In one of those “in-between” times

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath. As I have done other weekends, I am extending my Sabbath by one day, into Saturday. This will my 35th Sabbath since starting last year.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

This weekend, I’m in one of those “in-between” times as in between this and that or more accurately that and that. This past week, I was on vacation on a virtual trip around the world, ending in Ireland, and my next vacation is only next week, as I have off from Good Friday, April 2, through Easter Sunday and Monday and then Tuesday, April 6, which is my wife’s birthday…and finally Wednesday, April 7, just for good measure.  

I also am in between shots, as I got my first covid shot on March 11 and my second covid shot on April 1, right before my vacation.  

But at least, I’m not between a rock and a hard place. *rimshot*


So…my plan to read during my vacation last week didn’t happen. As a result, I still am reading The Wings of The Sphinx, the 11th in the Inspector Montalbano series, by Andrea Camilleri. After that, I have the 12th, 13th, and 14th in the series already checked out from the Free Library of Philadelphia, which are in order, The Track of Sand, The Potter’s Field, and The Age of Doubt 

When I finish The Wings of the Sphinx, it will be my sixth book of the year. So if I am a book blogger, it is in name only, with which I am okay. 


Photo by Grafixart_photo Samir BELHAMRA on Pexels.com

About that vacation last week: Over the first four nights, we went to northern England, Italy, Spain and Greece, using as our guide The Trip, the British TV/film series with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, that started in 2010 and ended last year with The Trip To Greece. I enjoyed the first two films, but I was wearying of the pair by the time we got to Spain and Greece, especially their repeated impressions of Michael Caine and other celebrities. Also, the last one ended on the death of Coogan’s father, which, although true to life, was a bit of a downer for the series. I think they also showed more of Italy than they did of Spain and Greece. Maybe it was just watching all four so close together. *insert shrugs emoji


Nothing else comes to mind that I need to share so I think I’ll leave it there for today. How are you doing this weekend? Any big plans? Any little plans? Reading, watching, listening to anything good? Share in the comments.

Going on vacation

At 2:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, I’m going on vacation until next Thursday morning at 10 a.m. when I return to work. Initially, I decided to take the time off, just because I don’t like my vacation hours to build up at the end of the year when I have to “use them or lose them.”

AND THEN…

Last month, I got an appointment for my first covid vaccination shot on Saturday in a nearby town (about an hour away), then a couple of weeks ago, another appointment for my first covid vaccination shot last night, which I took because it was in my hometown. My second is scheduled for Thursday, April 1. No fooling 😉.

SO NOW…

I am celebrating that, of course, which just happened also to be on the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the world was in a pandemic.

AND THIS…

It is almost exactly one year from when the pandemic began for me too as the last day the library where I work was open was Saturday, March 14, and we closed Sunday, March 15, for several months before reopening.

My vacation begins appropriately right around the same time, as on March 14, I’ll already be into my vacation since Saturday afternoon. It will be almost a year to the day of when I went into isolation and have been slowly remerging since, both personally and professionally.

Now that you know the why, what is my plan for those 4 days and 19 hours?

THE ITINERARY

Over the first four nights, we’re going to northern England, Italy, Spain, Greece, Ireland and Boston. First through the lens of The Trip, the British TV/film series with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, that started in 2010 and ended last year. The duo first toured the north of England in the TV series that was then made into a feature film, then went to Italy, Spain, and Greece in subsequent series that also were made into feature films.

So, we’ll be going with them and adding Ireland, but of course, with a concert with Flogging Molly and then Boston with another concert, Dropkick Murphys, on the tail end of our tour. Along the way, we’ll eat meals, drink drinks (well, I will be every day but as Kim has to work Saturday and Sunday nights, she won’t be imbibing on those days) and watch other movies too (at least semi) representative of each country:

  1. Saturday, March 13, The Trip (northern England),followed by movie to be determined, fish and chips, Pimm’s.
  2. Sunday, March 14, The Trip to Italy, followed by Godfather: Part 3, Coda, ziti, amaretto, sambuca.
  3. Monday, March 15: The Trip to Spain, followed by a movie to be determined, paella, Sangria.
  4. Tuesday, March 16: The Trip to Greece, followed by My Big Fat Greek Wedding – during day sometime, Staged Season 2, spanakopita, ouzo.
  5. Wednesday, March 17: Two virtual concerts, Flogging Molly at 3 p.m. and Dropkick Murphys at 7 p.m., food to be determined, whiskey.

