Oh my, the autumn season of entertainment begins, and that means this week’s This & That is FULL! Viola Davis stars in a film that tells a true story not to be missed, a light-hearted, farcical caper film set in mid-20th century London with an all-star cast, books about travel and why we love it so, a third book in a much-enjoyed caper series, vintage French finds from a friend of TSLL who calls south France their home!, tips for decorating with white through the seasons from the expert on the subject, three fall capsule wardrobe stellar finds and one summer beauty that is 50% off from a trusted British brand, a handy and sturdy tool for gardeners, an award-winning comedy series returns as does a new series that may just get you laughing based on the veteran cast, and still, there is more!
—The Bullet that Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery (book #3) by Richard Osman
A copy of Richard Osman’s next book in his much enjoyed cozy mystery series is en route to my house and I cannot wait to read his smart, fun caper. Being released this coming Tuesday, if you too enjoyed the previous two you might want to put this new title on your reading list. 🙂
—Murder on the Vine: A Tuscan mystery by Camilla Trinchieri, book 3 or 3
This time, the caper is set in Tuscany, and as I know many of you love Italy, I wanted to bring this new title to your attention. Set in late October on a “Sunday morning in Gravigna, local maresciallo Perillo is having breakfast with ex-NYPD detective Nico Doyle when he is called back to the station in Greve. Laura Benati, the young manager of Hotel Bella Vista, is worried—her bartender and good friend eighty-year-old Cesare Costanzi has been missing for three days”. Let the sleuthing begin!
Being released this coming Tuesday, the 20th, The Secret Lives of Royal Women “[d]ives into the fascinating history of Hawaii’s only ever Queen: Liliuokalani, the story of Lady Jane Grey who was dethroned by Mary Queen of Scots, and learn more about Queen Elizabeth who Adolf Hitler called ‘the most dangerous woman in Europe.’” I’d take that last descriptor as compliment knowing how admired and respected Queen Elizabeth was.
—Why We Travel: 100 Reasons to See the World by Patricia Schultz
Also being released this coming Tuesday is a travel book to remind you why we love to venture beyond what we know. From best selling author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, Why We Travel is “filled with personal stories and anecdotes, quotes that inspire, and reasons to motivate–plus images so lush you can’t wait to be there. For years Patricia Schultz has been telling us where to travel, and we love listening. Now, in telling us why to travel, she reveals what makes her such a compelling guide and what makes travel such a richly rewarding experience.”
High quality sweaters are worth investing in, and British luxury sweater company NavyGrey is a brand to trust. With free international shipping for orders over $250, this oversized sweater is in limited supply, and it is a classic to keep you warm and stylish for many years to come.
I am most looking forward to watching this new film starring Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, David Oyelowo, Sam Rockwell and many others in a story set “in the West End of 1950s London. Plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered.” But this isn’t just any caper, there is a bit of hilarity involved, and that is something I would love to watch to lighten up the movie-watching mood. Check out the trailer and see what I mean about tongue-in-cheek seriousness.
—The Art of Living with White: A Year of Inspiration by Chrissie Rucker
Released this past week and the second book in the series, following Chrissie Rucker’s first book For the Love of White (read this post where I share 10 Decor Tips from that book). The Art of Living with White “explores 10 inspirational homes that illustrate beautifully different ways to use white and neutrals through the seasons. The homes vary in size, style and location—from a minimalist city pied-à-terre to a New England-style country house—but what unites them all is the welcoming, stylish and calm feel that their owners have each created”. As well, Rucker “groups the houses into the four seasons and each chapter ends with a summary of seasonal rituals that will work in any home. A concluding chapter—Inspiration & Resources—considers finding your own style, how to create a good balance between work and home in interior spaces, the art of simple entertaining and the importance of scent and touch in a truly comfortable home.”
Opening today, exclusively in theaters and IMAX, “The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, The Woman King follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (academy award winner Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life.” Have a look at the trailer below, and be inspired.
—Paris Police 1900, MHzChoice (Season 1)
Premiering on MHzChoice on Tuesday September 20th, look for the first of eight episodes in this new French series, Paris Police, 1900. First premiering in France this past February, we here in the states now have the opportunity to watch what the New York Times has called one of the 40 Top Shows to watch this fall.
—Provence Avignon Dijon & Blue Tablecloth & Napkins, Couleur Nature
Something I continue to collect, and am only really just beginning, are tablecloths for all seasons to fit the décor in my home, and admittedly (and not surprisingly) I gravitate to French brands and prints. Couleur Nature’s new print Provence Avignon Dijon & Blue caught my attention as they look to be a color combination ideal for autumn. Shop the napkins here and the tablecloth here.
Hand-picked and sourced in France by the owners of Chez Pluie. Read TSLL’s profile piece on Susannah and Cameron who are living their dream in the south of France and finding treasures for all of us around the world. This vintage water pitcher dates from the 1960s and is from Vallauris. Originally used for water to serve with pastis. A lovely piece to add to a collection of vintage pottery. Express shipping to the US is only $29.
—The Apprehensive Gardener: Managing Gardening Plants by Griselda Kerr
I was recently introduced to Griselda Kerr when her garden was featured in the recent issue of The English Garden magazine. Upon learning more about her, I found her book The Apprehensive Gardener in which she dispenses oodles of tips and insights into what she learned over 20 years of gardening without a formal gardening education. If you read and view the profile piece, you will most definitely trust that she knows a thing or two about gardening successfully. 🙂
A gardening must-have for tying up rambling and climbing roses, securing strong wisteria vines and other stems is twine, and when I happening upon this handy stand that includes its own cutter so looking for a pair of scissors as well isn’t necessary, I took note. Perhaps this would be ideal for your gardening tasks as well.
—How to Grow the Flowers: A sustainable approach to enjoying flowerings through the seasons by Camila Romain and Marianne Mogendorff
While this book won’t be released in the states until February 21, 2023, this past week in the UK it just became available, so I wanted to share as TSLL has many readers in the UK. “Like the food revolution that focuses on provenance, locality, climate and sustainability, Camila and Marianne use these principles to address the flower market. With not much space, it is possible to use the flowers from your garden to decorate your home as well as giving bunches to friends and family instead of buying cellophane wrapped flowers from the shops that may have been covered in pesticides and travelled many miles to get to you.”
Love, love, love this coat, and I am fairly confident it won’t be available for long. Currently all sizes are available as this item is part of COS’s Fall ’22 collection. A neutral, yet an updated classic with the corduroy. Statement, but subdued. Yep, I am smitten.
Summer isn’t quite over, and even if this dress won’t be worn until next year, if you love it, it is available at an amazing price.
Upon reading a recent article by stylist Anna Berkeley in The Financial Times, she shared a handful of items that were worth investing in, and one was designer pairs jeans, and this season it is all about straight leg jeans, and one brand recommended was Slvrlake.
—Abbott Elementary, Season 2, ABC
The Emmy Awards were held this past Monday, and Abbott Elementary did quite well in bringing home the awards, deservedly so. Upon wining for best supporting actress in a comedy series, the song “Endangered Species” – a song originally performed by jazz icon Dianne Reeves (here is the interview with the singer and how she felt upon hearing her song on stage) – was sung on stage by actor Sheryl Lee Ralph with the Emmy award in hand (watch and listen to her speech here). Read about how Ralph’s acceptance speech may have been the ‘best acceptance speech’ ever.
The second season of the comedy series debuts this coming Thursday. Have a look at it below.
You likely have noticed over the past handful of years how many old series are being rebooted. Many don’t fare so well, but some have more success than their original go-round with a new audience and attention to tending to needed changes. A new series pokes fun at this trend in television, and Paul Reiser (who starred in Mad About You, of which yes, they attempted a reboot) is on the cast along with Johnny Knoxville, Keegan-Michael Key and Calum Worthy. Have a look at the trailer below, and watch the first three episodes on September 20th on Hulu.
Emerging. Strengthening. Becoming.
The image of the Fairway Spur dahlia just beginning to reveal its full beauty captured my awe earlier this week, and also gave me pause to remember that patience deepens our appreciation when we pursue what we know with clarity is the right direction for our journey. In large and small pursuits and explorations, whether in life passions or gardening, when we resist the desire to impulsively leap, purchase, make a sharp turn from our carefully planned trek, we actually sharpen our awareness of what draws our attention, what captures our curiosity and what will remain far longer in our lives. Granted, this dahlia won’t last more than a couple of weeks when it fully blooms, but the life lesson is presents, and these dahlias that were potted up back in early April, have most definitely been worth the wait for both their beauty and the lesson it tickled my mind with this week.
