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Sep 11, 2012

Peter's Post-Vacation Recovery Post



Readers, I don't know what your vacations are like, but I came back from Provincetown feeling pooped.  I had a wonderful time and we enjoyed excellent weather (except for the two days when it rained), but I'm weary.  Do you ever find yourself needing a vacation-vacation?  It sounds so self-indulgent.

Thankfully, Michael and I are alone again, Cathy having moved in temporarily with friends and Simplicity staying with her grandparents.  Confidentially, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up doing the lion's share of the parenting as motherhood doesn't come naturally to my cousin, a party girl at heart.

Since I'm not sewing right now, but rather dealing with the challenges of renewed decluttering, today I thought I'd share some photos from our trip -- fewer this time since so much photography was devoted to our own Poseidon-in-pettipants.



Still, we managed to take a few shots of things of other things we saw (and ate, as Michael cooked up a storm).







You can view our Provincetown photos here.

And of course, Cathy's peachy-beachy photo shoot can be seen here.

In other news, I'm just under halfway through Emma, and I'm finding it tough going.  Do you ever just give up on a book -- a classic, no less -- when it doesn't hold your interest, or do you try to muscle your way forward, hoping it picks up in a chapter or two?  I usually finish what I start, but this book has become a long, slow slog for me.  Maybe I should just read the Cliff Notes.  Does it get better later on?

Readers, I do hope you're falling into the fall spirit with ease and grace.  It's cooler here in NYC already -- definitely a hint of imminent sweater weather in the air.

And now it's time to face all those piles -- and Jane Austen.

Have a great day, everybody!

30 comments:

  1. Could you expound a bit on the technical aspects of Cathy's swimwear? Frankly, I'm surprised to see her wearing it in the water. How did it feel while swimming? Was it dreadful to wear outside the pool when it was wet? I'm curious. Apologies if you have already addressed these issues.
    Claudine (couturearts.wordpress.com)

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    1. It was all cotton; basically like swimming in your clothes.

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  2. There's so much more to life than reading a book you aren't enjoying. Chuck it and move on. P&P was way better anyway, IMO. Hope you recover soon from your trip.

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    1. I agree, I love JA but Emma was hard. I didn't like her in the beginning and it's hard for me to read about people I don't like. I really like Persuasion and of course P&P. Try Wuthering Heights. It's one of my top 5 all time favorites. Or Rebecca.

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    2. Never could make it through Jane Austin or Edith Wharton until I listened to them on tape/disc.

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    3. Jane Austen always grabs me from page 1. If you're not grabbed yet, move on. There are better things to do with your time, and no one's judging you. :)

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  3. I used to suffer from angst if I gave up on a book, especially a classic but then I had to read Tess of the d'Urbervilles at school and decided I'd get over the guilt! I still have an allergic reaction to Thomas Hardy books - chronic yawning and falling asleep, it's terrible! I am a huge Austen fan but Emma is my least favourite, struggled to sympathise with her. P&P is very humourous but my hands down favourite is Persuasion and, ordinarily I'd be set against this approach, it's worth considering watching the BBC adaptation - brilliant IMHO x

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  4. I have read a little Jane Austin and also found it hard to get through, it's just not the sort of language we 21st century folk are used to. Not much you can do except muscle through it. What might help is looking at regency era fashion plates to see what you would have worn had you lived in that era.
    Try looking on the site "dames a la mode" under "men", there are a load of fashion plates from Austin's time there and they are HOT! Seriously, mens clothes of that era were gorgeous, it'll make you want to become a historical costumer.

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  5. I started reading 'Room With a View' years ago. I took it with me to Italy this summer. Carried on with it. Determined that I would finish it before we got to Florence.... but gave up! Florence was lovely though, as was Fiesole where the book visits as well.

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  6. I'd keep going - Emma's worth making it through a slog or two.

    The one I gave up on was War and Peace. Love the Peace bits, but the War got me down. I felt like a total philistine, but then discovered that Anna Karenina is one of my favorites, so it's not like I can't power through a brick of a novel when the spirit moves.

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  7. I did n't give up on this book, but I hated nearly every minute of Julie and Julia. I thought the movie was cute and the book might be better...I was wrong. Oh wait, I did give up on Bridget Jones diary...the movie was better than the book. I am a big JA fan and yes, the language of the time can make it slow going, but once you read a little bit (and watching a bbc version puts the language more in context) they are fun stories with lots wit.

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  8. Did you know that the Alicia Silverstone teen movie "Clueless" uses the plot of "Emma"?

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  9. Would it surprise you to know that I managed to write an A paper in college on Emma without managing to get past the first 100 pages? It kept putting me to sleep! Made me thankful for cliff notes and the ability to BS my way through things!

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  10. Peter, you are a workaholic! I love classic books, and of course Jane Austen... One book I stopped reading was "The age of the innocence", but I am glad that years later I decided to give it a try and then could finish! This book is much better than the film!

