My Christmas message this year is Childlike Faith:

ottoline & her daughter julian, 1909
photograph from the NPG here

Imagine the wonder of a child's Christmas in 1927 ?
A tree lit with candles tied to its branches. 
A mother that shares your Christmas wonder.  
Maybe a train set, or a doll- christened Patricia under the tree*
A box full of red apples, tart oranges, and peppermint sticks.*
Yes,Virginia" there is a Santa Claus. 
He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. 
Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. 
It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. 
There would be no Childlike Faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. 
We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. 
The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

This year Renew Your ChildLike FAITH in all things!
Merry Christmas~ Gaye

My mother's favorite Christmas present as a child-and Yes Virginia-she named that doll Patricia. From an affluent family at the height of the Depression, my mother,born in 1930, remembers a single-and special gift most Christmases, and a box wrapped in colorful papers holding fruit & candy. This was her Christmas. What a contrast with today's horde.
 & a Note on Virginia:
Virginia O'Hanlan became a teacher & school administrator, earning her masters from Columbia, and doctorate from Fordham University. (read more here)


I can't help but see Ottoline in the recent Maison Martin Margiela  Haute Couture Collection for the Fall. It puts me in mind of the dresses she created with antique silk lampas-

I think she would have particularly liked the veil.

 Ottoline, at left, phtographed by Beaton, and the dress she wore-

Ottoline's voluminous photographs-and scrap books can be found here at the NPG.

& Henry

 "Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.- Henry James as quoted by Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance (1934)

(Ottoline with Henry James and Ethel Sands) at the NPG here

Ottoline goes to Ashcombe

 July 21, 1933
Edith Olivier takes Ottoline to visit Ashcombe only to find that ‘common little demi-mondaine’ Doris Castlerosse staying, during the time she and Cecil Beaton were having an affair,  
Lord Berniers looks on.

page from Ottoline's scrapbook-found at the NPG here

the literary Lions of Garsington

Photographed at Garsington 
by Ottoline and Philip Morrell for her scrapbooks housed at the NPG here.


celebrating EASTER 1909 
with a little Flying...

 "Swift speedy time, feathered with flying hours, 
Dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow."
 ~Lord Chesterfield

Ottoline pictured here with Robin John,  
Robin was the third son of Augustus John and his wife Ida

these photographs-and more can be found at the NPG, that houses all of Ottoline's scrapbooks-

Return to Garsington

The October 2013 issue of  The World of Interiors features a fantastic article and photographs about OTT's Garsington. Behind The Scene. Written by Catherine Ingrams-who lived at Garsington as a child wrote the piece and the beautifully evocative photography of Christopher Simon Skyes transports us right back to what could easily have been an Ottoline day there.

Ingrams's father- Leonard- created an impromptu opera house at Garsington-also the Ingrams family home. Today the house has been restored to a private family home.

The stage entrance-from the side door to the stone Loggia
Ottoline commissioned Philip Tilden to design the Loggia on the East side of the house

Inside, this sunlit Hall,
 in OTTOLINE's Day painted a 'dark peacock-blue green'

 Once called The Red Room (by Ott) 
after its Venetian Red paint, now The Oak Room

Group Portrait from Ottoline's Scrapbook taken in the Red Room

Conscious of the history of Garsington the author's mother, Rosalind, selected furniture, wallpapers, and paints over her thirty year stewardship that adhered to the home's heyday-but reflected her taste and her vision of Home for her children.

A Stairway at Garsington photographed by Sykes echoes the tripping of Ottoline's elegant well heeled foot on the Stair-her touch on the banister-and the rustle of skirt on the tread as she ascended to rooms above.

If you love Ottoline & Garsington & can find a copy of the October issue it's well worth the effort. There are many additional photographs and a lovely story by Ingrams about the house during her lifetime.

all of the original photographs of GARSINGTON in Ottoline's day can be found at the NPG Here.