Monday, November 30, 2009

Mr. Toast's Winter Tea And More...

After the belated Thanksgiving and birthday celebration of some friends yesterday, I fell backward in Godot and hit the back of my head at the walk way to the front door. I now know that I can never again remove Godot's anti-tip bars. Thankfully, I only have a sore knot the size of Paris to deal with.

My apologies for the sporadic and belated blogging I've been doing; It is difficult to write or read while holding an ice bag aloft with one hand and balancing a terrified feline on one's lap. Jacob, true gent that he is, would not leave me alone post-incident. All is a bit better today, and he has returned to staking out our kitchen for signs of stray kibble.

My virtual trip to Aspen for mmm's winter tea festivities thusly delayed, I sit peeking into the wardrobe at a beautiful black and white winter coat and bright red scarf that promises warmth as well as sizzle. These will augment a matte black suit, matching flats and my favourite silver polish with silver earrings.

I look forward to meeting friends old and new tomorrow evening.

Until Then...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eight Things You'd Never Guess...

The best of this gray and overcast day to everyone!

Here are eight things you'd never have guessed:

1. This blogger is a published writer and author who is trying to get back into the thick after a hiatus.

2. I am researching how best to see Paris and London with Godot...

3. I am so sore after working out at the hospital that it has taken three days to resume normal activities. There is no injury.

4. I saw the play Gypsy on the London stage in 1973, and would love to see another play there.

5. I miss speaking and using Spanish and would love to find a proper teacher for French.

6. I watch foreign films and British TV sans telly and I'm working my way through the gritty series, Wire in the Blood, with Robson Green.

7. I've only ever published nonfiction and never fancied myself a poet.

8. I'm on the fence about trying for a doctorate...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Theme Thursday: Late:

In terms of time, I am rarely late for work, classes, appointments or other events. I think time is the greatest gift one person can give to another, but the way many of us live forces us to think of time, and by extension, lateness or earliness, as an enemy to be vanquished or controlled

We live and die by the clock, it seems, and don't give a thought to our over scheduled calendars. We're rewarded for staying late, meeting deadlines early, completing tasks on a timetable often made without our consent, and organising our priorities around the needs of others.

We can be late for a school play, a swim meet, a lecture or medical appointment, dinner or the dentist, but the sword of Damocles upon our heads will fall if we are one second late for work. Lateness in that arena is sometimes grounds for docking pay, withholding promotion or getting sacked.

Another deleterious form of lateness involves those who, rather than committing to an overburdened list of life's "to dos,"appear to have no focus or time frame for completing anything. Sometimes accused of lassitude, I am always astounded when the type-A's of the world launch into relentless goal setting, as though life were a competition, and he or she with the most done at the end wins.

I prefer to sort and weigh alternatives, almost invariably coming later to a decision than I should, and often wondering about the road not taken. This reflects upon both my concept and use of time, something an acquaintance once attributed to a childhood spent in the tropics but which I suspect has far more to do with temperament. I simply do not like feeling rushed or pressured.

Speaking of time, it is two in the morning and I am late getting to bed.

Until Next Time...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Saturday In the Park...

Not to steal lyrics from old songs by the group Chicago, but these are some photos of my recent outing to Lowry Park with Godot, including the park trail, boat ramp and some of the homes and private docks along the river's edge across from it.

The trail is fairly short, but when one does it a couple of times, it is a nice workout and an excuse to get some fresh air. I am in the second photo and yes, I call my chair Godot, after the character in the Beckett play because I waited for what seemed an interminable period for it to arrive.

Besides the park and boat ramp, there is a zoo, a bandshell for concerts, river rides and picnic facilities with playgrounds.
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Theme Thursday: Telephone

Much has been written about the telephone, that precursor to the ubiquitous cell that seems forever plastered to human ears these days.

While it would be easy to report on some obscure, yet historically compelling fact regarding the telephone, I prefer a more personal approach.

It was a telephone call from South Carolina to a local sheriff in upstate New York that first alerted my mother's parents and siblings to my earlier-than-expected arrival. They were without a phone and the sheriff made a visit to the house in which they were staying while on a summer visit to the U.S.

I was born in early August, though not due to arrive until late October.

Phones in those days were used sparingly, and long distance rates being high, one had to either have very good or very bad news before making a call. I'm not sure in which category my birth fell, as all concerned were more than a bit surprised.

Later living overseas, we had few such calls from relations or friends. Letters and cards, however, were prized. When the rare long distance call heralded the birth of my niece in 1972, I was the one to answer the phone and relate the details to my parents who were not at home at the time.

I was also fortunate to speak with one or the other of my maternal grandparents almost daily during my early and middle childhood. As they lived an hour away from my mother and I, this was generally by phone, and no long distance rates applied. We were in the same country, a mere train ride from one another. Having lived with them from infancy through age four, I rarely let an opportunity slip to talk then, a situation that I'm sorry to say, reversed itself dramatically in my teens, and thereafter.

Becoming more reserved, I grew to despise the intrusion the telephone often represented. I have never been one to believe that a ringing telephone should be answered at all costs, to the great annoyance of friends and family. Today, e-mail, which one can send from anywhere at any hour, has largely supplanted the telephone for long distance communication in my household.

That said, I have never forgotten the telephone conversation in which my mother related the unvarnished story of my conception, an episode which left me with the certain knowledge that there are things one's parents should simply keep to themselves.

Of course, the jewel in the crown of these familial missives, which also occured via telephone, left me a bit shocked. I was an undergraduate on a study break and it was Sunday, the day designated for me to call home.

As our conversation concluded, and I said "I love you, mother," she responded with, "You do realise that you were the first in our family to say that before hanging up, and now, your grandparents say it to me, I to them, and all of us to you..."

I had not realised this at all, feckless child that I was...

Until Next Time...

Monday, November 9, 2009

A House Gone Mad???

That is not, alas, a rhetorical question...

Earlier today, I found myself rolling around my very small flat wondering...

not the expected, "where have I left my keys?" which I'm prone to misplacing, or the almost-never queried, "now, I know those reading glasses were at the bedside the last I looked,"

but, "where did I leave that cup of steaming tea?" Hot tea, especially when it is the first cup of the day, is a bit hard to loose...

Peering into my closet-like kitchen, no tea...

Glancing into the front room and lingering over every flat surface, again, no tea...

Checking the bathroom mirror for traces of condensation, and the cabinet, for a stray cup, no tea.

Finding the bedroom's bedside table bare but for a single tome, I looked at the desk, and again, no tea there...

It wasn't until I spied a strange lump on the floor that clarity dawned...

A flattened and chewed tea bag, sans string, met my eye, as did a chagrined feline, who apparently, in playing with the string on the bag, had knocked the works under the bed...

His wet paws and frightened countenance aside, he is now resting comfortably...

The moral of this tale, should there be one, is this:

Never leave your tea or your cat unattended, especially in the same room.

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Theme Thursday: "Castles"

Life On The Couch

No Castles Here
Nor Knights, errant
No Spires or spikes,
Love stories, unrequited or full in the vibrancy of their thrall.

Simply a hand in mine, fingers laced, as the cat naps, his tail twitching with each breath, dreaming.

You glance at me, I meet your eyes,
holding the curve of your cheek in my mind,
a picture in companionable silence.

E, 2009