Posted by: Valerie | February 25, 2012

Procrastination and other matters

Can you believe it? Joe is nagging me about doing my taxes and it’s still only February. He, of course, has his all ready to go. But his are easy; he doesn’t have to spend an entire weekend surrounded by little slips of paper, calculating totals and all that rubbish. The real problem, however, is getting started. Why do you think I’m sitting here with my laptop, writing? I’ve meaning to get to a blog post for ever so long but let myself procrastinate on the excuse that I have had nothing to write about. Now a bigger case for procrastination has come along and joggled me into blog writing. Of course I still don’t really have much to write about…

No more medical dramas have occurred I am pleased to say. I did have my follow-up MRI a few weeks ago but although my doc has the results, I am not to hear what they are until Monday. That sounds to me as if everything is fine and dandy. I did also have a Doppler ultra-sound of my carotid arteries and the technician was swooning in joy at the beauty of my arteries. I expect he’s still talking about them. Once upon a time, they admired other parts of me that you didn’t need a machine to look at. But the past is another country… to paraphrase L. P. Hartley.

Anyone remember The Go-Between? Wonderful book and an excellent movie too. I wonder if it will bubble to the surface on one of Joe’s ancient movie channels. (Son James comments that most films viewed in our house were made around 1933. There is a certain amount of truth in that statement.)  I’d love to see it again. Come to think about it, there is a common thread between that and Ian McEwan’s Atonement in that the main plot is driven by a young child misunderstanding what s/he sees and causes disaster. Hmmm… wonder if Ian McEwan also read The Go-Between? Not that I mean to impugn one of our very best writers – sorry Ian.

Talking about books, which I do at the drop of a hat, has anyone read Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending? A very slim volume and really, really dense. I have been thinking about it a lot over the last weeks.  It is about memory, ageing and regret.

Then I moved on to The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje. Delightful and so well written. Also about events seen through the eyes of a child, this time the main character is an 11-year old boy travelling unaccompanied from Ceylon (as was) to England by ship.

And just to leaven the mix, I next attacked Heartstone by C. J. Sansom. It is the fourth Matthew Shardlake novel set so well in Tudor England. The series starts with the dissolution of the monasteries and has progressed through the latter years of Henry VIII’s reign. The details of life in those times are so sharp that one can even smell the streets of London. Shardlake is a lawyer who solves mysteries.

Many of you know that I work for a real estate agent in Ottawa, generally managing his “behind the scenes” stuff. We have known each other for years and years and have an excellent working relationship. Working electronically suits me very well indeed and although I will never make a fortune that way, it provides a little extra for financing the occasional reno or foreign holiday. Every so often though, Robert provides me with a challenge. Some time ago I was faced with learning to manage his webpage and I am doing fine with that now. The latest challenge has been to set up a Facebook page that is purely for business. I am struggling a bit on that one as people keep putting non-business messages up but I am managing. What has been a new experience for me is to try and get the guy going with Twitter. I never really have seen the point of Twitter but I thought the best place to start was to sign myself up and get to understand it. I have quite enjoyed following some interesting people like Salman Rushdie and Stephen Fry but I have yet to learn how to persuade people to follow Robert’s pronouncements. Any ideas, people?

I want to take a sentence or two to acknowlege the death of Marie Colvin and two other journalists killed in Syria thi sweek. I so very much admire these correspondents who put themselves on the line time after time to expose the horrors that are taking place in so many parts of the world. We must know about this and these fine people are getting killed to make sure we do. Condolences to their families. They must be grieving but I hope they are proud too.

Damn it – lunch has got in the way and now I have lost my impetus. Being Saturday, Joe happily watches English soccer all morning, then he watches a show in Hungarian for half an hour and roars with laughter at incomprehensible comedians and says “Look, look, we’ve been there!” when they do a travelogue bit. I think that I have now visited a higher proportion of “sights” in Hungary than I have in Scotland. Most of my real travelling has been done right here in North America though. With my husband Warren we roamed around the country extensively and Joe and I have done our share together too. Still got no firm plans for this year yet although we are toying with maybe going east to NS and PEI.  The point of this paragraph is that these entertainments are now over and the promised movie set in Hungary is junk, so Joe needs to chat. It’s hard to write while being chatted at about how we missed the cheap cherries at the supermarket yesterday etc.

Our next excitement and major expense is going to be the total gutting and renovating of the main bathroom. It is the Achilles heel of this whole house and we really have to attend to it as there is an incipient hole in the steel bathtub. We have covered it up with polyputty or something but it’s probably quietly continuing to rust underneath. I just hope we get it all done before there is leak which would doubtless hit Joe’s computer in the room beneath. May as well make a real job of it by relocating the tub and the toilet to give the impression of more space. That will also require removing all the ghastly old tile.  The whole (hole?) job will take about a week. No shower for a week! OMG! We have two other loos but no other shower. Head in the sink like the old days. I vividly remember an occasion in England when I was washing my hair in the sink and my Siamese cat leapt from the top of a cupboard onto my bare bent back. There was a huge cacophony of mingled shrieks – mine from pain and shock and the cat probably from getting wet and being shrieked at!

Bancroft has had more winter than many places and we got a huge dump of snow  last night which has completely obliterated the tracks from Deklin’s snow-sliding activities of a few weeks ago. Everything is looking pretty again but there is a sharp wind blowing the snow from trees and roofs, spoiling the enjoyment of a nice walk around the neighbourhood. Last week was the annual dog-sled races which passes at the end of our road and the main street was closed for an hour or two for street hockey. I like the dogs, you can keep the hockey.

So here I am at the end of another 1,300 words or so and when I have written the last character I will be looking for another form of procrastination. A little light vacuuming, clean the toilets?  Not very appealing, any of it…






  1. Hope all goes well with the Drs on Monday. Thanks for the book recommendations–always looking for those as you know. Weather in Tucson is glorious–if Joe watches golf today he will see Westwood versus McIlroy in Tucson –you are always welcome.
    The tale of you with head in sink made me laugh–how many children did we bathe in a sink?

  2. I don’t “do” Twitter but I understand the way to get people to at least look at your feed is to quote what others say with links back to them.

    I remember the old head-in-the-sink trick of washing one’s hair! I too am going to be doing bathroom renos come Spring. After the semester is over AND we can open the windows for fresh air. I’m already planning the demolition in my head, soon it will be a plan on paper. I think we will have to rent one of those fabric “dumpsters” from the Home Depot because there will be a lot of debris. Only a few things are worth giving to Habitat’s Reno business. The rest is rotted Minto junk.

  3. So, did you see Stephen Fry’s comments about how slow our broad band is here?? Upset a few people that did! I like Mr Fry. Can’t be bothered with Twitter though, Facebook and flickr keep me on my computer more than I’d like.

    • I didn’t actually. I had never thought about Twitter if I hadn’t had to look into it for my client. Not sure I can be bothered.
      Stephen Fry would not like our broadband speeds either. Britain is much faster. In our particukar case we are on satellite and while it is much faster than dial-up, it is still frustratingly slow.

  4. Need some golf excitement? Did you watch rookie John Huh win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic to beat out Australian Robert Allenby in an 8-hole playoff? Get caught up:

  5. Talking of Stephen Fry–the man is brilliant (but we all knew that). I am assuming you have seen teh link i add below but if you haven’t
    If the link doesn’t work just google Stephen Fry and The Catholic Church.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: