Pink Fire Pointer January 2012

Pakistani hot girls couples (31-40)

Some Beautiful Girls from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Umerkoat, Peshawar and Others.

Pakistani hot girls couples (21-30)

Some Beautiful Girls from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Umerkoat, Peshawar and Others.

Pakistani hot girls couples (11-20)

Some Beautiful Girls from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Umerkoat, Peshawar and Others.

Pakistani hot girls couples (1-10)

Some Beautiful Girls from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Umerkoat, Peshawar and Others.

Garden Books and Dreams

I love books about gardens.  There is something so hopeful about them.  The writers often tell an inspiring story of dreams and goals.  There is the search for the house with enough land for a garden.  It can be small or big, it just has to feel right.  Sometimes the land is bare or there already may be a garden, but it is awful and needs to be torn out. Then the dreaming begins and such exciting planning.  Garden books are studied and advice is sought. The space needs to be plotted out and the soil has to be prepared.   The actual planting begins with all its mistakes, happy accidents, and well-thought out choices. There is the inevitable tearing out of things that didn't work, the advise from fellow gardeners, and the happiness at seeing something take root and flourish.  Searching for garden ornaments is an ongoing project and designing garden structures such as arbors and pergolas is a creative part of the process.  And oh what joy when treasures are found!  Finding the perfect fountain to anchor the garden can be a glorious moment.  There is the satisfaction as the years go by and the garden matures.  One is in awe at the beauty and romance of the pear tree when it blossoms with the most beautiful and delicate white flowers. The result of all that effort is the peace and serenity of sitting in the garden and enjoying the magical retreat that has been created.

At this time of the year I love pulling out my favorite garden books.  There are two kinds that I read.  First, there are the inspirational and how-to books.  They have the lists of all the different kinds of roses,  peonies, geraniums and any other flower you desire.  They give advice on which vines will grow best on your pergola.  They tell you what kinds of conditions that magnolia tree you want so badly requires.  There are instructions on how to trim boxwood or how much sun your hydrangeas need.  This information is necessary and crucial to figuring it all out.  But I also love reading the classic garden books such as those by Elizabeth Von Armin, Beverley Nichols and Frances Hodgson Burnett. These are not how-to books, but are instead entertaining reads about hopeful gardeners and dreamers.  Often the story of the garden is a metaphor for discovering meaning and hope in their own lives.  Somehow the garden helps them get there. It is the process and the work that allows them to forget about their problems.  There is also the joy of being outside in nature with the sun warming their backs, the community of fellow gardeners they meet along the way, the visible results of their efforts, and the paradise they have created that leads them to a greater state of happiness.  It is as if creating a garden is a sort of formula for finding happiness. 

As I looked at our garden in the shadows of a late afternoon on a recent day in January, I remembered the days when it was just a dream.  I have to say that much of its creation is due to the wonderful books about gardens I have been reading most of my life.  Spending time out here on a warm summer day with a good book or just dreaming about the next new plant to introduce into the garden is true happiness.        

Weekend Miscellany

A few things I am excited about right now...

I can't let the week go by without mentioning Edith Wharton's birthday on January 24.  This year is the 150th anniversary of her birth.  There is probably no American writer who gets mentioned more often than Edith Wharton, especially in terms of old New York.

For example, the enchanting new book "Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles ( a love letter to New York) has a lovely tribute to Edith Wharton.  My book club just discussed it yesterday and loved it!  As the characters celebrate New Year's eve the narrator describes the scene:

"Powdered with snow, Washington Square looked as lovely as it could.  The snow had dusted every tree and gate. The once tony brownstones that on summer days now lowered their gaze in misery were lost for the moment in sentimental memories.  At No. 25, a curtain on the second floor was drawn back and the ghost of Edith Wharton looked out with shy envy.  Sweet, insightful, unsexed, she watched the three of us pass wondering when the love that she had so artfully imagined would work up the courage to rap on her door.  When would it present itself at an inconvenient hour, insist upon being admitted, brush past the butler and rush up the Puritan staircase urgently calling her name?
Never, I'm afraid."


