Sunday, October 31, 2021

Hallowe'en's been

Hallowe'en: the usual madness in C'town, many hundreds of kids swarming the streets, especially on such a lovely mild night. Annie came for dinner and we went for a walkabout. The vulture with a red head on the tree is cackling and shrieking, as are the ghouls in the driveway. Loved the man accompanying his kids - a unicorn and Batman - dressed as Sriracha Hot Sauce.  

Across town, Ben, who is crazy for anything to do with transit, was an airplane. His brother was Homer Simpson, with pingpong ball eyes. Afterwards, the spoils were inspected and categorized with surgical precision.
Treats for days. 

Saturday, a huge treat for me - lunch with two dear friends; Ruth is still in my home writing class and I'm hoping to lure Merrijoy back. Merrijoy is nearly 94, Ruth is 82, and the two of them are magnificent and inspiring - vibrant, beautiful, energetic. They put me to shame as they talked about the operas they've watched and the courses they've taken on Zoom, the recent in person trips to the art gallery, the films and books and ... I'd done none of it. May we all age with the verve and grace of these two marvellous women. 

May we all have as good a sense of humour, of being game for anything, as Mr. Sriracha Hot Sauce.

Saturday, October 30, 2021


My friend Judy is in Lake Louise right now and sent this. Wanted to share it immediately to lift whatever spirits need lifting on this gloomy wet morning. O Canada. How lucky we are. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

found found found

My engagement bracelet, back where it belongs, where it has lived since March 1980.

Age spots. Swollen fingers - some of my rings barely fit any more. But the fingers are still typing. I will be typing on my deathbed. With, I hope, this bracelet still on my wrist.

It's 5.30 p.m., getting dark, and there's silence. I'm used to silence, to a house that's empty except for little old me and a tenant or two. Annie who's a recent widow finds the evenings very difficult; during the day she and her husband were busy and separate, but the evenings were together. Now she's alone and the evenings are long and silent. I'm used to being alone. But still, the advent of the cold dark season is hard. Luckily, my gas fire now works. So I'll hunker. There will be much hunkering in this house from now till next May.

Just as I'm always too early for flights, I like to be more or less prepared for Xmas by mid-November, so I'm getting ready now. Ben wants anything to do with the Titanic, and Eli wants a Fitbit. He's 9 and he wants to track his heart rate and footsteps. Maybe I should get one too - matching Fitbits for my grandson and me. Do I want to know that much about my inner workings? Maybe not. 

Anna loves the Métis artist Christi Belcourt who recently had a sale of her prints. I'm getting her one. Don't tell; luckily she never reads this blog. One way to get through the long dark days of winter is looking at the joyful colours of Christi Belcourt. 

Among the really great gifts I will not be considering for my grandsons: Tim Hortons hockey-playing Barbie. Well, you've gotta admit, they're trying. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

finding lost things

So many annoyances resolved. On Sunday, when the kids were here, we wanted to start the gas fire stove but I could not find the remote. The stove doesn't work without it. I searched, increasingly frustrated - where the hell did I put it when I turned off the pilot in May? No idea. I finally called the company that installed it and asked if I could buy a replacement. And then I found it, in a logical place, just tucked a bit further back in the cabinet and thoughtfully wrapped in a plastic bag that made it invisible. 

While I was looking for it, I found a few other things I'd spent ages looking for. Aren't there estimates about how much time we waste over our lifetimes looking for things? 

On Wednesday I went to the Y for a class, and afterward, rushing back for a haircut, I realized I'd left my gold bangle in the locker. This famous bangle is in the memoir. After Edgar asked me to marry him, we went to an antique store on Rue Royale in New Orleans; we couldn't afford a ring so he bought an antique gold bangle. It has GLY engraved inside; I decided it was for Gladys Louise Young. Or maybe God Loves You. I've worn it for 41 years. When I cycled at top speed back to the Y to get it, it wasn't there. 

I thought, It's just a thing. It can be replaced. You have health and hearth; it doesn't matter. But of course, it does. It's a symbol of my marriage, of my love for a man, for what we created together. We've been divorced for 30 years, but the man, and our love for each other and our children, matters deeply. 

I reported it, and today Doris who runs the health club phoned to say she was holding it. A staff member had found it on the floor and put it away for safekeeping. 

It's only a thing. But it is a beautiful thing that's been on my wrist for four decades, I'm happy it's found. I will have a good ride to the Y tomorrow.

