Posted by: Valerie | April 16, 2012

Stutter-stop spring


It’s blog time again – in fact it is long past blog time. Not sure why I haven’t got around to it before this. The usual excuses, I guess. Certainly it is true that I have been very occupied with my work since the beginning of the year. I have been expanding my horizons on the social media front as it is certainly becoming more and more important in the real estate world to which Robert, my client, belongs. His website is taking up a lot of my time and I am rather enjoying it. I have indeed learned how to Tweet. I still find it a bit pointless but following people is quite entertaining. Ian Rankin is my current favourite tweeter. Unsurprisingly his utterances are generally about beer, music and the occasional book signing. Shades of Rebus, for sure.

Right now we are in renovation mode – again! This time it is the ugly old bathroom that is the subject. I do wish I had taken a photo of its original ugliness before the reno began. Maybe if I just describe the tiling, you will get a general idea. Whitish with green swirls and black edging, all made of plastic. The tub had its surfaced ruined by about 50 years of Bancroft’s horrible iron water and also had an incipient hole in it. There’s more… It has taken four days so far to get to the stage when we can at least have a bath in the otherwise completely unfinished room but a bath feels pretty good when you have been deprived of the opportunity for a week. Surely they will be done by next weekend.

Our reno guys are very pleasant to have around and are always laughing and joking while they work. They have one flaw however. Every day they tell us that they will arrive between 7.30 and 8.00 and then turn up around 9.15. No biggie? Well, it is for me.  You see, I am not accustomed to getting up before about 8.15 and the crack of dawn is something I rarely hear. In fact I have never heard the dawn crack. Who decided that dawn cracked? The dawn glimmers and starts to resound with twittering birds, in my experience.

Have you been over-Titanicked this last week?  We have, although last Saturday TV ran the 1958 Titanic movie “A Night to Remember” which is far, far better than the overblown James Cameron movie of a few years ago. It always annoyed me that they included that silly love story in the latter film. The story is quite strong enough without the addition of fictional characters swooning and mooning to Celine Dion (never liked her).  I wonder if there will be anything left of the ship in another hundred years. (There certainly won’t be anything of us, will there?) Probably not, from what I have read or seen in documentaries. I hope the scientists will leave the poor old thing alone now and let her disintegrate in peace. And before I too let the topic rest, I must report the astounding fact I read in the paper the other day. A very large number of teenagers were amazed to discover that the sinking of the Titanic was a real event. How about the Holocaust, kids? Or did they just make that up for TV or the movies? If indeed they have heard of it at all.

Segue – seems to me that there must be some very confused people out there. If the Titanic story is fiction to them, what else is fiction? How do they determine what is and what isn’t? Are extreme, violent computer games real to them? Probably not. What about violent shoot ‘em up movies? No. So what about a cop show like Law and Order? That seems to me to straddle the issue. Such situations as they portray do exist but they are presented as fiction. But are they? I have recognised real cases on L&O SVU which they claim to “have no connection with anyone living or dead”. The Paul Bernardo case was fictionalised only slightly and served up on L & O. Imagine how the parents of the kids those monsters killed must have felt if they had just happened to be watching that show after a nice supper. Although of course, given what they have been through, perhaps they wouldn’t subject themselves to programming of that sort anyway. Hope not.

Sean and Drew, our renovators, are both “alternative” guys. Between them they have seven kids and all of them are being home-schooled. They live without TV and in Sean’s case they all play music and paint. I haven’t asked them if they are organic vegetarians but I’m prepared to place a bet on it.

Our stutter-stop spring has produced a really nice warm day today and I felt the urge to get outside and do something useful in the yard. I chose to remove last season’s dead leaves from the flowerbeds at the front of the house so I commandeered the leaf-blower machine that Joe picked up at auction some time ago (and did not subsequently sell in the yard sale last summer!) I had never used it before, and in spite of its name, I kind of expected it to suck the leaves up rather than blow them all over the place which is of course what happened. Add to that the fact that there is a strong wind out there and… oh well, you can imagine.

Thoroughly discouraged, I decided to return to this blog post.

A strange thing is going on – my typing is getting worse and worse these days. Is this an effect of getting older, do you think? Or perhaps I am just getting sloppy. I do find that typing on my laptop is a lot better than on the desktop though. My DT is getting old and clunky and is sometimes ridiculously slow so I am seriously considering transferring all my work stuff to the laptop and retiring the old lady. I do have one concern though and that is that my first laptop just died all of a sudden at the age of only two. Working one minute – dead, dead as a dodo the next. The power unit had failed completely. Are LTs generally less reliable than DTs? Anyone care to advise?

A couple of months ago I would have asked our good old Boxtalk friend, Malcolm, about this but sadly he surprised us all and died. (Boxtalk is the list I belong to on the internet, for those who are not familiar.) Malcolm was an all-round kind, good man and we all miss him. Famously he often wore a shirt that stated No, I will not fix your computer! but he always did. I remember having lunch with Malcolm one day and noticed that he was earing his shirt inside out. When I eventually mentioned this he simply shrugged and told me that was how it came out of the dryer. Didn’t phase him a bit.

Joe and I are looking forward to a birthday (mine) trip to Toronto in May. Joe always sets up something special for my birthday and this time it’s a culture event – although I have been told that St. Lawrence Market and a good Hungarian restaurant are on the agenda. I hope that we might make it to the ROM and the main event is a pair of tickets to the stage production of War Horse. I am looking forward to it immensely.

Meanwhile, I will finish this off with a wonderful photo of guess who? Deklin – Supergrandkid!







  1. Gorgeous photo of the grandlad! Good to see him in a saddle, just needs a horse now!

    Yep, we’ve been titanically Titanicced (?) over here too. I caught the end of one doco, I think it was with James Cameron, and apparently, there is an agreement to leave the wreck alone but then they saw that the plaque he left last time was missing so someone isn’t in on that agreement!

    I saw that old movie years and years ago, its black and white isn’t it? I just remember the orchestra playing.

    We are having a lovely warm and mostly dry autumn after a crap summer. Have a lovely birthday next month. Lots of love from Sarah

  2. Enjoyed your blog and photo . Grandkids are great . Mine just went back to Spain
    yesterday after a week here . I,m missing them already.
    I had my first date with a boy at A Night to Remember! His name was Freddie and he was smaller than me. I wonder where he is now and if he,s grown!
    Love Pam

  3. Reno “alternative” guys with seven kids between them – a biological improbabilty, I say!

    As for laptops, I’ll answer your question in two years as I just got mine. Super fast with 6 Gb of RAM.

    Keep blogging, Val.

  4. Most beautiful boy.
    I could just stare at the picture of him all day. He is perfect I would say.

    • He looks angelic of course but there are signs of the other side too! “NO!” seems to be getting a lot of use these days but then it’s still the Terrible Twos. I really do wish I was nearer so that I could see more of him.

      Giggle: When Angela told him she had a baby in her tummy, Deklin thought for a moment and then came out with “Don’t worry, Mummy, it’s only broccoli!”

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