decoder rings and black tea: aka, saturday night.

Do we ever outgrow wanting to be spies? Or, I don't know, maybe that particular bug never got to you, but it certainly infected me when I was little.

My sisters and I would confer in our basement closet, sitting on cinder blocks under a naked lightbulb, decoding the notes we had taken during the day.

Usually, it was such breathtaking news as, Lou is out weeding his tomato patch today, wearing those saggy pants. And Barb called him inside, because he got a phone call.

Wow. You can see why we were careful, with neighbors like that. That's some volatile information right there.

Then a few years after the Tomato Patch Files, I discovered Harriet the Spy (!!!), and a few years after that, the Mrs. Pollifax stories.

Maybe it's why I'm a writer--license to eavesdrop in caf├ęs, to make up stories to explain the glimpses we see of our neighbors our friends...

It's certainly why I loved watching the new version of The 39 Steps over at Masterpiece. It's a completely fun spy movie, with a healthy dose of romance and stunning Scottish landscapes. Probably won't win any awards for "most brilliant movie," but it's perfect for a fun Saturday night.

With a mammoth cup of Earl Grey.

And my new decoder ring.

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