This is the only October weekend for which I didn’t have travel plans which would get me out of Salem for the entire time: consequently I found myself at home on what is usually one of the worst days of Haunted Happenings, when hundreds of motorcycles invade the city for the annual MDA Annual Witch Ride. It’s for charity so we are not supposed to complain, but of course I always do because it seems like insult to injury–but this year it didn’t seem as loud or annoying as usual while I was hunkered down at home. On Friday and Saturday we were in Provincetown where my husband and stepson fished (and swam!) at the very tip of Cape Cod; I hung out with them for a while but then went into the very busy downtown. When it got too busy for me I retreated onto the side streets and up into the Pilgrim Monument which overlooks everything. It always amuses me to see this Renaissance campanile overlooking the outer Cape: it seems so out of place and such an odd monument to the Pilgrims who must be the most anti-Renaissance people I can think of—but somehow everything works in Provincetown.
And speaking of the anti-Renaissance, on the way home we were compelled by the cosplay enthusiasm of my teenaged stepson to stop at King Richard’s Faire, an annual Renaissance fair held in the wilds of southeastern Massachusetts. I don’t really think I can explain this experience in sentences and the only words I can come up with are cleavage and capes. Clearly historians of the Renaissance—myself included—have done a terrible job at articulating even its basic chronology as everyone from the Vikings to Marie Antoinette seemed to be present at this affair! And it was raining….so we were all mucking about in the mud. The only retreat from this nightmare was the car, where I happily read a book about the Mitford sisters until the men appeared. Then it was back to Salem on Saturday night for buses and motorcycles and a stack of papers on the Crusades to correct on Sunday. I retreated to the garden, where there was both (relative) peace and (still) quite a few flowers, thanks to our very warm fall.
Provincetown above, including a colorful-yet-solemn “Silent Witnesses” installation beneath the Pilgrim Monument, bearing witness to victims of domestic violence; some 17th-century plague doctors at the Renaissance Faire in Carver below; that’s it for the Renaissance Faire pictures!
Home in Salem: a peaceful day in the garden with Trinity and a distant roar. The blog has helped me keep track of changes in the garden better than any journal I’ve ever (intermittently) kept–and there’s a lot more green out there than in previous Octobers.
October 20th, 2017 at 12:47 pm
I am now dying to know the title of the Mitford book you read. Years ago, I enjoyed The Sisters by Lovell. Oddly enough, Gucci recently showed a Mitford-inspired sweater: https://graziadaily.co.uk/fashion/news/gucci-never-marry-mitford-jumper/
October 20th, 2017 at 1:10 pm
Wow! I read The Six by Laura Thompson: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/books/review/six-lives-of-the-mitford-sisters-laura-thompson.html. Pretty good–do you recommend Lovell?
October 20th, 2017 at 1:16 pm
I do recommend it, although after reading the NYT review of The Six I now wonder if the newer book overshadows Lovell, which was published in 2003 (before Debo died). This now means that I have an addition to my To Read list.
October 20th, 2017 at 2:13 pm
Well I’m reading Debo’s autobiography Wait for Me now—it’s great.