House-Bound

by Winifred Peck

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Penelope Fitzgerald wrote: ‘If I could have back one of the many Winifred Peck titles I once possessed I would choose House-Bound. The story never moves out of middle-class Edinburgh; the satire on genteel living, though, is always kept in relation to the vast severance and waste of the war beyond. The book opens with a grand comic sweep as the ladies come empty-handed away from the registry office where they have learned that they can no longer be “suited” and in future will have to manage their own unmanageable homes. There are coal fires, kitchen ranges and intractable husbands; Rose is not quite sure whether you need soap to wash potatoes. Her struggle continues on several fronts, but not always in terms of comedy. To be house-bound is to be “tethered to a collection of all the extinct memories… with which they had grown up… how are we all to get out?” I remember it as a novel by a romantic who was as sharp as a needle, too sharp to deceive herself.’

I read Persephone reviews on the blogs and always think I would love to be able to get my hands on some. They are not easily come by here in the States in bookstores. A friend gave me two copies a couple of years ago. Jessie’s Persephone Readathon @ Dwell in Possibility, the first eleven days of February gave me the push to get started on one. Sadly it took me longer than eleven days to read it. I finally finished it on the 19th!

I enjoyed the book. It was a fun look at ‘genteel living’ and the loss of their way of living. It was slow though and didn’t call to me to pick it up and I found myself doing other things than reading.

Because of the war there is a shortage of women available for ‘house work’. At the agency where the ladies sign up for house help, Rose hears the desperate lady in line in front of her say, ‘You’ll not be expecting me to manage my house myself!‘ and Mrs. Loman reply, ‘I don’t know why not! Millions of women do just that, Mrs. Lunga!

Rose greeted Mrs. Loman at the counter when it was her turn with, ‘That’s true, of course!’ It’s perfectly true that millions of women do, and I suppose we should imitate them, but then, of course, they haven’t all got basements!‘ Rose left the agency determined to do the house work herself! Why shouldn’t she be able to do what millions of other women do! After all there was a war on and she needed to pull her weight! Her friend Linda was appalled at the thought that Rose was going to undertake this job herself. ‘Darling Rose, you have gone Bolshie and no mistake. Think how we’ve been rocks and props to our husbands, and entertained their friends, and made a Home with a capital H.’  But Rose had made up her mind… ‘You can’t say we’ve justified our existence in the world by sitting on committees, or even by having a few babies as comfortably as possible.’

I liked Rose’s spunkiness in pitching right in and doing the hard work. It was a bit hilarious watching her learn to cook and dust and scrub and how hard she made the job. Of course the story also told us the families inter-workings and I liked peeking in on the relationship dynamics in a blended family. We even get a peek at Rose’s spiritual life as she wrestles with her new ‘call’ in life. Even though it took me a longer to read it than it should, I felt satisfied at the end of the tale. I would definitely read more by Peck. I especially would like to find her one and only mystery, Arrest the Bishop?!

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I Want to be Different

I wanted to share this beautiful song with you. It is the cry of my heart. Maybe it will help someone who is going through a difficult time…

 

Different

I don’t wanna hear anymore
Teach me to listen
I don’t wanna see anymore
Give me a vision
That you could move this heart, to be set apart

I don’t need to recognize the man in the mirror
And I don’t wanna trade Your plan for something familiar
I can’t waste a day
I can’t stay the same

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
In me

And I don’t wanna spend my life stuck in a pattern
And I don’t wanna gain this world but lose what matters
And so I’m giving up everything because

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
In me

I know, that I am far from perfect
But through You, the cross still says I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different, yea

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Oh is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different

I just wanna be different
So could You be different
In me

Publishing: Fair Trade Global Songs (BMI) (admin. by Music Services, Inc.); Fairtrade Tunes (SESAC) / From The Void (SESAC) (admin. by Music Services, Inc)

Writer(s): Micah Tyler; Kyle Lee

Town with a Split Personality

Bristol is a town that straddles the state-line between Tennessee and Virginia. The state-line marker is literally in-between the yellow lines going down Main Street!

Bristol TN/VA

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Bristol is a quaint little town, lots of restaurants and shops and lovely old old buildings and signs still hanging on the buildings. Here’s some of the old signs I loved…

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The Paramount Theater is on the TN side… Bristol TN/VA

The Cameo Theater is on the Virginia…
Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Pretty tree-lined streets Bristol TN/VA

Bristol is the birthplace of country music…
Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

We ate dinner at a little burger joint that’s call to fame is as the place Hank Williams ate his last meal before heading on to his last concert, which he never made as he passed away in the back seat of the car. There are many different stories about what happened that night, but I found THIS article with the story recounted by his driver that night. Sounds like the driver stopped there and got something to eat, but Hank didn’t even go in. It was still fun eating there. It was opened in 1942. The burgers were fantastic!

