Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cats and Musicals

Sunday night another season of Endeavorended with one main character shot, another resigning, another transferring and Fred Thursday alienated from his wife and brother. It felt as much as a series conclusion as a season ending so I immediately went to Google to search “season six Endeavor” and was thrilled to read that there will be one.
I hate most television but every so often something comes along that mesmerizes me. My first experiences with television as a source of delight were I Claudius and The Singing Detective. Of late, The Durrells in Corfu and Endeavor are my television passions.
Monday morning my worst nightmare happened twice: Both cats got out of the house and at one point Sheba thought it would be fun to chase Fred away from the house. I panicked but both times successfully wrangled them back into the house.
I took Jacques to the petroglyphs and he loved seeing them. He’s seem them all over the world but never in Canada. Then we had lunch and then off he flew to Vancouver. He was a fabulous guest and our dinner together Sunday night meeting wonderful other diners was something I will never forget.
I returned home from the seaplane terminal to chill and revel in solitude. I did some reading and was floored by something I read.
The March 12, 2018 edition of the New Yorker  included a review of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s autobiography, Unmasked. In it the he recounts a lot of infighting with his production partners and the author of the article, Adam Gopnik, cites a pattern of infighting in the production of Broadway musicals. Here is an amazing paragraph from the article:
“But a musical has no natural author. It has five or six or seven. The composer is the actual author of the most powerful emotional beats in the piece—we remember Richard Rodgers’ music in Carousel far better than any other element—but composes tend to be inarticulate and are often outtalked. The book writer, as he is archaically still called —elsewhere, simply, the playwright—is the most important maker; but though he provided the structure in which the songs may take place, no one recalls the structure, only the songs. the director is often powerful to the point of omnipotence, but no one except the special groups of insiders will ever think of the show as his. The lyricist, meanwhile, has a reasonable claim to being the true author of the show—the music’s emotional force takes on specific meaning only through the words it accompanies—but he often ends up the most invisible of all. Meanwhile, the choreographer believes himself to be the natural author of all the things the director is doing badly, but is also sure that the director will get the credit even if the choreographer  ixes them. Add to th eis  the truth that songs that delighted salons of backers bore audiences silly, and that the things that worked perfectly in rehearsal die a dog’s death onstage, and you have a natural abyss of authority.”
Today, early, I am off to Vancouver. I meet friends for breakfast and then spend the afternoon with my asthma team. Tomorrow: Breakfast with my friend Cathy, then Dr. Shoja and then home to Sheba, Fred and Ethel.
Last night at 8:00 it was 32° and I had to wash Sheba because she dug a hole in the yard and was covered in dirt. When I was finished I was as wet from sweat as she was from bathwater. Thursday is predicted to be 23° and I can hardly wait. There’s even a chance of showers in the following three days. I’m fine with that.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Finest Night So Far

First of all: I had a dream that my knowledgeable friend thought my script sucked. Maybe my subconscious is a more adept editor that my conscious self. This could be an omen; I’m prepared and unflustered. 
Secondly: I woke up Sunday morning able to talk in my own voice and it lasted all day—and with everyone. There were tiny glitches, but it was wonderful “to be back.”
Finally: Last night was my finest night yet on Gabriola.
The day began with the community dog walk. Jacques came with Sheba and I, and he really enjoyed the walk, seeing the various microclimates along the way and talking with the other dog owners—all of whom were taken with his job (international travel guide).
Afterwards, we dropped off Sheba at the house and went for lunch and then after lunch we went to Drumbeg. He absolutely loved Drumbeg. Then we came home to spa together for a lovely long time with drinks in hand. Heaven.
At 7:00 we ate on the deck at Surf Lodge on one of the nicest nights of the year. We were at the front of the balcony looking out on a very calm warm ocean with kayakers, seals, eagles and ferries to entertain us.
Every single table was full. Amanda was our server. I told her I was gay so that I could tell her how stunningly beautiful she was (inside and out). Then we discovered we are neighbours and she is a double dog owner.
Dinner took forever and that allowed us to meet the people at the table beside us: A handsome, wonderfully friendly and fit Swissair pilot, his lovely wife and two handsome young sons—the father and both boys, all avid kite surfers. Jacques has a friend who lives in a tiny town in Switzerland and it happened to be the pilot’s birthplace, so we got off to a roaring start.
Later, when a trio of seals came by and looked like a whale, I ran down onto the lawn to get a better look and met a recent PhD graduate and his wife who live in Cornwall, equally as vivacious and open as the Swiss family. I stayed with them for fifteen minutes and they, like Amanda, seemed as happy to meet me as I was happy to meet them. I was just zinging last night.
Everybody at that restaurant was high—high on the beauty of the a hot summer night, the gorgeous red sunset, the absence of bugs and the abundance of good company. And everyone, from Amanda to each fellow restaurant patron that we met credited our exquisite happiness to the magnificence of Gabriola.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Missed Flight

It was wonderful seeing Kelly Saturday morning; she’s a good and long-time friend and relentlessly positive. She was fine with Dingo. We went to the market and then had lunch. Then I rushed home to walk Sheba before heading off to Sylva Bay to meet Jacques’ sea plane. He wasn’t on it.
I seriously fucked up. I thought I’d received a confirmation for Jacques on the 2:00 pm flight but what I got was a confirmation of his being on the waiting list. 
Here is the message I received from the airline, word for word: 
Okay, I’ve added Jacques as the actual passenger… will this be on your FF account? Or will Jacques be paying with his own gold coins?” 
I don’t feel quite so stupid now that I have re-read this; I can easily see why I thought he was confirmed on the flight. He turned up at the terminal only to discover he couldn’t get on the plane. I found out at this end when I arrived at the terminal here to pick him up. I felt sick with guilt and regret.
When I got home: Of course! The cats had knocked the receiver off the phone so there was no message from Jacques. But I didn’t have to wait too long. He called and got a flight to Nanaimo and then the ferry arriving here at 5:30 instead of 2:30. All in all, a pretty good recovery!
As soon as he leaves, Dingo goes to Vancouver for two days. Then I come home to finish the cat palace and, hopefully, securing sufficient items for the raffle prizes.