The Fifth Avenue Hotel, center of the gilded age social scene
Photo from the New York Times

Th New York Times recently featured a long and fascinating article with many great photos about Edith Wharton in honor of her 150th birthday.  The author of this excellent article entitled "Tales of New York," with a subtitle: "For Edith Wharton's Birthday, Hail Ultimate Social Climbers" writes about the New York heiresses of that time and the locations "where Edith and the gilded girls roamed," including the photo above.  What a great piece about the world in which Edith lived.


The Mount, Edith Wharton's House in Lenox, Massachusetts

If you go to the website at The Mount, Edith's home in Lenox, Massachusetts, you will find many articles about and tributes to Edith Wharton in celebration of her big birthday.  One interesting piece of information I read was that Julian Fellowes cited Wharton's "The Custom of the Country" as one of the influences on "Downton Abbey."  In that book Edith was writing about American girls going to England in the late nineteenth century and marrying English aristocrats. I think you will enjoy this website as it gives so many examples of the influence of Edith Wharton on writers and filmmakers.


I seem to be on a roll right now with some really good books.  I just finished "Old Filth" and "The Man in the Wooden Hat" by the English writer Jane Gardam.  Old Filth is the nickname of the main character, whose real name is Edward Feathers.  "Filth" is an acronym for "Failed in London, Try Hong Kong."  Feathers is an English solicitor and judge who made a great success in Hong Kong and has retired in his later years to Dorset, England with his wife Betty.  He is an elderly man who is looking back on his life and his story is fascinating, funny and heartbreaking.  The second book "The Man in the Wooden Hat" is the same story, but told from the wife's perspective.  What a portrait of a marriage! You are in for a treat.  I loved these books and recommend them both, but read "Old Filth" first.


"Midnight in Paris"
Photo from the New York Times

The Academy Award nominations just came out and Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" got four nominations!  I was thrilled because "Midnight in Paris" is my favorite movie of the year.   There is a great article in today's New York Times, "Unlikely Routes Lead to Oscars," about how this movie almost didn't get made.  One producer wondered who would want to see this film since nobody even knows who Gertrude Stein is anymore.  But Woody argued that you don't really need to know those people to appreciate the film.  The film turned out to be his most successful.  Let's hope it wins some Oscars!


So many people have been saying good things about the new biography of Charles Dickens by Claire Tomalin.  I just started it and I can tell I am going to be swept away by this one.  


What are you up to this weekend?  I would love to hear what books you are reading and which movies you have seen lately.  I'm going to the Getty Center this weekend to see the new art exhibition "Pacific Standard Time."  We are having gorgeous weather in Los Angeles and it should be a beautiful day up at the Getty with its amazing views of the city.  Have a great weekend!

Virginia, Of Course

Virginia Woolf
Photo in the National Portrait Gallery, London

Virginia Woolf's birthday falls this week on January 25.  She was born in London in 1882.  Most people know that Virginia Woolf was a brilliant and groundbreaking writer who wrote "Mrs. Dalloway" and "To the Lighthouse."  Along with Proust and Joyce, she broke with the conventions of the past and ushered in the modern novel.  There is much poetry in her novels and they contain some of the most beautiful writing you will ever read.  But there are many things about her that are not known.  The English poet Edith Sitwell wrote the following about Virginia Woolf, shortly after her death in 1941.


"A short while ago this exquisite being, with the sensibility of Dorothy Wordsworth and the talent of Jane Austen, was still with us.  She was allied to many things in nature;  she had the profundity of a deep well of water.  But when she was talking, and listening to the talk of others,  you felt that she was like a happy child chasing butterflies over the fields of an undying summer.  Only there was no cruelty;  she would catch the lovely creature for a moment, see the colours on their wings, and then set them free again, their beauty undimmed.