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA

There is a historic Woolworth lunch counter and soda fountain there too but it was closed the day we were there. The only day of the week it is closed 😦  I would have loved to eat there, next time! Bristol TN/VA

Bristol has an old railway station. It no longer acts as a station but is rented out for events. Trains still come chugging right next to it though and we were lucky to be there when one did. A man came out of the station while we were standing outside watching the train and took us inside for a tour of the old station and told us as much as he knew about it. The station now standing was built in 1902. It is the fourth depot, the first one opening in 1856. It was burned down in the Civil War during Stoneman’s raid in 1864. You can read about the history of the train station HERE.

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA

Of course Bristol TN. is known for the Bristol Motor Speedway where NASCAR races are held…

Bristol TN/VA

There was a Confederate Hospital in Bristol on the TN side during the Civil War. What a shame that building is no longer around! Soldiers that died there are buried in East Hill Cemetery. We didn’t have time to go there. I’d love to though next time. I love old cemeteries. Bristol TN/VA

Tennessee Ernie Ford was born (1919) and raised in a small house in Bristol TN. It’s open to the public, but we didn’t get there either. He was a singer and TV host. Best known for the song Sixteen Tons I think. You can listen to him sing it HERE.

We’ll go back and roam around again and see the things we missed last time. Hope you enjoyed the day in Bristol as much as I did!

Porch Talk

It’s been a little too cold for much porch sittin’ around here this winter! It’s in the low fifties today, so not too bad, rainy and overcast. Thought I’d sit with you a few minutes. The mountains are hiding today behind the dreary gray mist.

We’ve been hibernating pretty much since the first of the year. Between the flu epidemic and the cold bitter temps we decided to just stay in as much as possible. I got quite a bit of reading done in January, six books, and we pulled out the jigsaw puzzles I’ve been stocking up on over last summer. We’ve played a lot of rummy and backgammon. It’s been nice and cozy. February has been warmer so we are venturing out more now.

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Since I last talk to you I’ve had a birthday. The Big 6-0! Yep, I’m on the other side of old now!

Not usually movie buffs we’ve watched quite a few this year so far. Tuesday’s $5 day is getting to be a ritual with us!

The Mountain Between Us – Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad and stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.

Loved it! Idris Alba is gorgeous and a good actor. Nice love story that didn’t bore Bossman to death because of the stranded on the snowy mountain aspect.

The Greatest Showman – Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The Wolverine can sing and dance! Very good musical. Sad that the circus is no longer around. I would have loved to take my grandkids. See this one if you can. I found a museum in Bridgeport, CT. all about PT Barnum. Barnum died in Bridgeport. His and his families graves are there too, and Tom Thumbs too!

Crooked House – The new Agatha Christie film that never did show up at the theater! A friend on the Miss Marple Group Facebook page sent me a copy to watch through dropbox. How kind was that! I loved it. Not sure why it never made it to the big screen.

Phantom ThreadSet in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. With his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey, and the women who keep his world running. Phantom Thread is Paul Thomas Anderson’s eighth movie, and his second collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis.

A beautiful film with Daniel Day-Lewis. Slow character study with very dysfunctional people. The cinematography was lovely to look at and the musical score was fabulous. The acting was top notch. But it is a very strange story. Kudos to Bossman for sitting through it with me. It was his birthday present to me 🙂 then bowling and dinner. A full day out! Day-Lewis has retired from from movies after this movie, he gets so into character and the sadness after this one will not go away. He said its time to quit. I loved it and I hear its up for lots of awards. The unknown Vicky Krieps stole the show right out from under Day-Lewis’ feet!

Hostiles – Set in 1892, Hostiles tells the story of a legendary Army Captain (Christian Bale), who after stern resistance, reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi) and his family back to tribal lands. Making the harrowing and perilous journey from Fort Berringer, an isolated Army outpost in New Mexico, to the grasslands of Montana, the former rivals encounter a young widow (Rosamund Pike), whose family was murdered on the plains. Together, they must join forces to overcome the punishing landscape, hostile Comanche and vicious outliers that they encounter along the way.

We just went and saw this western with Christian Bale and Rosamunde Pike yesterday. Fantastic movie! I was amazed at how much of a tale of forgiveness and redemption it was. Stunning visuals and excellent acting. Highly recommend this one. My favorite line in it is… “We can’t understand God’s rough ways, Joseph”. See this one!

On Amazon and Netflix we watched…

A Man Called Ove – Just as good as the book! I’ve wanted to see this for so long. Subtitles, Bossman didn’t want to watch it when it was in Asheville, but I found it on Amazon Prime! If you loved the book you’ll have to see the movie!

