Les Semaines

March 27, 2005

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

 §

Edging Into The Light

I'm still not quite rid of this flu. In fact, on Friday I broke down and went to the doctor about how congested my sinuses had been for three damn weeks. How I hadn't slept a full night in bed the whole time because I couldn't breathe. She wasn't sure that my sinuses were infected, but gave me an antibiotic just in case, though said if she were me, she would try using a saline spray for a few more days. So I decided to do that and have gradually started to improve. Last night was the first night I spent the whole night in bed. Hooray! I'm on the mend.

My energy is still pretty up and down. At least I have some though I use it up quickly.

Work was hard because of all this.

Jim's nephew Mark was here for the weekend when work brought him to Seattle. He went to hear Low on Thursday night with Jim but for the rest of the time it was a very low-key visit. Good thing he was tired himself.

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Listening

Jim is on a boy indie folkrock kick. Iron and Wine, Bright Eyes, The Decembrists, Death Cab for Cutie, Franz Ferdinand, all those. I don't hate them but am not really drawn to them either.

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Reading

Another favourite Diana Wynne Jones re-read, Fire and Hemlock. It's a Tam Lin story, here Polly who must rescue her love from the faery queen. The story begins when a young university student, Polly, suddenly realizes she has two sets of memories -- one that includes Thomas Lynn and one that does not. How she sorts out what happened is delight of this tale. One of my favourite books ever. It's magical and real.

A Stir of Bones is a prequel of sorts to other Nina Kiriki Hoffman novels. Here a young girl, stifled by her strict father, finally manages to break free long enough to find some friends and help them explore a haunted house where they find not only a ghost, but that the house is aware. A lovely tale.

A friend gave me the third part of Robin Hobb's Farseeker Trilogy. So, to read it I had to first get the first two volumes. I picked them up and inhaled both of them, Assassin's Apprectice and Royal Assassin. Set in a fairly typical medieval-type world, the main character is the king-in-waiting's bastard, a catalyst that makes his father abdicate just when his political skills are needed most. And then the destructive pirates of the Red Ships come raiding, looting, killing, and removing the minds of the survivers. The young boy, raised by the gruff old soldier who is currently head of the stables, kennels, and mews, is thrust into this world and promises unquestioning loyalty to his king. Great characters and a well-told story make this irresistable, even to one has tired of similar tales.

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Writing

Moving on the phrasing edit. Seeking and destroying weasal words and wimpy phrases.

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Retrospective: old journal

Wednesday, August 7, 1991

Inverness (Huntly)

Packed a picnic and walked into town to catch the train to Huntly. Very tired. Felt like a pudding (on parade). Christina was lively. She teased me. Train slow at Nairn and Elgin.

Huntly really treed, green, lovely. Cute town. Fifth Duke of Gordon buit the flashy stuff. Discovered it's the town where George MacDonald was born and he wrote about the town a lot.

Went to the castle. Very impressive. Obvious that the Gordons had ideas about themselves and pots of money. Lovely mantlepieces and entryway carvings still there. Ran up and down stairs, tripping over children. Saw the view from on high (vertigo). Admired the fantasy writing on the front of the castle. Admired the bat turds in the fireplaces and admired the privys. Went down into the deep, dank bowels of the castle. Some graffiti from the time there hard to make out on the walls, and dummys in prison. Went to the bakehouse and the brewery, saw the skinny stables then walked around a bit, then went to Huntly bank over the river Deveron (lovely, can imagine True Thomas seeing the Lady Gay there). Walked down the river a bit. Watched a gull dashing around there. Walked under and over a lovely old bridge. Still felt like a pudding.

 

 

Huntly CastleA view of Huntly Castle.

Huntlie bankA view of Elgin Huntly bank, where the ballad says True Thomas met the faery queen.

 

Went back into town, cute town, but we missed the standing stone in the town with Ogham inscriptions though we must have passed it four times. Christina bought lovely pewter spoons and dog cufflinks for Matt.

Then we tried to walk by the (Strath)Bogie River, but it smelled like a natural disaster which neither of us is large enough to have caused and as there were no 50-foot cows in sight we accepted the stationmaster's explanation that it was a sewage treatment event from upstream but got the hell back into town.

Went into a churchyard where I ate a lot of cheese and cake while Christina mopped up gooseberry fool and got dreamy.

Stayed there for a while, then headed back to the train station and watched a young boy deal with his bucket-headed father. Smell not so bad.

Ate chocolate on the late slow train. They never took our tickets. We both got dreamy and eventually back to Inverness.

Walked home to our B&B.

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