Wednesday, 1 March 2017

March ~ A Little of Everything or From the Unexpected to the Strange, to .....??


Snowy Fields
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel
Well, after a very cold January, then a warming period, it was back to snow for the beginning of February.  Lots of it.  Lots and lots of it.  Seriously.  We had about two feet of it in two days, and I can't stress how highly unusual this is. Usually we might get a day of snow, but then it quickly melts.  In this case, it stayed for about five days, but with the curiously cold weather last month, this winter has been an unique experience!  And now, as I write this during the last couple of days of February, it is snowing again, about 5 inches in less than 24 hours!  The good news is that it's the wet snow of temperatures hovering around 0 C and it looks like rain is in the forecast, so it won't last long.  I must say I've enjoyed it but with a couple of days in February with temperatures looking rather spring-like, I won't be sad to see it disappear!

So certainly the snow was unexpected, but I also had something very strange happen to me in the month of February.  I've always had trouble keeping a consistent exercise schedule, perhaps because my life is not very scheduled.  Yet suddenly in mid-February I had the urge to join the local yoga studio.  My readers will not know how strange this is, but my personal friends will.  Yoga has not been something that has interested me in spite of the continual urging of my dear neighbour to join her in class.  Yet out of the blue, I signed up for a two-week trial and away I went.  Honestly, the little push I needed was the fact that they have a Pilates class and I do like Pilates.  In any case, I forced myself to take 4 yoga classes (and 3 Pilates classes) during the two weeks and discovered many surprises!  First, that while my strength is good, my stamina and balance need serious work; also my right side is completely out of touch with my left --- I was wondering if that indicates brain damage, LOL!; and ....... that I actually enjoy yoga, enough to sign up for a regular membership!  So we'll so how it goes with my uncommitted tendencies .....

A Graveyard Sunset
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel

As for reading, on one hand I'm happy that I seem to be more or less keeping up with my Deal Me In Challenge.  I've had so many picks for short stories lately that I hope I get to delve into some of the other categories.  My favourite would be essays but my poor poetry category really needs some help. I don't think I've drawn one poem yet!  I'm progressing nicely through The Histories and absolutely love it .... my only complaint is that I wish I was moving faster.  I'll definitely run into March with this.  And I'm about 25% of the way through The Small House at Allington, so finally I'm on the march with my Trollope project!  I started The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell; while the content is somewhat Bohemian and just escapes being pretentious, the writing is really excellent and Durrell's descriptions make you want to stop and savour them.  It will probably be a slow read because of my other commitments, however, I have grand hopes that I'm going to enjoy it.

A Snowy Graveyard
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel
Now, as for March ....... I plan to continue with my yoga and pilates classes, but I'm going to try to add walking back in as the weather improves. Hopefully I might even be able to fit in some bike rides in mid-March but I'm not predicting anything with the weather we've had.  And the due date for income taxes will be fast approaching, so I'm going to have to devote some energy to that task.  Ugh! My least favourite of yearly duties!  On a more creative side, a university near me is doing a production of Jane Eyre in the month of March, so hopefully I'll be able to catch that.  I've seen Pride and Prejudice there before and The Bacchae, so I'm anticipating a good performance.

Now to reading for March ....... finishing up The Histories and A Small House at Allington, I'll be starting Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War.  Otherwise, I want to read The Taming of the Shrew, which I had slated for last month, and perhaps get to Two Gentlemen of Verona. I managed one post for my Great Ideas Project last month, so another this month would be just dandy.  Oh, and I must start a Russian novel as the year is galloping on and I haven't read even one for my Russian challenge.  So who shall it be?  Dostoyevsky?  Gogol?  Turgenev?  Tolstoy?  Does anyone have a recommendation for me?

So with the sun coming out and the snow starting to melt, March will hopefully be an improved month.  I still don't have hopes of increasing my reading time, but other pleasures should increase. And I can live with that.  Happy March, everyone!


February 2017





20 comments:

  1. your snow sounds like ours, only four times as much; hope you didn't lose power; we did and it's veritable pain in the neck... congrats on the Yoga; Ms. M did that for a long time and it really helped her with her back pain... meditation is a big help, also... and i'm awestruck at your ambitious reading schedule.. would that i could... no, i guess i'm past that now: just a few mysteries, a bit of Dickens, some Trollope, nothing major... good luck!!

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    1. The snow is gone already! Now if only the sun would come out ..... it's been seen so rarely that when it does appear, one feels like applauding.

      I still have to investigate meditation. Time is such a big factor ---- I (and I'm sure most others) find myself running to yoga class, trying to get into a calm, peaceful state of mind for the class, and then running out again. Somehow I think that's not how it's supposed to work, LOL. :-D

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  2. I'm ready for the snow to be gone as well. It is melting fast, but these next couple of days are supposed to be below average cold, so it'll turn ice hard and probably stick around until April or something ridiculous like that.

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    1. Ugh, I hate those really cold temperatures for long periods of time. We don't usually get them but in January we did. It was so much fun to have the pond freeze and to be able to skate, but trying to walk around in it is brutal.

      I would not be surprised if we get one more snowfall before spring finally gets here.

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  3. Brrrrr! I am so anxious for spring; I don't want to even look at pictures of snow.

