Monday, April 09, 2007

Meandering Update: My Marvellous Life

I haven't been blogging much (in case you even bother to come here anymore) and I do apologize. It isn't that I'm not having many and varied deep thoughts. I am. And I want to share them, but life interrupts. Which is a good thing - that life is happening and that rich and good things are transpiring.

What do I have for news?

Hmmm...let's see. I'm reading a very good book, called Pilgrim, one of the more recent works of late Canadian author Timothy Findley (Tiff). Tiff was a Great Canadian Writer and I regret to admit that this is my first reading of one of his really famous works (after half-reading the disappointing Spadework)!

I've always been a glutton for the Canadian voice in writing, especially the female voice, so I've plowed my way through my fair share of the female greats, like Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, Margaret Laurence, Alice Munro, and *newer* gals like Jane Urquhart, Anne-Marie MacDonald, Edeet Ravel, Elizabeth Hay, Beth Powning, Sharon Butala, and so on ad nauseum. Of course, I read the men too (side note: for some reason, I prefer Canadian female and British male authors), but for some reason, missed the master works of Tiff along the way.

I remember friends in university reading The Wars or Not Wanted on the Voyage but for some reason, his body of work intimidated me. I have this with some authors. I know they are Famous, and I know they are Prolific, and I know they are a great cultural or literary reference and I Should Read Them. But somehow I can't read their work unless I feel I have the time to commit to a proper reading of several of their books in quick succession. This is how I prefer to read a Really Famous Author who might intimidate one book, then read another and another and so on within a year or two, while I still have their voice in my head. It helps me formulate my own opinion of a heavy-weight author by more fully experiencing their range. Lesser mortals who are just Sorta Famous don't intimidate me and I will read their books one-off. I know, I have some weird past-life issue.

Anyway, Pilgrim is a very good read. I have fallen in love with Tiff's writing and feel as though I am in the hands of a wonderful, competent author. Not to mention the fact that he has a lovely vocabulary (which he doesn't show off but uses sparingly and precisely) and possesses one of the key qualities that make an author great in my mind- his writing is fluid, precise, well-informed and masterful - not too much, not too little. Like the porridge in Little Red Riding Hood, his writing is "just right" in terms of use of language (sorry, but I'm not otherwise articulate enough to describe it).

The plot is a little slow and seems to languish as I reach the end, but I don't mind. I like being in Tiff's hands and he could write about a minor change in the weather and I would be content to read for hours at a stretch. His writing is like a comfortably worn-in, expertly-crafted old sofa.

I can't recommend this book if you like extensive plot, or stuff happening, or even if you love extensive character development. I can recommend it for the ideas and content (eternal life, death, the early psychiatry of Carl Jung, the strong female voice of Emma Jung) and simply, for The Writing.

Ok, I didn't mean for this to be a book review, so I will leave Tiff in my backpack for now.

What else is happening? On the home decor front, David and I bought some bedding in Victoria a few weeks back, which looks like this:

It is a wonderful copper-coloured bedding with ivory trim, made by St.Geneve.
St.Geneve is a Canadian company which constructs the bedding using the highest quality European fabrics (we don't have textile manufacturing in Canada). The style we selected is called "Rossini" and the fabric was made in Italy using 425 thread count Egyptian 100% Giza cotton (which is the finest cotton in the world!). It is equivalent to about 1000 thread count of crappy cotton (actually better since the cotton is even higher quality!). The fabric is even more beautiful since it's woven (not printed), and the pattern shoudn't fade with washing.

We purchased some of the pillows and the duvet cover is on order.

The reason I even mention bedding (since the master bedroom isn't yet *together*) is because we've finally ordered the curtains today, from Chintz & Co!

The curtains are being custom-made.
I really didn't want the expense of custom curtains, but ended up on this path since (1) we needed an extra wide (double) width for the large bedroom window and this is hard to find and (2) we wanted black-out lining so the room is pitch black and pre-made store curtains usually don't have black-out lining (if they're even lined at all!), and (3) Calgary's curtain selection is abominable.

So, we're having curtains made. We've chosen an ivory heavy silk-like fabric, which is actually a cotton/linen/silk blend that has the sheen of silk, the weight and durability of cotton and the look of linen or raw silk (with those little knots or slubs that look like runs in the fabric).
To punch up the ivory fabric, the designer and I have decided to add ivory satin banding along the bottom of the curtain. There will be a wide satin stripe (about 5" wide) with a narrower stripe just above it. The banding will start about 18" up from the floor. I've decided to do conventional headings (triple pinch pleat) and have ordered a classic black iron rod with round finials which have minor detail. I think this will look great with the Arts & Crafts era bed frame and high boy I already own - especially since the high boy dresser has black wrought-iron handles.

