The Good

What a drag I've been lately. I keep thinking back to when I'd write about the simple pleasures, like a yogurt maker (now gathering dust on a shelf, too much trouble) or a gig at a local bar (familiarity breeds not contempt but irritation) or a caramel eclair (fattening) or a rainbow (last seen eleven months ago). I don't blame anyone for averting their eyes from the sad posts here.

But while dealing with the detritus of a few years back, it hasn't all been bleak. There are two new restaurants nearby - a Chinese woman and her English husband have opened a good Chinese place just across the road from a nearby chateau and today we tried this really cute tearoom/pottery shop that an English/American couple have put so much work and inspiration into. There's a new system in France that makes it much easier for people to open new businesses, without all the steep charges and restrictions that have existed in the past. It might seem insane in this economic climate (I can't believe I'm using that phrase but I don't currently have the brain power to come up with any other way to describe the recession) to start a new small business. But my friends who run workshops for people interested in starting independent bookshops say the workshops are selling out - when it comes down to it people possess stores of resourcefulness and imagination that are only unleashed when they stop believing someone else is going to take care of everything for them. (I'm speaking out of hope here, for myself and others.)

I'm on a memoir kick: Carolyn See's Dreaming, Mary Cantwell's Manhattan, When I Was Young, anything by Dirk Bogarde. And Strunk & White's The Elements of Style - if only I could put it in practice. I'd go back to school if I could but in the meanwhile studying writing is as easy as picking up a well-written book.

Eric just played a great Kevin Ayers record. Also Mott the Hoople. He told me some funny story about...oh, I don't know. He's got so many. He can entertain me for hours. One time we were in a Bob Evans outside of Cleveland and he explained very carefully to the waiter how to make a proper cup of English tea. The poor man didn't know what hit him. He'd been suddenly whirled up out of Northeast Ohio into a Monty Python sketch.

We're on our way to England for some house concerts. We'll get to visit friends too, and Eric's daughter and his mum. And when we come back it'll be spring for real, I just know it.