March wasn't all disasters. For the last few weeks, I've been working on a new project. Years ago, we had an interesting bookcase probably from the 30s, with sliding glass doors. James tipped it over and it broke (yeah, I can't entirely keep out the scarlet thread of James's destructiveness). One of the glass panes shattered, and the whole top of the bookcase broke off as well as part of the base. We didn't know what to do with it, so we pushed it into the cold cellar and left it lying on its side. I finally decided it was uselessly occupying space down there, and I'd like to build a potato bin in its place.
I pulled it out and figured that maybe it wouldn't be that difficult to fix myself. The foot was easily put back on, and then top fitted back on top, except that a few fragments of wood had been lost. Unfortunately, during its years in the non-climate controlled cold cellar, it had warped slightly, so the sides are not perfectly perpendicular anymore - I could tell when I put the sliding glass doors back and realized that when they overlap, they don't entirely line up straight. It's not a big deal, though.
While I was regluing the pieces, I figured that perhaps I could strip and refinish it as well, so that's been the job for the last week. Stripping was quite easy, and I put a maple stain on it. I'm not sure what the wood is, but it's some sort of hardwood; could be maple or pine. I'd post pictures, except that I need the Mac for photos, and, well...you know what happened to that.
I've now got the final coat of sealant applied, and it's just got to dry before we try to haul it upstairs again. Oddly enough, the small windows gave me much more trouble than the actual bookcase. The varnish seems to dry oddly in places, leaving a sort of whitish bloom - I may have to do an extra coat to get it to look quite smooth and even. I think I'll get the glass replaced on all of them; the old glass feels sort of thin and cheap, and now we have safety glass which would be much more sensible for our family.
The other thing I've been working on is losing weight. Of course it's for health reasons, but the immediate cause was because I need new clothes and I hate having to shop for fat clothes. They're always such dull colours and so styleless. I still have perfectly nice things that no longer fit, and I figured I'd rather try to wear my old clothes than invest in new ones I won't like.
I'm glad to say it's going quite well. I did Weight Watchers about 10 years ago when we lived in Boston, and was very successful - I lost about 70 lbs. I'm following the same program, but I'm not doing it officially - I've tried once or twice since we moved back to Ottawa, but I don't like the WW program up here. In Boston, the meetings were great - everyone was very supportive and enthusiastic - just the American character, I think, very generous and happy for other people's success. Here the directors are rather cool and brusque, and the people who attend are usually claques of middle-aged ladies who do this as a sort of social event, and have no interest in anyone outside their own set. It felt more like checking in with one's parole officer than going to a support meeting.
Anyway, since the beginning of February, I've lost over 20 lbs, so I'm thrilled with the way things are going. I hope to lost another 30, but that will probably take the better part of a year. Twenty pounds in 2 months is very creditable, but it certainly can't continue at that rate.
My next job is to try to sync the subtitles I did for 'Marguerite de la nuit' to the dvd version of it - I think I may have figured out a way to do it, but it's long and complicated and I have to have a lot of uninterrupted time to work on it.
Meanwhile, the snow is retreating, Canada geese are returning, and the first tips of rhubarb are starting to poke above the ground. In a few more weeks, I'll be doing garden cleanup and starting to think about planting peas.