19 July 2020

Saturday

Keira Knightley in "The Duchess"
Saturday was as unmemorable as it was unremarkable. One of those dull, rather pointless days when nothing of real note happens. My beloved football team - Hull City A.F.C. lost at home to lowly Luton Town and now it seems certain that we will be relegated from the English Championship. Woe is me! The only thing that might save us now is a ruling that Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan Athletic should have points docked for breaking financial rules. The words "straws" and "clutching" spring to mind.

I took a short drive to the Tesco petrol station to fill Clint's tank. He drunk it down like Somerset cider. "Ahhh! Lovely!" he sighed.

Then I drove to Whirlowbrook Park to begin reading "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson. She's a gifted writer but it's not easy going. I managed thirty pages before heading home. The novel's voice is that of a priest in Iowa who is addressing those he has left behind and remembering what happened during his seemingly humdrum life of service.

For our evening meal, I made a chunky chicken and chilli sauce that we ate in tortilla wraps with basmati rice and sour cream. For dessert, Shirley came up with fresh raspberries from our garden in meringue nests with vanilla ice cream.

It was a grey, empty day. I put more food out for the birds and transferred organic kitchen waste to our compost bins. Two collared doves perched precariously on a springy apple tree branch as a magpie sought sustenance upon our lawn.

Though I am generally not into period dramas, via the magic of television, I watched "The Duchess" (2008) starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes. It was of particular interest because of its connection with Chatsworth in Derbyshire where the Dukes of Devonshire lived and indeed still live in the lap of luxury. I have frequently walked within the Chatsworth Estate east of Bakewell.

So that was Saturday. Not much to report but at least the weather forecast for the week ahead looks promising. Undoubtedly, there will be a couple more delightful walking expeditions and I guess I will make more progress with "Gilead". Not all days can be super-duper. There have to be ordinary days in which little happens. Otherwise, the special days would not be special. 
“Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It's awful.”
"Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett

39 comments:

  1. I had my nails done today. That is so far down my scale of "happening" that I'm sure to be surprised with a super day.
    I do not even have my nails "done" for aesthetic reasons. If I have my nails dipped in powder and painted with polish, they are not chipped by scraping the reed or collisions with the shuttle or beater.

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    1. It sounds as though your day was as exciting as mine Joanne, though I didn't get my nails done.

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  2. I enjoyed "The Duchess" when it was a new film but found it odd that the duchess herself didn't seem to age at all throughout the film. As I remember it she still looked like a waiflike seventeen year old even after having several children and years of alcohol and gambling!

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    1. Good point. That hadn't crossed my mind Jean - but you're right.

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  3. But you made something out of your 'nothing' day when you wrote about it. The mind was still working - be thankful ;)

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    1. It can be an interesting challenge to write about a dull day in a manner that does not bore readers.

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  4. Have Saturdays always been non-events, or is it just since the "new norm"?
    Fortunately mine are reasonably back on track. After the early morning walk with the dog, we drive down to the beach to meet up with a girlfriend for breakfast. Nothing fancy, just a croissant and coffee, followed by a short walk to the sea front and a further coffee in a favourite café overlooking the sea.

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    1. That sounds like a nice way to start the day CG. My saturdays are not always like the one I alluded to.

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  5. But have you walked right up the water 'fall'? I was there with my not-yet-teenage stepdaughter who decided that we were going to do it. So shoes and socks off we did. On that really hot day it was wonderful. Very oddly given her apparent demureness it was exactly the sort of thing my mother would have done. She would have been 102 last Thursday. I think I was probably the same age as my stepdaughter was when Mum and Dad first took me there. Ah, memories.

    I was sure that I had read 'Gilead' but the author's name meant nothing and nor did the contents you describe. I shall have to hunt around my shelves in the loft to see if I can find the book I'm thinking of.

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    1. Happy to have unwittingly sparked a happy memory from times past.

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    2. I had read Gilead. It was exactly where I expected it to be on the appropriate shelf in the loft. I just didn't recognise it after all this time from your description. It's logged in my mind as the start where he is writing to his son.

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  6. I have many grey and empty days. This Saturday though, we went out for brunch for my twin girls' 22nd birthday (their birthday is Friday but Briony left again today for Deniliquin. It will be their first birthday apart)
    Then I roasted very many sweet potatoes I was given, had a delicious dinner and watched a documentary about separated triplets.
    I hope Sunday tickled your fancy a bit better

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    1. My Sunday is just starting Kylie and the weather outside is lovely. Happy birthday to your beautiful twin girls. Where did those twenty two years go?

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  7. Sounds far more exciting than my average day these days.

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    1. If only you could go to zumba classes ADDY!

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  8. Grey empty days are beautiful. Chesterton wrote an essay in praise of grey English skies. Maugham said he missed English rain, elms, old pubs, cricket, and secondhand bookshops. He didn't get those in the French Riviera.
    The Duchess was based on a biography by Amanda Foreman whose father Carl Foreman wrote the screenplay of High Noon, directed by Fred Zinnemann, with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly.
    Georgiana Cavendish (1757-1806) was an icon in her day, a style setter, though addicted to gambling and narcotic substances.
    Selina Hastings (1707-1791) the Countess of Huntingdon renounced card games after falling under the influence of John Wesley and the preacher George Whitefield. She donated huge sums to the Methodist movement. A pity Alan Bennett didn't write a play about her.

