Friday, October 27, 2017

Five Things Friday

Pater has been away all week; he comes back today, and I'll admit that I didn't get nearly everything done that I'd hoped to do in my time alone. But lists have been whittled down; a few old projects nearing completion; a few new ones beginning to take shape; even one or two long-neglected ones at least dusted off. . .

Fall seems to inspire that organization, doesn't it? And finally, after a year here, I'm feeling enough order  in the domestic topography/geography to assign items and activities to places and containers. It makes a difference, spending fewer minutes trying to remember where I might have put the good fabric scissors (must be hidden from the heathens who might use them on paper. . . or worse) or figuring out a surface I could safely leave the blocked pieces of a knit garment while it's being seamed together. . . .

1. Finally finished the main pieces of the cabled poncho I've been knitting (here's a made-up version  of Michelle Wang's Vale pattern), and today I'm seaming it together. I'm hoping it might be done today, so that I can pick up stitches for the turtleneck to knit while we watch. . . . but wait, that's #2, see below.. . . (On the iPad screen, the instructions for Mattress Stitch courtesy of Knitty magazine; I always pull this up for a refresher while I'm sewing a knit garment together)

2. And the Netflix show that's going to entertain me while I knit that turtleneck? I can't wait to watch Season 2 of Stranger Things! Have you watched the first season? Are you excited about today's release?

3. If the supernatural is not at all your jam, and you're looking for something good to watch this weekend, Pater and I both enjoyed watching Jane Fonda and Robert Redford make some sparks in Our Souls at Night. Consummate actors, the two of them, and the adaptation of Kent Haruf's novel makes for a sweet little script.

A bit more crusty, edgy, poignant, wry, and downright hilarious, Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories features some notable work from a fairly large, ensemble-ish cast of actors (some amusing cameos -- Sigourney Weaver plays herself, for example). Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler are particularly good -- the latter really surprised me-- Emma Thompson's character is a hoot.

4. But it's not been all knitting and screen-watching around here. We've had spectacular fall weather, and I've been cycling and walking. I took a gazillion photos (or more!) after I dropped a g'daughter at school the other morning, and I've been posting them on Instagram, but I saved one just for you. . .

5. And let me close with another photo I've already posted on Instagram, a snap of a moment I've come to enjoy these last few weeks. . . I've had the occasional privilege of picking up a g'daughter after school to take her to a class. So far, on the days Nana does the walking, we've been rain-free, and we've had such good chats along the way. Once she's dropped off, I repair to a local teashop/bakery, find a small table in the corner, at the window if I'm lucky, and I order a pot of tea (Irish breakfast, even tho' it's late afternoon) and sometimes, a cookie (they makes the best salted chocolate-chip cookies!). Then an hour of sitting with my book, occasionally looking up to suss out activity in the shop, sometimes glancing out the window to see whether that mom will catch her toddler before he lurches himself at the golden retriever or to observe how much that ancient woman is enjoying the pastry her not-quite-so-ancient companion has brought outside for her, wrapped cozily in her wheelchair. I pop up once to have my teapot refreshed with hot water, several times to pour a spot of milk in my cup. Such a simple, affordable luxury. Almost as blissful as the walk back home with a young girl full of the accomplishments of her class.
As for the book, it's the third Commissaire Maigret mystery I've read (by Georges Simenon). I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying them, given how long ago they were written (and that I'm reading them en français, a fun kind of "homework") -- they stand up very well to contemporary mystery novels, and for this one, particularly, it's fascinating to get that glimpse of barely post-war New York, through Maigret's eyes (he's arrived by boat).

And now it's the weekend. Pater gets back today, and he's Google-calendar-invited me on a dinner date tonight at a favourite French restaurant in our neighbourhood. Tomorrow morning we have two littles for a few hours, and after that, I'm hoping we might get out on our bikes for a bit. Four or five days of sunshine ahead, apparently, and we want to make the most of those!

What about you? If you were to make a list of Five Things (or Two or Three), what would be first on that list? Could you get to Five with no trouble? Go for it, right here in the comments. Or just tell me if you've ever read Maigret, in English or in French (I seem to have begun collecting the French livres de poche copies -- Simenon wrote scads and scads, so I'll need an extra shelf)? Or whether your partner ever sends you a dinner invitation via the Google calendar (I get a kick out of this new practice which my not-so-techy husband has discovered)?
 Oops, I've actually just remembered what was supposed to be my Number One, and it didn't make it on the list at all

-- I'll have to tell you more about this next week instead.  . . 

