My perusal of the visitor’s books (which stretched back to 1975, the lengthiest set of log books I’d encountered on our LT holidays) on the previous evening had told us that there were more Thompson mice to be found in the church. We went on a mouse hunt, but could only locate six of the eight that were allegedly hiding there.
Humuhumu found the first mouse near the altar.
And the second, behind the pews.
( +7 )
Bonus photo: Our local, the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, was just over the road from the church. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a pub that’s been done up just a bit too much? Where you want to shout, like Bernard Black, “Why does everything have to be fancy? I just want sausage, mash and a bit of cake, not twigs fried in honey or a donkey in a coffin!”
This place was exactly the opposite of that. We stopped in on our first evening and every night subsequently. Worried about whether or not they took cards, we scraped together £7.40 in cash.
“That might not get us a round,” he said.
“This is Yorkshire,” I replied. “If they try to charge us a tenner for two pints of booze and two halves of lemonade, I’m leaving, because we’re clearly in the wrong place.”
As it happened, £6.40 got us a pint of very lively cider (crisp, citrusy, refreshing), a pint of tasty ale, the aforementioned lemonades and a packet of peanuts. And lo, we were grateful not to be in London.
Humuhumu and Keiki enjoy lemonade, while the bloke & I enjoy our pints of ale & cider respectively.
Up next: Egglestone Abbey.
White dew covers the front courtyard
and dark descends silently over the chrysanthemums.
- ‘New Moon’, Du Fu
Tonight, a sickle hangs in the sky.
The garden across the street is empty.
No lovers stand under the trees.
Last week, I watched a window
that framed a kitchen. Two young men
were vigorously making pasta: kneading,
rolling, cutting. A girl in a thin dress
ribboned their efforts on a stick.
Just out of sight, steam billowed
from a half-lidded pot. Two buildings away,
a man was removing the top from a woman.
Behind them, a room lit only by the flicker
of a television screen. Her breasts were small,
her stomach soft. He bent her over, slowly,
and buried his face in her sumptuous, pink skirt.
The metal rail is cold under my forearm.
I have finished my cigarette. Across
the street: only shadows and fallen blooms.
From Best Australian Poems 2015
Good luck to squeaky with the recovery!
B. C. Edwards
Amy, I was almost run down by a car
after buying my lunch today.
It was the postal police.
I was almost hit by the postal police.
This is not a joke.
There is a police force dedicated to the postal service
(the US Postal Service, mind you).
They race around in cars,
they chase down postal villains,
investigate postal crimes
unearth hidden postal agendas.
Conspiracies that they bring to their postal lieutenants
who summarily tell them to let it go, to stop obsessing,
take a vacation, some time off, you’re too close to it,
it happens to the best postal policeman, that’s what the lieutenants say.
(Potato soup and a chicken sandwich, if you’re curious).
I think you should apply, Amy.
I think you would do well.
I think they would give you a hat.
Something jaunty that can handle your hair expertly.
You’d cover the hat with stamps from every country in the world
They would give you a pea coat, I think.
Like the one that you’ve already got, but more policey.
You would look fucking great in that coat.
Not every country, mind you.
Just the ones that sound like they have decent views
of the country side
and a healthy attitude towards outgoing, independent women.
a) I am realizing how much I let fall by the wayside in the past MONTH, sorry EVERYONE WHO EMAILED ME and anyone who asked me even a slightly detailed question in asks
b) I am back at work and expected to be a competent human being especially since half the team is now out sick (probably my fault). Also one of our newest analysts is very sweet and has imprinted on me just a little – I am her preferred question-answerer, I think – which is fine except for how I gotta know answers and stuff.
And one of the highest-up guys in our company – who I used to smartass around with because I didn’t know he was one of the highest up guys in our company – emailed me today like I NEED. A THING. PLEASE. NOW. HELP. and I, having realized Who Exactly He Is, made tiny mental screams of terror while procuring the thing.
