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.”
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.
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.”
The perfect stocking stuffer for your loved one who is learning a new language.
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.
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.
SHOP THE SITE:
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. 🙂
—SHOP THE SALE:
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).
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.
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.
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]
~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]
~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]
~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).