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To Labour Or Not To Labour

no it doesn’t hurt that much!

Dave’s arm has been keeping him awake at night and is still sore so we have postponed Max’s visit until next week. We want to be sure we can look after him properly.

Monday was A holiday here, Labour Day (this spell check doesn’t like my spelling). Not that it makes much difference to us and especially not at present with most things still shut or at least greatly reduced. I was looking in an old diary and realised how much we have missed, from Shakespeare in the Park which is usually in August to the Christmas light switching on in the local village. None of these things will happen this year. Although I do not see why we cannot have the tree lighting as it is outside. I guess no one wants to organise it. A lot of organisations are shutting down and probably will not open up again after this is all over. Perhaps it is just as well as I have decided I was doing too much anyway. Time for a slower pace and to concentrate more on the grandkids and friends instead of rushing about trying to do too many things.

We did have a WI meeting in our garden on Sat. We really just talked about how we would like to go forward and meet again, it is a small close knit group and I think a few members were missing meeting. We hope to have the next meeting outside as well and then we will see what happens after that.

It would seem Canada is worrying about a spike in Covid 19 outbreaks now that schools are going back. Ontario has decided not to open the province any more than it already is. University is also looking different than other years, even though some people are living on campus a lot of courses are on line. We are all urged to remain vigilant.

Britain is to introduce a ban on gatherings of more than 6 people from 14th Sept. because of a spike in the Coronavirus, however it will not apply to schools or workplaces, Covid secure weddings and funerals and team sports, sounds a bit daft to me! I guess we shall see what happens.

Wildfires are burning madly in California and Washington States while record high temperatures remain the norm.

For something not about covid 19 below is an article about 2 soldiers from the Myanmar army who are attesting to what they saw and experienced in 2017 when the Myanmar army displaced the so called Rohingya Muslims.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/myanmar-soldiers-custody-hague-1.5715272

In another news item talk is of outdoor schools being the future. It seems to make sense and could be a lot more fun. I always remember going for nature walks in the grounds of a large house opposite our school. We would charge along the trails and look for items depending on the season, fungi, fallen leaves, or snowdrops and crocuses. Always lots of fun.

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September and the growing is good

First day of school. Sept. 2020

Another new month, September this time, still warm and sunny outside. I am preparing the enclosed, insulated, heated porch/sunroom for when we have to bring our collection of exotic plants inside because of the cold. Cleaning and sorting out the things that get deployed out there during the summer months, while the plants are gone, these include the children’s craft items as well as mine!

Katya started school on Tuesday, Big Day for sure. Because of the Coronavirus and the fact no one really knows how the back to school situation is going to work out (will we get a spike in covid 19?), K.’s parents have decided not to put her in the public school system at this time. Thus she is going to a local Montessori school/day care that takes children from 6 months to 6 years. Katya is in Cassa (which is their Kindergarten) and goes from 9 to 5. So far she seems to be enjoying it and we think it is exactly what she needs. Max is still going to his usual day care and all being well, we hope to see him next week when he will stay with us, on his own this time.

after first day of school (K loves it)

September has been eventful, Dave fell off the step ladder on Tuesday and we ended up in the local hospital emergency on Wed. Dave was pruning one of our crab apple trees with the chain saw, he switched to manual clippers, leant over too far and fell off! After a sleepless night, i decided a trip to the hospital was in order, he was complaining of a sore shoulder and his right hand was a little swollen. 3.5hrs later when i picked him up he had been told his shoulder was fine but he had a half cast on the lower part of his right arm because he has a chipped bone in his wrist. The cast will be on for 7 days. Yes, we both know it could have been much worse and are thankful for small mercies.

Had a WI Zoom exec. meeting last night and have decided to have a live mini meeting in our backyard on Sat.1-3pm. We shall see how it goes. This is our first meeting since early March. Their was a social get together in August but I couldn’t’ go as i was picking the kids up.

Still living this strange uneasy existence with the Novel Coronavirus among us. We social distance and wear face masks when we go indoors, even visiting friends can be problematic. Some of us are very cautious about going places and doing things while others are more adventurous. Will we get a second wave? Who knows?

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“… I’ll Tell you no Lies”.

Hackensall hall sometime in 1960’s/70/s

Secrets, we all have them. Some are hidden so deep within us that we almost forget we know them, others we are desperate to share, nearly blurting them out to all and sundry, only stopping at the last minute.

Below is a poem I was introduced to as a child in a one room school house in an English village.

