Star Wars Day Report: Physics, Food, Fashion.

Happy Star Wars Day, my friends. I remember looking cluelessly at my students the day a boy in my class said that the first time. “Happy Star Wars Day, Miss.” “Huh?” I responded. “You know,” he said, “May the Fourth… be with you.” Ha. I loved that. So May 4th, not just a day in early May.

May the 4th is kind of like March 14th. Pi Day. “You know,” I’m sure my former student would say, “Third month, fourteenth day, 3.14? The mathematical constant so important in math and physics?” Oddly enough Pi Day is Albert Einstein’s birthday, and the day famous physicist Stephen Hawking died. Now isn’t that a bit creepy?

So pi… not just for dessert. And physics… the only science that I absolutely hated in school. I can’t remember why. But give me chemistry or biology any day.

I particularly hated physics in university, and remember with great clarity the three-hour, late afternoon labs we had in first year. The sound lab was excruciating. Three hours of intense concentration, measuring sound wave lengths by listening intently for, and timing, changes in pitch. Over and over and over, listening for the crests (or peaks) and the troughs of the sound waves. Then graphing the results. By the time we made our way along the snow-covered path that evening, back to the student union building, my lab partners and I were stir crazy, laughing at nothing. At one point, I slipped and fell and, when my friends tried to help me up, they fell too. And we just lay there in the snow, in the dark, laughing hysterically, like we were drunk.

Cherry blossoms on my walk this May 4th, Star Wars Day.
On my walk, on Sunday.

So physics. I’ve been thinking about that physics lab this morning. About waves. Covid waves, and other kinds. And how waves have peaks and troughs. I think I’m in a trough right now. Emotionally speaking. Sick to death of the cold and the wind and the lock-down. Hubby is the same. This morning he’s out in the garden roto-tilling, in his jacket, and gloves, and toque. I walked on Sunday, and it was beautiful. Cool but beautiful. Until I turned around, and then the wind was so strong that I had to hold onto my hat all the way home.

Still. At least the snow is gone. This is the shot (below) from our living room window a few days ago. I had planned to take photos for the blog that day. Ha. Instead, I curled up with a book and then did some reading about leather and faux leather and sustainability. I took my photos the next day when the snow had disappeared, but it was still cold, and I slipped a couple of times on the ice on the deck. No hysterical laughter this time. Just a bit of profane language as I tried not to fall or drop my phone. I cursed the weather and covid, and myself for wearing my very flattest slippery flats.

Show at  the end of April, 2021. Covering our deck and our blooming flower garden.
Our front garden last Friday.

Of course it hasn’t been all emotional troughs around here lately. There have been peaks too. Hubby and I have been trying some new recipes. A glass of wine and a good dinner always cheers us up. One dish we’ve had a couple of times now is “Crispy Chicken Thighs and Smashed Peas.” We both love this. And I made it. Yes I did. Hubby doesn’t do ALL the cooking, you know. I found this recipe on a website called What’s Gaby Cooking? I subscribe to her emails and have found several recipes that we’ve really enjoyed. Her Asian Chicken Slaw is delicious. We leave out the chicken most of the time, and add leaf lettuce and radicchio to the cabbage for a lighter mix.

Crispy chicken thighs and smashed peas. Recipe from What's Gaby Cooking?
Crispy chicken thighs and smashed peas

Hubby has been expanding his Asian cooking repertoire. He is so much more adventurous in the kitchen than me. He tried steaming Chinese dumplings last week, and served them with stir-fried shrimp and a garlic sesame sauce. With rice and a mélange of steamed vegetables including bok choy, the whole meal was fabulous. And no I don’t have the recipe. For Hubby a recipe is just a guideline. And his sauces are made off the top of his head. Yum, yum. My job was to dish out and choose the evening’s entertainment.

We have been binging on The Victorian Baker this past week. An old series that is being rerun on TVO. We love all those historical “reality” shows. Edwardian Farm was another favourite of ours. Along with Tudor Monastery Farm, Victorian Farm, War-Time Farm… all the farms. Ha. Good food, plus escaping into the past, helps us cope with the present, I guess.

