Sunday and yesterday were very nice! _jenjen_
and self went to Posh Afternoon Tea at the Lanesborough hotel, which was, well, delicious and posh. The pianist was quite funny, and started playing Fancy Hotel Reception Riffs On a few '80s pop songs and Phantom of the Opera before settling into Cole Porter.
Ewan got me two books, Watching the English
(which I am halfway through and is very funny, if not necessarily totally accurate) and Jerusalem: A Biography
, which I have heard great things about and am excited to sit at home and read with a cup of tea.
Jenny, Josh and I went to see Cowboys and Aliens
before tea, which was a thoroughly hateful film. I like Daniel Craig and most other people in it, and the fact that the capitalist bad guy was a cattle owner named "Dollarhide", and I wish they had stuck with A Lone Amnesiac Gunslinger Comes To Town, Then Everyone Fights Aliens (which was a very enjoyable 45-minute film trapped inside the one we saw) without the unnecessary, stupendous racism and misogyny. THANKS HOLLYWOOD. BY WHICH I MEAN FUCK YOU.
When we returned home VERY FULL in the early evening, I discovered that my mother-in-law got me a Kindle for my birthday in a bald-faced attempt to buy my love! As you may recall a few months ago I had been trying to decide whether it was worth buying one, and decided it wasn't really something I needed, but it is a brilliant gift and I am very happy and thankful for it.
The best thing I have downloaded so far is the Silent Voices Bible
, which swaps the gender pronouns on everything and everybody. I remember a conversation with my rabbi early in my conversion, when he described how surprised and dismayed he was when he realised in university how severe the difference was between women's and men's experience of reading patriarchal texts. Aside from things like a female Abraham arguing with a female god, there are things like:
"Isn't a woman forced to labor on earth? Aren't her days like the days of a hired hand? As a servant who earnestly desires the shadow, as a hireling who looks for her wages, so am I made to possess months of misery, wearisome nights are appointed to me."
And, like, is this what it is like to be male? Texts are just all written for you? Male is normative and male pronouns are used to describe the general, the plural or the non-gendered? You don't have to work to find yourself in the text because it is all overt and easy and handed to you? IT IS BLOWING MY MIND BASICALLY. I want to do this with every text ever. I am definitely using this version for the "blog every book of the Bible" project that is on my 101 Things list
What else should I be using my Kindle for other than "reading public domain books"? Can I get academic journals on it? I am already subscribing to the New Statesman and have bought a few trashy looking crime and romance novels for 86p.
Yesterday Ewan and I went to lunch at Dinner (this was my big birthday present from him), which was VERY VERY TASTY. I had a fantastic cocktail with gin and orange peel and rose tea from the Mandarin Bar as well, which I wish I had noted the ingredients for so I could make it at home.
After lunch I had an appointment with the admissions adviser at Rabbi School. We'd been exchanging emails intermittently after I signed up for, and then decided not to go to, Rabbi School Open Day, where I said "so I almost definitely do not want to be a rabbi, and I really love my current job, but I do enjoy higher education and Jewish stuff, so it would be nice to know if there are options for me", and she said "oh that is fine, there aren't really at the moment, but let's have a chat anyway", and we did, and it was nice and non-pressured but I still came away thinking (a) I probably don't want to be a (congregational) rabbi and (b) it is a giant bummer that there is no progressive Jewish body that will let me earn an MA in Jewish Stuff without going to classes during working hours. Oh well.
After Jew Class we looked at three properties, two of which were not great and one of which we love but is £20k more than we can afford and the estate agent said they are definitely not going that low. I suppose we could put an offer in anyway just for fun.
When we got home my stomach started doing odd things so we scrapped the plan of Ewan cooking me a romantic dinner and instead I lay in bed munching potatoes, watching 30 Rock and whimpering. Boo!
It is VERY RAINY today but I actually quite like this, as I have been feeling a bit sad and worn-down this weekend despite it being MY BIRTHDAY HURRAH, and now I can huddle over tea at work and have it feel OK to be sad and worn-down. There were very nice things about the weekend though! Like my lovely husband most of all, and also the bit where the Rabbi School admissions adviser said that of all the potential Rabbi School students she'd seen over the past few months, I was the least interested in but (in her opinion) the best suited for the rabbinate. Soz guys, I will be saving the world through financial journalism instead! I hope!