July/August ~ Life Goes By At The Speed of Light


Once Upon A Time (c. 1850)
Carl Spitzweg
source Wikiart

I cannot believe where the time has gone.  It’s passed by so quickly that my mind is spinning.  Which is not good.  Lately I’ve been thinking about balance in life, and how we find it.  Is it only people who live in large cities who have this problem, as events and opportunities are much more accessible?  Or do we all do it to ourselves and are “nuts,” as my scorekeeping liaison is fond of calling me?  I have a feeling there are many answers to this question, all of them complex and none of them clear.

June …… what can I say about June?  Honestly, so many things blur together which, I believe, comes from …… yes, being entirely too busy. Most of it was spent getting ready for the big international women’s softball tournament held yearly in my area.  Usually I help scorekeep but this year was the year they made me head scorekeeper so I had almost 40 volunteers working under me.  Help!  It was certainly trial-by-fire and for 11 days, 14-15 hours per day, I was kept moving, going from diamond to diamond, fixing scoreboards, sound systems, talking to volunteers, altering schedules continuously, grabbing volunteers on the fly for either scorekeeping, announcing or scoreboards, etc. etc.  It went very well and the support and help I received from my volunteers was truly exceptional and very much appreciated.  The tournament was a wonderful experience, but even so, I must admit I was relieved when it was over, as the long days were beginning to wear on me.  Japan beat Australia in the final, which was no surprise as softball is huge in Japan and their teams are nearly always impossible to beat.  After that tournament, I went on to be head scorekeeper for a Provincials tournament which was very enjoyable (and much smaller) but I was pretty much exhausted at the end of it all.  It was nice to fly off for vacation a couple of days later and I won’t be back for at least another week.  Needless to say, I’m sleeping lots, enjoying getting more reading time than I have had recently, doing lots of kayaking, and relaxing in nature.   A couple of days ago, I came outside on the deck to find that Finn (my dog) had caught a mouse; the mouse was traumatized and Finn was looking sufficiently traumatized as well, as he was most likely trying to play with it and didn’t quite realize the consequences.  We put it in a berry box, gave it food (blueberries) and water, and it appeared to be getting better, but sadly something came along last night and ate it, so our nursing was all for naught.  Poor mouse.  Such is the circle of life, I suppose.

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel

Oh, before I forget, I did manage to raise some butterflies, something I’d been planning to do for years and never managed to buy the kit in time.  They were Painted Ladies and all hatched easily except for one.  It was liberating to watch them fly away clothed in their bright painted colours.  I do wonder though, while they’re supposed to be native to this area, I never see any.  The occasional Monarch, yes, Painted Ladies, no …..

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel


Some rather distressing news in our province is the unprecedented number of forest fires burning throughout British Columbia.   Today, as I sit outside on the deck, there is an air quality advisory in effect and I’m hoping for winds to breeze the smoginess away.  To date, there have been a total of over 200 fires with 325,000 hectares (803,000 acres) have been scorched and many people’s houses have burned to the ground; a friend’s cottage at Loon Lake was destroyed by the flames. Firefighters from the U.S. and Mexico have travelled to help out but sadly the hot temperatures continue and there doesn’t seem to be much reprieve.  Very tragic and we can only hope for a change of weather soon.


From fires to reading … did I already mention reading?  Of course, I did!  I would have had very little to report for my July post, but since I didn’t do one and we’re already in August, I have news!  I’m almost finished reading Shadow of the Moon for Cirtnecce’s read-along, a book about the great India mutiny of 1857.  As with all M.M. Kaye’s books, it’s well-written and delivers a comprehensive history of the time, drawing the reader right into the story.  I finished History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides and enjoyed it much more than I expected.  It gets better as it goes along and offers an insightful look into politics, power and war.  I’m also reading Augustine’s City of God (sooooo different from his Confessions) and Plato’s Republic.  I can’t say I’m enjoying the former yet, but the latter is certainly fascinating, not only for Plato’s ideas but for the way in which he delivers them; one often can’t quite tell whether Socrates is being serious, or playful, or ironic.  Otherwise, I need to pick up Dead Souls again by Gogol and finish it off and continue with O’s The Pickwick Papers Read-Along.

And so what does August bring?  Other than the end of my vacation, I have a drive to Saskatchewan planned.  While I’ve seen places in Alberta (Lake Louise, Banff, etc.), I’ve never been further east in Canada by car so it should be interesting.  And yes, (broken record starting….) the food blog is still coming along, yet technically not launched.  I just became too busy over the summer and could not give it the attention it needed.  My partner is being patient (although perhaps it would help if he’d be a little more prodding!  Oooo, but is that nagging?  That wouldn’t be good! 😉 ).  I’m going to try to get something happening on it in August but it might not be until September, if I’m honest.  I’m still thinking about it though …. collecting recipes, ideas, etc. so in a way, I haven’t completely abandoned it.

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel


And books?  I already have so much I’m reading but I do plan to add a couple of others to the mix.  Plutarch’s Lives is ready to go, and I want to start Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.  I’ve also been eyeing The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake which looks very interesting.  If anyone has read it, can you give me a positive recommendation?

So …..  as July has slipped almost silently into August, I hope you all are having a wonderful summer!

© Cleo @ Classical Carousel


0 thoughts on “July/August ~ Life Goes By At The Speed of Light

  1. A professor who was a Vietnam vet knew I was into scifi/fantasy in seminary and he told me that The Gormenghast Trilogy had made the rounds in his day. He said that he and his friends called it the "The Gormenghastly Trilogy" because it was so purple. So I never had the courage to try them.

    Best of luck! 😀

  2. Thanks for sharing your summer recap. It's always interesting to hear what other bloggers are doing in their regular lives – that is a correct term, "regular lives"?