Ah yes, the present. It is by my calculation week 60 on our pandemic calendar. I wrote a post on week 52, back in March, exactly one year after we’d begun our first lockdown. And here we are again. In a so-called third wave. According to data I looked at, new cases peaked in April, and have been slowly declining. But we’re still way higher than we were in November. So. To belabour the wave analogy, when cases peak, our lives go into trough mode. And our mental health along with it. Despite so many of us having our first vaccine shot. I read in an article today that police in Toronto handed out hundreds of fines over the weekend to people who were defying the stay-at-home order. Many of them, according to the article, gathering in large groups indoors at “short-term rentals and shuttered restaurants and bars.” Sigh.

Peak, trough, peak, trough. That’s the nature of waves.

Last week I was pleased to escape from the house to go to the drugstore, and stop for a take-out, drive-through coffee. That seems to be my getaway routine this last while. I wore my new green cashmere hoodie. I could see how great it looked with my navy Moncler raincoat, even if no one else noticed. Okay, so it was not a huge peak, but a peak nonetheless.

Enjoying my drive-through coffee during lockdown.
My get out of the house treat last week.

I’m still waiting for delivery of the Orsola de Castro book Loved Clothes Last. As I mentioned last week, I also ordered The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth Cline. And today I looked for, and ordered, another book I’ve been wanting to read. Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Mintz. I heard Mintz interviewed on CBC radio months ago, but at the time could not find his book anywhere. The stories of his travels to Tokyo, Southeast Asia, and Africa while researching this book were fascinating. How he met all kinds of people who make a living out of our discarded clutter. And how the way we consume, and then discard, even if we donate our discarded items, has nasty consequences that most of us do not anticipate. I will be immersing myself in fashion in a whole new way with these books, I think.

In the meantime I finished Susan Hill’s latest Simon Serrailler book, The Benefit of Hindsight. I always enjoy her writing, but this one puzzled me a bit. Not sure how she meant to link all the disparate stories in her plot. Still, I liked it. And I am just embarking on the same book Hubby is reading and chuckling over, Robert Barnard’s The Case of the Missing Brontë. We do like Barnard’s books. They are light mysteries, and so amusing. He’s no Reginald Hill, but he is darned witty.

Once it gets warm again. Next month? I plan to do an Allison Bornstein-style edit of my spring “maybes” and try to style them with my “regulars.” I’m hoping to film this for my May vlog. But not yet. I cannot bring myself to try on a bunch of outfits when it’s cold.

I’ve been swathed in giant hoodies and turtlenecks, heavy socks, and sweatshirts for the last few days. And have even been wrapping myself in a blanket when we’re watching TV. Not because the house is cold, but just because I’m cold. Hubby will look at me and sigh, “You CAN’T be cold!” “Wanna bet,” I retort. This from someone who wears his toque to bed when we’re camping, because his head gets cold. I mean, can you say pot and kettle?

This was the scene, below, on the river the other morning. 5:00 A.M. It was so still and beautiful.

And cold. So I took this brief video and then hustled back to bed. Ha.

So that’s the May 4th report, my friends. Bit of food chat, a couple of books, some fashion, and a brief and fairly irrelevant discussion of physics. Gad, I hated physics. As I believe I said already. I’m happy to hear that some of you are able to be out and about. What a joyous, and yet still worrying, feeling that must be. A definite crest or peak in a year of very large troughs.

Hope things continue to look up for us all. And happy Star Wars Day. May the fourth … be with you. 🙂

Now. Your turn. What peaks and troughs have you experienced lately? Are we on the same wavelength there? Ha Pun intended, of course.

P.S. The book links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will make a small commission.


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46 thoughts on “Star Wars Day Report: Physics, Food, Fashion.”

  1. Star Wars Day is my son-in-law’s birthday and my daughter arranged to borrow our kayaks and take him paddling — only a light wind today, so I think they just had some gentle undulations, not quite waves and peaks. We picked up their kids from school, a big Peak for me, not having seen them for a few weeks (we both had our first shots over two weeks ago, but still everyone kept masks on).
    And, as you know, I’m currently surfing a big wave of anxiety as my blog gets moved — hard to cross fingers and ride a wave at the same time, but I’m hoping my luck doesn’t run out and plunge me into a trough. . . .
    Fun post — I’m very impressed you managed to integrate physics and cooking and mood swings and books and slow fashion 😉
    Very keen to learn from you as you read through those books — I read a review of the first one in The Guardian a few weeks ago, and it sounds interesting, especially since it’s from the perspective of a fashion insider. But that last one sounds even more important, warning us that “donating” our clothes isn’t the simple answer we counted on for too long. Looking forward to hearing more on this.
    p.s. If I’d been out and about in Ottawa and spotted you in your green cashmere and navy raincoat, I’d have crossed the street to let you know how great that combo is. Looking sharp, my friend, looking sharp!

