Changes: The Passage hangs a new sign

Smack in the middle of a contented retirement, when I was offered a part-time job, I said yes, instantly. The opportunity to work in a field that has long fascinated me, with a company founded by a woman I admired from our first meeting: how could I refuse?

Emerald beads; photo courtesy of Pierres de Charme
In December, I began training with Pierres de Charme, the family business of gemmologists who sell coloured gems to jewelers and designers. From the first day, I was delighted to work amid the glow and charisma of stones sourced by ethical, passionate professionals.

When my friend Clare heard that, she burst out laughing, imagining every penny earned would wind up on my neck, and while I have not succumbed, stones like those below are giving my pearl love some serious competition.

Tanzanites and zircons

Going back to work is an adjustment. I'm trying to catch on quickly and not make mistakes, but I've made them. I bought a lunch bag, what every women who ever sat at a desk knows as work pants, an iPad. Excel and I are dating again.

The Passage: Open by Chance 
After today, I will post intermittently; the Passage is now one of those quirky places with an Open By Chance sign on the door. I'll keep the thousand-odd posts up and may occasionally write if moved. To receive these posts, please subscribe or follow.  Questions about jewelry renos or pearl choices may be sent via e-mail; the address is under my photo, at right.

Thank you for reading, and especially for commenting over the past nearly eight years. I have learned so much from you. Please follow and comment for other bloggers whom you admire; it keeps us going—especially those of us whose only reward is your company.

Till you wander through again, be well, be your ineffable self, be adventurous...in pearls and, I should now add, in coloured gems!

And if it's the last thing I post for awhile, it must be pearls! It's Isabella Rosselini (so touching in the documentary "Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words"), who's pearled up lately: a rope of mixed white, black and gold pearls (they look like Tahitian and South Seas), to which she sometimes adds a second rope, of whites. Wear it and wear it!


That made me think of an Isabella rope... but for now, I'm wearing what I have!






43 comments

Adele said...

Bonne chance! Enjoy your new adventure, Duchesse.

Jacinta Arnold said...

Best of luck, you wonderful you.

Susan said...

How wonderful to be able to work in a field you love. I will certainly miss your Tuesday/Thursdasy posts, but wish you a wonderful new career.

Susan D.

Kristien62 said...

How exciting to be able to work in an area you love! And with your love of pearls and gems, it is appropriate that the Universe brought this directly to you. This is the type of opportunity that you cannot pass up. Good luck. We will miss your wit and wisdom.

Madame Là-bas said...

What a great opportunity! All of your readers will miss you but you are so fortunate to have such a perfect post-retirement job.

Félicitations!

Patricia said...

Oh, I'm disappointed that you'll no longer be posting regularly, but happy for you too - what a perfect opportunity! Wishing you all the best, and looking forward to when you do post, and hopefully share what you are learning.

Janice Riggs said...

Congratulations! I'm going to miss you like crazy, but you'd be a fool to miss this opportunity, and you're no fool!
warmest regards,
Janice

Celebrian23 23 said...

What a perfect opportunity for you -- Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your blog with us for all these years. I will miss you on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

LauraH said...

You sound so happy and excited. What a wonderful opportunity, it's perfect for you. Of course I will miss visiting the Passage twice a week. You have made Tuesdays and Thursdays very special. I'm selfishly hoping you'll find that you want to share the workings of your mind with us again. Enjoy!

SewingLibrarian said...

Oh, I'm happy for you but sad for all of us who will miss your voice here twice a week! Enjoy your new work with all those lovely gems. There couldn't possibly be a better job for you at this stage of your life. And Tuesday's post makes even more sense now.
(P. S. I hope you received the photos of my grandfather's medal that we discussed a few weeks ago.)

lagatta à montréal said...

TWO new part-time jobs! Between the baubles and the baby, you will be a busy duchesse.

Change is good - usually. Except for discovering that an old friend is seriously ill, so I'm hoping she recovers...

Post when you feel like it. I suspect you will, from time to time.

materfamilias said...

I don't know the company at all, but my estimation of your new employers is high, if they had the smarts to offer you a place with them. You will be much missed here, but I know we will stay in touch -- one day a glass of wine together, in Montreal or in Paris. It's on the to-do list!
Meanwhile, thrive in your new work and in your new role as Grandma, and I'll look forward to the occasional post.
xo,
f

angiemanzi said...

bonne chance!

Josephine Chicatanyage said...

Good luck. We never know what is round the corner when we follow our dreams.

Leslie Milligan said...

Thank you for the years of great posts. You have provided an enticing education in pearls, to which I finally succumbed. I ordered a beautiful pearl necklace on Monday from Kojima and it arrives tomorrow. I couldn't have done it without you. Best to you in your new adventures. I think I understand a little better the timely post about a work uniform. Ha!

Wendy said...

I'm going to miss your posts terribly, but am envious of your new adventure! Best of luck to you!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Oh what a fabulous opportunity! To work in a field that you are passionate about...
have fun and I will miss your regular posts and will appreciate seeing any items of beauty that your company sells.

Araminta said...

We will miss you but this sounds like just the thing for you, Bonne chance - and do come back from time to time.

