Sunday, March 8, 2015

spring is nigh

Above zero! Mon dieu, what is this tropical planet? Neighbour Monique and I walked in the hot sun this afternoon to Allen Gardens's conservatory, full of fragrant spring flowers and even tropical ones. Heaven. There is hope.

Ottawa was wonderful - well, being with my old aunt Do was wonderful, I didn't see much of Ottawa. It was moving to sit with her and watch a DVD of Do, my mother and their oldest sister Margaret chatting and singing during a family reunion in 1996. I took Do and her 3 best friends, her Scrabble team, to dinner at our favourite restaurant, the Village Cafe:
Auntie Do is next to me, the Scrabble champion born April 19 1920.

Next day we had a major excursion, shopping for an electric kettle and various oddments, and then to see the new "Marigold Hotel" film. I might not have gone, having seen and enjoyed the first, but Do really wanted to see it - and it's a treat, thoroughly enjoyable if light, the perfect film to see on a cold afternoon with your 95-year old auntie. Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton, the adorable Bill Nighy, and, yes, Richard Gere, who's aging beautifully - never better, any of them. Not to mention glorious Jaipur.

Tried to help Do sort out her massive piles of paper - but met much resistance, reminiscent of my mother, another great saver of paper. One day, a long time hence, there will be a huge job to do. But let's not think about that now. We did a lot of reminiscing, and I told her, once more, how important aunts are. Aunts are very, very important. Many thanks to mine.

And then back on Porter, to see this welcome sight from the ferry:
The ice breaking up! Summer is nigh.

One last thing: I was at an event at U of T and happened to see this - I hadn't realized the winners of the Excellence in Teaching award are forever immortalized on a PLAQUE. I am on a plaque. Does it get better than that?
Ten days until I depart. It's Sunday and there's no Downton - I'm bewildered.

PS Just heard from Ottawa - Do won at Scrabble today. Love those genes.

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