Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Back in the swim

I've finished that essay on the Scapigliatura, which means something like "dishevelment." I managed to find 7 books I wanted in the Taylorian and was able to take 5 of them out. That was Saturday's task, to finish the essay I started on Tuesday, and today's was making marmalade. 10 jars of dark gold now await labels.

I've been discussing both projects with a couple of friends on Facebook, which is about as close to "Spinoza and the smell of cooking" as you can get.

But I've also managed two swims and written two chapters of City of Ships, so am feeling more positive about meeting my (extended) deadline. And I've booked three trips to Italy: Bologna for the fair, with Rhiannon, followed by 3 nights in Florence at the flat I stayed in last July, joined again by husband; Trieste in May for another "triangle" and Siena in late June for a week. I'll be able to see the Palio again! Though it isn't certain that my contrada will run.

Our plans to go to the US in the autumn might be modified by an invitation to a wedding in Mexico in October. We might cut out the east coast this year and just go to California and the wedding and make it a shorter trip.

I've seen the first two episodes of the new ER, the last ever series. And the DVD of Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, which I enjoyed for its narrative quirks but thought it was a bit of a stretch to make Robert Downey Jr a contemporary of his co-star Michelle Monaghan (in fact he is 11 years older than her though looks more).

I heard a whole CD of Joe Cutler, which I got for Christmas. He is one to follow. I'd heard the Music for Cello and Strings on Radio 3 and knew I liked that but Sal's Sax was great too and the piano pieces.

Haven't got far with reading Dreams from my Father because of all the Italian critical books but loved the Guardian supplement on the Bush years. And found out Dubya did do one good thing - increased money to Africa for treating AIDS. But I'll still have the bunting out on Tuesday!

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