Monday, November 3, 2014

Professor of Chinoiserie

It has been a difficult week, in which I experienced a bout of post-new-curtain slump: the listlessness of one for whom the thrill of the chase is over when the new curtains are finally hanging on a double old ivory rail with button finials. I have been morose and taciturn, a constant visitor to the jar of glacé cherries for my nerves.



Did I tell you about the few years I spent running a café after I ceased to be a Banking Mogul? There was a dear little square room at the very back, past the kitchens, where dry goods were stored. Valrhona chocolate chips, glacé cherries, and so forth. Things often go wrong in the café business.  When the chef got arrested, when the road collapsed, when the replacement chef was beaten up, I used to retire to that little room and idly eat cherries until I felt better. To this day a glacé cherry will help me through a tedious conversation about someone else's problems, or a tax return.  

But when God closes one set of curtains He opens another. I have been just offered a new post as Professor of Chinoiserie, and am planning to set the higher mathematics aside to devote myself wholly to that area. How well dear Dr Ada knows me and my unending quest for the perfect toile. 




This is the one that has been on my mind, River Song from Brunswig et Fils.  It will be just the thing for a little sit down when my visitors flit back from the immaculate croquet lawn for their fortune cookies and lapsang suchong.






My sister has sent me some jam from England for our global breakfasting needs here in the pretty far west, where quinces are unknown.  What a joy it was to receive an unexpected package after being out of the giveaway loop for so long.

You will note (top right) how few glacé cherries remain in their jar. Yes, with the curtains, with the flu, with Scottish Husband discovering Buddhism and Pinterest, it has certainly been a difficult week.




31 comments:

  1. Those curtains are very pretty....shame you are having a lull....I have to say, I can't stand glacè cherries.....I would go for plain choc chips instead!!! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you, a baker, Niki, shunning the glacé cherry; what treachery is this?

      Delete
  2. Dear Mise,
    the enlightenment from your husband's way to the Tao will spread (into your soul and not anywhere else as too many cherries glacées might do) - as I, a practising Taoist, can prophesy. (My husband is neither Taoist nor cherry-fixed, but - believe it or not - he is a professor. Oh, I deviate).
    I not only planted a quince (pear-shaped form) - which is the ideal tree: beautiful flowers, lovely leaves, grand fruits each year (though hard to work through), I am also a jelly-maker, and for my quinces in Armagnac (added to walnut-icecream) people come a long way - though after tucking in they might stagger on your perfect croquet lawn).
    Interesting to meet a Banking-Mogul!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are way ahead of me in sophistication, dear Brigitta, with the quinces in Armagnac and walnut ice cream. I too will practise Taoism if it brings me your grace.

      Delete
  3. Well thank heavens for the solace of quince jelly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, and my jar makes me feel a kinship with you, Sue.

      Delete
  4. Poor you! Post new curtain slump must be pretty devastating and I'm sure I would really empathise if I had been able to stretch to new curtains any time recently. Now, the flu I can certainly go with that one (plus dental disasters pretty much at hallowe'en pumpkin proportions). Hope you have a better week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies


    1. My slump wasn't really a post-curtain one, Marianne, but one mustn't tell the truth on the big old Internet. I do hope the dental disasters have receded and all is well with you. May you win a cushion.

      Delete
  5. Bugger the glacé cherries Mise ….. I would go straight for the Blue Sapphire or the Hendricks after such a demanding week !! XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is that very élan that makes you a Duchess of Blogtopia, Jacqueline, while I with my glacé cherries am a mere footsoldier.

      Delete
  6. Buddhism AND Pinterest, is that wise? I worked in a casino once where the manager got arrested. It was cause for much celebration, the cherries were in glasses of champagne as I recall. Indeed, it occurs to me they're suitable for almost any occasion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With such an open and flexible outlook as yours, CJ, I would not be surprised if some very senior people were striding purposefully toward your office door right now, ready to promote you. And rightly so.

      Delete
  7. Well just knock that Buddhist interest in Pinterest on the head for a start. The irresponsible lout.

