Christmas is unfortunately all too often fraught with stress - unpleasant interactions with relatives, too much money spent on gifts, and more time spent travelling than relaxing. I did manage to avoid all of the above, and I hope that you did too. There are some very nice things about the holidays as well - time away from work (for those of us lucky enough to get it) that can be used to catch up on reading, napping, watching movies, and indulging in some very yummy meals with friends.
I will confess that most of my time off has been spent bonding with Fred (see two posts ago for the introduction...) and figuring out what treats she likes. Lettuce, apples, pears and red peppers have gone over well. Bananas, not so much. We have already experienced "The Great Escape", when she channeled her inner Steve McQueen on Christmas Day, shot out of my friend's hands like a cannonball, and scooted under the couch. The 40 minutes that followed were stressful for all involved, but all's well that end's well. I'm hoping that being called a "f**cking stupid rodent" in a moment of acute frustration won't scar her for life.
To lessen the chance of future escapes, she's confined to her exercise ball when outside the cage. After much rocking side to side (with a "holy crap get me out of here" expression), her ratty smarts kicked in and she was rolling across the floor, and when she crashed into something, she figured out how to turn around and head in the other direction (that's my girl!)
Even my holiday reading had a rodent theme...a friend loaned me her copy of Jenny Lawson's (aka The Bloggess) memoir, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened", that includes stories of how messed up it is to grow up with a father who is a taxidermist, and kind of crazy. It is a wildly entertaining read, as is her blog. In fact, her latest post makes me think we could definitely be sisters under the skin. Lawson has a collection of taxidermied mice, that includes Hamlet, pictured on the cover of her book.
Of course there was some thrift shopping...I was in Toronto and discovered that my favourite Salvation Army Thrift Store had 50% off all their clothes that day, so I ended up with 3 skirts, a shirt, 4 new Chinese embroidered robes in their plastic packages, and the Japanese-style robe in the photo above, all for $28. The skirts are steamed and waiting for warmer weather, the Chinese robes were given as gifts, and the home-made Japanese robe is on my bedroom wall.
I made a stop at 69 Vintage, on Bloor St. West, where I met the most adorable young aspiring fashion designer and stylist by the name of Aziz Vivant. He is ridiculously young, talented, and incredibly stylish, which you can see from his blog. We had a delightful conversation while I tried on coats (have I mentioned before that I have a severe coat problem?). The store was having a sale, and I ended up coming home with this one, which has a label inside that proclaims it's "furrier made, designed in London, and is pure NYLON pile". I will not be wearing it near an open flame.
So far, the list of movies watched over the last week includes: Mr. Hulot's Holiday (one of my favourites from french comic Jacques Tati), Magic Mike (for the story, of course..), Hitchcock (featuring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren) the British film, The Trip, and the obligatory Christmas eve viewing of the classic, White Christmas.
I confess that I am kind of looking forward to heading back to work this week. I need my routine, and an excuse to get dressed in something other than cozy pants and a t-shirt. Thanks so much to all of you for your support, your comments, and your inspiration.