Sunday, June 30, 2024

Sunday Selections

 Joining others in this Sunday Selection mix of photo-dumps.

Elephant's Child

From The Highrise

Drifting through Life

And maybe more!

Rambling around my apartment time:


I stole a cutting from the conservatory a couple of months ago and put it in this wee wall vase. It's grateful.

I love this mini garden on a side table.


A little tribute wall behind the door in my bedroom of the dear ones lost in the last few years. Some of the kindest people I have ever known. The one on the left is me and my bestie (since we were 6 years old). The two on the right were treasured mentors.


I am editing my part memoir of a stretch of time when I was only 23 years old which had a lasting impact on me. Chapter outlines, character outlines, magnifying glass for my not so good anymore eye sight.

This most gorgeous hand-painted card from a dear artist friend received a few days ago. We have travelled a long, convoluted path together encouraging each other's artistic endeavours. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Childhood Trauma.


The hospital of 1949 horror still standing, 3rd window from left, 2nd floor.

Indulge me, please, if you would. This is long but heartfelt.

My #2 brother (I have 4) is going through an extremely rough time at the moment on a gurney in a hospital corridor exposed to lights, noise and the comings and goings of strangers. He's only allowed one visitor at a time. If you could call that interrupted and overheard time a "visit". He is very ill with a cancer that has gone crazy in his body and was moved (via taxi!) to hospital yesterday as he had developed clots in his left leg. Public health care in my home country is drastically underfunded and he told me last night that when he asked for a pillow there was none forthcoming as there were no funds for that kind of health care. To call me upset would be understating the whole situation as I imagine myself where he is and would want to die. A 'kill me now' scenario.

I'm in flashback mode Daughter reminded me today.

I'll give you the scene:

A six year old girl (me) in hospital with eye infections after an operation on them, plus a removal of adenoids and tonsils. Blood. Lots. In an adult ward as there were no children's hospitals back then, 74 years ago. Terrified. The adult patients around me "teased" me constantly. In those days child abuse was called "teasing" They told me my parents had forgotten about me, told me I was going blind. You get the picture.

Missing my mother who had two younger boys at home. My bandages were taken off one day and I was told to go into the corner to a baby's cot. Inside that cot was brother #2 with something pouring out of his ears. He was bawling his head off clutching his ears. I remember shutting down completely, holding his little hand. He was only a year old. He still had no words but "mama." 

I worked everything out inside my head. My parents were abandoning us, one by one. But they had missed brother #1 so they must be keeping him. Maybe he was a better child, maybe we were bad children like I was told by the priest at school. All born bad. Only when I had my First Confession would I be cleaned of my  original sin. Maybe I had infected my brother with my sin. As I had already  been told I had infected him with the measles that had put me and him in the hospital. 

Mum arrived that night. She and dad took turns each night. I wouldn't let her go, I screamed and cried and followed her down the stairs hanging on to her and I saw I had made her cry and that made me worse, shouting at her even more to take me and my brother out of there.

The nurses pried me off her and told me how awful I was upsetting her like that and threw me on my bed telling the ward not to speak to me as I was a very bad girl upsetting my mother like that.

My father arrived the following night in a towering rage. He dragged me over to my brother's cot and said I was upsetting everyone, the whole hospital, with my naughtiness and whinging and rudeness, look at my brother crying all the time on account of me.

If I ever did this again, my mother would never visit me. Never. Put that in my pipe and smoke it. Never. And that would mean she wouldn't see my brother either.

And I shut up. I shut up on situations when I shouldn't have shut up. I recognized at a very early age that my feelings didn't count, my voice was of no value. And I could be abandoned at the drop of a hat.

I learned to speak up through therapy and support, not to take things lying down, to call out evil and abuse. To help where I could, to scream and shout at authorities, to advocate for the homeless and seniors in poverty. To see and call out government ineptitude. To write and petition and not ever people-please to make my own life easier and never worry about what "others" might think. My true friends would love me as I love them.

