Sunday, April 27, 2008


Should I be worried that I look forward to Sunday nights with Dexter?
It is a little unnerving how much I love this show.

Strike? there was a strike?

I read my first blog about a year ago. I don't remember who or what it is was about, but it obviously didn't attract too much interest as I didn't read any other blogs (besides those professional ones) until February of this year. I was drawn in. I was curious to find out why people blogged. I bookmarked and added RSS feeds almost in desperation to not lose the ones I found most interesting, inspiring. The list grew. I had to create folders for them. I would get excited when I'd check and see one was in bold, with new posts. It was like opening the mailbox and finding a letter. I would get myself a drink (coffee, what did you think?) and settle in for a good read. I continued to read my favourite UK newspapers online. The sun would come up (I work nights, remember - that was in my first posting) and I'd still be at it. Reading and immersing myself in foreign news, other cultures, other lives.

So, today I have returned from Toronto dealing with family stuff and on the news, as I was heading towards the highway, it was announced that the TTC strike was over. Drivers had been legislated back to work and the buses would start rolling out by the evening. People had suddenly materialized on the street in breathless anticpation of being the first to get back on the bus. The Spadina bus. (Shuffle Demons reference) Apparently there was a sudden walkout on Friday night at midnight. The strike that was averted last Monday was back on with no notice. Hmm, it is true that I didn't see any buses on my way either yesterday or today, but most of my trip was on the highway. Perhaps I should pay more attention to local news. I should put the radio on instead of singing along to a Carrie Underwood CD. I should pay attention to my immediate surroundings. I shouldn't spend hours a day reading on the internet (oh yes, you should, says you who blogs). But then, I comment on someone's post and they reply. I got a comment on one of my posts, and an email response to one of my comments to another blog and I felt almost giddy with excitement, embarrassingly so. And that I had found new friends who don't know me or that I was connecting to them. It's a strange and wonderful feeling.

Anyway, I don't even live in Toronto, so I shouldn't really care about a strike I didn't even know about until it was over. But it did make me feel a little lost in my immediate world. And I am glad it is over. Traffic would be hell on Monday when I have to go back. I'd need to crank up "When He Cheats" even louder to get out my frustration.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jack and Vera and their friend Clive

Yes, I named the pigeons. I needed to know who exactly to blame, and naming seemed easiest. Clive is actually rather pretty, lovely shadings of green and purple. He is a bit skittish, though. And prone to hiding behind the laundry basket, causing a bit of heart palpitations when I remove it and wake him up. The other two sit at the edge of the balcony, or on the railing and make an awful lot of noise. You might ask why I have a laundry basket left outside? You might even ask why I have laundry left outside? At great risk will I continue to get that true fresh air scent. So far, nothing has been blessed by this annoying threesome, so I continue to tempt fate.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

all the best intentions

The idea of reading someone's personal journal or blog just didn't sound like something I would want to do. Then I stumbled on and read a couple found by searching for something (about bikes, if you must know) and suddenly, I was drawn in. I spent hours reading and linking and discovering. Gradually caring about these people living in far away places. And I wanted to become a part of it all. I bought myself a new digital camera last winter and had been having fun getting back into photography (a long dormant interest). I was going to learn how to get them into this damn computer somehow (I am not very tech savvy, not at all). And once I'd started, I found all these stories and ideas flooding my mind. I spend a lot of time in the car, where a lot of creative thinking can be done. Before I knew it I had a list long enough to cover all those slow days of posting when nothing much happened. Great fillers they were. Witty. Imaginative. Some even thought-provoking. Then things changed. Without going into detail, my mother suddenly became very frail and I spent every day for at least 2 weeks driving in to make sure she at least ate. Then it got a little worse... now she is in hospital and I am still driving in every day to be with her. Her heart surgery was cancelled at the last minute as she was too frail for it. She has never been in hospital and is finally accepting (though not without a fighting spirit) that the end could be near. She is 91, afterall. Still. So, my witty stories got buried. I have not lost interest. Not at all. Just time and energy. I will be back. Today proves it. And I will learn how to get those photos from the camera to the computer. So you will have a face to look at. And maybe the view from my balcony over the lake. Or maybe even my cat.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Coronation Street on CBC

This time of year is a scheduling frustration for Corrie fans in Canada. The Stanley Cup - a 10 week marathon of hockey playoffs - pre-empts the evening showing of Coronation Street. We are left with a Sunday morning 'omnibus' (as they say in the UK) starting at 7:30 AM. That is an improvement over years past when we were left with nothing and simply got further and further behind. Now, CBC is streaming it on the internet. At your convenience - the whole week's worth and no commercials. Now, if only the computer screen were bigger. It's a little cozy gathering around the armoire.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"it's like bringing a gift to everyone of his luck"

I still get a warm glow thinking about Jose Lima who manages a butcher shop in Toronto who won $14.45million in the 6/49 lottery last month. He vowed that if he ever won, he would give back to his community. Hundreds of his loyal customers (and a few new customers!) lined up for hours on Thursday to congratulate him and accept a free 10lb bag of chicken legs. His 50 employees each received $5,000. He plans to keep on working, but to slow down to 4 days a week for 3 or 4 hours a day instead of his usual 7 days a week. An emotional and generous man.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

spring has sprung

I haven't had much time to write anything lately. Hasn't stopped me from thinking however. At the moment I'm thinking up ways of permanently ridding my balcony of these noisy, poopy pigeons. What a mess they have created. This is the first year they've been attracted to my balcony to the extent that it will seriously curtail my enjoyment of my afternoon sitting and watching of the new buildings being erected to block my view. It has been an absolutely gorgeous spring day and I'm now home drawing a bath to soothe my aching, yet exhilerated, muscles from my first bike ride in - oh, let's just say many years and leave it at that. My new bike, bought last summer right before I got sick, is a charm to ride, but maybe I shouldn't have gone quite so far. It's the trek home again that is the killer.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I never 'got' Facebook

I was invited to be a friend on facebook, but really, the only thing I got out of it that was remotely enjoyable was playing Scrabulous. I love Scrabulous - even better than Scrabble. You can take as long as you need/want to make your move and it lets you play your 'tiles' on the board to see what works, and even adds up your score beforehand. And you can play against the computer and get hints of words to play, though sometimes that is limiting (makes me feel smarter when I can come up with something better than their suggestions!). But that 'poking' thing just never got beyond a silly annoyance for me. Maybe I'm not playful enough. But I am happy playing Scrabulous.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

this is what happens when you cannot sleep

I could spend an ever increasing amount of time reading other people's blogs and enjoying their ramblings on life, or I could be creative and in this, my new decade year, and start a new hobby. The last time I had a serious bout of insommnia, I decided to get a job working nights. Might as well make some money if I was going to be awake. Am not sure if that helped with the insommnia bit - really it has just made my sleeping even more erratic. I find myself doing usual things at unusual hours. Eating breakfast at 3 in the afternoon. Grocery shopping at 3 in the morning. Napping until noon. Worrying about sleep at 8 pm and wondering can I stay up to watch ... whatever? Or should I just read some more and drift off ...? My mind whirls with thoughts, ideas, stories. Some of it true, some of it fantasy, some of it wistful. Doesn't really matter if anyone out there reads any of this. But I would feel a little deflated if it turned out no one would rather look me up than say, watch reruns of Absolutely Fabulous (which, as it turns out I am also doing at this moment). In one hour it will be midnight and I will need to think about getting organized to go out to work. As the temperature has dropped from a high of 15C to about -9C with windchill, going back outside is not a happy prospect. More tea, perhaps?