19 comments:

  1. I have read a few Maigret, years ago, but certainly not in French! Go you.
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to read a few French books a year to maintain and build vocabulary -- the reading is much easier for me than oral comprehension, by far!

      Delete
  2. I envy you your fall weather. It is rain and wind over here and the trees are bare already. Tomorrow the family gets together to pull the dinghy out of the water and store the planks of our little jetty. That is going to be one hard saturday.
    But: I went to the gym twice this week, and I also finished my tax declaration. I turned out several knitted bracelets and bought train tickets to visit a friend next week. That's four out of five.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about that wind and rain! I always feel cheated the years when the leaves get ripped off the trees before they really get a chance to turn colour And winter-izing the dinghy and your dock will be tough as well. It does sound as if you're finding ways to cope -- very productive, all the tax-doing and the gym-going -- and I'm curious about those knitted bracelets. Have fun visiting your friend -- I envy you the train journey, to be honest. Really miss that here.

      Delete
  3. I started work at my old school. I have read Maigret in French. I was telling Grade 4's how cool it is to have 2 reading languages to choose from. I've actually got 3 because I can read Spanish novels. I travelled to La Conner with my Mum for our annual fall trip.(I work part-time). I also enjoyed The Meyerowitz stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those Grade 4s are lucky to hear that message from you, about languages. (I used to be able to read Spanish novels as well, way back in university, but wow! that would be a struggle now!).
      Impressed that you still managed your annual trip to La Conner with your new working scheduled. Take care.

      Delete
  4. Five things. Hmm… 1. Autumn hasn't arrived in the SF Bay Area. It's been hot. Our odd weather pattern has the Bay Area at the same temperatures in places from North to South usually 20°F+ apart. I look forward to a cool crisp autumn day soon. 2. I couldn't get into Season 1 of Stranger Things. I must try again. The Good Place has enchanted me. I'm on episode 10 of 13 and trying to make it last. I wasn't as happy with the Redford/Fonda pairing as I thought I'd be, but watching Our Souls At Night did make me re-watch The Electric Horseman, which was a fascinating juxtaposition. I've seen TEH many times, but there's been a gap and it surprised me in certain ways that interested me. 3. The Meyerowitz Stories was an excellent Baumbach film, in my opinion, but I found it, if I understand your description of it, funny but darker than you did. Adam Sandler was superb. His decision at the end was the one I hoped for. I was saying it out loud to the screen. A narcissistic parent can wreak heartbreaking havoc. Baumbach portrayed the reality of the family's interactions well. I loved the realistic over-talking of a father so self absorbed he couldn't hear the messages of anyone around him. One small scene with the sister about rage stood out for me. The film has stayed with me. 4. Wednesday I had an outing on public transport to SF for two appointments and then an early dinner in Rockridge (Oakland) with a friend. It felt so good to be out. Alas, it was too much. Today in physical therapy I found I need to do less for longer for my body and my brain. That is disappointing. I continue to improve, but it is slow and I am impatient. (My whiplash is described as complex and chronic; I am not happy about that.) 5. Leisurely afternoon tea out is something I love. My tea of choice is Lapsang Souchong. With half & half. Non-standard but good. At the end of my too-long day out I was in the Rockridge Market Hall bakery admiring a chocolate chip cookie with sea salt. I didn't buy it, but I imagine it would have been heaven. Maigret with tea sounds perfect. My childhood home had many Maigret books, and I have read a selection of them, though in English not in French.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A fulsome (in the word's most positive sense) five here!
      I'll have to check out The Good Place -- it's not been on my radar at all until now.
      Of course you're right about the darker side of The Meyerowitz Stories, the humour was undeniably black. And I was conscious when writing Friday's post that I was giving the film much shorter shrift than it deserved -- and felt a bit guilty that I didn't say more about Elizabeth Marvel's role which was more muted than other performances but very effective and moving, a slower burn.
      So sorry about how slow your progress seems to be, to you, but it does sound as if you're making big steps, getting out, really engaging with your world in so many ways. Lapsang Souchong with half and half, not standard at all, but I can see it could be good. We like a smoky tea here as our daily brew, but not as straight-up as a Lapsang. (Usually blend Russian Caravan with a bit of LS to boost the smoke -- and yes, then add milk. Non-standard but good)