I spoke up today, to my family to do more. To help my little brother more. To get him out of an intolerable situation if at all possible. To fight for him, for that little guy in the cot in the corner, crying himself to sleep. Exhausted.



 


Friday, June 21, 2024

Serious Hot Stuff


Interview on Churchill Falls evacuation, wild fires. In Labrador.

I started my blog way back in the mists of time writing about this. And here I am twenty years later, still thinking, talking and writing it.

Like a nonsense of an oul granny wittering away about her favourite cat.

I moved to Newfoundland for a few reasons. A primary one was climate change. Newfoundland was deemed one of the safest places in the world in which to live.

If you want to read what Gwyn Dyer says about it, here's the link Gwyn Dyer.

Here's the pertinent paragraph:

What price do you see Newfoundland and Labrador paying with regards to climate change?
Newfoundland pays a smaller price than most places. I’ve talked to a lot of people about this; scientists and so on, and I’d say we’re one of the three or four most favoured places, that now have a significant population in the world, to withstand the ravages of climate change because of global warming. Essentially, the oceans are cooler than the land here. We have an oceanic climate and we’re very far north as these things go. Put those two things together and what you don’t get in Newfoundland is what you do get in most land parts of the planet, which is: the heating over land is much higher than the global average.

My direct observations, having lived here now for twenty odd years:

Summers are hotter, far more humidity, a longer fog season.

Birds are hurting. Many, many more are thrown on our shores by unseasonable storms. Hurricanes have taken out a few towns. Wildfires are rampant today in Labrador with a whole town evacuated. Labrador, reminder, home of the Innuit and igloos and dog teams. Migrations are iffy.

Icebergs are getting bigger and bigger as Greenland melts. Awesome for the tourists, bad for the rising sea levels here and everywhere.

Shorelines are changing, vanishing. I noticed that when I lived around the bay and I'd note the changes in daily walks with my dog along the shore outside my house.

And today, as I fold my winter clothes into storage, I note I never had to do that before. There was only one set of clothes when I moved here. A medium set. Now I wear the summer clothes of yore. Light cotton, head band for the sweat. Air conditioning has become de rigeur here now. None in my building, as it was never built to withstand such excruciating heat and there's talk of expensive retro-fitting.

Lawns were never watered, now they are. BBQs and outdoor bonfires are forbidden across the whole island as of yesterday. Unheard of before. Water levels will lower before too long now. 

Grapes are now growing here and some have managed to grow quinoa. More heat resistant paving is being thrown on the roads.

And, yes. the heat season has expanded and heightened to such an extent that private swimming pools are being installed in many homes.

I just placed a hold in the Library on the book The Heat Will Kill You First


I saw several interviews with the author and maybe it's better to know what's coming and plan the pre-exit strategy.

Thoughts?




Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Narcissism Magnified

 All sorts of thoughts crowd into your head some days. At least they do in mine.

I am so grateful for the massive reach-out in my last post. Like a ginormous hug. I have the best of readers. The absolute best.

It meant more than I can say as I traverse a sad journey alone apart from the support of my family and you wonderful readers.

I had one of those thoughts about aging this morning and I'm throwing it down here.

The natural (unnatural?) instinct of old age is to get more and more selfish. The organ recital for one. Every time I meet some people (fellow tenants, randoms in coffee shops) they launch into their ailments. I call it the organ recital. That's fine but they never offer a question as to my state of being. 

I am blessed in that I have a fellow traveler in our journeys of ill health and we launch into our challenges, big and small with each other and care deeply about ongoing nasty health issues. But that's it for me. I get comfort from her emails and I trust she from mine.

I rarely talk about mine to others unless asked (and I am astonished how rarely I am asked.) 

But around me the bleats go on but I also notice that their language is full of bleats. About everything. And I have to deal with them being in the position I am.

