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As Time Ages..

Max and the wagon Sept 2020

Thought I would give an update of my life at present. We had a visit from grandson, Max for 8 days. It was his first visit on his own and gave us a chance to get to know a little better. He is a very busy boy and at 22 months loves to be on the move. He is fascinated by anything on wheels. We got a wagon so we can tow him around the garden or, more realistically he can haul it around himself. He also loves to climb on and off the old tractor which Dave has installed on a platform in the garden so we can keep an eye on him. He especially enjoys it when Dave takes him for a ride on the working tractor, something Katya did not like because of the noise, Max wears ear defenders. We took him to the apple farm that we have taken Katya to for the last 2 years. We were very happy to see it was open and following Covid safety measures. All in all a good week was had by all.

We were invited out to dinner last night, at a friends house, where we enjoyed talking over things and eating good food. I have been a bit down lately as I am now really missing going places, like museums, theater and trips out. Most of the time i am ok but so much has had to stop over the last half year. I am lucky really as the WI and my book club have held outdoor meetings where we are able to talk to people in real life. Doing meetings on line is ok but it really isn’t the same, especially when there is a time limit and each person is only allowed to talk for a short time. Mask wearing is getting me down, even at the outdoor market today I noticed everyone (excpet me) had masks on. It wasn’t very busy and I social distanced. If we have to wear them everywhere I will just stay home more and get more down!

Katya had to have a Covid test this week. She had been sent home on Thursday 17th with a note explaining that if a child had a runny nose (some in her class did) they had to stay home until they were clear for 48 hrs. Katya of course had picked up the cold so she stayed home. Then the school let Christina know that they wanted a negative Covid test before K could return. They got the result on Friday (negative of course) so hopefully K. will go back to school on Monday. We took Max back on Thursday thus were able to see Katya, she is loving the school and has made friends, we hope that the runny nose is not a weekly event. Apparently all schools in Ontario are following this protocol, I guess the Covid test centers will be busy!

The weather is strange, last w/e,19-20th, was quite cool, then it slowly warmed up and by today it was in the high 20’sC! We haven’t had any rain for a good 10days either and everything is really crisp and dry. The leaves are falling as we have had a strong wind today but the flower beds are totally dried out. I am trying to finish off weeding my second flower bed, it is slow going but I am about half way there. I do enjoy getting my hands dirty and i have not been able to get to it since we had Max. I did do some today. It is going dark about 7:30 but it is still so warm, I shouldn’t’ be surprised that is what happens in the tropics, it goes dark about 7pm each day all year round

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Celebrations?

Christmas 1958/9

Returning to my post of Monday 14th September and the thoughts therein. Should we be publicly celebrating traditions that come from certain Ideologies to the exclusion of others? Talking here about Halloween- which is the eve of All Saints Day. An explanation is given below. It was originally called Samhain and celebrated at the part of the year, in the northern hemisphere, when the light is getting shorter and the dark is taking over. It is also the end of harvest, it was a time of bonfires and tales of ghosts. Eventually it was taken over by Christianity as a way to stop the celebration of Pagan ideas. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/samhain#section_6

The question is if we are to discontinue celebrations of all events that have any religious connections, then Halloween is surely one of them?

The other major event is of course Christmas. I celebrate the holiday as i am a Christian but I get more and more jaded each year. Christmas doesn’t really start until 24th December, up to then we are preparing for the birth of Christ with Advent. Then traditionally the party time begins and lasts for the next 12 days. The count actually begins on the 26th, boxing day and ends on 6th January with Little Christmas or the day the three wise men reached the babe.

As i said in my last blog. We do not actually know the precise date of Christ’s birth thus a lot of the celebrations around this season are taken from the celebration of the winter Solstice. Wikipedia has a lot more to share on the subject of why Christian’s use this date as the bithdate of Christ.

i have thought about why i was ranting about giving up celebrations this year and have decided the reason wasn’t that good. But a more scaled back celebration and less spending could lead to more fun family time? with a focus on the people in our society who have nothing being our main priority rather than overspending on things we do not need and have no use for.

Governments around the world are all freaking out about the spike in Covid 19 cases! They spent most of August telling us this was going to happen, so why are they getting mad now? Some countries are closing down again, perhaps they should have been more cautious in opening up? Or perhaps there supporters wanted to start earning money again; what cost impatience!

The dearly loved (?) President of the USA is showing signs he may not give up graciously if he is defeated in the election to be held in November. Perhaps he would rather he lived in Russia!

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Twilight Zone

Christmas 1975 RAF Thorney Island

Dave returned to the hospital today to have his arm checked. Turns out the chip detected on his wrist bone was an old injury (I remember him doing it when he was in the RAF) and the young emergency Dr. mistook it for a new injury! (That is why his wrist didn’t hurt). His upper arm is still waking him up at night but gets better each day. He never needed the half cast, just as well as it broke in half after 4 days! A friend lent him a wrist guard but he doesn’t need that either! Such is life, now if our Dr. office had been open….. who knows?

Thus we continue in this half life. I have been trying to find out if our community is thinking of doing something to celebrate Halloween but it appears they have adopted a wait and see attitude. For weeks now the powers that be have been telling us we must expect a resurgence of the Coronavirus in the Fall and it would appear that this was a self fulfilling prophecy. Here is an explanation of the term:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=self+fullfilling+prophecy&form=ANNNB1&refig=363ccd6c705e4d1a941673f5e1230dc5&sp=1&ghc=1&qs=BT&pq=self+fullfilling+&sk=PRES1&sc=8-17&cvid=363ccd6c705e4d1a941673f5e1230dc5

Yes, cases in Canada are going up but why get freaked out about it? This is what we must come to expect and live with, incorporating the Virus into our daily lives. It is not going away, if we want to continue to live a productive interesting life we must adjust to new ways of doing things. Halloween is one of those things. We can decided to scrap the whole thing, do away with the concept, perhaps it is time it is an outdated consumer driven event anyway and ruins children’s teeth. OK get rid of it.

What is next? Oh yes, Christmas! The Great Elephant in the room of a holiday Western Countries have developed. A lot of workers are given time off for this holiday, schools are closed and shops just adore it. Perhaps this year will be the year we can finally scrap the whole thing. After all it started out with the supposed birth of Jesus Christ, God the Son whom Christians the world over follow as their Messiah. The early Leaders of the Christian church decided to appropriate the Midwinter Solstice Festival and rename it as the birthday of Christ ( Christs birthdate is not indicated in the documents about his life). Thoughts to pursue in my next blog.

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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