Les Semaines

October 30, 2005

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


Daylight Saved!

I love love love this extra hour. I used it for sleeping. Ah, lovely sleep. Charming sleep. I slept on the loveseat with Zach on my lap and Sophia curled up beside my legs. Pure heaven.

It has been a typical autumn week. Orange leaves are still clinging to the trees, but barely. The weather has been shifting several times a day: rain, sun, cloud, wind. A beautiful time of year.

The work week seemed to whizz by. I've been very busy there, and applications for next year are already starting to come in.

There were lots of errands to do this week, but then there always are. It seems to me that modern life is far too full of errands. I prefer a lazier life, myself. Like sleeping in.

If I had my way all errands could be accomplished while walking home. All would be in small, independent stores with people who cared about their customers and what they sold, and printers would last more than a couple of years (my first one lasted ages, but the second one not so long). I ran several errands in downtown Ballard this week and its a great neighbourhood but it still was while driving rather than walking home. Still, small independent stores to get a ring re-sized, shoes fixed, buy a new CD, try to find a new box-watch since I lost my old one. Lost it, damn it.

I remember back many years ago when I was reading William Morris' New From Nowhere, his utopian tale of a place full of craftsmen loving their work and how that reverberated with me. Our relationship to work is so strange in this culture. Fractured. It's hard to have pride in pushing papers, however well. It's hard to think of people making bits, rather than the whole of a thing. And don't get me started on consumer culture and planned obsolescence, though I'm a big part of it myself and I dearly love a new purchase though I'm not much of a shopper. Future generations, trusting that there are some, are going to look back at this culture with music disgust and despair. In the meantime I have a new printer and an old one to try to get rid of.

I worked quite a bit on The Ectophiles' Guide this week. Mostly invisible things like minor updates and additions, but also a couple of new entries, and there were some offerings from other helpers and editors, too. We have over 800 artists/groups as of this week. Wow.

Still the sound of the rain hitting the window. And Björk's CD playing from the next room. It's dark and all the saved daylight is tucked away somewhere safe, but I don't know where that is.

Chronicles of Sloth: Episode 6

  • Email inbox down to 250 messages (only down from 255 a week ago and from 380 when I started tracking this)
  • Still working on novel revisions, and synopsis is 99% done
  • Three medical appointments for me to arrange
  • Starting to pick a the 2 large stacks of CDs to ready for review
  • Huge pile of papers to sort through + 1 papered-high inbox of perilous proportions still untouched
  • CD pileup untouched (keep/toss/add to ectoguide)
  • 1 red cloth bag of tapes (+ a bookcase) diminished by about 3 this week
  • 2.5 friend's novels still waiting to be read & critiqued + one story
  • and there's still the lurking, unexplored more
  • last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


    Trying to take in The Fiery Furnaces new and strange one, Rehearsing My Choir. Some terrific parts but also some noodling. I like it but don't expect to play it as often as their other discs.

    last week's listening § next week's listening


    Karl Schroeder's Lady of Mazes was one of those books that actually stirred my sense of wonder, which of late has been hard to budge. It's really hard to give a brief description of the plot. It's about a woman who is part of a highly advances, not quite post-human (though there are post-humans involved) society where technology is determined by your beliefs. Sorta. And then they are invaded from outside and she is forced to take the leadership role she has taken for granted. Just let me say that this is intriguing and well worth reading.

    last week's reading § next week's reading


    Been messing with my synopsis again and picking away at the long list of revisions. Revised a couple of poems, one a pretty heavy-duty revision. Started a new one (only just barely). Also did a couple of practice runs at recording poems for a possible, nay, probable CD with Tamar kindly offering the use of her new sound equipment and her engineering skills.

    last week's writing § next week's writing

    Retrospective: old journal

    Friday, August 16, 1991
    Rousay --> Stromness

    Got up early to get the taxi to Finstown to meet the Go-Orkney bus. Bus backed onto the titchy ferry. Went up to the deck and sat to watch the Mainland disappear. Ran around to see the spray go over the bus. Watched seals on the rocks. Got back on the bus when we reached Rousay.

    First drove to a road that climbed a hill--the highest public road in Orkney. David Lea painted out the other islands. Could see middling far (not Fair Isle, but all the Orkneys). Walked along, watching the shore, the bay ahead, the flowers. Bus picked us up. Saw where farms of the old pre-Enclosures kind were.

    Then we went to Midhowe Cairn--very large, stalled cairn under a barn-type structure to protect it. Chained off, but there was a catwalk above and could get a pretty good view of it.

    Midhowe CairnMidhowe Cairn.

    Then to Midhowe Broch, where Christina did some pretty serious exploring. There was a kind of underground storage area, and the storage places were mostly intact. But for people the size of 9-year-olds. Bits of stairs, stones propped still there. Lovely broch.

    Midhowe BrochMidhowe Broch.

    Then started the Westness Walk.

    Then walked past Brough Farm, South Howe Broch (only a mound left), The Wirk, once a ceremonial hall, St. Mary's Church, Skaill Farm (with round kiln to dry grain still standing), the Knowe of Rowiegar, with cows hanging out on it, a smaller chambered tomb like Midhowe, but covered over. The Knowe of Sandro, remains of a broch, then saw a few stones remaining of a Norse hall, saw the Moa Ness, there there have been Pictish and Viking graves found. We'd seen brooches from a Viking woman found there in the Kirkwall Museum. The the Viking noust (boat house). Then a lovely beach at Westness bay, then Westness Farm. All within a mile's walk.

    Knowe of RowiegarThe Knowe of Rowiegar. Those cows are walking on a chambered tomb.

    Piled in the bus again. Drove round to Blackhammer Cairn, a small stalled cairn we could walk in, the Taversoe Tuick, a two-level cairn, with a smaller adjunct one. A lovely place. Quiet.

    Then walked through a small 90-year-old forest (the only forest in Orkney, which unlike most of Scotland has never been forested) by a stream--lovely, but muddy. Came out near the ferry.

    Sat in the bus on the ride back, waves splashing, rain. From there it looked like the bus was sailing along.

    Me sailing on the busMe sailing on the floating bus.

    Got off in Finstown, waited in the rain for Peace's bus. Then went down to see if George Mackay Brown was around (he wasn't available), left a note for Sarinder then saw him, stopped at the craft shops.

    Called Jim and Mom & Dad.

    Had dinner at the Ferry Inn (chicken salad, with wonderful marinated herring first) then back to pack. Sad.

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

    Last Week § Les Semaines index § Next Week

    Email comments, questions, and complaints to neile@sff.net § Neile's main page

    2787 people have wandered through this week with me