The fact that I’m writing one recap for all three months of September, October, and November from a hotel room in Jerusalem while on tour with DUCHESS is probably sufficient information for you to gauge the overall level of busy-ness this fall. I’ve been doing lots of traveling and lots of singing, which has made me happy, if a bit harried.
September’s highlight was the week DUCHESS spent on the west coast, bringing #girlongirlharmony to California. We had an amazing time on tour, beginning in Los Angeles and culminating in our debut at the Monterey Jazz Festival. After the tour ended, I hung out for an extra day to spend some time with my parents. I’m including a couple of pictures here, but a more comprehensive rundown of our tour is here.
October began with a fairytale trip to the south of France with my husband and in-laws. Our “home base” was the tiny mountain village of La Garde-Freinet, home to a charming, twice-weekly outdoor market, mountain trails leading to sweeping vistas of the French countryside, and a sizable expatriate community, as well as natives Jean-Jacques the butcher, Hervé the wine purveyor, and Valerie, proprietress of La Freixenet bakery.
We took day trips to St. Paul-de-Vence, Cap d’Antibes, St. Remo (we hopped the border for an afternoon in Italy), Eze, St. Tropez, and Ramatuelle, taking in the breathtaking scenery and sweet villages. And, oh, how we ate! We greeted every morning with Valerie’s croissants (the Platonic ideal of pastry), and rosé accompanied every meal.
November was a whirlwind of more travel and great DUCHESS gigs, which you can read about on our blog. Another huge November highlight? Oh, no biggie…I JUST GOT TO MEET NIGELLA LAWSON, THAT’S ALL! She appeared at the 92nd Street Y in conversation with the wonderful chef/writer Gabrielle Hamilton, and afterward there was a book signing. (For the record, Nigella was luminous and poised. I was supremely awkward and starstruck.) Then came Thanksgiving, which was just as it should be: filled with family, friends, delicious food, and the acquisition of a Christmas tree.
I am very thankful for the extraordinary privilege of traveling freely and sharing the joy of music with others. Looking ahead, as we enter the holiday season, I hope we can all extend one another peace and kindness, which are needed now more than ever.
Read: Simply Nigella (OBVIOUSLY). Her sweet potato mac & cheese recipe was a hit at Thanksgiving. It’s what I do: a photographer’s life of love and war, by Lynsey Addario. A riveting memoir by a Pulitzer Prize-winning war photographer. The Lola Quartet, by Emily St. John Mandel. Another haunting, lyrical novel by the author of Station Eleven. The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, by Matthew Dicks. A fun and poignant novel about the ways our high school years can shape the rest of our lives.
Watched: Bridge of Spies. Trainwreck. This incredible mash-up of old Hollywood musicals, set to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”