There is a private place where I can slip away into another world.  It restores my soul and brings me joy.   It allows me to collect my thoughts, write, dream  and face each day with strength and resilience.    Virginia Woolf called it  A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN.

I’ve been thinking about angels.  A flicker of movement in the corner of my eye.  I turn quickly.  Nothing.  But I know it is an angel.  My angel.

I think about the music my angel would listen to.    Beethoven’s Moon Light Sonata,   a love song without words.   Cohen’s Hallelujah,  over and over again.   The final chorus of angels from Gounod’s Faust.

My angel likes her wine decanted .  Wine from a bottle dusted with age and filled with grace.  She was there when the grapes were planted.  The vineyard at  least a hundred years old.    But my darlings this angel like most angels  is much, much older .

There are over 129,000,000 books in the world.   My angel has read all of them.  She is re- reading  Dickens’s   A TALE OF TWO CITIES.  She likes Dickens.   I know a Christmas Carol would be more appropriate in keeping with the season but this angel considers   Dickens important for our present time.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredibility, it was the season of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Oh dear! Of all the books in this wide world why is my angel reading this book.   I certainly didn’t intend to take my angel back to 1859.   A TALE OF TWO CITIES  ends badly for many BUT  there is a sense of optimism in Dickens’s last words.

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done;  it is a far, far, better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

There is a strong sense of optimism in Dickens’s final words in TALE OF TWO CITIES.  We must take heart and take care – of ourselves and our fellow man.

The idea of my  wine sipping, music loving  angel makes me smile with delight.    At night when the skies are black and the stars are sharp as ice I catch a flash of white and the strains of  music . . Hallelujah  Hallelujah  Hallelujah.  Thank you, Angel.




ON KEEPING A JOURNAL – with advice from Virginia Woolf




I am a keeper of journals.

Scribbled  with secret thoughts.

Faded photographs.

Demanding lists.

Thoughts and bits and pieces of my life.

Cherished Letters.

Empty envelopes.

Even a pressed flower to remember a summer day.

Virginia Woolf kept diaries – more than thirty-two marble patterned notebooks.   Her diaries –  one of the most complete records of an exceptional writer.

“What sort of diary should I like mine to be?  Something loose knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace any thing, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind.

I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking.

I should like to come back, after a year or two and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work or art.

The main requisite, I think, on readying my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write a the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.”

(written April 1919)


Sometimes I call it my atelier.  Other days it is my sewing room.  It is the place I go to create.   Every woman should have a “a room of one’s own”.      Virginia Woolf ‘s quote actually referred  to personal liberty to create art.  She said “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”.

Today  women  need a sanctuary.  It could be a sewing room, a potting shed, a corner of a kitchen,  a personal space for herself.  A place where she can nurture her body, mind, and spirit.

I love making  my own greeting cards.  And I love all things French.  These are two cards I made the other day.  They were for much-loved friends.

This card is called BIRD HAIR DAY.

I made this card for the most elegant and sophisticated woman I know.  She is French, 92 years old, and has a rapier wit.