As she made coffee in the kitchen and tried to spoon the frozen ice cream from its carton without snapping the shaft of the spoon, Elizabeth was struck, not for the first time, by the thought that her life was entirely frivolous.
It was a rush and slither of trivial crises; of uncertain cash flow, small triumphs, occasional sex, too many cigarettes; of missed deadlines that turned out not to matter; of arguments, new clothes, bursts of altruism, and sincere resolutions to address the important things. Of all these and the other experiences that made up her life, the most significant aspect was the one that suggested by the words “tuned out not to matter”. Although she was happy enough with what she had become, it was this continued sense of the easy, the inessential nature of what she did, that most irritated her.
It was completely by mistake that I started reading Birdsong right before Veterans Day, and I am very happy it happened. It’s sad to report that I didn’t even know what this novel was about, I simply had it on order from my library, and it showed up. This novel is beautiful, horrific, and incredibly sensual.
While the majority of the book makes sense, time-line wise; I was surprised to be wrenched out of the war in 1914 to England in 1978. Elizabeth, a relative of one of the soldiers in 1914 is a well written character, and has some disturbing similarities to myself.
She liked living alone, she liked being alone. She ate what she wanted, not proper meals but plates of mushrooms and baked potatoes, grapes, peaches, or soups she made herself. She filled glasses with ice cubes and lemon slices, then poured gin over them, hearing the explosion of the ice, leaving hardly any room for the tonic water. She had plastic tops that kept the wine drinkable from one day to the next.
The scene that has struck me the most is when Elizabeth visits a war monument with thousands of names carved onto it. When she inquires about whether this is to all the fallen, the currator informs her that the names represent only the ones they never found. Elizabeth’s response is heartbreaking, and all to relevent to today; “My God, no one ever told me.”
So the weekend was fun I picked up Herman, and Herman jr and moved them back to good old Port McNeill. I am so happy, the Christmas Season is going to be lovely with humans on the other side of the wall.
I started reading Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. I was surprised to see it was a war story. War/November, always seems to go together. (Rememberance Day any Canucks out there? It’s the 11th).
I nabbed an amazing steal for a great early Christmas present for the dogs, and me. $20 dog beds from Costco. You can see, compared to my R2D2 Halloween costume, the beds are massive! So excited that my couch.bed may get a break.
Happy Monday! I spent the morning on a lovely trail ride with my sister and two ponies. Perfection.