Les Semaines

May 27, 2007

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


Long Spring Weekend

Rain and sun, sun and rain. That's our spring. Love it.

The lilacs are gone, alas, even the white ones that bloom later here, but the pinks are out spicing up the air out the front door. Mmm.

Sorry, I've been both busy and lazy and feel like I don't have much to say. I didn't last week really either, which is why you got an update on cats.

The updated update on cats is that Sophia is worse with Titus and he (we're sure it's him) sprayed two pillows on the daybed in my study. Ack! Luckily, one I couldn't have cared less about, so out into the trash it went. The other is my "husband" (a big pillow with arms) which is the only thing that allows me to use the daybed as a place to sit. Otherwise it makes a great place to stack all the mess out of my study closet, for cats to sleep, and for boxes, filing, and other detritus to hang out for long periods of time.

The good news is that he hasn't done it again. The bad news is that I'm really worried that he will. I'll be buying more Feliway, and hope that having a few more around the house will help. Cats! What a pain in the arse. Spraying is the one thing I can't tolerate. Cleaning litter boxes and cat puke doesn't bother me at all. I don't love but can bear to clean up the occasional thinking outside the litter box that happens (we occasionally get over-the-sides but mostly our cats have been inside the box thinkers, thank the feline gods). But spray! Oh help. He has been neutered--before we even got him. That's the first thing all the books and websites suggest. Feliway is second. We have one diffuser going in the living room, but the vet suggests more, so we'll try that before dividing the territory and/or drugs and/or other drastic measures.

We kept this weekend pretty quiet. We had one of our monthly writing retreats, which was productive and fun except I napped through part of the first session after lunch. I'm not used to having such a substantial lunch and it really put me to sleep. Oh, and I'd gone to bed a little late because I'm really enjoying the novel I'm reading right now and haven't had much time to read except after bedtime. Details, details.

The only other long weekend type thing we did, besides fuss over how much work we both have to do on all kinds of things rather than getting any of it done, was to barbecue hamburgers and have those and corn on the cob with Devin and Tamar. The three of us, of course, played Scrabble.

Had two mornings where I could sleep in. Heavenly! Bring on the long weekends! More, more!

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


Been in a big Espers kick, since I bought another of their albums. Psychedelic folk, very reminiscent of Pentangle, whom we also love.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Ann Turnbull's young adult historical novel, Forged in the Fire, is set in England in 1666. Two young lovers, Will and Susannah are both Quakers, and suffer their religions persecution. Add to that Will's father, who has disowned him for his faith. Now they are separated, while Will is working to raise enough money to afford for Susannah to join him in London. Just as he is ready to leave, the plague takes over London, and no one can leave the city and his letters stop coming. Susannah waits as long as she can, then heads to London to find him. Lively, engaging, great historic detail (an amazing period), and strong characters. Highly recommended.

last week's reading § next week's reading


My poem is up at Strange Horizons--one of the quickest written to published poems I've ever had. This is one that I finished a short time ago.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Thursday, August 6th, 1992

Began by wandering through town, mostly looking through the market-day stalls. Finally Hay Prints swallowed us for about an hour and a half. Then the day was so sunny we decided to get out of town.

Drove the road up Hay Bluff--first narrow and usual type of road then the came out into the open with an almost-180-degree view over the valleys. We drove along a narrow road cut into the mountainside with sheep all over, of course, and cuddled into little hollows, munching solemnly, then we went down the other side, confronting cars in the narrow road, backing up, squeaking by, till we got to Llanthony Priory.

View of the Brecon BeaconsView of the Brecon Beacons.


Llanthony PrioryLlanthony Priory.


Arches, Llanthony PrioryArches, Llanthony Priory.



Attractive place, plum tree nearby, the cloister and parts of the chapel still standing, of course very tidy. There was an arch where I pretended to be an effigy, and Christina fed my sour, hard apple to a horse. Went inside the pub attached and bought post cards. Christina bought a ginger beer. We basked in the sun.

I couldn't face the drive over Hay Bluff again--just too much traffic on a narrow road and backtracking, so we drove a loops. We were passing Tretower, so I suggested the Christina that we go in--it was a place David Streatfield [a faculty member for the Preservation program that I run] had suggested we see. Really glad we did. It's two separate sites--a 15th and 16th century manor house, and a 12th and 13th century tower. Went went through the manor house first--a sense of light and a comfortable shape. Wonderful fireplaces and timer. Pegged slates on the roof. They'd also started plant some flowers from the time and to try to start the kind of grass they had then. The gate-keeper said they'd not put it where it would have been, and it would likely have been a vegetable garden, but still it was a lovely place.


Tretower manor houseTretower manor house.


Then went through to the Tower, very tall and would have been dark, but safe. Wonderful fireplaces inside. Altogether a place I'm really glad we didn't miss.


The old tower at TretowerThe old tower at Tretower.


Along the road saw a number of hillforts, Sugar Loaf, amazing Constable-like views.

Rolled back into town, hit the Poetry Bookshop. Did damage.

Forgot to mention that at one point along the road to Llanthony when we had to pull over, Christina picked blackberries out the car window.

Had a fancy dinner at Old Black Lion, 12th century.

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