Unlike the one I had on Wednesday. Downtown Toronto right now is a hellscape. For the first time, I thought, Can I go on living here? There's construction everywhere, overwhelming noise, huge trucks revving and speeding, jackhammers, cranes, concrete trucks taking over streets and sidewalks. Why do they have the right to squeeze out pedestrians and drivers so developers can get richer? 

And the Y itself is, as one friend said, a ghost town. I went to the class Carole is struggling to bring back to life, once about 30 old friends sweating together. Wednesday there were 5 of us, spread over half the gym, wearing masks, barely able to understand a word she said. I hope the Y, like countless other businesses, recovers from Covid. 

Have watched fabulous documentaries on Helen Keller, Oscar Peterson, and last night on PBS, the universe. Brilliant.

More Hallowe'en in Cabbagetown. I will ignore the event myself. But the 'hood goes mad.

Monday, October 25, 2021

celebrating: Jerri's life, autumn, new phone, family

Gloomy and wet today; fall is here in full force. All the wintering-over plants are inside, dropping their leaves and begging for water. Everything is shutting down. Several friends are sick with colds. And this neighbourhood is littered with severed plastic hands and legs and heads, ghouls, monsters, giant spiders. They go big for Hallowe'en around here.

On Sunday I went to a wake for friend and neighbour Jerri Johnson; our children were exactly the same age and went through school together. Jerri was a phenomenally lively and energetic single mother, artist, and art teacher. All I know about her sudden death was that she had a "heart condition" but seemed in fine shape when she dropped dead of a massive heart attack last week. People gathered at her bright Cabbagetown home to remember her, how much she loved colour and fun, how much she gave to the 'hood, her students and family. Her children are devastated. I barely recognized Jesse, her son, who's now a man with a moustache. Sienna looks exactly the same as she did in childhood. They have children of their own. 

I guess we can't say Carpe Diem enough times, can we?

And then I came back home to be surrounded by my family; we were celebrating Thanksgiving and Thomas's birthday with a big feast, also attended by our non-blood family members Anne-Marie, Holly, and Nicole. Ben made us all laugh, over and over. I could not have been more glad that my own heart, so far, has held out.

Meant to post this shot from my visit to Anna's earlier in the week: her special laundry, the kids' masks for the week. Covid motherhood.

On Friday I decided I'd had enough of my failing iPhone 6, ancient at - what - six or seven years old. I called Rogers and arranged for a new phone, and the next day a technician appeared at my door with the phone and did all the transferring. I don't understand how he put my old phone and my new phone side by side but unconnected physically, and in half an hour, everything from one had migrated into the other, including thousands of photos. Then, of course, Apple hit me with all the extras, the case, the screen cover, and the new plug, because of course the old plug does not fit. Brilliant. 

Here I'm testing the portrait feature, which blurs the background. The nice young Rogers man is actually studying police procedure. 

I had a 'no' from the NYT Modern Love section, for an essay that means a great deal to me. Sigh. But my good new friend Abigail Thomas wrote, Your book is wonderful, I began it today, you are a terrific writer, Beth. I am so impressed. And what a life. God.  I LOVED the prologue. 

Music music music to my ears. She sent me a recent essay of hers, I sent back a few editorial comments, and eventually she made the changes and wrote that she was grateful. Perhaps I should stop writing and just edit.

This came up in my FB feed today from a few years ago, and I'm posting it again. Because Roz Chast is a genius. None better. Makes me laugh until the tears come. 

Sad. But true. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

R.I.P., Dame Martha Henry

What an extraordinary artist and woman was Martha Henry. I didn't know her well; I worked as a writer on a proposed television series she would have starred in that didn't get off the ground, and after that, we corresponded a bit. I wrote to tell her how very much I admired her exquisite, definitive production of Three Sisters at Stratford, and she sent back a sweet, humble note. I'll never forget her incandescent performance in Long Day's Journey into Night in 1994. She was both a powerhouse and delicate, ladylike, seemingly fragile. And yet not. Imagine, she died just a few weeks after her final performance in Albee's Three Tall Women. My friend Tom saw the show and said she was incredible. She was near death from cancer, and incredible. 

Martha expressed interest in my writing book, since she thought she'd write her memoirs, and it was my joy to send it to her. When Loose Woman came out, I offered to send the new one to her too but she wouldn't hear of it, she insisted on buying a copy, and then gave it a rave review, her words displayed proudly and prominently wherever I can display them. 