 There is so little joy in these elders' lives and I wonder why. I could list all The Things and they are all the same.

  • Nobody calls
  • Nobody visits
  • I hate the *fill in the blank* here
  • I don't like being bossed around.
  • Organ Recital.
  • I'm bored.
  • So and so is pissing me off.
  • Nobody cares if I live or die.
  • Life was so much better back then.
They've stopped caring about others, feel no need for learning new things or exploring ideas. Have very few hobbies and hate being alone with their own negative thoughts so inflict them on others willy nilly.
 
One of the things I do when feeling down and sorry for myself is to reach out to someone else. Always. 

I was crap yesterday and reached out to my neighbour who's is down with Covid yet again (doesn't believe in masks) and cooked her dinner and dropped it off outside her door. I forgot my grief. Forgot my own stubborn body in those moments. And thought to myself, I just know her daughters won't give a fig and how lonely is that for her? I know she's all about herself when they're around her. So basically, it's self-inflicted isolation. 

It's easy to be kind to the loveables but I find being kind to the unloveables raises me out of myself more. It's more of an effort.

The isolation of old age can be a form of narcissism, A dear friend always maintains that our contrary traits in youth really magnify in old age.

I see it all around me. The What About Me Syndrome. 

Long post. Oops.

Thoughts? How do you deal with it?



Thursday, June 13, 2024

MEMENTO MORI


Ben Bulben

The last 3 lines of W. B. Yeats' poem. I sat there one time under the shadow of Ben Bulben and read the entire poem. And looked up finally and saw that of all people, the Clancy Brothers were there too, to pay their respects. Gobsmacked doesn't cover it.

Under bare Ben Bulben's head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid,   
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago; a church stands near,
By the road an ancient Cross.
No marble, no conventional phrase,   
On limestone quarried near the spot   
By his command these words are cut:

               Cast a cold eye   
               On life, on death.   
               Horseman, pass by!

Simple and powerful.

I am struck recently by the number of my blog readers who have died. Leaving memento mori on their blogs, some blogs have vanished. I have some last cards
sent by a few in the mail. With their photos. The Big C has taken most of them.

I can't even count the real life friends who have died. Another twenty five? Two of whom are also seriously ill right now.

All this to say, it accounts for extreme loneliness at times, wishing for that physical shoulder to lean on, the understanding, the depth of compassion and caring that comes from really old friends, the ones who climbed trees with you or cribbed your homework.

I am going through a very rough patch at the moment. Someone I love deeply is going through a sudden and rapid life changing ordeal. And the world is being turned on its axle.

I have tried sharing my depth of sadness out here but have been abandoned, one time physically in mid sentence, a couple of times (I haven't shared it hardly at all) by those on text who are my closer newer friends who live nearby but these have never followed up with questions about how am I doing, and get on with their own demands on my time as if this terrible thing isn't happening.

And speaking of time, I am so very grateful I am busy and involved with three different projects, I light a candle and play some gentle music and sing some of the old songs I would sing on stage back in the day. Self-soothing.

I am very grateful for a blog friend who stays in touch every day as we lurch along together with many challenges but have the honesty to spill it out and commiserate. 

But yes, loneliness stalks me like never before while still grateful I am on this side of the daisies as I view an afterlife as twaddle.

But I think we only hit this point of life when we survive and outlive our dearies and look around us when hurting and go whoa, Nelly, where are they all gone?

My dad. a widower forever, described it to me one time but I didn't listen, there must have  been pain in his voice but I didn't notice. I blithely said "Da, why don't you make some new friends?"

Karma. Ta, Da.


Before I hit the post button, I dove into other memento mori posts I have written over the years and was astonished at how many there were. All the old lovers are dead now, the last one in September. 

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Sunday Selections

 Joining others in this Sunday Selection mix of photo-dumps.

Elephant's Child

From The Highrise

Drifting through Life

And maybe more!

Well, actually it's late Saturday here.

