Friday, May 26, 2023


I have to roll my life around days of energy and days of lack of it, the unpredictability of it all drives me mad. Plans get shoved aside. This does not suit this former Type A personality of mine.

Pain is also up and down. Today I took two doses of pain killers with a shrug and a WTF. I despise pain killers, that buzzy wuzzy feeling does not suit me. But my energy for the day is fairly even and not in the dumps. So these small mercies I am so grateful for. It is only in the shortfall of things we normally take for granted that we recognize with joy a taste of their re-emergence.

Grandgirl is now living in Paris. She and her partner visited the grave of Van Gogh and sent me this beautiful postcard and mentioned how much I would have loved the town and place he was born in.

I am so glad we are a postcard sending family. When I am out of town I send many. And even throughout the year if I see one that is interesting. I think the internet has stolen that beautiful tradition for far too many.

She also sent me a photo of what she sees when she looks out the window from her desk.

Living the dream, indeed.

In the absence of pets in this pet free building (why, oh why?) I concentrate on my plants and yes, of course, talking to them.

These started as tiny babies given to me by Daughter when I moved in. I had a massive repotting recently on a good energy day.

And my African Violets (how I love them!) sit on my windowsill and take turns in blooming. 

That white you see outside is dense fog. I woke up to it this morning. I'm one of those weirdos who loves the fog and the foghorns which I am hearing right now. Warning all the ships and boats out at sea to be careful. Though I am sure radar has made all the difference.

Monday, May 22, 2023

This and That and T'other.

My friend Lana, whom I speak to every week has started hallucinating in this dreadful disease of Alzheimer's. It has worsened lately. But she still knows my name when I call her.

Last night her hallucination was a man and his daughter coming to take her to a shoe shop to fit her with new shoes as she had broken her foot. I went along for the ride. She said she wore the shoes to bed as they were so comfortable and would never take them off again. I think it might have been her son and granddaughter who took her. But she had lost track of who they were and their names. If it happened at all.

She has a new friend who is thirty years old (living in a senior's full care facility?) but even though she protests at reception she, Lana, is not allowed to take her for walks with her which is, she says, totally unfair as she'd like some company. As they were spying on her all the time now she couldn't tell me her name.

We don't abandon our friends of such long duration though, and I focus on the few minutes of joy she has in hearing my voice and know that I am forgotten so very quickly until I call again in a week.

Blogger, Master of the Blogverse, decided that a post I had written about Iraq, way back in the day, was offensive in my critique of the politics of that so-called war invasion. Oddly enough, everything I wrote has been proven since.

Daughter booked our trip to my homeland for October. I did the pro and con list and will be interested in reading Andrew who is writing about his very last trip to the homeland of his partner in the UK. Always challenging with aging, disabilities, medications, too old for insurance, etc. Plus the roundabout way of getting there from here with the cancellation of direct flights to Dublin from St. John's. Now we have to back trek west to Toronto and then fly east to Dublin in a sardine can. My pro and con list for the trip had pros winning though. 14 hours.

In love with my air-fryer.

Flowers from my daughter in April.

A very faint rainbow landing in the middle of the lake outside my window this past week.

Monday, May 08, 2023

So many thoughts

I have a brain that is very busy all the time. What about you?

Meditation is helpful, it calms me and centres me and focuses me. As does knitting. 

I love me a good knit. Or taking photos or writing fiction, which takes me outside of myself. 

I look forward intensely to alone time. More than people time. I have never been able to manage small talk. When I was in public office I would wander around with a camera which worked like a charm to keep people at a distance. I never know what to say apart from a series of stock clich├ęs.

I live in a building which is full of small talk. I put on a nice face, being well practiced at my advanced age, and do my best, I remember things about people which soothes them. Like where they used to live and I ask about that. "Have you been back there recently?" Weather is a good coverup. And I range through my string of tropes and haul them out which seems to soothe others: inflation, weather, health status, weather, grandchildren, weather, new tenants, weather. 

I scan my list of internal topics of off limit stuff, climate change, Sudan, Ukraine, Somalia, floods, arctic collapse, rising sea levels and about a 100 more and shut my mouth. Along with the stuff I love to talk about, books, theatre, good films, art, seniors' concerns which usually draws a blank with most. Those I would chat to about such things are all gone to the great beyond of stardust.

One of the enormous voids of old age is losing those with whom we went to the opera or concerts or great theatre or a new showing at the galleries. Those who had this commonality of interests and could discuss such enhancing wonders with kindred spirits.

I imagine if one has a soulmate, old age is much more enhanced by shared interests but then again, if the soulmate dies it leaves one very unprepared for the loneliness and isolation to follow. So six of one and half dozen of the other.

I am so used to being alone and it's totally by choice as there were a few opportunities over the years to change that. I had a few great loves, one particularly of such depth and magnitude that I was only recently able to write about it in a memoir. He was definitely "The One" but there were far too many barriers in that time and place so very many years ago to take it further. 

I am grateful for so much in my life that often I find myself tearing up. I realize that any of us with family love and respect and living in the privilege that is Canada are so very fortunate and find myself crying openly at the child massacres in the US - the Gunster Capital of the world - and when the Ukrainians arrive on our island here with their hope and their pets and their little children, leaving everything they held dear in the appalling mess behind them.

A long post. I stop myself here as I could go on all day and never stop.

I never had to kiss the Blarney Stone. When I was a kid, I would ride out here on my bike from home, about five miles, and wait underneath, and pick up the coins from the tourist pockets as they bent over backwards to kiss it.

Thursday, May 04, 2023

Where Has All the Singing Gone?

We lost our primary Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot this week. He was 85 years old.

An enormous talent with incredible music and lyrics left as his legacy. So many covers to his work they are uncountable.

His legacy is poetry, all songs a story. 

When I lived in Toronto I never missed his annual concert at Massey Hall for countless years, forty, fifty?

But as I played all his albums I was profoundly shocked that I knew all the lyrics and sang along to every single word (with a tear or two for the memories they evoked).

And then I started to ponder on when did I stop singing? 

I sang through so much in my life, I was a folk singer at one point, and on stage singing operettas, writing a musical ten years ago and having that performed to sold out shows. I grew up in a singing house, spent many nights at pubs singing my heart out back in the day. 

Singing "party pieces" at parties and gathering, along with my family members. Singing solo pieces on stage here, a few years ago.

Singing joint playlists with Grandgirl on our road trips.

And then I stopped. 

Until Gordy died.

Thank you, Gordy. Soar with the stars, buddy.