If you’re Rhinebeck-bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night–details here.


Dear Kay,
I’m back, after a week of spring break family sun n fun n sunburn down in the Cote du Cou Rouge, the Forgotten Coast, the part of the Florida panhandle where the handle bolts onto the pan. You know–the end of the universe?
Remember that incredible Sugimoto exhibition we saw at the Sackler Gallery in Washington a while back? I spent the whole week staring at the Sugimoto sky. We ran out of cloudy days, which was a shame. We’re like the Addams family at the beach, going out when the sun is setting. Twilight in general makes a lot of sense to us pale vampire types.
Sugimoto writes, “Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.” Exactly!
I stayed away from the Internet, except for the dreadful day when I peeked and discovered that Natasha Richardson had died. I mean: just the week before, I had watched her lovely, haunting performance in Merchant Ivory’s last, very slow movie, The White Countess. She seemed to smile even when she wasn’t smiling.
(The screenplay for The White Countess is by Kazuo Ishiguro, that master of the slow.)
I knitted steadily, and will get into all that this week. The cats are following me around the house. There’s luggage all over the place. I wonder how you’re doing.



  1. Those pictures are beautiful. I often crave a good rainstorm. Unfortunately we moved from the gloriously cloudy Pacific Northwest to Colorado, where we get a monotonous 300 sunny days a year.
    It is upsetting about Natasha Richardson. Partly because I have now heard so much about brain injuries and feel simultaneously lucky and frightened at how many close calls my kids must have had and I never even knew.

  2. My youngest hit his head and knocked himself unconscious twice, once at 1 1/2 years and once at 3 years. What happened to Natasha is exactly the reason I couldn’t understand why everyone thought I was overreacting by still being worried even after he woke up and seemed “normal” again.

  3. Beautiful photos. I had the same reaction to Natasha Richardson (and have slammed my head into a few trees while skiing myself). So sad for someone so young and talented. I do feel awful for her family.

  4. I’ve been out of it for a week, too. Just had to dash to the store for milk and laundry soap. I’m sure you’re aware that a family of 4 uses 28 pairs of underwear in a week, even if they do spend half the time in bathing suits…. I was in sunny Curacao — no clouds for us till the last day. I love your cloudy pictures!

  5. I love the Panhandle in early Spring. The stormier the better!

  6. Gorgeous. Thank you for the photos – just the breath of calm I needed to proceed with my day.

  7. These pictures look like illustrations from my perfect beach vacation.

  8. dear ann lovely pictures
    i live in florida further south
    on the west coast near sarasota
    the world is so flat here and
    if one finds a dark hole the
    sky is a wonderment as the full
    moon seems so close one feels
    as if one can pick it off the sky

  9. For a moment I thought you were in the Cote du Cul Rouge and wondered just what kind of vacation you went on!
    Lovely gray skies. Reminds me of Nantucket in the fall.

  10. I want to look out my window and see that nice expanse of water below the gray sky instead of the dirty snow and damp asphalt I can see. Looks like perfect knitting weather to me.
    My heart goes out to Natasha’s family. How fragile we are.

  11. Three cheers for the Panhandle. I lived there for six years and it is gloriously un-chic. My sentiments exactly about Natasha. Some people you just love without ever having met them.

  12. Love the pictures…the ones in the visual archives are especially beautiful.
    Side note: I too was saddened by Natasha Richardson’s death. Reread what you wrote…I’m betting that you will want to change your phrasing considering how she died.

  13. Oh, Meg! How right you are–I’ve edited myself, which I would surely have done had I taken more time writing this.
    Thank you so much.

  14. Now that the clouds have surely past, it’s probably safe for us to visit. We were on St. John’s for the rainiest May on record.

  15. I spend half my childhood in the county where the panhandle attaches, so to speak. As there’s a paper mill in that county, with its distinctive odor, I’ve long referred to that part of the state as “the armpit of Florida.” This is not the postcard-perfect part of the state. The flat brown sand beaches, the murky tannin-stained water, the dearth of tourists… it’s a great place to get away from the commercial beach scene and experience nature.

  16. The great sea stirs me.
    The great sea sets me adrift
    it sways me like the weed
    on a river-stone.
    The sky’s height stirs me.
    The strong wind blows through my mind.
    It carries me with it,
    and moves my soul with joy.
    –Song of Uvak, Woman Shaman of the Inuit, 1920’s

  17. There is a delicious Natasha Richardson film y’all might want to watch entitled “Widow’s Peake” (and features the amazing Joan Plowright). It makes full use of Natasha’s sly smile and is a fun romp at this sad time.

  18. Brilliant, wonderful and truly beautiful.
    I instantly thought of Sugimoto’s images with the first photo. Well done.
    This is just the mood I needed, thanks!

  19. Oohh! What a RELIEF to see that sea and that sky.

  20. LOVE:D

  21. Sometimes living here in sunny OK, I miss gorgeous clouds. Thanks for the shades of gray.

  22. I watched the DVD of The White Countess the day before the story hit the news. What a shock. She was so talented – although I thought the movie was pretty bad… I much preferred watching it with her and Ivory making the commentary over the soundtrack.

  23. love the beach sky photos..just back from the MD beach and just love the different shifting,wild gray and white of the clouds and the water. Heartbreaking about Natasha Richardson..her son was at the hotel with her..cant image what he went thru.


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