Here are a few shots from my week here: 

Daughter was always the spit of her father but in the last few years we are beginning to look more and more alike and dress the same unintentionally, and put on our napkins like this in a who gives an eff approach to fine dining. A kindly gentleman snapped us eating these incredible award winning  pizzas at PI.


In case you're wondering, we took multiple meals home in our doggie bags. 

Then we headed up Signal Hill as the sun was setting and snapped away in the fading light.


A boat towing a wee boat into the harbour.



It was foggy for many days, the above is me taking a photo as I pulled out of the driveway below during the week. This bakery prepares everything from scratch, complete meals - a huge variety - and of course cakes and breads and croissants and muffins galore. The aroma of all this freshness grabs you by the throat as you go in. Instant massive hunger. And it's out in the middle of nowhere beside a lake.
The faded look and ha ha sky is the fog enveloping everything.

Some of the goodies on offer.

And finally a Monet postcard from Grandgirl in Paris where she and her mum had actually listened to me when I said please go the Musee d'Orsay as my birthday treats as you will be blown away. And they were. And spent most of the day there, which thrilled me as I had too a few years back. Grandgirl sent me this postcard with her exquisite writing on the back as this was her favourite and like myself in my time, she spent many many minutes with the original. She has also taken the time to visit Monet's house and proudly says she has quite a familiarity with ALL his work now. She is loving her life in Paris. But I miss her terribly.



 

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Sunday Selections

Joining others in this Sunday Selection mix of photo-dumps.

Elephant's Child

From The Highrise

Drifting through Life

And maybe more!

Well, actually it's late Saturday here.

Here are a few shots from my week here: 


I loved this book and writer and ordered more by him at my local library


Dinner with my daughter at a new Mexican restaurant. A chimichanga.


We have a late spring here and this is outside my apartment building. The Atlantic is between the hills and the lake is just below it. I always love the blues here. I call these pics #40shadesofblue and I have many.


This postcard from family in Ireland made me snort. It doesn't photograph well but features all sorts of attraction at the bottom such as wellness centre, air conditioning, ocean view and organic gardens. As you can see, the place is a wreck. Members of my family scribbled notes on the back and tested out their new pens which you can see seeping through. I love love love postcards and have a large collection.


My coffee grinder is 50 years old and was given to me for my 30th birthday by a dear friend. I have used it just about every day since then. I note it was made in France and may have been one of the first domestic electrical coffee grinders. At the same time my husband gave me a Philips Coffee drip,  the first of those drips as before then it was those percolators we had. That was accidentally dropped by another friend about 25 years ago. I'm sure it would have still been on the go if this hadn't happened. It brings to mind the built in obsolescence of modern machines.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Monday Mural

 I've loved this mural forever on the side of a building that is now being refurbished. The Benevolent Irish Society has rescued it and is placing it on their building now..


Sheila's Brush is a Newfoundland weather superstition. It's a winter storm believed to follow on the heels of St. Patrick's Day (March 17). 'Brush', according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English is a Newfoundland word for 'stormy weather'.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sunday Selections

Joining others in this Sunday Selection mix of photo-dumps.

Elephant's Child

From The Highrise

Drifting Through Life

And maybe more!

Well, actually it's late Saturday here.

Here are a few shots from my day here:


Bangers and mash and baked beans for supper tonight.


I worked on spreadsheets for quite a few hours - spreadsheets, my well-paying work for it seems like a century now.


I like this configuration beside my office desk. The list is all the stuff on my agenda, I have a habit of shouting "finito!" when I think I've ticked all the items that come into my day but I glance up at this blackboard and go: "Oh crikey - no!" Crikey is a euphemism. The clock is an old railway one picked up at an antique store one time, the calendar features opera of the month. May is Giuletta e Romeo.


I woke up to heavy fog this morning outside my window. Normally there's lake and ocean on view in the distance. I'm a weirdo who loves fogs and the accompanying foghorns.


