Helen of Marlowe's Blog

In search of Correo del Maestro

Posted in fiction, Literature by helenofmarlowe on May 28, 2011

May 28, 2011

I have a calendar on my desk. It’s a perpetual calendar, with photos of world masterpieces in art museums. I could tell you which museums, except that I don’t read Spanish.

This calendar has been on my desk for several years.

I like it. I even turn its pages once in a while.

But you wouldn’t have noticed it in my clutter.

Recently, I cleaned off my desk, and Emily noticed my calendar.

Cool!” she said, or maybe “Awsome!” or maybe just “Hey, I like this!” She said whatever monolingual eighteen-year-old American girls say when they see a calendar with 365 works of art and all the words in Spanish.

So, I thought, aha! Idea! I will buy one for Emily, and surprise her.

Next day I set about the task of finding a copy of Un ano en el Museo.

Put together, as far as I can tell, by Olivia Barbet-Massin and Caroline Larroche,

Recuerdo de Mortefontaine
Recuerdo de Mortefontaine

and published by Correo del Maestro. ISBN# 9685142025.

Here it is – I opened it to a pretty page.

But to get back to my task – I’m not a bad googler, and I usually find what I want. But I can’t find this calendar. I did find a picture of it, but not accompanied by an order form, or an email address, or a telephone, and besides, the site was in Spanish (see paragraph #1).

After trying longer than a person with better sense would, I decided this was not working out and that, as all enlightened people know, there is more than one path to the true calendar. I would find another way.

The next day I put the calendar into a plastic bag, so that I could wrap it around the handle bars (my bicycle doesn’t have a basket) and I rode my bicycle over to Wake Forest University, which is within bicycling distance even for me.

Logic being, they know how to speak all sorts of foreign languages over there, and they have a bookstore which means they know how to order things with ISBN numbers.


I was directed to Lizzie, who orders things. Lizzie looked at all the clues, and said she’d get back with me.

A few days later, she did. She can’t find it.

But I have other resources. I happen to live right next door to a librarian. Now in case you didn’t know this, nb:

Librarians know everything. Especially things with ISBN numbers.

And what they don’t know, they know how to find out.

Most of the time. But not this time.

She did, however, find the email address of the publisher. And a picture of a similar calendar in French (but no ordering information). I thanked my good friend for getting a step closer, and I sent email (in English) to Correo del Maestro.

un ano en el museo

un ano en el museo

As my hopes for a response diminish, I try Plan C.

Which is to write this.

If all three of the people who occasionally read my blog would mention this to three of their friends, and those people do the same, someone will find this calendar, and I can order it.


We have a pigeon on our roof

Posted in "North Carolina", Ecology, NC, Winston-Salem by helenofmarlowe on May 23, 2011

Black Rock DoveWe have a pigeon on our roof.

A black pigeon wearing ID tags.

Bucky was the first to notice. It was walking back an forth along the edge, looking down on us as we sat on the porch reading and talking. We were all intrigued that it did not appear to be afraid of us. Not that we’re a scary bunch, but birds in the wild are supposed to think we are.

We all thought this was a fleeting moment and that the bird would be gone before I could get my camera, but this bird likes to pose.

We decided it’s a black dove.  Sounds better than pigeon.

Bucky held out a handful of safflower seeds, and the dove  came right down and settled on the porch rail.  We all went out to dinner, and were somewhat surprised when we returned and  Black Dove was still there.  We sprinkled some cracked corn on the rail, where we feed the songbirds.

We have a flower pot attached to the wall, and the black dove has decided that’s a good place to settle in for the night.

Tucked in for the night

Since the dove is wearing bands on its legs, we thought we should try to get Black Dove back to his/her caretakers.  Might this be a scientific research pigeon, or does it belong to a local pigeon club?

I called the local Audubon society, and learned that this pigeon is not working for science.  It  is a carrier pigeon.   I wish I had asked what carrier pigeons carry these days, but I didn’t think to ask.

I also learned that its likely the owner may not want it back.  Because it will now be seen as unreliable.  If it does get back to its home, I was told, the owner would likely just “put it to sleep”.

That settles it.   I won’t try to trace the numbers on the tags.

I guess we have a pigeon on our roof.



. . . not a feather then he fluttered –
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “other friends have flown before –
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

e.a.poe, The Raven

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