    What an adorable little mouse, but a sad end to his recovery. : (

    How far are you from the fires? Is that common in your region? Like I could say EVERY SINGLE END OF SUMMER, it never fails, we have "fire season." It's kind of part of life. : (

  3. I am not sure if its only us in the big cities who feel that they are running out of time. There are some folks out there bored out of their senses despite having the world on their fingertips. I thinks it's is how you are as a person, how involved you are with everything around you. Being busy is exhausting, but also a good thing; it means one is leading a rich purposeful life. Ok…that's the philosophy lesson for the day! I love the butterflies….really pretty. The forest fires are bad though and hope things get sorted soon! I am more than happy to join The Gormenghast Trilogy but can we do it in September? Please? Pretty Please???!! Lets talks about Shadow of the Moon soon as well. I will post my review hopefully by the weekend! P.S. I like the sound of The Head Scorekeeper!!

  4. I can definitely recommend the Gormenghast Trilogy – or the first two books, at least. The third one was very different from the others and didn't appeal to me as much. I'm still reading Shadow of the Moon but hope to finish it by the weekend!

  5. Well, there is a fire that's about an hour's drive away from us and it's about 40% contained as at about 2 weeks ago, but most of the fires are in the interior where it's hot and dry. There are always fires often because B.C. is very treed and natural but sadly people are careless/ignorant and don't take care of their campfires properly or throw their cigarette butts down on the ground. However, this year I believe many of the fires were started with lightning strikes.

    Yes, regular life and blog life! Hopefully the former is preferable to most!

  6. Re: philosophy lesson ….. I believe you're right but honestly it can be hard to be involved with people as many are too busy to connect on a "real" level and others fool themselves into thinking that they are connected with people when they haven't taken the time to invest in what really makes a true friendship. And I don't think being busy ALWAYS means you're leading a rich, purposeful life. Often people can be busy to distract themselves from other things that are wrong in their lives that they don't want to face. And how is that for a philosophical response? 😉

    I finished Shadow of the Moon this morning so I'd love to discuss it. There were things I LOVED about it and other things that made me go, GRRR!

    Yes, we can start on Gormenghast in September. It's not like I don't have anything else to read, lol!

    Oh yes, Head Scorekeeper sounds important but you're only as good as those under you. It was a fun experience though.

  7. Thanks for the recommendation, Helen! That's great! I thought I read he was having health problems when he wrote the third book so perhaps that accounts for it being not as good as the others.

    Can't wait to discuss Shadow of the Moon!

  8. At first I thought you were reviewing a book titled Life Goes by at the Speed of Light and it looked interesting but your post was also interesting.

    I'm sorry about the little mouse. Poor thing. We tried to save a bird from our dog but it didn't make it.

    Your descriptions of Canada, minus the forest fires make me want to plan a major road trip from one side to the other. I guess it would have to be in the summer…

  9. Loved reading this update… It sounds like you've been incredibly busy! I'm sorry to hear the mouse didn't make it, but it looks like you did all you could for it.

    Praying you continue to stay safe from the fires. The last couple of days, the smoke has headed south to us, so the whole sky is filled with thick smog right now. I really want it to rain, but it doesn't look like it will even cool down for some time yet. 🙁

  10. It is a good book title, isn't it? 😉

    British Columbia is very beautiful so definitely plan a trip but sometime when there isn't so many fires! Often June-ish is good. I've been privileged to see many of your wonderful photos from your trips and I'm always wondering where you'll go next. I'm hoping to be able to go to Europe next spring but it's too far away yet to be certain. One can always dream though!

  11. I have been busy but I'm looking forward to slowing down a little.

    The air quality is even worse today and I'm on the Gulf Islands (above your San Juans) so I can't imagine how awful it must be in town. I do hope it rains or the winds change at least to make things a little better.

  12. Oh my goodness! I never even knew that one could raise their own butterflies!

    I'm sorry about the fires. As a Californian, I completely understand that situation. Please keep yourself inside where the air is filtered if it starts to get too bad!

    Also, your dog Finn is absolutely adorable. He sounds gentle as well, seeing as he took hold of a mouse but did not eat it. What breed is he? My husband and I are considering a Bernedoodle, when the time is right (a year or two??). Their fur is also black, brown, and white. 🙂

  13. Yes, the smoke from the fires is really bad now. Yesterday they said it was worse than Beijing. 🙁 I'm home the day after tomorrow and I'll see how it is then.

    Finn is an Australian Shepherd …. lots of energy but they train really well. Please let me know when you get your puppy and what breed you decide on! A house without a dog ….. well, it somehow seems a little less alive.

  14. This summer really has flown by, I agree! How are the fires doing? I see there's still some going – it's awful. It's dreadful for the wildlife, and the air quality sounds terrible. I have asthma and I'm practically wheezing thinking about it.

    Our weather, meanwhile, has perked up a smidgen. We're getting some decent evenings and some nice mornings. Yesterday it only rained for a few hours :/

    The score-keeping sounds mind-boggling hard! Well done 🙂

    Can I just ask what edition / translation of Plutarch’s Lives are you reading?

    Finn's beautiful, by the way!

    Oh, and poor mousy 🙁

  15. The fires are still burning but thankfully the wind changed here and the smoke is gone. Not so for other areas though and there are still health advisories.

    Even though it's only mid-August, I feel fall coming already and it's rather sad. The weather has been nice though.

    I'm reading The Dryden Translation edited by Arthur Hugh Clough. So far, I like it but I haven't done much translation investigation on this one.

    Finn says hi …. bark, bark!

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear from you and have you join in the discussion!