Saturday, the members of Slumlords, unc held thier approximately annual meeting.
Liz Chenoweth, Robin Atkins, Anne Helmholz, and I once bought a duplex in Ballard. We held on to it for several years, then sold for a semi-reasonable profit. Since then the ever expanding universe has caused somewhat of a geographical dissipation.(I suppose that's supposed to mean that we've all moved on, or out, or something)
So, we get together for lunch and talk about old times, or new times, or even the Seattle times.
Over the years, we have collected some associate slumlords, a stamp dealer and a photographer Robert Demar
I got a criticism that my blog posts are somewhat incomprehensible. Well, fjfirgjsdj of the vjoighoig on a newly minted ;odfij;oizdg, to that, Eh?
So after that, I went home, took Meredith to the Whistlestop in Renton for dinner, then to Half price books to get rid of one of the many boxes of books littering our basement. Got eighteen bucks for 'em.
Paid for half (approx) the dinner.
Then home for an evening of Swing years and beyond on...on...hmmm..."nearly 95" public radio station. Then I stayed up till 1:30 watching "Saturday Night Live" and reruns of "Almost Live" I don't know why I do that, habit I guess.
Sunday, the book club meets at our house, so I made a big pot of turkey lentil soup which turned into turkey lentil (something other than soup because all the water got sucked up by the pasta I threw in at the last minnit)
Anyway, the book was "Possession" by A.S. Byatt.
Here is what it is about (This synopsis was written by Meredith Kraike. She has not abandoned the copyright, so watch it.)
Possession – summary
· Roland Michell, research assistant to Prof. Blackadder, editor of the works of Randolph Henry Ash, finds a letter by Ash to a woman (unnamed), and decides it might indicate some new info abt Ash.
· Roland lives with Val. They clearly don’t love each other; it’s just a convenient arrangement and a dysfunctional relationship in which they are both trapped. (She is the main breadwinner.)
· There is another important, and competing, scholar of Ash: Mortimer Cropper in the U.S. He is very competitive and is not above using unscrupulous methods to get information about Ash.
· Roland figures out that the letter may have been written to Christabel LaMotte, a poet who lived with another woman, Blanche Glover. He goes to see Maud Bailey, a scholar of LaMotte.
· Another scholar of LaMotte: Leonora Stern in the U.S.
· A scholar of Ellen Ash, Randolph’s wife, is Beatrice Nest, who is connected to Blackadder’s team.
· Maud Bailey is a descendant of one of LaMotte’s nieces. She and Roland travel to Seal Court, where Sir George, a descendant of LaMotte’s sister, lives with his wife. Maud is a very closed and guarded person, and is aloof to Roland.
· At Seal Court, Maud and Roland discover a cache of letters between Ash and LaMotte that suggest the two might have been lovers at one time. Sir George realizes the letters may be valuable and decides to keep them at Seal Court for the time being.
· Meanwhile, Cropper has come to the U.K. and gets wind of the fact that Roland and Maud are involved in some kind of research involving Ash and LaMotte.
· Roland and Maud think that when Ash went on a natural history expedition in Yorkshire in the summer of 1859, LaMotte may have joined him there.
· Maud wins Beatrice Nest’s confidence and gets to read the section of Ellen Ash’s journal that corresponds to the time that Ash was away on his expedition. One item in the journal is that a woman wrote a couple of letters to Ellen, asking to see her about an urgent matter. The woman turns out to be Blanche Glover.
· Maud and Roland retrace Ash’s trip to Yorkshire. During that time, it’s clear that they are becoming closer and that Maud’s defenses are softening.
· Cropper befriends Hildebrand Ash, a direct descendant of Ash. It’s obvious that Hildebrand is easily controlled by Cropper.
· As Roland and Maud become more and more involved in their quest, Val becomes involved with Euan MacIntyre, an attorney.
· When Maud and Roland return from their trip, Leonora Stern surprises Maud with a visit. Stern has a letter from Dr. Le Minier, a fellow scholar in France, telling her that she has the journal of Sabine de Kercoz, a relation of LaMotte, and the journal talks about LaMotte.
· Maud and Roland go to Brittany to see Dr Le Minier, who gives them a copy of the journal.
· The journal reveals that LaMotte went to Brittany in Oct of 1859 to stay with Sabine and her father because she (LaMotte) was pregnant.
· LaMotte disappeared at the end of April, 1860, just before the child was due to be born, and reappeared a week or so later, without the child. LaMotte told Sabine and her father nothing about the child---whether it was alive or not, or anything else.
· It’s known that Blanche Glover committed suicide in the summer of 1860.
· It’s also known that Ash attended at least two séances in 1861, although there’s no indication that he believed in such things. LaMotte attended at least one of these. Ash evidently asked about the whereabouts of a child at one of these events.
· Cropper follows Roland and Maud to Brittany, as do Leonora and Blackadder, who have joined forces.
· Val and Euan become engaged.
· Maud and Roland return to the U.K., knowing that the others are on their trail. They are becoming closer, emotionally, and Roland is beginning to think like a poet.
· We learn that when Ash died, Ellen burned some of his letters but put one unopened one, along with a few other things, into a sealed box which was buried next to his coffin. Cropper knows of this, and Maud, Roland, et al do too.
· Cropper and Hildebrande plan to dig up the box, illegally. What they don’t know is that Beatrice Nest has overheard them discussing this.
· Euan and Val get together with Maud, Roland, Blackadder, Leonora, and Beatrice Nest; and hatch a plan to catch Cropper in the act.
· Roland returns for a night to the apartment he’d shared with Val. He discovers that there are letters from three universities offering him teaching positions. This means that he can break out of the trap he’s been in for years, barely making ends meet and going nowhere. He also begins to realize that he has a passion, and it’s to write poetry.
· The group following Cropper and Hildebrande do in fact catch them in the act. The unopened letter is from LaMotte to Ash, telling him that he had a daughter, who was raised by Sophie, LaMotte’s sister, as one of her own children. The daughter, Maia (or May), believed that LaMotte was her aunt.
· Roland and Maud finally go to bed together and assume that they’ll work out a relationship which allows them space to pursue their own scholarly passions, etc.
Anyway, there was lots of hugs which made life seem almost worthwhile untill bedtime where the shrieking demons of the Seattle Symphony kept me awake most of the night.