“The Remarkable Rocket” by Oscar Wilde

What a relief to encounter Oscar Wilde in this monster of an anthology (The Big Book of Classic Fantasy).

His “The Remarkable Rocket” is Story # 27, and I read a Tolstoy story, “Ivan the Fool,” before getting here, and that story is nothing compared to “The Remarkable Rocket.”

An excerpt:

  • The Prince and Princess were leading the dance. They danced so beautifully that the tall white lilies peeped in at the window and watched them, and the great red poppies nodded their heads and beat time.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Horizontal Lines

Self didn’t realize how long it’s been since she joined Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge! She’s glad she can correct the situation today. The theme: HORIZONTAL LINES.

Living Room

San Luis Obispo

Fourth of July 2021

Twofer: Stories # 13 and # 14, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

These were the dullest stories ever. How does self know? It took her a full day to read “Feathertop,” and now self is stuck reading “Master Zacharius,” which is about a clockmaker in Geneva.

“Master Zacharius,” by Jules Verne (!!!), is divided into chapters (Oh no!) and the most momentous and scary things happen at night (No, not really) and the dilemma is: should Master Zacharius give his beautiful and virginal daughter Gerande to an ugly, wizened old man? What to do, what to do?

SHUT UP, give her to the old man!

There’s some nonsense about a clock not being allowed to strike midnight because Satan . . .

Whoa! By judicious skimming, self has reached THE END OF THIS STORY!

The next one is by Louisa May Alcott, and even though this one will probably not slay, because it’s about the Frost King, and self doesn’t think fairy tales are Louisa May Alcott’s specialty, it is, mercifully, short.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Story # 13, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

Feathertop, A Moralized Legend

by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864)

These writers don’t live very long! Looking at Nathaniel Hawthorne’s dates: he died at 60.

It is a great relief to read the opening sentence: “Dickon,” cried Mother Rigby, “a coal for my pipe!”

That is classic, that is beautiful.

The story before this one was very, very long, and self struggled with it for most of the day. She finally had to acknowledge defeat and leave it unfinished.

The “classic” stories she has read so far (an asterisk means the story found favor with her)

  • The Queen’s Son, by Bettina von Arnim
  • Hans-My-Hedgehog, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm *
  • The Story of the Hard Nut, by E. T. A. Hoffmann *
  • Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving
  • The Luck of the Bean-Rows, by Charles Nodier *
  • Transformation, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley *
  • The Nest of Nightingales, by Theophile Gautier
  • The Fairytale About a Dead Body, Belonging to No One Knows Whom, by Vladimir Odoevsky
  • The Story of the Goblin Who Stole a Sexton, by Charles Dickens *
  • The Nose, by Nikolai Gogol
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Story of Jeon Unchi, by Anonymous

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 4

Self hasn’t been consistent in posting to this challenge, as she’s been on a road trip. She’s so glad she had time today. It really is one of her favorite Photo Challenges. Thanks so much to Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao for co-hosting this challenge.

For this post, she decided to focus on store window displays.

Store Window # 1: Carmel-by-the-Sea

Store Window # 2: Dublin Ink, Temple Bar, Dublin

Store Window # 3: Claire Garvey Design Studio, Cows Lane, Dublin

Story # 3, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

the King, with eyes flashing with indignation, entered the room of the princess; and, waving his scepter, he cried out, “Christian Elias Drosselmeier, cure the princess, or die!” Drosselmeier began to cry bitterly, but little Princess Perlipat went on cracking her nuts. Then first was the court watchmaker struck with the princess’s extraordinary partiality for nuts, and the circumstance of her having come into the world with teeth. In fact, she had cried incessantly since her metamorphosis, until someone by chance gave her a nut; she immediately cracked it, ate the kernel, and was quiet. From that time, the nurses found nothing so effectual as to bring her nuts.

The Story of the Hard Nut, by E. T. Hoffmann, translated by Major Alex Ewing

The stories self has read so far: about a Princess who has been pregnant seven years; and about a boy half-hedghog and half man, who wounds his wife with his sharp quills because her father, the King, tried to trick him.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Summer Reading: July

During the month of July, self read seven books.

The seventh is The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, which she began yesterday (Enjoying it hugely. Has Bridget Jones Diary feelz, at least the opening pages do, but darker)

She read two self-help psychology books, two histories (Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, by Keith Lowe, and The Reason Why, by Cecil Woodham-Smith, about the mistakes that led to the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava), a murder mystery (The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman, which she hugely enjoyed), and her second Elizabeth Kolbert: Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future.

Onward!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Life in Colour Challenge: July, BLUE

Jude at Travel Words hosts the Life in Colour Challenge.

Here’s something on this month’s colour:

  • This month we will be looking for Blue. A primary colour that we look upon almost every day. But don’t forget about the different hues which include indigo and ultramarine, cyan and the other blue-greens such as turquoise, teal, and aquamarine.

Here are some blues from self’s archives:

  • Two friends in Manila started a jewelry business to benefit the women of Marawi, Philippines. All the jewelry is handmade by women from the island. If you would like to order from them, one of them is coming to the States in August, and can ship when she gets here. Here’s her insta page: pagari_ph. And here’s the backstory of what happened in Marawi.
  • Self took the time to drive to the central coast last month. Some of her happiest memories were of driving to the central coast to visit son, who was a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She stopped at Avila Beach, spent a few nights at San Luis Obispo.
  • The parrots were in the Rain Forest exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. She visited in April.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Sentence of the Day! Definitely, the Sentence of the Day

  • It brought back all the things she loved about South London: murder, drugs, someone who carried off a “no comment” with a bit of panache. — The Thursday Murder Club, p. 90

Early Warning System

So every day Elizabeth opens her diary to a date two weeks ahead and writes herself a question. And every day she answers a question she set herself two weeks ago.

The Thursday Murder Club, p. 87

Dearest Mum had her own strategy: she had a huge calendar, and different colored marking pens. Gradually, self noticed that she began spending more and more time poring over it. Could have been as far back as 15 years ago. That must have been when she was just in her late 60s.

Dearest Mum came to visit self in California and started talking about this wonderful restaurant in Half Moon Bay called Gibraltar, a place she said she had just discovered. Self was quiet. Dearest Mum looked over. “What? I’ve told you this story before,” she said, looking for the first time in her life very unnerved.

“No. I was the one who took you to that restaurant. A friend in Half Moon Bay told me about it.”

So, the dementia started a long time ago. Could even have been as far back as 20 years ago. But Dearest Mum had this habit of being very gay and charming. If anyone noticed, they didn’t say a word.

Self is hugely enjoying The Thursday Murder Club.

Most of the mysteries she has read this year have been ace:

  • Find You First, by Linwood Barclay
  • One Fatal Flaw, by Anne Perry
  • All the Devils are Here, by Louise Penny
  • Eddie’s Boy, by Thomas Perry

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

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