    Even Hameld was sorry Hull lost to Luton. Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan ought to be docked.
    Hang your hopes on that apple tree!

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    1. Thanks for the education John. As for Hull City we were in the F.A.Cup Final just six years ago. How we have fallen! I am guessing that you support the lads in the green and white hula hoops. They never seem to fall.

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  9. Grey empty days are beautiful. Chesterton wrote an essay in praise of grey English skies. Maugham said he missed English rain, elms, old pubs, cricket, and secondhand bookshops. He didn't get those in the French Riviera.
    The Duchess was based on a biography by Amanda Foreman whose father Carl Foreman wrote the screenplay of High Noon, directed by Fred Zinnemann, with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly.
    Georgiana Cavendish (1757-1806) was an icon in her day, a style setter, though addicted to gambling and narcotic substances.
    Selina Hastings (1707-1791) the Countess of Huntingdon renounced card games after falling under the influence of John Wesley and the preacher George Whitefield. She donated huge sums to the Methodist movement. A pity Alan Bennett didn't write a play about her.

    Even Hameld was sorry Hull lost to Luton. Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan ought to be docked.
    Hang your hopes on that apple tree!

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    1. Thanks for the extra education John. As for Hull City, we were in the F.A. Cup Final just six years ago. How far we have fallen! I guess you support the lads in the green and white hula hoops? They never seem to fall.

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    2. My Da taught me to answer the What Team Question by always saying, *I'm a Partick Thistle supporter.*
      Fifty years ago my father was saying that the Old Firm games, for all their excitement, had an unhealthy sectarian atmosphere. We've moved on thankfully.

      The old boy loved English pubs and English ale. He thought conversation in English pubs was mellower than in Scotland. I love the country way of speaking in Gloucestershire pubs.

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    3. Oh arr! Them folk done sounds like they's in "The Archers"!

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    4. I remember overhearing two men in a pub in Charlton Kings (Cheltenham).
      One was a plasterer, the other a slaughterer.

      I wish I had had been wired, their stories were so amusing. And there was the way each man pronounced words ... plasterer and slaughterer ... the Two Ronnies would have had us in stitches.

      Hearing the slaughterer describing the way he butchered pigs, which arrived already dead at a slaughterhouse, put me off rashers of bacon for a time.

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  10. Was it Chatsworth House who replaced their walled kitchen garden with a carpark?

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    1. Well there is a big car park just to the north of the grand house. I never knew that there was once a kitchen garden there but it makes sense.

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  11. Hull will bounce back. So will Barnsley. Huddersfield and 'Boro should be safe. And next season the unwritten rule will be broken. There will be two Yorkshire teams in the Premier League.

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    1. Once - not so long ago - City were Yorkshire's top team.I will probably never witness that again in my lifetime.

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    2. And once during in that first season they were the top team.

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  12. A dull, nothing day? Sounds like most of mine YP.

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    1. There there JayCee! Sounds like you need a holiday young lady. Perhaps somewhere nice like Guernsey.

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  13. A grey, empty day? The description of your meal alone sounds anything but grey and empty to me!

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  14. Sounds like my Saturday, except when I went to take the dogs for a walk after supper, Lucy attacked Heidi. What the hell? Turned around and went back home.

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    1. Maybe Heidi had said something bitchy!

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  15. I love uneventful days, meandering days. Mainly because I can't so much as set foot out of the house before an adventure unfolds. Even the door bell ringing will have repercussions. One of my close neighbours handing me a child for the day. Just like that. Surprise. Thing is I work from home. The "working" bit not registering with anyone. No one. Basically, to them I am at home. Having tons of time. It's ok. What I miss out on during the day I can make up for in the evening and at night. Sweetly, a few years ago, the Angel remarked that whilst we live pretty much center of city albeit in a quiet part I have made our immediate surroundings into something akin to a village. I know everyone and everyone knows me. Which is why, when on an hour's mission (I walk everywhere being so central), I need to build in at least an extra half hour for any errant. In that way lockdown was eerie. Was I the last person in the neighbourhood? Notwithstanding the Angel drily remarking that if everyone did what I was doing it'd be as "normal". Talking of which, just having come back from town, the "new" normal is disgusting. Everyone piling on top of each other. Social distancing? You should be so lucky. I am dancing something more challenging than the Tango to dodge other people. At John Lewis and their "little" in house Waitrose (opened since 25 June - thank the Lord) they go the extra mile and won't let you in without a thorough hand wringing disinfecting.

    Should you never hear from me again it's because someone scraped me off the floor and deposed of me. SAFELY.

    In other news: The Angel is hiking (for a few days) in Wales. Nowhere near John (the gentle one, not the learned one).

    Hope Sunday finds you in better spirits, YP.


    U

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    1. Your Angel is Rilke's. This is good writing, Ursula. Keep it up. I have never had any doubts about your being a woman. If we should never hear from you again, that would be my bad luck. *Be ahead of all partings,* said Rilke, but try as I may, I can never manage it. Parting is devilishly hard.

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    2. "Everyone piling on top of each other"...sounds like a Love Fest! But I too feel irked about others entering the invisible bubble that now surrounds me. What are they thinking of? Haven't they heard?

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  16. I read "Gilead" several years ago. I can't say I loved it, but I do remember the minister character -- which is more than I can say for some books, which I forget entirely!

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