Friday, February 6, 2015

Five Things Friday

1. Outdoor blooms are all very well (okay, they're quite lovely, really, especially in winter) but on days with a Serious Rainfall Warning issued by the official government meteorologists, it's great to have a bloom or two doing its thing inside. . . The little pot of muscari (grape hyacinths) my friend gave me a few weeks ago is delighting me with colour and fragrance, to say nothing of the sculptural curves of its leaves and metamorphosis of its tight buds nudging out of their ordered clusters to ring their fringed bells silently in ever looser groupings. . .

2. I have marvelled for years now at the way my young blogging friend K tackles learning curves. Tackles? Nay, she smashes them into horizontal submission, I tell you! Sewing? I can do that, she says, and then turns out bras, suit jackets, tailored pants with stunning insouciance. Knitting? Give her two months and she's designing her own sweaters. Cooking (and baking, par excellence) -- ditto, although she had that one down long before I began reading her. Now she's turned her eye on cosmetic potions -- or, as she terms her latest project, "Pretty Things That Smell Good" And when I commented on the enviable fortune of her friends, soon to be recipients of the lip balm she'd packed up, she offered to send me a wee container.
  And I know that it cost her way too much to post (never mind the time to package it up, get to the post office, etc.), but I hope she knows how much the generosity of her gesture is appreciated. I love the product -- it's just the right blend of slippery and stick-to-stay, light of texture and of its minty fragrance. Honestly, it's as good as anything I could buy in any drugstore and it's all natural ingredients. Best of all, every time I slick a bit on my winter-dry lips, I'm touched by the kindness of a friend I haven't met yet. Thank you, big bundles of thanks, K.


3. A second lovely experience with blogging friends this week: I had breakfast yesterday morning with Pondside. Instant compatibility! She's bright and sympathetic and gracious and witty and we had such a good chat. I was squeezing the breakfast in on my way to teach a class, so I had to hurry off after only an hour, but it felt like the beginning of a promising friendship. . .

4. We finished Last Tango in Halifax this week, at least all that's available on Netflix here (Season 2), so we've begun watching Wallander with Kenneth Branagh.  Coming right after watching Derek Jacobi in Tango, I can't help thinking of them together in that star-studded Hamlet of '96 (really?! that was really almost 20 years ago?!) and of Derek Jacobi as Hamlet in an earlier (1980) version of the play (with Patrick Stewart as Claudius -- have you seen it?). Marvellous actors! (Wish I could remember the play I saw Jacobi in on a London stage with my daughter back in 2001 or 2002.)


5. Sometime this month, we should get to meet our new grandchild. . .

I'm skipping my yoga class this morning, giving myself a lazy day at home, although I will have to mark my way through at least 8 1st-year essays if I want to clear the lot by Monday. . . .Paul's just headed off to that class on his own. As he bikes through the heavy rain, splashing up mud no fenders could stop, then powers the boat from one slippery wet dock on the island to the other equally slippery wet one in town, I am stoking up the fire and making a second cup of tea. Happy Friday, all you lovely readers. 

23 comments:

  1. I really have been spoiled with BBC series on Netflix. I haven't watched Wallender yet but I watched Broadchurch, Happy Valley and of course Shetland, You got me going on Silk so that's my this week's pleasure. Do you remember Derek Jacobi in I, Claudius? It actually got me reading Robert Graves and Suetonius at the time (long, long ago). Pondside always seems as though she could be someone that I know. There are so many interesting and sympa people in the world that we need to be retired just to have time to meet them. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't seen Shetland, but loved Broadchurch and Happy Valley. Sad to get to the end of Silk. No, I don't think I saw I, Claudius, although my mom got me reading that title oh-so-many-years-ago.
      So many sympa people indeed - you and I must meet as well, one of these days!

      Delete
  2. The muscari is just lovely! I've been keeping a list of shows to watch on Netflix (now that we've figured out how to make it work on the Tee Vee) and will be adding Wallander to the list.