A Smugglers Song by Rudyard Kipling

if you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street;
Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark —
Brandy for the Parson,
Baccy for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
And watch the wall, my darling,
While the Gentlemen go by!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don’t you shout to come and look, nor use ’em for your play.
Put the brushwood back again — and they’ll be gone next day!

If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining’s wet and warm — don’t you ask no more!

If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you “pretty maid,” and chuck you ‘neath the chin,
Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been!

Knocks and footsteps round the house — whistles after dark —
You’ve no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty’s here, and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie —
They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!

If you do as you’ve been told, ‘likely there’s a chance,
You’ll be given a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood —
A present from the Gentlemen, along o’ being good!

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark —
Brandy for the Parson,
‘Baccy for the Clerk;
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie —
Watch the wall, my darling,
While the Gentlemen go by!

Is it a good poem? I do not know, I remember the pictures, created by the words and thus i enjoy it.

But back to secrets. I guess we like to share, which is how some secrets get told, whispered in an ear, when no one is near, the listener sworn to secrecy, Sometimes they stay true but other times they forget. Other secrets are gleaned by spying which enables the eavesdropper to have a hold over the secretor. Yet others are found out by agents employed by governments or companies to spy on their counterparts.

In the present situation, the world wide Novel Coronavirus outbreak, I am sure spying is rife between countries trying to find an answer to this so far unstoppable disease. Countries are all working on a vaccine but i wonder if they are all sharing what they learn?

I strive to keep the secrets i know, some will become known of their own accord in the fullness of time (as the saying goes), others will go to the grave with me.

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Here We Go Again

Hau Hin February 2005

It has been awhile since i wrote here. Reasons are; we had the children from 6th to 12th, lots of fun as usual. We managed to do a lot of stuff, including taking them to a local small animal zoo, which they loved. It was all outside so it was quite safe and we took our own food. First time they had been anywhere like that in a while. We of course did our usual outdoor painting, this time, plant pots and canvases. We managed to have a fire as the fire ban had been lifted after a Sunday rain, this of course included cooked marshmallows, our family has never really embraced Smores.

Because we had seen a white tailed deer at the zoo, we introduced Katya to the movie Bambi. First time i had seen it also, not that impressed, but Katya loved it. We also watched Bed Knobs and Broom Sticks, K. loved it. Another movie I had never seen, but this one i enjoyed. I have always admired David Tomlinson, mostly he is remembered from Mary Poppins but he was also in B&B.

I also hosted my book club here yesterday. We are trying, while the weather is warm, to have meetings in peoples gardens. We usually come together in my garden, in the summer, for a pot luck meal. This time it was different, one or two brought there own everything while i provided quiches (3 different ones) and salad which I plated up ahead of time and everyone got a tray with the meal etc. on it. Worked out quite well and we sat around tables and were able to chat. The book we discussed was The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I and a lot of the others really enjoyed it. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32051912-the-alice-network

Thus life has been busy and house cleaning is greatly overdue. Also i have phone calls to return, our phone has not been working very well but it is fixed now so hope to catch up with people tomorrow.

I also have a dental appointment but more on that later!

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Mask at the Masque

Loi Kratong Centre Point Nov. 2004 A scene from the Ramakana

Lots of thoughts have been passing through my mind over the last little while. Probably no time or room to put them down here.

Went to the hospital today, I have had an appointment for a couple of months, to see about my left hip, i felt it was the cause of the pain which radiates down the back of my leg from hip to ankle. It isn’t sharp like the Sciatica pain I experienced in 2009 so didn’t think it was that. But after X rays of hip, pelvis and both knees, my surgeon explained that my hip wasn’t that bad, the worst one is my left knee. He said the pain could probably be due to my back! I have known since I was 38 that i have a problem with my lower back. Anyway, I am to have an injection in my hip and knee to see if the pain is reduced or not then we will than we will make a decision. Oh well, it was good to see and talk with alive in person Dr instead of a phone call, i have really missed not going into the dr.’s office.

The weather is much cooler today and far more pleasant than of late, the humidity is lower so even though we had sunshine, it felt better. The w/e is forecast to be good and sunny. We are picking up the children again tomorrow and will have them until Wed. I have a few things planned and hopefully it will be warm enough for the paddling pools again.

Just looked through some old Digital photographs from 2003/4 apart from felling nostalgic, I also observed the quality is bad, blurry and indistinct. That is what happens when new technology starts i guess.

