Sunday, 24 January 2021

Tea and treats and haggis, oh my!

I’ve got a steaming cup of chai and a delicious date bar sitting on the table waiting to be enjoyed, but the real culinary highlight of the morning is the spicy, fragrant vegetarian haggis I made this morning to celebrate Robert Burns Day, which is tomorrow.  I like to have an excuse to make this delicious dish, which is so fussy and time-consuming, but oh so yummy! (sorry, no mashed neeps as a side!)  It also gives me an opportunity to reflect that I am not alone, that everyone experiences setbacks in life, regardless of how well he/she/they plan:

"But little Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes of mice and men Go oft awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!"

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Last week I read a Young Adult novel I purchased from my book fair, Pretend She’s Here by Luanne Rice.  Fifteen-year-old Emily Lonergan is still grieving the loss of her lifelong best friend Lizzie to cancer nearly a year ago.  When she spots Lizzie’s younger sister Chloe one day after school, she immediately goes over to talk to her, only mildly curious about why she and her parents are back in town, as they relocated shortly after Lizzie’s death.  She follows Chloe to the van where her parents are waiting and gets in willingly, thinking they are going to visit Lizzie's grave at the cemetery, and is shocked to discover that they instead drive straight out of town. It only takes a moment to realize that she’s been abducted by the Porters.  She is drugged and wakes up in a locked room in their new house, and is forced to pretend she’s Lizzie, calling Mrs Porter “mom” and attending school using Lizzie’s name, going along with the story that she’s been traveling in Europe to explain why she’s missed a year of school.  Mrs Porter keeps Emily/Lizzie from running simply by threatening to hurt her real family if she tries to escape.  How will Emily/Lizzie deal with this identity shift?  Can she meet the demands of Mrs Porter and keep her family safe?  Can she keep up the charade and fit in at school?  And how will she finally escape?  This was totally my kind of book, and I thought I’d fly through it, but it seemed to take me forever to finish it.  It was well-written and I can certainly see why it's been so popular with my intermediate girls.  I’m sure it will be in high demand again if/when we get back to in-person learning.  

That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I want to get outside and go for a long walk, then come back home and curl up with Michael Robotham’s newest book, When She Was Good… hmmm… I think this is a double-poetry weekend: There was a little girl, Who had a little curl, Right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, She was very, very good, But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Bye for now…
Julie

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