Les Semaines

March 20, 2005

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


Whining Girl

I can't believe I'm still sick. They say the flu lasts two weeks but I never believe them until I live through it. But now that it has been two weeks I start feeling great really soon, right? Yesterday, for the first time ever I lost my voice. It was actually weird and fun (ignoring the sore throat aspect of it, of course). I do have moments when I feel energetic enough to do things, but tire out really quickly. I've been taking naps every afternoon, but that's mostly because I don't sleep well at night. I can't lie flat for long because I'm so congested, so I spend most of the night upstairs on the chesterfield fending Zach off my lap.

Struggled through the work week. I was there all week but not productive at all. Everyday when I got home I had to sleep for a few hours.

There were two pieces of very good news, though:

  • my promotion has come through, and I get a new title (which I already can't remember!) and a significant raise.
  • Tamar has a job offer!
Despite still being under the weather I had invited Tamar and Zac over for a St. Patrick's Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage, and it turned into a celebration of her job offer. We all drank too much (well, I only had a sip of champagne and a tin of Strongbow cider) and stayed up too late. Poor Jim suffered from the combination of corned beef, cabbage, champagne, and beer. It was fun to see him tipsy, though! It had been so long I'd forgotten what it was like.

Tamar and Jim and I did some alcohol-fueled music geek gushing about how brilliant Veda Hille [Veda site, the Ectophiles' Guide Veda page] is and gave Zac Emily Carr's art book to look at while we listened to Veda's exquisite Songs for Emily Carr, so he got to discover Emily Carr while our heads were taken apart by the music.

We spent Friday recovering.

Saturday was our monthly writing retreat, which was productive for us all, though later in the social part of the event was when the laryngitis hit me.

Today I've stayed home with only one outing.

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


By osmosis (meaning Jim constantly playing it at low volume so the percussion doesn't hurt my sensitive head) Fiona Apple's [Fiona Apple's site, the Ectophiles' Guide Fiona page, The Free Fiona page] blocked album, Extraordinary Machine has snuck into my head. It's a brilliant album. I can't believe Sony won't release this. Idiots. It's not that different stylistically from her previous album, When the Pawn... so I don't see what the problem is. I do hear extremely catchy material in it that could easily be the hit that Sony supposedly said it doesn't have.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Mark Chadbourn's The Queen of Sinister is the next in his Dark Ages series (see my last entry for my comments on the first in this series). In this a strange plague is killing people at a rate unrivaled since the Black Death, and a young doctor has to go into another world to find the cure for this supernatural disease. She collects companions in her journey. I must be getting used to how the author writes because there were some things that I guessed far ahead of time, but he still has a lot of surprises (and imagination) up his sleeve.

I re-read Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle again, so soon after re-reading it last July. I got inspired because we saw Miyazaki's animé version of the story, which has significant variation from the story. I loved both of them, though being unfamiliar with the story (and the subtitles being extremely messy) everyone else found it pretty confusing.

last week's reading § next week's reading


This Saturday was our monthly writing retreat with Karen and Barry, which I managed to stay awake through despite my illness. And I got to the end of the novel! And I still think it works. Which means that I have two more passes (a kill the unnecessary words & phrases pass and then a hard-copy edit) through this section before I turn it over to my readers. Whoo!

Additionally, one night when I couldn't breathe well enough to relax into sleep, I wrote down first drafts of two poems that have been lurking in my head for a while.

A surprisingly productive week for a sicko. But yet again I didn't get a Canada Council grant.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Tuesday, August 6, 1991

Inverness (Elgin)

Late (9:00) breakfast. Took bus to town, the train to Elgin. Went to Elgin Cathedral, a beautiful ruin. I'd wanted to go there since I saw photos of it in Christina's Air Canada brochures. It was amazing. The Chapter House is still standing, and we went in there and Christina translated a Latin tombstone that went on about a wonderful clergyman, then talked about his son, Alexander, who was known for his laziness and wealth. Then went on about his daughter--entirely lovely.

One next to it with a bad poem in Latin and a bad poem in English.

Elisabeth Paterson
Decessit 12 Aug 1698 Aetatis 36

Elisabeth here lyes who led her life
Unstained while virgin and twice married wife
She was her parents image her [days?] grace
All the illustrious honours of the face
With eminent piety and complaisance
All the decovements of exalted sense
Davids swan song much in her mouth she had
More in her of it established
Departed hence it beeing her desire
All and delight just when she did expire
By all bewailed she in the flower of age
As Jacobs Rachel was turned of the stage
Ane only child beside death by his sting
Unto this urn within three day did bring

Wandered around reading stones for a long time. Many great medieval skull & crossbones. Some with moss gown in the grooves of the writing. Some effigies in the church, of a knight and clergymen.


A medieval gravestone at Elgin CathedralA medieval gravestone at Elgin Cathedral.


The stone outlining the big window still there and really lovely.  


Elgin Cathedral view #1One view of Elgin Cathedral.

Elgin Cathedral view #2Another view of Elgin Cathedral.


Geddes great inscription--sent Jim a postcard of it.

Had a picnic in the back wall and three boys climbing the stones came by and we remonstrated them and they talked for a bit.

Talked to the woman who took admission and gave her the translation of the king stone in the chapter house because they didn't have one yet.

Then went into town and Christina bought a stein at an antique shop. Had tea and bought cakes--waitress warned us that we weren't to eat cakes from the takeout in the café. Very funny as we were drinking their tea.

Train back. Had a fancy rack of lamb dinner because it was time [we'd been living off crackers and cheese dinners for a while]. Enjoyed talking to people at other tables (from U.S. and Australia). Argued about computers and walked home, going by Inverness Castle (boring) and Flora MacDonald Statue.

last week's old journal § next week's old journal

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