Anyway it reminded me we cannot go anywhere and I want to travel again. I guess that is why I have been feeling out of sorts lately. I know I should be grateful. But I am not, I do not want to “Stay Safe”. Enough of that already, it is time to get on and explore.

We are finally stripping the wallpaper off the basement hall walls. It is a rainy day project which will really get going in the fall. The kids can get involved with stripping the paper, it comes off easily and I am sure they will find it fun. We will just repaint it in a light colour and put the cats climbing frame back.

I am truly sick to death (pun?) of hearing about the Coronavirus, stop it already, I know enough and I am overflowing with useless knowledge. Go away and only come back when you have some good news, i am sick of all the bad.

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Another Month Another Musing

Mum and me in a park in Reading area, 2003. Shakespeare play.

I had wanted to post on the 31st July but stuff happened.

We had a very hot and dry July in our area, the last time it was hotter was 1929! We finally got some rain towards the end of last week and today has been rainy and thunder stormy with a Tornado warning for this area, as of 5:30pm that is over and we didn’t’ get one. But it is steamy hot again. This was last night

Today, Monday 3rd August is a holiday here in Ontario, not a lot different from other days really! I started out cooler this morning but then the humidity returned, now we have black clouds again.

July started out with our own celebration for Canada Day as no where was holding celebrations, we even had our own fireworks. we got to see the kids again which is always lots of fun. I got my hair cut, i got a new hearing aid for my left ear, I went to the dentist, all of this done while wearing face masks which were made mandatory in our area, as well as many others, when indoors with members of the public.

What a strange new world we are living in. It is like something out of a movie, i truly would not have believed that the whole world would be living like this if you had told me before.

I am still trying, for the most part, not to pay too close attention to the news. It is all about the coronavirus which, as not a lot of facts are known, is mostly speculation. Recently sports have started up again and if anything I find them even worse than the Pandemic, another reason for not watching the news. The main issue right now is with schools, Ontario has decided to send the children back on the 8th Sept. JK to grade 8 will go 5 days a week and high school kids will have split school and home computer learning. It still seems rather vague how they are planning to conduct the classes etc. We are concerned with Junior Kindergarten as that is what Katya is due to enter this Sept. We are looking into Montessori schools for class size and how they deal with this Pandemic.

Leon Fleisher died today, he was a great pianist who after becoming a child prodigy lost the use of his right hand, he continued to conduct, teach and master playing pieces with his left hand only. After 3 decades and many therapies he regained the use of his right hand and started to play again with both hands. He was 92 and died of cancer.

A massive forest fire is blazing in California just East of LA. I guess life continues.

Usually, in August, we go and see a Shakespeare play put on by the local “Company of Fools” https://fools.ca/ and held in our wonderful Maplewood Park in Oxford Mills. This year the play was to have been “The Tempest”, appropriate? Of course it has been postponed until next year, although it would have been possible to put it on perhaps. Oh well, memories instead.

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When I Was Very Young

Patricia 1957?

I loved that dress it was bright pink cotton and had that huge collar, i also liked the buttons. Think Mum cut my hair, isn’t it awful?

More about the Kemptville murder. We pass the house on our way into and out of town and their is a police presence there all the time as well as it is still cordoned off. I have attached a link to the Ottawa Citizen website with details about the victim. She was a Residential Councilor and had been doing this type of work for decades. Still do not know the whys and wherefores. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/kemptville-homicide-victim-group-home-worker-remembered-as-skilled-strong-compassionate/wcm/fe036ccf-9f16-481d-b197-32c7797e0504/

Yesterday afternoon and early evening our book club got together in a members garden. Last time some of us met was back in Feb., we have been having Zoom meetings but, oh, it was so nice to meet up in person. I gave the presentation and everyone appreciated it and learnt a lot by reading the book. (See previous blog). Eight of us were present and one on Zoom. One member was too tired to join us and another member has left the club. It was good to see the ladies, some of whom have been badly injured (broken leg) or seriously ill, again after so long. Being able to chat with each other was balm for the troubled soul. We hope to be able to do this again in August at my house, we have to wait and see how things are going first. Everyone is freaked out by the surge in numbers in Ottawa since we entered stage 3. People are getting together indoors and spreading it that way. Will we ever be free again? I plan on being free. Apparently Ottawa’s total is down today which is good news.

The US is still in a mess and Trump is still claiming  Hydroxy Qualaquin is the cure all! for the Coronavirus

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Oh to be on Vacation.

