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.


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” 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.


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.

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


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.

I am interested in reading it.


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.

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.


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.

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.


Picnics and Water

Mum and me not sure where probably about 1955

Just took the grandchildren back. We had a great little visit from 16th July. The weather was hot and humid but we managed to spend time outdoors because we had two paddling pools. I should also mention that it has been very dry so we are trying to be carful with the water. We will use it to water the garden now the kids have gone. On our way back we stopped on the 1,000 island Parkway for an impromptu picnic. It was much cooler down by the St. Lawrence River, nice memories.

Nanna, Katya and Max 20th July 2020

It was a real pleasure this visit, they were both interesting and funny and enjoyed everything we did with them. From visiting Ms. Canada Day at the end of our driveway, to setting up the pools, wading in them and splashing water around, eating freshly picked peas from our garden as well as freshly liberated ice pops from our freezer. Watching the original Mary Poppins while eating popcorn during a very muggy, cloudy, stormy Sunday. Not to mention the hours spent with toys and books. We will miss, them as always.

A couple I know in the next village celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on the 16th July sitting on their front porch and watching pretty much the whole village drive or walk by. They were festooned with balloons and showered with gifts while everyone kept there distance. It was great to watch on U Tube.

It is still hot today but cooler weather is forecast for tomorrow so i hope to be able to get into the garden. Gardening is lovely but must be kept on top of as, even in a very dry season, the weeds still enjoy themselves!

On the Coronavirus scene most of Ontario went into stage 3 on Friday. This means restaurants and bars are able to accept patrons inside as well as on the patios. But masks must be worn while moving around inside. Theaters and cinemas are also allowed to open, all of these places are at much less capacity. Gatherings of up to 50 people are now allowed. Again mask wearing is a must. They announced today that areas around Toronto will go into stage 3 this Friday but there are still a few areas, including Toronto itself, that will have to wait a little longer.

Katya should be entering Junior Kindergarten in the Fall but we are not sure what is happening with the schools yet and a decision has not been made about what school will look like yet. Junior and Senior Kindergartens are not compulsory. We shall have to look into the choices a bit more, I think.


Elephants and Caterpillars

Katya and friend summer 2016

As i predicted when they brought the mask wearing rule in, the Provincial Government is moving us to Stage 3 of the reopening. this means that restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. will be allowed to open with reduced capacity, as will cinema’s and theaters. Do not think i will be going to any just yet.

I did get my hair cut last week and yesterday, i visited the dentist. I had a consultation about getting my front tooth replaced as well as a cleaning. We all wore masks until i had my teeth cleaned. They do not use the polisher machine as it sprays everywhere, but otherwise all ok. questions asked at door as well as temp. check

Went to dinner at a friends house last night, very pleasant evening with 5 of us. Delicious dinner and good company, made me realise their can be a future.

Banksy, that intrepid anonymous artist who draws murals in public places and sometimes commands a fortune for the art work, drew one in a London Underground carriage but before he could advertise the fact cleaners had removed it! Proves how vigilant the cleaners are.

Doctor Anthony Fauci, the US disease specialist has apparently been attacked by the White House. This article is interesting, one wonders why?

We are getting the children tomorrow for a few days R&R. Should be fun, we have lots to do.


Bye Bye World, For Now

Not sure where, 1975/6.

We are plunged into despair yet again.

It is this compulsory face mask business that is bugging me. I hate wearing them as my glasses fog up or the material gets in the way of my eyes, I cannot breath properly so am breathing through my mouth, quite heavily and when the weather is hot they are unbearable. I feel really bad for workers in hot kitchens or on hot patios. I just think this policy is crazy. Before they made it a rule I was wearing a mask when needed, like hairdressers, hospitals, etc., but when I could keep my distance (no one is doing that now!!) I would go without.

We just had a message from the church, explaining that we would have to wear a mask during the service and only one person would be allowed to sing. I have decided that I do not want to attend, I cannot see me wearing a mask during the service.

I guess the powers that be finally figured out that keeping everything closed or socially distanced until they find a vaccine is probably not viable financially. Thus if we all wear masks, we can get back to “normal”. Not for me. I shall be self isolating if doing things involves wearing a mask.

Finally the hot dry weather has broken, we had about an inch of heavy rain last night and awoke to grey skies, 20C and more rain. The garden is looking very happy as a result, but much more is needed. Also was attacked by hoards of insects, when I was walking around!

I have been weeding, the rain stopped about 2pm and the temperature started to go up, I was covered in bug spray and quite enjoyed the time i spent pulling up well established weeds and some Lily of the Valley that was threatening parts of the garden i do not want it in. I know this lily is very invasive and hard to get rid of but I love it even though the aroma of the flowers is so short lived in the spring. I remember it being in the garden of the first home i ever lived in, thus I enjoy it.

I came in dripping with sweat, it is humid again now, the temperature reminds me of Bangkok in the rainy season; the rain cools it off for a little and then the steamy heat comes back. Very good for the skin.

Did i mention I finally got my hair cut yesterday? My fringe (Bangs to Canadians, does anyone know why?) was very long and getting on my nerves, not to mention being a bit raggedy. Looks much neater now.


Are We Still Here?

Gas Mask from Misha and Christina’s wedding

It was made compulsory to wear face masks in public indoor spaces from Tuesday this week. That was in our area. I have worn my face shield before, but apparently this is not considered a good substitute. I was checking out the rules about mask wearing and have decided I would rather not know as their are far too many. I must admit it might make me think twice about going into too many public places, i hate wearing masks and feel i might even give myself Covid 19.

While I hate wearing masks of any kind i will of course comply with the orders or stay home. I have just seen on the news that a group of people in Toronto have been protesting the wearing of masks, i want to make it clear i am not part of that group even though I truly believe if not worn correctly (of course everyone will do that, NOT) they can cause problems in passing on the virus. not to mention the fact people wearing them think it is ok not to social distance.

Did i mention i got a second prize for my Canada Day Lady?

It is still very hot and humid and with no rain as yet, it is beginning to look very dry, please please rain.

The US has now reached 3 million Coronavirus victims, a real surge because a lot of the States reopened too early. The President isn’t’ helping by refusing to wear a mask and encouraging the young to ignore social distancing because they will be ok. Guess what? They are not ok.

It is a tragedy what has happened to Hong Kong. The crack down by China against the pro democracy protesters while not unexpected is something we hoped would not happen. i guess China just cannot deal with Freedom for its people. I hope we can welcome a number of the people here in Canada.

This will connect you to BBC information about a book to be released on 14th July written by Donald Trump’s niece. It sounds very interesting.