    How strange - I too seek solace in glace cherries, and I put this down to my mother always sending me away with a Cherry Madeira cake when I went back from a visit.

    She thought that she was improving things when she learned that in order to stop the cherries all sinking to the bottom during baking, you dust them with flour, but what I really liked was the rich seam of cherries to be found in the bottom two inches. Sigh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to know we are comrades in fruit, Tom.

      Delete
  8. Dear Mise

    With a well stocked pantry, such as yours, you are well able to handle any disaster. Glace cherries over that green bottle with the red seal reveals great will power. Congratulations on your new appointment. Dr Ada made a wise and flowery decision.

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only yourself and the Hattatts were members of the United Nations Security Council, Helen, the world would be a better place. Sometimes people just need to say the right thing, kindly, just like you.

      Delete
    2. So perceptive of you, dear Helen. Tell me, are you, or have you ever been, a student of mine? Eternally yours, Dr A.

      PS. When I was one of the P5 (doing my little bit in that confusing interregnum between Soviet Union and Russian Federation), the Security Council chamber was terribly drab. All vulgar flags and brown leather and vol-au-vent crumbs. How different the world would look now if a Professor of Chinoiserie had been to hand.

      Delete
  9. Mise, it's grand to learn of your academic appointment. (I'd definitely vouch for your talent at conveying information, and for research, too.)

    Ah, those curtains look very good with the sunlight passing them by. I'll confess that when I read about your chinoiserie curtains being hung on ivory rails, I gave a glance to a corner of the not at all very large room where I now sit, to look at a curtain rail that my late Father made for me ages ago, when I actually had curtains to hang.

    I keep that wooden device resting there in the corner of what I call my living room. I also have some furniture that Daddy made for me, Good memories.

    I'll quickly hop to glace cherries, and my realization that I do not have any hereabouts. I like the idea of having some in store. I also like the idea of having a hint of your past life. I've got a few twisty turns of my own.

    Mise, this amazing outlined box just seems to continue to accept all these rambling words that I type. I don't think that means that they are all worht reading...so I'll click off now.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must show us that furniture one day, Frances. Handmade and well-used must make it lovely and precious. Could you hang a pretty length of cloth on the rail on a blank wall, instead of a picture?

      Delete
  10. Dear Professor
    Sorry to hear all is not well in Wonderland - buck up - all is not lost. As for your glace cherry addiction - I suggest you see a doctor - I presume you do have doctors in the far west.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Elaine, no doctors. Such is our postcolonial lot.

      Delete
  11. Dear Mise, It sounds like you are accomplishing so much; however I know that with that can come much stress.The curtains are gorgeous, I love the pattern you chose. I love Chinoiserie of course.
    I agree with Jacqueline in adding a good strong drink (perhaps a Cosmo) with the cherries glace!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Karena, for your nicest of comments.

      Delete
  12. I love the curtains with the birds and roses--are they yours? An antidote to bleak winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have always admired your taste, Jen. They are 100% mine.

      Delete
  13. How do you feel about multi-coloured Provençal cherries? I was asked this once in a Myers Briggs test. On a separate matter - did I ever tell you that Jonathan Ross sang 'Lucille' down the telephone to me on live radio?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so looking forward to your next two posts, Lucille, which I hope will comprise your test results and the audio recording of 'Lucille'. I fancy myself as a Mastermind Fieldmarshal, but I suspect you are more of an Architect Composer.

      Delete
    2. You are ahead of me of course and regretfully I must scratch that scheduled post as the test showed me as Predictable Narcissist.

      Delete
    3. No no, Lucille, and no no no: you are among the nicest people of all.

      Delete
  14. And how clever of a certain French jam maker to give us jars that are worth keeping. I've stopped counting how many we have..... mostly filled with edibles, but many with keys, buttons, or even string.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pleased that you're a fellow fan of the jars, Cro.

      Delete

You're looking particularly well.

Following Options:

      Follow on Bloglovin       follow us in feedly
Related Posts with Thumbnails