That Kind of Day

Today is a real Spring day. Sunny. Kind of warm. Warm in the sun, in any case. Coco and I went for a walk along Lachine Canal, which I avoid in the winter since the constant wind in that area makes it beyond unbearably cold. But today, I took my coat off, took off Coco’s sweater which he needs these days having been recently shorn of his own fleece. I let him run around free; there were lots of dogs around which used to prompt my little lamb to run off as far as his surprisingly fast little legs would take him. But today, with some prompting and gentle reminders, he calmly followed me near and only went to sniff potential buddies with my permission. It’s hard to explain how much contentment I derive from such easy walks with him. Both of us free, yet attentive to each other, with this woman’s best friend doing what he does best.

Along the way, I was listening to Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, by Winifred Watson, a 1938 novel here narrated by Frances McDormand. It’s charming little story about a hard on her luck spinster who, applying for a job as a governess, knocks at the wrong door. Instead of the disagreeable housewife she usually must contend with, she meets with a beautiful vision of a girl, just as glamorous and delightful as the ones Guinevere Pettigrew has seen at the movies, her one greatest guilty pleasure. In less than twenty-four hours filled with thrilling events the likes of which Guinevere has never experienced before, this straight-laced vicar’s daughter discovers things about herself she never knew she had in her.

In the wrong hands, this kind of story might have been a sickeningly-sweet kind of affair, which is absolutely not the case here. I had stumbled on the movie version as I switched the television on for a quick perusal one day and experienced my first brief love affair with Miss Pettigrew, again portrayed by the remarkably talented Frances McDormand. The novel had even greater delights to offer, if only because one gets to spend more time with this unlikely heroine who serendipitously sees her life transformed, a 1930s middle-aged Cinderella. The world needs more stories like that. In my version, Cinderella would probably not be a virgin, though I admit that aspect lends our champion even greater charm in this case.

Coming home, I just had to listen to Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, which to me is a joyful affair. I’ve been listening to So What over and over again. A perfect soundtrack for today.


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