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Long live all maidens

easy and beautiful !

Long live mature women also,

Tender and loveable and full of good labor. 

Gaudeamus Igitur

« Flowers of the Rarest | Main | Books, books, books …. »

‘Tis the Season

 I’m excited about our Memoir workshop this Monday. I’m getting out all the old diaries and going through my “Family” folders, sifting through stuff, seeing what could be used. Love Hart House: perfect venue for a writing class with all that warm wood, the intriguing nooks and such ambiance. Talk about inspiring!

 The Jane Gardam book you lent me (Going into a Dark House) is brilliant. I didn't realize these were short stories. Absolute gems. Each one immediately takes you right to the place: much to be learned from her writing and worth mentioning at the class as a notable. Blue Poppies, the first story, just a few pages in length, opens, "My mother died with her hand in the hand of the Duchess". The second, Chinese Funeral, starts," 'I could do without the coffin', said the Englishwoman. 'Going to China with a coffin'." The third is about a dying nun in the back of a Morris. They are all priceless vignettes and I read them this afternoon in a comfortable chair in a remote corner of the school where the lights are least white and bright. 

I paced myself today after making some progress with this beast of a headache. I've tried to fight it for most of November already. Made a ginger, lemon and honey concoction last night from organic ingredients and that, with an extra strength Tylenol, has hopefully sent me on the road to normalcy again ... for the time being. 

 Franca did not show up for her lesson today after school. I called her grandmother who mentioned that she had left on time and should be there any moment (she lives nearby). But no Franca. I did panic just a little (in the light of the recent Forest Hill student's disappearance). She is beautiful. Her parents are well off and away on a holiday. She has teenage issues. But there she was when I got back to my room, waiting for me inside my studio, her friend by her side. They’d been studying together at the neighbourhood Starbucks. All smiles at first, I'm so sorry ... she started, and then the telltale red rims of her eyes, the ensuing tears rolling slowly down her cheeks ...  choke, choke  ... too many tests, one project a week ... from each of her teachers. Franca loves her piano, but she will have to place it last on her list of priorities. She'll have to pace things to be able to make it work. Bach will have to wait.

I've heard St. Hildegarde's is setting up a series of meetings where the major point of discussion will revolve around the reduction of the present impossible workload that creates stress for the students. Did you see the article in the Globe where the lawyer parents are asking the school to mark their offspring solely on work accomplished at school?  Very interesting concept. Where is the time to think, to read something you like, to play a favourite instrument, to make ginger bread cookies ... if that's what you want to do, to hang out with a good friend  ... to do nothing? They are young only once.

Carlo is reading Dickinson again and I will write my Dutch Christmas cards this evening ... to music, Shostakovich’s String Trios 1 and 2 and more. Carlo's not crazy about carols. My motivation? Chapman's maple walnut ice cream when I finish.

Hear from you soon,


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