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Happy Halloween

 

Boo… Or whatever a troll would say on halloween! I promised myself that there would be no more human baby photos until I showed you more of the house baby photos…but Halloween has broken me. I wonder if my ten-year-old-Russ-Troll-Doll-self ever envisioned my collection coming to life with a real life baby troll-except with more wriggly limbs and way harder to photograph. I can’t complain though as he’s been a treat (hehe) and completely chill about being used as a source of entertainment. When the wig arrived in the mail (sorry to burst the illusion) we had a tester session with the one and only element…he played for 45 minutes unfazed. Should I be worried? I figured this was the best year to take advantage of the little pot belly since we don’t have to venture outside and can go ‘nekkid’. No special costume for Tilly unfortunately, so I think we’ll recycle Olive’s old costume. Maybe it will be a green theme. Happy Halloween from us all!

And thanks to Brit & Co. for giving me the idea when I saw their DIY maternity costumes-such a great idea! I don’t think I was showing enough for a funny enough costume last year, but I’m gutted I  missed out anyway…

 
 
 

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

If you’re going to post…better make it a big one. Like the birth of a child or something. How convenient because that is exactly what I have here–my son Cooper! As my friend Roberto said, ‘my best portfolio piece yet’. Now, he’s seen my portfolio (or lack thereof), so he could merely be making a comment on my pathetic work to date..or is this actually a really impressive creation? Who knows. All I know is that Coops growing into a true cliché. Cute as a button and growing up so fast. Instead of bombarding you with daily photos I’ve made him grow right in front of your eyes by condensing three months of his life into a few thousand pixels. Grow little guy go…wait, no please don’t.

I’ll spare you all the details, but suffice to say we’ve been busy. So far Cooper has visited 7 states, taken  his first holiday (from what I’m not sure) and generally been a pretty easy going fella. Sure, it’s not easy peasy but apparently I had set my expectations extremely low so it’s been a pleasant surprise! We’ve only been in our apartment one weekend day since he was 3 weeks old as we’ve been adventuring. Thankfully at this stage this is still possible (or maybe it always will be?! *fingers crossed*). Next trick up my sleeve is a magic pocket so I can take him with me everywhere forever so I can always be hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. Granted from the look of these pictures he wants to Kung Fu me quite a lot of the time, so first I have to tame him…

Editor’s Note–Speaking of pieces of work…it makes me seriously stressed thinking about the lack of design associated with these rare posts. But you know it took me three months to make an ugly one. Can’t imagine how long it would take me to make a pretty one…hmm might be why that portfolio I was speaking of is nonexistent!

 
 
 

A cabin holiday preview


I recently chronicled our adventures back at the family cabin (aka my dad & stepmum’s house…sounds more glamourous saying ‘the family cabin’) for my old friends Boden. It’s up on their blog now so you can see how Matilda & I celebrated on our time off at Thanksgiving. Here are a few outtakes, but check out the full post here!

 

 
 
 

Meet Matilda…

This is two months overdue…but we have a new member of the family! Matilda, the french bulldog, has joined the Mister and I as our new little cuddlebug. After we lost Olive earlier this year, we had a little gap in our family and finally felt it was the time. She joined us at 3 months old (see top right) and is settling in nicely (and growing!!). I couldn’t imagine a bigger cuddler, I hope she doesn’t grow out of it! She’s asleep on my lap as we speak, which is getting to be a bit of a struggle as she grows. She is very similar to Olive in some aspect  (for all the reasons we loved frenchies so much) but comes with completely new parts of  personality as well, so it’s been great. Welcome Tilly Teacup to Pillar Box Post, I’m sure you’ll become a little star here!

 

 
 
 

In a New York Minute

Today, August 8th, is the one year anniversary of our move to New York City from lovely London…so how does that feel? Well, to quote an LCD sound system song, ‘New York I love you, but you’re bringing me down…’ except in our case just remove the love… New York you’re okay but you’re bringing me down. Perfect.