There was no happiness that you could not imagine her sharing, nor could you ever guess that there was a shadow in the world.  Brave and shining, darkness could have no part in her.

After her tragic death a friend wrote of her that she had 'an unearthly beauty.'  I would have said 'an unworldly beauty,' for part of her delightfulness lay in the fact that she enjoyed earthly things.  Her beauty was great and she had the kind of unconscious elegance of some tall thin bird, with its long legs and delicate feet, and wondering turn of the head. With this she had a charm which had an innocently mischievous character, like that of a child.

In conversation with her, everything became exciting.  She made thoughts fly to and fro more quickly.  She had a swift and flashing sympathy like that which Dorothy Wordsworth must have possessed, her luminous mind lightened and heightened all subjects.  Equally enchanting as talker and listener, she encouraged the conversation of her friends, she teased them gently, clapping her hands with pleasure and excitement when they scored some point.  She was never tired of questioning;  but questions were never wearisome when she asked them, for they led somewhere and often made the answerer see a new truth.

Such was her personality:  and her work and her character were indivisible.  Hers was a work more of radiance than of fire.  It had no quality of danger in it.  The beings in her novels and in that enchanting work, 'The Common Reader,' are living creatures:  we meet them as we meet our acquaintances, they talk with us, laugh with us.  I do not think that they tell us the secrets of their hearts.  But then, many charming beings are unravaged by passions, undevastated by fires in the heart.  They do not live dangerously, the great adventures are not theirs.  But the flying happiness of the hour, the light on the wings of the bird, the dew on the morning world:  these she seemed to hold in  her long and beautiful hands, and as she touched them for a moment they became more real to us and it seemed that they must be unfading."

I found this tribute to Virginia Woolf by Edith Sitwell in the book "English Women" which is part of the "Britain in Pictures" series.  What I love about this description of Virginia Woolf is that it shows a side of her that many people don't know.  It captures the light and happy side of her personality, the enchanting and charming side that her friends loved.  We all know about the darkness and the tragic end it led to, but when we read her letters or the memories of her by friends such as Clive Bell, we get an idea of the fun and spirit that was such a large part of her conversation.  She had a great sense of fun, loved practical jokes, and was an incorrigible gossip.  When she told a story it was often embroidered with exaggeration, whimsey and many colorful details, and her friends loved her for the magic she brought to their social circle.

Clive Bell tells a story about the effect of Virginia on her close friends:

"I remember spending some dark, uneasy, winter days during the first war in the depth of the country with Lytton Strachey.  After lunch, as we watched the rain pour down and premature darkness roll up, he said, in his searching, personal way, 'Loves apart, whom would you most like to see coming up the drive?'  I hesitated a moment, and he supplied the answer:  'Virginia, of course.'"

Happy Birthday, Virginia!

A Great Day

"It is always an adventure to enter a new room; for the lives and characters of its owners have distilled their atmosphere into it, and directly we enter it we breast some new wave of emotion..."
--  Virginia Woolf, "Street Haunting"

I was very excited to be hosting a lunch and lecture by the very talented writer Lisa Borgnes Giramonti of the richly literary blog "A Bloomsbury Life."  It turned out to be a very special day, a day of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, Evelyn Waugh, and Nancy Mitford.  It was a day of talking about homes and the people who make them.  It was a day of learning how some of the great writers created memorable domestic scenes in their books, scenes that could inspire us in decorating our homes.  Maybe it is the unsettled times we are living in right now, but it seems as if everyone is in nesting mode and interested to hear someone talk seriously about the art of making a home. 

This event was to benefit Robinson Gardens, an historic home and gardens built in Los Angeles in 1911.  Lisa would be giving her lecture called "The Hearth of the Matter:  How I Discovered My Design Style Through Books."

