Eleven years and a mini-break

March 25 marked eleven years since the Passage opened, and, digging into the archives (over 1, 275 posts), I've noticed I've moved from writing about style to, more often, culture and the life stories of women I've met. Pearls of course endure!

The first three posts from March 2008 were about Indian jamavar shawls, Zara Scoville's "Priceless Imperfection" pearls, and Thierry Rabotin shoes. I'd wear every one of those today! (When you see something in the Passage's windows, it's because it interests me; I do not write sponsored posts, earn commissions, or accept freebies.)

Today's windows show the 2019 versions.

The shawl: Heritage Trading on eBay sells these in an array of colours, though the price has crept up a bit ($US 66). They make wonderful gifts. My friend Lynda showed me how to handwash them: in cold water with baby shampoo; dry flat.
The pearls: Zara has no e-commerce site and high-quality non-traditional pearls are still hard to find. This Chinese keshi, Peruvian opal and golden South Sea pendant pearl necklace is from my favourite, Kojima Company; price, $US 504.
The shoes: Since that post, TR have only collected more fans who will endure the luxury-level price for comfortable shoes that look every bit as chic as non-comfort styles. This spring's star sandal is the "Barton" in Navy Africa; price, $US 495.

In the past eleven years, more has changed in my life than in my closet: my mother and brother died, and we became grandparents; our children and those of friends have grown from youth to adulthood; the family moved cities; I retired. And the world shifted, with new uncertainties, urgencies, discoveries.

But the inner transition has eclipsed anything showing on the outside. I dream about my work, not in a yearning way, but in a summative manner. I'm off that particular stage but grateful to be in the Passage, which I imagined from that first day as a Parisien passage, but also a time of life, a state of mind, a place through which to amble alone or with a friend, then have a coffee crème. Stop and smell the wisteria.

My reward has been the relationships, the sharing of ideas and resources. When you comment, I'm encouraged; when you send jewellery reno photos, I'm delighted.

There will be no post this Thursday; I'm taking a few days off to visit a recently-widowed Susanfriend. You know how that is: laughter and tears, our wistful knowledge that time moves on.

And I will bring her girlfriend goodies, one of which is Daniele Henkel's Renaissance Glove.

Earlier in the winter we visited a ritzy spa for full-body exfoliation. That cost $160 each, a pretty penny to be scrubbed like a baking potato. My neighbour Toni told me about the glove, which she uses daily. She invited me to touch her silky forearm: sold!

This particular Susanfriend visits the Passage occasionally, so I'm not talking about the other treats except to say salted caramel is involved.

My wish is that you, too, will meet soon with a beloved friend whom you don't see often enough. And lay on the salted caramel!

Thank you for reading; see you next Tuesday, April 2 when you'll be welcomed with a spring-celebratory draw. Hint: "April showers bring..."


Venasque said…
Those spa visits are the best. We were recently in Portugal with friends of forty years and the female portion of the pair and I visited a spa at the thermal springs. It was a hoot and a half, we both had the full body scrubs, as well as other lovely treats. You lay nearly naked on a bed while a young woman scrubbed you vigorously, and I mean vigorously with a salty cream (could tell as it ran into my mouth) and then a giant arm like a car wash came over and drowned you. Here's a hint - do not shave your legs before having a scrub. At then end we floated around in the thermal pool. We often do things like this together and never stop laughing the entire time.
I'm glad you are taking a break to be with your friend. As you know, I have a friend a decade older who is probably ... though we keep hoping ... going through the same thing.

I was thrilled with the blogs "for a certain age" but alas always covering style means accumulating too much. I have bought some new clothes but am also getting rid of many more, as well as other things. I found the Margareta Magnusson book at Nelligan, our library system, and will be requesting an inter-library loan at Marc-Favreau.
Madame Là-bas said…
Congratulations on writing a blog for 11 years and on writing a blog that is growing more interesting. As I draw near to age 70, I am less interested in accumulation although I still appreciate style. Your blog has made that shift gracefully. Enjoy your time with your friend. PS. I still would buy Thierry Rabotin shoes at whatever price!
LauraH said…
Wow, eleven years. I remember finding your blog a few years ago and reading all the back 'issues'. So much inspiration and information. And it continues to be fresh and lively and so worth reading, I never know what I'll find when I open it. Long may you write!

Love that scarf, beautiful and perfect for spring:-)
materfamilias said…
No salted caramel, sadly, but I had such a good day Saturday with a friend from the island, someone I haven't seen for months. We moved from painting to painting at a Monet to Matisse exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery and then continued the conversation for hours in the gallery cafeteria. No better tonic, really. Your visit will be more emotional, and the salted caramel and body scrub are lovely tokens of the solace you'll bring your friend.
I'm not sure if I read your blog from the very beginning, but I'm quite sure I showed up at the Passage soon after and have enjoyed visiting ever since, virtually, and then those two IRL visits. Congratulations on completing 11 years here, and I hope there will be many more. xo
Unknown said…
Whoa, I panicked a little when I read the heading to today's post. I was afraid you might be taking a permanent-ish break! I appreciate your blog so much. Your posts are not trying to sell me something. They are not vain, outfit of the day selfies. You (and the comments) don't go on about expensive trips. I often find myself saying "my favorite Montreal blogger wrote about _ today" and it is a jumping off point to good conversation. -Lily
Jean Shaw said…
I agree with Lily 100%.

This time of life is indeed remarkable, full of gifts and challenges. I just heard last night that an old friend is moving into San Francisco (from the suburbs) "on my own," details TK ("to come" in journo speak).

I'm glad that you're able to be there for your friend. May it be a restorative time for you both.
Araminta said…
I do hope you enjoy your break and your time with your friend. When we moved to the UK we left so many old friends behind in Montreal and I miss them so very much. One of them is about to reach the birthday when the government of Canada finally pays her her pension. So it is a significant one for her, although she is running a full decade behind me. She does so much for others and has no family left of her own so we like to nurture her as much as we can. So she is coming to visit us in London in May. We are looking forward to outings, theatre, pub lunches and long conversations.
Laura Jantek said…
11 years and the topics continue to be interesting timely and thoughtful. I too often refer back to topics discussed here. The big is a good balance of style and life. Looking forward to many more posts—
Leslie said…
Your friend needs you more than we do, but please return. I am always elevated and educated by your posts. Sometimes bankrupted, thanks to Kojima posts. I remember when I read the first-for-me post, I binge read all of them over the course of a weekend. I was hooked. Now you have sent me down a rabbit hole looking at Thierry Rabotin shoes.
Jeannine said…
Condolences to your friend. I'm sure your visit will be very welcome. The exfoliating glove looks like something to have - I'm going to check in to it. Thanks for the recommendation.
Scarfsportif said…
Thank you dearly for your always thought provoking, often poignant posts. I'm struck by their delicacy and grateful for your proxy friendship.
royleen said…
Take good care of your friend and enjoy your break. I echo everything everyone has said. You are amazing, thank you.
Susan said…
Congratulations on writing your blog for eleven years. I've been reading for quite a few of those years. I enjoy every post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Ms. Liz said…
Congratulations on 11 years of writing your blog. I have been going back and reading your earlier posts. I am enjoying the journey you have taken us on with your writing over these past years.

I am already looking forward to next week's post!

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