Saturday, June 23, 2018

Costin & Marina

Costin and Marina arrived joyously at 9:00 last night. It was Costin’s first seaplane ride and he sat in the co-pilot’s seat. He was super stoked.
Now, about Costin...
I went to a friend’s house a few year’s back and asked to use her phone. Right beside her phone was a fish in a bowl with a huge plant growing out of the bowl. The fish swam through the beautiful roots of the plant.
That led to me getting an aquarium and I liked it so much I got a bigger one; I liked the second one so much I got a huge third one and hired a consultant to help me manage it. His name was Costi. I called him Fish Boy and we hit it off right away.
For the next three years he was a regular visitor (every second week) to my home and over the course of a zillion conversations I came to feel incredible affection for him—and his wife, Marina. I see unbelievably welcome affection for me in both of them. 
I’m delighted and astounded by how remarkably well we “click;” they are in their mid-thirties. But I think they may be “old souls.” We thrive together.
They brought me presents: A pasta maker and a sachet of lavender. And they brought “000” Italian flower so that tonight Costin will cook using the new pasta maker.
It’s a beautiful sunny day so we’ll go to the Farmers’ Market together and afterwards we’ll have a quick visit to Sandwell beach while the tide is low. Then we’ll go for lunch at the Surf, then Drumbeg park and home for happy hour, a spa and dinner.
I’ve said “yes” to being a house manager for a venue at the August music and theatre festival here, and now I’ve also volunteered to do some fundraising for the festival too—a raffle. And I’m considering billeting some performers.
I have to back to the ophthalmologist on July 5thand I can’t drive so just as happened yesterday, I get a TAPP form from my GP here that allows me to go back and forth—with my car and an escort—for free. What a great medical system we have!

Friday, June 22, 2018


I was up at 4:30 am to water the gardens and exhaust Sheba before Patsy picked me up to take me to the eye clinic in Nanaimo. Sheba had to spend her first extended time left alone.
Seeing Dr. Goad was, in a word, efficient. I have a cataract and so the lens in my right eye will be replaced in a simple operation. I asked for a tranquilizer because I’ll be awake. I see the surgeon July 5th but the operation is likely to be a long way off. In the meantime, I can only read if I shut one eye.
Imagine needing surgery and being afraid of it. A friend from way back in my life whom I admired and with whom I shared a love of sailing was in that situation. He shared his anxiety about of surgical repercussions with his friends. Then, as a result of his surgery, he died; he had a massive heart attack.  Death—loss—is a dreadful thing to experience. To lose someone to his expressed fear is worse.
Just weeks ago another friend passed away because he chose not to have a heart transplant and I found that very hard to parse—but no more.
As this old man looks back, there are two past experiences that :
1.    Walking in France. What I did not anticipate was how wonderful I would feel to have everything I needed in my knapsack on my back. Valderee, valderah, valder ahhahaha. I never felt better and freer than I did with nothing and no responsibilities except to keep walking.
2.    Going to Africa and India. What has stayed with me and infuses my life almost every day is the memory of being the only person awake and out walking at four-to-five am each morning, filling my senses and reflecting on my life and it’s purpose while the roosters and peacocks crowed and the lions roared. People develop deep affinities for inanimate things; they have passionate allegiance to specific foods or flowers, gems or scents. I have an unaccountably strong attachment to remote locations that have an important place in the history of mankind and faith.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Eye Contact

Well I’m excited!
I got a call today from Dr. Majic’s office. I’m going to see an ophthalmologist tomorrow at noon. I’m hoping to find out why my vision has become so poor in my right eye—more important, I hope I get a prescription for glasses. Reading and working on my computer is uncomfortable.
I just found out today and the appointment’s tomorrow in Nanaimo—and I can’t drive because of the drops I’ll be getting. Patsy is driving me, bless her heart. I went into the village yesterday when I found out and got her some nice soap to thank her.
After Drumbeg this morning, Sheba and I went on a long trail walk. I really enjoyed it because I didn’t have to carry back any branches for the fence.
To Sheba's left is a patch of grass that has
grown to shoulder-height.
Some ground cover.
The trees form a majestic canopy.
We took a new trail today.
The ferns grow from between waist and
shoulder high.

And there are acres of beautiful ferns.
And tiny stars cover the ground. 
I love my corner and street sign amongst
flowers and with no curb or sidewalk.
There are glorious Daisies everywhere.
The yellow is brilliant.
More ground cover.

Drumbeg in the Morning

This is Drumbeg at 7:30 in the morning.

Yesterday I came upon two really young fawns. I melted at first sight. And when I took Sheba out for a walk in the evening, I noticed my neighbours have ducks—black very squawky ducks that add a to the rooster and wild bird chorus every day. Also last night, I saw my first local raccoon rummaging in my bird feeder and this morning Ethel gifted me with a very cute but dead mouse.
The birds are back. There’s lots of them; not the impressive flocks of Sparrows and Chickadees that visit in winter, but lots of beautiful Towhees and Juncos and, of course, Woodpeckers and Hummers.
But my most impressive experience yesterday was passing the Alpaca farm. They have a paddock that must be off limits for their animals—they also have miniature horses—because the paddock is full and thick with daisies. Daisies grow everywhere here but seeing this particular field densely full of them was an almost religious experience. “Flower bathing.”
I am Lord of the Manor, Master of my Estate. That’s how I feel with the gardens watered, lawns cut and cleared of months of forest detritus, the windows washed and the fence decoration done. There is order indoors as well so today there’s naught to do but play.
 So … Sheba and I went to Drumbeg to tucker Sheba out and to enjoy the park at a time when I knew I’d have the park all to myself. It was really lovely as film above and photos below reveal!