After a lunch that included butternut squash soup, salmon, and sticky toffee pudding, we assembled for Lisa's lecture. She is a warm and engaging speaker, funny and bright, always encouraging and inspiring in her ideas.   She has thought long and hard about how to live a meaningful life and has some very interesting things to say.  She started with the concept that the books she has loved have formed the person she is today.  Her personal style, especially in the way she decorates her home and lives her life within that home, has been influenced by the beautiful moments that occur in books in between the big events -- the descriptions of the food and the houses and the gardens and the parties -- all these things influenced who she is today.  She has learned to live a meaningful life from these great passages and her intention today was to share with us many of the books that made a difference. 

She told us that when she reads a novel she thinks of herself as a domestic explorer, always on the lookout for clues on how to live a more simple, meaningful life.  From the time she was a child she delighted in reading, like so many of us, and would fall into a book and be swept away.  And it was the beautiful moments, when the characters would have an impromptu tea party in the garden, that she wanted to recreate in her life.

A collage of images from Lisa's home in Hollywood

She told us that thanks to "Tender is the Night" she knows how to throw a magical outdoor dinner party

And thanks to "The Pickwick Papers" she knows how to make a house feel snug and warm and welcoming.

And thanks to "I Capture the Castle" she knows that there is sometimes more glamour in disorder than order.

Charleston Farmhouse, where the Bloomsbury Group spent much time

She told us about inheriting a collection of Bloomsbury books three years ago and thus was born her love of the Bloomsbury Group.  Through these books she got to know Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Clive Bell, and others and admired their zest for life, passion for art, and dedication to the ideals of friendship and honesty.  They were born into the Victorian era but became fierce advocates for freedom and modernism.  They lived with flair and no pretension in the bohemian household of Charleston, a house that was beautiful and imperfect, filled with art and love.  As Angelica Garnett has described it, life at Charleston seemed bathed "in the glow of a perpetual summer."  This warm and happy house was another inspiration for Lisa and she talked about her fascination with the Bloomsbury Group and the environment they created.

The entry hall of Lisa's home 

She showed us several pictures of her home in Los Angeles, and we saw the ways it has been influenced by her favorite books.  It is a deeply personal home, layered with history and meaning.  Her beloved books are everywhere and I love that she decided to paint her bookshelves black like the ones at Hatchards in London, because the books really look spectacular that way.  Her entryway is papered in a "Secret Garden" style wallpaper so she can imagine she is in a country garden when she walks in the door.  Her Aga stove presides over her kitchen and evokes a kitchen in one of the great country houses, such as in the novels by Nancy Mitford.  There are many British touches throughout and the home feels warm and inviting, well loved and well lived in.  The sheep sculpture by the door gives the feeling of an English pastoral scene right out of "Mapp and Lucia."

Everyone loved the lecture.  It was a magical day filled with many things to think about and nobody wanted it to end. As everyone said good-bye, we all agreed that it was a day we wouldn't forget and somehow I think what we heard will have a lasting influence on all of us.  We loved Lisa's suggestion to pull a table or sofa out onto the lawn and have a party.  Or to use the good china and not care if a piece gets broken.  What good is it if you never use it?  And when our rugs start to look worn, that is the natural wear and tear on a house and it adds lovely patina to a room.  All of these thoughts are part of her warm and comfortable approach to decorating a house.  But most importantly, I think we are all determined to read more and look for inspiration for our homes in our favorite books.


Later that day I thought about a scene from "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf that has always stayed with me, when Clarissa Dalloway is rushing around her neighborhood in London, buying flowers and getting ready for her party later that night.  I have always loved it for the happiness and excitement the character feels as she is about to have her party and anticipates bringing her guests together in the warmth and comfort of her home:

"Such fools we are, she thought, crossing Victoria Street.  For Heaven only knows why one loves it so, how one sees it so, making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh:  but the veriest frumps, the most dejected of miseries sitting on the same...they love life.  In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses...brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved;  life;  London;  this moment in June."

All photos --  except the first one, the one of Lisa and the one of Charleston  -- are by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti via