pegkerr: (Rob's last) she stood before the canvas on which he was represented, and fixed his eyes upon herself,
she thought of his regard with a deeper sentiment of gratitude than it had ever raised before;
she remembered its warmth, and softened its impropriety of expression.

--Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I realize that I never posted the last pictures we took for our family portrait. They were taken by a friend of the family and professional photographer, John Walsh, the night before Thanksgiving, November 2017. We had no way of knowing, but that was the very last night that Rob slept in his own bed. I took him to the Emergency Room the next day, Thanksgiving Day, for fever, and he was admitted that day. He never saw his home again. Many of you saw these pictures on our Christmas card.

The shoot was wonderful, and you can see what a happy, laughing time we had...but I knew in my heart what was coming. When Rob's individual portrait appeared on the photographer's monitor, I immediately burst into tears. I managed to choke out that it was because I so moved by it. Indeed, I loved it--but that wasn't it.

I was crying because I instantly knew it was going to be his obituary picture. And I was right.

Today, I thought of this treasured picture of Rob as I was listening to this song, from Austen's Pride, A New Musical of Pride and Prejudice. (Listen to this song here. The lyrics here are from the first minute and forty seconds. Listen to the whole thing: it's gorgeous.)

Who are you?
I thought I knew
The man in the portrait
You appear and seem to be
All the things that I refused to see
And you said you loved me.

Who are you?
Is it true
The man in the portrait
Is thoughtful and good?
If I knew then
What I know now
I might have understood
But that was then
Now I’m face to face
With you, the man in the portrait
In your gaze, I can see
The way you used to smile at me
And it says, you loved me.

I was open with the fact, I think, that Rob and I had our struggles, as happens of course in any marriage. It was very difficult particularly through the years of unemployment. But my respect for him grew so much as I watched him battle cancer, and somehow, this photograph captured something about him and made it visible for all: his nobility, and his suffering, and the love that shone out of him. The lines I've bolded above say it well. I told the photographer that I will treasure this photo for the rest of my life.

I cried a lot today.

photo credit John Walsh
pegkerr: (Default)
Newspaper at the island in my (still newishly) refurbished kitchen, Chocolate Banana Mug Cake (under 400 calories) made in my Jane Austen mug.

Morning, everyone!

pegkerr: (100 things)
It's been a long time since I made a hundred things entry, but I'm trying to resume having a life. For those of you who remember, my goal was to try 100 new things. Last night I went to the Tapestry Folk Dance Center and joined the English Country Dance group. It meets on Sunday nights from 7 - 9 pm. Fiona has been going to the contra dancing on Saturday night for quite a long time, and I've always thought some of the classes offered at the Center would be fun to try.

There were perhaps thirty people there, most my age or older. Everyone was extremely friendly. A number of them who spoke with me said they had been coming for years.

English country dances are elegant social dances from the 17th and 18th century, set to Baroque and Early music. It is somewhat slower than contra dancing, but more technically precise. It suited my purpose to try something to 1) get me out of the house 2) get me interacting with people and 3) get me exercising. This neatly fulfills all three goals. I had a great deal of fun. Although it was my first time there, the experienced dancers were kind enough to say that I acquitted myself very well. I used to do folk dance in gym in high school, and I liked it quite well, and I think that experience helped. So did my ballet and karate experience, as it taught me how to quickly learn a form, a routine. I think I'm reasonably graceful, despite the fact that I'm carrying a few extra pounds.

The leader led us through four or five dances. One, I remember, was called Dover Beach. Most originated centuries ago, but one, called Angels...something...was choreographed in 2011.

I hope I'll have the opportunity to learn "Mr. Beveridge's Maggot" which was used in the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. (Yes, that's really the dance's name--in the 18th century "Maggot" was a word that was used to describe a fanciful or whimsical thing.)

Verdict: it was definitely fun, and I certainly plan to go again. Next time, I'll bring water and wear a long skirt.

{Take the 100 Things challenge!}
pegkerr: (Default)
I just spent an hour and a half watching this fascinating historical reenactment of the Netherfield Ball from the novel Pride and Prejudice. It certainly added to my understanding of the novel. Highly recommended.

pegkerr: (Deal with it and keep walking)
We met with the oncologist today. The news was disappointing, but not unexpected.

I came back to work after the appointment and spoke with one of my attorneys, who said something like, "You're being so strong about this. If it were me, I would be scarfing chocolate like crazy."

I had to laugh. "Yeah, that's what I did: I immediately went to Starbucks and bought a chocolate croissant right after the appointment."

If the schedulers manage to pull all the right strings in time, Rob will be hospitalized Monday for four days.

In other's apartment is great. And my back is much, much better.

Watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a fine thing to do tonight.
pegkerr: (Fiona)
She has been traveling between school terms and has been catching us up about her travels to Bath, Oxford and Stratford-on-Avon. She told us all about the Jane Austen walking tour she took in Bath.

Fiona: "...and I got to try some of the Bath mineral waters!"

Me: "Is it as nasty as they say it is?"

Fiona: "I've tasted things that are much worse. After all, you made me drink milk, growing up."

She also saw the graves of Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis within a 24 hour period, which was just mind-bendingly brilliant.