Thursday, May 23, 2024

Processing Bad News



I haven't seen this topic written about at all.

But receiving news that is upsetting or awful or tragic or frightening?

How do we process this?

In different ways?

Grief is weird and awful. When someone close to me has died I take ages to process it. When my father died it involved flying to Ireland with delayed overnight at Heathrow and a complete blank of what happened after Heathrow, the journey to see my dead father, the wake, the funeral, the reception at a hotel with the entire family and friends. 

Then over coffee with a few friends in downtown Cork the following day - four days since I left Canada - was where I finally burst into floods of tears and had to be carted off to the nearest washroom and mopped up and comforted for a very long time.

I was only in my twenties when my mother died from a horrific form of cancer and I hit the bottle savagely (giving "bottling it up" a brand new meaning) and it took me years to walk away from that and get the help and counselling I desperately needed.

I bottled up all the deaths of nine close friends in the space of a year and half about six years ago and it was only when my doctor told me I was falling into massive ill health as my blood pressure was through the roof and my kidneys were failing and then asking me what the hell was going on when I told him, after some difficulty articulating it, about all my dead dear ones. He immediately referred me to a grief therapist and I will be forever grateful for what followed. Six months of therapy. I was up to that point in my life completely unaware of how unrecognized depression and darkness and grief can impact someone physically even mortally.

I received really bad news about a family member in the last few days and I am crying freely and often about it which is a massive improvement from the old me. Bottling it all up and tamping it all down.

How do you process bad news or grief?



Tuesday, May 14, 2024

A Long Blurt: Understanding the Trump Cult.

I admit, try as I might, I never could understand how so many are swept up in the Cult of Trump and now I finally do - I finally do, and it scares the bejesus out of me. For if it could happen here, in the microcosm that is my world, it could happen anywhere.

My building has 49 apartments with approximately 55 tenants. All of us are seniors ranging in age from 65 to 90+, independent, self-cooking, self-feeding and self-bathing and -dressing.

The building was purchased last September by a very well known charitable organization. I have donated to them in the past as they help so many disadvantaged and have a stellar reputation. As you know, I was elected Chair of the Tenants’ Committee.

So the manager of the building was fired. We are not privy to the reasons and we shouldn’t be as he is an employee of the building owners (who have at least 500 employees). It would be a breach of confidentially.

He has been allowed to stay on here in his reduced rent apartment until he finds another position. Which is more than fair.

Since his firing last week he has gone around the building summoning support for a petition requesting his re-hire as he has been treated so unfairly.

I overheard a few of his conversations with fellow tenants, he has threatened some and yelled at others and monitors the notice board in the lobby all day and night dragging tenants over and hovering over them as they sign.

I have asked the committee not to get involved in this as the full picture is unknowable at this point and our new owners would certainly have grounds to dismiss him. (I know of a few of his transgressions, learned on the grapevine).

The answers from the 66% (so far) who have signed are:

(1) He’s a wonderful kind man and it’s appalling how they are treating him

(2) They were forcing him to do jobs that wasn’t part of his agreement (they’re not)

(3)They told him he had lied on this application about being computer literate.

(4) They’re saying he went AWOL and we know that’s not true (it is)

(5) They’re saying he wasn’t out of his pajamas before noon and watched TV all day and that’s not true (it is)

And on it goes. The man should have been canonized long ago.

I have no idea how it will all go down But I did phone one of the board today to give them a heads up on the confrontation the tenants have planned. The adversarial discord in the building. The glares those who didn't sign up are getting. Some on the committee have caved under the pressure. 

I felt it only fair to warn them. As this board is truly amazing on what they are planning for here (and have secured funding for). And I just know they would never dismiss anyone without just cause. And this “saint” of a man has definitely given them many.

And it really hit me, as I mull all of this over, this is Trumpville. The truth doesn’t matter but let us hang my hat on a cause and be part of this wonderful cult.

