A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Outside my window...The sky is a baby blue today. The sun is just waking and stretching, its yellow light reaches the tree tops as it burns through the early morning haze. Even as I type the light is changing...it's becoming orange and brighter as it gains strength. There's no breeze although the air coming in through my open windows feels fresh. I have a lodger getting very comfortable with life around here, as I notice a huge cobweb crossing one little window. I'll have to evict him today I'm afraid. There's plenty of other places for him...I just don't want my window draped with his web even though the light shining through it is amazing.

I am thinking...why I didn’t remember that the blind man (not literally) was calling early today to fix some blinds that needed attention. I tried to tell him that I was working on the internet and blah..blah...blah...Don't think he was interested really...just thought she's having a p.j. day! I'm not in the habit of answering the door in a state of semi-undress...how embarrassing! Anyway, all sorted now ; )

I am thankful...for so many things today....the solid beautiful house we're living in when so many people struggle and are homeless or about to lose theirs. The sunshine warm on my back when so many are struggling in freezing conditions. The breeze gently caressing the wind chimes to let them sing and I can hear their song. A big glass of iced water beside me...and how many people would just love to go to a tap and pour fresh chilled water. It's a real privilege that we take for granted. My mobile phone and laptop keeping me in touch at the tap of a button. Unthinkable even a few years back. I remember my OH's first work mobile phone...it was like carrying a house brick!
I could go on and on....

In the kitchen...would you believe it...some Crêpe mixture. I did make double the quantities for yesterday's pancake Tuesday but as you may have heard before my boys adore pancakes and can usually finish the whole mix in one sitting.

I am wearing...cut off jeans and a blue vest. As usual nothing on my feet. Hair freshly pampered at the hairdressers yesterday.

I am creating...hopefully something on silk soon...I really am trying to shed everything to give it my full attention but it’s very difficult. I can't seem to get through my projects lately or complete anything. I have no idea why? Maybe I'm trying to cram in too much and should be more selective.

I am going...to a concert tomorrow night! I'm going to listen to Russell Watson perform live. Two brain tumours have changed tenor Russell Watson's life but made his voice better and stronger according to latest reports. I have always had soft spot for Russell for a few reasons other than just his voice. If you read his biography you'll maybe see why plus he comes from my side of the world.

I am wondering...should I offer to do a duet with Russell???  LOL ; D

I am reading... 'Rules of Civility' by Amor Towles. I know this one is taking me some time but I've been busy and I don't want to rush it. It is written so beautifully.

 My daughter started to read this book on her new kindle (Santa's gift ; D ) whilst she was staying with us and she recommended it to me. I've only just started to read it but it’s got my attention already. 
Despite the fact that I've never been to New York City or in fact alive in 1937, makes interesting reading especially when the writer Amor Towles transports you back there so effortlessly.
A statement by one of the leading characters protagonist, Katey Kontent, knew " how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year and that if you can still lose yourself in the first chapter of a Dickens novel then everything is probably going to be fine". With those two lines, I had already identified with Ms Kontent, . If you are a male reader, please do not click away now as this is most definitely not chick-lit. In fact, there is plenty of drinking (Martinis and Champagne, primarily), there are cars and even a few guns here and there. Oh, and jazz.

In brief, the plot revolves around Katey and her friend Eve; they meet Theodore `Tinker' Grey, a wealthy young man while celebrating New Year's Eve in a dingy jazz club and, without giving away the story, the encounter will change their lives forever. A love triangle is among the central elements of this story, but the triangle changes shape at one point and anyway, this is a novel with a story, rather than a plot. It's about love, of course, but also about ambition, social mobility, and that aspirational quality that is quintessential to the mythology of New York City and that will inevitably bring up comparisons with F.S. Fitzgerald's 'Great Gatsby'. Indeed, it would be hard not to see the similarities between Tinker and Jay Gatsby - young men who pretty much encapsulate the American Dream of the early 20th century at the start of the novel and who, by the end, confirm that the dream is just that: an illusion.

A lot of `new' writers are too often hailed as The Next Big Thing to then only disappoint; but on the contrary 'watch this space' as they say. I am amazed at how Amos managed to create such believable and above all, likeable, female characters. And the male `cast' are equally memorable, none of them too perfect, none of them falling into the trappings of prince charming characterisation that could have taken this book down the pastel cover route.

I would be really surprised if 'The Rules of Civility' didn't become a literary fiction best-seller, as it ticks all the relevant boxes; great characters, gripping storyline, jazz, Martinis and a social commentary; it's peppered with literary references and quotes.  And when a book makes you want to read more books, to paraphrase Katey Kontent, `everything is probably going to be fine'.
I think it'll be one for our book club : ) 

About the Author:
Born in 1964, Amor Towles was raised in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College and received an M.A. in English from Stanford University. He is a principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Mr. Towles is an ardent fan of early 20th century painting, 1950’s jazz, 1970’s cop shows, rock & roll on vinyl, obsolete accessories, manifestoes, breakfast pastries, pasta, liquor, snow-days, Tuscany, Provence, Disneyland, Hollywood, the cast of Casablanca, 007, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan (early, mid, and late phases), the wee hours, card games, cafés, and the cookies made by both of his grandmothers.
His only other published work is a short story cycle called “The Temptations of Pleasure” published in 1989 in Paris Review 112.

I am hoping...to contact my sister and brother for a chat soon. It's been a few weeks and I feel I need to check in to find out what's happening in their world.

I am looking forward to...tomorrow night's concert.

Around the house...there are two snoozy dogs curled up together. Zac came for his holiday last Saturday and has settled into the routine so easily. There are a few moments now and again, but like any married couple they sort it out. They have to especially when they're on the joint lead. There's a little push me...pull you thing going on but generally Muffin wins (go girl power) and Zac just follows on quite unfussed.

A favourite quote for today...“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” 
– Life’s Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  •  I need to really note this quote today....
One of my favourite things...hmm...I always have difficulty with this one as there are so many plus I've mentioned some before whilst writing these Daybooks....so I like to pick something new every time....
My mother's wedding ring sitting on my finger next to mine. She sadly past away two years ago.

A few plans for the rest of the week: busy, busy as always...concerts, girlie things, appointments, dog walking and a cocktail night that will be interesting due to me still abstaining from alcohol. Yep, I'm still free and it's not been a problem...trouble is I thought my waistline might have reduced, but alas it obviously isn't the alcohol...It couldn't possibly be chocolate! I DON'T CARE ~ I'M NOT GIVING IT UP! 

A peek into my day... the latest foot warmer. Apparently these are all the rage!

This wasn't taken today but last weekend...before Zac came to stay. She's not unhappy just slightly miffed that I disturbed her whilst she was snoozing. She's resting on my son's feet. Cute eh?

And that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to  The simple woman’s daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D