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Sideshow Meg

what is everyone doing?

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My eldest knocked a glass of red wine over my laptop. It looks like the screen is dead but everything else works. I'll let it dry out overnight.

 

Maybe it will just be a bit hungover.

:D but hope it's alright. Computer problems are the pits.

 

Binker, congrats to your brother and also your very clever daughter.

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Thank you, Squirls. We've been very impressed ever since we read her thesis. It's about an extremely progressive school (and educational movement) in Spain from 1876-1939. They operated outside of the confines of the government and the Catholic church and were particularly committed to educating women. Since the government and Catholic church were the backbones of the support for Francisco Franco, he got rid of them as soon as he could, proving, as if it needed to be proven again, that totalitarianism takes away everything good.

 

That's what she was researching when we went to Spain in December. I had rented an apartment there and it turned out that our landlord's father had been educated at that school and his sister still worked in the archives there.

 

The movement is all but unknown outside of Spain, but very well known within Spain. So our landlord and various Spanish academics have been startled that someone in the United States was writing about it. Her current ambition is to create the English-language Wikipedia page on them, which I guess is what people who have spent a lot of time on a topic do these days. But we'll see. She may prefer just to finish up her 2 classes, graduate, and start work on June 10 (yay!!!).

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Her current ambition is to create the English-language Wikipedia page on them, which I guess is what people who have spent a lot of time on a topic do these days.

If she ever does, you'll have to post a link here to it :)

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That's what she was researching when we went to Spain in December. I had rented an apartment there and it turned out that our landlord's father had been educated at that school and his sister still worked in the archives there.
How wonderfully serendipitous! :D

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Been off-site for a while, but back again now. Working on edits for a romance novel. Not entirely sure how romantic I should feel at 4am though.

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Been off-site for a while, but back again now. Working on edits for a romance novel. Not entirely sure how romantic I should feel at 4am though.

Glad to see you round these parts again!

 

A romantic novel, eh? That's quite a new direction for your writing, isn't it? Has it been a satisfying journey?

 

Best of luck with it!

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Glad to see you round these parts again!

 

A romantic novel, eh? That's quite a new direction for your writing, isn't it? Has it been a satisfying journey?

 

 

It's been...intriguing. I thought I would try it because the book length for Mills & Boon/Harlequin is 50000 words, which tied in quite nicely with NaNoWriMo. First attempt wasn't fantastic but then I read some more of their books, worked out how my story should go and discovered a girly side I didn't realise I had. They'll never be my sole source of reading matter but they are in the mix now. If I've been working on something particularly dark they even things up slightly.

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The Bush Presidential Library is opening on Thursday in Dallas and all of the 5 living U.S. Presidents will be there, including President Obama and his massive amount of security. The Library isn't that far from my house, where I work, and every place I normally go for lunch. The newspapers and internet are full of the road closures and, not surprisingly, they are all places that I would normally go. So tomorrow will be a day when I spend my time dodging and weaving my way in to work, to lunch, and home again.

 

Also, we've had a cold snap and broken the record for the lowest overnight temperature by 3 or 4 degrees. My dog refused to go outside this morning, thereby proving that he feels about cold weather the way the rest of the family does.

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The Bush Presidential Library is opening on Thursday in Dallas and all of the 5 living U.S. Presidents will be there, including President Obama and his massive amount of security. The Library isn't that far from my house, where I work, and every place I normally go for lunch. The newspapers and internet are full of the road closures and, not surprisingly, they are all places that I would normally go. So tomorrow will be a day when I spend my time dodging and weaving my way in to work, to lunch, and home again.

 

Also, we've had a cold snap and broken the record for the lowest overnight temperature by 3 or 4 degrees. My dog refused to go outside this morning, thereby proving that he feels about cold weather the way the rest of the family does.

 

How exciting (and maybe a wee bit scary) to know that 5 US presidents will be near where you work on Thursday. I imagine the security will be very intense in the whole area.

 

What was the overnight temp? We are having sunny days and then the temp goes down at night and quite often there is frost on the roofs in the morning. However, the daffs are up and blooming and the lawns are greening up nicely. Our front lawn had its first cut on Monday.

 

When will the library be open to the public?

