Tag Archives: London

Sharing My World 32

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My gorgeous Tiger Lilies which continue to grow and bloom year after year despite this summers bone dry heat and my constant sad neglect.

Share Your World – 2015 Week #28

But first….(because I have also sadly neglected to share my world for several weeks…)

Questions from week 26
In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

The only car accident I ever was in happened when someone else was driving, so I don’t like the feeling of having no control in a vehicle.  But when I’m driving I also don’t like to have my attention divided by conversation and radio noise and signs and scenery, especially if I’m not familiar with my route.  Although in that case I suppose the signs might be useful.  Lately I seem to never know exactly where I’m going.  My plans could change en route.  There’s a reason why old people should just bow out gracefully and let someone else take the wheel.  As long as it’s not by someone else who is just as old and confused.  And before you leave it might be a good idea to write down where you’re headed just in case.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

I would go!  I’ve never been to a live opera performance.  I think it would be amazing.

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE: does not necessarily have to be a sentence.)

We make our own heaven or hell.  I would also like to add “right here on earth” but that’s too many words. So just think it in your head.

Which would you prefer: a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

No wild swinging turbulence for me thanks.  My heart can’t take it.  I would opt for contented and secure.  Yes, I am exactly that boring.

Questions from week 27

What is your favorite month of the year?

There are things I like and dislike about all of them.  The dislike mostly has to do with taxes and insurance premiums coming due and nasty bad weather.  The good things are birthdays and anniversaries and holidays and pleasantly good weather.  January is generally a pain in the ass.  I can’t think of anything bad to say about September.

Do you drink coffee at all?

Yes I do.  Every day.  This summer I am probably going to single-handedly wear out my Tasimo coffee maker.  In which case I will invest in a Keurig.  I hear they’re better.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I worked as a waitress at a beach café.  Everyone should work as wait staff at least once in their lives.  This would make for more polite patrons and much more generous tipping.

List:  If you play video/computer games list 5 games you like.

Hay Day, Candy Crush, Words With Friends, Unblock Me and Spider Solitaire.  Wow.  Clearly I have no life.

Questions from week 28

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

This is probably where you’re supposed to say chocolate and not something weird like dill pickles.  Yesterday I ate tuna salad with tortilla chips.  I really don’t have a favorite.  It depends on the month and the weather.  This month there’s a lot less frozen fudge bars in the universe thanks to me.

If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick? (except food or beverage)

Good gawd, an entire weekend?  My first thought was to pick a furniture store with beds in it.  However, I reconsidered and came up with Michael’s where I would create many works of art and leave them lying around with price tags on them.

What was the largest city you have been to?  What is the one thing you remember most?

After googling a list of the worlds largest cities I decided to choose London mostly because I have never been anywhere else on the list.  I thought Athens was really big, but apparently geography is not one of my life skills.  What I remember most about London is travelling around on the top deck of a tourist-y red bus snapping photos like a mad woman.  I saw it all through a camera lens!  The Tower of London, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben – how in the world do you pick just one out of all those amazing things?  I remember being there with my sister.  That was the best part.

Finish this sentence:  It has recently come to my attention that ….

…..there are already almost 800 words in this post.  It’s time to do something else.  But before I shut up, I would like to tell you how wonderful the weather is today!  It is cloudy and overcast and the hot blazing sun is nowhere to be seen.  This is such a relief after the crazy heat wave and smoky air from all the wildfires in our province.  There was a lovely thunder-storm last night complete with pouring rain.  So it’s official, July 13th is my favourite weather day of the year so far.  My grass still looks dead, but now at least it is dead and wet and not looking so much like it might suddenly burst into flames. 

Hope you’re having an amazing start to an unbelievable week in this incredibly marvelous month!

Whew.  Might also be time to cut back on the coffee and sugary snacks for a bit.

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Grandma’s Brothers/Letters Home

My Grandma Scott lost all of her younger brothers, (Jake, Herb, Carl, Walter, Iden and Jack), from the youngest to the oldest, one by one.  (My dad made a kind of not so funny joke about it once, that they passed on in order of importance, leaving grandma – the most important of them all – to be the last one standing).  Jake died as a young boy from illness or accident and Herb did not return from the war.   I don’t remember much about the other four,  since they seemed to belong to a generation so far removed from my own.  In amongst my latest ‘treasures’ are two letters from two of these brothers who served in the first world war.


The one on the left is from Iden, also on the left in the picture above (with Jack and Walter?)  who returned to Canada and his family and lived a long life.  The one on the right is from Herb, who never came home.

