Sunday, October 25, 2020

My Afternoon

I spent the afternoon with Niece. We sat downstairs in the downstairs community room. Distant coffees and masked before we sat down and basically a distant hug.

It was so beautiful out there, the traces of a hurricane were busy pulling the leaves off the trees on the back patio but I did manage a couple of pictures of it even though it was too cold to sit outside.

We chatted for nearly 4 hours, about books and knitting and family and workshops and writing. It was wonderful, sorely needed by each of us. We stayed safe but of course residents walking around inside the building are maskless with some wheezing and sneezing and coughing which is frightening. I've maintained if one case comes in here many will die. But they behave as if we are all immune.

Later it was the weekly family Zoom meeting. Every Sunday. Just the siblings. All six of us there today. From all over, Ireland, Canada, Malta and Costa Rica. The Covid and Zoom can have a positive effect on families.

Another picture from outside today. I just love the fall colours and the wee people sitting on the edge of the flowerbed.

Friday, October 23, 2020

By Jove We Did It!

We had our first book club meet, M2M (mask to mask rather than face to face, ha!) yesterday. First one since January. Through some influence, the RCL in Holyrood (Royal Canadian Legion) gave us a huge room for free. So our chairs were miles apart and 12 of us showed up.

As there was no common book on the agenda, we discussed what we had been reading during The Covid, and writing down others' recommendations. Some brought books along to give away which was wonderful. I got two. I've been remiss in not posting my reads here for the year but will tackle soon. I've always kept journals of books read and am pretty meticulous about recording my ratings along with quotes that capture my attention and a summary of the book itself.

We managed to talk books for around two hours which was intellectually quite soothing and we all felt the better for it. We decided to approach the local golf club for our annual seasonal feast and see if they could manage a distant meal for us in December. A few of us tried to convince the club, yet again, to tackle Zoom, but the majority are still adverse opposed, not quite grasping that we can have a gatekeeper and they won't see guys jerking off on camera which seems to be the biggest negative. Any Zoom groups I attend have never had a breach of this kind due to gatekeepers.

Some pictures taken yesterday, there was a lone seal (your can barely see it) out in the water at Holyrood bay:

And I was intrigued with the colour of this new stone water breaker in a harbour on the same bay which went on into the horizon here:

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pardon my trivial thoughts

The Covid drowns the world. We are all self-isolating in one form or another. Climate change is upon us, racing us towards an iceless precipice of no trees, no fish, no bees. We're facing a world that can never return to the Before.

But my new obsession is my nose.

I had observed, like I do, that elderly people's noses shift and change and develop a personality outside of their faces. I look at their noses and think, did they always have this airconditioned honker with its pores open to the world which is at least double the size of a normal nose. I'd look at pictures of their weddings and/or youth and think: what the hell happened to their bonny wee noses?

I remember looking at my father's nose as he lay in his casket and being appalled at the size of it on such a small man. I whispered this to my daughter and she looked at me horrified. "My gawd Mum," she whispered back at me, "I think I've got his nose!" And we cracked up and had to move away for a while. Such are funerals. Full of trivia and weird hysterical thoughts in the midst of grief.

So, here I am looking at my nose and its larger appearance. I keep touching it. Long gone is the lovely retrousse of my youth. A nose I liked. A nose commented on favourably. But now? It's rough around the edges. I keep touching it. It feels like an enormous rough wart. Before it was silky. Well behaved. Fit for purpose. A good smeller. Now it has enlarged itself. Glowering down at my mouth. And there's nothing I can do about it

Please feel free to share your trivial and petty thoughts right here.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

My Locale

I had a rough morning and beginning of afternoon (pain) until I laid me down and got up an hour later full of beans and was up for a "take the garbage out" (I've written before how this is positively Herculean) and then go for a mild runabout in the car and a wee walkabout by the lake near me.

I firat took a stop here about 100 metres from my home to survey the incoming fog which is quite blocking the triangle of ocean you can see in the distance.

Then I stopped on a dangerous corner near "my lake" to capture this, I've been dying to take it for a while and the road was quiet so I did.

Next I parked the car by the lake and took these. One curious duck out of hundreds paddled over to check on me.

And the fog slithered slowly in, creeping onto the boathouses and the boats and reaching for the gulls flying above.

And a cruel touch - this is the watchhouse of the HMP - Her Majesty's Prison which overlooks this magnificent lake but the fence is so high you can't look in or the convicts look out. They must sense the freedom in this beautiful spot though.

And finally, I go across to the other side and look down at the vanishing lake and the soft fog. How I love this place.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Mundane

I am grateful for the mundane. The ordinary. I had some running around lurching to do today. I took breaks.

I try not to get annoyed while I repeatedly ask my pharmacy for delivery. They ignore my instructions. But then text me 850 times to come pick up my script, what's wrong with me. Yeah, I'm grateful I still lurch my way in there.

I took a lunch break at a distanced cafe and was quite shocked when I realized the geezer at the table in the corner was flirting with me, eyebrows waggling, big grin. I smiled crisply (if there is such a thing, but years of practice, etc.) but he persisted, asking how my iced coffee and sandwich were and then I just nose dived into the device.

A couple facing me at a safe distance were (she was) talking about her red nails and her manicure and the gossip out of the nail salon and how she never felt feminine (what the hell does that mean?) unless she could look at her nails with pride. He didn't contribute one word to the conversation. She asked him if it should be a deeper red, well maybe next time, what did he think? He shrugged. LIke aliens to me, these two.

