Lunch today at the new Haven Cafe and Bakery in Lenox (thumbs up) with fellow Berkshire bloggers Paige and Rebecca and their charming husbands.
Paige bestowed upon me and Rebecca swag she'd procured at the Film Independent's Spirit Awards. She gave me a Mrs. John L. Strong Collector's Diary and Directory in "bone white," which looks like albino crocodile skin, and Rebecca one in black. The retail price for these calendars is $495.
The gilded pages are an obscene and fascinating window into an alternate universe where August begins: "IN THE UTTER ABSENCE OF ANY MAJOR SHOWS OR EVENTS, WE SUGGEST YOU TAKE A VACATION. SEE RESORTS, PAGE 371."
The best part, other than the contact information for wine storage in Beijing and Chicago, searchers for lost/stolen art in London, New York, and Cologne (which they spell Koeln), and various auctions for "important jewels," "arcade jewels," and "magnificent jewels," is the international guide to flower etiquette on page 363. For example:
RUSSIANS ADORE FLOWERS, AND GIVE THEM ON VIRTUALLY ALL OCCASIONS. SHOULD YOU BE INVITED TO A RUSSIAN HOME, BRINGING FLOWERS FOR THE LADY OF THE HOUSE IS DE RIGEUR. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT FLOWERS ARE ALWAYS GIVEN IN ODD NUMBERS (EXCEPT THIRTEEN), EVEN NUMBERED BOUQUETS ARE USED ONLY IN FUNERALS. AVOID YELLOW AND WHITE FLOWERS (UNLESS PICKED IN THE COUNTRY), AND REMEMBER THAT RED ROSES AND DEEP-COLORED FLOWERS HAVE ROMANTIC TONES. STICK TO PALE PASTELS.