Question of the Day

How do the pensioners in The Thursday Murder Club know about the Dark Web when self only heard about it a month ago?

She’s on p. 181.

Also, it turns out, the DCI likes Oasis. OASIS.

Normally, she would just barrel through to the end (especially as it’s getting pretty exciting), but today has had all sorts of appointments, and she’s meeting someone for dinner — DINNER! — at the Beach Chalet. Her cousin from Manila, who’s only here for a few days.

Stay cool (it’s hard, that sun’s like a laser), dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Introduction, FAULT LINES: FRACTURED FAMILIES AND HOW TO MEND THEM

Self feels more engaged by Fault Lines than she was about Rules of Engagement. Karl Pillemer’s methods are research-based. He used “snowball sampling” techniques: “a large group of people are contacted and then asked to contact others in turn to help find interviewees.” His aim was to find subjects who had “reconciled,” who had moved “from anger and despair to acceptance . . . This book is built on their experiences, stories, and advice.”

He is not prescriptive: His aim is to present readers “with a range of ideas that they can apply to their own situations.” He followed up with “some of the estranged respondents over time to determine whether their own situations had changed and interviewing more than one person in a number of families.” Estrangement, Pillemer writes, “can be best understood as a form of chronic stress.” But he is quick to say he doesn’t intend to offer “clinical or psychological advice”: “I am a research sociologist and have no clinical credentials of any kind.”

He is quiet about whether he himself has any experience of estrangement, but of course he does. He just doesn’t share it, but he does. No one decides to write a book like this without that experience.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Quote of the Day: RULES OF ESTRANGEMENT

Self cannot believe she found this book as a result of an article in The Economist — which, as some readers might know, is not into New Age Psychology or anything so CALIFORNIA.

The author, Joshua Coleman (Ph.D. is after his name, so there’s that), is a psychologist with a private practice in Oakland, California.

p. 13:

  • My mission is to help you find healthy ways to reconcile. In general — and there are exceptions — I believe reconciliation is better than staying apart. Better for you and better for our society. And if a reconciliation isn’t possible, I want to help you have a happy, healthy life with or without your kid in it.

Life in Colour, May Challenge: PURPLE

Read about the Life in Colour Photo Challenge, here.

This month’s color is PURPLE.

Purple is “a secondary colour made from red and blue, though you can find many different shades of purple. Stay clear of violet though as that will be making its own appearance. Although found in nature in shades of crocuses, lilacs, and irises, look for the bruised colours in a sunrise or sunset, an indigo sea, a full moon in an inky sky.”

Here are a gallery of self’s purples:

Some may be questionably purple, lol. Nevertheless.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

One Word Sunday Challenge: TOUCH

There are so many challenges to explore!

Travel with Intent hosts the One Word Sunday Challenge. The current theme is TOUCH.

Self’s gallery:

  1. Elevator attendant, Manuel Benavides Library, University of Santo Tomas, Manila
  2. Jollibee attendant, Manila – Self asked the driver to stop by Jollibee on her way home from the airport. First stop! It was in the pre-dawn hours. Manila is a city that never sleeps.
  3. Self, Andrew, and nephew Chris Blackett in the very long ago, at an amusement park in California
  4. Self with an umbrella in Tokyo, also in the very long ago

Stay safe, dear log readers. Stay safe.

Just One Person from Around the World: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Thank you to ThatTravelLadyInHerShoes for hosting the Just One Person from Around the World challenge.

Over the 2019 holidays, self joined son and daughter-in-law in New Mexico. She’d only been once before, for son’s wedding. Oh what fun. For the first time in a decade, self was together with son for Christmas and New Year’s.

In Albuquerque, we stayed with his in-laws, and they took us all over the city. One of the stops was at this small place that sold super-duper tamales and enchiladas. This young woman was so sweet.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

I’LL BE SEEING YOU: A Memoir

The author persuades her aged parents to go into assisted living. She tells them to try it, they can always move back home if they don’t like it.

Self will never. Ever. Especially after the past year.

You set foot in a certain kind of river and you know that as soon as you do, the current will have you.

I’ll Be Seeing You, p. 30

Flower of the Day (FOTD) 13 March 2021: Clematis montana

Self is following another Cee Neuner Photo Challenge, Flower of the Day. Fun!

She was lucky to find a wee Clematis montana ‘White Surprise’ in Wegman’s last week. To tell you the truth, she is a bit obsessed with clematis. Ever since her aunt in Montauk sent her, through the mail, a sprig of white clematis henryii. It was so beautiful, with big white, dinner-plate size flowers that eventually covered one entire fence. Then our neighbor decided to replace the fence. He cut all the clematis twigs, and it never grew back. Self mourns the loss even now, 20 years later.

Last year, self decided to experiment with a mail-order service. She ordered a ‘native’ variety called Saucy Alice from a nursery on the east coast. Never grew, eventually died.

This year, self was in her local nursery when she saw a white clematis montana, which reminded her of the clematis montana rubens that every spring bursts into glorious flower on her front porch trellis. It was in a wee pot, and she snagged it.

The clematis montana don’t have flowers as big as henryii, but self doesn’t care. It will be lovely.

Since arriving on self’s porch, it’s been behaving really well:

The white blooms should be ready for another close-up in a few days!

Here’s what my clematis montana rubens looked like, March 2020:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Getting Through It

It’s been almost a year since the world stopped, plans got thrown out the window, and nothing will ever be the same.

Self thought she’d take a moment to celebrate the things that got her through the past year:

Of course, gardening. Her garden has never looked so great. Every day she watches the oxalis in her backyard get higher and higher. And she just loves it.

Second, books, and her fantastic local library and their curbside pick-up system. She’s been using it since June (Before that, she ordered many books from Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, which is equally fantastic). Also, self would like to thank the AUTHORS of these wonderful books. When self needed to be transported to another place and time, these authors delivered:

Self would also like to thank FREE CONCERTS. The week after everything shut down, St. Bride’s in London began streaming everything. And so did St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, which used to hold free noontime concerts every Tuesday.

She would also like to thank Cal Shakes, whose summertime Shakespeare was a high point of her summer, as long as she was home in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Her first Cal Shakes was Romeo and Juliet. ADAM SCOTT PLAYED ROMEO. Sold!!!) A few days ago, she got a message that they would mount ONE live production this summer (Dates to be announced), with appropriate social distancing, of course: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

Also, FaceTime. Self has actually learned to FaceTime with Dearest Mum. It’s been so great.

And The Economist, which managed to come every week (every two weeks lately, since DeJoy destroyed the USPS)

Finally, she’d like to thank her favorite TV shows, because she’d never have gotten through without them: The Expanse (closing with Season 6), Peaky Blinders (closing with Season 6), The Crown.

A big hand also for Trader Joe’s, for being most sanitary of all the different supermarkets she’s shopped in.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Dear Departed Dad Would Have Loved This

Dear Departed Dad and self had two things in common: He loved movies (he saw one almost every week, his entire life), and he loved books. Especially, adventure books. As a young boy, he idolized Rafael Sabatini and imagined himself as the swashbuckling hero of countless tales.

Now, self has stumbled on Joe “Master of Grimdark” Abercrombie’s A Little Hatred: Book One of the Age of Madness. (Thanks for the recommendation, Locus Magazine!) Dear Departed Dad would have lapped it up! (For balance, he looooved John Updike and read and re-read all the Rabbit Angstrom books)

Leo smashed Freckles on the top of the head with the rim of his shield, gave his horse the spurs and trampled him into the mud.

A Little Hatred, by Joe Abercrombie, Part I

This is Action with a capital A, and it’s only p. 12.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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