Oh, no Wayne. I can’t believe I’m even writing this down because Wayne Johnston wrote one of my favourite books, Colony of Unrequited Dreams. If you know anything about Newfoundland and are looking for something to read read that. It is truly a wonderful book. And because of that book I read everything that Wayne writes. Everything.
Now I will say nothing has captured my attention like The Colony of Unrequited Dreams but there are some excellent stories he has written like the Divine Ryan’s, Navigator of New York, Baltimore Mansion and A World Elsewhere to name a few. So I was excited when his new work came out. So excited I was that I got the hard cover. I should have waited and read a few reviews or at least picked it up at the library.
Percy Joyce, born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the fifties is an outsider from childhood, set apart by a congenital disfigurement. Taunted and bullied, he is also isolated by his intelligence and wit, and his unique circumstances: an unbaptized boy raised by a single mother in a fiercely Catholic society. Soon on the cusp of teenagehood, Percy is filled with yearning, wild with hormones, and longing for what he can’t have—wanting to be let in…and let out. At the top of his wish list is his disturbingly alluring mother, Penelope, whose sex appeal fairly leaps off the page. Everyone in St. John’s lusts after her—including her sister-in-law, Medina; their paying boarder, the local chemistry teacher, Pops MacDougal; and…Percy.Percy, Penelope, and Pops live in the Mount, home of the city’s Catholic schools and most of its clerics, none of whom are overly fond of the scandalous Joyces despite the seemingly benign protection of the Archbishop of Newfoundland himself, whose chief goal is to bring “little Percy Joyce” into the bosom of the Church by whatever means necessary. In pursuit of that goal, Brother McHugh, head of Percy’s school, sets out to uncover the truth behind what he senses to be the complicated relationships of the Joyce household. And indeed there are dark secrets to be kept hidden: Pops is in love with Penelope, but Penelope and Medina are also in love—an illegal relationship: if caught, they will be sent to the Mental, and Percy, already an outcast of society, will be left without a family.The Son of a Certain Woman brilliantly mixes sorrow and laughter as it builds toward an unforgettable ending. Will Pops marry Penelope? Will Penelope and Medina be found out? Will Percy be lured into the Church? It is a reminder of the pain of being an outsider; of the sustaining power of love and the destructive power of hate; and of the human will to triumph.
The Son of a Certain Woman was just to much for me but I did finish it unlike my mother who gave up. It started off great and I was reading at a good pace but soon fell into the “oh god give me a break” arena. The ending made me give it a huge side eye… I’ll spare you the details. But seriously. No.
To me the whole story was painfully outrageous even if the writing was good which it was. I mean come on. Your mother is a lesbian and is having a relationship with your aunt, you are born with a disfigurement, everyone in town wants to sleep with your mother including you, the catholic bishop takes it upon himself to protect you at all costs and your sex drive is beyond believing. To much. Maybe I’m a prude and a strawberry shortcake but it pushed my comfort level. And maybe that’s what Johnston wanted to do but he lost me for sure. Actually it could have been about a hundred pages shorter if he’d just had stop repeating himself.
I feel bad that I have to give one of my favourite authors a thumbs down on this one but honestly I was so disappointed. I would not recommend this work but definitely all of his others.
So have you read this? What are your thoughts?
For a year I’ve been going to bed with my iPad and before that my iPhone. It was awesome. Reading blogs, news, tweets, texts, videos, Netflix, writing. I mean the internet while laying in bed equals heaven especially when you need to lay down as often as I do.
But for all that technology I was missing out on one thing. No, no, not sex, stay with me here. Reading books… I was missing out on one of my greatest passions… Reading. The other passion is just fine for those of you still in that mind frame.
I used to read a lot of books. But since I got this lovely life changing iPad my book reading has dropped significantly and relegated to my time in the tub. And truthfully that’s only because I don’t want to drop my iPad in the water. I used to read a book every night before I fell asleep. Sometimes a few pages, sometimes chapters that kept me up to the wee hours of the morning. I miss that.
I miss my stacks of books on my nightstand waiting to be read. Books held in your hands and dropped on your face because you fell asleep.
I have about thirty unread books that I put on my bookshelves earlier this summer because I just wasn’t reading.
So I decided to unplug my cord and move it down to the studio. Yes I did. No more iPhone or iPad in the bedroom. They will be charging through the night down there. And I will pick up a book once again.
So far it’s totally working. I am reading again. I just finished the book I started a few months ago and I even went to my shelf and brought up several that I will be reading next. I just need to stick with it.
How are you handling your technology? Is it keeping you from other things you used to do?
Hi and Happy Friday
Finally I can get the house back in order and clean up the massive amount of dog hair that I’ve neglected to vacuum and sweep while we were painting. Laundry is now under control and all the dishes are put away. The beds are clean along with toilets and countertops. Things are returning to normal around here. Well as “normal” as we get.
Oh, the paint. It’s awesome! I’m so in love with it. It looks so clean. And it’ll look even better once we put things on the walls. But for today lets just look at the white shall we.
Ignore the lights they will be changed once I figure out what I want. I’m leaning toward black and simple.
1) I really want to have bright and colourful artwork and pictures on the walls,
2) we wanted the views of the pond to be the focal point upstairs,
3) we wanted the wood to stand out.
