I’m attempting to read George Eliot’s Middlemarch. I’ve tried and failed before but I hate to let a book defeat me. Dr. Zhivago and Ulysses both look down from my shelves and gloat at my failing will-power but I will not add to their number. I’m only on page 40 but, so far, Middlemarch is like golden syrup; overly sweet and hard to get through. Also, the print is miniscule. I have a feeling that, after forty-three years of book-lovin’, this will be the tome which leads me to the optician for my first pair of glasses. If I get to the end of this without bi-focals I might race back and try Ulysses again just so that I can say it was James Joyce who wrecked my eye-sight.
The clouds were miraculously blown away at lunchtime so I transitioned, with relief, from heavy reading to light weeding. The ground was so soft that foot-long dandelion roots pulled out, whole, in my hands. Oh, the satisfaction of it. What compares? I’ve no idea. More than half of my gardening time is spent weeding and dandelions are the most pernicious of weeds. I break my fingernails scraping earth from their necks, poking down their spines with my fork and rarely am I rewarded with more than a handful of leaves and an inch of stumpy root.
By four o’clock, my hands were thorn-scratched and my bones, mean and otherwise, were tired. I had coffee on the patio. Such happiness it brought, on a soggy-bottomed day, to have hard sandstone underfoot. We revelled in it, Husband and I, as we hugged our mugs and felt the chill nipping.
Meanwhile, in the toasty kitchen, a brisket was roasting, ever so slowly, and bread was gently rising. I’m telling you, it was all a model of domestic harmony.
That is, until the Husband and I attempted to cook side-by-side. I’m a control freak and Husband’s culinary style might best be described as individualistic. Words were stern and silences sullen. Whisks were rattled and pans crashed. Nevertheless, despite generous splashes of sauce and flurries of flour, a hearty meal was presented to our adoring public, ie; the kids. Slow-roasted brisket with a Jameson sauce, garlicky-yogurty-tomatoey-cucumber salad, stove-braised red peppers and warm cumin-hinted flatbreads. It was so good, and we were sooo hungry, the thought of taking a photograph never entered my head. You’ll just have to believe me. It was good food.
Middle Girl and I retreated to our armchairs, picked up our knitting needles and settled to Stage Two of our Gilmore Girls marathon. I missed The Gilmore Girls first time around. Maybe I wasn’t the right age for it or, perhaps, I was busy having a life. I read a list of all the books that Rory Gilmore read over the course of the series. I’ve read 79 of the 339 books (see the list here). It includes Ulysses but not Dr. Zhivago or Middlemarch so I don’t feel too bad! It’s a great list and my interest was piqued. I also read that a Gilmore-catch-up is in the making which gave me a deadline. We have six months to watch seven seasons…easy peasy. Now, if I gave myself seven years to read the remaining 260 books, that would be a real challenge. No, no, no. Shooting down that idea right now.
My mother was nineteen when she had me and there were intervals when it was just she and I living together in a very Lorelai/Rory relationship. Even my Granny fits right into the Emily role. Sadly, we had fewer sparkly fairy lights in our lives and I don’t recall any cute guys offering to carry my books. Regardless, I am very much enjoying the rose-tinted version. Middle Girl is delightfully enthusiastic which is all the justification required.
That’s the very last of the roses. Let me just say to Husband one more time: Best Birthday Present EVER. Thank you.
My apologies for the aimlessly wandering post. One of these days, but no time soon, I might actually get to the point.