After being sick for a whole week, I’m grateful for a fabulous weekend. Friday was good; I ate bland food cautiously, but did a whole editing pass on the cello manual, got an hour and a half of practice in, yogaed, and even played some Wii sports that night after the boy went to bed (had the achy muscles the next day to prove it, too).
Saturday morning I had my first cello lesson of the year, and it went well. This may have had something to do with the hour and a half of work I did on Friday reacquainting myself with book 3, or the beautiful weather (cold, but sunny and still) but whatever the reason, I was in a terrific mood, and pulled off a decent Gavotte. We then filled my slate with working on the musicality of the Gavotte, the 3rd pos Ruined Castle tonalisation, and the Boccherini minuet. (Good grief, what is the Boccherini doing so early in book 3?) And with the pile of work we have to do for orchestra, that’s going to be plenty. When one’s teacher shakes her head over the orchestra material and says, “This is going to be a challenging programme,” you know you’re in for it. I’ve been very afraid to look at the orchestra material. As much as I love it all, it’s hard, and I know that means I will love it less very soon, and least of all right before the concert. It will take a couple of months before I enjoy it again.
I also have to keep reminding myself that the work I’m doing in the Suzuki material is supplementing my orchestral development in particular, and my musicality in general. It’s not like I’ve never used third position, or extended shifts, or seen these keys before. I’ve reviewing things I’ve learned elsewhere, and using simpler pieces to work bits of technique and provide a relatively easy environment to play with musical expression. I need to get past the oddness of telling people that I’m on book three, but I’ve been playing for fifteen years. (Whoa; I just checked, and I started in July 1994. That means we’re rapidly coming up on sixteen years.)
I’d intended to run a couple of errands on the way home but I’d forgotten that I’d have a cello in the car, so I rescheduled them for later in the day and made a cake when I got home instead. After the boy’s nap we all headed out for the errands and checked a couple of shops for a Star Wars action figure the boy has been hunting for, I made a pile of photocopies at the office supply shop (and picked up some tags for my skeins, although I forgot the larger binder I needed for my cello lesson material, grr), and then we went to the library. I scored a pile of books, among them a new Timothy Findley collection. One stops watching for new books to be published when an author dies, so this one slipped past my radar when it came out in 2004. Hurrah for libraries that actually keep up on Canadian lit! This is called Journeyman, and is a collection of articles and personal journal entries by Findley and edited by his partner, Bill Whitehead. It’s a nice companion to In Memory and From Stone Orchard.
The boy and I mixed a rub for the pork roast when we got home (dijon, flour, salt and pepper, various herbs) and the boy painted it on very intently. Then we made icing for the cake and frosted it (with an icing-sugar rescue from the upstairs neighbours, bless them). The boy put sugar sprinkles shaped like yellow baby chicks on the top (part of an animal set we’d bought to decorate one of his birthday cakes; the set had fish, dinosaurs, pigs, and chicks) and was delighted with the effect. The roast was fabulous, but the potatoes not so much; they’re a floury potato instead of a waxy kind, so I didn’t get the texture I was going for at all. And the gravy separated when I put the cold juices in, almost curdling, and it never got back to what I wanted it to be, either. It all tasted fine, of course. The cake was delicious, and was 95% gone twenty-four hours later.
Sunday morning we made pancakes for brunch, and then Ceri picked the boy and I up and we went to Ariadne Knits, our favourite local yarn shop, to play. I registered for the Spinning 102 class at the end of the month (exotic fibres, open to wheel spinners, not just spindlers, hurrah!), petted the Hound spindles but was steadfast in my resolution to not try one (the fifty dollars can go other places, like towards that workshop, or fibre, or, you know, groceries), and got most of the order I’d placed in November! My tencel and oatmeal BFL came in, as did the BFL/silk blend (soft, soft, soft!), but they’d been sent the wrong size of high-speed bobbin, alas, so the one thing I was really, really hoping for was not there.
We knitted for a while and chatted with MA. I worked on the boy’s scarf; he did one whole stitch on his own and then bounded off to play with storage cones again. The boy played very well with the toys on the shelf and the books (“Can you read this to me, Mama?” “Um, it’s German.” “Oh. Then I’ll read it.”) and the games on his camera. When it was time to leave he reluctantly got dressed and packed to go, and when we were home we hauled Ceri in for tea and cake, and we all knitted some more. I have now knitted back all the stuff I’d frogged on Mum’s silk scarf and beyond. There’s only 0.2 of an oz left (which is what, five grams?) and while that sounds like nothing, it’s a pretty fine yarn and so there’s more than you’d think. That tiny ball of yarn feels like it hasn’t gone anywhere, though, which is understandable, I suppose; after knitting a couple of feet over Christmas I ignored it for a week, and then adding and frogging fiveish inches this past week means it’s stayed pretty static overall.
I decided to make spaghetti for last night’s dinner, and that was delicious, too. I have just discovered that crushing a final clove of garlic and stirring it in just before serving the sauce adds a very nice flavour. It was a very good weekend food-wise… no, it was a good weekend all around. I’m very thankful for it; I really needed one.