Sunday, January 16, 2011

My darlings, up in the aerie after a very pleasant day out in country and town. A morning walk around the conservation area, making my way through a foot of snow in many places, quite a workout. Chatted with a guy on cross-country skis who marveled that on a day like today the park isn't better used. I agree. It's spectacular, what with the generous open space (several hundred acres), and both mountain and river views. (The park sits on an expansive bluff above the river.) It was interesting to observe the man ski, he really flew, so much faster than my bootstep after single bootstep. I don't know that I'm all that interested in skiing ultimately, I'm easily frustrated by paraphernalia (honestly, I find it tedious to get on my boots and lace them up - I much prefer slipping bare feet into sandals or loafers). But snowshoes might not be a bad investment, as the guy suggested, so that taking a hike in the snow isn't quite so arduous and hard on the joints. Am I going to do anything about this anytime soon? No, but still, I'm amazed that I'm even thinking about cross-country skis (is that what they're called? why does that phrase seem odd to me, as if I have it wrong?, I think of cross-country runners) and snowshoes - with reference to myself!

Returned home, changed into a nice outfit, what I wore at Christmas, a blue cashmere sweater set and new pair of jeans. I put on my good tweed coat and bright red scarf tied in a nifty French way (it forms a very neat silhouette on the collar, shortens the length, and stays put - it feels like a magic trick!). I drove into town and took myself out to a very delightful lunch out at a very good regional-cuisine restaurant in town.

The place is overpriced and out of our budget, but I had a coupon that I had purchased for $12.50 - that was good for $25 here. I ordered what turned out to be a beautiful and delicious yellowfin tuna confit, a chilled mixture of bits of tuna (which perhaps ultimately got lost) with tiny white beans and frisée lettuce, all lightly dressed in a basil pesto. (I am inspired to duplicate this dish at home - I'm used to seasoning white beans with sage - the basil pesto was unexpected, and really worked. I've got pesto in the freezer...) I asked the young woman server to suggest which white wine by the glass would go best, and she seemed delighted - you'll trust what I suggest? absolutely, I replied. She immediately indicated on the wine menu (which I could hardly even see - somehow I had managed to leave the house without a pair of reading glasses) a white bordeaux graves. It was perfection paired with the light, savory confit. Oh and a tiny basket of slices of hot baguette, and cold triangles of possibly local butter. I savored each bite and each sip, and greatly enjoyed being out. I finished the meal with a cup of coffee (good but not great). The bill came to $26, and I left a $5 tip. Which is quite overpriced I think - but, really, I had only paid about $18.50 - which felt just right to me.

Then I went to the movies and caught The King's Speech, with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Wonderful story, and a great pleasure to see them act together. And there was a lovely depiction of the marriage of the then-youthful "Queen Mum" (played by the ever spry, sly & delightful Helena Bonham-Carter) and her husband the stammering future King (Colin Firth - whom you, 1.0, resemble, which had me running an instantaneous alternate scenario in my head - it wasn't Colin Firth, or an English king - it was you writ large on the huge screen in the darkened theatre - your mouth - your lips - your set of jaw - as I remember you, and as I imagine how over the years you may have aged...) - my idea - surely anybody's - of a happy, strong, very loving marriage.

And that was about it. Went to the supermarket, started to buy "fair trade" roses but at checkout realized I was in more of a tulip mood, so after paying for my whole chicken, spinach, tomatoes, "spring mix" salad, and the rest, and dropping them off in the car, I went back in and bought two bunches of orange and yellow tulips. They're in various places around the house now, a vase on the dresser, one on a sideboard, and a bunch in a mustard jar on the kitchen table.

I topped off the bird feeders, the birds are ravenous. The temperature's supposed to drop precipitously. I keep warm with thoughts of you. I thought of you so much as I ate lunch out this afternoon. I imagined you sitting across from me. Do you like lunches out? They're my favorite. I imagined (sips of elixir wine made me feel instantly amorous) that afterward we'd retire to what an old friend from Minnesota, as she once wrote to me, refers to (and highly recommends) as a lunch hour "snap" - meal, sex, and a nap - just the thing for a cold snap.

Loving you so very much, always.

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