Ten thoughts about perfume and its people

1) Scentaholics are a curious breed. Seemingly feeling things more strongly than the mainstream, their faces show reactions to smells that for most would be hyperbole. For us, the curious few, those faces are normality.
2) Alongside this tendency to feel things strongly, many scent fans also express things in intense language. No shades of grey here – this is a world of love and hate, Italianate in style, full of flourish and visceral response. The squirting of an atomiser is a memento mori: Messe de Minuit makes me want to die; Santal de Mysore, to live forever.
3) The lemmings never end. You think you’ve turned the corner. You believe Serge Lutens is over, that there will be nothing new, that it’s time to retreat to the tried and tested favourites. However, you still keep hoping that only, if only, you could have one more hit like the first time you smelled X or Y (but never XY whatever by Hugo Boss), it would all be worthwhile. You claim you’re happy to stick with what you know, to stop increasing your bounty. For one fleeting moment, you’re tricked into feeling contentment. And then you hear of a new niche brand only available at First in Fragrance. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. It goes on your sample list immediately. This is because…
4) To the scentaholic, perfume is a drug. That first remarkable hit of that first remarkable scent is a level of ecstasy that can’t be repeated. But you have to keep trying to regain the moment of bliss. To live in hope through addiction – this is the scentaholic’s motto.
5) Scentaholics are obsessive by nature. They probably have at least one other aspect of their life that keeps them awake at night in delicious (and sometimes despairing) reverie. This could be anything – from cake recipes to composting to conducting. It could be all three. At the same time. Scentaholics are a talented bunch.
6) Scentaholics are some of the loveliest people you can know. I’ve never met Patty (you lucky Sniffa people will have that chance), but she never strikes me as anything less than kind, thoughtful, sharp-witted and generous to a fault. I bet she’s great company. I know that March is.
7) Though we take our perfume seriously, we remember that it’s a trivial luxury. In spite of our intensity about it, it’s never really a matter of life and death. That’s why the scentaholic is often able to be irreverent, daft, and comic about the addiction. We’re prepared for the stunned silence of the acquaintance who finds out about our raison d’etre hobby; this is the funniest thing of all.
8 ) Shopping with another scentaholic is a transformative experience. Truly one of the best ways to experience perfume. I’m not good with crowds, but one or two people – just awesome.
9) Perfume copy seems more and more divorced from the real. Robin’s reductio ad absurdum competition over at Nowsmellthis summed this up with devastating humour – the half-digested post-structuralist gobbledegook, the relativist juxtaposition of high minded aestheticism and low culture ‘cool’, the claims for an ever more rarefied exoticism, the painful attempts at capturing erotic ineffabilities in lumpen prose – all these things are regular features of the niche world.
10) But it’s the notes in designer perfumes that take this journey away from reality. Headspace technology has allowed marketeers to place an empty space where a head should be. So we have a chain of premodified nouns now, whose adjectives are more for suggestion than for clarification (crystalline pansy; bejewelled tonka; iridescent musk; tactile oceanic breeze, ending with a base of vacuous guff). But what they suggest is anyone’s guess. I’m with Chandler Burr – let’s just be honest about the chemicals and be done with it.

It’s been a real privilege writing every week for the lovely readers we have here at the posse. But I seem to have dried up for now – my perfume mojo is no longer working at full power, and I’ve had to hand in my scentaholic swipe card to the Holy Trinity (Chris Sheldrake, Jean-Claude Ellena, Olivia Giacobetti). I hope to get the card back as and when my interest returns, but because of my decline in perfume enthusiasm, this is my last post for a while. I’m taking a break. I’ll be around in the online perfume world now and then, and I wish you all well ’til we meet again. And I send my thanks and love to Patty and March for making me feel so welcome, and so at home, here. They’re wonderful women.

129 Comments

  1. No!!!
    It’s not fair, not when I was chuckling at the XY line and nodding approvingly throughout only to be cut short and devastated by that last paragraph.
    Oh I’m at a loss now… Wednesdays with you have been just a delight and to have you leave now plain sucks. I’ll miss you! Please don’t be long with your break, which I sure hope you mean to spend doing only pleasant things… And remember – the Posse need and love you! 😡

    • Patty and March are so lovely they’re allowing me to come back whenever I want to. Who knows, this might be a temporary thing…

  2. Lee, dear Lee,
    You’re breaking my heart. I know I don’t say it enough, but I adore your writing skills. I am always swept away by your wit, your cunning command of the English language. Please don’t stay away too long. I wish you all the best on your break. Please stay in touch.
    XO,
    Bryan

    • Will do. And your endlessly generous language makes me wish to be the person you see in me. Thank you! 😡

  3. Oh no! Please say it ain’t so, Lee!

    We will miss you, and wish you nothing but the best.