      Delete
  5. Aw-I think I know where you are going :-)!
    Brava,so many projects and Maigret in French!
    I've read Maigret books in croatian translation and remembered the gloomy athmosphere-I have to try one or two again-,but they were very interesting. I can't remember the New York one
    So,Our Souls at Night are a Tv or Netflix film?
    I've read about The Stranger things season one,but they are not on Pickbox (Netflix is on arrival,but not quite here)
    I'm watching Top of the Lake-China Girl with Elisabeth Moss,(and Nicole Kidman in Season 2.) and Russian series Ekaterina,about Catherine the Great.
    Plans for visiting Vienna are slowly in progress-I can't wait!
    Autumn is so beautiful here with perfect weather (not for agriculture,I'm afraid-it rains rarely and when it does,there are floods in the cities) and colours. I've planted Violas tricolors and white and purple heather on my balcony
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must might have guessed, yes.
      Hmmm, so far, I'm not getting an overly gloomy impression from the Maigret I've read, although they're definitely "noir." There's also some humour and,when his wife's in the picture, there's a comforting interior to retreat to.
      Yes, Our Souls at Night was on Netflix here. I'm afraid once you have Netflix, you'll be as addicted as the rest of us! (I must watch Top of the Lake, second season -- the first was so good).
      That balcony mix of plantings sounds very pretty.

      Delete
  6. Railway travel in Italy - very much my cup of espresso!

    Not to mention Vienna...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Five things. 1. My daughter and her boyfriend were here for one night last weekend and left on Sunday. Such a pleasure 2. I came down with a cold Saturday night and now it's a cough. Not a pleasure. 3. Started physical therapy for a decades-old issue, encouraged by a Physical Medicine doctor who pointed out that my pelvic region did not realign correctly after the birth of my son, and believes it can be fixed. An absolute pleasure. 4. Got a massage to address same issue, glorious. 5. Even I, who sleep hot, was cold this morning and needed to hide under the sheets. Such a pleasure. So, despite the persistent and annoying cough, net plus;). The arithmetic of a regular life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except for the cough (I'm sorry!), those are some very good things. I really need to get myself some therapeutic massages lined up for the ongoing stuff with my quads/knee. . . Glad your massage was glorious. And the cold to accommodate your sleep. I love that sensation of burrowing warm when it's cool just beyond the blankets, and it's so very rare any more.

      Delete
  8. I've had a couple nice experiences this week . One was cuddling my niece's new baby boy , aged twelve weeks . He hasn't been a happy baby due to a dairy food allergy causing pain . She feeds him herself & has switched to being all vegan rather than just her usual veggie - magic , he smiles & laughs all the time now . So nice to see .
    Then I had a one to one jewellry making class . The woman who runs it trawls around charity shops , jumble sales etc buying up old damaged bits of mostly costume jewellry then breaks it up & remakes it for sale in a local design/craft shop - She has a very good eye. I waded through all different little boxes of this & that , selecting eye catching bits that appealed to me . Then we made a rather eclectic necklace for me to take home . Except that I am dreadful at anything requiring patience & delicacy , so she did most of the tricky stuff , but it was my design & I love it . We called it the Celtic Moorland Necklace . It felt quite virtuous too - sparing landfill .
    Wendy in York

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS - I suspect hubby thinks landfill is the best place for it :)

      Delete
    2. Happy babies are the best, and I just love that three-month stage! Smiles and coos. . . .
      And I love the sound of that class -- what a great idea (and I quite like the name as well).

      Delete
  9. Watched all of season 2 of Stranger Things this weekend. Very good. Those kids work really well together. I would also recommend watching Ozark, always enjoy Laura Linney.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Serious binge-ing!! Good for you! We finished Episode 6, but now I have to wait 'til tomorrow night as he's indulging in Monday Night Football tonight. I love Laura Linney, and will see if I can find Ozark -- thank you!

      Delete

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...