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Retreat return

Posted by Robin Abrahams  May 9, 2008 12:23 PM

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Hello, dear readers! I'm back from my lovely writers' retreat in Duxbury, or as a friend of mine aptly names it, "Deluxbury." It was a terrific week. I've finished the first draft of Mind Over Manners, made some new friends, visited the excellent Duxbury Thrift Shop, enjoyed long beach walks, and lived among some most amazing kitsch I have ever seen. Pictures below the fold:

Duxbury is beautiful, really, really beautiful. We were in a house on the Powder Point peninsula, featuring the longest wooden bridge in the world:

And gorgeous beaches:


Some people will do anything to get a question to Miss Conduct when she is unavailable, even sending messages in bottles:


The triffids attacked while I was there:


But since I am the 50-Foot-Tall Advice Columnist, I was able to stomp them into oblivion. Then I washed my feet:


Our house hadn't been redecorated since the early 1960s, and the wallpaper was something to behold. This was the wallpaper in my bathroom:


And here are two scenes from the kitchen:



As you can see, the original owner found a strange pleasure in deviations from normal scale, worlds where pansies are half as large as hot-air balloons, butterflies outweigh dogs, and Rudolph-nosed squirrels ponder how they can raise a family in the confines of bonsai trees. My favorite bit of kitsch throughout the house, however, were these:


China dogs in babushkas. Let me repeat that: china dogs, in babushkas. They were in my room. (You can see the Technicolor overgrown foliage of my bedroom wallpaper in the mirror.) How can you not sleep well when you are being watched over in your slumbers by china dogs in babushkas? I loved these so much I desperately wanted to take them, but Miss Conduct does not repay hospitality with larceny. So I settled for merely stealing their little porcelain souls through the sorcery of my digital camera.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at

Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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