Someone wrote on Twitter, I hope Martha Henry is catching up with Christopher Plummer, Timothy Findley, Brian Bedford, and William Hutt. I hope they’re having the best time…raising glasses or whiskey and telling stories and meeting Shakespeare.

We should have a knighthood for our great artists. Martha should have been a Dame. Dame Martha Henry. She will be that forever in my books.

On another note, and sorry to bring you down, but last night I watched one of the most appalling documentary spectacles I've ever seen. Four Hours at the Capital is about the January 6 insurrection; I read a glowing review or I would not have turned it on. And then I could not turn it off. It's a brilliant piece of filmmaking, taking you from beginning to end of that disgusting event, right inside the mob as it smashes windows, howling for blood. There are interviews with staff people and politicians who were terrified, hiding inside the building, and, horrifyingly, with police officers who were trapped, one who had to beg for his life by yelling at the murderous mob, "I have kids." 

Worst, though, are the Trumpers who were part of the insurrection; they look like normal people until they open their mouths. One says, "Trump was chosen by God to lead this country." Another says, "800,000 children a year are being kidnapped, tortured, and killed. I had to do this for the children." And another, "I was proud of the American spirit shown that day," as we see hooligans in helmets and cammo gear rampaging with hammers, spears, and baseball bats, and listen to the wives of policemen who died. Four committed suicide afterwards. 

If I'd confronted the loathsome face of hell presented by those violent mindless rampaging fuckwads, I'd have felt suicidal too. And behind it all, goading them on, the despicable Trump and his many enablers. 

As it is, I can't wait to renounce my American citizenship. It will take years and cost a lot of money, but it will be worth it. Last night I watched the failure of a society - the epic, abject failure of its education system, of its media, of any kind of social control - of the remotest glimmer of common sense. Angry white men out of control - they all looked like Nazis on Kristallnacht to me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

home, with Deborah Levy's pointed words

Oh the push/pull of home. I walk in the front door and drop the suitcase, filled with the pleasure of familiarity: MY HOUSE. My kitchen my fridge my bathroom my bed. And then, instantly, reality piles in and familiarity gives way to the weight of responsibility: bills not paid, garden overgrown, the broken light, the broken mirror, the roof that needs repair, the malfunctioning coffee grinder, the needs of the tenants, classes starting ... and the piles and piles of books, magazines, and newspapers on the coffee table, overflowing, falling onto the floor.

It feels like too much. It feels like I'll never get through. But I will. And if I don't, so what? 

Luckily my first two days back were sunny and warm; I did lots of garden work and had a walkabout with Ruth. Today is a Vancouver day, bleak and wet. But soon I'm going across town to see my boys, the very tall one and the two small ones, for the first time in ages. On days Anna is working, because Sam is currently not, he often picks the boys up from school, plays with them, and gives them dinner before she gets home. How happy that makes me.

Yesterday was the first day of the U of T class on Zoom, a full class, my screen filled with eager faces anxious to begin - no one from Azerbaijan this term, but Winnipeg, Saskatoon, northern Ontario ... Thank you Zoom for making this possible.

I got home late on Sunday. When I walked outside on Monday morning, I was greeted by these:

I miss the ocean; as someone who grew up in Nova Scotia, I will always miss the sound and smell and vista of the ocean. What we city folk miss: a vista. But William Morris heritage roses confer a blessing too.

Here is a passionate piece of writing by Deborah Levy that speaks directly to my past experience and my heart. Maybe it will to yours too.

To strip the wallpaper off the fairytale of The Family House in which the comfort and happiness of men and children has been the priority is to find behind it an unthanked, unloved, neglected, exhausted woman. It requires skill, time, dedication and empathy to create a home that everyone enjoys and that functions well. This task is still mostly perceived as women’s work. Consequently, there are all kinds of words used to belittle this huge endeavour.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

last night reflections

This is definitely the smallest room in the Sylvia Hotel, but it has everything I need: wifi, bed, window that opens. I've just had dinner downstairs with my dear friend Margaret, who's living a nightmare right now; her beloved husband of many years, afflicted with Alzheimer's, is now in hospital and not understanding why he is there. Many decisions to be made, and she with her own health issues. Luckily their sons live close by and help. She showed me phone video of her granddaughter, who's just learned to walk. "It was worth it, having kids, wasn't it?" I cried, and we both laughed. She and I were pregnant with our first together, lumbering around downtown trying to imagine what it would be like to be a mother, to have an actual child. Not to mention two. 