    Please come back to us soon, okay?

    Hugs!

  4. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!:((

    Lee! Don’t get me wrong Patty and March, I love you girls – but LEE! The way you made me think, feel, laugh, cry, and look forward to Wednesday CAN NOT end!!!

    I hope that everything is OK in your world. Please do keep in touch – so many of us love you so!!!

    • Everything is okay, Kelly. Just need a little bit of time away from the online world, is all.

      Love back to you.

  5. Many, many, many humbled thanks for your delightful and insightful prose. All the best in your future endeavors and thank you again for sharing your talent and time.

  6. Dear Lee

    It’s been a pleasure, but I completely understand (and you have been leaving little hints). Be well, enjoy the summer. Hope to catch a glimpse of you from time to time in the online perfume world.

    • You saw those hints, didya? Clever clogs.:d

      You have a wonderful summer too.

  7. Well, I’ll really miss your thoughtful reviews and your fine prose, Lee, but I totally support your taking a break. There’s no good in continuing the thing you do for joy when it becomes drudgery. I look forward to your fresh and dazzling return. :[email protected]};-

  8. oh no. not another favorite blogger-writer-scentaholic disappearing! I will miss your posts, for sure! But pleeeeease…. place a few witty comments here, will you?

    • I’ll certainly write comments now and again. We’ll have to see if they’re witty…

  9. Lee, my sweet, you can’t do this to me, to us! I miss you already….. It’s been great reading your reviews and thoughts – you’re such a talented writer! I wish you the best of times, lots of fun with the garden and the dog (you are getting here, aren’t you), and generally the bestest and most beautiful whatever-it-is-that will-make-you-happy available. And I hope for myself and all of your other faithful readers that you’ll be back soon!

    Smooches!

    • Dinazad – thanks so much for your superlovelysmashing words.

  10. Oh, Lee, this is a blow! But I fully understand. I went through a time like that a couple of months back. It didn’t last long, but while I was in that mood it was undeniable. I hope you will have many pleasant things in your life. You’ll have your garden. But, Lee, what about the pup? Are you getting her or not?

    Don’t lose my e-mail address. And don’t fail to use it. 😡

    • I’ll definitely be staying in touch. I’m probably out in the Bay Area over Christmas, so we might well get a chance to meet. Coffee in Monterey?

      And I always go through a perfume slump in spring (one of the reasons I decided to skip Sniffa). Just this time it set in earlier and is lasting longer….:-?

      • Oh, my gosh, Christmastime with Lee!!! What else could anyone else wish for in her stocking!

        I’ll join you for chowder, Tom, any time you want.

  11. You know how much you are loved and appreciated, Lee. We’ll all look forward to your dropping by and making us laugh and view it all from a different, only slightly twisted perspective

    @};-

  12. My Wednesdays just died. I’m dousing myself in Messe de Minuit and I’m going back to bed. 8-x

    I love you, Lee.>:d<

  13. Lee,
    It’s been a pleasure to read your touching prose here, and – I understand. I look forward to your return. Meanwhile – I wish you beautiful spring, summer and autumn in your garden!

    • Thanks – the garden’s easy. It’s the near half-acre of land 15 minutes away that is a labour (sometimes of love). Drat those brambles!

  14. We are all richer for your sharing and will miss you. :(:(( I have so enjoyed reading your writings :-< and now you desert us.>:p . So >:/ and I’ll :-$ . We all 😡 . >:d<.

  15. You KNOW…
    You could just visit us anyway, with your thoughts on ANYTHING ELSE….
    Because it’s YOU we love.
    Lemmings be damned, my darling.

    I fully understand.
    And love your observations.
    Nurture your soul, pester M relentlessly for a puppy, and ‘cultivate your garden’ [ a la Candide]…
    You’re my angel, my golden boy .

    • Well, I hope you know how much you mean to me too. I’m sure you must – I don’t exactly make a secret of it!

      I might well make an appearance every once in a while, rambling on about this, that, or the other…

  16. You know I understand and respect your decision, and I’m getting through this by telling myself it’s temporary and your mojo will turn up under one of the couch cushions.