You see, Todd thinks I want to paint everything but that’s not really true I love the wood we have especially the beams.
Along with the great room we have two hallways one is wide with high ceilings and the other is just dark. Both will have gallery walls. I have been collecting things for years and I want to see it all. The house has limited wall space upstairs so to have lots of our pictures and art creating gallery walls is the way to go. I also want to do a huge hooked rug for the spot behind the light in the picture below.
And speaking of lighting look at the space ship lights in the kitchen. With everything now painted white they don’t look so bad. I mean I really hated those but now I’m fine with them for now. So I’m putting that project on hold. It’ll be better to get the other lighting done first.
If there is one thing I am unhappy with it is the fireplace wall. We painted it white as the rest of the walls but the fireplace wall needs work. Either we are going to add faux stone or aged wood or we are adding shelving. Either way it will be changed at some point. For now it’s fine.
Next on the “to do” list is getting things framed and creating those gallery walls.
Have a great weekend.
Today we are painting. Yes, the house is once again a torn up disaster area. From the front door to the top of the kitchen cabinets. Todd is not impressed at all, poor man. He is still getting over the kitchen cabinet mess. But he did agree to paint… god love him. I think it was just to shut me up.
I’ve talked of painting these walls for years. So I “cut in” and he rolls. “Cutting in” is the easiest on my back. I just wish I could go faster. Thinking years ago I’d have this done in a few days now its a few weeks. But I am determined not to let my health stop me from getting things done no matter how slow I am. We will get it done.
And getting it done means we live in constant chaos which drives Todd mad. He likes things tidy, not in a crazy way, but he does not like furniture pushed around, paint cans and ladders to step over. Funny it doesn’t bother me one bit, him not so much. And of course when we paint or do any house project I tend to let other things go. Things like dishes, sweeping and laundry. I think you can get a good picture of what our house is like now and throw in company it can be daunting for a military man who likes order. He’ll get over it! After all he knew what he was getting into when we got together.
Ok back to the paint. We are painting it all white. Yes, after looking at the million colours in my Benjamin Moore swatch book. I went with white. Crazy right? But I think it’s the best for our house. The colour we are using is called Simply White from Benjamin Moore.
Simply white is a beautiful white, not stark and not creamy. Just perfect. We are doing the trim, baseboards and molding in semigloss, walls in pearl and ceiling in flat. We are painting the porch, hallways and great room. I cant wait to get it done because I have a lot of plans once its finished. And it’ll be nice to have a non grumpy man in the house even if it’s only for a few days before I start something else.
Did I post this week? I really thought I did. Apparently I was wrong. God time flies when you are busy. And we have been busy with painting. Yes we are painting again. I swear Todd is going to kill me. More on that next week. First I need to tie up the summer stuff.
Summer is now over where I live. Actually it pretty much left sometime in August. Our July was the hottest its been in over one hundred years. It was just fantastic. August however sucked. Cold, rain, drizzle, fog with a few days reaching twenty. Pretty gloomy. September is much better. So far its been cold although the last few days its been pretty sunny.
At the beginning of the summer I did a yard to do list. It was quite long and ambitious. We tend to think we can get a lot done but reality soon shows its face with company, trips, work and the fact I can’t do shit like I use to. Think after ten plus years I’d know it now takes more four times longer to do stuff. Thick…I’m thick.
Here’s the progress report of our summer projects.
1. Our biggest project was the wharf/dock. Todd totally rocked this. I am super impressed. While its 90 percent done there is a few things left to do. Things like 1. fix the flagstone, 2. Enclose the left side, 3. add a non slip material to the steps and slipway, 4. add planters, 5. lighting. We are letting wood age au natural. We did however seal it. I love the look of aged wood.
2. The deck got sorta finished. We cleaned and restained it. It looks great. We never got to the lattice. Let me just say that staining lattice is a pain. I sorta said I’m just not into staining this any more and therfore next summer we are installing the white plastic. I don’t care how much it is…Ha.
3. The flower garden was a success even if its still a work in progress. It will always be a work in progress. I was pleased that new beds were started and plants got moved. I bought lots of new scrubs and plants and recieved several from my son. You can see the progress here.
4. During our crappy August we started trimming the trees in be front left side yard. So far only the small spruce have been cut down, there are several large ones left which Todd needs to get. I am thinking once its cleared out and we get the fill we need we are just going to leave it until spring. I’m happy to have it cleared out just leaving the beautiful birch trees for the winter.
5. We did some clean up. And I made a great big wife mistake. I attempted to help Todd clean the garage. It did not go as planned. Yup he’s on his own from here on in. But I did get him to move some things behind the garage out of the way. I also moved wood from the side of the garage to the back leaving it nice and clean. I went away for a week and he had new wood stacked there. I’m giving up for this year. But really do you need four areas for wood and shit.
And here’s what didnt happen that was on the list.
The doors didn’t get painted even though I bought the paint and new hardware.
The fence at the top of the drive way. I hope it lasts this winter with paint holding it together.
The small pond only got cleaned and drained.
And we never even looked at the fire pit except to burn stuff.
But I did do a summer wreath. that should count somehow.
Yup my to-do lists are to long and unrealistic. From now on I’m going small.
Now onto the fall list.