I had hopes of at least one interesting post this week but amongst the usual work stuff, the usual home stuff, the getting-ready-to-go-on-vacation stuff, and a 3-day (so far) attack of allergies I may not pull it off.
I'm working on a pair of squibs on the rosa mundi: one on the Rosamund Clifford angle; the other trying to sort out the attestation of the sport. The first will be the easier one to finish, but will require consultation with the last book of Higden's Polichronicon, and that may require me to spend some quality time in an actual academic library, which is unlikely to happen before the planned seaside holiday.
The second may also require some time in the stacks, but first I should know what I'm looking for. I've found one excellent resource online in the Botanicus Digital Library.
Speaking of libraries, there was a request from St Andrews for permission to digitise my doctoral thesis this morning. Some other researcher/library apparently wants a copy they can keep. I'm not sure if that makes me feel honoured or depressed or merely like I should go burn the whole thing. At the time I wrote it , I thought it was very good, but 12 years on (almost exactly 12 years to the day, in fact) I'm not sure I can stand to even open it. That it never was published properly remains a sore point; I had an agreement with one of the Scottish presses, but the editors stopped answering my letters at one point and since I was back across the Atlantic it wasn't easy to follow up any other way.
Meh. The rational thing to do, I suppose, is be happy that at least someone may find it useful and that St Andrews will make sure my 'rights as author' are duly asserted, and to remember how happy I felt 12 years ago when I turned the damned thing in, anyway. I remember that I ran into a friend on my way out of the postgrad office.
'You look happy,' he said.
'I've just dropped off my thesis,' I said.
He linked arms with me and we danced an abbreviated reel right there on North Street.
In the kitchen, I've been working on bread, again or still. Bread is one of those things that seems like it ought to be easy, but finding a really good basic bread recipe, that I can turn out week after week with a minimum of fuss and bother, has been hard. You'd think, that as long as I've been making bread, that I've have come closer to this before now, but no. I may at last be on to something but I want to make at least one more batch before I commit it to writing.
The refrigerator pickles I made a couple weeks ago are excellent. Halving the sugar was the right decision. Adding a bit more dill might also be a good decision.
I haven't been crafting so much as gathering up unfinished projects to take on vacation. In this I am doubtless being too optimistic about how much I'll get done, but I did manage to clear much of my backlog last year.
What I really want, though, are the luxuries of playing in the Atlantic and resting without the usual demands of work and home singing about my ears.