From a lovely note that I received by post today: If I could, I would spend every evening with you, dressed in gowns and sparkling all over... Yes, things do tend in that direction around here. Speaking of which, I'm starting to enjoy correspondence by mail almost as much as I've come to love winter, and for much the same reasons.
Things are slowing down work-wise, although I'll still be on the clock until Wednesday or so, and I'm enjoying the prospect of a few days spent at leisure. My tree is up and continues to be a delight. The decor is, as I noted in Germany (after seeing Nefertiti's bust), "Egyptian Revival, in homage to both the Arab Spring and Lord Carnarvon, funder of the discovery of Tut's tomb and former scion of the house beloved as Downton Abbey."
I'm grateful more than ever for the health and happiness of friends and family this season, and although economic realities have scaled back many of my desires (a return to Mayfair, et al), I have also learned more about the innate elegance of simple pleasures than I might have otherwise. My sentiments in this regard are best expressed by Gore Vidal, in Palimpsest, when he describes Edith Sitwell, "splendid companion" of the 1950s, quoting her: 'We shall have a red lunch. I have no money, you know. It all goes for lunch here.' She would not let me pay. The red lunch was always lobster and strawberries and a bottle apiece of red burgundy.