Please.







Friday, May 10, 2024

Blurt on Old Age and Community



What I didn't expect when I took on the position of Chair of our Tenants' Committee was the level of enthusiasm and engagement at our first couple of meetings.

There was no problem with securing a secretary and a treasurer and a vice chair and a liaison person with the social committee. A speedy agreement on our mission was established. 

Frankly, I was surprised at the different life stories and backgrounds that bring so many to the table of mutual benefit and co-operation. 

There are 5 women and 3 men on the board. All in the same age bracket. 70 and upwards. I expected some misogyny from the men, being of the age of more patriarchal dominance, but so far I've seen none exhibited which heartens me completely. None over-talking the women, everyone listening and respectful.

I am not a social butterfly in the building for I am a gregarious loner as long time readers of my blog know. I do not participate in all the social activities here apart from the odd BBQ or Seasonal Communal Dinners. The fact that I was voted into this position continues to astonish me. I have only a select few co-residents in the building that I would call friends. I have very strong boundaries on those with whom I engage on a familiar level and discourage doorbell ringing and unexpected "drop-ins." 

But it really struck me after the last meeting a few days ago that elders have so much to contribute on a communal level when given the opportunity.  

We have a seniors environment that often resembles a boarding school with cliques and infights over the tiniest things. As I've mentioned before, I have the kind of face that everyone tells their secrets to. So yes, I hear about the spats and romances (you'd be shocked!).

But with expanding their worlds into the bigger picture, kindness and working, even a little, for the benefit to all, these elders show a different, side, a better side.

I'm hoping my perception doesn't change. 

And if it does, only for the better.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Blurt on Dogs

 

Ansa 2012

I was reading about that awful Kristi Noem. You know that sub-human governor of South Dakota who bragged about shooting her puppy in the face?

It sickened me. As much as it did most civilized people on the planet. My heart hurt for that poor wee helpless creature who loved her until death. Whose last image of his beloved human was her face behind a gun, her face full of hate.

ALL dogs are trainable if they respect their human. Ansa was my last dog. The best dog I have ever had. 

I've written about her many times. She was a rescue and it took me two years to train her. Every chance she got she ran away from me. Often miles away. I knew never to punish her. She had been chained up and abused before she found me. So every time she ran, I got in the car and tracked her down, to finally see her trudging along the side of the road, dejected and tired. I would greet her with delight, coax her into the car and give her a treat. I wanted to be her haven, her safety net.

When she finally trusted me she stopped walking ahead of me on a lane one day, sat down in front of me and gazed at me. I took the leash off her and petted her and cried tears of gratitude. After than she never left my side and travelled with me all the time and I only leashed her on busy roads. She learned hundreds of words and played hide and seek with me and everyone just adored her. She never failed to thank me for a meal (licking my hand) or tuck her head under mine in bed as I read a book.

How we treat animals is how we treat humans. When Noem said she would do the same to President Biden's dog, I felt total revulsion that she is such an abject slave to the opinion of the Orange Maggot, another sub-human who hates dogs. 

Animal haters should never be put in charge of the lives of others. 

Never.



Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Blurt - an observation.

Pain colours everything. We know that.

But I believe it has a huge impact on us as we age. Aging past sixty I mean.

I observed myself yesterday. I had lab work booked in anticipation of an appointment with my internist on Thursday. I pulled out the requisition from my medical file (I am much more organized in old age) and lurch off to the lab. Pain has been a challenge in the past week so I bring George, my trusty cane.

Only to learn I had brought the wrong requisition.

This included hormone testing so rather than tell them I had the wrong requisition with me, I underwent a session on how to correctly perform hormone testing.

Hauling - with difficulty, keeping my balance on top of George - the two unneeded and unnecessary enormous hormone jugs and all their attendant instructions all the way out to the parking lot and the safety of my car. Breathing a huge sigh of relief, I headed home, wondering how and where to dispose of these jugs.

