A Classical Carousel Update 2020


LandscapeOh, what a year!  Life just continues to hand out twists and turns and often it’s hard to keep up.  But keep up one must and while running, I’m making a slow foray back into the blogosphere!

As most of you know, my mom had been ailing for a few months and she passed away at the beginning of March.  It was hard.  Really hard.  But my mother not only had the best attitude of anyone I knew, she was pragmatic.  “It’s life,” she would say and it goes on.  And so it does.  Strangely enough, she helped me write her obituary a few days before she passed and while sad, it was strangely normal and we actually enjoyed doing it together.  And while I can’t express how much I miss her, perhaps I can about how much I admire her.  While her life wasn’t terrible, it certainly wasn’t easy.  Unlike me, she wasn’t very curious or adventurous and preferred to spend her time close to home.  In her later years, she developed Parkinson’s disease (thankfully with somewhat milder symptoms) and 6 years before her death she contracted an autoimmune disease and went completely blind due to a medical error.  It must have been an awful experience but she was always happy and positive and really, an example to everyone around her of how to take what life gives you, regardless if it’s good or bad, and enjoy every moment.  She will always be missed and never forgotten.  Rest in peace, Mumsy!

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel

So, as you see, I have so many personal things going on that I hardly noticed the advent of the coronavirus and I hardly know what to think.  I realize that the media is usually the master of hyperbole to shock and awe in the quest for the almighty dollar.  However, people are dying and it’s such a new unexpected circumstance that it’s sort of the blind leading the blind.  I do find it interesting that countries that have decided not to self-isolate, such as Taiwan, Singapore, and Sweden (are there any I missed?) don’t seem to be having more cases or deaths as other countries who are self-isolating.  However, time will tell and for the time being, Canada’s decision is to self-isolate so I’m towing the line as much as possible.

Walking the River

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel

And what am I doing during the outbreak?  I wish I could say lots of reading and I am reading more, but I’m behind on my income taxes so that’s a priority.  So here’s what I’m up to:

  • income taxes
  • walks with dog and sometimes friends (of course, 2 metres apart … for the people, not the dogs)
  • biking
  • cleaning house, car, etc.
  • cooking
  • reading

Given more time, when the taxes are finished, I’d like to try to do some drawing, photography and perhaps sign up for some on-line courses.  Strangely, I’ve been watching almost no T.V. and have not been very present on social media.  It’s been very refreshing!  I have felt a little starved for social interaction but I’m getting some so it’s not too bad.

River Rock

There were rocks like this one placed all along the path in the woods where I normally walk. So nice to see the creativity coming out in these uncertain times! © Cleo @ Classical Carousel

And lastly, after the turmoil of last month I picked up a Jeeves and Wooster Omnibus and have read Thank You, Jeeves and am just finishing up The Code of the Woosters.  P.D. Wodhouse is a hoot!  I’ve also begun The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot.  My plan is to go slowly and keep only two books at a time going but we’ll see how that goes.  I’m already thinking of continuing my read of The Rougon-Macquart series for Fanda’s Zoladdiction with Le Rêve, and I do have to finish up my The Iliad read-along that was interrupted.

Swamp Beauty

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel

I hope everyone is keeping safe and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with you as I slowly emerge back into the blogging world!

Village Road

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel



Top photo is courtesy of Alain Audet on Pixabay

38 thoughts on “A Classical Carousel Update 2020

  1. I have been thinking about you and while I am so sorry to hear of your mom’s death, it was nice learning a little about her and her positivity. I could use some of that myself. 😉 Also, I call my mom Mumsy, too, so that really got to me. May her memory be for a blessing.

    • Hey Laurie! Great to “see” you! 🙂 That’s wonderful that you call your mom “Mumsy”. That makes me glad to know the name goes on …. Sending some more positivity your way! 🕊

  2. Thank you for writing. Been wondering how you are doing. Glad you were able to write about it. So sorry to hear about your mom. : (

    I’m not surprised that when you emerged from it all and saw what was happening – that the state of the world was not that important in the grand scheme. Our loved ones are our world. And anyway, it is probably better that you were able to stay away from social media for awhile; none of it is encouraging.

    BTW, I was sort of watched the film version of Mill on the Floss and it discouraged me from starting it. So I don’t really know if I’ll start it ever. : /

    Take care of yourself.


    • Thanks for your condolences, Ruth. In spite of the surrealness of life lately, it’s situations like this one which force us to assess what truly matters in life.

      As for The Mill on the Floss, I’m really not enamoured with Maggie and Tom’s relationship so far …. it seems rather unhealthy to me. But that said, I’m enjoying the read and I do love Eliot!

      You take care as well!

  3. Our condolences on your mother’s passing away. It’s always a struggle to find something to say that is encouraging, sympathetic and yet not trite. God’s blessing on you.

    Welcome back to a changed world. Hopefully April can be a healing month for you.

    • I know! It’s so difficult to know what to say, isn’t it? But just having you pop in and say anything is encouraging. I dunno …. this whole pandemic gives me an odd feeling like there’s something going on that we don’t realize. In any case, April has started well. I hope for you too!

  4. Really love the photos. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. My mother has stage four lung cancer and is legally blind. I cherish these final days with her, even though I can’t visit her or my father until the Corona Virus blows over.

    I will add that I have read about the Sweden not demanding quarantine. But I have also read about Italy and Spain that have atrocious death numbers and they haven’t quarantined either. It may have to do with demographics, I guess.

    • Thanks! I’m going to try to take more photos on my daily walks and perhaps post those of them that turn out well.

      Aw, bless your dear mother! What a trooper. It must be difficult for you not to be able to see her. I’m helping someone at the moment who has stage four lung cancer but she does really well, so it hasn’t slowed her down much!

      Italy HAS been in quarantine for ages but I’m not sure about Spain. I read today that Germany already had tests ready and stockpiled and was quite prepared and that’s why their death rate is so low. Sadly I think many people are dying simply because countries were unprepared, and not directly from the virus. Sad.

      Keep safe and thanks for stopping by!

    • Hi Michelle! So nice to hear from you! Thank you for your condolences. Today is a good day where I can remember her with smiles. You take care of yourself as well!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your mom. This is a beautiful tribute to her, thank you for sharing it with us. Please accept my very best wishes.

    I’m glad you’ve plenty of things to keep you occupied. Love the rock-picture, and yes, P.G., who better to send some light into a situation, on or off the page. I look forward to hearing about The Mill on The Floss, it’s years since I read it, and I might be tempted to open it again.

    • Aw, thank you so much for your supportive comments. I’m so happy to be able to keep in touch virtually with people, if not physically. It makes it all more bearable.

      Those rocks were placed all along the trail where i was walking, with such positive sayings on them that it was just lovely. In spite of our conditions, it’s very encouraging to see the creativity that self-isolation (and the situation) is fostering.

      I usually love Eliot so I expect to like The Mill on the Floss but it’s begun in an almost Hardy-esque-type way which makes me nervous. We’ll see.

      Stay healthy and happy, Cath!

  6. So sorry for all you’ve gone through! Glad you’re able to journal through it all here. I stalled on The Iliad and haven’t had much motivation in the last few weeks but hope to pick it up again soon! 🙂 Grateful for you!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Kim. I’m sorry to hear you stalled on The Iliad. I’m going to get back at it soon but with what’s happening, it’s not inspiring me to read it, even though I love it. Still, I will finish. You take care!

    • Thank you for your sympathy, Richard. The loss does leave a hole in one’s life. This is the first time I’ve sensed that those holes begin to multiply as one gets older. But it’s a beautiful day today and there is lots to be thankful for. This self-isolation can also lead to self-discovery. I might even try to draw a picture today. You stay healthy as well!

  7. Hi Cleo, I was thinking about you and your mom! I’m so sorry that she’s gone, and that is so hard for you. But I’m glad that you had those days with her.

    And now, welcome to a very changed world. Everything is so strange right now. I think your choice of Wodehouse is a very good one; I’m finding that I can only read the easiest, most fun books, though I hope to work my way up to some light history. (I seriously went on a Three Investigators bender for almost a week.)

    • Thanks for those thoughts, Jean. They mean alot. We did have some good times and laughs before she passed. It was good!

      Yes, very changed but hopefully not all bad change and hopefully we learn from it. I know! When I look at my Goodreads feed, where it used to be mostly classics my “friends” were reading, now it’s definitely lighter-type novels. It’s interesting. Perhaps it’s time for me to read some of the lighter novels that I’ve had in the reading-pipeline for ages. After taxes, look out, here I come!

  8. In a poem by James Wright he tried to waken and greet the world once again after a loss…. I thought of you when I read the words: “…the branch will not break.” Stay strong, my deepest condolences from ex-pat (CT, USA) in The Netherlands.

    • Aw, that’s kind of you, Nancy! I’ve been thinking of you too, holed up with a cat. And here I am with my dog. Pets are good company! 😀

      The Netherlands has a few more cases than Canada, but the numbers are close. I’m grateful it’s not worse. Take care, stay healthy and talk to your kitty! 😉 I’m going to get started on my garden soon!