Manchester by the Sea – After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 16-year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and the community where he was born and raised. Bonded by the man who held their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him.My neighbor and I waited and waited for this to come to our theater but it never did. I found it on Netflix. It wasn’t what I expected from the previews. Slow and sad but very good.

The Hateful Eight – Set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive Daisy Domergue, race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren, a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix, a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob, who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

We thought we were going to watch a typical western. Hadn’t seen Kurt Russell around in ages. We were unpleasantly surprised at this movie. At the very end i it said Director Quentin Tarantino and that explained it! Vulgar and bloody and terrible language. Bossman said we should have turned it off and not finished it.

Did you know James Oswald, the Scottish author of the Inspector McLean series has a new series out?  He has gone with a new publisher, leaving Penquin for Wildfire. The new series features a female lead, DC Constance Fairchild. Not yet available in the US, but he said they are working on it. I’d love to read it.

We’ve gotten five Wysocki puzzles done this last month and a half. There’s a big table in the basement so we have been doing them down there. The side of the top right one got cropped off. Starting a new one today.

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We had an unusually warm day in January, almost 70*, so we took advantage and did a day trip to explore Bristol TN/VA. The state-line runs right down the center of the road so one side of the street is TN and the other is VA. Quaint and full of history. I’ll get a post up soon about it.

My son and daughter-in-law bought a house several years ago and it came with it’s own little family cemetery.  I did a blog post back on Peggy Ann’s Post about it. Check it out here. The graves are very old, two of the people were born before the country was a nation and died in the early 1800’s. It has the original cast iron fence and gate. It was so overgrown they didn’t even know they were getting a cemetery! Very cool. Well it got even cooler this last month! My daughter-in-law was contacted by the great, great, great, great, great granddaughter of the man, John Lauderbaugh. We had tried to find info about him, but came up empty handed. She sent Stephanie a pic of a paper clipping from the Baltimore Sun in 1899. John Lauderbaugh, who is buried in my son’s backyard, came to America from Germany and joined the Continental Army in the Revolution. He was with Washington when he crossed the Delaware river and surprised the enemy on that snowy Christmas night!

Graves

Pretty cool huh!!!? The granddaughter wants pictures of the graves and said her daughter lives in DC so she will stop and see them when she comes from California to visit.

We’ve ‘adopted’ a young man from church who lives up here alone. His family is all in Florida and he doesn’t see them much. He is 28. I told him we would be his family! I enjoy his company a lot. He loves to play board games and just hang out with us old folk. I think this is going to be great for all of us.

Friday night we are going to The Capitol to see Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember! In March Singing in the Rain is showing.

Bossman has been having an issue with chronic diarrhea for a couple months now. The doctor thought it sounded like Giardia, a bacteria you pick up in stream water. He hasn’t drank any but I guess you can get it other ways too. So he took the meds for that and if it didn’t work then he has to have a test done. It didn’t work so we off to get the test kit. He is so frustrated. His colonoscopy came back clean last year. I have him taking Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar but its not helping.

I’ve sat out here on the porch long enough that the sun is trying to come out back behind the house. Still can’t see the mountains in the front though. I better get in and see what I can get into. Nice chatting with you!

Later Gator…

Persephone Readathon Day Two

I missed day one! Argh! Don’t cry over spilt milk, on to day two…

Persephone Readathon Photogenic Challenge. I only have two Persephone books 😩

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ave a book that Persephone reprinted but my copy is not a Persephone…

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have several ebooks from the public domain. But your right, Persephone editions are addictive! I'm on the hunt now for all I can get my hands on!

Like many of you, blogging is where I first came to hear about these books. I live in the US and they are not easy to come by here.

I'm going to read House Bound by Winifred Peck. If I’m realistic I’ll only get the one read, but one can live in hope! Yesterday wasn’t a good reading day as we were busy. I didn’t even get one chapter finished, but I did dip in. Bossman is going on an overnight retreat this weekend so I’m hoping to get lots of reading done! Looking forward to seeing what everyone reads.

Free Medieval Mystery Set in Wales!

FREE ebook! Join Gareth & Gwen in their first mystery together … Mystery, murder, and mayhem in medieval Wales.

Join Gareth & Gwen in their first mystery together … Intrigue, suspicion, and rivalry among the royal princes casts a shadow on the court of Owain, king of north Wales …

The year is 1143 and King Owain seeks to unite his daughter in marriage with an allied king. But when the groom is murdered on the way to his wedding, the bride’s brother tasks his two best detectives–Gareth, a knight, and Gwen, the daughter of the court bard–with bringing the killer to justice.

And once blame for the murder falls on Gareth himself, Gwen must continue her search for the truth alone, finding unlikely allies in foreign lands, and ultimately uncovering a conspiracy that will shake the political foundations of Wales.

The Good Knight is the first Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mystery.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005OLTU8I

Link to all retailers: books2read.com/thegoodknight