Sunday, December 28, 2014

At the Change of the Year...trying out some New!

In the interest of spending a few minutes less in the digital, a few more with the analog; also in the interest of trusting to the eventual coherence of the random and fragmentary over the often spurious impositions of the essay form; and perhaps, mostly, in the interest of trying to keep the blog a bit fresh when I sometimes wonder what I'm really doing here. . .
I'm not sure how often I'll manage these illustrated journal pages in my Moleskine sketchbook (I packed journal and drawing materials last Sunday, forced myself to pull them out and use them today after they languished in my case for the week), but even once or twice is better than not at all, right? Terribly amateur sketches, obviously, but let's remember that "amateur" is not necessarily a bad word .. .
In case you can't read my writing, the script says, Paul brings me olives and red wine. He's put down his mystery paperback (Donna Leon's Death at La Fenice) to cook dinner--something from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem, a Christmas gift. I've been reading Anthony Doerr's All the Light You We Cannot See, ever since we got back from our long walk to St Augustine's Pub on Commercial (14kilometres round trip). And knitting a cowl for Bronwen.
Scrawled sideways up the left margin, beneath today's date, are the words Letting the old year begin to slip-slide away...
In case you're foodie-curious, I had a delicious kale, pancetta, and garlic confit pizza with my Stout, while Paul had an IPA with his Buttermilk Chicken at lunch, the calories in nicely balanced by those outlaid on our long walk. Still more balance was found in the great meal Paul whipped together from his new cookbook: Fried Cauliflower withTahini and pomegranate seeds and a wonderful salad of mixed vegetables to accompany cumin-spiced chickpeas.


19 comments:

  1. This I like. It is very much in the spirit of the post Christmas, pre New Year days, when there is no pattern but a chance to play with your toys (ie read new books and eat all the sweets), go for pleasant wanders and generally muse. Please keep posting in this vein. Life is often in the small details, I increasingly find. Three cheers for kale!

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    1. Yes! It's just like when we got Paint by Numbers sets or new jigsaw puzzles at 8 or 9 or 10. . . thanks for the encouragement to play! And all hail the kale! ;-)

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  2. In Germany we call these days from Cristmas to New Year's Eve "the time between the years" and many people use them for a break between the "no more" and the "not yet". I wish I could. Went straight back to grading, nine papers done, 13 more to come. But I am doing it in the lakeside cottage, so whenever I lift my eyes from the pages, I can see the waves - and the snow coming in.

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    1. Oh, I like that expression. It does feel like an in-between time, and it doesn't deserve to be consigned to grading. Wish I could help you with that, although I'm in somewhat the same boat, having to get my course outlines ready for Monday. At least we have waves to look at (no snow here. Yet!)

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  3. I always enjoy your sketches. The photos are wonderful of course, but I love how the sketches and paintings share your "eye" and perspective.

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    1. They're certainly more idiosyncratic, revealing even. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  4. I like the idea of adding something to the mix, and this time of year seems like the right time for playing around with new ideas. The days between Christmas and New Year have always seemed to me to be suspended in time and space. I always feel oddly untouchable, or perhaps it's that I give myself permission to retreat from the everyday, to light a fire, read for hours and graze from the fridge for the leftover treats. This year is a little different, with days over-full but with a purpose that overrides everything else.
    I will be in your neck of the woods at the end of January to give a workshop. If you email perhaps we could arrange to have that cup of coffee.

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    1. Something here resonates as well. It does seem as if there's a mandate to be free from obligation (I suspect all sorts of oxymorons or paradoxes there. So be it). In fact, I feel myself defiantly invoking this, even when I know there are things that will, nonetheless, have to be done for next Monday to "work". . .
      I would love to have that coffee -- I'll hunt up your email and we'll be in touch, 'kay?

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  5. Your sketches and notes are a pleasant change in the blog. I don't seem to often use my sketching materials although I carry them around the world. My sketches have the same "amateur" quality as yours but they effectively convey the activities of the day. I have not read a book since I returned home so today I have to look for one. In this break, I am able to enjoy time with friends who have not yet retired. They will soon be back to classes so spending time together is a luxury.We are going to Nuba, a Lebanese restaurant in Kits today. The last time I had Lebanese was from the Marché
    Port-Royal in Paris where I had a major crush on the charming vendor who always threw in something extra "pour le plaisir". Only in Paris…. Enjoy the rest of your break!

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    1. Haven't been to Nuba for ages, but I love it! Not sure if there's still one in Yaletown -- we used to often go there, either to eat in or to take the deliciously messy falafel platters home.
      Oh, those Parisien men! Pour le plaisir indeed!

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  6. Please don't wonder what you're "really doing here"... just don't go away.
    Happy New Year.

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    1. Thanks -- and Happy New Year to you as well!

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  7. I am reading that very novel...it is so nice to take a few days to read and cocoon. Giving oneself permission to play, sketch and enjoy life at a slower pace is pure luxury.
    I wonder what brings us to voice our thoughts in such a public way too...I am happy that you write and share with those of us who choose to check in with you regularly. Hope you will continue to do so and more sketching would be fun!

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    1. I've been here for 7.5 years now, so I guess I'll carry on a few more. ;-) Changing it up occasionally is fun, right?

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  8. Maybe I'll join you in sketches and whatever is being done, we'll do together. Happy New Year!

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    1. I'm sure you're considerably more accomplished than I am, but together would be fun. Happy New Year to you too!

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  9. What a delicious day in all respects!

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  10. I enjoy your sketches! There is energy and intimacy in them.
    And we have the same sketch book at the moment, the Moleskin. The vanilla paper is wonderfully smooth and inviting, don't you find? Home-cooked meals are really the heart of a home.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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