Monday, September 29, 2014

Bald tires, sort of

Some mornings or days or weeks, a person can't get no traction. I has taken me over two hours to get that first sentence written down. And it wouldn't have been my first sentence if I had started when I began. Do you get my drift?

The summer is over, as most of you have noticed by pulling on socks, and it is time for Steve and I to chose our autumn read-a-louds.  Every fall/winter we have been reading Alan Bradley's series featuring the young female detective 'Flavia de Luce" but the newest book won't be ready in paper back until January.

There aren't any electronics at the camp, we have to amuse ourselves in the evenings with a radio that has an antennae that keeps falling off whenever the breeze catches it, card games, reading, and for me, knitting. We listened to a few audio lectures, Tomas King's Massey Lecture 'The Truth about Stories' and Wade Davis' lecture but he was boring. The reading aloud became very important to closing down the night with a cookie and a scotch, the cat sleeping between us and the moon beaming in. To catch you up on our summer reading aloud we read:

He Done Her Wrong; A Toby Peters mystery co-starring Mae West by Stuart Kaminsky. (here)
I like this series. The detective is a down and out sort of fellow and he manages to get into and out of scrapes, sometimes with the assistance of his two buddies from the rooming house. This time Mae West has been threatened by a mad man (actually escaped from the asylum). The plot moves along well, there is a good twist to the evil component and the settings remain very 1940's Hollywood. How many times does the ending of a book let the reader down. I'd have to say that was a theme this summer. All the read a louds left us a bit deflated at the end. But this one wasn't too much of a bumpy landing.

Impossible Journey of Ernest Shakleton by William Bixby (here)
Phoebe has recommended this many summers in a row and finally lent us her copy. Shakelton is headed off to the Antaritic to discover the interior. Bad news, Shakelton's boat is crushed by ice. Good news, there are three life boats. Bad news, they keep losing equipment to a ridiculous degree. Good news, they get rescued. Bad news, the Epilogue. Just when the ending is looking on the edge of being too good to be true but it is actually true, the author takes us to an epilogue to follow up on the lives of these ship wreck survivors. Don't read that bit, it's depressing.

Coot Club by Arthur Ransom (here)
Some people love this series, others don't. Instead of Susan or Nancy or whoever she is making tea endlessly, they row. Not as much in that dreadful book Silver, but row they do. A lot. There was a gang of adults dubbed the Hullabaloos that we could have all done without. If you like Ransom, you'll like this.

Irish Doctor by himself (not here) some just don't stick in any way. All I remember is that there were two Irish doctors, in Ireland, treating Irish rural folk.

Which brings us to Turkey in a round about way. We did not take a read-a-loud with us on this trip because we assumed, correctly, that we would be too busy and too tired for a book to lug around.
Every day in Turkey we were blessed with some sort of extraordinary event. Part of this were the three meals we had in the homes of local families. Unfortunately, I haven't a note to tell me of this kind lady's name. She opened her home to 12 people, all of us strangers. That is her new grandson on her lap. Something went messy on that day's scheduling and this family had only 3 hours to prepare an astonishing array of food, set a table that was gorgeous AND make two huge pitchers full of home made cherry juice. The food was so good. This lady was in the fashion trade before she retired, designing and making women's clothes. Her daughter was wearing one of the dresses she made and it was sweet. The lady in pink in the chair is one of my fellow travelers.
Steve took his banjo with him and entertained our hosts and the little boy. Ishel, the amazing group leader is just beginning to know us and isn't yet certain how Steve's idea of music is being received. It all went well, everyone had a good laugh and we couldn't eat for ages after that wonderful food.

 The upper three photos are all taken under one tree. The circumference is massive. You can see in the background of the second photo that some of the limbs are so large they need metal supports to keep them from breaking off. The entire tree covers a lovely restaurant where our bus driver treated us all to a fruit platter and sodas. To help cool the area (on a scorching hot day) a spring runs out of the wall and around these conduits. The running water evaporates and cools the space down. It was so lovely. I could have sat there and just munched fruit and tea and drawn and read and napped and... but the bus calleth.

Our next stop was this (what do you call these things any ways?). A famous sheik is entombed in the fancy coffin, his hat of state is at the head and the blue tombs are his women relatives (wives, daughters, sisters, mothers) Our fellow travelers who are connected with Carleton University Religious Studies department, specializing in feminist studies were not happy by the anonymity of these tombs. I wasn't overly concerned, history is history. History can assist us in making changes to our current ideals and ethics but we can't re-write it to suit our modern sensibilities. I was looking at the architecture, the colours and the hats.

We visited a few of these tombs and there was an interesting array of ornamentation. Sometimes the Shiek's Vizier was also entombed along with his women folk. What was an interesting cultural enlightenment moment for me is that these buildings are not secular buildings, although they are treated as tourist sites. They are considered sacred in that this is an appropriate place for prayer and supplications. Appropriately respectful behaviour is required and photos have to be taken discretely. Scarves and skirts are required and men must have their shoulders covered.

The floor tiles are ancient. The tomb burnt down several hundred years ago, this is a reconstruction but the essential parts remain. Everything is so beautiful when seen in it's entirety.
Part of the old city walls of Istanbul. Very cool juxtaposition. I think I will leave it here this week. This doesn't conclude day one of Turkey.

And on to Studio work back at home.
Cleo helped several times with figuring out the placement of bits on the pillowcase project.
The patchwork bit is finished, and is about to be added to the larger section.
Bits of pale yellow embroidery are scattered over the face of the larger piece.
Smaller,  more intricate details are being added where sections join. The yummy quotient is beginning to add up.

Now I am off to work on my 'Three Square Feet' project. The attic is a huge mess and nearly every Monday since January, I struggle up those stairs and clear out another 3 feet. Sometimes all I am doing is organizing that area, sometimes I manage to take a bunch of stuff to the donations box. Slowly I have worked my way through half of the space and am approaching the chimneys (we have two) and that means I am about to enter the section of toys stored for the unlikely day that there might be grandchildren to give this all to. I can't bring myself to give away several of the baby clothes boxes or the early art work from the kids. If it is boxed up safe from mice, then I can live with storing it. Otherwise, out it goes.

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