Friday, January 30, 2009

More Saki

A few days ago on Danielle's blog, A Work in Progress, she wrote about 1000 Books Everyone Must Read. Under the genre of comedy there were two Saki titles, The Unbearable Bassington and The Westminster Alice. It just so happens that I own The Complete Saki so I took off upstairs to retrieve it and have a peek. I flipped to page 569 and here's the first paragraph of The Unbearable Bassington: Francesca Bassington sat in the drawing-room of her house in Blue Street, W., regaling herself and her estimable brother Henry with China tea and small cress sandwiches. The meal was of that elegant proportion which, while ministering sympathetically to the desires of the moment, is happily reminiscent of a satisfactory luncheon and blessedly expectant of an elaborate dinner to come.

Don't you just love the language! This is going to be a fabulous read, I can picture a gentle Spring rain, a pot of tea and a blanket to cozy up with. I'm in denial about Deacon, the Boistrous Border Collie but perhaps I can lull him to sleep with some Saki.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stew Day

Yesterday was a Snow Day which meant Stew Day! It's so nice to have something simmering on the stove or baking in the oven whilst the snow is blowing around outside. My shift at the library was in the evening and I just knew they would close early due to weather. I thought of the cozy evening ahead with some warm stew, delicious bread, cups of tea. For the cherry on top, Dickens 'Little Dorrit' was airing on the telly. Oh joy and bliss! When 4 pm came and went with no phone call about a library closure my dream quickly came to an end. R had walked in from work so I yelled "Dish up some dinner while I change". I performed a 5 minute makeover like the magazines say you can and at 4:30 was out the door. I found out that the library one city over from us had closed at lunch. I hope one of their employees had my perfect Snow Day, Stew Day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Working in a library like I do, you have access to bookmarks that have been left behind. If they are not claimed then after awhile they become fair game. It seems like a lot of people go to England, buy bookmarks and then proceed to lose them. Sometimes I will theme my bookmarks to the book that I am reading. My lovely red Chatsworth bookmark (another English destination souvenir left behind) holds my place in The Mitfords because of the link to a Mitford sister, Deborah, The Duchess of Devonshire.
This one is my absolute favourite and has been holding my place in books for years. I wonder if the person that lost it was bothered at all, I know I would be.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Perogie Party

What can you do on a snowy, cold January afternoon? Get some friends together and make perogies! We make quite a team with everyone at their post. I rolled out the dough and cut out the rounds, R was boiling and making sure everyone had a drink. Our four friends did an excellent job of packing the potato, bacon, onion mixture into the rounds and pinching. There was quite a lot of discussion about technique and form at this stage and R made frequent comments about the lack of productivity from one end of the table. After hours of work and laughter we sat down to a lovely dinner and then the doorbell rang. Some friends that knew about our get together but had a commitment with their daughter showed up, their timing was impeccable. So we added a couple more chairs and had a lovely evening. Everyone took some perogies home, even the two late comers because we're nice, and we made plans to do it again next year.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Handsome Fella

Ever since Deacon was a puppy I've belonged to a sort of Facebook for Border Collies. This site was wonderful for laughing with others over the trials and tribulations of owning one of these high energy over thinkers. The greater part of 2008 was taken up with training Deacon and finding outlets for his never ending antics and the worst is over - yes, it was pretty exhausting. So now I'm finding time to read a little more, although it's never enough, start to knit again and even try my hand at blogging. I had a request for some updated pictures of Deacon from my Border Collie group since I've been neglecting them of late (I wish there were more hours in a day for the fun stuff). So this is one of the pictures that I took this morning of my handsome fella, that fluffy chest is hilarious! It wasn't so funny this morning though when he was drooling all down the front of it while watching me eat my pancakes!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ginger Snaps

I came home from work yesterday to this! R had made me some Ginger Snap cookies to go with my tea. He went out with his friends to play darts at the pub and took some to share. I so enjoyed the image of a car load of grown men off for a night out munching on biscuits.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mollie Panter-Downes

During the holidays I read through the short stories in this wonderful collection by Mollie Panter-Downes. All twenty-one stories appeared in The New Yorker between October 1939 and December 1944. Rather than tell the soldier's story she tells of the conflict that women faced in their daily lives of being left behind. The title story is about a mistress whose lover receives a commission in a mechanised regiment. Their weekly dinners come to an end as do his letters. She finally resorts to making a phone call to His Wife to ascertain whether there has been any news. The realization comes to her that she will never be the one to be informed of any details regarding the man she loves. The Danger is a story about a couple that have taken in as evacuees, a family that prove to be less than desirable house guests. After imposing for years, The Rudds finally pack up their kids and leave. Bliss is short lived when a young mother turns up looking for a place to stay. Should Mrs Dudley do the patriotic thing and help out or has she sacrificed enough. These stories are so well written that you have these vignettes playing in your head and in three pages there's a whole new set of characters. Mollie Panter-Downes was a London correspondent for an American public that couldn't get enough of the British war experience. She wrote about the trivial, ordinary things that happened to ordinary people during an extraordinary time and was one of the best in her field. She died on January 22, 1997 aged 90 leaving behind her husband of 70 years. That is a story in itself I should think.

Post Holiday

Yesterday R and I packed up the car, it was no easy feat, and drove The Heiress back to school. She had to pack all of the things she had brought, a ridiculous amount, then the presents she got for Christmas and enough groceries to feed a small village. Note to self: never send R to buy groceries for The Heiress again! Deacon came along with us so I packed enough kibble and water just in case we got lost and ended up on a back road for several weeks and made headline news. The weather report had announced a freezing rain warning for the Kitchener/Waterloo area so timing was everything. After stopping at a Tim Horton's for hot drinks we were on our way! We drove for about 20 minutes when suddenly from the back seat my feminine offspring shouts out a swear word that begins with the sixth letter of the alphabet! Had she witnessed a horrific scene, was Deacon choking on dry kibble, had she realized her wallet was missing! No - she had forgotten a Tupperware of leftovers from our roast beef dinner the night before. Now this is a girl who throws a jar of peanut butter and a bag of pita's into her backpack and calls it lunch so I guess it was a big deal to her. You guessed it, R turns the van around and back we go for the victuals, I would've kept going. Naturally I had to make some comments about deja vu once we were back on the road again. We beat the freezing rain - just. I'm hoping that The Heiress learns some new words in her Shakespeare class this next term.