Les Semaines

March 25, 2007

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


A Misc. Kind of Week

Many small things this week. I:

  • did our taxes
  • sorted out how much my grant money shrinks once taxes are taken out and the funds are converted to U.S. from Canadian (ouch)
  • wrote during our usual sessions and a Saturday retreat
  • played with the kittens
Atia and Sophia are getting along better. Much chasing happens and occasionally a kitten gets whacked, but mostly it's in play and good-natured. Hooray!

Sophia seems to be much herself, if a little nervous playing because the kittens always need to butt in. She asks for attention and sleeps on my feet sometimes, which I love. Titus is still a sweetheart. Cuddly, playful, and our bobble-headed, awkward but determined boy. Atia is more affectionate all the time. She's the ever-ready bunny and keeps going and going when everyone has collapsed in sleep. She has way more energy than Titus.

I must say that it's wonderful to have cats that appreciate attention. Sophie still mostly wants to be left alone. Atia and Titus are happy to have a belly scratch nearly anytime.

They're growing, too. They're at least a third bigger than they were when we got them.

In other news, that former friend I was speaking of last week can't stop trying to use me as a punching bag. I have received an email nastygram (*punch* *punch*, signed "yours xxxx") and then another pointed forwarded article (*Punch*) since my message to her.

While this only reinforces that my decision the right one, and I have refrained from responding "Hey! Way to reinforce my point!", I am sick and tired of it.

Hey, what's so hard to understand about "I am not longer willing to be friends with you" and "I wish you the best"? I guess there's "Go away" or the ever-elegant "Fuck off." But would she listen to either of them? In all honesty, I think she's too unwell.

I haven't responded.

Well, except in my head.

I also wrestled with how much responsibility I had to try to aim her towards getting help, but realized that wouldn't do anyone any good, since she's clearly not ready, and certainly unwilling to hear it from me--and besides, I really prefer not to be in contact with her for my own mental health.

Jim bought a cake from our favourite bakery to celebrate my grant. It said "Congratulations, Neile" on top and around the sides all kinds of funny comments about the grant, like "will write for $" and "remember the little people". Great fun (and great cake).

Titus is watching me type. I said hi to him and he started purring. Atia comes by often when I typing and runs right onto my lap, expecting me to pet her and especially to rub her face the way she likes.

I'd better go to bed. I think Jim is already asleep.

Happy birthday, Catriona! [my niece] Happy travels, Jocelyn! [my sister—she's off to England]

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


Listening to too many things to comment on. Kind of chaotic. I feel almost like there's too much music out there to listen to.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Jeri Smith-Ready's fantasy novel Eyes of Crow follows the tale of a young girl whose people have totemic animals who give them various powers which define their lives. Rhia has the powers of Crow, which deal with helping people through the transition between life and death. It's a rare power, and Rhia finds it frightening enough that she puts off the necessary apprenticeship to learn how to direct her powers. The novel follows the process as she learns to accept herself. An easy read, but while I found Rhia's emotions come into sharp focus, other parts, like the workings of her society, some motivations, seemed a little too vague.

Janet Lee Carey's children's fantasy novel, The Beast of Noor, is about a brother and sister who come from a family whose ancestor caused a monster to appear periodically through the centuries and call people into the forest to devour them. Miles and Hanna have to travel through both through fairyland and through a wasteland full of evil creatures to try to stop the monster--because it's calling Hanna. These children are very real and yet the real world they're in seems as fairytale as the "other" worlds they enter. Still, an intriguing quest book that kept me reading.

last week's reading § next week's reading


This was our writing retreat week, but we were all so tired that I don't think any of the four of us made the best possible use of our time. Still, the things I have to do are diminishing frighteningly fast. Scary scary scary.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Monday, August 3, 1992
Near Dingestow

[NOTE: pictures now added to last week's entry.]

This morning we went straight to Kilpeck. It was a hoot, probably the most peaceful and fun place we've been. The carvings are astonishing. The portal depicts Eden (the snake defeated and all) and the characters on the corbels are really lively and fun--a sheila-na-gig, all kinds of deer, and a dog and a rabbit, Celtic designs, really fun. Part of the church is Anglo-Saxon, but mostly Norman and well-preserved. Hardly altered at all.




Kilpeck doorwayThe Eden portal at Kilpeck.

Carving detail at KilpeckCarving detail at Kilpeck.

sheela-na-gig & creature on Kilpeck's corbelsSheela-na-gig & creature on Kilpeck's corbels.


Then Christina thought it would be fun to go to Radnor Forest, so we drove through Hereford, stopping at Leominster to get food and look at an antique mall, then drove on to the forest. Stopped at a long gate marked Strefford Forest Commission.

At first it seemed like a wide bit of forest. We climbed up and up, and then it narrowed into a ridge with a field on one side and a band of trees that we could only occasionally see through, though the view looked lovely. We kept walking, looking at the view and looking for a place to have lunch. Finally we settled on a mown hayfield where I liked the view. Had a great lunch including custard squares and toothpaste cheese. One the way we saw first a hollow with a sheep skills, ribs, and fleece, then came on a small rabbit at the side of the path which lay still. I thought it might be hurt, but after we walked past it bounded away.


The path through Radnor ForestThe path through Radnor Forest.


After lunch, walking back, a new branch fell down in front of me. Startled me. Like an arrow there. It was really windy and the trees made a unique kind of drumming sound of wood hitting wood.

Back in the car we dozed a bit.

Drove back, stopped at Abbey Dore, which seemed bleak and forlorn. A strange, sad place. Then Ewyas Harold and went into the church there. It has been "rendered" but still lovely shape and old and an effigy of a chaste woman there.

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