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The overnight low was 38 degrees! That's very cold for Dallas in April. My daffodils have been and gone. I have irises and roses blooming like crazy and everything is very green. My summer plants are almost ready to put out their blooms and even my fall bloomers are getting big as plants (no blossoms, obviously). I have monarch butterfly caterpillars on my sacrificial fennel plant (they love fennel, but so do I. I have one plant to which I relocate all the caterpillars when they show up--so that's why it's my sacrificial fennel plant). Spring has sprung, so this weather is a surprise. My tomato plants are looking a little chilly this morning. I really want them to get going because they need to bear soon, before the summer heat hits and they go dormant (and I rip them out of the ground and replace them with Fall tomatoes, which actually have a better chance of doing well here, since our winters are much less ferocious than our summers).

 

I think that the Library is open immediately and my guess is that there are some historians who simply can't wait. I went to a talk by Doris Kearns Goodwin (an eminent American historian) several years ago and during the question and answer time, someone asked her how she felt about the library being in Dallas. She's very liberal and so I'm sure the questioner was hoping for a hostile reaction, but he didn't get it. She said that she was first and foremost a historian and this library would be one of the best receptacles anyplace of papers relating to the September 11 attack. If that were her area of study, she would be beyond thrilled to have the papers nearby. And it will attract those who want to study the subject.

 

I will say that it is a bit scary to have 5 presidents in one place. I doubt there's anyone eager to attack Carter, Bush I, or even Clinton. But Bush II still has his haters and Obama, as the sitting president and also a very divisive leader, certainly does. So despite all the inconvenience, I'm perfectly happy to have all this security for this event.

 

I will say that when you see the security, you wonder how in the world a President can ever hope to have any connection with anyone outside of his immediate family and the functionaries that he meets. I always think of the Middle Eastern leaders who would spend 1 day a month receiving and hearing about the problems of anyone from the country who wanted to walk in and meet with them (on a more minor and fictional level, there are scenes in "Game of Thrones" like that, too). Obviously totally unsafe and not possible to be done here, but I understand the impetus for those kinds of arrangements.

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Weather/Garden Report

Other than strong winds, we've had some very good weather down here towards the lower right hand corner, although it's been dry for longer than I like. Have had to water pots and newly sown seed - but at least I've been able to get out into the garden and can see a little progress.

Yesterday was the warmest day so far this year, and although it is cooler and cloudy today (and we've had a short shower), on the occasions when the sun breaks through the temperature might top 20C.

 

Wedding Plan Blues

I slept badly last night, and my bp is up a bit this morning, as Younger Son phoned to ask about progress on the vintage Mark I Jag his father is supposedly putting back on the road in time for it to be the bridal car. I knew that things had been going slow mechanically and that the deadline for getting it actually moving had been extended because of the awful winter weather - but I haven't actually set eyes on it for about 20 years. Younger Son went to see it a couple of weeks ago, and apparently it is in a bit of a state inside from being abandoned in a damp lock-up for years.

I'm prepared to pay for a mechanic to finish the job - if only Mr meg would decide he can't get it done in the time, but he doesn't do decisions! Now there is the extra complication of having the interior re-furbished, which means we need to know it will be on the road, with an MOT certificate, at least a fortnight ahead of the wedding. And the cost of getting the seats, chrome and roof lining fixed is horrendous - especially for it to go straight back into the lock-up after the wedding.

As if the cake, the choir and my outfit are not enough for me to worry about!

:banghead::banghead::banghead:

 

Style Advice Needed

And now a question to those of you with style sense: Younger Son will be getting married in a grey suit - he says that he has been told by someone who knows about these things, that he should wear dark brown shoes.

Is that right? I would never have put brown shoes with a grey suit, my instinct is for black (or something the greyish end of the colour spectrum - my father wore a grey suit and blue shoes to my wedding, but that was 40 years ago ;) )

Your thoughts?

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Wedding Plan Blues

I slept badly last night, and my bp is up a bit this morning, as Younger Son phoned to ask about progress on the vintage Mark I Jag his father is supposedly putting back on the road in time for it to be the bridal car. I knew that things had been going slow mechanically and that the deadline for getting it actually moving had been extended because of the awful winter weather - but I haven't actually set eyes on it for about 20 years. Younger Son went to see it a couple of weeks ago, and apparently it is in a bit of a state inside from being abandoned in a damp lock-up for years.

