Friday, October 31, 2008

The Jones's............... Click to enlarge...even more

I wish I had photographs of all the ghouls, witches and one Thomas the tank engine that just came around. This street is so quiet, that some parents just stood at the corner and waited, their babies criss crossing the street quite safely.

Well, I can add the picture later. This guy is miserable because her keeper just died. It sort of represents the end of this week, when instead of looking forward to the weekend, I am still way laid by the tail end of a cold. It is Halloween and all those sweet hobgoblins will soon be at our door. It is unseasonably warm, but again, instead of enjoying a lovely day, I've been grumping around in my coat which was too warm. I suppose being grumpy makes me happy. So, yes, understand this as all an expression of contentment.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I found a message from one of my readers who said that she couldn't wait to get to know the people I had mentioned in a long diary extract at the start of this blog.
Well Cathy is very well. Her health is as sturdy as mine is precarious. Being a manager suits her, for she has charm and friendliness and gets other people to do what they must with grace. Sometimes she is discouraged by her clients, who can be very demanding and sometimes aggressive. My last son, William, asked us tonight how long we were together before he was born. Our relationship has had its rocky times, but we have known each other since 1978.
William is keenly attending a community college, where he is learning to make jewelry. Like many last borns, he is a born salesman and tells me that he is longing to finish school and set himself up in business. When he was sixteen, he started lifting weights and has remained very strong. I weigh 250 to 260 and he loves to pick me up. A small regret for me is that none of my children has grown up to be as tall as I am. It is a great advantage in life.
My second son, Matthew has worked since he left high school. He was an arborist until yesterday, when he had to tell his American employers that they would have to lay him off as he must have an operation on increasingly painful knees. There is less work for arborists and landscapers in the winter, so the firm will be happy to take him back after the four to six months he will need for therapy and recovery. If he is disheartened, he does not show it.
My first son, David, actually has the longest work history, starting with part time jobs he had while still in high school. He also was keen to leave home as soon as possible and had a very nice apartment overlooking the city's downtown. He is the closest of any of them to an academic. He had very good grades in high school, but decided against going to university like his friends. He learns by reading and searching the Internet. His ambition is to be a financial advisor. His knowledge goes so far beyond my own that I can no longer understand what he wants so badly to talk about. Nevertheless he is, for the moment unemployed, very discouraged and back living with us. We don't really have room for him, although when we moved to this house we made sure there would be a place where he could sleep over. We have an upstairs family room, with an angle couch long enough for him to sleep on. Meanwhile he is taking exams soon to qualify himself more. I am not worried that he will not succeed eventually, but I am worried that his frustrations will make him unhappy.
So three sons and no daughters. Cathy is surrounded by men.
As for me, despite hard economic times, my job is very secure, as is Cathy's .We should be "set" until our retirement.
I am also one of three brothers and my father was one of three brothers. My older brother retired this year, quite "comfortably", but my younger brother still has ten years to go. He has his own business, the success of which rises and falls. He will have no employer's pension, but on the other hand, owns a house in the country outright.
Cathy was born on a one hundred acre farm with eleven brothers and sisters, so her life has improved considerably. On the other hand my family was quite prosperous when I was growing up and therefor I do not feel the need to be rich. I have been already, possibly at the time of life when some easiness is the most rewarding. Although my parents were unhappy, we went to good schools and had wonderful holidays.

Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.

'Sure needed it last night, when my cold was so bad. I could not stop shivering on my way home in a very warm coat. The tips of my fingers went all painful tingly until I immersed them in warm water. Although somewhat better today, I will see my doctor tomorrow. The dentist told me I had an abscess in my mouth which may be draining my immune system. Despite all this, I feel ridiculously happy and well settled.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

From this,

To this,

"The incomparable".

William and I just returned from The ROM where, despite my social consciousness, not including too much conscience telling me how indecent it was for some rulers to so much reward themselves instead of feeding their people, despite all that, I was entranced by six or seven of the works on display. I stood in front of this one, moving from side to side and up and down, looking at the refractions in the perfect thing.

William was very good company and since we had left too late to include the Pilates class I had promised myself, he insisted that we hurry up and down various flights of stairs as if he was my personal trainer. We were both very impressed by the Daniel Libeskind building and they let us into the three star restaurant on top, just so that we could admire the decor. I have always found that using my children as passports have got me into places I might otherwise be barred from, or feel too shy to ask for.
I bought him a card holder and a picture book on Buddhism for myself. We picked up his charming friend Melissa and drove home in pelting rain, preceded by an excellent bolt of lightning to the top of our local water tower.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here's a meme I found at

My uncle once: made me a bow out of the same wood the English had used for their longbows.

