Happy Star Wars Day, my friends. I remember looking cluelessly at my students the day a boy in my class said that the first time. “Happy Star Wars Day, Miss.” “Huh?” I responded. “You know,” he said, “May the Fourth… be with you.” Ha. I loved that. So May 4th, not just a day in early May.
May the 4th is kind of like March 14th. Pi Day. “You know,” I’m sure my former student would say, “Third month, fourteenth day, 3.14? The mathematical constant so important in math and physics?” Oddly enough Pi Day is Albert Einstein’s birthday, and the day famous physicist Stephen Hawking died. Now isn’t that a bit creepy?
So pi… not just for dessert. And physics… the only science that I absolutely hated in school. I can’t remember why. But give me chemistry or biology any day.
I particularly hated physics in university, and remember with great clarity the three-hour, late afternoon labs we had in first year. The sound lab was excruciating. Three hours of intense concentration, measuring sound wave lengths by listening intently for, and timing, changes in pitch. Over and over and over, listening for the crests (or peaks) and the troughs of the sound waves. Then graphing the results. By the time we made our way along the snow-covered path that evening, back to the student union building, my lab partners and I were stir crazy, laughing at nothing. At one point, I slipped and fell and, when my friends tried to help me up, they fell too. And we just lay there in the snow, in the dark, laughing hysterically, like we were drunk.
So physics. I’ve been thinking about that physics lab this morning. About waves. Covid waves, and other kinds. And how waves have peaks and troughs. I think I’m in a trough right now. Emotionally speaking. Sick to death of the cold and the wind and the lock-down. Hubby is the same. This morning he’s out in the garden roto-tilling, in his jacket, and gloves, and toque. I walked on Sunday, and it was beautiful. Cool but beautiful. Until I turned around, and then the wind was so strong that I had to hold onto my hat all the way home.
Still. At least the snow is gone. This is the shot (below) from our living room window a few days ago. I had planned to take photos for the blog that day. Ha. Instead, I curled up with a book and then did some reading about leather and faux leather and sustainability. I took my photos the next day when the snow had disappeared, but it was still cold, and I slipped a couple of times on the ice on the deck. No hysterical laughter this time. Just a bit of profane language as I tried not to fall or drop my phone. I cursed the weather and covid, and myself for wearing my very flattest slippery flats.
Of course it hasn’t been all emotional troughs around here lately. There have been peaks too. Hubby and I have been trying some new recipes. A glass of wine and a good dinner always cheers us up. One dish we’ve had a couple of times now is “Crispy Chicken Thighs and Smashed Peas.” We both love this. And I made it. Yes I did. Hubby doesn’t do ALL the cooking, you know. I found this recipe on a website called What’s Gaby Cooking? I subscribe to her emails and have found several recipes that we’ve really enjoyed. Her Asian Chicken Slaw is delicious. We leave out the chicken most of the time, and add leaf lettuce and radicchio to the cabbage for a lighter mix.
Hubby has been expanding his Asian cooking repertoire. He is so much more adventurous in the kitchen than me. He tried steaming Chinese dumplings last week, and served them with stir-fried shrimp and a garlic sesame sauce. With rice and a mélange of steamed vegetables including bok choy, the whole meal was fabulous. And no I don’t have the recipe. For Hubby a recipe is just a guideline. And his sauces are made off the top of his head. Yum, yum. My job was to dish out and choose the evening’s entertainment.
We have been binging on The Victorian Baker this past week. An old series that is being rerun on TVO. We love all those historical “reality” shows. Edwardian Farm was another favourite of ours. Along with Tudor Monastery Farm, Victorian Farm, War-Time Farm… all the farms. Ha. Good food, plus escaping into the past, helps us cope with the present, I guess.
Ah yes, the present. It is by my calculation week 60 on our pandemic calendar. I wrote a post on week 52, back in March, exactly one year after we’d begun our first lockdown. And here we are again. In a so-called third wave. According to data I looked at, new cases peaked in April, and have been slowly declining. But we’re still way higher than we were in November. So. To belabour the wave analogy, when cases peak, our lives go into trough mode. And our mental health along with it. Despite so many of us having our first vaccine shot. I read in an article today that police in Toronto handed out hundreds of fines over the weekend to people who were defying the stay-at-home order. Many of them, according to the article, gathering in large groups indoors at “short-term rentals and shuttered restaurants and bars.” Sigh.
Peak, trough, peak, trough. That’s the nature of waves.
Last week I was pleased to escape from the house to go to the drugstore, and stop for a take-out, drive-through coffee. That seems to be my getaway routine this last while. I wore my new green cashmere hoodie. I could see how great it looked with my navy Moncler raincoat, even if no one else noticed. Okay, so it was not a huge peak, but a peak nonetheless.
I’m still waiting for delivery of the Orsola de Castro book Loved Clothes Last. As I mentioned last week, I also ordered The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth Cline. And today I looked for, and ordered, another book I’ve been wanting to read. Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Mintz. I heard Mintz interviewed on CBC radio months ago, but at the time could not find his book anywhere. The stories of his travels to Tokyo, Southeast Asia, and Africa while researching this book were fascinating. How he met all kinds of people who make a living out of our discarded clutter. And how the way we consume, and then discard, even if we donate our discarded items, has nasty consequences that most of us do not anticipate. I will be immersing myself in fashion in a whole new way with these books, I think.
In the meantime I finished Susan Hill’s latest Simon Serrailler book, The Benefit of Hindsight. I always enjoy her writing, but this one puzzled me a bit. Not sure how she meant to link all the disparate stories in her plot. Still, I liked it. And I am just embarking on the same book Hubby is reading and chuckling over, Robert Barnard’s The Case of the Missing Brontë. We do like Barnard’s books. They are light mysteries, and so amusing. He’s no Reginald Hill, but he is darned witty.
Once it gets warm again. Next month? I plan to do an Allison Bornstein-style edit of my spring “maybes” and try to style them with my “regulars.” I’m hoping to film this for my May vlog. But not yet. I cannot bring myself to try on a bunch of outfits when it’s cold.
I’ve been swathed in giant hoodies and turtlenecks, heavy socks, and sweatshirts for the last few days. And have even been wrapping myself in a blanket when we’re watching TV. Not because the house is cold, but just because I’m cold. Hubby will look at me and sigh, “You CAN’T be cold!” “Wanna bet,” I retort. This from someone who wears his toque to bed when we’re camping, because his head gets cold. I mean, can you say pot and kettle?
This was the scene, below, on the river the other morning. 5:00 A.M. It was so still and beautiful.
And cold. So I took this brief video and then hustled back to bed. Ha.
So that’s the May 4th report, my friends. Bit of food chat, a couple of books, some fashion, and a brief and fairly irrelevant discussion of physics. Gad, I hated physics. As I believe I said already. I’m happy to hear that some of you are able to be out and about. What a joyous, and yet still worrying, feeling that must be. A definite crest or peak in a year of very large troughs.
Hope things continue to look up for us all. And happy Star Wars Day. May the fourth … be with you. 🙂
Now. Your turn. What peaks and troughs have you experienced lately? Are we on the same wavelength there? Ha Pun intended, of course.
P.S. The book links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will make a small commission.