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Wallflower Dispatches + tumblr. = Jodhpurs & Sons

February 22nd, 2012 · No Comments · Jodhpurs, The Wallflower, Wallflowerdispatches · Print this page

Keeping up with blogging is hard enough in between doing the laundry, living in the real world and raising the piglets (1 and 2).

Nevertheless, Wallflower Dispatches has spawned a progeny on tumblr.!

Jodhpurs & Sons collates the photographs of all of Wallflower Dispatches’ “Jodhpurs Nr….” posts into one blog.

Watch out for new pictures and paintings of the elephant-eared lower garment in a never-ending celebration throughout the centuries.

“Jodhpurs Nr…” will continue as before on Wallflower Dispatches.

In the  meantime time, check out Jodhpurs & Sons now: http://jodhpursandsons.tumblr.com/ where you can follow daily updates.

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Jodhpurs Nr. 73 – Ralph Lauren/Rugby London Tweed Run 2011

February 21st, 2012 · No Comments · Jodhpurs · Print this page

Jodhpurs Nr. 74 by the winner “Most Dashing Dame” at the London Tweed Run organised by Rugby Ralph Lauren which took place on November 26th 2011. Participants gathered at the Rugby store in Covent Garden. A classic Tea Break was held in the grounds of Royal Avenue, Chelsea.

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Jodhpurs Nr. 72 – Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II)

February 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Jodhpurs · Print this page

Jodhpurs Nr. 72 by Queen Elizabeth II as Princess Elizabeth on 21st April 1939 in front of the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park on Princess Elizabeth’s 13th birthday.

Sixty years ago today, Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne to become Queen Elizabeth II following the death of her father, King George VI.

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The Charming Mountain Goat – Snow

February 2nd, 2012 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France · Print this page

Regardless of what will happen throughout the rest of the day, the last twenty-four hours will enter into the folklore of our village history.

Perhaps it will be known as “l’hiver de deux-mille douze”, maybe we will refer to it as “l’année de la grande neige”.

Outside our house next to the disused water fountain stands a small snowman of about a metre. The village is quiet because the snow that began falling yesterday around 1pm has grown to a height of about 30 centimetres and stayed.

Not only does it muffle the familiar noises of footsteps in the small alley ways, but has also arrested any traffic on the main road that leads to civilization which feels a little further away than it did a few hours ago.

The morning after the night of snowfall unfolded slowly. Most schools in the surrounding area were closed partly because there was an official “ban” on the circulation of public transport decided and pronounced by the préfecture of the Var.

At about 11 o’clock it seemed that everyone in the village had woken up and took a tour to drink in the unusual sight of our medieval Mediterranean enclave dressed in pure white.

Around the same time, the electricity failed. “Mais”, as Émile who we bumped into navigating the snow put it: “ça donne encore plus de charme à la situation.” He smiled like an excited child.

By 2 o’clock we were cooking rice on our Godin woodburning stove and began living on leftovers.

In the British Isles, the subject “weather” is a security blanket for avoiding any meaningful conversation and keeping intimacy at bay politely.

Today we all indulged in discussing the elements with the eyes of a three-year old, the unstoppable enthusiasm of someone newly in love, the camaraderie of humans in an exceptional situation, marveling at the simply profound beauty of nature.

In fact, my eyes are still sparkling a little from squinting at the sun through the glistening chestnut tree at the end of our road.

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Jodhpurs Nr. 71 – Janet Bouvier

January 26th, 2012 · No Comments · Jodhpurs · Print this page

Jodhpurs Nr. 71 by Janet Bouvier circa 1930s.

Janet Norton Lee Bouvier Auchincloss Morris (December 3, 1907 – July 22, 1989) was an American socialite.

She was the mother of former United States First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill.

She was born Janet Norton Lee, the daughter of James Thomas Lee and Margaret A. Merritt. Lee studied at Sweet Briar College and later at Vassar College, but did not graduate from either institution.