I'm prepared to pay for a mechanic to finish the job - if only Mr meg would decide he can't get it done in the time, but he doesn't do decisions! Now there is the extra complication of having the interior re-furbished, which means we need to know it will be on the road, with an MOT certificate, at least a fortnight ahead of the wedding. And the cost of getting the seats, chrome and roof lining fixed is horrendous - especially for it to go straight back into the lock-up after the wedding.

As if the cake, the choir and my outfit are not enough for me to worry about!

:banghead::banghead::banghead:

 

Honestly, from your description it sounds like you need to hire a wedding car.

 

Fixing old cars can be very enjoyable and gratifying, but also incredibly time consuming. The weather we've had this year has made it impossible to work outside or in an unheated garage for all but the last couple of weeks. Bodywork and upholstry are even more time consuming (and expensive) than the mechanical bits, to the extent that I have to pay the garage if my Imp needs welding as mine isn't good enough to pass an MOT when repairs are needed, the seats are best just sat on but not looked at and I don't bother with carpet at all, it's just one more thing to remove when working inside the car (which is fine for me, but not for something used for a wedding).

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I agree with MarkC. The Mark I Jag sounds like a wonderful idea and I know why your son wanted it, but it's time for a change in plans. One that doesn't make you post 3 head-banging icons.

 

As for the pants, I would have thought black or oxblood. I hope you use the term "oxblood" in England; otherwise, it sounds gruesome. My husband so dislikes the term that he calls his shoes that are that color "purple."

 

I also found this article online, entitled "How to Match Dress Pants with Shoes:"

 

http://www.askmen.com/fashion/fashiontip_150/162_fashion_advice.html

 

You'll note that they advise "camel," but I think that might be a little fashion-forward.

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Honestly, from your description it sounds like you need to hire a wedding car.

 

I should add the main reason I posted this is that you don't want to get to two weeks before the wedding, realise the car isn't going to be finished or has a major problem at MOT time and be without transport and needing to find some in a hurry. I certainly don't want to discourage the restoration of a lovely old car.

 

 

I think if I ever get married it will be sneaking off to the registry office without telling anyone (apart from the bride, of course) to avoid the huge amount of planning and general fuss that seems to be required! I don't do fuss. At all.

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Sorry that you're having the wedding blues Meg - the car does sound as though it needs quite a bit of attention and maybe some help for Mr. Meg, if he will go along with it, so that he doesn't have to tackle it alone with a deadline looming.

 

Isn't it strange that forthcoming happy events can come with a lot a headaches for the planners. I hope that everything gets smoothed out for you and the day of the wedding turns out to be spectacular. :)

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MarkC, I hope that's what my daughter does. I keep telling her that no one enjoys going to a wedding, but a lot of people like the party afterwards. So run off and get married yourselves and then have a nice party at some convenient time. It helps reduce the risk that the bride thinks the day is all about her. But I doubt that's what she'll want to do.

 

The dedication of the library has begun and it's all over the TV stations here. Everyone I know is worried sick that there will be some sort of incident with all 5 living Presidents in one place in the 50th anniversary year of the JFK assassination. There will be a huge sigh of relief from Dallas when this is over without incident, probably enough to change storm patterns over North America.

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And now a question to those of you with style sense: Younger Son will be getting married in a grey suit - he says that he has been told by someone who knows about these things, that he should wear dark brown shoes.

Is that right? I would never have put brown shoes with a grey suit, my instinct is for black (or something the greyish end of the colour spectrum - my father wore a grey suit and blue shoes to my wedding, but that was 40 years ago ;) )

Your thoughts?

meg, I would agree with you, but what do I know. Brown shoes and grey trousers does sound odd.

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I think grey and dark brown goes lovely together. My hubby wears a metal grey suit to work with black tie and dark brown shoes. It's really nice together. I think Pierce Brosnan started that look.

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I hope you use the term "oxblood" in England; otherwise, it sounds gruesome. My husband so dislikes the term that he calls his shoes that are that color "purple."

 

I remember we had oxblood shoe polish at home when I was a child - back in the day when father polished all the family's shoes each week. It was a dark, rich brown, so perhaps that's the colour my son means.