I finally sorted my headset issue in Staples and returned the faulty one. Pay peanuts get monkeys. My new one works like a charm, a lot more expensive but it means I can resume Zoom meetings again. I missed them, especially my family one on Sunday nights.

A pigeon was dying as I drove back into the parking lot. Very distressing. Couldn't fly and trying to hide under the cars. Poor pet. Many residents circling around it, none, of course, wearing masks. I'm the outlaw in the mask. I hope it's not an omen.

A friend had a particularly brutal thing happen in his cottage in Ontario where his fireplace blew up. Details are scant but he was airlifted to Toronto and as I write the plug is being pulled. He was a Harley rider with those delightful childlike qualities that some men have. His 90+ father is still living. Last week, he posted a picture of the five generations of men from his father down. At least he lived that long.

We never know for whom the bell tolls.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Move Over

So here I am on New Blogger. We had the fix for Legacy for a while, thanks to the hard work of another crackshot blogger but all good things, as they say, come to an end and New Blogger put a stop to the fix rather quickly. To me, it's not an improvement by a long shot, but I understand that us PC and laptop users are going the way of the dinosaur and Blogger is now more user friendly for Ipads and Smartphones.But gee, there's so much extra work in the formatting.

It's quite hard for some of us. Adjusting to the new state of the world and also to all this technology. A giant leap in so many ways. I am constantly aware of that in my Independent Seniors Building, where so very few have come aboard the little website I started for the building only. Notices are handwritten or typed and placed on the community bulletin board. Some shudder if the word internet is mentioned. And when asked why, it's basically a tinfoil hat response: everyone knowing your business. Well, yes, but everybody does anyway, I want to say, but I don't. They asked me to run for a position on the board here but I turned it down. There was a lot of pressure. Well, I do speak my mind. Most don't because of all these entangled relationships in a tiny province. Down to third and fourth cousins and generations of hat-tipping servility to one's betters. But I resigned from three boards last year which broke my heart so not taking on any other position which on the outside look like very little work, but once you're on board it can take up a huge portion of valuable time. Gone are the days of up to ninety with everything and working all hours of the day and night.

Which brings me to post title. In talking with an old pal on the phone today we realized that we do need to move over now and let the young take their turn. We can sit in the corners and mull and reflect and give advice if asked, but basically our work is done. And even though we didn't anticipate this kind of twilight, it's here and we're in lockdown and may be until we die.

So what do we do? We move over. Let the "kids" at this. Encourage them. Apologise for the mess we made. And maybe we all need to pivot and see if there's a possibility for a better world. I sure hope so.

I cling to hope and fairness for all. Not greatness. Not happiness (such a misunderstood word!). But fairness. And kindness. And far, far less greed and avarice from those who never pay their fair share.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Trip Report - Part 3

We were invited to Quirpon Island by friends who live there. We hadn't seen them in quite a while. Another friend of theirs whom we hadn't met was also there and had caught the fish they were serving only 3 hours after the fish was in the water.

Quirpon (pronounced Carpoon - I know!) is a small island off the Great Northern Peninsula.

Here is the view from the front door of their house:

And a view of the local lighthouse (also an inn):

The fish was to die, fresh out of the water, lightly battered in that Newfoundland way and served with fresh cut fries and coleslaw like it should be.

Our host had gone through many cancer treatments and had stopped. He's a writer, performer, broadcaster and composer. A massive multi-talented artist. He also paints, photographs and makes documentaries. Their house was full of his work.

Over dinner, he was quiet and then told us his daughter, a doctor, had died in childbirth two years before. There wasn't a dry eye at the table. He mentioned the reason that he had brought it up, even though difficult for him, was we tend to be complacent about modern medicine. Her obgyn had panicked and the birth was traumatic and appalling and his daughter bled to death and the baby died. We moved on to discussing authors and books and writing and art. And I noted he was eating very little, a man of formerly lusty appetites. My observation over the years has been that the death of a child can trigger disease and dementia. I've seen it in my own family along with others.

After dinner, we sat down around the fire (their home was exquisite - two huge windows over the water in their bedroom AND a Japanese style bathtub in the ensuite) and his partner asked him to play. He first of all shook his head. I don't believe in wheedling anyone so we resumed conversation and then he picked up one of his guitars.

And I'm telling you, my eyes are flooding with tears as I write this, as it was a magical ending to the day. His songs were beautiful and personal and enchanting.

I would link to his YouTube, etc., but I think it best to protect his anonymity due to the heartbreak he has kept so very private.

As we were leaving, his partner, with tears in her eyes whispered to us, "He hasn't played a note in two years. Thank you. Thank you!"

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Trip Report - Part 2

One of the areas we had all wished to see was St. Anthony, a town at the very tip of The Great Northern Peninsula. Mainly because Dr. Grenfell had started a mission there. We had read a few books on him and his life was fascinating, dedicated to the improvement of the lives of the impoverished inhabitants of Newfoundland and Labrador and their health and wellbeing.

We saw the interpretative centre which was enormously interesting, and were shown a great video of this man who did so much for the people.

His artifacts and correspondence were enlightening. He had raised so much funding from around the world and attracted the attention of many young privileged people who volunteered their help in this then primitive country.

One such book about a volunteer was Dear Everybody. A socialite from New York immersed in the culture of Labrador volunteering in the remotest and poorest village. I highly recommend this riveting read.

Dr. Grenfell's house, filled with his daily life.

We took a break to visit the lighthouse on a foggy day with the horn going.

And then had one of those surprising lunches in the middle of nowhere, featuring naan bread wrapped around curried chicken and marvelous cappucinos and lattes and soups.

To be continued.......