Monday, July 5, 2021

Independence Day plus one


Here I am at my local Co-op today without a mask! This is the first time in 15 months! I was so much more relaxed today. It was an amazing feeling to just "be" again without impedimenta. The new "rule" is that if you are vaccinated, you don't have to wear a mask. I saw many people still wearing them, but it was Senior Day (which happens once a month when those over 65 get 10% off) and perhaps older people may have medical conditions or live with someone who does and they do not want to take a chance. Some of the store people wore them and others didn't. 75% of the employees have been vaccinated so maybe those were the ones who haven't had the shot yet.  Anyhow, it was just the best feeling! 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

50th Anniversary of Jim Morrison's Death

I wrote about our trip to Paris after the fire at Notre-Dame, and today I am revisiting that trip on the 50th anniversary of Jim Morrison's death. First of all, there is no way my head can get around the fact of all those years. From 23 to 73 in a blink of my eye. How is that even possible? 

Anyhow, when we were in Paris, we visited Pere Lachaise cemetery. I don't think we went because of anyone special who was buried there. We had heard about it, and spent a day walking through. It is truly beautiful. 

Fast forward to weeks later. We were in Dublin on a bus, and saw a newstand out the window. There was a copy of Rolling Stone and Jim Morrison was on the cover. We were so excited to buy it. When we actually saw it, our happiness quickly went away. That beautiful boy, dead. Even now I can't believe it. This is my copy of the magazine. Not sure if it is the one we saw in Ireland.

And it was so strange to know we had been at the cemetery after he had been buried there. Just the idea that we could have seen his grave without knowing he had died. Gives me shivers.

So, in honor of the 50th anniversary of his death, I thought I'd post a song. It was hard to choose just which one, but here you go. 

The Crystal Ship

Before you slip into unconsciousness
I'd like to have another kiss
Another flashing chance at bliss
Another kiss, another kiss

The days are bright and filled with pain
Enclose me in your gentle rain
The time you ran was too insane
We'll meet again, we'll meet again

Oh tell me where your freedom lies
The streets are fields that never die
Deliver me from reasons why
You'd rather cry, I'd rather fly

The crystal ship is being filled
A thousand girls, a thousand thrills
A million ways to spend your time
When we get back, I'll drop a line

I read someone's analysis of the song, and you may read it here. All it showed me is that one cannot really analyze poetry! It is what it is to whomever is reading it. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Trouble with blog header photo

 If you are reading this, you will see that my blog header picture is all messed up. I can't say I wasn't warned because Kay at the Musings blog posted about her problem a couple days ago. 

So many of my fellow bloggers have complained about the changes blogger made months ago. I have had no trouble at all, except that I could no longer post a home video. 

We got a new computer last month, our first one in ten years, and now I can post a home video. Hooray. But there have been so many changes that Tom has spent days on the phone with tech people. 

I am wondering if it is the new technology that has caused me to have this problem with my blog header. Or is it blogger? Anyhow, it sure doesn't look pretty. The header picture was peonies but they have gone by and the hollyhocks are stars in the garden now so I thought they would make a good header photo. I knew I was taking a chance, but I thought because I hadn't had the troubles others had that I'd be okay. Nope.

As I told Kay in a comment, there are days I want to give it all up. No more computers or cell phones. Sometimes I want to live a life that is free of screens and connections. I am driven wild with this whole cloud thing. We didn't have any cloud with the old computer, but now the Apple hard drives are small and there isn't room for thousands of photos. I feel like we are all forced to join the crowd. This is all so different from the whole ethos of the hippie life, which was to do things for yourself, and live a private life if you wanted to. Now I feel like there is no freedom like that. No privacy. No quiet.

We are wooed by convenience and ease. The words from Pink Floyd come into my head, "comfortably numb". 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

May Books

A perfect month of reading. I really loved all the books, and they were very different from each other. You may notice the year in the 1920s in red. I began doing that last year as I began my reading from the 1920s. I just do it to draw my attention to the fact.

May - 6

24.The Plumley Inheritance - book 1 in the Ludovic Travers series
by Christopher Bush
mystery 1926
finished 5/4/21

We live in a wonderful time for readers because we have access to so many old books. It is just thrilling to me to read something published when my mother was 13. Another Dean Street Press reissue.

25. High Wire in Nuala - book 9 in the Inspector De Silva series
by Harriet Steel
mystery 2020
finished 5/7/21

I don't read very much historical fiction, but I will read these books as long as she keeps writing them. I love the Sri Lanka setting, called Ceylon at the time the books take place. 

26. Dandelion Cottage
by Carroll Watson Rankin
children's fiction 1904
finished 5/9/21

This was one of those Amazon recommendations - I think because I read The Railway Children. Another book about children, and I loved it. Four girls are "given" this rundown house for the summer. Fully drawn characters with an interesting story.

27. Sweet Bean Paste
by Durian Sukegawa
translated from the Japanese by Alison Watts
fiction 2017
finished 5/12/21

I saw the movie version of this on Netflix DVD called just Sweet Bean and loved it. When I read Convenience Store Woman in April, Amazon recommended this book. I hadn't even known it was a book. It is rare when both a book and movie are perfect but these certainly are to me.

28. Before the Coffee Gets Cold - book 1 in Before the Coffee Gets Cold series
by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
translated from the Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselo
fiction 2015
finished 5/17/21

A fascinating concept. An underground restaurant with just a few tables, but it has a reputation that people can go back in time. There were a few separate stories, and I was so caught up in them. Wonderful idea and book.

29. The Consequences of Fear - book 16 in the Maisie Dobbs series
by Jacqueline Winspear
mystery 2021
library book
finished 5/23/21

Ah, Maisie is back. Always a joy to follow her in life. This was a particularly excellent installment.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

April Books

 April - 5

19. Sable Messenger - book 2 in the Inspector Knollis series
by Francis Vivian
mystery 1947
finished 4/2/21

20. The Threefold Cord - book 3 in the Inspector Knollis series
by Francis Vivian
mystery 1947
finished 4/8/21

I like these Vivian mysteries. I'm not wild about them, but find them pleasant enough old mysteries.

21. Something in the Water
by Catherine Steadman
mystery/thriller 2018
library book
finished 4/10/21

This book is completely out of character for me! It is a thriller, an edge-of-your-seat kind of book which I rarely read. My daughter actually quit because it was scary! I stayed with it just because I had to know how it turned out. Whew! I don't think I'll read any more of her work, but the book was very good.

22. The Swiss Summer
by Stella Gibbons
fiction 1951
finished 4/20/21

It is probably obvious that I read mostly English authors of books set in England. I do occasionally take a different road, and that's what happened this month. Although Stella Gibbons was an English woman, this book is set in Switzerland. Other than Heidi, I don't think I have ever read a book set there. Swiss Summer is one of the re-issued publications by Dean Street Press. The characters were new and interesting. Their personality quirks were quite different than I've read before. And Switzerland sounded just divine - a perfect place to spend a summer. I highly recommend it.

23. Convenience Store Woman
by Sayaka Murata
translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori
fiction 2018
library book
finished 4/22/21

This was a recommendation from Sam at Book Chase. It was unlike any book I've ever read, and I loved that. The characters, the setting, the idea were new and so interesting to me. I am very happy I read it, and it has led me to other Japanese writers. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Tom's 2021 Reads

May - 1

1. Truman
by David McCullough
nonfiction 1992
finished 5/12/21

July - 

1. Bury the Lead - book 29 in the Joe Gunther series
by Archer Mayor
mystery 2018
library book
finished 7/10/21