27 July 2007

Still Going!

I know I've had lots of moments worth writing about this week, but I've been kind of stressed by other matters to be able to concentrate. I hate "issues", but I guess everyone has them sometimes. I shall try to focus on the positive.

On Sunday I set out for Trader Joe's, but since it was such a nice day I decided to first walk around the area. I visited Sympathy for the Kettle, which I haven't done since December. There was an actual empty table right by the window! This is amazing, as the wait is usually long enough to give up. As I ended up staying for an hour and it's a small tea shop, I can see why the tables are so hard to come by. Well, it was worth the wait I didn't have to undergo this time. I had a tea called Love Rosemary, which is a flavored black tea with violet and rosemary (ya think?) Then there was the bergamot cupcake with lavender icing. I've said it before, but if you are ever in St. Marks Place and want a peaceful respite, this is the place to go.

Monday started out as an extremely rainy day, and ended as a drizzly day. Thankfully it was calm enough out when I went to Partners & Crime, a bookshop in the West Village that happened to be hosting a Jasper Fforde signing. Though I arrived in time for standing room only (I actually came in right behind JF, but I swear I'm not a stalker!), it was fun enough to hear him give his description of the book and answer questions. He's really funny, and positively in love with reading. Though he worked in the film industry for a good portion of his life, he does not want the Thursday Next novels to become a movie. I'm glad - I think it would ruin the spirit of the books.

After I got yet another book autographed (though this time I looked like ten miles of bad migraine so I didn't take pics), and asked him a question about Swindon (the travel agent of Gata Past bubbling to the surface yet again), I walked along Greenwich Avenue. I stopped in Carry on Tea and Sympathy and was mind blown when I found out there were products from WHITTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My goodness. This is besides being surrounded by all kinds of things you can usually only get in England, along with some things you can find in Irish import sections in Astoria. Then I bought some chips at A Salt and Battery to end my completely Anglophile evening.

I finished First Among Sequels in two days. That's probably too fast, or perhaps I'm a Superreader (referring to something in the book.) Well, I thought it was hilarious - maybe too many things going on at once, but still a pleasure for anyone who loves literature, time travel, alternate realities - that sort of thing. Sometimes my mind started to get a little loopy when I tried to make sense of something, but then I realized that you have to go for the ride without taking it too seriously. Good stuff.

There's another pretty decent side effect to reading a Thursday Next novel. Usually when I read books that take place in England, I feel a sort of yearning to go back. It's not a negative feeling, but kind of frustrating given my financial circumstances. The thing about these books is that more than anything, it makes me want to read more books. This is not a problem, as I have an endless amount of books to jump into.
Now all we need is a tea quote from the book. Here we go:
"There are three things in life that can make even the worst problems seem just that tiniest bit better. The first is a cup of tea - loose-leaf Assam with a hint of Lapsang and poured before it gets too dark and then with a dash of milk and the smallest hint of sugar. Calming, soothing and almost without peer. The second, naturally, is a hot soaking bath. The third is Puccini. In the bath with a hot cup of tea and Puccini. Heaven."
I may not be a Lapsang fan, but that was enough to give me second thoughts.


Marie said...

Great stuff. I enjoyed reading about your anglophile day, you truly maxed out!!

Speaking to an englishman the other day made me yearn to go back. Depending on the accent, it can sound either very friendly and pleasant or stuffy - and he definitely sounded pleasant. I mean, some accents can sound like a bad Billy Joel song (heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack).

I can't wait to read the new Fforde book. I love writing or typing his name, it feels wrong but is oh so right.

Bad pun of the day: I cannot afford to miss out on reading his new book.

His books have thrown me for a loop a time or two - and I actually do sit and try to figure out what the heck I just read! I actually do end up understanding at the end.

I'm so tempted to start the series over again - so that I can continue reading it reinforcing my past knowledge of things that occured. Even though, I'll have a hard enough time trying to figure out all the new things going on at once!

I tell you, that poor guy probably doesn't sleep with all the simultaneous story lines running though his mind.

Anyway, I've been rude taking all this space for my comments. Here's my last word(s).

Whats: Puccini?

Catherine said...

I like the big chunky comment, and the pun. Puccini was a composer - so picture being in the bath with a cuppa and opera in the background. Actually it kinda sounds like something a bad guy would be into.

Anonymous said...

i think lapsang tastes like what wet cigarette butts must taste like. yuk. but i agree with assam, a hot bath and puccini. stay in the tub until you're shriveled like a prune. i'd love to read anything jasper fforde as well, but i'm so clumsy i'd likely drop the book in the tub.

Anonymous said...

Despite the fact that I knew about your week from our conversations, it's always fun to hear you in writing (you have a knack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack). ;)

I've been a slow reader, not a Superreader lately, but I'm really looking forward to diving into First Among Sequels. Fforde is a great escape.

Also looking forward to our upcoming Tea and Sympathy. YAY! I'll probably HAVE TO get some Whittard products. Minitrip!
One day I'll make it to Sympathy for the Kettle.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cathy
You guys sound like you have so much sisterly love. I wish I had that in my life. Anyway who is this Fforde guy and what book would I start with. I would like to read some of his works. You are such a tea connissor (not spelled right) you should write your own columns. Love to see you guys again. Been thinking of you all at this time. Life is hard sometimes but soon will be better. Love Aunt Sandy.

Catherine said...

Love all these comments!

Jasper Fforde's first book is The Eyre Affair. Once you get into it, it's highly addictive.

Thanks for the encouragement!

k said...

Your photo really captures the moment. It seems so peaceful and I love all the glassware and stuff--looks like a nice place for an escape.

Anonymous said...

Tea and books? Heavenly!

I had to smile when I read of your visit to Tea and Sympathy. I borrowed their book from the library a while back and have made a few of the recipes for myself and my English-to-the-bone beloved.YUM!

I'd never heard of SFTK, but have added it to my NY shops to visit some day...