    But still. 🙁

    • I’ll have a hunt.

      (I hope I’ll still get daft emails from you once in a while).

      And thanks for allowing me to pop back in, as and when. It means a lot.:x

  17. Sometimes, not often, intense emotion leaves me speechless. Speechless because my brain is in a dizzied twirl. Ok, I’ve recovered. I thank you for all that you have shared with us, perfume stuff being the least of it. I am selfishly sad but thankful for your wisdom, candor and all the coffee that has passed the wrong way out through my nostrils. You are an amazing writer and have given me the gift of starting my days laughing out loud many, many times. I wish you the best this world has to give. :)>-

    • Thanks Anne. Making you laugh makes me smile. I’m glad. But you’ve still got those two goofs Patty and March to make you snicker (and Bryan on Sundays, of course!).

  18. Oh, NOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Risking being hauled in by the exclamation point police, but am so very sad. :(( However, I do understand, having had similar feelings in the past. I hope the break won’t last too long, as you’ll be terribly missed. And may you have the most joyous spring, summer, etc. w/ a flourishing garden and – I hope – a great time w/ a new canine child.

    • Thanks Elle. I’m sure I’ll be back in some way or the other, sometime.

      • And I heard the siren for the exclamation police, but managed to reassure them I’ve got this one covered…

  19. Oh, Lee, I love your writing so very much. I hope you will not be gone too long…..but I understand your need to take a break to focus on the more important things. As always, Chaya is right; you could write about anything and we’d be happy. 😡

    • Verrucas it is then!

      Just kidding.

      Thank you so much for your lovely words.

  20. Oh, Lee, I will miss you so much—although I know how you feel: while my perfume enthusiasm is still present, it seems to be clearly on the wane (which is good for the pocketbook). But I am going to one day of the sniffa, so that may revive it.
    Wishing you all the best!!!!:x

    • I wonder what might happen to the pocketbook at sniffa!

      Thanks, J.

  21. Dearest Lee, I will, we all will miss you terribly. I do understand how it is to burn out on a particular thing, especially writing on a very specific topic for a long time. I’ve done it & after a bit the muse that pushed you starts to yawn, her focus wanders, & you start feeling mechanical & detached from describing that whatever. You need to stop or at least transform your creative process around it. Taking a break is good. The things one does for pleasure should never become a chore. Go relax, play with puppies. But please don’t disappear, your virtual company is & always will be appreciated.

    About scentaholic compulsion. I was on the phone last night with a friend who shares the passion & we commented that if we drank we’d be doing this about wine. We don’t, & ‘fume isn’t in danger of driving me to the gutter or rending my life unmanageable, thank the stars. For me it’s sensory stimulation, opening up an underutilized sense & finding pleasure in it. I’m not looking to recreate that first hit so much as find new scents that make me sigh, groan, moan with pleasure each time I put them on. I have a few such, each different from the other. Lemming after new frags is about my hope to find another way of stroking that olfactory pleasure zone in some new way.

    • Keep stroking!

      And it’s been a delight knowing you through your words here, and reading about your world elsewhere…:x

  22. Lee, I understand that need to take a break and move on(to other things, places, whatever) and I find it healthy, useful and inevitable if we are to grow (not only older, but wiser). However, this doesn’t mean your absence won’t be felt. Just take a lot at all these emails. Good luck and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you again if that’s what you want.

    • Thanks alba. A very thoughtful post – wisdom in few words. I hope to be back around one day.

  23. I always enjoy reading your posts–and I think turning in one’s “mojo card” happens to many of us. My passion for perfume has been diminished for over a year now. So it goes. Best to you!:)

  24. Lee,

    Your words have caused me to laugh, to cry, and to think. Thank you for sharing your time and talents with all of us. I understand well your need to take some time to rest and direct your energies elsewhere. Please take good care of yourself and know that we all miss you and send you our very best wishes.

    Anna

    • Anna – it’s been a pleasure knowing you, and not just for kind words like these ones.

  25. I really enjoyed your posts. I can’t believe you’re going away. 🙁
    I do hope you come back soon. It’s posts like the one you wrote today that prove you can’t be gone for long. You have us pegged. I can totally understand how you might need a break, which is why I can’t be mad, just sad. Come back soon. Miss you already. =((

    • This is a break, a hiatus, a pause. I don’t think it’s the end…

      Keep on smiling through the humidity!