And yet, we did it, and now they are - sometimes - there for us.

It was pouring so hard today, it was hard to see a few feet in front at times. Shari went for a swim in the heated outdoor pool at the lodge, so I took up the challenge and went too - a few minutes in the pouring rain, in the pool and hot tub. But getting wet both in body and on head was too much wet for me.

We listened to nonfiction readers read on Zoom this morning, and this afternoon went to an in person workshop by kind, warm Darrel McLeod, a Cree teacher and writer from northern Alberta. Again, nothing he said was new to me - in fact, some of the exercises he gave are ones I give my own students - and yet hearing it all from his lips made it new again.

As we left, I was given the envelope with critiques of my memoir from the initial reader and the two finalist judges, which I read to Shari as we sped down the mountain in the downpour. The first reader got it, totally; I love what s/he said. The other two had praise and some legitimate concerns which is why, I guess, it didn't win. 

Also that I'm sure dog sledding in the north, on the frontier, is more exciting than eating cheese in Provence. 

I don't care. It's been a powerful journey for me, here; despite the bad weather of the last few days, I'm so very glad I came. I will be so very glad to walk in my front door and drop my bag and get into my own bed. And for the first time in many days, make my own coffee in the morning. Shari has a special method to make her fabulous coffee. But time for me to make my own. 

One of the most transcendent memories of the trip for me was sitting on Chris's deck in the sun, watching on my computer a video made by Lynn's children to commemorate her and Denis's 50th wedding anniversary. One daughter lives with her family in Mauritius, another in Australia, another in Marseille. One appeared at their door as a surprise with her 3 children, and their son participated in the Zoom call secretly from Heathrow, on his way to join them as well - all of them there on the screen, telling stories. Fifty years. I was there at the start, at the wedding. Hard to imagine we're that old. But we are. 

I don't feel old tonight though, I feel rejuvenated - by trees, air, water, mountains, book talk, and most of all, the joy of friendships begun long ago. 

Thank God I bought waterproof hiking boots and a down vest in Whistler; kept me alive here. Here's upcoming Toronto weather. I am so ready.

Mainly sunny


Mainly sunny

Friday, October 15, 2021

not this time

Dear friends, Yellowknife author Fran Hurcomb's memoir about dog sledding, Breaking Trail, is the winner of the 2021 Whistler Independent Book Award.  She has had an extremely adventurous life in the north; I was freezing just listening to her read last night about breaking trails in minus 30 degree weather. Brava to her.

Thanks to everyone who sent their thoughts and best wishes. Save them for next time. 

It's over, and that's a relief. Of course it's disappointing. But I do not for one minute regret coming, mostly because of the bond I've made with Shari. We've known each other for decades, but this is the first time we realized how very compatible we are, with similar lifestyles, goals, and even grievances; she hates vocal fry and uptalk as much as I do. 

I've visited good friends, I've seen a lot of trees and @#$ mountains, I've met some nice people. I didn't win a prize, but I did, too. 

Fran's dogs
Consolation prize - framed
An avenue this afternoon

So - a few workshops tomorrow that I do not have to participate in, and we're off. I'm in front of the fire in my pjs, with - you guessed it - a glass of wine. Happy camper. Onward.  

winding down, winding up

Pouring today so sticking close to base camp. 

Last night was the reading event for the Whistler awards: the three nonfiction and three fiction finalists meeting for a late lunch and then reading from their work and talking to the audience, two on Zoom and four there. The magnificent ballroom at the Chateau Fairmont was full of book-lovers with another 40 attending on Zoom. I always take these things very seriously, had timed my talk and reading to be under the required ten minutes. I was told afterwards that the fact that I'm funny and good at public speaking was appreciated.

All my books sold out instantly. Mind you, since they're heavy I'd only brought five and could have sold double that, if not more. Hope the audience will do what they said they'd do and buy online. They seemed keen. 

And then home by shuttle in the rain, where Shari had made a salad for supper, and a glass of red wine awaited me by the sort of fire. 

Today we attended a Zoom session about publishing, which would have been interesting if we didn't know anything about this subject, but we do. I went to the Audain Gallery which has a stunning collection of First Nation artefacts - masks, blankets, bentwood boxes - and paintings by Emily Carr and other West Coast artists and, later, photographers. A beautiful gallery, all glass and wood. 

