Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Irish Loop

We have this marvelous meandering coastal route called the Irish Loop. It's where Irish settlers came and - ahem - settled going back as far as the early 17th century. Little villages and towns scattered along the whole 300 km of it.
Here's a map with the route marked in dark blue. Every turn in the road has a breathtaking view.

I live in St. John's. Daughter lives in St. Vincent's (where the whales roll in by the hundreds every year) so we decided to pick up a Jiggs Dinner in Fermeuse (approximately an equivalent drive for each of us)- all restaurants here are doing a roaring trade in safe takeaway as long as you pre-order and then they tell you what time to pick it up. What a meal this was!

This is what we overlooked as we ate in Port Kirwan:

Then we visited a local wood sculpture, I love his owls (my spirit animal):

Then we realized we had friends in the area so did a safe drop in and had tea and a slice of boiled cake, overlooking this view:

On the way back I stopped at St. John's Harbour to look at the ships that are in (one of my favourite things) but that sky caught my attention again.

What an absolutely splendid day, and yeah the lovely sun, and skyscapes, how magnificent are those?

Thursday, May 28, 2020


I take politics far too seriously. I think I've learned my lesson. My detachment from all social media is complete. I will only fight now, post-covid, for senior fairness and bringing the many of us living in Canada to the official poverty line. I know. Small potatoes but essential for survival here where many elders make $5,000 per annum below it.

So now. I can't get over myself. I am experiencing gallons of joy for the last four days and I hope I'm not jinxing this. I am reading a marvelous book called H is for Hawk by Helen Mac Donald

The rating isn't that great on Goodreads but I get why it wouldn't be to everyone's taste. It is a memoir by a woman whose father has just died and she gets into the business of training a groshawk, one of the most challenging of all falconry enterprises. I am learning so much from it, another underbelly of life unexplored. There are so many.

I have 21,000 words written on the new novel and it is taking me to extraordinary places. I am living and breathing it every day. I am also busy on the blanket I designed and have about 1/3 complete.

You will note the completed lighthouse, the partially finished house and of course the familiar diamonds of vines and cables of Irish knitting. On the left you will see a cream and black cord (it will wind up a marble-like frame for the work) which I knit away at as it is mindless when I attend Zoom meetings. The main body requires concentration due to its complexity.

You're the first in the whole world to see it as I'm not posting it elsewhere.

It brings me enormous joy. Plus I keep a notepad by me and jot notes for the book as they occur to me.

I think it's the first time in my life I feel undistracted as I write with no other responsibilities apart from feeding myself and basic maintenance.

Hence joy.

Monday, May 25, 2020

A New Life

A photo of my beautiful city, St. John's, Newfoundland.

The skin of all this politicism and activism has peeled off me and I am as newly re-birthed.

I am no longer gripped by Facecloth and all its doings or Twister and its evil manifestations and counterpoints scored and activists removed without apology if they don't toe whatever is the party line of the day.

I honestly don't care.

One thing still lingers in that tomorrow the newspaper is publishing what I wrote in my fit of disdain on the weekend and tossed off in a blast of the last volcano ashes of the rage I was feeling. That should bring out the pitchforks for me. But a staff member did call me today and assured me that, contrary to all Twister and Facecloth feeds, the journalist in question had not been fired but as personal threats had been made on him and his family he chose to fade into the background of other responsibilities within the newspaper's framework. Par for the course here, I have been attacked for speaking my truth and I fully anticipate this will happen tomorrow when the paper hits the stands or the devices. Negative opinions are not tolerated here. Critical thinking is unheard of and everyone knows someone employed by government. The smallness of the place can be such a negative. The record breaking show "Come From Away" tells one side only. There is a darker side. As there is in all places.

Enough on that.

The novel I am working on has come to life marvelously well. There is so much time to reflect on it and sit and be still and play music and think and reflect some more. I no longer have distractions so I can place myself in sixties Toronto and breathe in the aroma of that narrow wood paneled coffee nook with the huge spitting urns and the fresh pastries stationed in the lobby of the building I worked in and say good morning to Brenda the elevator woman (called "girl" in those days) who wore white gloves and never smiled but nodded politely at all of us as she pushed her lever and only asked for visitors' floors as she knew us all and our landings. All day, she sat like a queen on her green leather stool.

Every morning at eleven, one of the servers in that standing room only coffee corner would wheel up a trolley in that very same elevator and bring coffee and tea around to all of us with real mugs and small plates, along with more pastries, and pick our detritus up an hour later. A silent, cheerless grey haired woman ("tea girl"). None of that British lovie-have-a-cuppa stuff in her. I did wonder if she was related to Brenda.

