The Saturdays

Kge Baker loved Saturdays. Even after she left school, even after she left work – Saturdays were holidays.

It was a state of mind, I think. That, and the fact that Kage loved the Melendy books, and so was attuned to the sacredness of Saturdays long before the art shows and and book signings and living history events took us all over California.

Many of Kage’s Saturdays were spent at historical re-creation events, working hard: but for her, they were holidays. On Faire Saturdays, it was true, she had to get up earlier than she liked. And breakfast was usually coffee, Coke, a pint of ale and something weird in a wooden bowl; but they were still, technically, holidays. The ones out of Faire season, when she could also sleep late and have fresh bagels for breakfast, were simply even better ones.

After all, she used to point out, Kage Baker didn’t do much during a performance day. Mostly she lurked behind Rose Drumm’s sharp black eyes and took copious notes on the human carnival. It was Rose who pulled beers, bussed tables, directed street plays, sang and postured and yelled “God Save The Queen!”  None of that actually changed once we were only doing Dickens Fairs, either – except that Mrs.-Drumm-my-housekeeper was a trifle more respectable than Rose-Drumm-who-serves-beer-at-the-Green-Man.

You could tell, ’cause she wore a sober black dress and a clean apron, and had her hair pinned up under a lace cap. Still yelled “God Save the Queen!” right lustily, though.

Today is a Saturday. These days, I can usually sleep as late as I like – hell, I can be nocturnal if I like! Nonetheless, the bliss of waking up at dawn and deliberately going back to sleep is so keen, that I usually am out of bed by noon. At the latest. Ordinarily … without a bit of contrast, the indulgences of a Saturday lose some savour. No bagels today, but I did have some truly exemplary toast: with Trader Joe’s Fig Jam,  which is amazing stuff. Then I watched the last episode of Season 2 of Shylock, with Kimberly and Michael – now we are caught up for the beginning of Season 3, which starts tomorrow night!

And I’m writing, as I ought to do; and getting some research out of the way, as I also ought to do. Just for fun’s sake, I’ve checked out some of the notable happenings of the day – Kage taught me to love time lines, and almanacs, and all such compilations of what happened Once Upon A Time today … and which are so delightful to share, Dear Readers, with you.

In 532 C.E., the Nika Riots happened; those were the sports riots in Constantinople that ruined the next to last Hagia Sofia, and eventually gave Joseph a bad time. It’s also the day in 1486 that Henry VII, that canny Tudor ferret, married Margaret of York and assured the throne of England for his eventual, remarkable grand-daughter Elizabeth – God Save The Queen!

It’s a good day for naval exploits, which would certainly have thrilled Kage. Today in 1670, Henry Morgan took Panama – I’ll have a tot of rum later and re-read Maid On The Shore to celebrate. Also, in 1778 James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands; and in 1788, the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay to found a nation  amid the most lethal zoosphere on Earth with 736 doughty British convicts.The first plane to land on a ship did so – in 1911, on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay, thus of necessity inventing the aircraft carrier. A Greek flotilla defeated the Ottoman Navy in 1913 at the Battle of Lemnos in the First Balkan War.

Happy Birthday to Daniel Webster, A.A. Milne, Oliver Hardy, Cary Grant, Danny Kaye, John Boorman and a lot of other people about whom Kage did not know or care. RIP to Rudyard Kipling, Sidney Greenstreet,  and Wilfrid Brambly, ditto.

Oh, and it’s Thai Royal Armed Forces Day, an unusually literal holiday commemorating the day in 1593 when King Narensuan personally killed the  naughty prince Uparaja.

Which is all certainly enough to be thought-provoking and amusing on a Saturday. I know Kage would have been moved – moved right out of the house, likely, and off on the North-bound road. Looking for someplace with a good beach, where we could toast the naval heroes in bottled Bass and eat Chinese food out of cartons in the car, with a fortune cookie sacrificed to Harry to keep the noise down.

Happy Saturday, Dear Readers.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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5 Responses to The Saturdays

  1. Tom says:

    Ah, the joys of peace and sufficient rest . . . and Shylock-Sherlock 26 hours away!


    • Kate says:

      Yes indeed – with this year’s holidays successfully behind me, the upcoming year seems to be entering a small, smooth patch of peace. I shall be grateful for however long it lasts. Life is rather nice just at the moment.

      Tomorrow I can share my neophyte’s passion for newly-discovered Sherlock with Kimberly & Co., as I have managed to infect my family with this virus. Much easier than the days when we fought over who next got the single-volume Doyle collection with all the Holmes stories in it!

      And! I have just figured out how to load personal documents onto my Kindle! This means I can read all Kage’s books without having to buy them, or hunt through the many, many boxes in storage for the entire oeuvre … makes research easier, too.


  2. Miz Kizzle says:

    Weren’t the Nika Riots in 532 CE, with the donnybrook getting underway during the 22nd chariot race at the Hippodrome, or am I remembering it wrong from my (very) long-ago Latin classes?
    By the 22nd race, the Blues and the Greens must have been pretty drunk, since I’m certain the refreshment stands at the Hippo served wine.
    My query to My Husband, the Latin and Greek Double Major got me nowhere. He thought I was inquiring about something called the Sneaker Riots.


  3. Kate says:

    Yep, the Nika Riots were in 532 – that was a typo on my part, looking through my old hand-scribbled notes … thank you for bringing it to my attention. It was another of the interminable sports riots caused by chariot hooligans – but Justinian got to rebuild a lot of Constantinople (including Haggia Sofia) afterwards, which brought in a lot of good press. I’m just no good at sports history, although I’ve always found this story rather funny. Chariot hooligans!


  4. love spells says:

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