On Saturday, I planned a trip to the post office to mail my ballot. I thought Dave would enjoy a trip out too so I suggested he come with me and we could stop for coffee. As we sat outside, (across the street from the pick up window of the coffee shop), Dave said he had heard Barnes Noble was open. Did I want to see if it was empty enough to feel okay to go in and browse? I dithered.
there would be people…
I don’t know if..but then…
We went. Masked of course.
The parking lot was almost empty. We looked in. The store had been reorganized and the layout was far more inviting…more spacious in feel, while at the same time, more intimate. It was very nearly empty.
I spent the next giddy hour ducking and weaving among fellow patrons whilst selecting/rejecting/clutching books. Books that had not been preread by strangers nor purchased online, but fresh new books. Just for me!
After stalking the mystery section a time or two – along with a brief foray into fiction, (election season in a pandemic has quenched any thirst I might have had for both horror and nonfiction), I realized I was carrying the equivalent of my bimonthly grocery budget. Several deep cleansing breaths later, I narrowed my final selection to a far more reasonable number and almost – but not quite – skipped to the car. To round out the day, we had pizza for supper. Yay!
(a brief aside….Massey’s Pizza is the best! Being gluten free takes a lot of yum out of pizza for me – but Massey’s has a cauliflower crust that is great!)
And Sunday. Well nothing much done…. but watching NOVA and reading. But still pretty darn great.
Gone is the unknown color invasion. The dry, unruly, and a bit scratchy pandemic hair. My should-have-been-natural color has been restored. My curls are soft and nonfrazzled. What’s more, I feel thoroughly pampered. I feel a bit less frazzled.
Interesting isn’t it? What was once merely something to be scheduled and maintained has evolved into an indulgent luxury. So what if I wore a mask the whole time? It didn’t deter at all from the moment.
(As a quick aside, I actually don’t mind wearing masks. At first it was a bit odd, but now it is just – well – what you do.).
Anyway, clearly I learned a little lesson about appreciation and self care – and one I will need to remember in the future. In the meantime, I’m already looking forward to next month’s appointment.
These past few months have been more than a bit trying for me. So trying that the pandemic is suddenly far less scary. Well.
I’ve been coping with little escapism. Sitting quietly with a lovely little cozy murder…with The Golden Girls playing in the background. My latest favorite cozy series is Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Fisher murders. Aahhhh…. For a couple of hours, disappear completely into the wonderful fictionalized world of Australia’s late 1920’s. Phryne Fisher is smart, sophisticated, stylish, and Uncle Scrooge McDuck wealthy. The stories are fun, the characters enjoyable, an overall mood lifter. But sooner or later, a person has to snap back to the here and now.
What snapped me back was a gift of a book. One of my Dad’s books. Dad enjoyed his mysteries – humorous, historic, gritty – all except cozy. I opened My Soul to Take by Yrsa Sigudardottir (the second in her series with attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir). This book is enveloping, gritty, and intelligent. While there are Agatha Christie worthy twists, she adds a bit of interpersonal humor – along with the gruesome murders. The characters have depth and substance. I also enjoy the taste of Icelandic history and description of the amazing landscape. I think I’ll have to ask Mom if any more of Yrsa Sigudardottir are lurking in her house.
so. It seems my grace period of floaty escapism is closed. Well – nothing wrong with the occasional tv rerun and Miss Fisher book as long as it is accompanied with a bit of grit.
From October 9, 1996 to September 28, 1999, the BBC ran a wonderful cooking show called Two Fat Ladies.
I love cooking shows. I remember Mom watching The French Chef – not the reruns mind you – but as a brand spanking new weekly series. Mom marveled that the teeny tiny kitchen that produced those French gastronomic beauties was indeed Julia Child’s actual kitchen. It wasn’t until I was much older that I came to appreciate the show: recipes, petite kitchen, not to mention Julia Child herself. After Julia came a succession of cooking shows I enjoyed and watch(ed) loyally. Among the many titles and chefs, there is one series/chefs that has a special place in my heart: Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson aka the Two Fat Ladies.
The premise of the show is simple: Clarissa and Jennifer travel throughout the U.K. cooking for large groups of people. Each show has a food theme such as cakes or one episode is simply titled Meat. These two completely unscripted women are bold, intelligent, outrageous, funny, and incredible cooks. (They were also throughly unique individuals. Their lives make a fascinating read.). What’s more, this dynamic duo do their traveling via Jennifer’s vintage motorcycle with a sidecar for Clarissa – which leads me to my virtual vacation: Last Sunday, I dusted off my Two Fat Ladies dvd set and settled down for a nice little trip.
I rode with the ladies along the waterfront of Mevagissey, Cornwall sniffing the the catch of the day, moved on to Hallaton, Leicestershire and marveled as they creamed butter and sugar with just a spoon. The drive to Lennoxlove House in East Lothian, Scotland took my breath away – as did Lennoxlove House. I had just sworn (for the umpteen time) that I would make those chicken breasts with walnut l’aillade, (surely my cooking skills are up to that recipe?), when my DVD player hiccuped. Unfortunately, like all hiccups bouts, the pops and burps continued sporadically until I admitted defeat. Or rather an extended pause – I ordered a new dvd that afternoon.
I hope to continue my lovely journeys with Clarissa and Jennifer very soon. I say give them a try!
Thank you for reading and stay safe!
I’ve been in a somewhat negative philosophical mood. Actually, I’ve just been grousing.
It’s too hot.
After too much rain, now not enough.
What is the meaning of life?
Is there a meaning?
What is my purpose?
Have I accomplished anything at all?
In short, I’ve really been annoying myself.
I think it is due to the odd, floaty, no control sort of feeling that has accompanied the tragic and monumental events of the last six months. There is a kinda compulsive obsession to stay glued to the facts as they unfold. The awareness that we are living through a pivotal historic period cannot be denied but rather should be nurtured. And yet feeling helpless to speed events to their conclusion – the desire to see how it all turns out – to read the last chapter mid book.
You see? Really annoying.
I’ve decided to take baby steps to get this under control. To that end, I’ve recently returned to my ‘stuff to do while under stay-at-home orders’ list: Hmm….. The first on my list was to learn a language(s). Seeing as how I’m sort of a pudding head at this time, becoming conversant in Italian and French needs to stay on the back burner. The same can be said for writing that book or studying the Crimean war (don’t ask. long story.). I haven’t lost those fifteen pounds nor am I in shape for a triathlon.
On the bright side, we have cleared out the spare bedroom, painted and organized, and included an area where I can take product photos. And I have rejoined weight watchers. Yoga is daily and I’ve started meditating. With a bit of motivation, I’ll be able to complete my current clay projects. Well, that’s not so bad. Baby steps. It’ll work.