I took both girls out for breakfast (Otto woke as Biggie and I were about to leave) and downloaded some more emails. Then we headed for Lorne Beach Books, which was much less busy at 9am than it is at 4pm (surprise). I noticed 3 more games – BattleLore, Heroscape and Descent.
The kids were big winners – Otto scored another Charlie and Lola book (My haircut sticker book) and a Little Princess book (New Shoes); Biggie got 2 novels (one about a teenage psychic investigator, the other a young adult novel (The Long Walk) by Kerry Greenwood about a family of children whose father is working on building the Great Ocean Road) and I succumbed to the half-price Charlie and Lola calendar with stickers (sadly, they are not as good as they might have been).
I could buy many, many books from that shop. I looked longingly at a book of letters and diary entries by Virginia Woolfe, edited as a commentary on the various servants in her household. There was also a collected letters of the Mitford sisters, an illustrated book on “reading” English villages, a beautiful book of maps and the one I couldn’t resist – “Being Elizabeth Bennett” – which is a sort of Choose-your-own-adventure version of Pride and Prejudice, with other Austen novels worked in. It’s hysterical and I think I will buy another for my fabulous sister-in-law (who gave me a Jane Austen sex book a couple of Christmases ago).
Accomplishments: speak French; Screen-covering Skills; Ability to be Happy in Reduced Circumstances
Failings: Resentful; Love of Walking; No style, taste or beauty; Insufficient knowledge of Dancing; The Sense-ibility Type; Insensitive Rudeness
Intelligence: -40 (down from a high of 210) (yes that is a minus sign)
Superior Connections: Charlotte Lucas; A Distant Cousin Living in Gracechurch Street
Fortune: 80 (up from 50).
I married Colonel Brandon and my mother liked me the better for it.
I will have another try soon.
Later, we went out for dinner at the Arab (the apple crumble was not up to the remembered standard), and Biggie asked to see “27 dresses”. As far as I can tell, it is a movie based on the saying “3 times a bridesmaid, never a bride” – I’m not really sure what the appeal is to a 9 year old. I assume it’s just that it’s a real grown-up chick flick.
Biggie and I were chatting about reasons why that saying isn’t true, and she suggested that maybe someone hasn’t met a romantic enough man yet. Then she giggled and started talking about romance – that it’s candle-lit dinners and holding hands. All still alien concepts to her, thank goodness.
It got me reminiscing, though.
The most romantic dinner I ever ate, I shared with two women. We were all living in Austria, all on fairly tight budgets. We’d travelled to Budapest for a few days, and were determined to go to the famous Gundel’s restaurant for dinner. It was worth every penny – we had, I think, three waiters for our table, and were serenaded by gypsy violinists.
The most romantic dinner I shared with Fraser was – well, it was more funny than romantic. We’d booked seats on the Colonial Tram-Car Restaurant for our first wedding anniversary, frocked up, and settled in to enjoy our dinner. Because you’re on a tram (a 5-star restaurant tram, but a tram nonetheless), you’re packed in with the other diners and so there’s little privacy. The table beside ours housed a group of 4 people – two from a local large confectionary company, and two visitors. Over the course of the evening, we learned more than we’d ever imagined to be possible about Chupa Chups lollipops (Chupa Chup is Spanish for Sucky Suck). Better, we just enjoyed listening to the visitors, one of whom sounded exactly like a character from a TV comedy we’d enjoyed. (The actor later reprised the accent as Bat-Manuel in the live action version of The Tick).
There just isn’t a huge list of romantic dates. We were both slightly pissed (raises hand for more than slightly) the night we got engaged, and other wedding anniversaries have been equally memorable (and equally unromantic). One year (our 3rd, I think) we went on a night ferry ride to the Planetarium for champagne and starry skies – and our very friendly boat driver (errm, captain?) turned out to be a gregarious type with a big plate of sticky Greek pastries in the cabin that he wanted to share. (They were delicious). After that, I rather suspect we’ve never done anything in the evening except occasionally watch our wedding video and giggle at how much more hair most of the men (and some of the women) used to have (and how the colours have changed).
Who says romance is dead?
No games today at all (unless you count the Elizabeth Bennett book), but some books.
This morning, I finished Kathy Reichs’ Death du Jour, which I enjoyed very much. Interestingly, Fraser and I both found one scene (the cat subplot) very familiar, and I found another (the woman turning up at her home) rang some bells too. It’s possible that we both read it a long time ago, but the rest of the book didn’t seem at all familiar. I wonder whether she’s re-used those events in another book. We both found the “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing” really annoying when it went on for about ten chapters without telling us what it was (my guess was good).
Two more books today – The Long Walk, by Kerry Greenwood (see above). This was a great book for Biggie, very age-appropriate with the exception of the wannabe child-rapist, although that was subtle enough that I doubt that Biggie knew what was going on. There’s lots to discuss (racism, child labour, poverty, geography) and a compelling, although simple, storyline.
Also another Kathy Reichs book, Deadly Décisions. We are always astonished when we watch the TV show Bones, as all they seem to have retained is the character name and the type of work she does (in the vaguest possible way). Another good beach read from the excellent book exchange.
I went straight into the third Kathy Reichs book from the book exchange – Monday Mourning. She does what she does very well. I thought this was probably a little better written than the other two – she had well and truly found her style by now.
Early bed, because it was cold and bed was warm.