365 Unusual Things: 106-112

106. Made an Osterlamm, an Easter lamb cake. In Europe it’s not unusual, but no one in my circle of Australian friends and family has ever heard of it.

107. My week-old grandson (my only grandchild so that’s unusual on its own) was crying until my son started playing piano, quite loudly, and the baby went silent. Instantly.

108. For another son’s 30th birthday celebration today I stuck candles in the Osterlamm so it doubled as a birthday cake.

109. Woke at 4 am to see the moon shining on my face through my window. At 4 pm I was lying on my bed (because I’d woken too early…) and the sun was shining on my face from about the same point in the sky as the moon.

110. I was photographing 3 swans between 2 trees when another swan came hurtling past, running on the water.

111. A Doggy Day Care opposite my house closed down recently and today it opened as a Nepalese grocery store.

112. When I read that Putin wants to seal off the Asovstal steelworks in Mariupol, and ordered his troops to ‘Block off this industrial area so that a fly cannot pass through’, I immediately thought of a story I translated, ‘The Time of Serfdom’ by Eugène-Melchior de Vogüé, written in 1894, which includes this part about a cruel landlord who crushed a peasant revolt:

The next day, B. and his guard visited the village of the mutineers. The lancers surrounded it; they were instructed to let no man or woman pass, or even one head of cattle. ‘Do not let even one chicken get away,’ Vassili had ordered. They brought straw and faggots to every part of the village and set it on fire. Everything went up in flames, down to the last mean dwelling, and not one chicken got away. B. had kept his word, the revolt was repressed once and for all.

My translation of the story is freely available on the website Bewildering Stories.

***

Published by Trish

Literary translator

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