For starters, I spent the weekend with some very lovely Benedictine nuns at the Saint Scholastica Priory in Petersham, Massachusetts. It is a WONDERFUL place where anyone can go to enjoy some peace and truly feel the presence of God. I will write more on this once I get a few hours to myself to collect my thoughts, notes, photographs, etc to write a cohesive post all about my visit.
I've also been doing a few wedding planning things. The invitations are now designed and ordered...and I have gotten the food part figured out. Not everything has been going according to plan*...but I am more than okay with that, having fully anticipated that some things were not going to go according to plan (c'est la vie!). Essentially, we picked the first plate option we were given, passed on colored linens, and kept everything as simple and sane as possible. Seriously, the amount of thought and work that people put into these trivial details still boggles my mind. We settled on food that we thought people would eat...mainly nothing too spicy or too exotic. I did not care for the idea of a signature cocktail...because I think it's pointless...and who will remember it anyway? The fiance may have made some strange food pairings** but I'm not stressing over it too much. You see, people are very strange when it comes to food. You won't please everybody and people will eat just about anything if it is presented correctly....or if they are hungry enough.
On a related note, one thing I am still trying to understand is how putting macaroni and cheese in a martini glass somehow turns it into a classy appetizer. I may not be a gourmand...but macaroni and cheese is just that. You can put it in a martini glass and it is still macaroni and cheese. It's nothing special and has no place beside the beef wellington when it comes time for cocktail hour. Same goes for the mushroom risotto in the martini glass! The only thing that should ever be put in a martini glass is gin, vermouth, an olive, and maybe a lemon twist. I decided not to raise this issue in front of the reception hall guy. It just didn't seem prudent...especially because I had already found myself having to explain what a TARDIS was to this poor guy.
I have also been painting...and...you guessed it...busy in the lab. The paintings I want to show here are not finished yet and I really don't think it would be prudent to discuss what I do in my lab on the internet. According to the fiance, the whole internet is like a 13 or 14 year old child. It whines and complains about everything. Reading through any comment section are bound to make you despair in the human race. Even the most trivial of things seems to be the biggest issue for some people and I have heard stories from colleagues about threats, etc. I've gotten some nasty feedback and comments in the past...but am beginning to take things a bit more seriously now....but enough about this!
Let's get to the good part!
As the title suggests, I have also been on a Belloc binge. G.K. Chesterton and I were having a great time together and then he introduced me to his good friend, Hilaire Belloc. Mr. Belloc and I hit it off pretty well right off the bat. I appreciated his humor and absolutely LOVED his writing style...and his snark. His wit is similar to that of Twain and could have been his had Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens been of Anglo-French ancestry. Belloc reminds me a lot about myself when it comes to appreciating God's sense of humor and making the best of things. He enjoys a good wine, marvels at both the simple and complex, and is an extremely intelligent thinker. Some of the thoughts that seemed to pop into his head during his pilgrimage to Rome are the thoughts that tend to pop into my mind whenever I go for a good ramble through the grass. I finished "The Free Press" and the "Path to Rome" within a week. I am currently working on "On Nothing and Kindred Spirits" and have already put plenty more of his books (the free books at least) on my Kindle.
Unlike the celebrity feuds we see today...his feuds were actually pretty brilliant.
H.G. Wells (regarding a feud with Belloc)- "Debating Mr. Belloc is like arguing with a hailstorm."
*The Minas Tirith cake idea has been thrown out of the window because I just could not justify ever paying $3,500 for a cake....or $1200 for a miniature Minas Tirith groom's cake.
**like caldo verde with caesar salad