    I just finished The Histories, but I don't want to start The Peloponnesian War. I think I will need a push with that one.

    What do you have on hand for Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky? I don't know Gogol, but I plan to read him for my Russian Challenge.

    Good luck with your new regiment! : )

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    1. Can we start the Peloponnesian War on April 1st? That would work well for me and perhaps give you chance to recover, LOL!

      I have a few Russian novels in mind but what to choose? I'm going to wait a couple of weeks but then I must choose something!

      Thanks for your wishes! :-)

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    2. Yeah, starting April 1 - that's a good idea.

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    3. Sounds good! Let's do it! :-)

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  4. I think the Yoga classes so darn cool!! Woohoo! Way to go Cleo...keep it up!!I hope you get going for the biking as well. I am trying to get back in the running groove again...I want to do some more marathons and then some small treks for sure this year! I am loving The Histories too, but the move is slow, simply because I scarcely have any time! Which Russian author are thou planning to pick? Do let me know and I may just give you company!! Wishing you a wonderful, happy, peaceful, yoga blessed and enriched reading Spring!

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    1. Hey buddy, I was wondering if you'd been getting ANY reading time. You have my sympathies!

      Yes, yoga is fun but already I'm not going to be able to make a class today because of busyness. :-P I hope your running goes well! You need some balance with all the work you're doing!

      I'm not sure about my Russian book yet. Perhaps I might choose The Fountain Pit or maybe Dead Souls. However, I really want to read more Turgenev ...... Not an answer, is it? Do you have any suggestions?

      Wishing you much more reading and leisure time for the month of March (to which I'm sure you say, good luck! ;-) )

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    2. I think we can attempt Dead Souls or from your list may be One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; but later is rather morbid. I therefore leave the choice to you! ;)

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    3. I'd like to read Solzhenitsyn but I do want to devote time to it, so perhaps I should go with Dead Souls. I'll let you know!

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  5. Ah, snow. That is but a dim memory from long ago. I have pleasant memories of it, except when it came down while I was at work and the plows hadn't had a chance to clear the streets. Then it was a really slow trudge home.

    I don't much about yoga, but I do like to stretch. It feels so good, especially after a good work out. Then a hop into the sauna (with a book, of course).

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    1. We had a really nice winter with all the snow, but enough is enough and I'm ready for spring!

      Yes, I was surprised that I like yoga as much as I do. It's hot yoga so the room is 41 C which I believe is 106 F. You sweat tons but feel so good afterwards!

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  6. I took a meditation class during spring term last year, and I have kept up with it, more or less, with a meditation group that is once a week and a little bit on my own. I've taken yoga classes before, but it's been a few years. Maybe I should try it again...

    Russian book suggestion:
    Hadji Murat - Leo Tolstoy - A fictionalized account of the life of the Caucasus rebel Hadji Murat. He fought the Russian empire, but after a falling out with his (Chechen) commander, Shamil, he defected to the Russians. He loses the trust of both sides, and then he finds out that his wife and son are being held captive by Shamil. Tolstoy's final work. It's pretty short too.

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    1. A meditation group! Wow! I thought meditation was supposed to be a singular practice in that you are supposed to be alone with silence so you can focus. Shows how much I know about meditation ..... not much! ;-)

      Thanks for the recommendation, Beth. I'll see if I can find it in one of my used book stores. I think a trip south of the border is in order! :-)

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  7. I always mean to try yoga... This should be a spring resolution for me!

    Love seeing your pictures! SO beautiful :) We had some snow flurries, one of which caused chaos about a week ago - we were out shopping and on the way home, and to get home we have to drive up a great big hill. On the top cars were all over the place, the police were there, Scottish gritters on one side gritting the Scottish bit of the hill, English gritters on the other side gritting England's bit... We were sat on the wrong side of the road for about half an hour! (Not going to embarrass my nation by saying how much snow there was - as you may know, we don't do too well when it snows...!).

    Good luck with Herodotus (not that it sounds like you need it!) and A Small House at Allington. I don't think I got into that one so much but apparently it was my Gran's favourite book :)

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    1. Boy, it's hard when you're doing it but you feel so good after!

      We don't do well in the snow either, so I understand. In fact, sometimes the streets don't get cleared very quickly due to the fact that it snows usually so little here that there isn't much money in the budget for plowing. We're supposed to be getting more of the white stuff again in the next week or so. Yikes!

      That's interesting, because I haven't been that enthralled with Small House yet either. I remember my experience with Framley and hope but I'm beginning to wonder.

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  8. We've mostly had a really mild winter to date--especially for us. Very little snow and only a few days with temperature below freezing...until this week. Cold for at least one more week & 3-7in of snow in the next 30 hours. Which could either be managable or nightmarish, depending on whether it all comes at once or spreads out.

    Your March reading plans sound so ambitious to me! I'm just hoping to get two books finished this month. Enjoy!

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    1. Ah, the skiing this year has been fantastic and even though we've had more snow and cold, it was a more interesting winter. Crazy how the weather and temperatures fluctuate though, isn't it?

      I look at my Goodreads challenge and feel terrible but I am reading on a consistent basis, even though not as much as I used to. One can only hope for better times ..... :-)

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