    Madame La-bas, YES I remember "I, Claudius" and also began reading Robert Graves because of it. Great, great series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is lovely, although in its numbers outside, I tend to take it for granted.
      We've got to extend our Netflix system -- at the moment we watch it on my big computer screen, but the furniture in my home office isn't as cozy as in the proper TV room. A project on the list. . .

      Delete
    2. To get Netflix on your TV, I recommend the Roku box. It costs less than $100, and the setup is the easiest I've ever experienced - 5 mins tops. I use it to stream Amazon Prime videos, and I know that Netflix is there, and several other options I haven't paid attention to.

      I will have to look into the series mentioned here, but I think they are probably Canadian and not available here. Like the Louise Penny book that was filmed.

      Delete
  3. Muscari always remind me of my grandmother, they had colonised her little front garden, in spring it was a sea of blue!

    I hope you've enjoyed your lazy day :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a great scene at the beginning of a Merchant and Ivory film (Remains of the Day?) -- a long drive through a woods, the grounds carpeted by what must have been muscari.
      I did enjoy it -- never as lazy as I hope to be, what with making bread, marking papers, doing some laundry, etc., but lots of puttering time which is good.

      Delete
    2. I have been making that peasant bread you linked to, and everyone loves it. I am reading Grain Brain now, though, so I may be giving up wheat.

      Delete
    3. Isn't that good bread? Who knew it could be made so simply?! Why did I bother kneading mine all those years?!

      Delete
  4. Any and all photos of plant life are greatly appreciated here in the frozen centre of the country!

    I am going to check out the Shakespeare Uncovered BBC series currently showing on PBS. I think Derek Jacobi hosted an episode in a previous season...maybe Richard II.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know that series, but sounds as if I'd enjoy it. Stay warm!

      Delete
  5. Oh, Frances. I just read this and started to cry! How kin! Thank you so much for your generous words. xo (And I'm happy to send you potions any time.)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've got muscari growing along my front path. Not terribly enthusiastically, mind you, but they peek out from under the variegated pittosporum, and I appreciate their efforts.

    Glad you had a blogger meetup. Every time I do that I always wish we had more time;).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like my snowdrops -- I keep hoping for more enthusiasm, but meanwhile, yes, effort is appreciated.
      Me too on the more blogger meetup time.

      Delete
  7. An Island blogger meet up would be wonderful - everyone I've met is very "sympathique." Lovely muscari - there are some in our garden (not blooming yet) and a pot of them indoors would be heavenly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine aren't yet blooming outdoors, and I'm so pleased Alison brought me this pot to watch on the kitchen counter.

      Delete
  8. Your muscari are lovely! At the moment I haven't got a garden to speak of. My landlord has destroyed everything that used to grow there (I just managed to save a climbing rose and a hydrangea, both over 20 years old!) and while I am waiting for a court order to give me back my garden, I have to limit myself to flowerpots to bring some early spring feeling into the house, like hyacinths, dwarf narcissus, muscari or my favourite: Siberian squill (Scilla).
    I never realized there was a series "I Claudius". I remeber seeing the film (with Charles Laughton playing Claudius) as a young girl and I wanted to read the whole story, and in English, but it was quite a feat in those times before Amazon or the Internet (I am talking about the seventies) to get the Penguin paperback delivered to a German bookshop. I succeeded, however, and I still got that book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry to hear this ugly situation continues for you, Eleonore. I do hope your court order comes before much longer.
      It's almost unimaginable now, isn't it, how tough it was to track down and order so many goods as recently (!) as the 70s.

      Delete
  9. The muscari are so dainty and a lovely shade of blue.
    We just finished watching Last Tango in Halifax and really enjoyed it...will check out a couple of your other suggestions as it it so nice to find a well acted drama on Netflix.
    Your meet up sounds wonderful! I hope to meet you sometime too!
    BTW grand baby number 3 is on the way and due sometime in July! We are thrilled!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, congratulations! So Isla will now have two younger sibs? That's a busy young family!

      Delete
  10. Always love to have flowers indoors and I'm particularly fond of hyacinths - and their smell! We're just off to the flower market at Columbia Road to buy some...

    ReplyDelete

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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...