Thursday, 21 May 2009

I'm back! Happy birthday to me, and a special book treat....

I feel so refreshed and somewhat relaxed now. It was a fabulous weekend away. There was a heron on our dock on the first morning:

There was fishing, cards, a family turkey dinner, shopping in the US - a day trip to Watertown, NY, my first time in that state, and lots of new clothes and even some books: 4 new ones from Borders:
- Curse of Chalion - Lois McMaster Bujold
- Winter Study - Nevada Barr
-Old Man's War - John Scalzi (point to Chris!!)
- The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion (I've long wanted to read this)
and 3 used ones from Picton's only bookstore, Olivia & Company:
- Dragon Fantastic - ed Martin and Rosalind Greenberg
- Tricks - Ed McBain
- The Song of Rhiannon - Evangaline Walton (with the original I need books one and two!)

There were sunny days and a wind storm that - yes, you guessed it, knocked out the power on our part of the island! Not where my sister-in-law's house is, but only where the cottage is on the east side. I think I said something like, "Not again! not so soon after the tornado!" but since the fire was lit (we had very cold nights so the wood stove was on) we could light the candles. I know some people find the city relaxing, and we have friends who go to Toronto or New York to relax. Us, we go to the country. So it was a very welcome break indeed.

Then, it was my birthday yesterday. This is one of my presents (note the big smile, the glow....)

Yes, it is hot today - (son isn't wearing a shirt for a reason!) but I'm glowing because I'm so happy: that's my copy of North and South in my hands, and as soon as I finish here, I'm off to the tv to finally see it on the big screen. As many of you wrote on my last post, you too have this DVD, so you know how excited I am! No small You tube screen on my computer! Richard Armitage up close! And, I also received wonderful book gift certificates !!! Oh yes, it was a lovely day with family, and at work with my co-workers.

I also picked up a real treasure while in Picton, and I thought I would share with you some of the glorious pictures. This is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, "Thorn Rose", The Brothers Grimm version, illustrated splendidly by Errol Le Cain. It's a Puffin book, so it's from England, copyright 1975.

I love this picture! All the fairies, the leaves and flowers and dark tree trunks.

I love the evil fairy flying by on the dragon!

My daughter loves this book too, and is showing you her favourite of the fairies.

It's the fairy riding the unicorn. She has just discovered unicorns and dragons, and is fascinated by them.

She asked me what mine was, and I said, "Oh, I love the one flying with the magic wand." My daughter is very creeped out by the wicked fairy who curses Sleeping Beauty. I love how she is painted in the corner, all in black. Holly-Anne asked why, and I said, "It's because she was left out. Only 12 fairies were invited, and there were 13 fairies in all."

I didn't get much reading done on my weekend holiday. So it was only today that I finished reading "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. What an excellent fantasy! I will do a longer review later, I just wanted to let you know that if you are looking for a new fantasy to read, with magic, and dragons, and creepy mystery killing creatures, then this is one to try.

And I thank you for all the lovely Star Trek comments on my last post! I am so thrilled so many of us have gone to see it! I almost saw it a third time while in Picton, with my niece who can't find any of her friends to go with, but we couldn't get the time.

Meanwhile, I hear North and South calling. I wish my American blogging friends a fabulous Memorial Weekend. I really hope you can get some time away, some time to read, some time to yourselves.


Eva said...

Love this post! Enjoy North and South. :D

Memory said...

That's got to be the most gorgeous fairy tale book I've ever seen!

Molly said...

Happy Birthday, Susan! I am glad that it was so special.

Chris said...

Happy belated birthday Susan!!!! What a fantastic gift :D I know how much you were enjoying North and South on youtube! Now you have your own copy :D

And that Brothers Grimm book is just beautiful!! I must go find it now!

Kailana said...

Happy Birthday! I am glad you enjoyed your time away. :)

I really need to read 'The Name of the Wind'. I think I have owned it since it came out!

Have a great weekend and enjoy North and South (I really need to watch this apparently...)

DesLily said...

Happy Birthday Susan!!

Well it sure sounds like you've had a great birthday and a fun time for more than just one day!

JaneGS said...

Happy Birthday! My mother also has an end of May birthday and she has always enjoyed celebrating her birthday when the lilacs are blooming.

Is that a new Nevada Barr novel? I love her stories, and haven't heard of this one.

I listened to A Year of Magical Thinking (I think Joan Didion actually did the reading, but I wouldn't swear to it) last year, and thought it absolutely excellent. I tried to read other Didion books as well as those by John Gregory Dunne and Dominick Dunne, but just couldn't get into them. However, The Year of Magical Thinking is really excellent...if you don't mind crying while you read.

Cath said...

Happy Birthday, Susan! The place you holidayed sounds wonderful!

This is going to sound bizarre but I have the dvds of North and South but haven't got around to watching them yet. Looks like I have treat ahead of me. You should catch RA in the final series of The Vicar of Dibley, he's utterly delicious. ;-)

Trish said...

Happy birthday Susan! Thorn Rose is absolutely gorgeous--I'm going to have to seek that one out immediately!

Molly said...

It's me again.....

I just wanted to let you know that I gave you the "splash" award today. Perhaps it will make a nice end-of-the-birthday-week celebration :)

Gentle Reader said...

Happy birthday, and enjoy North and South! And that is a beautiful the pictures :)

Kim L said...

Happy birthday! I finished The Name of the Wind recently myself, and I really enjoyed it. It was just so vividly imagined! Incredible.

Diane said...

Glad your birthday was special; great post!

Becky said...

Happy Birthday!
I'm sure I used to have that edition of Thorn Rose, it looks so familiar. Now I have to buy it again.
Enjoy North and South!

JoAnn said...

Belated Happy Birthday! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time...enjoy your new treasures.

Hazra said...

Hey...Happy Birthday!!! Glad that you had such a nice time :)
The pictures are so splendid. Even on the computer screen they look marvelous, I can't imagine how wonderful they look up close. Have a good time with Armitage :)

mariel said...

How lovely! I particularly like the illustration of the castle. Beautiful. A very happy birthday to you!

Gavin said...

What a beautiful book! I'm glad you had a great trip and Happy Brthday!

Susan said...

HI everyone: thanks so much for the birthday wishes, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! IF I can't let you hold it in your hands, I thought this was the next best thing....I'll reply to each of you tomorrow, for now I wanted to let you know that I have read all of your comments (and some a few times now, the older ones) and I thank you for being here!