Summer Camp Series: The New Moon with the Old

Dodie Smith’s The New Moon with the Old has 5 parts with each part covering a different character’s story. To that end, here are some activities I think go along with each character 🙂


Jane

Design a mansion quiz – whose style matches yours best?

Arrange some flowers

Eat steak and kidney pudding

Have a tea or coffee service. Learn the difference between high tea and afternoon tea here. The prints below are available from the etsy stores of nancynikkodesign, RaahatIllustration, MyDreamWall, and MSaferillustration. Something about mugs is so darn cozy!


Merry

Read a play. Merry’s recommendations are The Seagull (Chekhov), Henry V (Shakespeare), The Rivals (Sheridan), The School for Scandal (Sheridan), or something by George Bernard Shaw.

Take a nap without setting an alarm

Find your stage name. I’m Alessandra Wild – not bad, right? 😉

Have a morning bath

Dye your hair (virtually). I have always wanted pastel pink or lavender hair, but I am too chicken to do it in real life.


Drew

Read some historical fiction (or watch a period piece) and find your true era.

Once you’ve found your era, research the fashion, furniture, and art of the time!

If possible, visit a sea front.

Have a music night at home. Play an instrument if you have one or just sing along to your favorites.

Meal prep for the week ahead. Some tasty ideas here!


Clare

Watercolor some flowers

Order a meal in

Read some Dumas

Go window shopping. Like actually go look at window displays! I like looking at displays built around a holiday or just the changing of the seasons. Looking at store websites doesn’t compare to specially prepared storefronts.


Richard

Go to the zoo (if/when it is safe to do so)

Watch Fantasia (trailer in link).

And then listen to a new classical piece and make up your own story to go along with it. Richard’s favorites are some Beethoven quartets.


Bonus: Burly (the dog)

Have a warm drink in front of the TV with your favorite people.

Summer Camp Series: Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a great summer book. It follows Kya who lives alone in the marshes along the coast of North Carolina. Here are some activities I thought would be fun for the book. Tell me if you’ve read the book and have any other things in mind.


To Do

Do a little painting. Grab a basic set of acrylics and follow along with “how to paint a swamp

Go birdwatching. Even if you can’t go anywhere, you can try to identify the birds in your neighborhood. Audobon has a phone app for this! Bonus points if you have binoculars.

Visit a marsh. If you can go to one, then pack a little picnic (see more below) and make a day of it. A friend and I put on our masks and visited the freshwater marsh of the Ballona Wetlands. If you live in west LA, I recommend going. We saw some cool birds (including a great egret!) and it was overall really nice and beautiful.


To Bake

Real Deal Southern Caramel Cake – an incredible three layer yellow cake with caramel icing!


Additional Reading

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: if you want more southern lit from a female author. Bonus, it also involves a courtroom scene.

The Bird Artist by Howard Norman: if you want another protagonist who lives in a remote place and paint birds

Bog Girl” by Karen Russell: another female author from the south. A short story set in similar environment, but that’s about where the similarities stop.


To Eat

I saved this section for last because it is the longest. All the food in the book sounds dang good! Here is the menu I would put together from all the dishes mentioned. Choose one or two items from each category for a great picnic!

Basket of breads
cracklin cornbread
hush puppies (serve with honey butter)
yeast rolls
sour cream biscuits (add bacon or jam)

Sides
beans: red, butter, or baked
grits
hoe cakes
deviled eggs
chicken salad
mashed potatoes with red eye gravy
black eyed peas

Veggies
corn fritters
stewed turnips
collard greens
peas in butter
sliced red tomato
mustard greens
coleslaw
summer squash casserole

Entree
pimento cheese sandwich
backbone soup + biscuits
chicken pie
chicken and dumplings
cold fried chicken
chicken fried steak
fried pork chops
fried shrimp
fried fish with black pepper crust
grilled flounder stuffed with shrimp
seafood medley: mussels, oysters
ham trio: salt-cured, molasses, and fried
hot pork sausage

Dessert
banana pudding
peach cobbler
blackberry pie
blackberry cobber
pecan pie
4-layer cake
top any with a scoop of ice cream or hard cream


Summer Camp Series: A Brief History of Seven Killings in Jamaica

By the time you finish “A Brief History of Seven Killings in Jamaica” by Marlon James, you will feel like you have really gone on a journey. This book is not really an easy summer camp kind of book, but it is the book I was reading when I thought to myself, well, I have two more months of summer (school doesn’t start until October on the quarter system) and ??? more months of social distancing. Am I revisiting old hobbies and thinking fondly of better times during Covid times? Yes.

Here are the additional activities I did along/after reading the novel. Comment if you have any ideas to add 🙂


To Eat

Jerk chicken! I ordered from a local restaurant (Janga) and got jerk chicken and an appetizer combo (fried zucchini, jerk wings, plantains, and fried shrimp).

Accompany all this good food with an iced hibiscus tea.


To Read

A Massacre in Jamaica (Mattathias Schwartz, The New Yorker, 2011)
The actual events that occurred after a certain Jamaican drug lord was extradited. It’s a good read.

Tracing Jamaica’s bloody history via A Brief History of Seven Killings (Scott Carey, Medium, 2016)
More on the actual events/people that are incorporated into the novel.

Dark Alliance (Gary Webb, San Jose Mercury News, 1996)
The OG expose linking the CIA to the crack epidemic of the ’80s. Publishing these articles ruined his life.


Consider Watching

I haven’t actually watched either (very short attention span when it comes to TV and movies) but they are related, and I did, ya know, consider it.

Kill the Messenger: (link to trailer) available on Netflix. Jeremy Renner stars as Gary Webb as he researches, writes, and publishes the Dark Alliance articles.

Snowfall: (link to trailer) available on FX and Hulu. Follows the lives of characters living through the crack epidemic in Los Angeles.