    1. I’m excited to read those books. It’s a new avenue of slow fashion to explore. The reading and listening I did on the Fashion Revolution really inspired me.
      P.S. Glad you had a “Grand” peak. 😉

  2. How lucky you are to be living in such a beautiful place! And thank you for getting up so early on a cold morning to share it with us.

  3. I so enjoy your writing and musings! Peaks and valleys for sure! The video was SO beautiful and peaceful, thank you for sharing it. I love Canada and wish we could visit safely. Will the border ever be open? The soft green cashmere is lovely! My hubby and I are both fully vaccinated and now able to visit other family members who have been as well, the joy! Have missed my family so much over the past year plus. The challenges have been many but I feel hopeful that things will be getting better as more people are vaccinated. I just finished reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Highly recommended and may help get through a valley or two. Hugs from Oregon.

  4. Cold, windy weather and the pandemic do not mix well. I’m very sorry things are so tough where you are. I hope things ease and the weather improves so you can get out a little more – being able to do that makes it all much better. I appreciate your sense of humour, which is indispensable in these difficult times.

  5. Wendy from York

    Physics ! I used to come out of physics class stunned saying ‘ what was all that about ? ‘ & I still don’t know .
    Reginald Hill – the master . I’ll look for Robert Barnard but you’re right Reg is hard to follow . I’m reading another Laura Lippman & enjoying it . I have got the first Tess Monaghan ready but it’s a big commitment to start a series so I must be ready .
    Loved that video . Just beautiful .
    I think you’ve got vaccination slump . The vaccination seemed so important , we would be back to normal .I was going to have a post vacc party . There was a huge sense of relief especially after the second one but until the great majority of the population is vaccinated it is still spreading & as you say the covidiots are still partying . We were in strict lockdown from December to 12 April & now the rules are being lifted very gradually every few weeks . We had just one covid death the other day so it seems the measures , together with our excellent NHS vaccine rollout , are working . We keep being warned it isn’t over though & there are still restrictions on meeting inside , even if fully vaccinated & I don’t think that lifts until June . New strains & all that . Plus it’s not time to rejoice whilst the rest of the world is struggling . But we can be thankful for small mercies . We are in Scotland again , the sun is shining ( at this moment ) & we had a great Indian takeaway last night .
    PS I’m still thinking about your step dad’s handbag . I’m seeing pink & fluffy ?

    1. I like most of Lippman’s books. I think you would get a chuckle our of Robert Barnard. But Stu and I really like hos books. I agree it’s too early to rejoice. Hopefully soon. But the news from India is painful to watch. I keep thinking of that line from Macbeth when Macduff says, “our country… it weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash is added to her wounds.”

  6. As a huge Star Wars fan I know about May the Fourth be with you. I teach younger children, so we use pi day to eat pie and to talk about circles. Where I live we have had extreme weather. It’s near 90 one day and then two days later in the 50’s. So, when people talk about transitioning their closets I’ve found it easier tho keep all year basics and then add and subtract a few things. The only predictable season is summer. Summers are hot and very humid from the end of May well into October.

  7. 5/4 (as it’s written in the US) is also Dave Brubeck Day, in honor of “Take Five,” written in 5/4 time. My music geek friends (and husband) took great delight in posting their favorite 5/4 tunes to FB, so now I have “Everything’s Alright” from Jesus Christ Superstar (as sung by the divine Yvonne Elliman) as my earworm for the day. Which is not a terrible thing.

    May the 5/4 be with you!

  8. Ah, physics, No. Chemistry was what I loved, and biology of course. As we get older, those pile ups on the ice are most certainly not as much fun, but that made me smile thinking of laughter and being together. Laughter would be most welcome these days with the cold, wind and constant wet, so we must find a reason to laugh in the slumps and climb up to the peaks again. I spoke with my doctor office yesterday and in the conversation was informed that it will be 4 months for the second shot the way things are right now so no chances here for get togethers any closer than the park when that opens again. There are major rifts developing in the family about what is and is not “real” so that is making some phone conversations shorter than previous ones. Enough of the slump here, must get the climbing gear on and head for a peak, even if it is a lower on. I loved listening to your little video and laughed when you returned to bed after filming. I have to go out today, so I think I will wear a skirt and dress up, that always makes me feel Me.