A stunning Tlingit blanket, circa 1870. How could they weave something so delicate and complex that long ago?
A modern wall-sized sculpture by James Hart
An unusually bright Emily Carr. She so rarely uses light colours, as she often painted deep in the woods. 
A modern totem pole made of golf bags
A little park that looks like an Emily Carr painting come to life. 

The award event is in a few hours, followed by a taped cabaret. Tomorrow, my last full day, a few more sessions, and then my friend and I hightail it back to the city. I've realized I'm not crazy about mountains.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Whistler Writers Festival begins

Shari and I are joined at the hip, sisters forever. We had a wonderful time chez elle, spending Tuesday evening watching the first two haunting episodes of Maid. And then, ironically, she had a lot of cleaning to do; friends were coming to stay while she's away. I dusted and she vacuumed. It's a big house. 

Wednesday midday we got the noon ferry to the mainland, drove to her musician daughter's in North Van to pick up a laptop she'd forgotten, then did a U turn and headed to Whistler, in the mountains, and what a spectacular drive that is. Whistler is a sports resort - hiking, skiing, boarding. There's more snow, every day, moving down the mountains, and it's colder than I'd anticipated. In fact, the whole trip has been colder than I'd anticipated. I've been wearing layer upon layer – an undershirt, a thin turtleneck, a t-shirt, a cardigan, a vest. Ridiculous, but necessary. And my ridiculous rain boots. 

But no more, because there's SHOPPING here! Heaven. On sale at The North Face, I bought warm, waterproof hiking boots, long johns for under jeans, and a down vest with a hood. Plus gloves not on sale but terrific. I'm fully equipped for BC, a few days before I leave. 

Shari and I should be hiking, but I'm here to work, and so is she. We're in the perfect place, a one-bedroom suite with a kitchen. She brought enough food for a large crowd, so no restaurants for us, we're eating home-cooked food in front of the fake fire which glows red and make the room cosy. We watched Roadrunner last night, a documentary about Anthony Bourdain — despite the huge successes of his life, a man afflicted with the black dogs of depression and addiction. Not a happy story, but poignant and compelling. 

Today is the start of the event, for me. There's a lunch reception for the finalists to meet each other and the producing team, and then a reading event where we all have ten minutes or so to talk about and read from our books. This makes it a show day, for me. I will attempt to look presentable in the flimsy clothes I brought, with my new vest for warmth, and have at last figured out which very short passage to read. And I have a bottle of French Côtes du Rhône ready for when we get back here in front of the fire. 

Lucky. Blessed. Grateful. A bit chilly, but what's new?

PS I was so busy in transit yesterday, I forgot it was my son Sam's 37th birthday. I know he'll forgive me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

On the way to Whistler

A quick hike in the rain forest this morning while the sun was almost shining - slippery when wet

Can't get enough of this view ...
... from these windows.
On the ferry from Bowen to the mainland
Freezing!! BFFs since 1975, like Chris. She was 23 and I was 24 when we met. And we're just the same now, only waaaaay smarter. 

Bowen beauty

Just photos today - more words anon.  

The ferry from Nanaimo to the mainland.
The view yesterday afternoon from Shari's living room on Bowen Island in the rain
The view this morning - a brief lifting of the clouds before the rain comes back until Monday. Snow on the mountains for the first time, Shari says. We leave today for Whistler where it may actually snow. And me with only my red rain boots. Stay tuned. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

farewell to Gabriola

Part of Chris's living room. Our view at the Surf restaurant at the start of dinner. The two of us at the end, after pumpkin pie - friends since 1975. 

There are places I remember, all my life, though some have changed.

Today, my last day on Gabriola, I told Chris there have been 3 places I've visited regularly in my life that I think of as heaven. One was my uncle's little hotel the Kingsley Club on the semi-deserted east coast of Barbados, where the dining room was open to the breeze and birds flew through. We visited 3 times as a family; my kids were young but when a tour bus came through, Loris let them help behind the bar, opening soft drinks. Maybe that's where Sam got his love of serving.

The second was the small apartment on the rue Claude Bernard in the Latin Quarter of Paris that I rented 3 or 4 times from friends, with a huge south-facing window that opened onto a courtyard and heavy shutters that swung closed at night.

And the third is here, Chris's house on Gabriola, the one big room inside with his stone fireplace, the fire always going, and everything - even his plates and cutlery, his pots and pans, let alone his decor items - beautiful, and trees trees trees trees trees. 

My uncle sold the hotel, my friends sold the Paris flat, and one day, perhaps, this big property will be too much for Chris, and I will once more be exiled from occasional visits to Eden. But perhaps not. 

