okrablossom: (electron density)
Yesterday included yardwork and gardening (transplanting and mulching and pulling the grapes and handcutting the grass between the stones) and making two loaves of bread, marinating chicken, sauteing some veg and putting it all together in a salad, throwing some brown bread in the slow cooker so I could have an easy sweet later, and laundering the dirty clothes. [And then sort of collapsing on the futon.] It did not really feel like a weekend at all. Does that mean I can take today off? If only there weren't so much writing I want to do...

Sunday Picnic In the Shade

Jul. 24th, 2016 03:50 pm[personal profile] poetree_admin posting in [community profile] poetree
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.

Gratitudes

Jul. 21st, 2016 10:04 am[personal profile] kass
kass: A glass of iced coffee with milk. (coffee)
1. A tasty G & T on my wee mirpesset (balcony) last night.

2. A good night's sleep.

3. Working on a new essay and feeling good about it.

4. I will have guests at my Shabbes table tomorrow night. (Need to figure out dinner...)

5. Getting regular emails from the AO3 containing kudos, even though I haven't posted a story or vid in a horrifyingly long time.

How are y'all this morning?

The Audience (NT Live)

Jul. 20th, 2016 04:33 pm[personal profile] gramarye1971
gramarye1971: chamber of the House of Commons (Commons Chamber)
I saw an NT Live showing of The Audience last night, in which Helen Mirren stars as Queen Elizabeth II during her weekly audiences with a number of her prime ministers, from Churchill to Cameron. (It was filmed in 2013, so unlike the recent West End revival it does not do the trick where the dialogue in Cameron's scenes changes from week to week based on current events. Thankfully for us all.)

I greatly enjoyed it and laughed quite a lot, though the thing I was most struck by was the play's deliberate choice to focus on illness, physical and mental, of the people in power. Anthony Eden openly takes a dose of dexamyl on stage shortly before his audience with the Queen, and appears to be in a tightly wound, near-manic state throughout his scene as he rants about Nasser, Hitler, and Mussolini at the height of the Suez Crisis. Gordon Brown tries to speak cheerfully and casually as he mentions his new diet and the foods he can't eat, a direct reference to the rumours swirling in 2009 that he was taking MAOIs to combat depression. (The Queen chimes in sympathetically with an admission of OCD tendencies -- 'pens and shoes must be lined up just so, or I get very vexed'.) And Harold Wilson's early decline into Alzheimer's disease has the most poignant scene at the play's heart, where even the Queen is shocked at how her prime minister's once-razor-sharp mental faculties are visibly crumbling into paranoia and forgetfulness. The Queen herself reveals her emotional and physical weaknesses during a scene set in 1992, where she is fighting a terrible cold and watching her children's marriages fall apart as John Major struggles to convince her that the royal family will have to make changes to their lifestyle or risk greater public displeasure. To me, it seems a reasonable choice to use illness as the vehicle for humanizing both the monarchy and the premiership, though I was a bit surprised that Eden's terrible physical health (following a botched gallbladder operation) and Wilson's alcoholism weren't mentioned as well.

Helen Mirren is a delight throughout, especially in the scenes where she converses with a younger version of herself who seems to embody her rebellious, free-spirited streak. The only scene I found grating was the one with Margaret Thatcher -- though I found it difficult to tell whether I was reacting more negatively to Thatcher-as-Thatcher or to Haydn Gywnne's interpretation of her.

It certainly helps to know something about the politics and personalities of the time -- it even mentions the chickenpox incident, something I always love talking about since I've handled some of the documents involved in it -- but I don't think it's a requirement to enjoy the production. I'm not sure how many more encore presentations it will receive, but it's certainly worth checking out.

Gratitudes

Jul. 20th, 2016 09:49 am[personal profile] kass
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
1. Daylilies, everywhere, in riotous profusion.

2. Iced coffee.

3. Haircut! Wow, I needed that.

4. Driving on dirt roads through glorious green mountains and cornfields.

5. Sunlight.

How are y'all?

Secondhand dryer: help?

Jul. 18th, 2016 01:34 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: Ray Kowalski ponders. (RayK)
The place into which I have just moved has a washer and dryer. This is exciting.

However, having just done my first loads of laundry, it seems to me that they have emerged from the dryer scented slightly of old cigarette smoke, which is slightly less exciting.

This might be because the lady who lived here the last 40 years was an inveterate smoker. Is it plausible that all those years of washing her smoky clothes might have imparted some of that smoke scent to the dryer, and if so, what on earth can I do about it? I could get scented dryer sheets, I suppose. Will that work? Does anyone know?

In the Garden

Jul. 17th, 2016 02:16 pm[personal profile] okrablossom
okrablossom: (okra)
I think I have forgotten to give you all some pretty plant pictures for a long while. Here we go.

I have found a good spot for the okra and tomatoes, which incidentally fills a blank boring part of the yard. And when these come out, I think I will put in chrysanthemums. Ha!





In the middle of the terrace there are carrots and thyme and sage and a Thai hot pepper that's trying and some rather nice flowers just for looking at.





While something is eating some of the sunflowers and bean leaves, they are still trying! Also, the morning glory on the right has climbed up the pole and attached itself to the lilac bush behind the planter, which I find hilarious.





My volunteers are going to have to go—because they turned out to be grapes. I mean, some of them will have to go.





Mostly because they are overwhelming my eggplants and peppers:









Oh, and a close-up with those beautiful bean flowers. Beans! Yay!



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