Willey Camp, June 2, 1918. 

Dear Sister – Well it is some time since I wrote to you so I will try and give you a bit of our doings here.  You will have to excuse me writing with a lead pencil but there is no pen or ink in this writing room and of course I would never think of buying them.  Often wished I had a fountain pen but that is out of my reach too.  It takes a regular financier to make ends meet from one day till another here.  I spend it all on eats.  We get very fair grub considering where we are, but of course there is nothing like having a few extra cookies or a piece of what they call pie (a lot of crust with a wee bit of jam or something of the sort on it).  The cookies are a lot like the wheat meal cookies that mother often makes only not half so good.  But we are glad to get something to chew at if for nothing more than to pass the time.  Say, I have been chumming with Willie Dobson quite a bit.  But he went to France last night.  He is a fine fellow.  Took quite an active interest in the church work that goes on here.  He also attended the college that they have here where they take up all kinds of work, all kinds of languages, and even agriculture.  I was sorry to see him go, as he was a fine fellow to chum with.  I had a letter from Jack Clazie a few days ago and also from Art Parr.  I guess you will know more about how the war is going than we do, as the English papers are not so full of it as ours are. 

Well, this is Sunday again and you don’t know how much I wish I were going to church with you today.  If the Saints back there only realized the privileges that they have they would not miss many meetings, I’ll tell you.  I know I did not go as I should have, but I now see my mistake.  If only I could have realized it, how much better it would have been.  As it is, I go by myself and study a lesson from both Quarterlies and by the way I never got any new ones, either, but I do the best I can.  I have just attended the Bible Class that they hold in one of the Y.M.C.A.’s.  They sing quite a few of the hymns that are in our hymnal and oh, how it makes me think of home.  Well, how is everything going back there?  I guess Margaret is getting to be quite a little girl now.  Say, do you know I have not had any good mail from back home for about two weeks except a couple of letters from May.  I often looked for the Times but never got it, but I guess that is the luck of a soldier.  Well, I guess that unless something turns up, I shall soon have to go to France.  Very likely in a week or two.  So I hope that you will pray for me.  Tell Father and Mother not to worry.  I know it is hard and that if Pa and I could have understood each other better it would have been better for me.  But whatever you do, don’t forget church above everything and if it is the Lord’s will He can protect me here as well as there.   – Your Brother Herb.

If there was further correspondence from Herb it has since gone missing.  This letter may well have been the last one my grandma got from him.  By the creases and the folds and the faded pencil I can tell it’s been well read.  I wonder what else Herb might have thought to say if he knew his letter would be saved for a hundred years? 

…on the train somewhere, Sunday, July 28, 1918. 

Mr. & Mrs. W.J. Scott, Port Elgin Ont.  I am trying to write this as the train is going – we are still going East – are just running into a small place named St. Clet.  Am not sure where it is but believe it is in Quebec.  It has been very level country for awhile back and some fine places but early this morning it was some poor country that we passed through.  The talk at present is that we are going to sail from Montreal and that we are to get our letters off as soon as possible but no one seems to know for certain where we are going.  The kids come up to the train whenever it stops and take the cards and letters the boys have to mail.  We are being well looked after and are getting as good if not better meals than we did in London.  Had porridge, oatmeal, potatoes and scrambled eggs and bread and butter for breakfast, and coffee.  We had supper before we left London last evening and had another on the train;  then about bed time they came through with a box of oranges and we each got one.  So they are looking after us pretty good.  I am not particularly struck with the country we are going through.  The farms are narrow and long and a lot of the land is rather low.  Some of the crops are heavy and are going down and some are very light.  Say, did you send those papers?  I did not get them but was up to the orderly room to see if they came just before I left.  You ought to see the girls shake hands with us at some of the places we stopped at, and old women too, and the cheering we got.  They just now came through with a basket of Duchess apples, and they are sour and green, but I guess they are good for us.  If I get time I will send more word home before I sail.  I am feeling fine I guess.  This is all for this time, we are crossing some large river, I believe it is the St. Lawrence, very beautiful.  Good bye.  Iden.  P.S.  Just passing MacDonnell College – very fine sights, like O.A.C. at Guelph.

Iden and Herb Leeder, 1918

This is how I remember my “old” great uncles, Grandma’s brothers in the 1950’s.  Jack and Walter on the left, Iden and Carl on the right. (In the middle is her husband, my Grandpa Scott, and lurking in the background, a son-in-law, my Uncle George.)   I was five or six when this picture was taken so to me they were all quite ancient and thus relatively insignificant in my sheltered little life.  It took growing a tad ancient myself to get to know a little bit about them and to appreciate who they were.

