The centerpiece of our outside table is often whatever fruit was recently picked or given to us — often on old newspaper in case it leaks. And our red hibiscus happened to be in bloom at the same time!
Monthly Archives: August 2013
#238: The Rental.
The Vacation Rental my parents run, located next to the farm, all cleaned up and ready for the next guests. I’ve been doing helping with the change-over while Mum is gone.
#239: A Use For Pineapple Rinds.
A delicious fizzy drink made quite simply by covering pineapple rinds with water and leaving it open to the air (covered with a paper towel) on the counter for a few days for natural lacto-fermentation.
Farm-fresh eggs, ripe avocados from a neighbor, homemade sausage from our pigs, and homemade sourdough. The only things not local were the cheese and the mustard. Yum!
I’ve mentioned previously that Mum and I are in a book club. I may have also mentioned that thanks to one of the book club ladies being a librarian, we have advanced reader copies of some new books, which we’ve been reading in-between the ‘official picks’.
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole is one of the extra books. It was the first that caught my attention, due to recognizing the name the island of Skye (off the coast of Scotland). It’s told in the form of letters, and set in two time periods: World War I and World War II. Both those things intrigued me further, reminding me of another excellent book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.
When I finally started reading Letters from Skye, it seemed charming; a pleasure to read and easy to follow. I started it as a quiet book to read before bed. The next day, I decided to read more over breakfast, and found myself so completely drawn into the story and characters that I was quite unable to stop reading until I’d finished the book!
The style choice of narration the book as a series of letters makes the characters real and alive, present and immediate, in a way that the usual third person narration simply cannot do. Their thoughts and dreams and hopes and fears are laid bare to one another. The reader is given glimpses of the characters’ lives and their world through their words. And through their lives, is given an intimate glimpse of real life during those infamous wars. This contrast to the usual accounts of seeing the broader picture through the lens of history, brings home the fact that the people living through those times were no different and knew as little about the bigger implications of events and the overall scope than we do now, living through our own wars. Even less, perhaps, because communication was so difficult and slow compared to our hyper-connected world.
But the heart of Letters from Skye is the people; in friendship, love, and family. Every other chapter is the correspondence between Skye native and published poet Elspeth Dunn, and a fan of her work, the American college student David Graham. Their story starts in March of 1912. The other chapters begin in June of 1940, and are the various letters of Margaret, Elspeth’s daughter. The mystery centers around Margaret realizing her mother’s past contains more than she knew, and her quest to uncover what happened. The back-and-forth of the chapters is beautifully plotted, the whole story slowly being revealed in both timelines together.
I cannot recommend this treasure of a book more highly; it’s the kind of tale that I’ll be remembering years from now, that let me enter someone else’s world, and shaped my thoughts in new ways. It’s a lovely and captivating story, told with incredible care and delivered straight to the heart.
I’m a week behind on the photos, but rather than space them out, I’m just going to post pictures and titles to catch up.
However, there is one day’s photo that I do want to talk about in a separate post (thus explaining why there will be a skipped number).
We begin with last Friday…
#228: Game Night Potluck.
Good food, good friends, good game of dice.
#229: New Haircut.
My shaggy hair needed a trim in the back to be more presentable for future job opportunities. Also, I was getting tired of having so much hair when the weather’s been so hot.
Another coconut flour recipe, this one using peanut butter as the binder instead of eggs. Dad said they were like eating Snickers bars.
I started oil painting again, inspired by the praise of a new friend.
#234: Massage Chair.
All packed up and ready for house calls!
#235: On The Road.
Driving home from a massage day in Hawaiian Paradise Parks.
At the end of the road is this house. It was one of the first things in the neighborhood that made an impression on me. My parents and I would pass by the mural on our walks, and we would make up all kinds of theories and stories about the owners because we didn’t know anyone yet.
When I decided to attempt Project 365, I spent some time thinking of various things I would take pictures of, to assure myself that I wouldn’t run out of things to photograph. The mural was an obvious choice, so it’s interesting to me that I hadn’t gotten around to it until mid-August… I guess I’m more inspired that I gave myself credit for!
Starbuck is a French Canadian film my parents and I watched recently.
The premise seemed far-fetched and a rather silly, but it turned out to be a surprisingly touching story of a man discovering what being family, and a father, means. The characters were interesting and multidimensional. There was humor, but there was also realness and honesty. I wished for more details on a few plot points — even a couple lines to clear up certain mysteries — but I could forgive those things because leaving them out didn’t detract from telling the main story of “Starbuck’s” journey.
Overall, I would highly recommend giving it a viewing.