Friday, April 9, 2010

The end of Udolpho, the beginning of a new Listen, Spring, Blackberry Brandy, and aaawwwwww

So, I finally finished listening to The Mysteries of Udolpho. I have to give it to Ann Radcliffe, she tied everything up pretty well (though I still think the string of coincidences that brought everyone together strains credulity). I'm not sure that I have the lineage of everyone down totally (and wouldn't Montoni have known who Emily was? And wouldn't that have changed his behavior at least a little bit?), and I somehow missed the identity (and relevance) of the man who visited Sister Agnes on her deathbed, but otherwise, the questions were all answered. Well, except for why the women fainted all the time... and why Radcliffe felt the need to insert really bad poems everywhere in the text.

It's finally spring here, and though many mornings are still frosty, the afternoons are warmer, the grass is greener and the deer now have something else to eat, besides my crab apple tree.

Which means that it's time to run outside again. Except for my trips to CA and AZ, I've used the treadmill since last October, which gave me plenty of time to let Udolpho develop ssssslllloooowwwllllyyyyy. Now that it's pleasant, I won't be listening to books as I run. But on the dreary, cold, windy, or stormy days, I'm going to take Frequent Poster joannamausalina's suggestion and listen to Vanity Fair next. It's been a long time since I read the book, and I'll enjoy getting reacquainted with Becky Sharp. I probably won't get too far with it until fall.

The Blackberry Brandy finished steeping (or macerating, or soaking, or whatever it did while the booze extracted the goodness from the blackberries), so I strained it (like my fancy filtering setup?), and added the Everclear (which is illegal in several states),

and bottled it.
Oh my...
Side Note: I got the date wrong on the labels, but didn't feel like printing more. And I saved the berry leftovers for ice cream topping. Delicious, drunken, ice cream topping.

Last week, son, wife, Voracious Reader and Superhero Boy visited. VR made me this:
all together now:  aaaawwwwwwww

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