Giving myself an A in suck-it-up-and-go-anyway …

Some background: Late last year, I subscribed to a five-film series of documentaries (Doc Soup Sundays) followed by a discussion. The screenings are once a month at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings.

Some more background: Last Saturday night I went out for dinner with friends. I made the mistake of having a cup of coffee after dinner. It’s never been a problem before, so I didn’t know it was a mistake until I was up all night.

This brings us to last Sunday morning, after a mostly sleepless night. It was after 2 am when I finally dozed off and I was up again before 5. The little sleep I did get was, sadly, not the glorious, deep, coma-like, dream-inducing sleep from which one awakes somewhat dazed, confused and refreshed. Instead, I Continue reading

Day 309. True Grit

This is highly unusual.  It’s Monday night and I’m sitting here, writing tomorrow’s blog.  Don’t always write them in advance.  Of course if you’re reading this, it’sumbrellas already tomorrow.  Tuesday.  But for me, right now, it’s still tonight (last night for you, though).

Tuesday’s my day to volunteer.  I start at 8:00 a.m.  Which means if I want to write and post my blog at my usual time I have to get up very, very early.  Like 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. early.  Usually I don’t mind.  But I don’t want to do it this time.  I’m too tired.

I’ve been writing into the wee small hours lately.  Practically every night for a couple of weeks.  And by wee small hours I mean until 2:30 or even 3:00 a.m.  So I am definitely sleep deprived.  And it’s beginning to catch up with me.  Plus the weather’s really getting me down.

Making me very drowsy.  Dark and dismal and wet does not work for me.  Not at all.

We have had very few sunny days so far this summer.  And very few warm days.  I’m cold most of the time.  I’m wearing sweaters and even jackets.  And still I shiver.  The minute I wake up I have to close my windows and get back into bed for fifteen minutes, to warm up, before I take a shower.

In the middle of June?   Continue reading

Day 104. April Showers

… bring May flowers.  Or so it’s said.  I’ve been known to bitch and moan about rain, after about the third or fourth day in a row of getting soaked. Of having to make a run for it.  Of walking around with wet shoes, and wet feet. Which is why, as much as I love Vancouver, beautiful as it is, I think I’d have a hard time living there.  All that rain (and miserable, grey skies) can be very depressing.

But there are times I love the rain.

I had a friend, years ago, whose parents had a cottage up north, in the Laurentian Mountains (about an hour north of Montreal).  I loved their house, because it had a huge screened-in front porch.  It was the size of a living room; and, truth be told, everyone sat there, most of the time.  It had a bluish grey painted hardwood floor, and lots of over-sized, over-stuffed, mis-matched, comfy furniture.

My favourite was a big old iron-framed daybed that was pushed right up against one of the screened windows. Continue reading

Day 4. Flower Power

It’s a dull day here, today.  Grey and overcast, with a threat of thunderstorms.  I woke up to the sound of rain rat-tat-tatting against my windows; and it’s been on again, off again ever since.  God knows we need some rain.  We’ve had an exceptionally hot, humid and dry summer, in Toronto.  But still, it’s dingy out there.

Which has, for some inexplicable reason, made me think of flowers.  Probably because the sight of even a single bloom can brighten any day; and any mood.  No matter how dark.  I love all flowers.  From the simplest daisies to masses of brightly-coloured bougainvillea, trailing willy-nilly over fences and walls.  From tulips that droop gently over the side of a vase, to window boxes crammed full of cascading geraniums and petunias.  Unassuming garden variety posies.  More exotic varieties, like orchids and calla lilies.  I even like buttercups.

Sometimes all it takes to make me happy are a couple of sunflowers, cheering me on.  Sometimes I crave something much more over the top — like  dozens of the palest of blush-coloured roses, informally ‘plopped’ into an old cut glass bowl my grandmother gave me.  And sometimes I want to play, mixing all kinds of different flowers together, in colours that range from fuchsia to scarlet to burgundy to almost black — shoving the whole bunch of them into a shocking, deep turquoise pottery pitcher.  It all depends on my mood.

But all this talk about flowers has sparked a memory, of a glorious month-long trip I took to India a few years ago.  Talk about flowers!

I could write dozens of stories about that trip (and perhaps I will), but this time I’m confining myself to an experience I had on our last day there.  We were in the Continue reading