Yesterday was visit with Shari day - walks in the woods and making meals. 

In Chris's courtyard in front of one of his out buildings - his studio. Showing Shari his huge garden.

I roasted a chicken and veg for our dinner, and we had a long meal with intense talk of adoption: Chris was adopted at age two by a dreadful couple and found his birth mother when he was in his forties. Shari - it's no secret, she sings about it every concert - had a baby boy when she was 15, gave him up for adoption, and found him when he was 40, in a very happy reunion. So they were on opposite sides, the baby given up, the mother who had no choice. 

Shari left at dawn today. While Chris went on his dog walk, I danced with Nicky Guadagni's group in Toronto. 

Chris and I later walked again in Drumbeg.

Now I'm outside tapping and sniffing the crisp, smoky air, and he's watching the Great British Baking Show, one of his faves. Tonight I'm taking him to dinner at the Surf, which overlooks, surprise! - water, rocks, and trees. Tomorrow I walk onto the small ferry from Gabriola to Nanaimo, walk or cab to the big ferry terminal, walk on for the two hour ride to Horseshoe Bay outside Vancouver on the mainland, and then wait for the next ferry to Bowen Island, where Shari will pick me up. A three ferry day. It's predicted to rain from morning to night. 

Boo. But that's life on the rain coast of Canada. Salut. A bientôt. 

PS In the middle of this idyllic retreat, my FB Messenger was hacked. Friends sent me screenshots of someone pretending to be me sending messages. My friend wrote back, "I don't think you're Beth," and the hacker replied indignantly, "I Beth." Today, he wrote to someone else, pretending to be me, "Did you see the Fox news?" I guess this person doesn't know me very well. 

No. I Beth.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

quiet pleasures

A silent Sunday - and I confess that I'm congratulating myself for my luck, in having the most interesting friends who live in the most gorgeous places. Chris has made his home into a kind of paradise. And now Shari Ulrich is here. She brings another kind of joy.

Shari and I met in 1975 in the Kootenays. A supremely talented vocalist and instrumentalist, and beautiful, she was one of the touring trio Pied Pumkin. I was an actress with a band of lunatic hippy musicians and actors called the Valhallelujah Rangers, after the Valhalla mountain range where we lived. Where I lived briefly, for a summer and fall, fleeing back to Vancouver before winter fell. 

Shari, still performing, writing, and recording her own songs, now lives on Bowen Island. She decided visit us on Gabriola and while here, do a house concert last night. Wherever she goes, local people sponsor an event; people pay what they can and all proceeds go to Shari.

She was invited for dinner first, and so was I. So interesting to see another Gabriola house and find out about the owners, who sponsor all the musicians coming here. And then, after a great meal, to sit in a warm living room and hear this sublime musician play mandolin, piano, violin, several kinds of guitars, and harmonica, making us laugh while she switched or tuned. Some of her songs are heartbreakingly personal and moving; even if I didn't know her, she'd feel like a friend by the end. And then back to Chris's in the island dark, in the smoke-scented air, to sit by the fire, stroke pets, talk. 

The nights - so dark, so quiet.

Yesterday it rained much of the day, but today there's sun. Sunday is the big dog walk, an hour and a half on a trail with 15 or so ecstatic dogs, tearing through the brush, playing, wrestling, dashing off on a scent. I walked at the head of the line in order to leave some of the chatter behind, most of it about dogs; I wanted silence. The trees - what to say that's not a cliché? Sentinels, majestic, towering, magnificent. And moss, carpets, cloaks of green. It's a rain forest, after all. 

A birch grove.

Home to make lunch - a salade Niçoise since Shari, like Chris, is very careful about what she eats. Tonight I'll cook a Thanksgiving chicken. 

Toronto feels very far away - as it is. I could not live here. I couldn't bear to be stuck on an island, dependant on ferry schedules and far from many amenities that - even if this past year I haven't used them - are a necessity to me - theatre, music, and more. But visiting here, as perhaps you can tell, is balm for this city-stressed woman. With very good taste in friends.

Friday, October 8, 2021

visiting Patsy

Just have to post these right away. A moving day in the sun.

Chris and the dogwalkers
Where we walked ...
Fred the beautiful Bengal
Sheba the adorable
We visited the Gabriola Cemetery to visit Patsy. 
Is this not the most beautiful place to find eternal rest? 
Drumbeg Park
A man and his shadow
Chris's house
Fred and Ethel.

Happiness is.