29 July 2009

Feeling maudlin

I know, I know. Why should I be feeling maudlin when I just posted this lovely wedding video (see previous post) that really does cheer me up (when I can get the thing to load properly). I am feeling a bit maudlin for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I am sad for my "niece" Bolivia (above) & her younger siblings, Violet & Beckett. Bolivia is not really my niece - she is my cousin's daughter actually. She was due to come & visit me for two weeks from Brooklyn, NY but just recently, her mum Rynn died unexpectedly. It seems she had a heart attack. It is extremely sad for everyone & such a terrible shock. She is being buried this weekend at Shelter Island, apparently in the same cemetery that some of my Gaskill ancestors were buried over 300 years ago. I am so sorry that Bolivia won't be able to come to Australia because I had lots of fun things planned for us, but I know there will be plenty of other times. She would have been the first of any of my relatives (other than Uncle Terry) to have ever headed south.
Another reason for "maudlin-ness" (??) is the book I am reading, "Two Caravans" by Marina Lewycka. She also wrote "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian". According to the cover of the book, it's "hilarious" says the Guardian, and "a funny, charming, rollicking road trip" according to the Observer. Well, I am finding it a tragic tale of the exploitation of eastern bloc migrants in England. I agree that Ms Lewycka has an amusing way with words, but in general, it's utterly depressing. I think I am still recovering from reading "Gone With The Wind", which I'm afraid to say, I completely LOVED! That Scarlett O'Hara.... what a ... what a... witch!
And lastly, my brother has been telling us that he might be off to either Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan for a month any day now. He has a choice of these three destinations, courtesy of a TV network, who expect him to go out with the troops to film. As you can imagine, I am completely non-plussed about this itinerary and hoping they come up with a more suitable destination for him - and quickly! Isn't there something going on in Fiji?
Post-script: my Amazon order just arrived so now I have more books to read! Yippee!! I have bought two volumes of previously unheard-of Jane Austen short stories (Lady Susan, the Watsons and Sanditon plus Catharine & other writings) as well as two books of assorted collected letters. Ever since I read the Guernsey Potato Peel Pie book, I've been interested in reading other people's letters. I think they can be incredibly historically enlightening and who'd have thought I'd be so interested in history after Mr Smith ruined it so badly for me in high school? Poor Mr Smith.... He was such a dag. Sigh.
More post-script: my brother IS going - to Afghanistan. On Monday. I am not happy. In fact, it's making me feel a bit teary but I'm sure this is secondary to my general mood & possibly my imminent cold, which I am fighting off. Groooaaaaannnn. I have to remind myself this is the same brother who threw a rock at my head when I was 10 and who broke my front tooth when I was 7. Ha. He will be fine. He has been in many, many hot spots before so what do I care? Ha. Ha.... Yeah, ha. Who cares? Hmmmm.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jen, please read this before Monday..make sure you tell Hugh you love him before he goes. Susie x

Jen said...

I DID tell him I love him tonight. He is flying out tomorrow at 2pm. I also told him not to be afraid to "run away, run away"!!