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  11. I'm working my way through a book right now that isn't doing much for me... but at 40% of the way done, I keep hoping it's really gonna pick up and get exciting soon! hmmm... I've read plenty of slow starters, so I'm trying to hang in there. But I probably won't go back for seconds on this author, which is unfortunate since a number of people have sung his praises. (Terry Pratchett...Discworld)

    I loved P&P but haven't come across any other JA novels that quite compared.

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    1. If it's the first in the Discworld series, that one was definitely a slog for me! I think it took me 3/4 of the books to get attached to the characters, but I did eventually. I buzzed through the next two or three (and then didn't load any more onto my Kindle, so...)

      I loved Good Omens (Pratchett and Gaiman) from the outset.

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    2. Thank you, I have hope :) and maybe I'll try Good Omens next!

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  12. I thought Emma was hilarious. I've read it a few times and I keep finding gems I missed before. But if you aren't having fun, there is no reason to continue reading.

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  13. Emma is a slow burner, definitely. I love it and read it often, but it takes a stillness of mind to enjoy classics and if you are all over the place, maybe it's not the right time to tackle it?
    When I am all over the place, I often listen to an audio book version instead, and swap between them. It helps to bing the book to life and you can multi task!

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  14. I always give myself a day to recover from vacation. We usually do camping or some other nonsense and it takes at least a day to get cleaned up. I love all the words in the JA books, so I didn't have trouble with Emma. I read somewhere the formula for not continuing a book is to read 100 - "your age in years" pages and if by that point you don't like it then give it up. I have never used this formula, but I do occationally give up on a book. "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" started out terribly slow with all that stuff about Swedish business, etc., but it really picked up and I couldn't wait to finish the other two books. Glad you had a good vacation and hope you recover soon.

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  15. Yes, Emma gets better-- it's one of my favorites, and I think it's a bit more realistic than P&P (sorry, I just... the ending of that one is so freaking convoluted I stopped caring whether Miss Bennett and Mr Darcy EVER hooked up. What a couple of snotty fussbudgets.)

    but with Emma it takes FOREVER to get to where you care enough about the characters to keep the pages turning.

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  16. Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy put me to sleep. But, the Brontes and George Eliot AKA Mary Ann Evans, now there's some feisty material. Some info about the eras/locale, etc. helps it make more sense....We find vacations tiring, so staycations instead. The 4 cats, our doggie, books, stash, vintage machines. Now that's bliss. Cathie, in Quebec.

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  17. Emma is hard to read, and I say this as an ENTHUSIASTIC fan of Miss Austen. If it isn't grabbing you, don't torture yourself. See the movie instead. (The one with Gwynneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam.) It is pretty true to the book, it has the same Austen wit, and takes up way less of your time. In the end it may rekindle your interest in the novel, but even if not, you will still know how the story works out.

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  18. That's a very sweet car your standing next too.....

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  19. Kathy in southwest, USSeptember 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    I have read "Emma" several times in the past. If you don't like it move on. There are so many books that you may find more appealing. Jane Austen's books are either loved or strongly disliked by many. I am a big fan but others aren't and that is okay. I am reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran" for a book club meeting and am struggling to get through it by Thursday.

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  20. I always need at least a day or two to recover from holidays. These days I just schedule them in on the end (but them I'm in Europe with a generous holiday allowance, so I guess it's easier to do). As for books, I used to be puritanical about finishing books I started, but I'm not any more. I started asking myself whether my life would be more or less rich for having finished the book, and if the answer is 'meh', I ditch it (if in doubt, I carry on). What I hate with classics is this idea that one 'should' have read them, but really, life's too short to do things for that reason alone.

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  21. And LOVE LOVE LOVE the swimsuit shoot!

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  22. Muscled through "War and Peace". My little sister, whom I respect highly, read it (TWICE!) and loved it, so I felt obligated to finish and find it wonderful. (I failed.) I wouldn't even watch the movie if there was one. I'm happy to give them up if I'm bored, otherwise. I'm going to try "Crime & Punishment" soon.

    More Simplicity, please.

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  23. I've just gotten back from a week with my parents...two flights each way and no internet & phone signals; despite the challenges it was a fabulous visit and the first with all the 'kids' together for the first time since 'i don't know when'...only 3 grandchildren missing from the gathering - not bad odds considering how hard it is getting my mob together as we live all across the globe and country.

    Oddly enough - i too abandoned Emma on my vacation; far too much hard work when there was alternative easy reading already downloaded on my Kindle.

    Tomorrow i tackle the post holiday washing :( but the anticipation of future posts including Simplicity will fuel me on.

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  24. If you aren't enjoying the book, I say chuck it! There are too many great books waiting my attention to waste time with dreadful, unreadable "classics." I've been loving Balzac lately, but could never slog through Mark Twain. Go figure. Life is too short for bad wine or bad writing!

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