  26. Lee,
    It is so sad for me to read this post. Yet, as some old vaudvillian has said (and I’m too lazy to reference) “Always leave them wanting more.” Your writing has always struck me as so beautifully crafted, as well as side-splittingly funny–not the easiest thing to pull off, but you always did, and made it look effortless. Enjoy the many other loves in your life (Matt, the gardening, possibly the adorable snuffly puppy to come) and best wishes for everything!

    • Thank you for your lovely words. And there’s too much to enjoy in life!:x

  27. I find so many of my interests on the wane as spring begins–there seems like such opportunity for change, for new things. I have been absent from comment boards for the most part for a few weeks, and I don’t see that changing as (my last) finals period begins. This is also always the point in the year where I want to start going out and kissing other boys–but shh, don’t tell the bf. I suppose you never grow out of that, right??

    With regards to point 3, it seems like, for now, many of my lemmings have disappeared. I just don’t see how anything could get more perfect for me than Iris Silver Mist. As soon as I get a belljar of that, I think I’m set, if not for life, then for a good long time. It’s so categorically everything I ever wanted in perfume. My sample is running low and I had to quit my job in order to deal with school, so I won’t be getting any more of it for a while and that prospect makes me sad–but I can conjur up a scent memory of it almost instantly, and even that is a comfort.

    (Oh, but I do still want to smell Sycomore and the Tom of Finland scents. And I will want to sniff the new Tom Ford women’s scent. Ok, point 3 well taken…)

    Gonna miss you buddy! Please drop in sporadically with a Wordsworth quote or to post a Goya painting or two…

  28. And I’ve hardly had any time with you at all! Truth be told, I could smell this in the air from your past couple of posts. It is the natural course of things. Our passions ebb and flow and we should allow them to. I love this last post and wish you well.

  29. My jaw dropped, and then my heart did too. I hope the perfume mojo comes back, Lee.

    You nailed me in your essay, Lee. I guess I am a scentaholic.

    I suppose it would take another essay to define post-structuralism? I envy your education.

    • Don’t bother with the post-structuralism. Stick with the scent!:x

  30. Oh, Lee! I am heartbroken. Just don’t disappear from the blogs in general. Big hugs and love, Marina.

    • I won’t disappear. And you’ll definitely be hearing from me, lovely one!

  31. Lee…I haven’t posted here or anywhere else much over the last year or so, because my former passion to talk about perfume seemed to be spent. I have still enjoyed keeping up with what’s going on and have particularly enjoyed your musings here on fragrance and anything else that took your fancy.
    Thank you.
    I’m glad to hear that you’ll still be around in the perfume community.
    Jill.

    • Jill – perhaps we’re on a similar journey. Best wishes back to you…

  32. Lee, I will sorely miss your posts. You are such a lovely writer–on any subject, not just perfumes. Please never stray too far from the Posse…hope to see you in the comments. Best wishes!

  33. Lee, of course, like everyone else I will miss you terribly – but what a post to go out on!! I love the exit, man! All of your points are so very accurate, this was one of my favourite posts of yours on the subject of perfume, and one of my faves ever on perfumaniacs. Marina was just saying today on NST that her perfume ennui seems to be over – yours will be, too, one day. If it doesn’t end, though, I will comfort you with the words of a wise professor I once had: “If you don’t come back to an interest, it’s most likely because you moved on to other things that interest you more.” You’ll always have friends and admirers here in Perfume Nation 🙂

  34. I agree with Chaya- please drop by with your thoughts on non-perfume subjects when you the mood strikes you.
    Though I am new around here, I believe that the draw of perfume is that the scent takes us someplace else, reminds us of some other time and/or reflects what we wish/hope/dream we are or what we could be. Often the insights here at the Posse are more about those places, times, or reflections than they are about the perfume. And I have been touched by your witty and thought-provoking insights.
    Thank you.

    • I read that comment three times and there is still an error in it! Oh well, so much for the poignant send off.:)

  35. Every time I’ve read one of your posts I’ve added one or two things to my “must try” list. Your postings have always been enjoyable and informative, and you will be missed. I think we all hope to hear from you from time to time, and I’ll join with everyone else in wishing you a great summer.

    • Thanks vasily – and I hope that some of those ‘to try’s worked out for you…

  36. I attribute my fascination to the non-Export Serge Lutens to you – in fact I can’t help thinking of you whenever I see a bottle of Iris Silver Mist.

