I spent four hours yesterday afternoon reading works of seventeenth-century controversial divinity. When John Cotton publishes something called Sixteen Questions of Serious and Necessary Consequence you know 1. you’re in for a treat! and 2. it’s probably going to take a while.
I was doing this not because I had to, but because — well, actually I sort of had to, but it’s part of a larger research plan that does not actually turn on the finer points of 1640s theological disputation. (Also, for anyone who does not know this, I am not a lunatic; I am a historian. These two things only look similar.)
After that I made a successful foray to the library and came away with both the Glyndebourne production of Rodelinda (the one with Antonacci, Streit and Scholl) and a DVD of Cavalli’s Calisto that I’ve been meaning to see for a while.
For the rest, this weekend has been like being nibbled to death by minnows. It began with the cats and the lawnmower. Have you ever purchased a lawnmower? I never had until Wednesday. More to the point, I have never, even now, successfully operated a lawnmower. My parents did all the yard work when I was growing up and since leaving for college I’ve never lived in anything but apartments without lawns. But here there is a lawn, and I have to mow it. So, I bought a lawnmower. It came with engine oil, but I had forgotten that mowers need fuel – and I actually had to sit down and read the owner’s manual to determine that the fuel they need is gasoline. Laugh if you must, but as I said – I’ve never had one of these before!
Meanwhile, my neighbor’s cats were having a grand old time sitting on the lawmower box, climbing into the lawnmower box, climbing into my lap, climbing on my feet, and generally getting in the way. After shooing them both out from under my car (this is one of their favorite spots for some reason, after the lawnmower box) I managed to drive into town, buy a gas can, fill the can with gas, and return to my house – in a torrential summer thunderstorm that precluded any actual mowing of the lawn. But I’ve got the gas now! It’s not in the mower, but it’s near the mower. And the mower is near the grass. So, even if we have not yet mown the lawn, I can report with confidence that we are closer now than ever before.