"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, July 14, 2007

From the Cottagers

Two perfect days in a row...not a drop of rain.

When in our Lodge garage loading my vehicle to come up here, the hemlock smell was super-powerful though we hadn't had any recent storms. The theory I broached yesterday is disproved.

Brought a tub of flowers with me. I intended to fill several vases on arrival, but chose instead to throw together one big mixed bouquet.

The mix consists of: Queen Anne's lace, Shasta daisy, pink astilbe, white astilbe, pink mallow, white mallow, pink yarrow, perennial sweet-pea (solid mauve and the pinky-white hybrid,) lavender spikes, Cupani's orginal sweet-pea (17th century, violet and mauve, exquisitely scented), the last two Charles de Mills roses and the very last Tuscany rose.

This morning as I emailed far-away friends in France and the UK and Vermont (!) I listened to BBC4's Saturday Play, Called to Account, which could've been subtitled The Trial of Tony Blair, except that was already done as a Channel 4 television play. (I'd love to see it.) In the radio one, actors perform the "MPs, diplomats, policy wonks, lawyers and spooks who had earlier been examined by two rival barristers on whether or not Tony Blair could faces charges of aggression against Iraq."

In case anybody's yearning for the US version of Called to Account--contact your members of Congress.

Took the girls for a walk at noontime.

The posted speed limit on our very private road (most locals don't even know it exists) is 10 mph. I wouldn't want the news to get around, but as we start out Ruth inevitably exceeds that speed. I hope she doesn't get a citation. I suppose we're all culpable, because she sets the pace and the rest of us keep up as best we can.

To avoid weekenders (passers-by violate Lola's outsized notions of personal space and sometimes she barks) and their weekender dogs (Ruth and Jewel go berserk when they meet one), I altered our route a bit. We walked along a secluded snowmobile trail, which at this season is a lovely pine-needle carpeted pathway up a hillside, with big red arrow signs at intervals. Edged with poison ivy. I was never affected by poison ivy in my youth, but there are innumerable tales of adults who can say the same thing and learnt that their immunity didn't outlast their childhood. Wish I'd worn socks--some leaves might've brushed my feet. I keep waiting to feel an unfamiliar itch and sprout an ugly rash.

The girls weren't keen on the deviation, and felt we needed to walked farther, a little way towards the Point. The wife of the Other State Representative Who Lives in this Neighbourhood drove by.

We met a nice lady out walking--we know she's nice 'cause Lola didn't bark.

The young ones rushed her, seeking pats. She smiled and said very politely, "I wish I weren't allergic to dogs."

Immediately I reined them in, before they made contact.

She asked how old they were.

"Fourteen, and a pair of two-year olds."

"They're beautiful dogs."

Instead of saying, "I know," I thanked her, gratefully and graciously.

Nobody was in the mood to swim at the little beach, so we came home for lunch.

I brought a tin of crabmeat big enough to work my way through the entire "Crab" section of my ever-reliable All-Maine Seafood Cookbook.

For lunch I made an easy crabmeat-topped-with-cheese-on-toast.

It's meant to be brain food. I have to conquer a chapter today.

Lest it appear I've yet again deserted the Chap: he's been at a conference down in Washington, DC. Could I have gone with him? Of course, but my extreme familiarity with that city in summertime deterred me.

I need to write an entire chapter during this stay. Should be simple, as 75% of the plot developments, the location, and the characters involved are conveniently supplied by actual history. Only it's never as easy as I think it will be. Or want it to be.

Blaring from the Bose speakers today is the concert CD Alchemy. It sounds like Dire Straits have reunited to give a live performance in my sitting room. I can't explain how this will help me write scenes set at The Hague in February of 1685...but somehow it will.

(FYI: Mark has a new album due in September.)

i made it through a post without any dog, mountain, lake, sunset, sailboat, or duck pictures. Just flowers and food--hardly unique.

Hmmm. Isn't my foot feeling itchy?

Guess not. It's gone all tingly cause it's fallen asleep.

But wait--now my palms are itching. My face, too.

I'm coming down with a psychosomatic case of poison ivy.

Maybe the remedy is a swim in the lake. Provided, of course, that I meet my page count goal.

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