Never in my life: have I been further west than America's west coast, or further east than Istanbul. I would like to.

When I was five: I was truly happy, even when I cried.

High school was: mainly great. I looked forward to the holidays and, towards the end of the holidays, I looked forward to school.

I will never forget: Gerry, my first desperate love, who threw me over.

Once I met: Alec Guinness when I was too young to know who he was.

There’s this girl I know: who owes me a call, but I'll be darned if I call her first.

Once at a bar: I entertained and charmed two women for about two hours. I now see that it was because of the dangerous power of bi-polar mania.

By noon, I’m usually: up, but sometimes only just.

Last night: again I had a wonderful dream, which later I could no longer remember.

If I only had: not fought.

Next time I go to church: it will be as a favour for my more conventionally Christian wife.

What worries me most: is my children being unhappy.

What I miss most about the 1980s is: the freedom to do exactly as I pleased, having responsibility for no one except myself.

If I were a character in Shakespeare, I’d be: The fool in Lear.

A better name for me would be: Rumpelstiltskin.

I have a hard time understanding: the periodic table.

If I ever go back to school: it will be to finish what I failed at as a young man.

You know I like you if: you see my goofy smile.

You know I'm lying: when I blush.

Take my advice, never: make love to a virgin, unless your intentions are very honorable and sincere. And let me hold my grandchild later on.

My ideal breakfast is: Starbucks mild coffee with soy and their toasted ham, egg and cheese sandwich.

If you visit my hometown. Take a side trip to Niagara Falls.

Why won’t people: put their greatest effort into getting along with each other?

The world could do without: moi

My favorite blonds are: My father, Kirsten Dunst, and almost any Swedish girl in England in the sixties.

If I do anything well, it’s: not obvious. I like to fade into the crowd.

And by the way: I can retire in 745 days.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Look at these shots of London in 1903.

Although I got this from powerline, which I find makes me feel unclean when I read it, I actually find it very moving. These people, even the children are all long since dead, but here they are so alive. In 1908 they could not look back at the people of 1803 in this way. And will the people look at us in a different way long after we are dead?

Can anyone tell me how to download the actual video to my blog? Thanks Willow. I was working in the right direction, but not waiting enough.

This is fun. I copied my own blog and could not read it, but one man's fun is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that. I just wanted an excuse to use this great photograph.

At last, it is the weekend again, and my first plan is to get rid of my cold. I hereby promise to go to the Pilates class on Sunday.

I must be tearful tonight. Again I welled up hearing "La Vie En Rose", by Piaf, which David stumbled on as he utubes upstairs. I must have heard it as a child, long before I listened to it as an adult.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've been sick for a few days. My dentist told me I had an abscess in my mouth, which may have been straining my immune system. I take blood thinners, which my chiropodist tells me might make everything, including my ingrowing toe nails, more painful. In other words I am a wreck and identify with the photo of one on blog Princess's blog, here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This puts me in mind of the long four day weekend we have just given ourselves.

Dreyfus was so good as Cheney, I forgot that I was watching an actor. He has one scene where he persuades everyone where America should go. Dense and well written, I'd like to see it again. I wonder if it will show up on utube.

Every day Cathy, often accompanied by William, takes the dog, their gorgeous black lab, down to the beach. The dog leaps in and out of the water, while William and Cathy look for stones and bits of glass ground down by the little waves. Cathy also picks up little bits of coloured plastic, the use or purpose of which no one can tell. All these detrita come home with them to be made into art pieces for the house. I've only been to the beach once, but the creations in our lovely home bring me joy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday night 3.45AM. Intense Pain in jaw and upper palate,only discomfort in chest, five minutes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pro patria mori

I have been watching much on the subject of America's next president. I took me down to the Strand to visit with my dear Nellie, and all at once recalled the good doctor's wise words. Some time later, in my own chambers and with a good pipe, I wondered at their authority.

AUTHOR: Samuel Johnson (1709–84)
QUOTATION: Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
ATTRIBUTION: SAMUEL JOHNSON.—James Boswell, Life of Johnson, entry for Friday, April 7, 1775, p. 615 (1970).

“In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first.”—Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, at entry for patriotism, The Collected Writings of Ambrose Bierce, p. 323 (1946, reprinted 1973).

