Les Semaines

March 13, 2005

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal


Out Sick

Sorry no entry last week. Sunday, when I usually write my entry, I started feeling horrible and by evening I had a fever which came and went all week. I only made it to work one day, Thursday, and that by sheer force of will. It took everything I had just to get there. And by afternoon the fever was back, making me pay for it. I've been sleeping all week, all weekend, and most of the day today.

Jim has been wildly patient, looking after me, buying juice, doing everything that goes into running the house as I've been mostly useless.

Yesterday Tamar and Zac came over and brought food and flowers and a crazy little Easter whatzit with blue chicks in a sealed-up basket ringed with matching blue down. Very strange. Pretty flowers. Good food.

Tamar stayed and we talked a couple of hours while Jim and Zac and our neighbour went hiking in Discovery Park. Zac stayed for dinner.

Last weekend my dear friend Elizabeth visited. Now she has the flu, too.

Wash your hands after reading this entry.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


I can't bear to listen to music while I'm ill. But Jim has downloaded songs from Fiona Apple's missing 2003 album that her music company won't let her release, which he really loves.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Louis de Berniere's Bird Without Wings is a tragic novel about Turkey in the early part of the 20th century. It takes place in the area I travelled to last April, where the Mediterranean turned into the Aegean. Beautiful, pastoral country. The novel traces the events in a small village along with the biography of Kemal Ataturk as the world slides into World War I. The village is a place where Armenians, Greeks, and Turks have lived intertwined lives for centuries, the children grow up and intermarry. The Greeks speak Turkish. But that will all change in the coming years. A heartbreaking, beautiful book.

Rosemary Sutton's The Queen Elizabeth Story is a lovely children's book that I've had since I was little, a present from my godfather, that has been a long favourite. I decided I needed to re-read it when I first got well enough to be able to read. It's the story of a little girl in Tudor times who was born on Midsummer's Eve so she can see and talk to fairies. For a birthday present they promise her a wish and she wishes to see Queen Elizabeth. This is the story of how that wish comes true.

Kim Wilkin's The Autumn Castle is a contemporary fantasy set in Germany about a woman living with an artist who is doing a residency in Germany under the auspices of a very strange man. A car wreck as a teenager has caused the women to be in chronic back pain, and a sudden injury to her back sends her into a strange land, where she meets an old friend she thought was kidnapped as a child. From there things get weirder. An interesting book that really caught me up while I was reading it.

Paul Gallico's The Abandoned is the story of a young boy who when he gets hit by a car turns into a cat, and he has to learn to survive in the rough world of a homeless cat. Luckily, he makes friends with Jennie, another stray, who decides she will teach him everything he needs to know. A lovely children's book. Too bad the copy I have was mis-bound, and duplicates a section instead of including the next, so I'll just recycle this one.

Leah R. Cutter's Paper Mage is an intriguing story set in Tang Dynasty China. A girl is brought up to be outside her family, trained to be a paper mage when the rest of the girls in her family are all brought up to be good, dutiful wives and mothers. Her love of her craft helps dispel a little of her loneliness. Her first assignment as a mage is to guard a group of foreigners as they bring horses to sell in another city, but there are going to be many tests of her powers before she gets there. I really enjoyed this novel, especially the world and the main character, though the alternating time line felt awkward to me. That's just a niggle. A very intriguing and magical tale.

Chris Moriarty's Spin State is a far future space thriller. The main character is a UN Peacekeeper who has done a few too many faster-than-light jumps and has lost bits of her memory. Now she is assigned back to her home planet--though she cannot admit to anyone who she is as she's a cloned who has been passing as a regular human. On her home planet, a mining world, she finds a convoluted mystery and she doesn't know who she can trust. The woman who gives her assignments? The AI who seems more human than most humans? The miners she grew up with? A heady thriller full of quantum physics.

Mark Chabourn's The Devil in Green is the first of a new series following a previous trilogy about a near-future Britain in which the world of Celtic magic and mythology has come alive again, and regular people have to learn to cope in a world where the night is full of dire creatures and where technology and trade have broken down. Here the main character is a man with a dark past who has come to a gathering of Christian men who are trying to draw together to fight evil by re-starting a band of Knights Templar. However, when their site comes under siege by dark forces, he doesn't know what to do or who to trust -- and then when he discovers her is one of the new band of five people who are set against the evil in the world, he doesn't know if he can believe it. I didn't find this one quite as captivating as the previous series because this was so focused on the male world of the knights and their political and external battles. I need a little more female life in my reading. My own prejudice, I know.

last week's reading § next week's reading


I actually did write with Karen on Saturday morning. I didn't get as much done as I normally could, but I did make some progress before I had to go home and take a nap.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Monday, August 5, 1991


Got up early and headed out to Clava Cairns. There was no one else there yet, but it was a little chilly. We went to the first cairn, which had an entryway cut into it, then to the other two and an "unobtrusive" stone circle with a later burial. Lovely stones, different heights. The sign asked us not to clamber over them so we didn't. Again a line of cairns [as in the Kilmartin Valley], and again a lovely treed site, grass and old trees. Christina climbed one. The three cairns are very close in a fenced area, sheep kept out.


One of the Clava cairnsOne of the Clava cairns.


We went to the car to warm up, but then some other people came so we left. Hoped to find Rait Castle, but didn't manage to, just drove around.

Got back into town to return Charlie, sadly.

Then walked about, shopping. Bought a June Tabor CD and Diana Wynne Jones's Wild Robert. Had a curry lunch at a pub, and went to a used bookstore looking at books and prints. Christina got a great polar bear print.

Then walked along the river and a back path and here. We both had headaches (from lunch?) and had a really quiet night. Watched a Jean Redpath master class on the telly. Felt really awful for a while but fine now. Christina still tense.

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