Honey I’m Home!

I love my sister and her husband.  They put up with me for two whole weeks without hardly complaining at all.  Well not in front of me, anyway.  Got all packed up this morning and we drove back down to London and met my brother for lunch at Swiss Chalet.  We were first ones in when it opened at 11:30 a.m.  By about noon the place was packed.  On a random Tuesday morning.  What the hell is that all about? Mid week chicken craving sweeps London.

I really do hate goodbyes.  This is my brother’s last treatment week in the city and then he has different treatments scheduled in the hospital in Owen Sound, so he’ll be able drive to and from home for those without the added expense of staying overnight.  Once this is finished we’ll all be anxious to know the results.  Right now it’s an on-going battle and he’s fighting the good fight.  It’s wonderful to see him so positive.

Then it was off to the airport and another goodbye.  Last hugs are the longest.

In Winnipeg it took us over twenty minutes to get off the plane because the tunnel they were trying to connect to the plane from the terminal got a tire caught in a rut and they couldn’t get it out.  Almost had to go to another gate, but they managed finally to get it moving again.  So it was another speedy trip to make the next connection with very little waiting around.  As much as I’m happy to be home, the descent was pretty depressing.  Like heading into one gargantuan flat mud hole.  I didn’t know there were that many shades of brown.  The only green I saw was some warehouse roof and a couple of pine trees.  (And there is still some snow on our front lawn.)

But W was here to pick me up!  The weather has been too cold on the island to make it practical to go there yet.  He’d probably freeze the water pipes or something disastrous like that.  So I guess I’m stuck with him for a bit longer.  Nice to get to listen to some of the satelite radio stations before he whisks it away for the summer.

I’ve brought back lots of treasures – a few pictures, some old letters, miscelaneous books and other random bits of memorabilia which I’ll start to sort through tomorrow.  As much as the holiday was great fun, it’s nice to be home.

Ontari-ari-ario

No matter how long I’ve lived away from this province, coming back always feels like coming home.  We had one of those early early mornings again, getting to the airport before 5:30 a.m. for a 6:30 departure. I’m always amazed when the plane is full at that ungodly hour.

The new and improved Winnipeg Airport is a lovely change but finding my gate for the next leg of the flight was a bit of a challenge since they didn’t bother to fill in that little detail on my boarding pass.  That’s why they have big monstrous signs so you can figure these things out.  By the time I got to the gate they were already pre-boarding.  Beautiful sunny weather everywhere except in London where it was windy and overcast on landing, but the sun came out in the afternoon.

We met my brother and went out for a couple of drinks and a nice lunch.  He’s doing amazingly well, and looks so good for everything he’s been through.  He’s on his third week of treatments and is able to come home on the weekends.  One of our cousins who lives in the city joined us for lunch.  We all have crazy happy memories of summer visits to the farm and it was great to catch up on where our lives have taken us.  It really doesn’t seem that long ago that we were kids but when you’re talking about your grandchildren that should be your first clue that you’re the old people in the family tree now.

A frozen mango bellini and a glass of wine later it was time to go.  And here I am – all set up in my bedroom connected to the internet via my phone and getting in my daily post before I turn into a pumpkin.

I love my family.  It’s going to be a fun couple of weeks.

Blue Music

…..easy come, easy go

Little high, little low

Any way the wind blows

Doesn’t really matter to me……

(Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen)

Bohemian Rhapsody

When I’m feeling down….

It’s rare for me to feel down unless I’m sick, or crazily tired, or have run out of coffee beans. And the last thing I’d think of doing when that happens is to pump up the music. Silence and darkness and sleep (and a trip to Starbucks) will make for a cheerier tomorrow.

The world is such a noisy place, sometimes my head pounds with the racket. W. turns on the radio and I switch it off. The tv is in the basement so I rarely hear it. I haven’t downloaded any i-tunes onto my phone yet….maybe I never will. When I lose my hearing I will no doubt be the happiest deaf person alive.

It’s not that I don’t love music; I just don’t want to be bombarded by it all the time. I think Bohemian Rhapsody is the best song ever written. I love Queen and a dozen other groups and artists, but in small doses.

And then there’s the music that can make me laugh – 2nd best song ever written – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Monty Python style.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ

I’m having a better day than these guys! Woohoo!

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