Maria's Blog

October Literary Lunches

September 26, 2017

I'm very excited about our upcoming lunches in early October, two fabulous books that look at different aspects of motherhood. Shanti Sekaran's Lucky Boy and Britt Bennett's The Mothers are sure to be book club favorites over the next couple of years ...there's so much to discuss.

Hurricane Relief, Sebastian Barry, and Project Second Chance

September 19, 2017

This time last week we were horrified by the damage caused from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and now Hurricane Maria is following in their wake and causing havoc too. We started a simple donation jar on the counter next to our resident fish Splotch, and as always you have been so generous...over $100 raised in the first week! We'll continue throughout September and Danny and I will match penny for penny. One customer came in and dropped off all their loose change from a massive jar at home (complete with wine corks and paper clips) we haven't totted it all up yet but every cent counts. Thank you so much. And if anyone knows which nonprofit we should send our check to at the end of the month I would welcome some advice!

Helping Victims of Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

September 12, 2017

I had all sorts of things to talk about tonight... the peculiar anomaly of enjoying reading harrowing books for one: My Absolute Darling (which I thought was incredible) is one in case, and my sister-in-law Louise, arriving tomorrow from England with my brother, asked if the store had a copy of Bastard out of Carolina because her book club back in the UK were reading it next, is another I remember.

Heat Wave

September 5, 2017

My mum hated the heat. When we were little and took our annual two-week summer holiday in Spain or France or Greece, she was the one on the beach under an umbrella and covered in a towel from head to foot. Later, after my dad had been on a business trip to the Middle East she donned a keffiyeh, even at restaurants and cafes.

Between Seasons

August 29, 2017

What a strange time of year...The weather is hot now, the kids have all gone back to school, the South is experiencing a devastating hurricane unlike any other, and the store feels peculiarly quiet. I was thinking about my dad yesterday. We were all back in the UK celebrating his 80th birthday in a rented house in Tideswell, Derbyshire when Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005. At the time, as we stared at the devastation on the TV, it seemed like a complete one-off...


August 22, 2017

Anticipation is often more exciting than the actual thing and certainly the build up to the eclipse reached almost fever pitch at the weekend with lots of customers coming in to the store asking whether we were selling the special glasses.

Good Reads

August 8, 2017

I am in the middle of a great reading frenzy! Everything I have read recently (or listened to - I am doing a lot of driving back and forth to Carmel Valley) has been fabulous.

I Remember

July 24, 2017

Danny and I were listening to music with our dinner tonight, we do most evenings... but this evening we were listening to an old playlist from the 80s... and every track that came on took me back to a particular night, to a particular room, in a particular town... and to a particular face. The very sound of each song triggered so many memories.

Faded Photograph

July 10, 2017

An old black and white family photograph came to mind this week. It was taken by my dad just as we were setting off on our annual summer holiday in 1966. We are all standing next to the car, my mum, my three brothers (Ian 12, Malcolm 10, and Simon 8) my little sister Sarah who was 2 and had mumps(!), and me 6. I can picture my dad peering down into his twin lens Yashica camera with its pop up viewer. Sometimes, if there was a handy ledge on which to place the camera, he would set a timer and run to join us, but in this picture we are on the steep driveway, and no doubt very close to his ETD (expected time of departure) with no time for messing about. Dad liked his acronyms.