We have this diners’ club card that gets us a free entree when we buy one at regular price at various restaurants in and around Newport. What I like about it is we’re saving a lot of money because we’re eating two-for-one, but it’s introducing us to a lot of local restaurants. I much prefer to eat locally because that’s where you find the real flavor of a place. You can eat at Olive Garden or TGI Friday’s anywhere in the country, but where else besides Newport can you regularly get chouriço and bolo levedos on the menu?
My point exactly.
Our favorite places are the establishments that don’t punch the card, so we can come back as often as we like and get the two-for-one deal. Otherwise it’s a one-shot deal.
Kurt initially told me that he didn’t have time to go to breakfast with me this morning, but I cajoled him enough that he finally relented, though it meant a very short lunch break for him as a trade-off. I didn’t mind the short break, even though he had class tonight, leaving me to wrangle the kids by myself. I needed to spend some time with him, just one-on-one, without Grace interrupting every two seconds.
So we ended up going to this place down on lower Thames that we’ve been to once before. As we sat down, the waitress came to lay down cutlery, and immediately asked, “Coffee for you [indicating me], and water for you [Kurt], right? And you’d like milk for your coffee instead of cream?” Wow. Seriously wow. We’ve been going to this other diner for at least a year, and sometimes they still can’t remember that I want coffee and Kurt wants water. Yet this woman not only remembered our drink preferences, but also that I preferred milk and that we had a diners’ club card. I was highly impressed.
Being with Kurt was like recharging my batteries. We’ve been going through some really rough patches lately, but somehow I think things are finally looking up. Maybe it’s because spring is right around the corner, I don’t know. But something feels much better between us, and I can only hope this is permanent.
As if that weren’t enough, I had the most incredibly mellow day today. I didn’t have either the radio or the tv on for most of the day, and that’s almost unheard of. I almost always have the radio going. ME slept most of the day, which was good, since she had been awake almost all of yesterday, and Grace behaved herself amazingly well. I didn’t have to put her in time-out a single time. Instead we cuddled on the couch and worked through an activity book that teaches her numbers and counting and adding and subtracting — with stickers! She loves loves loves the stickers.
And reading! I actually got to read a real, honest-to-God book. With pages, even. I’m on The Duchess by Amanda Foreman, which chronicles the life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was one of the most influential women of her time, though she struggled with many personal demons. It was originally published under the title Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, but was repackaged when the movie The Duchess came out.
[Totally unrelated aside: Fergie’s album The Dutchess makes me twitch with the misspelling. Ugh.]
Anyhow, I know I’m only 31 pages in to it, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s not a dry biography, though it’s certainly not a novel. And it even inspired me to delve into a huge entry about James II on Wikipedia; Rosie would be so proud. Here in the US, we don’t learn much about the transition between the Catholic nation England had been before Henry VIII and the Anglican nation it is now. Basically we’re told that Henry VIII abandoned the Church so that he could divorce Katherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. But it wasn’t that easy. England flip-flopped between Catholicism and Protestantism for almost 150 years after the death of Henry VIII. The question wasn’t settled until James II, the last Catholic monarch, fled England for France in 1688, at which point his daughter Mary II and her husband William III became joint Protestant monarchs. Hence we have William and Mary, who then lent their names to a small liberal arts school in the New World, founded in 1693 — my own alma mater. Parliament also then passed a bill forbidding the ascension of any Catholic to the throne, and neither could a monarch marry a Catholic.
Bet you didn’t know all that! And neither did I, till tonight. I knew that the children of Henry VIII were divided between Catholicism and Protestantism. His son Edward VI was all for Protestantism, but when he died, his half-sister Mary I, also known as Bloody Mary, tried to return the nation to Catholicism. When she died after five years on the throne, her half-sister Elizabeth I became Queen, and she reversed all of Mary’s Catholic policies. I thought that’s where the fight between the religions ended, but obviously it was only the beginning.
Can you tell I’m fascinated by all this stuff? Anyhow, I’m really enjoying The Duchess thus far. I’m sort of surprised I don’t already own it. I swear I had picked up a copy of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire somewhere along the line.
And now I’m off to read in bed!