Ursula in Cádiz said...

Goodness! How perfect an opportunity for you! I wish you much success and enjoyment of your two new roles, but am certain that the new gem job will provide the odd occasion for you to feel 'This I MUST share!', and look forward to reading you again then.

Amy said...

First time commenter emerging from the corner to say I've loved your blog for years. Thank you for enriching my life with your thoughts. Your voice is so uniquely your own, your point of view so clear, and your sense of humor so trenchant! I always enjoy being intellectually and emotionally stimulated by what you have to say, even on those few occasions when I haven't shared your perspective. Very best wishes for happiness in your new job and your expanding family. I will be here when you reopen.

Nelson Bartley said...

Noooo! You are one of my favorites! Don't go away.
But if you must, enjoy the new job-sounds like great fun.

Elizabeth Hensley said...

Oh, how exciting for you and how sad for us. It has been such a pleasure to read your posts, and I shall dip into the archives every now and again when I want to be reminded of your zest, your sensibilities and your timeless allure. Thank you so much for the time you have invested and all fondest best wishes to you in this lovely new adventure.

Maggie said...

Congratulations, but I'm sorry to hear that the blog is going to be a sporadic thing at most. While I seldom comment, you are one of my regular reads. However, I know all too well that one person can only do so much and still enjoy life. Best of luck to you, Duchesse!

une femme said...

Oh how wonderful to be able to work at something that truly inspires! What fun that must be for you.

You and Isabella are inspiring me to pull out and wear my pearls just for every day.

MaryB said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog. Good luck to you.

cnewell said...

Congratulations on your new adventure! I've read your blog for several years, happily purchased a solitary pearl from Kojima (I learned about them from your blog), and have most enjoyed your writing, and what you've choosen to focus on in your blog. I've recently been diagnosed with brain cancer and just a couple weeks ago, had successful brain surgery in Boston. now, I must deal with some adbominal masses, so if ever you have any wisdom to share about recovering from cancer, I'll be all ears. Thank you -- Connie

Hummingbird5 said...

Oh nooo!! [Insert sad face *with* tear.] I will miss your posts so very much... Best wishes on your new path.

Canadian schoolmarm said...

I will miss your postings--a lovely combination of good style advice and thoughtful musings. Enjoy your new work and new grandson and I'll look forward to your occasional postings. Living near Ottawa, I find your post so relevant. Best wishes, Margot

Duchesse said...

To the many commenters from whom I have never heard, until this post:

Writing takes energy and time. When a reader comments, briefly but thoughtfully, that response creates a relationship, a human connection, however "virtual". So if you like a blog and want to see it continue, please comment, regardless of your viewpoint. For those of us who have decided not earn commissions by promoting products, comments are our reinforcement.

I'm not suggesting you comment •every• time; however, I posted here just short of eight years-1040 posts-and am now hearing from many persons for the first time... and you sound interesting! I wish we had met earlier.

Murphy said...

Congratulations and best of luck, Duchesse. I've really enjoyed your blog and will look forward to those occasional posts!

s. said...

Oh, Duchesse - first you left Toronto and now you're leaving your regular-schedule-of-posts. How I shall miss you! xoxo

emma said...

They are lucky to have you!
I'll miss you!

Pondside said...

A new adventure, whether climbing an alp or taking on a new career, is good for the soul. Good luck as you re-enter the life of juggling priorities. It sounds like you're having fun!

Kathy said...

Congratulations, both on becoming a grandmother and on your new job.

Jonz said...

Not a big commenter myself but at least it's not been years of silence! I've been reading your blog for the past few months and I totally enjoy your take on things and voice. Sorry you have to (partially) go to smoke me out. You've had a good place here and perhaps instead of using a feed reader now I can go back and look at archives!

Wendy Gardener said...

Proud of you for launching out on a new venture! Hope you have fun.

Northmoon said...

How exciting to be offered a job in a field that you love! Congratulations and all the best in your new position. I'll miss your regular posts for sure. Please do continue to put the occasional post together. I promise I'll subscribe right now so I won't miss any and I promise to leave comments.

Gretchen said...

I think this is a wonderful adventure for you, Duchesse, and combined with your new grandchild, your life is full of new wonderment. I believe I can vouch for most of your readership when I say I look forward to whatever you post, whenever you find time, as your voice is one I truly enjoy hearing. Your view on so many things has made me think, question what I thought I knew, and expanded my (already insane) love of pearls. Bonne chance!!!

rb said...

Congratulations Duchesse! I have enjoyed your posts, particularly the pearl ones.. what a nice pearly note to go out on!

Frugal Scholar said...

You've put into words some things I have been unable to articulate.Thanks as always. I'm still working, but am also looking for something new.

Mardel said...

Wonderful! I'll admit I'll miss your posts too, although I've been erratic of late. But it sounds like an adventure.

Unknown said...

Oh, it's Thursday and I went to look at your site...and then I remembered. I will miss your voice, and your beautiful writing. Thank you, and good luck on the new job! ~Martina

Julie said...

Very exciting. Since I found your blog about a year ago, i enjoyed and respected your opinions. Enjoy your new adventure.