Posted by: Valerie | November 14, 2010

Just bloggering about…

I am hurting, dammit! I tried house cleaning today but, dearie me, I had to give up. This is the unfortunate result of a failed photographic attempt earlier in the week when I was having lunch with my good friend Liz in Ottawa. Liz is a fantastic Italian cook and she had made a wonderful chanterelle risotto so I was feeling pleasantly replete (read stuffed) when I decided to take some photos of her two beautiful cats, Houdini and Cocoa. Houdini posed nicely at the table but Cocoa took off. The combination of hardwood floors, my sockfeet and an unsuspected step led to me crashing to the floor and continuing across the floor through the furniture. The indignity! Aside from feeling a perfect fool, I was relieved to find that all parts were working – even my camera. It wasn’t until next day that the bruising fully developed. True royal purple and about 10” long. Unfortunately it was not in a place that I could show off to garner sympathy so only the specially privileged got to admire it. The bruising is still there but has faded to a mottled yellowish-green that is not a bit royal. However, nearly a week later I am still in pain and I reckon I have bruised my ribs.

Houdini at luncheon

 But there, I should not have started this post with a negative – against the rules. Permit me to back up to last Sunday when I drove to Ottawa on the prettiest possible morning. There had been a light snowfall overnight and the trees and the lakes were sparkling in the sunlight. Edith Piaf was belting it out on the stereo and I was singing along merrily. This is something no-one else will ever experience as when I was about four or five, my mother told me that I sang like a frog. I believed her. She was my Mummy after all.

Oh, the passion, the voice!

After an incident free drive,  it was Deklin time! The rest of the day was spent gambolling around playing peek-a-boo and other toddler games and enjoying Jamie’s excellent cooking. But only after daughter-in-law Angela and I had unloaded various ancient windows and an old pirate trunk from our van. She has plans for them and they have been languishing in Joe’s back shed for many, many years (the windows, I mean). They are going to be used to enhance the back yard eventually. What I was not prepared for was the fact that the shed with the old windows was also a haven for perfectly healthy and very hungry mosquitoes which of course were transported to Ottawa in the van. I was not talking on my cellphone during the journey but I was vigorously swatting mozzies which is probably at least as dangerous! I hope they are now dead but even on Friday there were still some floating around in the vehicle.

 The next couple of days were a social whirl with breakfasts, lunches and dinners all over town – and I only paid for one of them! Pretty good going for a Scottish lass/biddy ( lassie over sixty). Every so often I join myBoxtalk internet list pals for lunch in town. We communicate every day online but of course rarely see each other. An eclectic group we are, composed of techie nerds, significant scientists, writers and poets, artists and yak farmers, photographers, ex-lawyers (somehow I don’t think practising lawyers would make the list, given the opinions frequently expressed by the group. That would apply to bankers too.) Our leader, the magister, as it were, rarely puts in an appearance these days, preferring to remain, hermit-style ( I really wanted to write “hermetically” but that means something else, although of course the root is the same) in his Quebec retreat to which very few have ever been invited. I am not one of the privileged but then again, I live about 250 km away. I have introduced an old friend to the group and hope she will become a contributor. She falls into the artist category. I guess I fall into the writer category although it is a long time since anything of mine was in print – and if it were still in print I wouldn’t show it to anyone. The best that can be said of it is that I got fairly well paid. And no, gentlemen, it was not risqué!

After  our Indian buffet lunch my friend Anne and I cruised the Glebe and poked around in shops where we had not the slightest intention of buying and then we drove to Chinatown to inspect the new arch that has recently been constructed by artists and scultors specially brought in from China. It is of course quite magnificent. Also magnificent, I hope, are the real plum puddings that Anne makes for Christmas. I took delivery of mine and it sits in the cupboard quietly maturing. Wednesday it was back over the hills to Joe and Charlie. I believe I was missed by both!

The Chinatown arch

 For a total switch, I must write a couple of lines in praise of my Kindle. I really love it! I love the sense of security it gives me when I’m away from home. No longer am I limited to the books that I can carry. It was previously my habit when taking a flight to carry at least three books in my hand luggage: the one I was currently reading (but might finish en route) a second one to replace it but which I might not enjoy, and the third as a last resort. With Kindle anything I might want is just a couple of key strokes away. Downloading a book is cheaper than buying it. There are only two snags, one being that one can’t pass on a book to a friend and the other is that the version I have is not backlit so I can’t read in the dark. Initially when I got my Kindle as a birthday gift from my son and daughter I was a little uncertain about missing the feel and appearance of a real book but I quickly came to terms with that. I still read proper books at home, in bed at night. Very often far too late into the night.

And just to wrap things up I have to report that my grandson is extremely smart – and beautiful. Here is a pic of him playing with his Daddy.

My guys!


  1. Wonderfully entertaining bit yet again! So sorry the Traumeel didn’t work. I guess only time will heal. Call me – more events!!!


  2. Peter really likes his Kindle too. I have the “old” Sony now and they are great for reading on the bus, as well as any situation where you might have to wait for an uncertain time.

  3. Valerie:
    Once more you provided extremely refreshing (although painful) imagery. This print media (Blog) will be your legacy to your Family and Friends – who else matters? Houdini is indeed handsome…but, Deklin – ahhh Deklin – a face and smile that warms the heart and a presence that stirs the spirit. You have every right to be proud of your guys.

    • You are very generous, Lori – thanks for the kind words.

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