Beefburger & books

I’m feeling better about decorating.  I figured out that aside from the tedium of the trim, we had somehow bought stinky solvent-based gloss.  It doesn’t bother Steve at all, as the man has no sense of smell.  It’s true, although he can taste things OK.  I advise him on which cologne to buy and that my perfume, Beautiful by Estée Lauder, smells divine.  Go figure.  I hate the cleanup with oil based paints, too.   Such a mess.  And I really don’t like the look of gloss.  My eyes find it very noisy.

Anyhow, when I went into Exeter yesterday to get my hair cut, I went to B & Q and bought some water-based satin paint for the trim.  Cleans up with water and dries in an hour.  So, I’m much more enthusiastic about doing the trim.

It was a grey, rainy day.  Sometimes when I have to be out, not by choice, in the rain, I feel a bit aimless and depressed.  Not sure why.  I think it stems from when I was a teenager, playing truant from school and not really having any place to go.  As I was walking back into town, along the River Exe I turned my head just as four chalk white swans were flying low against the pewter sky, coming to land on the water.  It was a magnificent sight and made me feel better inside.  I also had about 20 minutes to pop into the library and got a really good stack of books.  I did some trim painting when I got home yesterday and carried on this morning.

I was listening to ‘Essential Classics’ on Radio 3.  They have a question feature, called appropriately enough ‘What am I?’  Clues are given and listeners are invited to text and email in their guesses.  It was something sticky and used by ballet dancers, boxers and gymnasts.  I suddenly knew it was rosin, although I associate it with baseball pitchers.  It’s a classical music show and my sister used to play cello and had rosin, so I figured I was right.  I emailed in and had my name read out on the radio (along with lots of other people).  So that was fun.  By the way, I learned a new word today.  I looked up rosin just now and ‘colophony’ is another word for it.  I’d have thought it had something to do with noise.  Apparently the term “colophony” comes from colophonia resina or “resin from the pine trees of Colophon,” an ancient Ionic city.

So back to painting the trim.  I’d set my self the goal of painting all of the trim and most of the doors in our foyer and gallery.  I was starting to feel ‘eleven o’clockish’ and though about stopping for tea and toast with honey.  But as I thought more about it, what I really wanted was a hamburger patty.  Though I wasn’t quite hungry enough and it would be a longer break, since I had to go to the Co-op for some ground beef.  So I set myself the goal of the end of the gallery skirting board and imagined a big, juicy beef burger waiting there.  When I got out of bed this morning, I’d also sorted the 20 or so books next to my side of the bed into ‘Read and need to be put or given away’, ‘Not read yet’ and  ‘New library books’.  The library books were waiting on the kitchen table.

The Goal

I had a fabulous hamburger, studded with jalapeño peppers and topped with melted Cheddar cheese and sautéed onions, just as I’d imagined it.  I read ‘The Intoxicated’ by Shirley Jacksoon, from a collection of short stories.  She’s probably best known for ‘The Lottery’, de riguer in high school English classes.  I obviously hadn’t ditched that day because I remember seeing a film version of The Lottery.  But I love all of her writing and it’s great to be reading her again after many years.  She’s written novels, “true-to-life funny-housewife memoirs”, and my favourites, short stories.  Most were written in the late 40’s and the 50’s and reflect “our distressing world of the concentration camp and the Bomb” and mirror humanity’s McCarthy-era fears.  According to Jackson’s husband, the literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, “she consistently refused to be interviewed, to explain or promote her work in any fashion, or to take public stands and be the pundit of the Sunday supplements.  She believed that her books would speak for her clearly enough over the years.”  Another of my favourites, which I hope is in my book, is one about a commuter husband who comes home from NYC to Connecticut, or wherever, and neither he nor the family he goes to realises he’s in the wrong house.  The conformity of the 50’s and alienation of modern life all wrapped up into one gem of a story.

The Prize

Info source – Wikipedia


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