Saturday, February 9, 2013

Feb. 9: Here's Nemo!

The storm didn't really arrive till about 9 pm, but we stayed tucked in and cozy nonetheless, and it looks like most people have done as as well. Southern coastal Maine has broken records already, and when we woke up this morning, we already had about a foot and it's been snowing and blowing steadily since. I'm feeling grateful for a secure, warm house and plenty of food--so many people don't have those two blessings, an awareness that tempers my enjoyment of the storm!

I had a long nap on the couch yesterday after my lovely lunch, read quite a bit, and then sewed the other two raglan seams during two episodes of "Downton Abbey, I", but today pushed through my reading. Next on the agenda: listening to Enter a Murderer on my ipod while I work on the collar and button bands of the cardigan, then head out for a bundled up walk OR do something active inside--yoga perhaps.

Luxurious to be able just to be in the house!

Private EnterprisePrivate Enterprise by Angela Thirkell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It seems that any Thirkell book I decide to order shows up at the perfect time: a few times I got one just before a snow day; other times one has fallen into a gap in my other reading. Private Enterprise, which I don't think I've read before, followed that pattern, arriving just  when I needed/wanted a break and was ready for some good reading to get me through The Blizzard of 2013, aka "Nemo." Even tho we didn't get a whole day off for snow, I did take to the couch with Private Enterprise during our early release afternoon, and I read and snoozed quite pleasantly.

While not one of Thirkell's best books, PE is enjoyable and informative. If one has read a lot of the other books in the series, one knows the plot already: Noel's little flirtation, Lydia's measles, etc, but it was good to read it firsthand. The informative part is the details that Thirkell provides about the on-going rationing and privation that "They" (the post-War gov't) inflicted on the British population--I felt that I could really see the start of the meager times ahead, the unemployment, lack of expectation, and even the obsession with food (something I noticed when I was living in Colchester and involved in the non-university community there, and that was 1983!). A little more troubling was Thirkell's not-altogether-satirical sneery attitude toward women and other newcomers in the work force. Ouch. The old guard was not always graceful in its retirement! Certainly it was an interesting juxtaposition to watch "Downton Abbey," Season I, and then read this novel and be living in the US, 2013. How times change.

And now: back to the storm watching.

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And, having cast on the button band three times to get it right (which is actually yet to be determined as the proof is in the wearing), I was able to finish my audiobook as well. Great thanks to the two sites that helped me figure out what to do to get my numbers and stitches possibly correct/less wrong/potentially functional: this knitty tutorial and also this helpful blog. The wonders of the Interwebs. Thank you, Al Gore.

Anyway: here's my review!

Enter a MurdererEnter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an early Alleyn novel, I think, and it was more thinly written and plotted, but otherwise, it was a pleasurable "listen."  Alleyn was a little annoying (Saxon's reading made him sound quite flip in spots) and I missed the more developed and solid Alleyn of the later books, but Marsh is a good writer regardless. I finished it as I worked on the button band for the cardigan--a nice way to pass the time! Thanks to my sister for my gift membership to!

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The storm continues after a small lull. I am guessing it will be a record-breaker!

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