    I will miss your wonderful posts Leopoldo – hope you still pop up on Basenotes ever so often, whether you’re just lurking or posting. 🙂

    • I’ll be there once in a while. I think you’re one of the people who make basenotes the sort of place it is. In fact, you make it better than it is!

  37. I’ll miss you, too, but I’m always happy to see a brilliant mind evolve! Find joy, baby, or at least flee boredom. Good luck. I’ll look for you around the blogs, and please do drop in at mine every once in a while.

    Love,
    M

    • You know, I’m one of the fortunate few – never bored… I’ll definitely be dropping in chez toi.

  38. Lee-

    You’re killing me! :((

    Your writing has inspired me in the past to try and be better at it myself; I’ll miss Wednesdays, damn you! 😡

    Can’t you write about gardening? Canning? Dry rot? Anything? Waahhhh!

    Keep commenting at least!

    • I could do wet and dry rot – we’ve had both here…

      I will be here once in a while, I’m sure…

  39. Oh, Lee, you have most certainly intimated this. But like everyone else, I will miss your pungent wit and prose. And I join the chorus of wishes for all the very very best with everything that has now claimed your affection and attention.

  40. Noooo!
    I’ve really enjoyed your posts. At least keep commenting!:((

  41. We got a great sniff of your wonderful you-ness here.
    Your sillage will carry us along for a very long time.
    We are grateful.

  42. :((:((:((

    i always enjoy hearing your voice. you always have something unique to say. and i love the windows you open onto your life across the pond. sometimes that’s more fun to hear about than perfume anyway. so i hope this self-imposed silence will come to an end sooner rather than later. :d

    • Thanks minette. I think I just need to check the work on the window for a while…

  43. Lee,
    You have made my Wednesdays wonderful these past few months and your kind and thoughtful emails really made me feel so welcome here at the PP. Thank you.

    Go enjoy your garden, your new puppy, your life, your love…..and come back and visit every now and then!

    @};[email protected]};[email protected]};[email protected]};- and my best wishes for a wonderful spring and summer, filled with fragrant blossoms, happiness, contentment…and more love than you could ever imagine (pups give that, as you know!;)

    • It’s been a joy getting to know you through your comments. I’ll definitely be looking forward to hearing about the Chicago sniffa when it happens…:x

  44. Life does have its cycles and our passions wax and wane throughout our lives. I hope yours is on holiday and not permanently retired. Do keep the lines of communication open. You have no idea how much you’ll be missed, although I’m sure all the posts above are giving you a clear picture.

    I will say au revoir and not adieu. In the meantime, I will picture you in your beautiful garden with, hopefully, a furry baby at your side.

    Thanks for all you’ve given to us here in the scented world.

    • I hope it’s a holiday too! I’ve loved all the commenters…

  45. Lee, I’ve always so enjoyed your writing and your insights… I do like the thought of you reveling in the smell of loamy earth and gardeny green and perhaps puppysmell for a while…

  46. Well, you said it all. Before reading this, I woke up, saw 3 samples I had to try by my computer, sprayed them on, and thought, “what a funny life I lead” hahaha… Now, wafting in 4 fragrances (the fourth is Ambre Sultan from last night, still going pretty strong) I sit obsessing about this and that, and yep, I’m a classical musician. 🙂 Sounds like you’ve got your finger on it Lee 😉

    • Sorry, I forgot to add… it must be funny to think that a bunch of people you don’t even know could possibly “miss” you but it’s true. You and March and Patty are a part of the daily ritual of so many fragrance fans, but I understand the waning of desire for fragrance as well. I go through it from time to time, usually when I read too many people’s competitive comments about their favorites, or why their opinion is better than yours. Ugh. But I have a feeling this isn’t the last I’ll read from you. 🙂 I hope to see you in the comments occasionally at least 😀 hugs…

  47. I completely understand of what you speak. You have taken a break so gracefully that if you change your mind tomorrow or next week everyone will applaud your return. I am with the rest of us in hoping that you will comment and consider writing on some other subject here or elsewhere and sending everyone the link. After over a year I seem to be coming out of a fog and back to my perfume blogging and other writing, so it can happen. I will be curious to hear whatever else-up-to you are. :x:d

    • I rushed over to see your words at your blog now your mojo is back. I take inspiration from you Cait!

      • I think that even if you don’t blog letters (emails more likely) are a great idea because perfume people clearly have more in common than perfume and it perfume becomes a catalyst or a touchstone for our correspondence. So, I expect letters at the very least.