Ok, so besides books and bedding and curtains, I'm also trying to get back into shape! Woe is me.
Right now, this is starting as an easy walking program, and I will work up to weights and running again. Through my 20's I was an avid runner and competed in many 10 km races. I don't care if I ever compete again. I just want to be able to run half an hour without feeling like a tired old elephant after 5 minutes (which is how I feel now).
I also have to be careful because my headaches are severely triggered by physical exertion. This is why I stopped working out in the first place. I suffered severe neck and shoulder and back pain, and consequently headaches, from my workouts. I have fibromyalgia, which combined with the headaches, means that I am a mess of tension and triggers and headache when I use my body for much of anything active.

So, I plan to start slow and quietly sneak my body back into shape.
This weekend was baaaad. We went to the country to visit David's Mum for Easter weekend, and were joined by his brother and sister-in law. His Mum is a great cook and doesn't want her kids to starve, so suffice it to say we each consumed about 40,000 calories in 3 days. We also went antique shopping, but I didn't buy anything. David, being the dear old soul that he is, did spend $1 on two old sets of cotton shoe laces which he has actually employed in his new work shoes. He was very excited when he called today to tell me that his shoes have not come un-tied ALL DAY LONG. Unlike with the new man-made laces, which, because they are slippery, are always untying themselves and trying to escape. So his old-fashioned 100% cotton laces are winners in his book. I am so happy my little Davey is happy. We are simple people really.
I have a neurology appt. next week and a hair appt. this week. I am busy at work but there is no schedule or prioroty on anything, just a big crappy heap of undefined miscellany. And I am wholly un-inspired by it, hence the last hours of the day spent reading blogs and writing this one.
I also did manage to find a dress for David's company's swanky spring ball. I bought a black lace cocktail dress, which looks rather 50's and a little like lingerie. It is all black lace, very french-looking, and has a taupe-beige satin under-fabric which kind of makes it look like you are wearing nothing underneath until you are up close! I figured this look would compensate for the fact that it is conservatively cut - sleeveless, but falling just below the knee, with a high neck line and slight v-back. To avoid a draft, I also have a little black velvet jacket with puffy girl sleeves and sparkly buttons. It is stunning and fitted (nipped in at the waist and with a deep v-neck) and cost me a pretty penny. I will borrow a handbag and still need to hunt down a pair of killer shoes, preferably something that makes me look like a seriously sophisticated french woman from a 1950 movie. I will have my hair done by a professional - I am thinking a low chignon. And a manicure.
Other than that, it is my dear girlfriend Margaret's birthday today. Happy 43rd - you lovely, brilliant old soul you! Margaret is a marvellous, warm, cute-as-a-button, articulate, frank, intellectual wonder-woman and I love her dearly. She is a wise teacher, a creative thinker, a true heart and soul friend, and has the most generous heart ever. She is a great cook, a painter, a Scrabble wizard, an avid reader, a knitter, a prolific photographer, a mentor of children (an ex-nanny, or childsmith as she calls it) and more recently a lover of men! And right now she's enjoying the high life in a stunning million-dollar home just north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. I hope she is savoring every bit of it. The beauty of her home merely reflects the depth of her internal beauty! (and I would like to move in please!).
Gresta you are the besta.


  1. I second that!

    And welcome back to the blogosphere!

  2. the dress sounds fabulous.

    also LOVE the bedding, it looks great and sounds so luxurious. :)

  3. that bed is gorgeous! I've been meaning to send you a few of my fav links, but keep forgetting; CB2, Crate and Barrel and West Elm. Check them out, if you haven't already. fun fun fun.

  4. The dress sounds wonderful! You must post a picture when you are all done up!

  5. Hey there :) I've been SO MIA in blogland.

    LOVE the bedroom set ::drool:: Can't wait to see the curtains!

    I want to redo our bedroom. Or I should say do the bedroom since it's always just been a bunch of stuff in a room LOL.

  6. that bedding is gorgeous! I'm jealous. Also, that's great that you are able to read and feel so involved in the book... I feel like I can't read as much/voraciously as I used to, because of my fatigue, changing pain level, focus ability... it's very frustrating to have books on the shelf that are waiting to be read but to lack the energy to read them :-\
    -Joanna/"Her Life In A Nutshell"