SUBJECTS: Patriotism

Lose weight, gain flexibility

I've just, for the first time ever, joined an exercise club. Today, with a day off work, I did a preliminary fitness assessment. I did not come out as badly as I had thought I would, but there is much room for various improvements. I said I was not interested in gaining much strength, as I seem to have enough already. I scored well below average for flexibility^,technique,endurance safety and, most importantly, core. Only my posture crept towards the median.
^ My flexibility is such that I can barely do up my shoes.
Of course they recommended that I procure a personal trainer at 72 dollars and hour and a nutritionist and carry on like Madonna or Tom Cruise, but I got out of there promising to work hard and spend as little as possible. If things go seriously wrong by next week, I can still get out of it; otherwise I'm locked in for a year and, as, aptly, one of the salesmen said, my fees are "grandfathered".
Leaving the club, which is quite new and gorgeous, I passed a new food court and, also for the first time, bought myself a bubble tea. A little odd, but delicious and surprisingly filling.
I think I am catching up on the millennium.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

I think everyone gets to be a snapdragon

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

At last the real fall is here. The temperature is set to fall to 12 tomorrow. I don't feel easy with the Indian summer. It makes me feel that the summer is hanging on, like an unwanted lover, unwilling to give way to the essence of the fall, the serious business of dying, or, at least, hibernation. But tomorrow it will be properly cold. No more cavorting on the beach within sight of the fall colours. And roll on my favourite month of the year: chilly, fresh aired, usually sunny November. Ah the sheer scorpiophonic splendour of it all.

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion,
king-dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

I used to know this by heart, but sadly had to go and look it up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tout s'use.

At last, at the risk of losing readers, I have changed my URL. I've thought about this for some time and had decided on "Tout s'use", which has become my motto, but blogspot would not accept the apostrophe. So I reverted to my rather lame second choice.

Inspired by this,

I went looking for these

Looking for them,

I found this

wonderful collection

to the ear worm of "Back in the saddle again...."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I was looking for a picture to start with. I used this as my desktop for a while. Cathy took the picture in France. We don't usually have covered walk ways in Toronto, so they have a special charm for me. We went down this one and untypically did not get lost. Now is our thanksgiving weekend. We have turkey and pumpkin pie and lots of whipped cream. I was heavier this morning and doubtless will be even heavier on Monday. I should be sick more often. It was great for losing weight. Apparently we fatties lack a doodum that tells Dick Cavett, for example, when he is full. I always knew it wasn't my fault.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Under the boardwalk
Down by the sea
With my blanket and my baby
That's where I want to be

look up toto self cleaning surfaces from Japanese Patents.

Later, at home, I manage to allow cookies just for facebook and sign up. I feel as if I've finally learned to talk at five and a half like the little boy in my favourite joke.

This baby never says a word, his parents assume he's deaf, he's not, perhaps he is autistic, the doctors don't think so. They also rule out Asperger's syndrome. Finally the parents just give up and try to ignore the problem. At five, sitting at the dinner table one evening, the boy says, "Could you pass the salt, please?". "But, but, but, why didn't you say anything before?" exclaim the distraught parents."Well, up 'til now, the service has been impeccable".

So, although they won't allow it at work, I've joined facebook. Only I can't remember why I tried to join in the first place.

I'm still a bit ill, but it was good to be back at work and my croaky voice testified that I had not been malingering. It has also been fun singing in this low smokey voice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The things I miss by not reading newspapers. All courtesy of AOL Canada.

Methinks I see a fist above the word

Feeding time

Even I can't manage a unicycle

So English. You could have a whole book of English road signs

I won!

Does it fold up?

Both occupants were saved

Actually a wax work. The second person who saw it knocked the head off. I think Anthony Hopkins for one of those epics where all the Nazis are vewy pwopper English upper class twits

If there were a God, he or she would make all babies cute so that we are less likely to neglect them

Monday, October 6, 2008

I figure that, if I post enough pictures of children, the only ambition I have left will come about.I want to hold my grand child. Home, sick today. Perhaps laryngitis. In any case I can barely talk, a great relief to my family. I miss going to work.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Is yet another cold coming my way? I've never had a job which so often made me ill.
Cathy has the day off tomorrow. I am very tempted to join her, although my co-workers implored me not to. I took JM to the fracture clinic. He has two elbows on one arm and had bruised the one created by un-aligned bones. The doc thought that realigning them would be unsuccessful and possibly fatal. What a life. His sister was raped and killed, his father shot in front of his eyes and a brother shot dead later in life. Needless to say, he is an incorrigible alcoholic, drinking up to four bottles of Listerine at a time. He is in his late forties and will not live long like this. Quite a happy day.