My Year: A-Z for 2017

I have stolen, shamelessly, this concept from the delightful Jane of Beyond Eden Rock, who has a very scrumptious blog.

A is for APPLES:  Mr. Gubbinal slices an apple every day for us to share.  We try as many non-GMO types as we can find (the options are scarce where we live, alas).  I like to peruse apple blogs: and  Some people daydream about the places they might visit; I daydream about the possibility of encountering an Orleans Reinette or an Ashmead’s kernel or a Wickson or a Belle De Boskoop:  apples

B is for BARBARA PYM  She is my go-to author for quiet comfort, gentle irony, and longing for England.  pymbarbaracat

C is for CATS—although my three cats are not officially listed as service animals, they function in that way.  Of course I’m the one providing the services!  Dorothea, aka Dodette, Billy aka Social, and The Horse (née Elsa then Elinor Dashwood) are a fine triumvirate.   Can you spot the cat amongst the apples?elsaandapples

D is for Antonin DVORAK   I plan to listen to more of the Nationalist  composers this year such as Dvorak, Sibelius, Huge Alfven, Enescu, Borodin, etc.

E is for ELIOT—both George and T.S. On my list for this year.

F is for FORTY FOURTH  wedding anniversary (which is today—January 6)bar44

G is for GOOD READS discussion groups.  I have found some discussion groups that are quite fascinating and worthy of one’s time.

H is for HYGGE—we pronounce it “hedgie” in this house because we are contrarians.  In our case “hygge” is most exemplified by “soft clothes”.

I is for INKS.  I have some new Diamine and Pilot inks which must be used.  I love the ceremony of filling a fountain pen with new ink.diamineinks

J is  for JONAS KAUFMANN.  I am onboard with this young man!

K is for KAFKA:  We are entering a Kafkaesque universe and I am already feeling like Josef K.  I don’t know what to expect of my government.   They stole Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee.   They cannot be counted on to have any scruples or ethics whatsoever.

L is for LOOSE-LEAF TEA.  I have found my perfect Lapsang Souchong.  2017 will be a quest for the perfect Assam.

M is for MISS MARPLE.  I am in a challenge on Good Reads which will read one Miss Marple book a month in 2017.

N is for NO-SPEND CHALLENGES.  I am in a “no spend” challenge too.  I guess I am feeling a need for challenges.  No Spend, in my case, will primarily be to curb impulses to purchase new books.  I think I have about 500 books at home I have not read and another 1000 or so I wish to re-read.   Restaurants are not worth it.

O is for OPERA:  I plan to listen to more opera this year and try to expand beyond my cherished Italian operas.

P is for PROUST.  I have read Proust twice in the past but not in this century.  I am both reading and listening to In Memory of Lost Time  (the latter is voiced by Simon Vance, but I don’t think he’s done all the volumes).

Q is for QUEEN ELIZABETH II.  I love the Queen.  No matter how liberal I am, I will always love the Queen.  When I was young I used to bellow out “Land of Hope and Glory” and “Good Save the Queen” while I forced my 5 younger siblings to march in solemn processional before me.  I have grown very much to appreciate the Queen, the only monarch I have known in my lifetime.  She encompasses so much!queenelizabethyoung

R is for READING CHALLENGES :  I’ve joined about 7 this year and hope to keep up with them all.  I have not traditionally embraced specified challenges, but my year needs to have a lot of governing principles or else I will succumb to despair.  I look upon them as a sort of syllabus that should be completed.

S is for STRING QUARTETS.  More on my music planning list.  I have 29 pages of musical works I wish to come to terms with and the String Quartets have a special kind of appeal.  As I’ve aged I’ve moved from exuberantly loving the piano concerti to being more attracted to works that feature the cello.

T is for TROLLOPE.  I am always rereading Trollope and this year I have become a co-moderator of a Trollope reading group.  I don’t usually volunteer for things, but anything for Anthony Trollope!

U is for UNSALTED—and unsugared.  I hope to cut down on some of the cumbersome group of medications I take.  I have a virtual pharmacopeia at home.

V is for VIRAGO  books,  More, more, more.  I love this imprint.

W is for WALKING:  I have a jaunty plum colored fitbit and try to strive for 10,000 steps a day.

X is for XANTHIPPE:  Yes, that’s me.  How else will one stay married for 44 years?  I must scold my husband into the paths of virtue.  He is, after all, a genuine Swinburnean.

Y is for YEATS:  Reading Yeats all year long will help.


:  I am going to revisit his work in my Russian Literature Reading Challenge.

Author: Gubbinal

Bookish, tea-drinking cat-lady who loves great poetry and music and is in the midst of dying

13 thoughts on “My Year: A-Z for 2017”

  1. Especially C, D, K, U, W.

    C. that’s a cute little kitty in the box.
    D. Sibelius and Borodin were two of my best friend’s favorites. She died, but their names always remind me of her. Good memories, not sad anymore.
    K. The Supreme Court shenanigans by the GOP is shameful.
    U. I am unsalted..well, no added salt and buy low sodium when I can. It was unsatisfying at first, but then I got used to it and can now really taste food!
    W. If morning walks were a religion I would be High Priestess 🙂

    I wish you very well in your 2017 A-Z year!


    1. Thank you, Laurie. She is a cute kitty and she knows it.

      I am so sorry about your friend. They are difficult to find and even more difficult to lose.

      The Supreme Court and other things? I could have made this totally bitter and pessimistic and outraged. That’s been my default mode for the past couple of months.

      I wish you a most excellent 2017. I really love reading your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Wedding Anniversary!

    Good luck with your reading challenges and your music projects. I look forward to reading about them in 2017.

    What is your favorite apple?


      1. I’ve never heard of Green Dragon apples before, but they sound delicious. I really like crisp, sweet apples, too.


  3. Congratulations on your anniversary, and on sailing through a whole A to Z with such aplomb. I wish you luck with your plans and project, and as I had no idea there was such a thing as an apple blog I really must take a look now.


  4. This is a very neat post.

    I am happy to see that you devoted “T” to Anthony Trollope. He is truly a worthy author.

    I have only read We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. I found it to be a great work, I also would like to try more of his writing.

    Happy belated anniversary.


    1. Thank you so much. “T” will always be Trollope for me. I’ve read all of his works and although he has some duds, I keep returning to about 40 of his 47 novels for reading and rereading.


  5. I also love Jane’s Beyond Eden Rock. I’m awash with posts to catch up on, including several of Jane’s , but I couldn’t resist seeing your A to Z. Such a great concept. Love the apples, and especially the cats. I’m now very tempted to emulate you and Jane. But in the meantime… Happy New Year and congratulations on your wedding anniversary.


  6. Thank you so much, Sandra! I do hope you do an A to Z of your own. It paints a little picture: the only ones I really strained to get were the X and slightly less so with the Z. I can tell that my music, literary, eating obsessions emerge as well as the inhabitants of my little household. I feel belatedly guilty that I selected Good Reads without giving a thought to “grandsons”.

    Liked by 1 person

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