Oops, I almost forgot that naturally I plan on reading during my vacation, but I’m staying in one country: Italy with Inspector Montalbano and Andrea Camilleri as next up is The Wings of The Sphinx, the 11th in the series.

Sunday morning update: For my second English movie, I watched the first Paddington movie, although the second one is my favorite. I started the second one, but didn’t finish it. Maybe later today. Also I realized last night that I might be painting “this picture” as all sunshine and unicorns (with rainbows coming out of their butts?), and I wanted to add that this vacation is also a time for reflection me personally. Let’s face it, this has been one hell of a year for all of us, but I’m trying to find hope wherever I can and hopefully, can help you find some too, even if it’s just a sliver of sunshine in what can be a dark world.

My Own Personal Sabbath #34

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

This past Thursday, I finished August Heat, the tenth in the Inspector Montalbano series, by Andrea Camilleri and today I am starting the eleventh, The Wings of the Sphinx. I started the year with the sixth in the series, The Smell of the Night, and then continued with the seventh, eighth, and ninth, Rounding the Mark, The Patience of the Spider, and The Paper Moon before finishing August Heat.

Seeing a few episodes last year of the Italian TV series based on the books rekindled my interest in the books. Then when the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) added most of the book series to its OverDrive collection at the end of last year, right before Christmas, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to dive back in.

I have not been disappointed yet as other books have taken a back seat to the Italian commissario. I have flirted with the idea of reading and continuing other series, but for now I only have eyes for the late Camilleri’s creation. I am completely and utterly captivated by Montalbano for now. I already have the 12th, The Track of Sand, checked out and waiting in the wings. And I have the 13th and 14th, The Potter’s Field and The Age of Doubt on hold. That is how much I love this series…

…but I probably will take a break after that since FLP has only 24 of the 27 books in the series to borrow (so far). That way, I have something to look forward to to later in the year or even next year.

What have you been reading lately that you have loved or are loving?

Chilling in The Chill Out Tent again

My Own Personal Sabbath #33

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

Tomorrow, as I have been at the end of many months during 2020, I will be in The Chill Out Tent, which is a series of live streamed events from an imagined chillout space in a virtual festival. Or as the group organizers explain:

Sunsets in Ibiza, sheep watching in Scotland, little fluffy clouds in Arizona…

Turn on…stay in… chill out…

For me, it also fits in with my goal of tuning out of news and social media for the day and can make for good background music for my reading. Tomorrow, I have a few choices to read, but I’ll probably continue with the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri. I am up to No. 10, August Heat, and have No. 11, The Wings of the Sphinx, already on my Kindle ready to go when I’m finished with August Heat.

Sunday

9:20 AM

I am writing this in a car wash, listening to a BBC Radio 4 podcast In Our Time. It was recommended to me by a fellow blogger and Sunday Saloner, Susan of the blog The Cue Card. This episode is on Marcus Aurelius.

Before I chill out this afternoon in the tent, I had to get out this morning to prepare for this afternoon. After this car wash, I am off to the grocery store for snacks for the party later. Also early this afternoon, I am going to grab a bottle of wine to quaff while chilling.

So until later, when I update you more…

11 AM

3 PM

After church, I went to the wine and spirits shoppe for wine and now I’m in the tent. I’m not reading as planned because the visuals are stunning here in the tent…and also the wine, let’s be honest. In addition to music, there also are videos to accompany the music.

9 PM

Finally reading, with Seamus on my lap. August Heat, the 10th Inspector Montalbano, by Andrea Camilleri. 

What are your plans for the weekend? Do they involve reading? If so, what are you reading? If not, what are you doing otherwise? I’m