So there you have it.

As one of our wise ones commented "Enough".

I have taken it to heart.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Wasting Time

I had one of those moments last night as I was responding to a long commentary on a journalist who resigned was fired after writing a column on public sector workers being paid full salaries during the pandemic and many private sector workers facing financial hardship. The views on this article were more than 10 times the views on a previous column in which he wrote about lifting all to a guaranteed income, even if it was just to the poverty line (my pet soap box advocacy as you all know).

The pitchforks came out for him and I defended him and his right to his opinion. Suffice to say, as I engaged once more with Facecloth and Twister and the privileged defending their rights to substantial pay-cheques, pensions and benefits while the peasants pay them through their income taxes, I thought: what the almighty hell are you doing wasting time on all of this?

Ever have one of those moments? It was around 10.00 pm as I read the latest attack on my miscomprehension of their rights. Did I not know that these same public sector workers did not complain when the oil sector workers were making more than they were? cos, you know, we are all in this together! This from a dude making both public sector and private sector income in his spare time from his public sector job. His income? Pushing close to $200,000. Nearly 10 times the poverty level. The air is thin up there when you can only count your own privileges against those making even more and think "bootstraps" for the rest of us if you have time to throw a thought our way at all.

So my moment came and I thought: stop it now. Make your life count for more than these ridiculous meaningless verbal sword-fights and just do exactly what you want to do. Stop the fighting. Remove yourself from social media. Cancel the subscription to the paper in protest of their pandering to the elite.

I had a dream last night of being swept away in this kind of tidal wave. I wasn't frightened. I landed on a huge rock and just calmly trudged on. I had a purpose and I was committed to it. The rock was washed clean by the wave every minute. It held a lot of meaning for me.

Write. Read. Knit. Disengage from politics and social media and meaningless debates. Make every day of what's left count. Read my blog buds for sustenance.

So here I am.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

To-Do Lists

I don't know about you but mine get painfully long and then a few fairly sleepless nights and the overwhelm sets in. Havoc is created when I don't return calls or forego what I think would be manageable commitments (will I ever effing learn?)and the guilt streams over the top of my head and I sink beneath that wave for a while.

I'd like to blog every day. I love blogging. But I find that the pleasurable tasks on the To-Do get drowned in the "shoulds" of what I need to do first and then nothing happens. Exhaustion hits me too, those sleepless, crazy, nightmarish nights underlaid with the anxiety and stress we're all feeling.

"In my remaining lifetime allotted," I announced pompously to some poor souls who indulge my ranting, "I will not see normal again."

So yeah, what do I intend to do with such limited options?

Good question.

I have absolutely no idea.

So I knit away on a startlingly large project with took me eons to design as the mathematical calculations are not as free and easy in the brain as they used to be. The designing is now painstaking and slow if I want to avoid ripping out madly. So, yeah, it's looking quite lovely in its birthing. A long way to go but it keeps my brain subdued as I work it a few times a day.

My "other" writing has died much to my dismay. The muse has fled appalled by my inertia and my "woe is me"s in this awful pandemic.

But today, I got myself upright, metaphorically at least, and started ticking some items and lined up some apologies to be given to those who I have abandoned but not forgotten.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

I Hate Downers (Day 50 of the Year of the Plague self-isolation)

This past week has had me with spasms in my back, sharp and exhausting in their frequency. Aging means not bouncing back. I find the pain sucks the creativity out of me. I don't return calls, not wishing to burden anyone with my whining. I sit in a pool of misery, wanting to sleep the day away and quite succeeding in that accomplishment and shocked that I actually can sleep through some nights and then maneuver out of my bed slowly and carefully. It seems like soft tissue as it's not near the spine, so some kind of sprain.

I will call the doctor on Monday as over a week of this is quite distressing. Along with that my BP shot through the roof and I don't know why. My old BP monitor whimpered and died and the readings from the new one reflect these new alarming readings.

So there you have it.

One 1 case in the last couple of weeks here so we are now in a progression of loosening restrictions, basically following NZ but without reopening schools. We are moving from Alert Level 5 to Alert Level 4. Really good news. Slow and steady is the plan.

I'm getting around to your blogs, slowly but surely.

Objet du Jour

4 healing vials sitting on my windowsill in my bedroom with little messages of comfort within or attached. My two young friends made them for me.

Facebook have a new emoticon which is supposedly created to show care/sympathy/compassion. Consensus is it's a Big Fail but great suggestions have been offered to expand their reactive images. (sorry for the quality of image)