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this post is brought to you by FEVER

January 26, 2010

… when your brain ceases to function but you still think it’s a good idea to put a post up!

I am currently feeling 27,000 degrees under the weather but it doesn’t mean I don’t remember what it feels like to be EN FEU (in fact, I felt very literally on fire last night, as I feverishly dreamed of hundreds of bats and hummingbirds sleeping in a tree and horseshoe crabs tickling me.  And let me tell you, your first impulse when a chelicerate arthropod tickles your neck is WTF? followed by a sudden urge to flee because, you know, there is the whole matter of the long spear-like tail and the fact that it’s a CRAB (well, actually, an arachnid). But I can assure you they have a surprisingly gentle touch). End of longest parentheses ever.

Sooooo, as I was saying, in an attempt to exorcise this virus that seems to have infected most members of my family this past weekend, I thought I would reminisce about something that makes me happy.  Juste une toute petite anecdote… then I am going back to dreamland, where I hope Robert Downey Jr. tickles me this time around… na’mean?  (Remember… this post was brought to you by FEVER, which means that I cannot be held accountable and hells, while we are on a tangent, has anyone heard of Fever Ray? So good! This video makes me want to run out and buy a video camera.).

Back to my happy moment. The memory I am referring to is the day I spent with the very lovely Leonie in London a few weeks ago.  And one of my favorite parts of the day, besides sipping espresso at Sacred, grabbing lunch at World Food Café, eating a little afternoon sweetie at MonMouth, spending hours drooling over everything in Anthropologie, sampling cheese here and snapping photos in the streets of London was the time we spent at Gordon’s Wine Bar.

After walking around all day, we finally came in from the cold, settled into this grotto type bar, ordered a bottle of wine and chatted for hours. But the funnest part was when we decided this would be the perfect place to leave a little surprise for the beautiful Lisa, who was arriving in London a week later.  I’d been wanting to hide something for her somewhere in the city and this felt right.

It reminded me of when I used to visit my grand-parents in Michigan as a child. My grand-pa had a big wooden box and beneath the cover was a drawn out map of his entire property and every year, he would stage a treasure hunt for us. One clue leading to the next, leading to the small treasure chest in which there was a little something for each of his 6-8 grandchildren. It was this gift of play and adventure that I wanted to give Lisa.

And so it is that I made a quick envelope out of one of the pages of my journal in which I put a copy of a phonebox polaroid, a 5 pound note and a message that read something to the effect “Sit back, relax, have a glass of wine on me, knowing that only a week ago, two girls sat here talking about how much we love you“.  Then I asked the girl behind the bar (who just happened to be from Montreal) for some tape and I stuck the envelope under the table with 25 layers of tape.

When I got home, I sent Lisa the following instructions:

make your way to gordon’s wine bar (the oldest wine bar in london)
head downstairs
go past the bar
and head under the arch where all the tables are
the first table you see on your right is where you wanna go (see photo below)
it had two “oak barrel” chairs when we were there
if people are sitting, you’ll have to say
pardon me, i just need to check something under the table
there is an envelope stuck under the tabletop for you
(i used a lot of tape and sure hope it’s still there)
sit your pretty little butt down and enjoy a glass of wine

Sure enough, about a week later, Lisa sent me a message from the wine bar, where she sat eating Camembert and sipping Pinot Noir.  I asked her how it all went down and she said she had to interrupt a rather handsome bloke to get under the table.

He acted like it was the most normal thing ever.

She acted as if she retrieves things from under tables all the time.

How awesome is THAT?  Mainly the fact that you can make room for play, no matter what age you are. I love it!

UPDATE: Please read Lisa’s lovely account in the comments section.

I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.” – Leo F. Buscaglia

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2010 8:55 pm

    that has to be one of the coolest things ever. ever.

    hope you feel better soon

  2. January 26, 2010 8:58 pm

    Wow! I want to have a friend like you 🙂 I have been sick too, just a cold, but a bad one. I have been in the weird dreamland as well. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. January 26, 2010 9:09 pm

    i love fever ray and i LOVED sampling the cheeses at that cheese store…swoon worthy.

    and i adore that you left that treat for lisa…you rock, sister.

  4. MaryAnn permalink
    January 26, 2010 11:21 pm

    How sweet! Thanks for sharing this joyful story. It makes me want to go out and find the fun side of life! 🙂

    Hope you are feeling better soon!

  5. January 27, 2010 3:11 am

    we are big fans of Fever Ray and went to her last concert ever in London Dec ’09. it was awesome! (if you like her, check out The Knife, which is the other band she is in – with her brother).

    and you my friend, are someone i could happily play with every day. fact.

    hope you feel better soon babe.
    sending you so much love from this side of the pond.

    come back again soon…. ‘k?

  6. January 27, 2010 1:44 pm

    and then she sat down at her table, envelope held preciously between her hand and her heart. she lay the envelope next to the wine and the candle. just looked at it for a moment before opening. after spending many solitary hours strolling through snowy london, taking photos that suggested she was the only one there, now she sat, alone in this winebar, with a gift that was living proof that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

    she opened it carefully (ok, clumsily. the wine was taking effect.) and, inside was the most lovely polaroid, the one she’d admired on this here site. and a handwritten note. and money! (saved for when j and i will meet up at gordon’s in the future). she tried to hide her tears, and laughter, as she sat “alone” in the dark grotto. she tried to write it all down. but it was the present. and that is hard to record while it is happening. and you’re in it.

    i love you, ms. j. let’s play again soon.

    lisa xxxx

    my photo (taken drunk, in the dark, mind you) here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/doorwaystraveler/4290972535/in/set-72157623229411314/

  7. January 27, 2010 2:19 pm

    this will start a note-leaving-for-travellers revolution!
    brilliant x

  8. Ashley Erin permalink
    January 27, 2010 3:26 pm

    Oh this is such a fabulously fun idea! When I was little I had treasure hunts on my Opa and Oma’s fam too. This just warms my heart so much! Thank you for sharing.

  9. January 27, 2010 4:06 pm

    oh my gosh !!! i love that story, love love love … leonie and lisa and fun and message playtime. such beautiful magic. xoxo

  10. January 27, 2010 8:41 pm

    great shots from London the foggy ambiance is wonderful!!

  11. February 20, 2010 2:18 am

    i can’t believe i am just reading this story now. but it was worth the wait… this is seriously the best story i have ever read. you two make me deliriously happy knowing you are in the world and shared this fun and playful gift.

    p.s. i love that the girl behind the bar had tape.

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