It was a long week

I started a new job last Monday and it’s going to be a lot more intense than my last job. Interesting, but intense. Starting new things is hard on me and it takes me a lot longer than most people to get into my comfort zone. New people, procedures, culture, and work take a lot out of me, and on Monday evening I found myself going to bed at 7:00pm. And I slept through until 6:00am. The rest of the week found me exhausted too, waking up in the wee hours of the morning with my mind whirling. Sometimes I would catch a few more winks, but often that was it for the day.

With a busy first week, I would normally try to keep my evenings quiet, but I had two events that were must-attends. The first was on Wednesday when I went to the book launch for Peggy Blair’s second novel The Poisoned Pawn. I first heard of Peggy when I listened to her read from her first novel The Beggar’s Opera at (the now sadly closed) Collected Works bookstore – one of the last few indie bookstores in Ottawa. I bought her book after her reading and I completely enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading the second in the series which got a favourable review in the Globe and Mail. How fabulous to see a local author doing well. It’s very inspiring.

The second event was also a must-attend because it was at my house. I was hosting my book club, with my book choice being Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. This book has been on my ‘to read’ list for years but somehow never made it to the top of my reading pile, and choosing it made me finally read it. It’s a long one, astoundingly written, and with sentences that I could only ever dream of constructing. It was a heavy book but I did like it very much, and others in my group seemed to like it too.

Tradition for my book club is that the host prepares the main course and then everyone else brings appetizers, salads and desserts. If you have been following along, you know that I’m not the cook in our house, and I may even be a little bit afraid of my kitchen. I had picked out the curry recipe in this blog post and had all the ingredients on hand, and was strongly counting on guidance and advice from Tony in the preparation of the meal. His phone call at noon struck panic – he had been invited to the hockey game by an important client. Could he go?

Could I say no? I wanted to.

Of course I couldn’t.

So I was on my own and made this:


And it was good! Even though Paul M said it looked like it was glowing.

And eight-year-old Beatrice was a huge help in setting the table and getting other things ready for the evening. She was super helpful and without her I would have been scrambling to be ready in time. It’s a new stage when kids help you with something and it actually makes things easier rather than making the task take longer. It was a bit of a milestone and I was so grateful.

I really enjoyed the evening, even though no one brought dessert. Normally it just works out, with all the parts of the meal being supplied without too much prior planning. Last time I hosted there were no appetizers, so it seems I may need to organize a bit better in future. Since we’re trying to watch what eat around here, I had nothing at all sweet to serve. Wine glass fill-ups did the trick.

So after a crazy week, I was looking forward to some quiet time this weekend. But then –  plague hit Tony on Friday and so I spent the weekend handling all the weekend activities too. Tony is not one to give in to the sick, so for him to concede to illness means he probably should be in the hospital. I’m only exaggerating slightly. If anyone gets a man cold around here it’s me.

Now I love that my daughters have a lot of interests and are well-rounded people, but I found myself dismayed at the sheer busy-ness of the weekend after a long week. Three basketball events, badminton, and a full day of downhill skiing for the girls has meant we have been on the run all weekend. In between that I was doing laundry and all the other chores that need to get done on the weekend.

But right now, I am sitting in the ski lodge and this is my view.


It took me a while to figure out which of the skiers were my kids because everyone has a blue jacket it would seem, but I knew they were flying down the hill and having a perfect day.

So I’m happy.

About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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13 Responses to It was a long week

  1. Laulrie says:

    I read Midnight’s Children 24 years ago, while I was in India. It blew my mind. It’s still on my life-time favourite list.
    My MIL who has been to Cuba a few times, read the Beggar’s Opera and loved it. It’s been on my to-read list for some time. I’ll add her other book too (even if she did unfollow me from Twitter and hurt my feelings 🙂
    I am exactly the same about the kitchen and I know that the family is apprehensive about what I make. It’s almost a joke. Your curry looks great. Did the kids eat it?

    • Finola says:

      I would love to visit India one day Laurie. So many great books about India too.
      I’m glad I’m not alone in my fear of the kitchen because it always seems like all the moms around me are such great cooks, but it just isn’t my thing. NO my kids definitely did not eat the curry. They had a frozen lasagna.

  2. Sasha says:

    ALL the best curries glow – it looks delish. Yay you!

    And phew, that week does sound crazy. Kudos for getting to the end of it, and the END of the end of it, and finding a way to carve some time out for yourself to blog too – with a lovely view to boot!

    I’m so sorry to hear that Collected Works has closed! Was that the one in Westboro, or on Elgin? There was a book shop I dropped into a few times when I lived on Elgin. And I’ve heard about events like that at Collected Works time and again, but never made it out. I think I need to start declaring more events do-not-miss, because I have more misses than hits.

    • Finola says:

      Collected Works was on Wellington West. They were such a great supporter of local authors. Such a shame.
      We will both have to get out to more events as they come up Sasha.

  3. Congrats on the new job! It is always hard to do change … that’s that hill at the beginning, but it will flatten out soon!

  4. Laurie says:

    The book shop on Elgin is Perfect Books and it’s still around. 🙂

  5. jenny gee says:

    Whew! That does sound busy! I’m glad you made it through your first week. I agree with the ladies above – the curry looked delicious (I still have to go back up and click the link to see what was in it).

    Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses are two of Salman Rushdie’s books that have been on my “To Read” list but they keep getting bumped by other, less heavy things. I will make a conscious choice to pick one of them when I need a new book to read. Unfortunately the one I’m reading right now isn’t encouraging me to devour it, even though it’s fantasy (and the first of seven – ack).

    I was shocked when I walked past (what should have been) Collected Works the other week to find it all papered up and sad. 😦 Hopefully someone else will be able to start another indie bookstore in Westboro – you would think we would have a good population for it!

    • Finola says:

      I would recommend reading Midnight’s Children over Satanic Verses even though I haven’t read the second one. From reading about the author it’s a much more readable book, and it’s a challenge enough. Let me know how you like it when you get to it. My own reading pile is crazy high right now too.

  6. allison says:

    I liked Midnight’s Children more than the Satanic Verses too, although I was glad I read S.V.

    My kids would eat curry any day over lasagna – aren’t kids weird?

    I would be the exact same at the beginning of a new job, and if my husband crapped out on me at the crucial moment I would be livid even though I would KNOW it was not his fault, so good for you for accomplishing it all would more grace than I would have.

    • Finola says:

      Thanks Allison. i can’t say there wasn’t a very long silence on the phone when he asked about the hockey game.

      I’m impressed with your kids liking curry. I hope mine will get there one day, but I was very picky at their age too so there’s hope.

  7. I hope you had a good, warm drink to go with that view! 🙂

    Congrats on the new job. I hope your learning curve is short, and things even out for you soon.

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