Prickly Pals and What I Wore

standing in our garden
We have been staying in our casita for almost two weeks. The weather has been very pleasant (averaging in the low 70's Fahrenheit) and with only one rain storm. In Tucson, there are 350 days of sunshine. Hummingbirds visit our bougainvillaea and yesterday I saw a bright red cardinal as I took out the garbage. The rain made  palo verde trees even greener. Unfortunately, as I was posing for this photo, I was stuck by the jumping cholla.
The cholla babies stick on to you if you get near them.
Monsieur and I both found small chollas stuck to our shoes. I was very glad that I was wearing long pants and my Bernie Mev shoes. I have worn these blue-grey Mary Janes all over the Caribbean and the desert. I have my Josef Seibel sandals for other occasions but I really prefer a closed shoe for exploring.There is better support and much more protection for the feet.

During the trip, I have worn the same articles of clothing repeatedly. I bought my blue/grey Mint Velvet top at the House of Fraser in London in the spring. It's light, lined and the right colours for my new wardrobe. I probably won't be in Britain in the coming year so I may have to rely on the House of Fraser website. I would certainly prefer to shop locally but the selection for "mature women of traditional build" is just not there.

Speaking of maturity, I have a new favourite show Last Tango in Halifax. The BBC series is set in West Yorkshire and is the tale of two septuagenarians who rediscover each other on Facebook after having missed a meeting 60 years before. The couple, played by Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid, each come with an assortment of children, in-laws, friends and grandkids.  The situations are darkly humorous and sometimes bring tears to my eyes.

Desert time for Monsieur and me is reading time. I have finished most of the books that I bought at Bookman's and my favourite was The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. The protagonist, Tony, a character in his middle 60's recounts his life in two parts. After reading Part One, which outlined Tony's student days, his first relationship and his marriage and divorce, I wondered what the second part could be about. "It had all been said" but an unlikely inheritance and a revisitation in Part Two caused me to wonder if "Tony ever got it" or indeed if any of us really understand the events of our lives.

"History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation" is a quotation  that is one of the major themes this short novel. I'll keep thinking about that one!

I have been thinking a lot during my desert time and a lot of my thoughts deal with ageing and finding meaning at the later stages of life. This morning, I especially enjoyed The Hostess's blog about role models and ageing. In looking at our own lives and those of others, real and fictional, (maybe there is only fictional), hopefully we can live our later years with intelligence and self-awareness.


  1. Madame,

    You look wonderful in blue-grey! The color is perfect with you hair color and eyes.
    I too enjoyed Last Tango in Halifax but As Time Goes By is still my all time favorite. I have watched the series many times and never tire of it.
    I highly recommend Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. I think you would enjoy this book. It explains a lot about people. It think every educator should read it I will look at students differently from now on.
    Recently I met a seventy-five year old woman who lives by herself, on 60 acres, in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado. Her property backs up to open space and a National Forest so it is rather remote. Her daughter, an architect, build her a small house designed to withstand forest fires. It is charming with a two story wall for books most of which are about philosophy. She lives very simply and by living on mostly beans and rice is about to pay off her mortgage after just a couple of years. Although I would not choose to live likes she lives, she is delightful and I am so glad I met her. She has a background in engineering and music. A few days ago, we took lunch and went for a visit. She entertained us well. I love older women with stories to tell. I want to hear more.

    1. Last Tango reminded me of As Time Goes By but grittier. I listened to the TED talk about The Power of Introverts but I will reserve the book at the library when I go home. It is very interesting how as we grow older, we need less interaction with others. I think of Georgia O'Keeffe and how she spent those years in the desert. I wonder if she kept a journal.

  2. The blue grey colour suits you perfectly! It's difficult to find exactly the type of clothes one envisions. I've not heard of House of Fraser but will be checking it out.
    Sounds like you've had a lovely, relaxing stay in the desert. Time to read is so precious.

    1. Thank you. Reading time is indeed precious! I have lost track of all the books that I have read but perhaps in the New Year I will start to keep a list. House of Fraser has a greater selection of "mature" daily wear clothing than any other store that I have visited.

  3. You look so lovely in blues and greys...I think your hair is beautiful and I am loving the curl.
    I've heard of those pesky bugs and I'd be tempted to wear gum boots as I am really not fond of creepy insects or scorpions!
    Thank you for the shout out and I am happy to hear you enjoyed today's post.
    BTW I mailed your parcel and it should be there when you get home.
    Have a safe trip.

    1. Thank you. Wash and scrunch hair is perfect. Gum boots are really not such a bad idea! It will be lovely to have a special package to come home to. I also have my Louise Penny reserve to pick up at the library. A cup of tea and a good mystery, what more could I want?

  4. What a clear demonstration that you've found your palette! Those colours are wonderful on you as is your hair!
    Soak up that sun and heat -- we're settling in for a series of heavy rain and windstorms scheduled to roll in, one after another, this week. . . . 'tis the season!

    1. I am pleased with my palette but my wardrobe still needs a lot of purging. A good project for rainy days. I wonder if I can deal with rain and gigs and expectations with equanimity…That would be a feat to master. It definitely is the rainy season but we're only 2 weeks from the solstice and before we know it, we'll be looking for snowdrops again. How quickly time passes!


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