But the day wasn’t done with me by a long shot.

Suddenly, I realized I had no memory of receiving my health card back from the technician. I called the lab, no card. Panic.

Finally, after a few hours, in despair, I looked in my wallet and there it was. No memory of receiving it or placing it carefully back in my wallet. What the hell?

I come to the conclusion that a pain filled day seriously affects the brain. There is no room for anything else. The whole focus is on keeping it together, keeping the aforementioned befuddlement away from medical observation.

The brain is on overdrive just putting one foot in front of the other with a watchful eye cast outward for the men in white coats ready to pounce.

And in case you’re wondering, there has been little to no research done on pain in old age, apart from a few offhand observations that it possibly might contribute to rapid onset of dementia as neurons firing constantly wears out an elderly brain.


Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Blurt 2

 Bits and pieces as I manage, or try to,  the sporadia of my life.

Tax season, though much, much reduced from days gone by in its volume, is upon me. But so far managed well. There now I've jinxed it.

I have my season of writing workshops starting on Saturday for which I am completely unprepared.

I semi-reluctantly signed up (under pressure from the board et al) for the Tenants' Committee here and now find I had the most votes even though I don't get involved, AT ALL, in the frenzy of activities here such as Bingo Night, Soup Day, Darts Night and Koffee Klatch Wednesdays and Garden Beds (which are glorious as we have magnificent gardens). So now what do I do? 

A few pics.


I really like this photo of my bathroom mirror capturing some of the art on my bathroom wall.


Loved my latest read, the pacing, the tension and the complex characters.


I can't praise this series enough. Most of it I lived through but the fresh perspective on everything (Bay of Pigs being one example) is enlightening. I highly recommend.


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Blurt



One of you dear readers suggested I do a blurt now and again, rather than a BIG MOTHER OF A BLOG POST.

So here goes.

I read a prompt recently about a slice of news of the day that was the first which stuck in your mind when you were a child.

Here's mine.

It was 1952 and I was 9 years old. And every night we were all glued to the radio listening to the updates on a capsized boat, the Flying Enterprise and its captain, Captain Carlsen who was alone on board, not deserting his sinking ship even though he had shepherded his crew to safety on the rescue boats.

I was thrilled to see a wee film on this on Youtube. And it evokes the tension we all felt for this brave soul who would not leave his ship.



It was about 9 days of listening to this news every single night, hearts pounding for the hero captain.

Here's the Wikipedia link 

Can you remember what news you heard that first grabbed your attention as a child?






Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Sporadia

Sporadic indeed. Thank you to all those who emailed me to see what was happening.

I hasten to assure I am still above the sod and not pushing up the daisies. I haven't popped my clogs in other words.

In old age. everything, yes everything, slows right down. 

And the managing of energy and where we throw it becomes almost a full-time job.

I want to do so much, packing everything in, and have yet to come to terms with my own limitations.

In short:

Tax season has entered my life yet again. I embrace my now minimum business which funds a few of my wee luxuries. This year I need a new computer as the one I have, though functioning, is showing her age by screen dimming and being quite nasty in her behavior on my Zoom calls which moved me to use my phone which is not the best solution, especially when I chair some meetings and can't quite see everybody as the gallery is tiny.

I also am restarting my writing workshops.

And I agreed to sit on the tenants' committee in my building as I feel quite passionately about seniors' wellbeing and am a highly vocal advocate of same. 

So there you have it. Meanwhile, I started a lovely sweater for my Parisienne Grandgirl.


A couple of shots taken on Sunday of our beautiful harbour (and sky) in St. John's taken from the south side.



I'll try and behave myself and update more frequently.

And also get caught up on all you lovely fellow blogmates out there.

Slainte!





Saturday, February 24, 2024

Sunday Selections

 Long ago, Kim of Frog ponds Rock, (who no longer blogs), dreamed up a meme called Sunday Selections. 

