Thursday, December 1, 2016

Two Summer Stories

My latest little children's book TWO SUMMER STORIES is finally available from Amazon - just in time for the holidays! In the US here and in the UK here .

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Though aimed at 8-12 year old readers, it's also a memoir of growing up in England in the 1950's and full of history and adventures and family and may well appeal to grownups of my generation.

These are a couple of the water colors I did when working on the story.

I've also re-editied the two first stories Jane in Winter and Jane and the Essex Serpent. Jane in Winter is especially Christmassy - at the end. 

Happy reading - and please forward to anyone who might be interested!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Post Thanksgiving and a Winner

After all the eating, time to get up early

and walk down the High Line when no one was there! 

 To look at the grasses

and berries

and then have a go at the leftover roasted veggies.

The next day we go on an adventure by subway

and ferry.

We see The Statue of Liberty (photo by Gretchen!)

We see container boats

and even the Queen Mary.

Time for a Famous Nathan's hot dog.

Some one eating in the diner has already taken out the Santa hat!
And so the season turns.

The winner of the $50 Novica giveaway is MamasMercantile. Please email me at so I can send you the gift code.
I think you are sure to find something pretty there! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Almost Thanksgiving and a Novica Giveaway....

So, as always much going on in New York  as we prepare for Thanksgiving.

The very last leaves on the trees on 5th Avenue

and amidst those very last leaves the holiday lights are going up.

I was chatting with the workmen who seemed very cheerful.

Decorating going on at the Blue Water Grill - ornamental cabbages are getting more exotic and some are like  palm trees. 

Such a very bright clear day at Union Square.

Picking out multicolored carrots for the Thanksgiving feast...

and the very last of the roses....

And this year's discovery HoneyNut Squash - as against HoneyNut Cheerios.

A view of the Empire State Building from a rather different angle -this time from Brooklyn.

And now for the $50 Giveaway from Novica. This is a company I have supported for many years - their lovely unusual gift and crafts come from all over the world. I especially love their silk scarves and unusual Thai paper goods. So go to their website and then write a comment here and I'll pick a lucky winner at random on Wednesday. 

 Pretty handmade paper....

and a gorgeous colored scarf.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Knitting Hats

I always enjoy knitting hats. Nice and easy and quick to do. Comforting and useful. My family have huge numbers of them. In fact, they are swamped in hats!

Robert and me a couple of years ago.

My current crop of hats for tinies not earmarked for anyone in particular. I always use pure wool. Mostly cashmere and baby alpaca so super soft - but have to be hand-washed which is a bit time-consuming.

Elf hats are popular

and often given as presents.

Good to keep the little ones snug. Anyway, my somewhat brilliant idea is to sell the extra ones to raise money for Doctors Without Borders or Oxfam - charities we can all agree on, I think.
What with postage and packing and the materials, I have to ask $30 each so I can give $15 to the charity. So if you have any newborns who need hats, contact me at
I sometimes do custom orders and am open to suggestions. Each hat is utterly unique and a bit random and very much homemade.

And what are you doing to take your mind off current events?
Baking is good.
Reading is good....
Warmest wishes

Saturday, October 29, 2016

New York Fall Round Up and Almost Halloween

The artist Berch has decorated windows in Chelsea for years.

These are a few of this year's Halloween selection at the RailLine Diner.

Speaking of diners -which I love - one of my favorites is called EAT HERE NOW.

An excellent suggestion - so I did. A splendidly unhealthy lunch - but how delicious!

The diner is in the east 60's on Lexington Avenue and is slightly below street level so you see all the traffic zooming by. The waitress is from the Ukraine but looks like someone Manet painted long ago.

I do love public transportation. But you do need to be patient.

You need to be even more patient on the bus - but you do get to meet  people. This is a very chatty woman who took me for a tourist. She hoped I had a nice visit in New York and said New York people were friendly even if they didn't seem like it at first. She is the only person in the city I have seen sporting a Trump button. I did not discuss politics.

Then on to Union Square where there were.....

squash and pumpkins

 and astounding pumpkins

Here is a horse near Union Square who was having a snack.

Here is a very small cauliflower sitting for its portrait on a plate I bought in Italy in 1971.


Friday, July 8, 2016

New Site

As long time readers of About New York know, that site had been around a long time.
Now I'm mostly posting pictures on Instagram as biffwix

I'm also posting some photos of flowers and vegetables and talking a little bit about history and writing on Random Images - a Wordpress site. 

Warmest summer wishes from a sweltering New York.

Monday, May 30, 2016

1001 Posts

So much to see - as ever

Up on 5th Avenue a taxi zooms past people in costume. Who can they be?

Part of a dance performance - cell phone in hand.

Looking fierce -with a cigarette...

Sailors looking friendly with Pat, my favorite crossing guard.

The sign of the pig in Greenwich Village.

I get all my life advice from abandoned buildings....

So I thought  -  and decided that 1001 posts on a blog is quite enough. I sort of tried abandoning this one a couple of years ago but now think that this one's time is really up.
Blogging is such fun and you encounter the most lovely people - most of whom I plan on keeping up with.

I'm loving the simplicity of Instagram where my handle is biffwix.
Please follow me and let me know if you are on Instagram...
Some very occasional thoughts on life and books and photography etc will appear 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Urban Gardening

The gardening season is upon us.

Time to revamp the tree pits. They are necessarily filled with annuals - tweaked during the various seasons. The tulips have been removed, the pansies struggle on - the ones that didn't get aphids. Blue and white salvias have been added - and, lo and behold, a sunflower seems to have appeared. Volunteers welcomed.

This is the tansy that ate Cleveland. I fear it is rather a horrid plant. Do check the link. I bought a little one at a green market last summer because I had heard the name but never grown one. It survived over the winter on the roof - I moved it to a friend's terrace where it took over a rather large planter. I decided to put it out on the street. It grows about three inches a day...

Gosh, a real iris on the terrace I'm looking after.

The lavender is blooming on the common roof terrace. I'm not thrilled with potato vines but another of the garden committee members is. That's the trouble with a committee - you have to be democratic and humor other people.

First roof gleanings - yesterday evening.

Viola flowers - much larger than life.

This picture is not in the city. Teaching the little ones to make flower arrangements!

And now at Union Square  -peonies!

This is the most glorious gardening time of year.