You see I don’t mean to make a once-in-a-blue-moon appearance and then just whine…but with all the hype over new York and everyone loving it soooo much you start to feel a bit alone, when you possibly, perchance, definitely don’t agree. What am I missing? It’s dirty, it smells ( because I’m a nice person and you might be snacking while reading this, I won’t be saying what it smells like. Lilac bushes and freshly cleaned laundry it is not). There are rats, and more rats.  And the amount of people that just give you the heebie jeebies is just, well, crazy. To say it doesn’t compare to London FOR ME is the understatement of the year. But we’ve done it, and that’s gotta count for something? ‘if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’… like an advert for the armed forces. Yay, I’m lying in a barbed wire ditch. It can only go up from here, eh?

But it’s not like we haven’t made it– we have, there are positives. David and I both have good jobs, a beautiful apartment and for the past few months have found a place to call home that makes us feel happier. We’ve made DUMBO, Brooklyn our home, which is fantabulous on it’s name alone. Who doesn’t want to live in world of hat-wearing baby elephants?! But in actuality it stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This also means that we are few short blocks from the Brooklyn bridge, from the water and from glorious views of the city. I know, you probably don’t believe that after the last little rant, but honestly the city is pretty from afar, with the statue of liberty waving her little flashlight in the distance, the sun setting behind the Financial district, the Empire state building and Chrysler building peeking out of the skyline and saying ‘hello!’. Whew, I feel a bit calmer already. I’ll detail DUMBO a bit more in the future, but it’s very creative, great industrial buildings and a regeneration with some serious love behind it.

 

And lastly, the thing making me avoid Pillar Box Post for months. A bit of sad news…our little Olive Juice, the french bulldog life and rumpled-faced-soul, of our little family is no longer with us. In April we had an emergency visit to the vet and sadly our little girl had to stay there to go to sleep. It was in connection with her back issues we first had a year ago, right after we moved to New York. It’s been seriously hard for David and I to get over not having her around…and we still miss her every. Day. When you aren’t satisfied with other areas of life, sweet puppy breath and kisses on your face is always an instant soother. Sigh. There I got that out, not that most of you don’t know that already..it was some how a mental struggle to come out with that on here. She was quite the star of PillarBoxPost…so here are some of her best bits… biking around Kensington Gardens , relaxing around the house , travelling in England , visiting Rye England , and her introduction.

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A quick list of  where and what we’ve been up to this past year, as per the photos above.
Starting in the Top, going left to right…

——— FIRST SET ———

ROW 1: 1. Two weeks after arriving in New York we ‘survived’ an earthquake and a hurricane hitting NYC. Yay for crazy Northeast weather! | 2. Our second flat on the upper west side. | 3. Oh Olive, and your crazy outfits…silly girl

Row 2: 1. Christmas tree hunting, on a real life tree farm…yay for being back in Central PA. | 2. Family photo, frenchie fur babies and all! | 3. All ready for the ‘First Annual Forest Friends Christmas Eve Feeding’ which consisted of taking the deer and other cute animals of the forest a lovely christmas dinner of carrots, corn etc. at midnight on Christmas Eve

Row 3: 1. Taking Olive out for our annual New Years walk, but bag style. | 2. Gondolas…indoors…waaaaitaminute? This must be crazy-vegas. | 3. Out at the Grand Canyon, right before the hail blizzard started.

Row 4: 1. Yep, that hail blizzard has now started…very impressive my face doesn’t look like swiss cheese after that encounter! | 2. Zion National Park, yes that IS a real photo. Places like this DO exist. Wow. | 3. And yep, these little sheepy guys do too. Right next to the road! Saw a roadrunner after this, it was like Wild animal Bingo.

——— SECOND SET ———

Row 1: 1. Brooklyn Bridge with the lovely Clare. | 2. David and Olive…oh she’s. so. happy. Can’t you tell? | 3. We fled for some winter sun down to the Riveria Maya, Mexico. Beautiful eco resort full of canalways, crocodiles and other potentially less dangerous things. This is the view of our casita, aka adorable little building, on the canal, taken from our nature boat tour.