Having Googled 'Oxblood shoes' I see that shoes of that coloour are often called 'burgundy'. which is maybe more acceptable to modern tastes.

 

As for the car, Younger Son now assures me that his putative father-in-law has a perfectly acceptable BMW which is Bridal Car Understudy, so it's not going to be a disaster wedding-wise if the Jag's not done in time. It's just that the car has been neglected for so long, and YS thought this would be the perfect (and probably only) incentive for Mr meg to get it done up and back into use.

He's been quite happy to potter along fixing the mechanics, and hadn't noticed the state of the interior - well, our 'everyday' car looks like a dustcart inside, so I have every sympathy with YS, but I'm not happy to pay £1,00 to have the interior refurbished for just the one occasion, and then have it go back into the lock-up and be forgotten about for another 20 years.

It will be a disappointment, but one I could live with.

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I would never have put brown shoes with a grey suit, my instinct is for black (or something the greyish end of the colour spectrum

Me neither, but I think he should go for what ever he feels comfortable with and if it's good enough for Pierce Brosnan - he'll do me :);)

 

my father wore a grey suit and blue shoes to my wedding,

Were they suede? ;)

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All this wedding planning blues definitely strikes a chord right now, although we're most of the way there with less than a month to go (gulp!)...

 

I can't give groom styling advice, I'm afraid, as I shall be wearing an air force blue three piece Paul Smith suit with black Paul Smith brogues for my nuptials. It has been a little dream of mine to own a Paul Smith suit for many years. It wasn't cheap but feels worth it. And, as is tradition, I have not the faintest idea what Lady L will be wearing, apart from her shoes, which aren't telling me much.

 

Lady L and I spent yesterday at the London Jewellery School near Hatton Garden, the London street chiefly associated with the jewellery business. We have made our own wedding rings, or more accurately, made silver rings from which platinum casts will be taken and hallmarked. We will see the results in a couple of weeks. I was initially reluctant when Lady L suggested it, remembering how awful my metalwork creations were at school, but I'm glad I've done it. I'm even glad my ring has some very slight imperfections; after all, I could have gone and bought a perfect ring.

 

I had assumed we would be making each others, but in fact we each made our own, which made sense as it allowed us to keep trying the ring on to ensure it fitted. There was a lot of kit involved: I don't think I've ever seen so many pairs and types of pliers in one place outside of a DIY store. We had a trial run with copper in the morning, much softer and more pliable, and then worked with the silver in the afternoon. I actually enjoyed the experience, and it will certainly be more memorable than trawling around jewellers' shops would have been.

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What a great idea Grammath. Any creative endeavour's got to be more fun than trawling the shops. You're making memories as well as symbolic but ultimately inanimate objects - cool.

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What a great idea Grammath. Any creative endeavour's got to be more fun than trawling the shops. You're making memories as well as symbolic but ultimately inanimate objects - cool.

 

Good for you Gram & Lady L: Something really special for your wedding. Wishing you the best of everything for that special day and the days after.

 

Everyone is posting really loudly today, I had cataract surgery on my left eye yesterday and the print on the screen is leaping right out at me. I was quite nervous about having anyone poking around in my eye although everyone who has had it done said it was a 'breeze'. The op itself is really short and a sedating anaesthetic is given intravenously and the eye frozen. You can hear what the surgeon is saying and sort of what is going on around you but no pain, no sensation of pressure, nothing to fear although they did put up some kind of small metal rig in front of me and I wondered briefly if that was to keep the patient from escaping.

:D Anyway, it's good to have two good eyes again, can't even tell that the surgery took place.

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Momac, my mother had the same surgery not too long ago and kept talking about how vivid the colors were. But "posting really loudly" was funny and very descriptive. Thanks for the chuckle.

 

I picked my mother and her travel buddy up at the airport today after their multi-week trip to Berlin, The Netherlands, and Bruges. She had a wonderful trip, marred only by some unexpected leg swelling and, at the end, a cold. But even so, she had a lovely time.

 

Before I left to pick her up, I visited the shopping center across the street from my son's school, Jesuit College Prep. There has long been a sign in the parking lot that says "No Jesuit Parking." but it has recently been amended to add, "Except the Pope." You don't often see that kind of joke in commercial signs and I particularly enjoyed the implied acknowledgment that he is the first Jesuit Pope.

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