    1. I always smile when I think of that pile-up in the snow. Such unrestrained laughter. I hear you about the differing interpretations of what is correct behaviour these days. Hard to convince people that won’t “hear” your point of view. Enjoy your dress-up day, Diane.

  9. I had a college sorority sister who told me the only reason I passed chemistry was because of a bell curve! Physics never entered the room!(My mind).An English teacher does not have to know anything about physics! So here I am in sunny Florida,our week of Spring is over,the AC is running and we are in the 90ies! Hoping to get out of tow in a few months. had hoped to go to Canada,but the 2 week quarentine has us not going. The trip we had planned has been cancelled twice,so guess it is not in the cards. Please keep posting, I do enjoy reading yours!

  10. I first met my husband on May 4th over 50 years ago so we have long celebrated the date and the “fourth” is still with us. Who knew physics had a connection with
    The green and navy combination looked great on you and I think I might have been tempted to join you in the car for a hot coffee given your weather. Your lockdown and weather trough is quite understandable given how long it has gone on for. Hopefully you will complete your vaccinations, the sun will shine and normality will return to you soon.
    We are nearly there with freedom to mix and mingle, the first big rock concert held and major sports played with live spectators. We still have to wear masks on public transport but have now formed a ‘bubbles’ with Australia and another due to start with the the Cook Islands soon which is a major peak. Mind you the borders can snap shut in a heartbeat so we are giving it a bit of time to all settle before we visit our family in Oz. It’s been a year and a half since we have seen any of them. A real trough.
    Keep up with the cooking, reading and fashion as you are so good at it all.
    Take care and stay safe!

    1. Well… I think I might have stretched the connection between Physics and May 4th. But that was just the way my mind worked yesterday. -I can think of worse places than the Cooks to be in a bubble with. We spent five lovely days there at a tiny resort on our way to NZ in 2003.

  11. I never enjoyed science. We only had a single science class required when I was in high school. I took chemistry because I had a math teacher who assured me that it was cool and interesting and I’d get to make things like aspirin. I don’t know why that was an appeal to me. We never made aspirin. And my class was 8th period and my seat looked out over the parking lot and I saw all my friends with early release leaving for the day and I bemoaned it. I wish I’d taken biology – it would’ve been more useful for me, but I was terrified of dissecting things and was certain I would throw up or start crying and make a fool of myself. I could’ve taken earth science, but that was dismissed as “C student science,” and I was not a C student. Well, except in science. I should’ve taken that and kept my GPA up.

    I think physics would’ve been useful for me as a voice teacher, but I didn’t know I’d be doing that now. Plus you had to take one of the other basic 3 (chem, bio, or earth science) in order to take that class. Plus whenever I attend voice pedagogy conferences and go to the sessions on the physics of voice, I fall asleep. In fact, if I can’t sleep, I pick up a pedagogy book and turn to the section on vocal acoustics and physics. ZZZZZ.

    I actually just came here to write about how beautiful that green cashmere hoodie looks on you, but oh well.

    1. Actually, the earth science course I took in university was one of the most interesting courses I took. That and a second year bio course on animal behaviour. Once I was a teacher I used to despair of the education system which puts so much emphasis on marks and GPA, and less on learning. Sad, I think.

  12. You must follow msbeltempo on Instagram. She also has a YouTube channel and blog. She is an Ottawa gal who believes in Slow Fashion. She’s a list maker too. 😉

    I’m sorry your weather is not cooperating this spring. Spring came early on the west coast and it was such a pleasure to put the outdoor furniture out so early in April and to sit outside enjoying the sunshine. Getting outside in nature makes the whole world, or at least our world, seem more normal. It’s been a long year + but we need to remain hopeful that better days are coming and soon. We have not seen, nor hugged our grown children since February 2020 and I miss them so but travel to Ontario would be foolish so we’ll wait until our second shot. Patience is not my long suit but staying healthy is a priority so I’ll twiddle my thumbs for awhile longer.

  13. Hi Sue- it’s Cinco de Mayo today so you could crank up the heat, don a linen outfit, cheer up with a margarita and guacamole for cocktail hour, and celebrate with a Mexican feast for dinner! Does Stu do pork tacos with apple slaw in crispy flour shells?

  14. Love your blog so much! I’m sure we could be great friends if we lived near each other. Keep up the good work!! It’s a great distraction from all that’s going on around us.

