Friday, October 20, 2006

An Heiress, a Lord, a Scottish Manor

The local paper had this picture bumping into the following headline:

"Heiress and British lord exchange vows"

I thought they were so handsome and pretty dancing together.

So I read the article.

It seems Houston oil heiress Loraine McMurrey wed Lord Adrian Palmer in London last Friday, at Westminister Palace.
They had met two decades ago, when "he was married and she was living the good life as one of Houston's top-tiered jet setters."

When they met again, after his divorce in 2004, sparks flew, and Palmer proclaimed that he had adored McMurrey since first sight.

Her son gave her away in marriage during the formal morning ceremony.
After the ceremony the wedding entourage boarded a train for Scotland where Palmer owns a fabulous Edwardian country house, which is named "Manderston." (Don't miss seeing that last underlined link!)

Lord Palmer, the fourth Baron Palmer was educated at Eton, and is known for being an eccentric.

The entire write up had me in a romance novel haze/jealousy fit for several hours.
I imagined the train ride through the Scottish moors. I pictured the romantic walks up the silver staircase in elegant gowns, and sweet whispered endearments in the gardens.
Designers creating perfectly fitted attired for both of them. Handsome Adrian, and Loraine, her blond hair done up, wearing long white gloves, her chiseled jaw line tilted up in a classic pose.

If I had been that lovely, and an heiress, when I was young, could I have wed a baron? Could I have been the one to sweep into the ballroom with my hand held aloft by such a handsome lord?
I grumbled to pouchy tummy, saggy chin, total lack of grace on the dance would take a major overhaul to play in Loraine's league.

Then I re-read the second page.

There, in black and white was LORAINE!

Posted by Picasa The dancing couple bumping into the headline went with a totally different story, about another fairy tale, the TV show "The Bachelor: Rome."

The blond in the red dress was also from Houston.

But the blond from Houston who scored a Lord and an Edwardian manor house...well, my urge to make myself over screeched to a halt. Re-write the script, alert the wardrobe department, we're featuring a plus size heroine in this romance.

I'll never be an oil heiress, so there's no point in even trying to compete with Loraine. Maybe she is just one heck of a fun gal, and money had nothing to do with the attraction. Besides, who knows what the eccentric Adrian looks like. And what do they mean by eccentric anyway?

I wish them well. I know by publishing this blog I have destroyed any chance of an invitation to any of their parties, on either side of the pond.

Oh well. So be it.

(Update below. Loraine really is quite the gal...likes to go bear hunting!
Thanks to Selwyn for sending the link!)

From the UK Daily Mail:

Biscuit heir weds his rich T
08:26am 13th October 2006

That's T for Texan . . .
Stetsons would not be inappropriate at the Palace of Westminster today when Lord Palmer marries oil-rich Texan millionairess Loraine McMurrey.
After a whirlwind romance, the bride-to-be for 55-year-old Palmer — heir to the defunct Huntley & Palmer biscuit empire — is an artistic divorcee who once dated CNN tycoon Ted Turner.
At 68, she is 13 years older than the groom and will be given away by her 37-year-old son.
The ceremony will be held in front of 100 family and friends in the Palace of Westminster chapel followed by a reception in the Lords.
Curiously for a peer who often joins debates in the Upper House, cross-bencher Lord Palmer has decreed that there are to be ‘no speeches’.
A regular at Ascot and Wimbledon with homes in London and Houston, blonde Loraine — formerly married to eye surgeon Louis — is a favourite of the Texan gossip columns, where she is frequently described as ‘perfectly proportioned for the décolleté outfits she fancies’.
She is an Anglophile who studied Art at Edinburgh University and once took a course at Cambridge on the British Secret Service. She also campaigns for the castration of sex offenders.
When she was swept off her feet by billionaire Turner, Loraine trilled: ‘I’m going bear-hunting with him in June. He really rolled out the red carpet for me, and then some!’
Tempting fate, she added: ‘He did have a couple of dates with Jane Fonda, but that’s over.’
Alas, Turner went on to marry Fonda in 1991, perhaps fortuitously leaving Loraine free to become the second Lady Palmer.
Loraine first met the peer in the 1980s when Adrian Palmer, whose family lost control of its biscuit empire some years ago, was already married. They renewed their acquaintance in March this year.
There is a marked contrast between the financial standing of the bride and groom.
She features in the Texas Big Rich wealth bible. He, on the other hand, struggles to find the £100,000-a-year necessary to maintain his magnificent 119-room country home Manderston in Berwickshire, which was the setting for the 1996 film of Andrew Morton’s book on Princess Diana.
The Queen showed her displeasure by dropping Adrian from the Royal Company of Archers, her official bodyguard in Scotland.
Today’s wedding will be followed by a gala dinner for 200 at Manderston tomorrow night. Palmer’s three children by his first wife Cornelia, whom he divorced two years ago on the grounds of her ‘unreasonable behaviour’, will all be there: Hugo, 25, Edwina, 24 and George, 20.
Says Lord Palmer: ‘It is a private, low-key affair.’
Says my man with the confetti: ‘Adrian is delighted. They are not having a honeymoon: he is taking his new bride to Manderston, where she will experience her first Scottish winter.’

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bell's Palsy update

Fearless. That's me.

They say that the camera doesn't lie, but I never noticed my nose was crooked before.