Ber-Ber on the beach at KE, i think, probably 1958

I have been checking on the murder that happened here on Friday. The brief summery on CBC website explains a 32 year old man is charged with second degree murder and assaulting a police officer. Turns out I know this person, he might be 32 in physical age but he is definitely not 32 years old mentally. An incidence of misleading reporting? I do not know, but he was living in a group home and perhaps this is an incidence of Covid 19 anger. He has never seemed an angry person, he is very social, likes to talk and could usually be found at the farmers market in the summer and a local grocery store at other times. He is a great knitter and has made blankets but mostly he made cotton dishcloths to sell, I have a few. It says he is charged with the murder of a 63 year old woman. I wonder if she was his mother? I shall keep my eye on this.

It rained last night quite heavy, we needed it. Has rained on and off all day, making it very steamy, temperature over 30C, feels like being in a tropical rain forest. Thank heavens for aircon, i have stayed indoors most of the day, cleaning.

It seems Trump has finally got the message about mask wearing. His approval rating is on the way down, but this man plays dirty and who knows what he will do next? He already sent a semi private army in to squash rioters in one US town. A new book has been released about him.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-niece-book-1.5646052

I am interested in reading it.

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Family and Other Things

1978/9 Nana’s house near Liverpool, Gerard in back, Paul, Mum, Dave and Lorna

What a strange day. Was up in the night with my chamomile tea and crossword, so felt a little weary today. Very hot and humid with hot wind, which didn’t make me feel better.

Lots of things i should be doing but no energy for them. I spent most of the day preparing a presentation, for my book club, on my book choice which is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. All about the HeLa cells. Do not usually get so involved with presentations. But i felt this book (Best Seller in 2010 when it cam out) deserved some time spent on it both to help me understand what it is about as well as because the He La cells may be used in the development of a Covid 19 Vaccine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeLa

We are actually getting together in person at one of the members houses, hopefully in the garden. with 7 or 8 of us. We have not met since February, conducting meetings, instead on Zoom. Thus this will be a first for us.

Having lots of thoughts of the past and especially of Mum. I did not really know her well when she was my age. in 1990/1 Mum had turned 68. She was still working at the “Cottage Loaf” in Knott End, part time, according to her diary. In January 1991, Mum, some family and a friend went to a Pantomime at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, she loved the costumes and the tiny children. The three of us were on a visit to UK around Easter and Our new nephew was Christened then.

Their was a murder in North Grenville on Friday night at the group home on the way into town, saw a police car outside yesterday. Very strange and unnerving to hear this.

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A Long and Winding Road

Somewhere in England or West Germany 1972/3

We have finally had some rain in the last 48 hrs. The ground has had a good soaking and the flowers loved it. Unfortunately so did the weeds and they appear to be thriving. It was a little cooler yesterday and we slept with window open and Aircon off for the first time in ages. Humidity came back today!

After my hearing aid appointment yesterday, i decided to visit a shop i know that sells bedding. As the shop is located in Ottawa I also dropped in for a quick outdoor visit with a friend. I hadn’t seen this friend since early Feb., it was lovely. I wonder when we will be able to just visit friends like this on a regular basis? i know some of my friends would be happy with doing this but others are very wary. None of this is helped by the media who have been reporting, over the last few days, on people who have recovered from a bout of Covid 19. Most of them seem to have lingering problems which are enough to scare most people. I suspect this is the idea, so we will be very carful about how we interact in society now the Govt. has opened up a larger part of Ontario. I still think life is for living and thus I will try and do so, carefully.

Today I went back to my favorite book store, it has finally reopened and was chock full of books. I found “Princes Prunella and the Purple Peanut” by Margaret Attwood. I shall read this to Katya even though i find Attwood a little difficult. I was eventually driven out by a sweaty face and steamed up glasses. I no longer enjoy shopping and shall probably only go to one or two stores at a time instead of visiting a lot like I used to do.

Christina and Misha will be celebrating there 7th Wedding anniversary soon. This anniversary is associated with wool and copper, interesting as They run a yarn store.

The Canada Reads winner is “We have always Been here” I think I would like to read this book. See below.

https://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/the-winner-of-canada-reads-2020-is-1.5660174

A lot of people seem to be going to the cottage or taking a trailer to a camp site in their local area as a way of having a summer break. Dave and I always camped when we went on holiday in UK. After we came to Canada we would go away with the tent for long w/e’s and had a holiday in the winter to a hot destination. We still have the above tent but i think it is long past its sell by date.