I hope this first full week of September has treated you well. Norman and I have been enjoying a regular pace in our routine which included stepping into the kitchen to tape two more episodes of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen as I just wasn’t happy with two I taped earlier this summer and wanted to share different recipes. The second episode of the cooking show for this season (season 5) will go live on the blog tomorrow, and this time, we will be going to Paris, so be sure to stop by for the occasion that inspired the recipe that looks complicated, but is so very simple to make (and scrumptious).
Of course, it is Friday the 16th and I have a feeling TSLL readers who live in the UK have already partaken in watching the first episode of The Great British Bake-Off (it aired this past Tuesday on Channel 4), and that is exactly what I will be doing tonight (premiering on Netflix here in the states). I cannot wait. Moving ahead to Monday, I will be sitting down in my office four hours each week to take my online French course with Alliance de Française. Having just received my Zoom link for the course, I have my books ready, and I am going back to school! (so to speak). Bon courage! I am telling myself. We’ll see how it goes, but I am confident I will definitely walk away knowing more and feeling more confident than I do now with the language.
Now to more than a few links to articles you might enjoy perusing this weekend. Thank you very much for stopping by today, and until tomorrow when I will meeting you in my kitchen, bonne journée!
~The special relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and France [Le Monde, English edition, subscription needed]
~On Thursday evening I took a walk around my neighborhood, clutching my Union Jack mug and taking a deep breath to process the news. One neighbor donned a Union Jack banner of flags across the front of their porch, and another, who had lived in London for a time expressed something that more than a few people I have conversed with over the past week expressed – Queen Elizabeth II’s death is a sad day, no matter how you feel about the monarchy, she will be missed. Here is a article to ponder as to why this may be a common refrain – Mourn the Queen, Not Her Empire [NYTIMES]
~Queen Elizabeth and Power That Transcends Politics [The French Press]
~Cash, Stamps and Flags: How royal symbols will now change [The Guardian]
~Two op-eds by royal biographer Tina Brown worth reading – Queen Elizabeth II Understood the Weight of the Crown and Queen Elizabeth II Embodied the Myth of the Good Monarch [NYTimes]
~The Financial Times‘ editor’s letter upon the breaking news of The Queen’s death is worth reading as well – The Grace, Humanity and Fortitude of Elizabeth II
~If you would like to send a message of condolence to the Royal Family, you can do so directly here.
~Did you know? Someone had to tell the bees of the Queen’s passing [NYTimes]
~Inside the gardens at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle [The English Garden]
~Understanding the difference and the relationship between Mindfulness and Meditation [Life Hack]
~The 10 Best roses to grow in your garden [The English Garden]
~How to create a more spacious life, in other words how to live a life full of moments you savor and are fully present [Zen Habits]
~How to better manage ‘information overload’ as an HSP [Highly Sensitive Refuge]
~How you think about aging impacts how you age [Positive Prescription]
~Say it isn’t so! A gentleman has retired from tennis – Roger Federer [NPR]
~But a new star who has demonstrated he too is a gentleman is going to be a treat to watch. Watching Carlos Alcarez over the past two weeks leading up to his first Grand Slam win was a treat. An outstanding athlete and sportsman. And this shot! Wow!
~And now a film, I cannot wait to watch, starring Lily James (and Emma Thompson plays her mother!). What’s Love Got to Do With It premieres on January 27, 2023 (I promise to include it on that future date in the This & That :)) Take a look at the trailer below.
~Explore last week’s This & That: September 9, 2022
As the British Commonwealth mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II along with Anglophiles around the world which includes TSLL and many of our readers, I have gathered up a handful of books on her life, as well as leaned into a more British-focused This & That this week. For comfort, the return of the 13th season of a beloved British baking show arrives in a matter of days; for beauty, a new favorite English rose is now available for gardeners in the states and its name is as lovely as its aesthetic; for nourishment, a new cookbook from a British writer; for time in Mother Nature, a partnership between British home decor designer Sophie Conran and William Sonoma is now available to peruse for exclusive gardening finds. As well, many more finds and items I wanted to share, and capsule wardrobe discoveries from one of my favorite British designers.