I do happen to know that the camera elongates and slightly warps the face. In art class we learned how to tell if a portrait was done from real life or a photograph by the slight bowing of the facial features.

It is the right side of my face that is affected. I can smile slightly now, and close my eye. Not automatically though. It takes a strong scrunch to get my eye to close. With each scrunch I can pictures wrinkles being carved into my face.

Scratch that...character lines gracing my face.

I am SO ready for a complete make over. New hair style, new glasses, new makeup, new weight and measurements.

Sometimes I look at the cats and think: Fur covered. THAT's the way to go. It is so unfair that the cats look cute their whole lives, and they never consult a mirror.

Posted by Picasa Thanks to all of you who sent your encouragement and included me in your prayers.

Keep it up, and hopefully I will soon be able to post a picture with both eyes closed, and another with a full, ear to ear smile.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dress like a hot librarian, but still think like a geek

Project Runway for librarians:

Librarian hats: Tori Amos rocks!

(Hats! Gloves! Veils! Nylons with polka dots! Yazah! Shazam! What library school did she go to?)

Librarian wear: The chic librarian

Librarian costume: At last!

Librarian Dress: Prim and proper

Librarian Dress #2: The 1940's version
(At that price, most librarian will be priced out. But tell me again, I forget, what IS the Dewey Decimal number for sexy?)

Overseas/Middle East Librarian guy wear: White is the new white
(note the screen presentation)

Vera Wang created glasses entitled: Librarian
(She did the dress too...perfect for wearing while fixing the d*** network cable, again)

Harris County Libraries (my own public library system) had "Dress like a Librarian Day"
(14 pictures...I know some of these folks and I see nothing different than their usual wear. Except a bit cleaner...ohhh, I'm in trouble now!)

Frankly I think pajamas are the perfect Librarian wear. Don't most people prefer to curl up IN BED with a good book?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Millinery: Lilliput

Felt hats after Labor Day, or at least after the first day of Autumn...not going to happen around here.

We got 9.94 inches of rain in 24 hours yesterday, and today it is going to be in the 90's. HOT and steamy, ugh.

I will make do with yet another brown themed straw hat.

This is a hat I got in Toronto Canada a few years back. Bernie had a conference and I could tag along with free air fare and only miss a day of work. He slogged through meetings, and I hit the miles of underground shopping.

My gadabout hat friend Beryl had told me if I ever got to Toronto to BE SURE to go to Lilliput.

(If you want to see Lilliput hats, especially the cocktail hats, without going to Toronto, click here. )

So...I was SURE to do exactly that. It required me figuring out how to catch a bus to get to the shop, but that was fun too.

Lilliput hats are found in most of the higher end Canadian department stores. The real treat is going to the Lilliput millinery shop, where the hats are being made on the premises, right before your very eyes.

The main designer was in the back area when I visited, and she was in a very snippy mood. Oh well, maybe she was having a rough day. She was adding fabulous flowers to a lovely straw wide brim.

In the middle of the store were two young women blocking hats with steam and doing wire and interior band.

The real excitement was seeing all the hat blocks. The entire store was just fascinating, loads of over the top hats, gorgeous trims, and I think (KNOW) I tried on every single hat.

I settled on this hat. I liked the wave that was scrunched into the straw, and the black flower made from torn organdy, and the hat band made from raveled sinamay.

All the trim weighted absolutely nothing, so it is perfect for wearing on any hot day.

The flat top gave the hat a slightly Edwardian flare, different than the style I usually wore at that time. It is a winner, and inspired me to craft crowns with waves and tucks, and working a bit bigger than I used too.

So remember, if you ever go to Toronto, BE SURE to go to Lilliput's!

Here's an added fun toy: A site that has interviews with milliners, from Philip Treacy (he who designs for both the Queen and Oprah) to my own millinery guru Kate Pernia Brown.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 16, 2006

The storm continues...

(Imagine all this with thunder, lightning, and 85 degrees heat.)
Our front walkway and porch.
The street in front of the house.
The back yard "dry" stream bed, now wading level.

And I just this moment got a call...the college is closing, so I won't be going to work tonight.

Tornado watch and Tiggie off watch

It is 2 am and I can't sleep. My eye will not stay shut, even plastered tight with saran wrap. Last night I stayed up until 12, and slept until 11:30 on Sunday morning, and now my sleep cycle is all goofed up.

Mostly, though, it is the rain that is keeping me up. Thunder wouldn't bother me. We aren't having any thunder, just noisy windy rain.

A heavy enough down pour that I checked the Weather website.

There's a tornado watch.

We get lots of those. It just means that conditions are such that a tornado would be possible.

A tornado warning means a tornado is actually happening or about to happen.

My "ignorance is bliss" is kaput now. I cheerfully sleep through watches all the time. This time, I'm wide awake.

So I took a picture to share with my dear readers. That's the rain lit up by the spot light outside my office window in the front of the house. There's a small stream running down the street too.

We won't flood, but I am sure there are folks in Houston right now who are loading up stuff to avoid flooding damage.

A crummy way to spend the night for them. By daybreak the local news will fill us in on who is going to be filing insurance claims and needing to figure a different way to get to work around flooded roads.

Some members of the community never have any trouble sleeping.

Any where, any time.

I guess if he can sleep, I should give it another shot. I'll just say a prayer for people to be safe in the storm and head back to bed.

See you in the morning. Posted by Picasa