Since my neck and shoulders have been bothering me lately, making violin practice and sewing uncomfortable during and painful afterwards, I have taken up a new hobby–watercolor.
This is not my first painting, nor my best, but it is the only one I have a picture of. I am pleased with it because I was able to put in a river–a first for me–and because it is going to my Great Grandmother. I feel like I’ve watercolored pictures for her before in my youth. Ah, the days of slopping Crayola paint onto printer paper. I don’t really miss the bubbling paper, but I did miss painting.
Who would have thought that the one animal Katya isn’t afraid of, is guinea pigs?
We got them second-hand back in the summer.
Katya began nervously, but now she even sticks her fingers in the cage, and laughs when the guineas nibble!
I hate you, cold. But you sure are beautiful.
I even made a pillowcase inspired by you. It is useful to have a pillowcase for the long winter nights.
Fortunately, Winter Solstice is not that far away anymore.
In which the author– Elizabeth A. Foyster– delves into the life of one John Wallop, the 3rd Earl of Portsmouth, to present the facts as they are recorded regarding the Earl’s sanity.
The Trials of the King of Hampshire is not a happy book. The obsessive aunt who was shut away in a private lunatic asylum, but still bothered her relations with plaintive letters complaining of the “poisons” (drugs) the doctors slipped in her milk giving her headaches; the pain of a father prevented from being with his daughter in her dying moments; Portsmouth’s thoughtless cruelty to his animals and servants; the intended cruelty and abuses of Portsmouth’s wife on himself; the machinations of power hungry relatives calling a vulnerable adult’s sanity into question; and finally, the lonely life of a keeper, trying, without resources, to provide a comfortable life for his charge.
Portsmouth was an enigma– reliable witness called him normal; mentally “weak” (but sane); an emotionally stunted lunatic; and a perverse and cruel man, by turns. Foyster offers no verdict as to Portsmouth’s sanity, so you are free to draw your own conclusions as to his diagnosis.
The Trials well written and interesting, and gives an unusual insight into the early 1800’s. Making guest appearances are the Austen family (yes, Jane Austen met Portsmouth at a ball, and found him quite agreeable) and Byron, who was a witness at Portsmouth’s wedding.
A enjoyable read, especially if you like armchair diagnosis.
I made this a few weeks ago for a young friend who was hospitalized.
…. you find your dining room curtain covered in blood, because Sister cut her finger and kept playing.