A place where those who were willing could put up photos they wanted to share, new, old, good, bad or indifferent, any photos you please. 

Nothing rude or vulgar though.

And we don't mind at all if other bloggers care to join us.

The meme is now continued by Elephant's Child and I join in when I can, as do a few others. River is one, Andrew is one.  Messymimi is another. Drop in to their blogs and have a look.

Elephant's Child is taking a break this month.

Snow and ice and storms out in the Wild Atlantic.

For those in warmer climes, I present to you our Winters on The Rock.

We get a lot of snow. And it's quite hard to capture the "lot". For one, we have all varieties of snow removers, the ones that look like war machines all the way down in size to the personal snow blowers, and of course shovels.







The white stuff is cleared up rapidly with all these gadgets, salt and sand are thrown at the ice and we are all on our way. On a drive back to my place I snapped a few shots in an attempt to show where all the snow is thrown. It forms mountainous walls around buildings and at the sides of roads.
Parking lot of my building

If you peer closely, you'll see the ocean top left, and the lake above the trees. I left my car in the shot for scale.

Roadsides around hydrants are cleared.
And now I bring you a wonderful peculiarity of Newfoundland. When there's a storm forecast, shelves in grocery stores are literally stacked to the ceilings with these huge bags of potato chips (known as crisps elsewhere.)




There are known as, wait for it, Storm Chips. You should see the lineups. I've seen carts FULL of these monster bags. Survival mode. Batten down the hatches.

One of my favourite songs involving snow. Written by Gordon Lightfoot. Sung by Sarah McLachlan.


Sunday, February 18, 2024

Friendships


They become more precious as we age, we lose some and we gain some if we are fortunate. I still grieve the many I have lost to death, a couple to dementia, another long time one through intolerable disrespect and passive aggression.

We can hit breaking points in friendships. For me they have been rare and I'm grateful for that. One broke many years ago when she became angry at me for an offhand remark and she exploded at me in a café in front of others. She didn't speak to me for many years and then at a funeral of a mutual friend she came running into my arms and wept like a baby and kept apologizing for her over- reaction to my comment in the café. It healed the friendship and she said my remark had reflected her own truth about the situation but she wasn't ready to face it.

In another friendship I bore hostility until there was a breaking point. I was always making excuses for a particular friend. "She's having a rough time, I understand she's taking it out on me." "She's fierce odd, I know." But after many years of that, there was a breaking point, a wakeup call that I no longer felt  good around her. In fact, the justifications and excuses were becoming hard work and happening more and more. Chronic lateness for meetups, rudeness to other friends, snide criticisms "you're wearing that?" and on and on until something snapped inside me and I realized this long term friendship was serving neither of us well.

The long term friendships in my life I cherish and I realize the common element is kindness. We are kind to each other. Tolerant. Helpful. There are no hidden agendas. 

I also discovered in old age asking for help can initiate new friendships. I've always been reluctant to ask for help. But recently I mentioned I don't drive at night anymore and the offers of driving me astonished me. This has ignited a few acquaintances into becoming a little more. One is off to Bali for a few months (I know, I'm jealous too) but she told her house sitter, a mutual acquaintance, that I might need rides at night now and again and bingo I'm enjoying this connection now. People love to help. I always love to help. And did a lot of it when younger and older people wanted rides or company. It must be karma.

Blog friends are also wonderful. Sharing our journeys with each other. Writing and tracking each other's lives, our talents and foibles, our struggles and victories.

I truly believe friendships are sustaining us as we age, the daily check-ins, the emails, the WhatsApps, the Facebooks exchanges, the texts, the phone-calls. And yes, postcards, cards, letters.

After all, we are simply walking each other home.


Music and Friends: This is played at the end of gatherings here where everyone gets in a circle and holds hands. I always get emotional. And I do hope you readers outside Canada can see it. It is very, very Newfoundland.