Cote d’Azur Cowboy

Here’s a turnabout…you may recognize the guy in the hat…


Yep, His Serene Highness, Prince Albert of Monaco was in Cody, Wyoming last weekend, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his grandfather’s hunting excursion with Buffalo Bill…the first European royal to visit the US.


Cody is home to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Albert was guest of honor at the museum’s annual patron’s ball. Well-placed sources (I.E. my sidekick, DLP) witnessed the prince, after hours, playing a mean set of bongo drums with a country western band in a well-known Cody honky tonk.  The dance floor was packed and it’s a good bet the cowgirls were wearing something a lot like these, custom made in Texas: 


A Website of Worldly Pleasures

That doesn’t describe my blog, at least not yet. But it IS the reason I just traveled through some of the most beautiful Alpine panoramas Austria has to offer without even looking out the train window. I was engrossed in the Financial Times weekend supplement called “How To Spend It” (Clever play on words). The website is every bit as sumptuous as the print version:


The caption for the above fashion statement is, “Bold Shoulder”. I think of the mag as a gift catalogue for wealthy London investment bankers who otherwise would have no idea what appropriately outrageous gifts to shower upon their gold digging partners (snark).   Here’s an advertisement for the Mayfair Hotel that instantly got my romance blood boiling. Look at the suite… and now comes the caption:  “A Clandestine Weekend For the Happily Married to Cheat on Their Kids”.  I love the idea. And I don’t even HAVE kids!


High Fashion – Really High

Kitzbühel, Austria – This afternoon I heard more Russian spoken than German but it’s still an Alpine paradise.  Not far away, in Munich, Oktoberfest is underway, here in the Alps, every village has its ‘Almabtrieb’ festivities, a sure sign of summer giving way to fall.  Strange that the traditional Trachtmode has become high fashion once again…the Munich elite paying thousands of Euros for Dirndls that are worn once a year. My favorite store here in Kitz is Gössl…



And then of course there are the Manly Austrians…


What a beautiful part of the world. I’ll be in Provence next week. Tough life but hey… 😉


The Artist Who Launched A Thousand Romance Novels


…at least in my head. If it seems like I’m obsessed with the paintings of Jack Vattriano it’s because I am. Sensual, seductive and addictive, the players seem to move even while frozen in time. Sultry, cigarette smoking, fabulous femme fatales and brooding, smouldering, potent men. Yes, MEN. God, sometimes…no, often…I’d love to insert myself into his artfully decadent tableaux. Music by Mark Geary…close to country but not quite…

Fifty Shades of Wuss

“Why does a woman work ten years to change a man, then complain he’s not the man she married?” 
― Barbra Streisand

I love that quote and the unmistakable message is that modern women are largely responsible for the Metrosexual phenomenon.  The ideal of American manhood used to be this: 


Now it’s this: 


I recently read an interesting, borderline scandalous explanation for the wild popularity of “50 Shades of Grey.”  The theory is that despite emancipation, the female is genetically wired to be subservient, and we find our outlet through romance novels featuring alpha males.  Yet in real life we’re soccer moms and dodge ball deniers, sucking the masculinity out of our very own sons while secretly salivating over The Few, The Proud, The Marines.  

This rant is inspired by a blog with the subheading, “When Did Mowing the Lawn Become A Bridge Too Far?”  It’s a fascinating and sobering read, check out the first few lines:

I read the subject line for the latest message on my neighborhood listserv with interest: “Kids Cutting Grass?”

A few years ago I’d used a post with a similar headline to find someone to do some yard work. My husband and I hired a neighborhood kid whose Dad had died the year prior after a long illness. Maybe 13 years old, he’d taken to doing yard work to raise much-needed money and have something to do.

But this email was very different. It read:

“We just had a group of adorable and entrepreneurial kids (young, maybe 9-11 years old) offer to mow our grass. Not to be Scrooges in the neighborhood, but what is the general consensus on this around [the neighborhood] re: safety? They looked pretty young, and we didn’t see a parent with them supervising. I realize kids want to earn spending money, but I was interested in getting the pulse on this sort of thing. Teenagers, maybe. But these kids looked like they may be older elementary school aged (guess). We had a family member lose a couple of toes mowing while a young kid, so maybe I’m just overly sensitive.”

The next email read, “For anyone whose interested, the [American Academy of Pediatrics] recommends that children be at least 12 years old before operating a push mower and 16 for a ride-on mower, along with a list of safety precautions. Just FYI.”

A link was provided to a page on the AAP web site headlined “Mowing the Lawn Can Be a Dangerous Chore.” Injury prevention tips there include: “Have anyone who uses a mower or is in the vicinity wear polycarbonate protective eyewear at all times.”

I repeat. One tip was that everyone in the vicinity of a lawn mower should be wearing polycarbonate protective eyewear at all times.

Read the whole article here: