I have done everything possible to avoid writing this weekend. I hate my Nanowrimo novel attempt this year. I have decided to stop and simply write short travel pieces instead.
So, how did I manage to procrastinate this weekend?
I read a good bit of Great Maria by Cecilia Holland. It is an historical romance (all history should be written this way) about a woman who lived in France during the era of Christian knights fighting the Saracens. Maria is the focal point of the novel and is a fully realized character. We see the woman, the wife and the mother, but we also understand the time and place through her story. I found the juxtaposition of cruelty and kindness; of harshness and gentleness, of strength and weakness most striking. All the important characters are very believable partly because Holland shows how these extremes of human nature co-exist in them. The setting brings out the extremes more clearly than a modern day environment would, but of course people today are equally complex and contradictory, just more sophisticated, and therefore better able to mask their true natures.
On Saturday I had the underside of my car oiled. I was delighted to learn that despite the filthiness of the vehicle, the old girl is still pretty rust-free. Next summer Denis will do a thorough cleaning ... steam and shampoo ... before oiling.
I took Kenya for a long walk while the job was being done. Hadn't been to that area for a long time. Lots of memories of walking dogs and kids there.
Kenya and I walked here daily, but the walks have not been as energetic as they usually are, because I have been forced to keep her leashed. When hunting season ends next weekend, it will be a relief for all of us ... the dogs which must be restricted, the humans who don't dare walk in the woods, and the deer which are constantly being harried.
I unpacked the pieces of a Muskoka chair kit and then wondered whether I really wanted to attempt putting it together or whether I should paint it first. After checking with a friend who will likely do the actual construction for me, I decided to paint the pieces.. That is how I will avoid writing next week! It will be good to get back to painting furniture again.
And I watched three movies ...
On Friday it was Coming Home (the sexiest movie I have ever seen ... one steamy scene in the 2 hours and 19 minutes ... and that between Jon Voight, a man who returned from Vietnam dead from the waist down and the woman he loved played by Jane Fonda..) The other two hours were filled with compassion, empathy, love and laughter.
On Saturday, I watched The Young Victoria, a very different love story.
Tonight I watched The Queen, a portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II at the time of Diana's death. The contrast between Elizabeth and Victoria was remarkable. Elizabeth was about my age and had been reigning since she was not much older than the young Victoria.. Both women were vulnerable, but Victoria had yet to learn to hide her vulnerability beneath an iron exterior. Both were bound by the restrictions of rank. Both had prince consorts, but, oh how much more human and humane Albert was than Philip. Many of the differences between the two women were the result of the times and circumstances, I suppose, but also of the disparity in their ages. Elizabeth had carried her burden most of her life and her character had been fashioned by her responsibilities and disappointments, whereas Victoria had still to experience life and loss.
I also tidied up my catalogue of films and the actual shelves where they are kept.
And I played a bit with the format of this blog.
I moved the feeders around and established a little centre for the squirrels where I placed pecans. When I looked out later, the nuthatches, chickadees, and sparrows were darting from the woods to the line and the feeders. Two grey squirrels and a red squirrel were scrounging around on the ground cleaning up the mess left earlier. And the table was alive with blue jays. The nuts had disappeared.
A weekend filled to the brim with the mundane but at least I have extricated myself from a thirty day time waster which was giving me no pleasure or satisfaction at all.