur with Gleiser’s thesis, his book is a must-read and is now on the list for Santa. The Helsinki Affair sounds fun, and Zweig’s book sounds like it could be a lovely wander through a glittering time in Europe. Dame Judi Dench’s book is DEFINIELY going on Santa’s list. I recently watched a YouTube clip of her on The Graham Norton show, gifting the audience with a stunning sonnet, all of course by heart. I love her and also have a thing for Shakespeare(most of my MFA work involved the Bard in some aspect or another, so this one is a must and will be such a joy. Maestro, Napoleon, the Troisgros documentary(I was mesmerised), all a resounding YES.
    And wow, thank you thank you thank you for finding Jo Malone’s Fluentish! It’s one of those where-have-you-been-all-my-life things!! So many lovely reads, so many sales! (Love those PJs, so very elegant…) Have fun out on the ski trails with the pups–can’t wait to see them all cozily bundled up! And so happy you found your scarf!😊xx

    1. Rona,

      Thank you for stopping by! Doesn’t The Helsinki Affair sounds like a great story?! I am intrigued as well. 🙂 And speaking of Judi Dench’s book, the FT recently included it on its list of books to read from 2023. I have a strong suspicion, abased on what you have shared, you will enjoy it immensely. 🙂 And Thank you for sharing about the YT clip. Have a great week!

  5. Hi Shannon…I love This & That and never miss it. I’m really thinking about the fleece pants from Sweaty Betty, but I’m 6feet tall and all leg, so I’m concerned about the inseam. I know you’re tall too…can you speak to the length on you? Thanks! Lenoir

    1. Lenoir,

      An understandable question. So, I am 5’11”, a lot of leg on me as well. I wear the 29″ inseam they offer and while it doesn’t touch my ankle directly, it is very close – mms – and is comfortable for me (and I am not someone enjoys a crop). I wear ankle socks with my shoes, so this fall when it was still warm, about an inch or so of skin showed around my ankle, so with the fleece version (which I did order a pair with their sale and will let you know how it goes – they felt amazing in the store when I saw them in London), I will be either wearing them around the house or with snow boots, so the length, for me, will work as any exposed skin will be covered when I am outdoors. I hope this helped somewhat. Style-wise, I love the silhouette – not too baggy and offers a nice silhouette without being skin-tight. Thank you fro stopping by. I appreciate your inquiry speaking as another tall person. 🙂

      1. Well thanks for that comprehensive reply! Great info. I think I’m going to bite. But what’s your opinion on Med vs Lg? I’m 135 lb. Normally I’d just SWAG it but since it’s coming from the UK I’d rather get it right the first time 🙂 Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

From TSLL Archives
Updated British Week 1.jpg
Updated French Week 2.jpg