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Pickle Me This

June 28, 2010

I love pruning

“I love pruning. If gardening is unsuccessful, I’m going to be a hairdresser.” –overheard through my open window, from one of the two wonderful women working in the garden down below

February 26, 2010

In the post and etc.

I just tramped out through the snow to collect today’s brilliant postal haul, which included a writing cheque, my new spaceage autoshare keycard, and a copy of Susan Telfer’s absolutely beautiful collection House Beneath. And really, it tops off the most wonderful morning, which I’ve spent listening to DJ Bookmadam’s playlist, reading An Unsuitable Attachment by Barbara Pym and issue 32.3 of Room Magazine. Drinking pear lychee green tea, while Harriet napped for almost two hours (!!). This morning following an evening during which I went out and spent my time in the company of inspiring, amusing women and ate lots of cheese while my husband put the baby to bed without me for the first time ever, and they both did brilliantly. All of which is to say that I am terribly, terribly happy today, and I tell you this not to be smug or rub it in, but because this is one of those good days that I want to collect like a postcard, to pickle away and keep always to remember just how fantastically beautiful the snow-covered world is outside my window right at this moment.

February 10, 2010

Things India Knight likes

Writer India Knight has long been included on a list of things I like, but today she has managed to drive me mad with ecstasy via her blog Things I like. Now with Search Button. In particular, her things to read tag, from which I found myself directed to Curious Pages, The Reading Weekend and Missed Connections. Pre-Miffy Bruna— amazing. I now want a beautiful house in Brussels, a giant owl, and to be Tavi. Such a wonderful catalogue of marvelous things. Image from this post— turns out Salinger’s covers weren’t always so enigmatic.

December 29, 2009

Bookish Christmas

Not only did I have a wonderful Christmas, but I received some wonderful gifts for Christmas. Not least of which were the bookish ones, including a gift certificate that will buy me several Barbara Pyms (exciting). In books unvirtual, I had several wishes granted: Penelope Lively’s latest Family Album (which was one of the New York Times‘ notable books of the year), Bugs and the Victorians (which was my heart’s desire), and Karen Connelly’s Burmese Lessons, which I just finished reading and was everything I wanted it to be.

I am also going to become card-carrying member of the Barbara Pym Society. This is very, very exciting.

November 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Stuart!

Every year around this day, or to be more specific, on this day, I get to say aloud what I think all the time, which is, “What a terrific man is this Stuart character I’ve somehow got myself hooked up with.” Because he really is fantastic, and in seven years I’ve not even begun to get enough of his marvelous company, and I’m so proud of the thirty-year old man who’s made a life for himself that that twenty-three-year old I met years ago would be in awe of. So grateful also that he’s so unfailingly good to me, and for the life we’ve made together.

In short, he’s fantastic, and during the past six months he’s been put to the test, with his patience, caring nature, hilarious sense of humour, much relied-upon ingenuity, and his understanding rarely waning. And that they rarely waned rather than never did only shows he’s human, but what an extraordinary one. Harriet and I are so very lucky, because he’s an excellent husband and a wonderful dad. I love him very much.

Happy Birthday!

October 2, 2009

Let it be known

Let it be known that the scones at the Royal Botanical Gardens’ Turner Pavilion Tea House are some of the best I’ve ever had. And scone-wise, I’ve been around, so that is saying something.

Let it also be known that some days maternity leave is sinfully delightful.

September 25, 2009

Happy Friday

I just received a spam email from “me” with the subject heading, “I’m so proud for you”. Totally! We’ve had a very good week this week, mostly due to the fact that I’m no longer exhausted. Harriet is back to getting up just once a night, probably just because she decided it would be so, but we like to think because I’ve started waking her for a feed right before I go to sleep. So we’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

She’s also going bed early, however eventually, which gives me a marvelous break in the evenings. And since I’ve (almost) quit Facebook, I’ve ceased my epic time wasting. I’m getting lots of reading done, working on knitting a little sweater for Harriet, working on a writing assignment that I’m finding absolutely thrilling, as well as a bit of fiction. Little Women is wonderful, actually. I have a short story coming out in December, and I’m very excited about that (with details to come, of course).

I am very grateful to have two good friends also on maternity leave right now, and their company is the best way I’ve found yet to pass the days. And not just to pass the days, but to enjoy them. Today we all finally went to The Children’s Storefront– it was my first visit, finally, and was an absolutely magical place we’ll be returning to. And we’re looking forward to Sunday, when Harriet hosts her very first party.

It is a happy Friday indeed. (And is this where we cue the baby going ballistic, and not sleeping at all tonight? Just in order to make me eat every word I writ. Oh, we’ll see…)

June 17, 2009

Seen Reading

Seated at a table on the patio of Sweet Fantasies Ice Cream at the corner of Bloor Street and Brunswick Avenue, brown-haired woman in non-maternity clothes (but only those purchased around 2003 when she was a bit fat, but non-maternity nonetheless), three weeks post-partum with her baby asleep in the carrier on her chest. She is rereading Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner, which isn’t much of an intellectual pursuit but it’s enjoyable, and she’s eating a cookies and cream ice-cream cone. The sun is shining and has kissed her cheeks, it’s been days upon days since the last time she cried with despair, and we’ve come such a long way since this all started.

May 25, 2009

What life has been like lately…

Because I am a very lucky lady. And now we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

I’ll be back when I’m ready. I’ll miss you until then.

May 21, 2009

You must read The Girls Who Saw Everything by Sean Dixon

I like this picture, because my enormousness gets lost in shadow. You also get the blue sky, sunshine, leaves on the trees, that I’ve picked up a little bit of colour (really– this is an improvement), and that I’ve had my nose in a book all day. Or at least for most of the day, when I wasn’t napping, swimming, being visited by a wee delightful baby and her as delightful mother (who came bearing scones), making more strawberry sorbet and eating the first bbq pizza of the season. Obviously, it has been a really wonderful day.

But that book I’ve had my nose buried in has really been one of the very best parts of the day. Said book is The Girls Who Saw Everything by Sean Dixon, which I’m not going to review because I read it for fun and it’s two years old, but you can read great reviews at That Shakespearian Rag and Baby Got Books. (Outside of Canada, the book is called The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal, which I bet is not as well designed as my Coach House edition, though it just might be.) Also check out Sean Dixon’s blog related to the book, and I know you’ll be intrigued.

The whole thing is brilliant. It’s a book that is accessible and complex, hilarious and poignant, serious and light, important and whimsical, and brimming with bookishness for the love of bookishness, and inside jokes and outside jokes, and all the very best things about literature. A completely original story, startling in its specificity, and yet the implications stretch wide. I adored this novel about “a whole bunch of girls and… an intense little book club.” And moreover, if I may say, I love that it was written by a man. Not enough books about a whole bunch of girls are. Reading about The Lacuna Cabal Montreal Young Women’s Book Club was ever-surprising, ever-satisfying. And perfect for a just-as-perfect Thursday.

UPDATE: Largehearted Boy features The Official Lacuna Cabal Playlist: “In the interest of satire, however, Emmy might choose, for Missy, “Common People” by Pulp, adding with a cocked eyebrow that the character played by Sadie Frost in the video reminds her of Donna Tartt’s slutty sister, so there’s a bookish dimension to the choice.”

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