Bits and Pieces

I’ve enthusiastically started Jane Austen July and am already up to p. 88 of Persuasion (its very good) and have read some poetry by Mary, Lady Chudleigh and Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea. They aren’t contemporaries of Austen, since they died in the early years of the 18th century and Austen was only born in 1775. But I will get to the later poets eventually. The month is early yet.


I thought I’d share this interesting poem from 1703 by Lady Chudleigh (whose marriage wasn’t the happiest):

To the Ladies

Wife and servant are the same,
But only differ in the name:
For when that fatal knot is tied,
Which nothing, nothing can divide,
When she the word Obey has said,
And man by law supreme has made,
Then all that’s kind is laid aside,
And nothing left but state and pride.
Fierce as an eastern prince he grows,
And all his innate rigour shows:
Then but to look, to laugh, or speak,
Will the nuptial contract break.
Like mutes, she signs alone must make,
And never any freedom take,
But still be governed by a nod,
And fear her husband as her god:
Him still must serve, him still obey,
And nothing act, and nothing say,
But what her haughty lord thinks fit,
Who, with the power, has all the wit.
Then shun, oh! Shun that wretched state,
And all the fawning flatterers hate.
Value yourselves, and men despise:
You must be proud, if you’ll be wise.

Roger Lonsdale (ed.), Eighteenth Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology, 1990 (1989), p. 3.

Glad I’m living in the 21st century, where one can get a divorce (at least most of the world) when one’s husband turns into a tyrant.


Partner and I got up slightly later than on workdays but not much later because we usually wake up early anyway and in summer it’s best to walk with Curious Dog before it gets too hot. Not that it’s been hot. This week was all about rain, thunderstorms (bad ones in places, but not were we live in Baden Württemberg), and cool temperatures between 18 and 23°C. Quite pleasant really (especially when one considers those parts of the world currently experiencing horrific 45°C and higher – dreadful!). Today it’s slightly warmer, tomorrow it’s supposed to be warmer yet, but on Sunday we are expecting the next wave of storms and the next cool period. Fine with me as long as the thunderstorms stay moderate.

So, we walked with Curious Dog in the pleasant morning sunshine, had a glimpse of the young stork and one of its parents and on our return, I read a bit of Persuasion. I managed to pull myself away from the novel to go grocery shopping. A couple of things I couldn’t get at my usual supermarket so maybe I’ll take another short trip tomorrow. We had lunch when I returned, just some corn on the cob and bread with our usual vegetarian spreads. We’ll be cooking a mushroom risotto tonight for dinner (well, Partner will probably do it). After lunch I put a load of washing into the washing machine and cleaned the bathroom. In between I took part in a short social call with my work colleagues (I usually join if I’m not otherwise occupied on my Fridays off). Then we had coffee and some lemon cake (baked by Partner yesterday – he’s the baker in our household) and now we are lazing around. I still need to hang up the washing, but that’s it with housework today. I’ll be doing some more tomorrow but am not inclined to overdo it.

My new work notebook arrived today. I’d ordered it in early April, but apparently there are delivery delays. Good thing my old notebook is still working (even if it’s having trouble installing updates to the operating system). I’m going to do the setup of the new one tomorrow or on Sunday, as I haven’t got time during the week. I must return the old one soon, so can’t dawdle with the setup. But it should be easy, as all my work documents are stored in the cloud and just need to be synched with the new notebook. Then I only have to install the tools I need and configure them (some of them take about an hour to configure which is a bit of a pain).

Yesterday I had an annoying workday, analyzing errors and checking the completeness of documents on our database. Earlier during the week thousands of documents had disappeared and we had to trigger a reload to the database. My colleague and I raised an IT ticket but didn’t get much of a response – we wanted to know what and why the disappearance had happened. So yesterday after analyzing the database all morning, I found that everything was available again after the reload. However, this afternoon, when I logged on for the social call with my colleagues, I was told that the documents had disappeared again. Very odd. My colleague raised another IT ticked, but since it’s Friday afternoon, I guess the issue won’t be solved until next week, cutting it very close to our next deadline. Looks like I can anticipate another stressful week. But I’ll be enjoying the weekend first.

Keep safe, world.

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