  48. You know how sad I am. :(( But I completely understand, we all go through frumps that may last for a few days/weeks/months. I wouldn’t care if you just wrote about whatever you wanted to, even if it wasn’t perfume!

    xoxoxo

    • Maybe once a month? Or more if I get the oomph back.

      Thank you so much Patty – you’re a marvel. And I’m still here for you if you need me…;)

  49. I will so miss reading about your life & perfume loves. Please keep us up to date on the puppy acquisition! You sound sad. . . Be well.

    • I am a little sad – this is a wonderful place. I’ll miss it.

  50. Lee, I absolutely respect your decision to take a break, but I’ve come out of lurking here to add my voice to the chorus of those who will miss you!

    Have a wonderful break, please come back when you can, and perhaps you can fulfill my hope that you might write about your favorite garden plants (fabulous, fragrant ones, maybe)?

    • Thanks so much Leslie. I feel very favoured today. And that plant idea is an excellent one!

  51. I’ll miss your voice here. Take a break, rejuvenate, and return to us soon!

  52. this is a great post! our attributes really ARE that summable; and hey, if you have to hand in your swipe card, those three are marvelous nosekeepers.

    good luck, Lee – and hope to see you soon.

  53. Dear Lee: I will miss you, I looked forward to your posts, you have wit, intelligence and just the most profound and wonderful way of describing not only perfumes, but life in general and love and work and all of it!! Thank you for letting us have you this long.

    • Thank you so much! I do have a deep love and profound respect for all the variety life can offer. Long may it last!

  54. Lee, we’ll always have Paris, right? Some day? Or London. I’m sure.
    Baisers,
    D.

  55. 1) That’s funny, I don’t think I do that a lot but my girlfriend, who’s certainly not a scentaholic, responds to sniffing my wrist with a) Mmm! :d (smiling like a Cheshire cat, she does!) b) Hmm? 😕 (meaning “I recognize the scent but can’t place it”)or c) Yuck! >:p (with refreshing lack of polite consideration)
    5) So true!
    And as for the end of the post, I can only join the chorus wailing nooooo!, beating our breasts and pouring ash over our heads. :(( Not the only Brit on the Blog! Who’s going to be witty and British about perfume now? (Not that I don’t love you **== gals, of course, but there are still a bunch of you left on the blogs!) I ^:)^ your posts, even though I’ve rarely had time to comment lately, and I sincerely hope you’ll be back, even if it’s just to write about composting once a month!

    • Thanks solander. Watch this space.

      5) Now I’m wondering what your other obsessions are. I can only manage three at a time (last night I was drawing and redrawing my vegetable plot over and over in my head, instead of sleeping…).

      • Oh they come and go. For the time being they include Severus Snape, the Alan Rickman version. I’ve bought black fabric for gazillions of money and sewn gazillion of little black buttons onto it after first having covered each and every one of them with said fabric, for the Europride parade. I’m not going as Snape though, I get to be Snape’s boyfriend with the pimp cane and the long peroxide blond hair. Living in Yorkshire I also absolutely must visit the village of Snape before I move.

  56. I was laughing, and then I was crying. Now I am simply in despair. But still, I understand the drying up, the tumbleweed of the perfumed soul, rolling across the Tauer-asphalt-scented horizons of your mind.

    Uh-oh, I’ve read too much perfume copy. Again. We’ll miss you, and as soon as you feel ready, hurry back! We’ve lost a lot of perfume bloggers–Aromascope and Bois de Jasmine, and whatever will I read at night?

    But really, a break is always what refreshes best. We’ll wait. Forever. Oh, is that a new list of notes over there. . . .

  57. Well I’m going to venture out of lurkdom to wish you all the very best in your offline endeavours. I’ve immensely enjoyed your posts and reading a British perspective. Wishing you heaps of puppylove – fingers-crossed for the pattering of puppy paws (please let us know).
    Best, Leo

    • Thanks Leo. And don’t make this your first and last!

      And I will keep you all informed.

  58. Your writing is extraordinary and you will be missed. I wish you all the best in the future and hope that we see you again. Perhaps you need a break to pursue other interests. Whatever happens, I hope you will continue to bring your gifts of keen observation, intelligence and smart writing to the world.

  59. Oh, Lee, thank goodness you leave us a rich oeuvre through which we can browse when we’re lonesome for your charming writing. Be well, and hope you get to enjoy some air du chien! –Ellen

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