Monday, October 21, 2019

The Cafeteria

Lots of domesticity yesterday. I cleaned the apartment in the morning, including moving our potted plants from around the back door and cleaning the floors beneath them. (I usually just vacuum around them.) I did laundry, changed the bedsheets, and took some clothes to the cleaners. I took care of all the orchids, and it looks like the christmas cactus cuttings are going to bloom -- even though I planted them just a month ago! Do they even have roots yet?

By lunchtime, Olga was quivering with excitement -- as she does when she's anticipating a walk. So I had a quick sandwich and took her for a long romp on Hampstead Heath. Apparently Hampstead has been invaded by giant spiders!

We saw this handsome creature, resplendent in a fancy canine union suit. Olga wasn't jealous, though. She's more of an au naturel kind of gal.

I hauled my heavy camera with me, but I took only a handful of pictures. I was too into the walking, I guess. I also found an old R. White's lemonade bottle -- not too old, probably from the era of the famous "I'm a secret lemonade drinker" commercial. I brought it home and added it to the windowsill collection.

Some of you asked whether I saw fellow blogger Mr. Pudding on the Brexit march on Saturday. The answer is no, although I've never met Mr. P and frankly he might have walked right past without my realizing it. I took this photo with him in mind:

Are you among this group, Mr. P? I'll feel silly if you are -- although I don't see your sign, either. Maybe you weren't marching with other Sheffielders.

After Saturday's march, I went to an event with a colleague from work. The former Conde Nast magazine editor Nicholas Coleridge (a relative of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, apparently) has written a book about his publishing adventures called "The Glossy Years," and I went down to Stockwell in South London, where he was speaking at a local church. I thought it might be fun to hear some industry gossip, as well as his thoughts on the future of magazines. I bought his book afterwards, and as he signed it, I told him I used to work right across Times Square from the Conde Nast building in New York.

"You had a legendary cafeteria!" I said.

"Yes, Frank Gehry," he said, naming its architect. (It really was a hot spot in the early aughts, although Conde Nast is no longer in that building. Apparently the cafeteria now serves lawyers and techies. I never got to go there myself.)

Anyway, in the moment that we spoke, that was the cleverest thing I could come up with to say to him. Better than nothing, I suppose.


  1. Nope! I never spotted that Sheffield banner. I travelled independently to The People's March and marched alone - but in the company of a million others. I know there were a million because I counted them all - 1,000,053 to be precise - not including the cops.

  2. Christmas cactus may be the most hardy succulent on the planet.
    That French poodle is a sight! Can you imagine wrestling the dog into that outfit?
    You are certainly living a busy life right now.
    And I think your line to the author was perfect.

  3. That Poodle Is Too Cute - Fabulous Spider For Sure - Enjoy The Rest Of The Week


  4. I want to know how that dog is supposed to go to the bathroom.

  5. Now I thought the first photo with the spider was the cafeteria. I got it all together by the end of the post.

  6. That dog photo is perfect. She/he looks so haughty. I wonder if that dog marched in the EU march. It's certainly dressed for it.

  7. That poodle is the most elegant dog I have ever seen! But I wonder if it is allowed to get dirty!

  8. That huge spider is certainly creepy. And I love that doggie outfit. My little guy has a huge wardrobe of sweaters, shirts and coats. He doesn't mind getting all dressed up to go out. Actually, the clothes help to keep him warm. He's tiny and old, and losing lots of his hair. I could use some of your energy! Wowsie, you got a lot done before lunch time. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

  9. Nice to get all the chores done but it would take me a week of Sundays to get all that done good on you Steve. Before I put on my glasses I thought the spider was a hazard of electrical wires teach me to keep them on I might miss something.

    I think Olga probably has much more fun on her outings than the Poodle.

  10. First, thanks for pointing out my error with Grits and Tories, Steve - full explanation in my reply to your comment at my blog. I really do know the difference, lol

    That poodle is stylin'!! And I should get another Christmas cactus sometime. Our cat that went to live with our son ate the first one.

  11. I'm so glad you participated in the march! And Ellen is right (although I didn't think of it myself) - I wonder how that dog DOES go to the bathroom?

  12. That poodle picture made me laugh. But then, I always laugh at poodles. They're such silly creatures. Yes, it's always difficult to think what to say to a "celebrity" when you only have a few seconds of their life. I had a couple of books signed by Carl Hiaasen (a Florida writer!) and all I could think to say was something about him not looking his age.

  13. YP: OK, good to know I'm not completely clueless. I'd be embarrassed if I was looking right at you but didn't recognize you!

    Ms Moon: Ha! It's hard enough to get Olga into her collar!

    Padre: The poodle is cute, and also a hoot. (There's a poem in there somewhere.)

    Ellen: Although the onesie comes up the back legs, it's open in the middle rear, so the area between the back legs and the base of the tail is exposed.

    Red: Ha! Sorry for the confusion!

    Sharon: It IS the perfect color for the EU march!

    Sarah: It didn't seem to WANT to get dirty.

    Edna: Somehow, I would have guessed that Pogo has an assortment of outfits!

    Comox: Ha! It IS a very wiry spider.

    Jenny-O: Ah, I haven't seen your response yet! I'll check it out. What is it with cats and plants?!

    Bug: See above! There's an opening in the dog suit.

    Catalyst: Poodles ARE inherently funny. At least you complimented Hiaasen. He was probably happy with that!

  14. A morning of domesticity and a walk with the dog and finding a bottle treasure sounds like a really good day to me. Cheers!