Jul. 18th, 2013 11:18 pm
pegkerr: (Default)
What dreadful Hot weather we have! It keeps one in a continual state of Inelegance.
-Jane Austen
pegkerr: (Default)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone in possession of $55 must be in want of a Lizzie Bennet 8-disc DVD set.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are almost done: 98 of 100 episodes have been released (go see episode 98. It's adorable). John Green announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of the DVDs, and whoa nellie, the $60,000 was funded in, like, a couple hours.

Check out the campaign here. There are a number of funding levels, with nice benefits. (And yes, I have pledged.)
pegkerr: (Default)
and enough money.

I would SO go on this tour.

*cries with longing*
pegkerr: (Default)
I am seriously behind in watching the Lizzy Bennet Diaries. I do need to catch up.

Good blog post on them here. An excerpt:
"...“I let him film us having sex, Lizzie. I let him do that. … He never made me do anything, so just tell me that I didn’t get what I had coming Lizzie, just try to tell me that!”

A sobbing and self-abusive young woman named Lydia Bennet is speaking to her older sister Lizzie on the latter’s YouTube Vlog. They have just learned that Lydia’s so-called boyfriend, George Wickham, has set-up a website and is staging a countdown to the worldwide release of what Lydia thought was a private sex tape of her. “I thought he loved me,” Lydia cries in her sister’s arms.

The scene is featured in the 87th episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the sensationally popular YouTube series and transmedia phenomenon created by Hank Green and Bernie Su, based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

As a college professor and Jane Austen scholar I (like many of my colleagues) have been fascinated by the series. In an earlier Ms blog, I praised The Lizzie Bennet Diaries for its refusal to overly romanticize Mr. Darcy.

But nothing has impressed me more than the Diaries’s treatment of the Lydia plot in Pride and Prejudice. The adaptation not only continues the series’ de-emphasis on romance but also celebrates the importance of female bonds and addresses the need for women to work together to address sexual victimization."
Here's the 87th episode discussed in the blog post:

pegkerr: (I am excessively diverted)
In case you don't know:

Monday is the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. Huzzah, Miss Austen!

The Atlantic's 1863 Case for Why Jane Austen is Great.

(After battling asthma for two months, the line that I resonate with the most is, 'I do not cough for my own amusement!')
pegkerr: (Default)
The light sucks, I know, but it was the best I could do with my dinky little camera at night. Will try to get another picture later with better light. But aren't they just gorgeous?! I just can't believe I own these beautiful things!

Jane Austen

Charlotte Brontë
pegkerr: (The beauty of it smote his heart)
My brother Chet and his wife Heather, who live out in New York, have given me a superb gift.

I've mentioned Richard Serrin, before, my Dad's dear friend and an amazingly talented oil painter. You may remember the family portrait, and that it was at Richard and Dorothy's home that my dad died.

Richard had a show recently, and Chet and Heather went to it, and they saw a couple of smallish paintings in the show and...

they bought them for me.

Understand, I love Richard's work, but I could never have hoped to afford to acquire any. But when Chet saw the subjects of the paintings, he decided that it would be a good idea to acquire them for me. They were shipped to me and arrived today, and I'm just ecstatic to own them.

They are two portraits: one of Charlotte Brontë and one of Jane Austen. I particularly adore the one of Jane.

I will post pictures soon. I don't know where I will be able to hang them, because we have bookcases everywhere, but I will hang them somewhere. With boundless pride and gratitude.

Thank you, thank you!
pegkerr: (Default)
This was an AMAZING Twelfth Night cake made in honor of Jane Austen:

Click the picture twice to see it close up. See more pictures and read more about the cake here.
pegkerr: (Default)
In case you missed it: some of the best #JaneAustenAtTheSuperbowl came from @rosannecash here. A sampling:

*Regarding the Legume Chorale, it grieves me to note that the spectacle exceeds the musicality.

*Some ladies are determined to sport bonnets made of cheese. I must take to my bed.

*The manly vigor is indeed impressive, but I don’t have the pleasure of understanding the purpose.

*One hopes the unfortunate incident involving the lady’s corset is not repeated on this occasion.

*The gentleman in the stripes? A known blackguard! I send no compliments to his mother.

*There is a uniformity of ill-favor in the appearance of the spectators. Who are their families? Tradesmen, surely.

*Word arrives that there will be a longish pause midway through the event. One hopes to be excessively diverted.

*Such lust for possession of an inanimate object so entirely lacking in aesthetic merit does not bode well.

*Are they to be murdered on the field?! Such an ill-advised display of manhood is indeed alarming.

*The proscribed repast is an abomination! Could we not conceive of a tea more pleasing and refined?
pegkerr: (Default)
Mark Brownlow, from Email Marketing, imagined the inbox's emails from some famous characters.

Elizabeth Bennet's:

Elizabeth Bennet's inbox

Lord Voldemort's:

Voldemort's In box


Sauron's In box

pegkerr: (Default)
A short interview with the creator of the video I linked to earlier, here.
pegkerr: (Every feeling revolts)
I haven't even seen "Fight Club" but I still loved this.

I wonder what Jane Austen would think if she ever came to see my karate class.

Gacked from [ profile] pennswoods.


pegkerr: (Default)

January 2019


Peg Kerr, Author


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