Her paternal grandfather, Dr. James Lee, was a superintendent of the New York City public school system, although Janet Bouvier preferred to tell people that he was a Maryland-born veteran of the United States Civil War. She had two sisters: Winifred Norton Lee (Mrs. Franklin d’Olier) and Marion Norton Lee (Mrs. John J. Ryan Jr.).

She married three times. Her first husband was John Vernou Bouvier III, also known as “Black Jack”, allegedly for his swarthy coloring. They were married on July 7, 1928 and had two daughters: Jacqueline Lee (1929-1994) and Caroline Lee (b. March 3, 1933). “Black Jack” Bouvier’s womanizing and drinking led to a separation in 1936, a brief reconciliation for a few months in 1937, and then a divorce in 1940.

Janet’s second husband was Hugh D. Auchincloss, Jr., an attorney and Standard Oil heir; she was his third wife. They were married on June 21, 1942 and had two children: Janet Jennings Auchincloss Rutherfurd, who briefly dated John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate, while she was a student at Miss Porter’s; and James Lee Auchincloss, born in 1947.

Her third marriage, after Auchincloss’ death, was to Bingham “Booch” Morris on October 25, 1979. Though they separated in 1981, the marriage lasted until her death eight years later, aged 81, from complications arising from Alzheimer’s disease, in Newport, Rhode Island.

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The Charming Mountain Goat – La Bouffe – Grub

January 18th, 2012 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, French Food, Provence, South of France · Print this page

It is important to be straight in this crooked world.

This maxim also applies to the lesser activities of life such as fielding marketing calls.

Unsolicited marketing calls.

Unsolicited marketing calls in French.

Unsolicited marketing calls in French while you are in the middle of something.

Unsolicited marketing calls in French placed from Algiers by a French speaking Arab. Who is trying to sell something to a German over a crackling line in the midday sun.

At first, these annoying interferences served as a measure of the level of our knowledge and application of every day French. Hesitantly mumbled – and plainly wrong – French vocabulary served as a starting point. (What is the French for the casual “I am in the middle of something” ?).

Then one day – progress! – when the rather perfect “Ça ne m’interesse pas” escaped my lips. Fluently, calmly and authoritatively.

The next step in the manifestation of our advancement the anticlimax of the familiar. The marketing call was taken, it was answered, the marketing person pushed, was pushed back, the call ended.

French marketing companies love to place their calls at lunchtime either when people are preparing or eating food. So one day my honest answer to the question if I had a need to replace my old windows was: “I am in the middle of eating.”

The reaction to this mundane piece of information was astounding. The marketing person retreated immediately, apologising profusely. Although I couldn’t see her, I swear she was walking out of the room backwards, bowing towards the phone that linked her call to my home.

The holy French practice of eating! Of course….

A few weeks ago, Piglet 2 was punished with detention at school. The school had ordered Wednesday afternoon after the official lessons finished. Since Piglet 2 finishes two hours early on Mondays, I suggested his detention be moved into that slot.

Last year, these requests were granted without much fuss as long as it was reasonable. This year, I had to justify myself over the phone to the officious person in charge.

Why did I want to change? Did I understand this was meant as a punishment? Did I not realise that this was not done for Piglet 2’s amusement? Wasn’t my request a bit useless? On and on it went (when French people make their point, they do not come up for air).

I had long accepted her refusal and said so calmly, when suddenly I heard myself say: “In any case, on Wednesday the canteen is closed and Piglet 2 won’t have had any lunch by the time he starts his detention.”

My innocent reflection on this minor organisational point stopped her in her tracks. “Of course,” she said as if she had just realised this painful fact herself for the first time. “You are right. In that case, I can move his detention to Tuesday afternoon instead.” Just like that.

Naturally it is very tempting to use the food argument at any given point, but it is hard to digest well on a crooked stomach.

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Jodhpurs Nr. 70 – Lord Curzon

January 16th, 2012 · No Comments · Jodhpurs · Print this page

Jodhpurs Nr. 70 by Lord Curzon in 1903.

George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, KG, GCSI, GCIE, PC (11 January 1859 – 20 March 1925), known as The Lord Curzon of Kedleston between 1898 and 1911. He was the Viceroy and Governor-General of India between 1899-1905.

The photograph shows him with his first wife, Mary Victoria Leiter, the daughter of Levi Ziegler Leiter, co-founder of the Chicago department store Field & Leiter (now Marshall Field).

She had a long and nearly fatal illness near the end of summer 1904, from which she never really recovered. She died in July 1906, aged 36.

Nothing is known about the tiger at their feet.

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The Wallflower signs off until…

December 28th, 2011 · No Comments · The Wallflower, Wallflowerdispatches · Print this page

2012.

Enjoy your time with family and friends.

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The Charming Mountain Goat – Roman Roots

December 9th, 2011 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France · Print this page

If you sail along the coast of the Côte d’Azur between Nice and St. Tropez, it becomes immediately clear why around 100 B.C.E., the Romans stopped off at what it now Fréjus.

After rolling hills, death-defying rocks and the never-ending skyline of the Alps in the distance, Fréjus is the first area where the Romans found a large wide flat opening that carries on for miles towards to foot of the Alps. Despite the marshy soil, it must have been relatively easy to land and commence the conquering of the north by foot.

The surrounding area is littered with the usual well-constructed and preserved buildings, Roman villas, viaducts, a theatre and an amphitheatre. When the ancient invaders arrived then, they built up first and truly cultivated its conquered territories. Perhaps nations, which are still a little obsessed with the conquering spirit, which appears to mostly involve destruction, should take note.

The first of the never-ending vineyards that start at the bottom of our village and produce 80% of all the rosé wines in France were first cultivated by the very same Romans 2000 years ago. Our village boasts a millstone in the hills, which was started by a band of Romans and then left because they moved on.

A few years ago, while building a square that now houses the new Fréjus tourist office, the builders came across the old Roman communal oven. It was “exhibited” behind a plastic glass wall while the work was going on. Today the square has completely covered it, but the architect has thoughtfully made reference to the town’s Roman roots through look of the houses around the square. Overall it creates a slightly nauseous feeling of a theme park gone wrong, but it’s there.

Impressive remains of the aqueduct which has its beginning in the mountain around Mons 26 km away, rises 34 meters and is classified as a historical monument, linger quietly throughout Fréjus. In places it looks as if it was built yesterday.

Further up near Mons, you can ride you bike inside a stretch of the waterway and if you look carefully, you can even see the marks of the tools the Roman workman used to hue out the stone. Even if you absolutely hate history, this is cool.

Fréjus’ jewel is however its Amphitheatre (not to be confused with a second Roman outdoor theatre on the other side of town) built in the first century. It could hold between 10.000 and 12.000 spectators.

Largely neglected, it had been left to ruin even though it was still being used for performances throughout the 20th century. During the 1980, some attempts were made to restore it.

And in 2007 the plan was hatched to restore it for use in the 21st century.

Hurrah!! Finally, the town was going to honour its heritage.

No.

Instead, a wild fight broke out both locally and in the French media as soon as the work started.

Because rather than approach the building sympathetically, a large crane and some concrete were delivered and have been poured into the site ever since. Today the site looks worse than the most modest social housing in the Var.

Oh, and by the way, if you want to change the colour of your shutters to a shade that does not conform to the official Provencal colours which look so great in photos and postcards and have been stipulated by the Town Hall, you have to ask permission.

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Jodphurs Nr. 69 – Workwear: James Jean/The Mod Rockers/Ali/A Noble Savage

November 30th, 2011 · No Comments · Jodhpurs · Print this page

Jodhpurs Nr. 69 - Still life with Jodhpurs

“A Noble Savage”’s raw ingredients for “The Explorer” installation.

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