Row 2: 1. Lunchtime at work–fabulous view of the Empire State building. | 2. Our UWS flat, or one corner of it, at least. | 3. My 29th birthday at the Standard Grill, where I made a pact with myself to make a penny floor in my imaginary house.

Row 3: 1. Drinks after work…palm trees and that same pesky little Empire State building. It’s everywhere. | 2. ….like right here…in between the arches, do you see it, yep it’s piercing the Manhattan bridge in DUMBO | 3. View of DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge from a Manhattan rooftop.

Row 4: 1. Finally had our first trip back to England for a few days…just in time to catch some beautiful summer fields | 2. …and take some random pictures of ourselves on said train | 3. and catch the London Olympics site, sadly just 2 weeks too early.

 
 
 

Uptown Girl

Uptown girl…we’ve been living in our uptown world! Been so preoccupied with our move that Pillar Box Post…well got lost in the move. Things are starting to settle a bit now, which is very welcome at this point!

So….what has been happening? Well we made the big move in early August, spending the first week and a bit seeing the sights of our new hometown. We made the charming Ace Hotel our first stop…LOVED the typography and all the little details–everything has been tended to with love and care. Shame that the staff haven’t had as much love and care…and the music in the lobby made me feel old. Why is everything in NYC soooooo loud? Has everyone gone deaf from the noise?

We did a handful of tourist things like a harbour cruise in the pouring rain (spending the trip eavesdropping on two american teenagers who couldn’t tell Manhattan from New Jersey …and didn’t seem to have an understanding of the September 11 attacks. However they did have 4 smartphones between the two of them, so at least something next to us could be labelled ‘smart’.

Most of all we did a lot of walking…blocks and blocks and blocks. After the Ace we moved into our first sublet on Bleeker street in the West Village, right off Perry Street –the home of loads of movie ‘homes’ like Carrie from Sex and the City. All in all there were lots of complications with the move, nothing awful just annoying–internet not working, phones not working, bills not going through etc. but they reach breaking point at 4 am less than two weeks after arriving. It was a call from our family in England…Olive, our lovely 2.5 year old french bulldog, was very ill in the hospital and we had to make a decisions immediately whether or not to undergo an expensive surgery or to put her down. She had what they thought was a slipped disc and could be paralysed. We went for the surgery and crossed our fingers…and toes and legs.


The next few weeks were rough…Olive was in hospital and then in recovery at my in-laws…my husband was in a job hunt that didn’t seem very positive and I must admit I was a bit homesick. We didn’t have a place of our own, our goods were stuck in shipping purgatory. On the lovely side, we were getting to see someone from my family more in a few weeks than I probably did in the last two years…and then slowly, gradually things started picking up!

We were able to secure a longer sublet in the upper west side ( by forking over 4 months rent at once, eek!). An empty apartment, but at least it wasn’t full of someone else’s junk! And then the turning point — a job for my husband! It was a super quick turnaround and the pieces started to fall into place. Olive had hydrotherapy in England and was finally able to fly over and join us in October. Our shipment of clothes, books and my home goods arrived shortly after and bit  by bit we are getting things into place.

Thank you all for stopping by after such a long time away and I really appreciate the comments in my absence. I truly never thought anyone would notice and it was very touching to know someone out there did!

Now, onwards and upwards and I promise future posts will be a bit shorter, more colourful and a bit more exciting! The red British post box has been officially  moved to Manhattan…the post is in!

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About the images…I thought it was fitting to ‘restart’ Pillar Box Post in the way that it originally came about, with a shop window photo! I spotted this fabulous window display on west 20th street (and 6th avenue) around the corner from my work. It appears to be for a ‘bag manufacturer’ who create shopping bags and advertisements. Their recreation of New York out of paper bags with adorably detailed paintings is inspired. I don’t have a use for this idea, but I know there is one out there somewhere. Perhaps we DO need a two bedroom apartment after all… for a village of pillar boxes made out of paper bags!?

Photos by Pillar Box Post