It’s been a day.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2mxbvQ3
Ways to Give:
inquisitorhotpants is raising money to keep a roof over her family's head while dealing with Portland's unforgiving rental housing market. You can read more and reblog at her tumblr, support the fundraiser at her YouCaring, or help out by subscribing to her Patreon.
casapazzo linked to a fundraiser for The Lit Bar, an indie bookstore and wine bar that hopes to fill a gap -- that there are no bookstores operating in the Bronx. Noelle Santos has been working on this for two years and is hoping to open the bookstore this year; you can read more and help out here.
Buy Stuff, Help Out:
alyyks is moving from Columbus, OH back to France, but because oil paints are a fire hazard to ship, she is selling her paints to fellow artists for a modest price. You have to be in Columbus or willing to drive there to pick them up, but you can read more and get in touch about them here.
marginaliana linked to the Angry Introverts shirt, for those who are introverted but still angry about what's going on in the US; this is the last week to buy the shirt, with proceeds going to the ACLU.
Elaine linked to She's Running, a new podcast about women running for local, state, and federal office. The podcast interviews women about their inspirations, support systems, and challenges. You can listen to the first episode here or on iTunes -- and remember to rate and review if you do!
And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
On Friday last, we gingerly loaded up our newly repaired car and crossed everything in the hopes that it would make it through the 200-odd mile drive from our house to North Yorkshire to stay in The Old Grammar School.
Kirby Hill is a beautiful grey old stone village, set around a green. The Old Grammar School [TOGS] was such from its establishment in 1556 to its closure in 1957. An average of 30 local boys aged 10 to 18 were taught there, though many departed aged 14 to go to work. The ground floor schoolroom was converted into the village hall, while the first and second floors were converted into the flat that one can now book through the Landmark Trust [LT] for holidays. LT properties are carefully furnished and kitted out with libraries that are specific to the property and to the history of the place. For instance, I read Goodbye, Mr Chips, which is a heartwarming fictional biography of a schoolmaster, while we were in TOGS. LT properties also deliberately don’t provide televisions or WiFi. In fact, my phone signal was so bad that I couldn’t even get the 3G to work.
We arrive late in the afternoon and were pleased to find that the previous occupants had left us sufficient firewood for that evening.
Our first thought on entry was “tea”. Thoughtfully, the housekeeper had left a complete tea service ready for us and a small jug of milk in the fridge.
The bloke pouring some milk for Keiki, who’s standing on a dining chair. The window seat, which features in subsequent photos, is to their right.
( +12 )
Up next: visiting the Kirby Hill church (St Peter and St Felix).
Quick note about the photos: I have come to rely on Aviary in Flickr to do colour correction on my photos. It’s quick and convenient and its algorithm seems to be pretty good. Except at the moment, it’s not working. To those who care about white balance, my apologies.
It didn’t matter what they looked like anyway. We made twelve of them at 10:30. They had set by 12:30.
There were three left at 15:00, in spite of the bloke declaring that they were a little too sweet for him. (He ate three.) Photographic evidence of the remainder is below. Keiki's sprinkle-bonanza treat is the one on the lower right, in case that wasn't obvious.
We then revisited the chocolate biscuit recipe from the bloke’s birthday. Because they were just that tasty. Hopefully those will keep us all in good spirits this week.
Tonight I have been apprised of a riff on the theme referencing a popular children's nursery rhyme. A friend followed up with The Moonsheep (and the original German).
Which, of course, led me on to the following.
( Lies, by Jo Shapcott )
I'm never quite sure how much I like it -- I love the idea but something about the combination of not-quite-overwrought and not-quite-matter-of-fact doesn't work for me.
I would, naturally, be interested in both your thoughts and whatever livestock poetry you free-associate onto.
My mother gave me a book
of Neruda’s poems
with a beautiful inscription
and when I got mad
I tore it out, sold the book
in a yard sale. Christ,
I wish I hadn’t done that.
Not for Neruda
but for her,
for that inscription
as the last part of her,
of her influence and care.
Neruda wrote with green
ink as a symbol
of private hope and desire.