  15. We have to take our peaks where we can find them these days. At least you looked terrific during your peak coffee break.
    Physics…the reason I was an English major. That…and mathematics. Managed biology and chemistry, but couldn’t bring myself to tackle physics.
    Loved your lake video of the morning mist and sounds, but started to chuckle a bit as it began to think of the scene at the end of the movie Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version). I kept looking for that goose to sail up to his/her mate for a dramatic scene. 🙂

  16. Sorry to hear you’re still suffering lockdown. I live in mid Wales in the UK, and we’re just opening up again after being in lockdown since before Christmas.
    I laughed when you referred to Victorian Farm TV program etc, as that was filmed at Acton Scott Historic Farm, which just an hour away from us. A regular place for some of our guests and visitors.
    I’ve not done my spring switchover, as it’s too bloomin cold here. We had 25°C this time last year (which is a bit high normally!) but this week it’s struggled to reach 12°!!!
    I’m mostly reading blogs(!) rather than books these days, but I’m now wondering what to replace Line of Duty TV site with… if you man mate to watch it, I’d recommend it. Very British, but still fascinating.
    Hope things improve for you soon.

  17. I had to take a physics class in college as part of the requirements for a secondary teaching program. It was basically “physics for idiots” but, even so, my fellow English majors viewed me with extreme distrust after I managed to earn a B. Pretty sure that was B for bewildered!

    May 4th is our son-in-law’s birthday. Plied with cake, the force is strong in him.😉

    Have Secondhand on my next-read list!

    1. Ha. Love that the other English types (as my former principal used to say) looked askance at you for your unexpected ability in Physics.

  18. Yes, peaks and troughs, sigh. But, finally our Covid numbers are coming down, we are fully vaccinated and are starting to get out more. We have had “inside” company three times and are starting to think about travel. Our daughter is getting her second shot today and may fly to see us in July. We may fly out to California in late July or August if the numbers continue to drop.

    Love how Stu wings making his sauces. It reminds me of when a friend and I ran a catering company. We did that for four fun years. One time we had a job to feed about 50 people and needed to make a sweet and sour sauce. My friend was great a “winging it” and made the absolute best sauce for that dinner. Trouble was we were never able to reproduce it! I was the baker and always followed my recipes to the “T”. 😊😉 Tell Stu I admire him!

  19. Sue, love you in the green hoodie, glad you got a chance to wear it outside, that is a peak. Reading your blog has been a peak for me, lifts me up and I thank you. Love your early morning video, where I live its usually cars and sirens…but some mornings you can hear the birds. Hoping for warmer days in your neck of the woods and mine.

    1. Thanks, Heather. Warmer days can’t come fast enough for me. And by the end of June I’ll probably be complaining about the heat and humidity. 🙂

  20. May the fourth be with us!! My brother in-law’s birthday. A great day indeed when he was born 59 years ago…….I did not like Physics……way harder than Math!! I’m definitely “languishing” these days. I’ve been, for the most part, fairly positive during the pandemic. Not to mention I’ve “released” about 95lbs. One might say I’ve flourished under these circumstances. But alas, this third wave has definitely gotten to me. Missing family terribly and friends too. Just want to get out!! I am however not adverse to the strict curfew that Quebec imposed. The way Montreal has bounced back in this third wave is admirable. Remember all to wear those masks and follow the rules. I get my first vaccine in 18hours. Can’t wait. There is hope friends. Let’s all believe that we will live in a better world. With many new friends!!!

  21. I love how Reginald Hill is the yardstick against whom you measure other mystery writers! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve mentioned a new-to-me mystery writer to my husband, prefaced by, “He/she isn’t in the same class as Reginald Hill, but …”

    I’m interested in how, as an eventual high school English teacher, you took university physics courses. Change of direction at some point, or did you have room in your timetable for an eclectic mix of courses? I’m intrigued (and impressed!).

    1. Almost everyone I know who reads Reginald Hill books feel the same. His books are such a great combination of literary/erudite, totally irreverent, and good old-fashion murder mystery. My first two years in university I was totally in the BSc program. Mostly because I always did well in Math and the Sciences, and nobody, including me, thought I’d ever get a job by taking English. Ha. So glad an old boyfriend suggested the teaching angle as a way to combine my two disparate fields.

  22. That early morning river scene is one of the most beautiful and peaceful things I have seen. The birdsong! The mist over the water! Thank you so much. Just what I needed this morning.

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