no novian but one; a song with a mission (dolorosa_12) wrote,
no novian but one; a song with a mission

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Cinnamon and cloves

This has been one of those weekends where everything came together perfectly, seemingly without much effort on my part. It was desperately needed: not only was the past week particularly exhausting (and seemingly endless) but I have also not really had a free weekend for at least a month. So although this weekend ended up being quite packed, it was relaxing, and I feel rested in a way that I haven't for a long time.

On Friday night my colleagues and I had our work Christmas party. We went to this restaurant, which had amazing food. I'm someone who likes to keep a fairly rigid separation between work and the rest of my life, so although I get on well with my colleagues, I always feel a bit weird about seeing them socially and drinking alcohol with them. However, the party was fun, and I'm glad I went.

I ended up spending most of yesterday rushing around running errands. The final Obernewtyn book (an Australian YA dystopian series that has been in existence since 1987, and which I've been reading since 1999, to give you some idea of how long I've been waiting for the last book) was delivered on Friday, but as no one was home, I had to go and collect it from the depot on Saturday. (My heroic mother pre-ordered a copy, and then paid $AUS60 to send it to me in the UK, as it's not published here yet.) As the book is over 1000 pages long, and as it's the kind of thing that I will need to start, and then not stop until it's finished, I haven't actually begun reading it, but it is reassuring simply to have it in the house.

Instead, I've been reading Evangeline Walton's Mabinogion, fantasy stories based on the Middle Welsh Mabinogi. This was on the recommendation of la_marquise_de_'s essay on the author. One of the things Kari emphasised in her essay was the way Walton's writing captured the tone and mood of the original Welsh material, and this was something I most appreciated about the work. It had the strangeness, cadences of the original language, and that undercurrent of melancholy that I find running through so much medieval literature. I'm grateful to Kari for alerting me to the existence of Walton's writing, and highly recommend it.

On Saturday night, Matthias and I celebrated his birthday with several friends of ours. We went out to dinner at a new pub, which seems to be focusing on Belgian beer, gin (its gin menu listed about thirty different types), mussels and steak. This somewhat strange combination worked really well: the food was excellent, the place was heaving, and I was forced to choose between gin or mulled wine. It was freezing, so I stuck with the wine, which was handmade, and fragrant with cinnamon, cloves, and oranges. Now that none of us are students any more, it's difficult to get groups of our friends together, so it was great to be able to hang out with everyone for an evening.

Today has mostly been filled with Yuletide writing — I finished my assignment, which means I should have time to get at least one treat done before the deadline — and watching Jessica Jones. We've only watched the first two episodes, but I'm absolutely hooked. It's everything I ever wanted from a TV series, and I'm finding it powerful and resonant in a variety of ways that I will outline further once I've watched the whole thing.

Now I'm just drinking tea and gearing up for the next working week. I wish I could have more weekends like this!

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: life, me elsewhere, my favourite philologist, under the 'bridge
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