  9. So sorry about your mom, Cleo. No matter how prepared you are it’s still tough. When my dad passed he was ready to go and in good spirits (though tireder) up to very near the end, and the family was all on hand. It still hit me hard. It’s nice you were able to spend some good time with your mom before. Hope you’re hanging in there.

    • Hi Reese! Thanks for your condolences. No matter what, it’s hard, isn’t it? Each week gets easier, although I still find myself picking up the phone to call her before I remember. I must say I’m glad that she’s missing the pandemic though. You take care and stay healthy! I look forward to catching up on your blog. You always choose to read such eclectic and interesting books!

  10. So sorry to hear about your mother Cleo. Please accept my condolences.

    I am happy to hear, however, that you are doing OK during these strange days. It is hard not to adopt the herd mentality sometimes and think the worst. Take care and stay heathy!

    • Thank you, Ruthiella. I appreciate your support. I’m definitely remaining positive and hope things get back to a semblance of normal soon. You take care as well and I look forward to catching up on your blog postings!

  11. Cleo even though our only connection has been through the Illiad ( which I did finish even if it did take into March) I feel like you are a friend. It is a rare quality you have that allows others to connect with you so easily.

    I am so sorry to hear about your mom but glad you had the time together. I can tell by your pictures that you see the beauty around you may that help you through these trying times.

    • Aw, Connie, that’s very sweet of you to say. In spite of not being able to see people in person, I do feel like a number of your are my friends and I so appreciate that connection. 🙏💜

      Yes, I am trying to enjoy beauty every day. Although life can be ugly, it is beautiful, yet fleeting, and we should try to enjoy every moment we can. Thank you so much for your support!

  12. I’m sorry to hear about your mum. You popped in my thoughts several times yesterday and today which is why I came to seek you out! I’m glad you’re doing ok, and finding ways to keep busy on the lockdown (here is the UK, you’ll no doubt know, we’re on lockdown too). These are very strange times…

    • Hi O! I’ve been thinking about you often and keep intending to message and then time gets away on me. I hope you’re doing well. I feel out of touch since you’re not that active on your blog (Boo hoo!) Let’s message soon and catch up!

      • That would be nice 🙂 But don’t message me on Goodreads – to cut a long story short I’ve accidentally locked myself out of it and given up trying to get back in. At some point I dare say I’ll manage it, but for now if you do get the chance to send me an email just use this email address 🙂

  13. we shall see if this (must be 8th attempt or so) if this will print: so sorry to hear your mother passed on… it shakes one up, as i know, but the world does what it does, regardless… i’m still riding my bike in a more or less deserted city; it’s rather eerie, sort of like a Philip K. Dick sci fi story… we’re doing okay, mostly staying home and catching up on honey-dos… gorgeous photos as usual…

    • ha! since that worked, i need to mention that i’m now at mudpuddlesoup2.blogspot.com it got so WordPress wouldn’t publish my posts anymore and i couldn’t fix it so i switched… i don’t like it as much, but am grateful for being able to post, anyway… i’ve been on an armchair traveling trip for a while now, as the comments like that kind of book… hope to see you over there and i’m glad i finally figured out how to make this comment thing work!! good luck with stuff…

      • I did find you finally, as I was getting worried when there were no posts showing up in my feed for your old blog. I notice that you’re on a travelling binge! Your reviews are fun and exciting to read. I must get to reading more. But after these nasty taxes. I’ve been working a little this week, which I’ve so enjoyed. Keeping moving is always good. Keep well, Mudpuddle!

    • I can imagine that bike riding must be a surreal experience now! I’ve been doing lots of it too as well as enjoying catching up on chores. I’ve had more interaction with people lately as well, for which I’ve been grateful. AND the weather is getting nicer! Spring is here!

  14. I’m sorry to hear about your mom, Cleo. I hope your memories can help you through this time.

    Wodehouse sounds like a good choice as well – if I weren’t already buried under my book pile (I may have stocked up before the local libraries closed), I’d be tempted to pull some Jeeves and Wooster off my shelf as well.

    • Thanks for the sympathy, Amanda. I’m definitely attracted to more cheerful books lately. I must continue with my Agatha Christie challenge which shouldn’t be hard at all. After Borges, you might need some light reading too, lol!

  15. Hi Cleo – I’m so sorry to hear about your loss… You’ve been in my thoughts & prayers, and I’m hoping things get easier soon. <3

    Thanks for sharing the glimpses of spring in your area – we are also enjoying some blue skies down here. 🙂

    • Thanks for keeping me in your prayers, Marian. I’m always grateful for that. Yes, each week is easier and it’s nice to see spring again. I’ve been buying some flowers and doing some gardening which is sort of therapeutic. Enjoy the blue skies! ☀️🌺

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