This weekend I fought the sloth - well, once I'd gotten out of bed, I did.
Saturday we went to see Elizabeth I and her people, exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery
. Very worthwhile, even if you're not a 16th c mavin. Attended with Kat, who was a PS4 widow for the weekend.
I was very excited to find a portrait and works of a woman 'caligraphist' - a professional woman calligrapher, who lived in Edinburgh at end of 16th c. How cool.
Had a drink in the Coal Hole afterward, and then vietnamese for dinner with my sweetie. While we had a pleasant time, our frugal souls felt a bit hard done by.
exhibit: £12.50 x 2 = £25
drinks: £4 x 3 = £12
dinner: £35 (won't go there again, not worth it)
Total: £88 for an afternoon in London, and we haven't travelled 5 miles. I didn't count travel because we already have travelcards. I'll point this out next time someone moans about cost of events...
On Sunday I wrestled with my usual weekend blahs: have loads to do, can't settle on a task, sit and have a cup of tea til I figure it out, half the day disappears while I argue with myself. I sometimes wonder if anyone else loses days this way.
In the end, I settled for hauling out my perfumery supplies and looking at soapmaking again for Christmas. It's a slightly fiddly process, but an engaging one, and I now have the supplies for at least 2 batches of soap.
Ordered some supplies from Baldwins to this end.
I may try 'Spanish leather' this year, as described by S Pointer in her book about historic cosmetics, though I suspect it will be a very heavily scented process.
I did have a go at making scented bath bombs, but managed mostly to make a mess. Will double check the method for getting them to 'set' into a shape that is a little less chaotic - it worked well at the Make Lounge a couple of years ago, but I may have missed a step.
Late afternoon (took that long to pry myself out of the house) walked to Bangla City on Brick Lane, for more supplies - they're a good source for food-grade oils for creams and scrubs. Was reminded how much I hate crowds, especially oblivious ones. However, they also stock lye on the shelf, very cheaply.
Anyway: the upshot is, if you're on my giftlist, you're getting smellies.
Haggis entertained us on Sunday chasing her tail: apparently this tail is still giving her grief, and needs chasing, well into adulthood.
For added annoyance, her tail appears to send out 'I need chasing' signals in the most awkward of places: while she's perched on a windowsill, or on the top of the bedstead rail, or while she's exploring inside my large backpack, that was sitting on the landing. She only escaped her tail's clutches when the backpack started sliding down the stairs.
On the knitting front, am now experimenting with a TARDIS scarf to use up the 3/4 of a skein of TARDIS blue yarn leftover from the shawl. Am debating whether to add Daleks for variety.
I just finished the third book of Manda Scott's series about Boudica
. I found the author in a Big Book of Historical Whodunnits recently, and was really impressed, and the series is just as good. 4th is on order at the library.
It's rare to find an author who incorporates a meaningful spiritual experience into the story - a bit like Pullman creating the daemons for his alternate world, the characters in this Britain have a vivid spiritual life, full of ghosts, gods and results from prayers,and they fully expect their actions affect their souls directly. These ghosts and gods are real, just as real as the physical, living people. Most (non-believing) authors can't set aside their modern selves enough to 'speak' as a believer from another period would.
Where her characters are speaking to ghosts of ancestors, friends and family, we as modern people would say, 'my mother's voice in my head says...' or 'that's my grandmother talking'.
It's akin to the different 'strains' of voices in your head; the ones that nag, the ones that tell you you're doing it wrong, you 'should' be doiong X, why aren't you doing Y, you're letting Z down. The gods, consistently, are neutral, avoid answering questions, but do ask a lot of probing, reflective questions of their believers.
I quite enjoyed this dimension in the story, but I know not everyone would.
Also interesting is that Scott is a reenactor, someone who has fought in battles, worn the clothes, eaten the food, camped under canvas.
Her characters still seem almost supernaturally physically fit and active (surviving swimming in winter streams), though perhaps I just don't expect anyone to be physically resilient, when I am so unfit. Only 100 years ago people living such an active life would not be so unusual.