Sunday, 28 December 2008

Stopping and shopping

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is enjoying a nice long relax!

I'm slowly recovering from my flu, and it feels so good to be on the mend. Unfortunately there were several things that being ill prevented me from being able to do. There were some gifts I didn't manage to send in time, care packages I didn't get to, and that was disappointing. One thing that a high fever shows you though is how to stop. If our bodies didn't force us to stop once in a while we probably wouldn't - and I need to learn to stop more often, to go slower, to take time and not burn myself out.

I did get the chance to do some reading when I was in bed, and one of the books I enjoyed is called 'A Small Part of History' by Peggy Elliott, a novel about the female pioneers on the trail to Oregon. It was interesting, if not a great piece of literature. It was particularly moving to see the difficult journey through the eyes of women, and I enjoyed the 'journal' approach. This isn't the place to discuss how much I appreciate a female oriented approach, but it is something I hope to mention at some point. I went to a women's college at Oxford (St Hilda's has now started to accept men, though I cherished its single-sex status) and studied a lot of women's literature. I was fortunate to have been taught by some incredible female scholars. Lyndall Gordon, who has written beautiful biographies of Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Bronte and others, once said in a tutorial something that I feel to be true: that there exists between women a special understanding that cannot easily be replicated in male-female relationships. So the female perspective pleased me. Since I have been enjoying learning more about the Mormon faith lately, inspired by my friend Ryan and by some fellow bloggers, I had been hoping for more glimpses of Mormon pioneers but references were sparse. Still, I often think it is a good sign if a book can inspire you to delve further into a topic, and this book definitely inspired me to read more American history.

It is sooo cold out, yet the streets are full of shoppers. England is having some of the best sales ever and people are intent on taking advantage.

I picked up quite a few bargains myself: two lovely coats, a shirt, a pair of trousers and some fabulous bakeware from Le Creuset! But the purchase about which I am most excited is the KitchenAid mixer. I have been droning on and on about how much I want one of these, but in France and England they are totally and completely unaffordable (650 and 500 dollars respectively). Luckily we have a family friend in New York who graciously agreed to accept delivery of the mixer, and I or my family will pick it up when we are next in the States. So I got my coveted mixer for $240! Yay! Yet again, I thought about how we are taken for granted as consumers in Europe. What reason is there for such a huge differential? Urghh!

I hesitated a lot on the colour, but finally settled on Metallic Chrome, so that it would go with everything. I hope I made the right choice - the colour looks different in every photo I see! Can't wait to cook up a storm!


Anonymous said...

If you're interested in Mormonism, I highly recommend "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer. It's not exactly celebratory of the Mormon faith - in fact, it's not really about Mormonism at the core of it. His thesis deals more with people who kill in the name of God, and he uses an instance that happened near Salt Lake City in the late 80s - early 90s. He talks about modern Mormonism a lot, like the polygamy colonies that are still around, but he also talks about the early history of Mormons, especially the early violent history. It's really interesting, and it's Krakauer, so it's well-written.

I grew up in an area with a LOT of Mormons, and after attending a Mormon funeral when I was in high school, I became a little obsessed myself, just like how I became obsessed with Chasidism after I first started working for LCI. Religion is so intriguing, is it not?

Sara said...

Glad you're starting to feel better. I have a Kitchenaid mixer in the same color, I love it!