Ladydale Diary

St. Peter Damian 2021

This has been a relatively uneventful week, which is something of a blessing. With no traveling and no unexpected additional work taking me off guard, I’ve been able to catch up with many little jobs which had been put on the backburner. As I remarked to Susannah a few days ago, I feel for the first time in weeks that I’m on top of things, rather than that things are on top of me. It’s good to come up for air occasionally!

One consequence of being more on top of things is that I wrote my weekly essay for the Imaginative Conservative earlier than usual, on Tuesday instead of Thursday. It was on the censorship of classic literature by the neo-puritans of political “correctness”. This has already been published and a link can be found on the blog section of this site.

On Wednesday, I taught the final class in my online course for Homeschool Connections on “Romanticizing the Middle Ages”, during which we covered the poetry of Newman and Hopkins.

Continuing with Hopkins, the seminar course on “Poems Everyone Should Know” which I’m teaching online for Memoria College on Wednesday evenings focused, for the second week, on Hopkins’ classic meditation on the mystery of suffering, “The Wreck of The Deutschland”. Concluding the line-by-line reading of this sublimely beautiful poem, we will turn to “The Waste Land” by Eliot next week.

This morning, my weekly interview on Sacred Heart Radio’s Son Rise Morning Show focused on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Shortly after that interview concluded, I logged in to my computer to give the latest lecture in an ongoing series of lectures for Red Cultural (Culture Net) in Chile. This week was the second of four lectures on The Odyssey.

Today also saw the arrival of my copies of the new issue of the St. Austin Review, the cultural journal which I am honoured to edit. The theme of the March/April issue is “Lenten Illuminations: The Light of the Cross”.

In addition, I’ve been busy with my work as the Director of Book Publishing with the Augustine Institute, overseeing the production process of two books that will be published in the early summer, The Music of Christendom: A History by Susan Treacy and The Art of Living by Edward Sri. Various other books are in the works, in the earlier stages of development, and will no doubt emerge in the Diary as they go into production.

The slightly lighter schedule has also enabled me to get to the gym three times in the past five days. A real blessing because the gym has been squeezed out, rather than squeezed in, over the past several weeks.

None of the foregoing should detract from the major event in the Pearce family for which we’ve been waiting expectantly. I refer to Evangeline’s impending thirteenth birthday. She was actually born on Leap Day so we celebrate her birthday on the day after the 28th, which this year, and most years, falls on St. David’s Day (March 1). We will have our small family party on the birthday itself but the exciting party will be tomorrow when she has seven of her friends coming to Ladydale to celebrate with her. As I write, Susannah is out getting last minute supplies and Evangeline is downstairs decorating the dining room. With Leo turning nineteen on St. Patrick’s Day, we will have two teenagers in the family. (The featured image shows the children and their parents as they were many moons ago!)

All of the foregoing takes place against the backdrop of Lent, of course. No fermented or distilled beverages for me, which means that I’m drinking exotic alternatives such a kombucha and tomato juice with Worcester source. There will be no movie nights during the penitential season, except for those with a religious theme (Susannah is hankering after watching The Scarlet and the Black) but we might lighten up tomorrow in celebration of Evangeline’s birthday. She’s hoping we can watch On Stranger Tides, one of The Pirates of the Caribbean films. This is the one based upon the novel by Tim Powers, with whom I had the great honour of dining during a recent (pre-covid) visit to California. He’s a fine writer indeed, and a good solid Catholic.

I feel myself wandering off on tangents….


Lenten blessings to all my friends in the Inner Sanctum.