Les Semaines

September 23, 2007

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

 §

Reorientation

Trying to get my head together, to be calmer and get work done both at work and at home, and I'm doing okay at it. I could do better of course.

Work is all about the orientation sessions these days. Two down this week, two to do next week, and one more big one Very Soon (meaning that I have to schedule it and have been, um, not in a hurry to do so. Oops). I'm feel like I am Ms. Giver of Information. However, I really do enjoy talking to students, so it's good, just tiring.

It turned autumn today and it's cold. We're almost ready to turn the furnace on, but not quite. I am trying to remember things like to wear socks. I forgot today and my feet have been freezing all day, but that wasn't enough to get me to go downstairs and put some on. No. That would have been giving in!

MaryAnn Harris and Charles de Lint were in town for several events this past week, so we met at a restaurant briefly before Charles' reading Monday night at Hugo House--actually, it was more a concert as he read only briefly but the two of them played quite a while, which was delightful as always. It was great to see them. I also got to meet Cherie Priest, who lives here in Seattle now. I enjoyed meeting her--she's wicked smart and fun (put commas anywhere you like in that series).

Sophia is still thinking outside the box, so we upped her anti-anxiety meds again. Frankly, I'm beginning to think that I need them as much as she does, as whenever she wanders around me she makes me anxious. The kittens mostly ignore her, though, except when Atia is teasing her.

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

Listening

Still obsessed with Psapp and the new Noe Venable right now.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Charles de Lint's new YA fantasy novel, Little (Grrl) Lost tells the story of two teenage girls: one has had to move with her family to the suburbs from the farm where she grew up, leaving her beloved horse, and the other is six inches tall and feels stifled by her life as a "Little". How these two find their place in the world is a delightful story.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Still moving only slowly. It's just one of those times. Mostly I'm concentrating on trying to get my query materials perfect. Because they must be so that I run out of excuses not to start sending them out.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

June 10, 1994
Glasgow → Edinburgh

Jim's Journal

Used by permission; Neile doesn't seem to have kept a journal this week.

Had breakfast of sausages, eggs, beans, toast & tea (plus) O.J. Reorganized luggage. Walked to train station to see about dumping off luggage before we head out to Burrell Collection.

Walked down to other train station, Queen Street to take train to Burrell Collection--a half-hour train ride south. Collection not far from station in a wonderful setting--out in woods, next to fresh-mown meadow;walked through wooded path, heard lots of bird song.

[Earlier that day at B&B we saw two stellar jays out window; also saw one at train station in Pollockshaw's West.]

Collection had stunning assortment of tapestries, medieval and Renaissance. Three Degas dancers, a powerful Gericault horse painting (also abstract); great stained glass windows from all over medieval Europe, a few small replicas of Rodin sculptures and some gorgeous boxes covered with fabric that had allegorical scenes stitched on--one of lion/unicorn, the other of biblical scenes; also saw recreation of Burrell rooms--heavy, ornate furniture with intricate details in woodwork.

Left around 1 p.m. Got train back to Glasgow by 2 p.m. Shopped in bookstore--where Neile and I look at poetry and I found a new book by Eva Figes. Was amused and depressed by general lack of vision in most of the poetry books we looked at--lost of little domestic poems, very flat writing and some awful writing (even among the supposedly high-up Oxford Press poets)--not that I'm saying U.S. poets are any better or any great shakes, but I'd hoped to find some younger poets who were writing more than "I grew up in the 60s and here's what I remember" or the domestic dreams of dinner and loneliness, and the all-too-common here I am looking at the urban landscape point of view--nobody seems to be challenging the language, nobody was working with science, mythology or a particularly unique point of view--maybe though this is a result of the selection we saw, maybe not.

Took train to Edinburgh. Arrived shortly after 4 p.m. Neile phoned a friend, Steve, we had arranged to meet and set up a 5 p.m. meeting. Dragged our suitcases to our B&B. Met our hostess, a lovely, sweet woman.

Turns out waiting for us with Steve were several other people. Wandered around with them a bit.

Some of the group were going to see a play, Trainspotting, so we all split up. We and Steve walked up to a pub and had beer & cider and chatted about music, buying houses, and our friend's job.

Did a walking tour for a few hours of the Royal Mile, up and down little alleyways, stairways and courtyards, onto elevated road--such a variety of architecture--some from 17th century, but most from the Victorian era. Was in shadow of Edinburgh Castle. We have 9 p.m. reservations at a French restaurant, so we wound up wandering around such places as Lady Stairs Writer's Museum--seemingly round and round the same area.

Dinner was very good. Had appetizer of avocado and crabmeat--main dish of salmon wrapped in sole, and white wine. Was great! Dessert was a toffee pudding. Tried to rejoin the other group of friends at a bar near the theatre, but they were gone by that time.

Took a taxi back to B&B. Asleep by 12 p.m. Steve, whom we'd only met online before, is such a kind, generous person. Really had a lovely time with him.

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