Halfway between duty and desire
I lay awake trying to remember
what she wrote, something
about lasting love
and the slow grind of years apart,
but I’ve said that,
something I’ll never
I tore out the page,
sold the book
in a yard sale.
And now every day
feels like a torn page,
like my Neruda in a stranger’s hands,
so each morning I write
a new inscription
on my mind’s first page:
always in green.
- ( food )
- ( Also food. )
- ( Still food! )
- I am still chewing over last week's Elementary, and redemption arcs and chosen family and boundaries and necessities and narrative imperative in tension with multiple kinds of emotional satisfaction, and the things I find myself wanting -- superficially -- from the story, given points-of-view, and the odd and bittersweet relief at instead getting what I need. The murder plots make no sense, but then they mostly didn't ever; I am still very much here for the characters.
- My new CEA card arrived in the post yesterday, which means I will stop feeling faintly guilty about "wasting money" every time I go to the cinema. This is a Good Thing, given how much I'm looking forward to Hidden Figures.
- I'm having a really tough time writing an abstract this week, for a variety of reasons, but in the face of that I got a draft in more than 18 hours before the deadline that I was actually reasonably happy with, via the iterative-improvement approach to writing. It needs substantially rewriting, but I've demonstrated that my techniques work, and I've got reasonable confidence that the substatial rewriting wasn't in fact me wildly misinterpreting what was going on.
- I said no to someone, and it was fine. (And indeed several other someones, which was less fine but which left me feeling better than I would've if I'd stayed silent.) I told someone I'd screwed something up, face-to-face and more-or-less straight away rather than stewing for six hours over sending an e-mail, and it was fine. Both were really difficult, and I did them.
- I appear, via UCH, to have found a sustainable set of strength-building exercises to do that are resulting in measurable improvements. I'm dealing with a lot of complicated Feelings about this pretty well.
- Some stripy tulips were much reduced in the supermarket last week; they've been sat in a glass jar on the dining table slowly drying out and turning interesting shapes ever since, and they make me feel soothed and safe and at home.
- I am forever gently amused by the thing where, when A is around, we sleep under a single lightweight duvet and are frequently too warm. When he's away, I end up nesting in a pile of that duvet, my three-season much-larger covered-in-dinosaurs duvet, a weighted blanket, and a big soft non-allergenic stripy blue blanket -- and I end up comfortably warm, and with a lot of weight on me, and it's very nice to have occasionally.
I needed, for months after he died, to remember our rooms—
some lit by the trivial, others ample
with an obscurity that comforted us: it hid our own darkness.
So for months, duteous, I remembered:
rooms where friends lingered, rooms with our beds,
with our books, rooms with curtains I sewed
from bright cottons. I remembered tables of laughter,
a chipped bowl in early light, black
branches by a window, bowing toward night, & those rooms,
too, in which we came together
to be away from all. And sometimes from ourselves:
I remembered that, also.
But tonight—as I stand in the doorway to his room
& stare at dusk settled there—
what I remember best is how, to throw my arms around his neck,
I needed to stand on the tip of my toes.
The ancestor recipe for this one is Budget Bytes’ Chicken and Broccoli Pasta With Lemon Cream Sauce.
2 chicken thighs, sliced into strips and then into 1 inch (ish) bits
About 200 grams of short pasta
Some olive oil
Pepper and dried rosemary
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
½ cup stock
2-3 tablespoons of greek yoghurt
About 100 grams of green beans, top-n-tailed and cut to 1 inch lengths
1. Boil your pasta, drain
2. In a frying pan, fry the chicken pieces in olive oil with pepper to season. Add rosemary when the chicken is starting to cook through.
3. Lower heat; add the garlic and cook for a further 2 min (ish)
4. Add the stock, scrape brown bits from the pan, and stir.
5. Stir the yoghurt through and bring to a simmer. Add the beans and cook until just tender. Add pasta. Add more pepper if desired.
Dreamwidth write-up has suggestions for adaptations to assorted dietary needs.