Thursday, March 17, 2011
This & That
Here's our newest read aloud. It arrived via an English friend of mine, who was here very briefly and was surprised that I'd never heard of it.
When she was young it was her favourite book. And before she left, she dropped off a copy she'd found in a used book shop. This is how our copy looks: dark green hardcover with a ship on the high seas, published in 1906. Arthur Rackham illustrations. As you might imagine it is a lovely thing to hold in your hands.
We started the first chapter (Weland's Sword) this morning. I was slightly concerned that it might be too young for Max, but once we got past the beginning, I knew it would be alright. The language of these old stories is always so, so, well, so beautiful: it's complicated and poetic and nuanced and educated in ways that so many modern books aren't. They drop references we've never learned and tuck in all sorts of sly humour. If you don't believe me, crack open Peter Pan. That's another one for the Impressive Old Books pile.
In other news:
—I knew there was a reason I bought that Pancake Pen at Williams-Sonoma (my favourite wildly over-priced kitchen store).
They were even green.
For the first time in 3 years Max the Teenager ate them, then said, very profoundly "they taste like normal pancakes." Gosh, he's getting smarter and smarter every day, isn't he? (sheila breathes a sigh of relief, remembering many a scorned green egg tipped down the garbage)
—the spring might actually be arriving here on the Wet West Coast. It was the wettest, coldest winter we've had these past 4 years. Rain is very boring. I realize that constant snow can be boring too, but the puddles in my lawn are REALLY exasperating me right about now. Dominic and I are itching to get his Butterfly Mudpuddling Garden happening.
—there has been no looting in Japan. I find this a most impressive fact, even as all our hearts break for what they are going through right now. Too sad.
—we had more rounds of Public Speaking in 4-H and the kids are on to the next round. Does the fun ever stop? I have decided that Public Speaking is a Good Thing. It teaches essay writing, pronunciation, posture, and grace in one fell swoop.
—check out the big greenhouse at Martha's house. I've clicked on each and every picture twice. With envy. That is SOME greenhouse, Martha.