Friday, April 12, 2024


Thursday was great, and it wasn’t at the same time. I loved seeing Leslie, but I also had a lot of painful shaking when we were together, and when I got home, I was useless. I went to bed, and when I got up, I was a living zombie. The trip exhausted all my resources; I went to bed early and slept soundly.

But Les and I resolved to meet in Chemainus again to have lunch and spend an afternoon exploring a very, very cute little town. On the way to meet her, I went into the big grocery store in Nanaimo and got some cheap Lupins, Columbine and Bleeding Hearts for my garden, plus Les gave me a beautiful and very fragrant Rose.

This morning has begun with a bit of residual zombieism, but it’s a fitness day and so I spent the morning pondering whether to go. I decided not to and instead to walk with Her Highness and then stay close to home and the fire. I was still recovering from yesterday.

The shaking I experience is a killer. After just five minutes of it, I am vey uncomfortable. I really don’t like this new symptom. I wonder if it will get worse or go away. I’m a bit worried about the concert on Sunday. If I start shaking, I will likely leave because it has a lingering effect. It thoroughly depletes my energy. So today will be an easy day, a slow day of reading and relaxing.

It's still cool, but it’s predicted to clear today, and our weekend is supposed to be bright, sunny and lovely and warm. I’m thrilled that we may have temperatures getting close to 20°. I’ll get my planting done and I’ll do more tidying of the yard. But today: rest!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

To Chemainus

Wednesday was lovely and bright, and it was warm in the afternoon, but just like so many of my days, yesterday I did nothing that was worthy of reporting. I read, I puttered, we walked, we ate and we went to bed early. 

The only interesting thing that happened was that I heard from Leslie. She wrote to say that she waws in Duncan, on the big island, and that she wanted to make contact with me because she has a rose bush for me, so I called her on FaceTime and I was able to catch her. As a result of that call, I’m heading off to Chemainus this morning to meet her.

But that’s not the interesting thing; what really captured my heart and mind was seeing her dad. It’s his 100th birthday today. At 2:30, the Canadian Air Force is doing a fly-over in his honour, and the Legion has organized a grand fete at which he’ll be given letters from the Prime Minister and Governor General. What thrilled me, was Don’s energy and joy.

When he heard my voice on Leslie’s phone, he called out to me, and he said such warm, wonderful and moving things to me. I believe he loves me because I love his daughter and I have been her devoted friend since 1974.

Don joined the armed forces as a very young lad. He lied about his age when he enlisted, and he went directly into training to be a pilot. During the war, he was shot down over the North Sea, and he was taken prisoner by the Germans.  He. Has stories that captivate and that shock. He’s an amazing guy whom I greatly admire. And one hundred years old!!!

In a short while, Her Highness and I will leave for the big island and a drive down to Chemainus. ON the way home, I’ll pass by some nurseries, so….

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


We walked twice and I got lots of garden work done. It was a glorious day in the afternoon, the morning being too cool for me. I like to be warm when I am recreationally working around Pinecone Park. 

I planted two Clematis to grow up the fence of the edible garden. That meant not just digging holes and planting them with bone meal and compost, it also means putting up wire mesh cages for them to protect them from deer, and that’s a lot of slow work. I’m hopeful that they will flourish and bring colour to the part of the yard that is visible from the street.

Our afternoon walk was fabulous because it was so wonderfully warm. I was giddy playing fetch with Her Highness and happy to come home to chill and to finish with Ripley. It’s so easy to relax after a day of accomplishment in the garden, and relaxation began with a lovely long soak in the spa as soon as we got home.

I had considerable ‘trouble’ at the dentist in the morning. I had a new hygienist, so I had to warn her about seizures, and sure enough, 20-minutes into the appointment, I seized, and I had trouble getting myself back in order. I had a pretty tough time trying to get my trembling under control. I see Dr. Shoja next Tuesday; I can hardly wait to talk to her about this increasingly challenging symptom.

I have written to Bronwyn, my gardening consultant and helper whom I like very much, asking her to come back and help me again. Everything needing doing in the Fern Garden involves bending over; I can’t consider doing it. I love working with her and l can hardly wait to get together again.

When I was at the park, I ran into some regulars and some new people. This is Rollo Park. It is two large, grassed playing fields, plus one trail through a wall of natural forest buffering the homes beside the park from the noise of the park. We love this park for two reasons: there are no trees and lots of direct sunshine, and the grassy fields are where we play fetch, and her feet are on a safe surface. The pads of her feet are easily damaged.

In the evening, I finished Ripley. What a clever, clever story, and it was so, so beautiful. It is a feast for the eyes, and the leads all play their characters quietly. I think it’s a brilliant film. It’s on Netflix.

This morning has dawned clear and bright, but it’s still quite cool in the mornings. The afternoons are a delight, but the mornings make me quick to light the fire. 

I awoke feeling distant from Sheba because she’s been testing me. She’s been acting defiant when I call her, and it’s rather disappointing. There was no necking this morning, and wouldn’t you know it, she went out, then came into the house and she vomited in the living toom. Then, once that was cleaned up, she suddenly started barking angrily as she stared out the window. 

That usually means there’s someone walking on the street, or there’s a deer in the garden, but not yesterday morning. At first, I couldn’t see anything at all. Several times, she’s done this, seemingly barking at nothing, but then I saw some movement in the undergrowth of the Salal at the front of my yard. It was baby bunnies! One was white and the other a beautiful reddy-blonde, and they were quite small. Oh, how cute they were!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


Thank God for my fireplace. On days like yesterday, so dark and damp, I am so glad to have the fireplace and books to read. Thankfully, I wasn’t dreading going to fitness yesterday morning. I went and, as I always do, I felt very good about having taken up this challenge of getting into better shape. But what I love most, is getting into my car at the end of the class, knowing that I have the rest of the day to do as I please—with Fred, Ethel and Sheba.

All went well at the class except just past ½ way through, I had a seizure and I had trouble getting out of it. With great difficulty, I tried to finish and then to speak to Rhonda about me having a way to signal for help. It ain’t gunna be easy because I don’t have control of my arms and hands. I think I may take a piece of ribbon in hopes of being able to wave it if I need help. When I left the hall, I was having trouble walking and when I got to the car, it took about 2 minutes for me to be able to open the door.

We went into the village after lunch, and I read for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to go for a long afternoon walk. Then dinner. And then TV. I’m watching Ripley. I watched the first episode and didn’t feel interested in continuing. Now, 10 days later, I am engaged—particularly with the black and white format. There’s one scene that opens and Ripley is standing before an enormously long and beautiful stairway of marble steps that go almost to infinity. The light shines on the flat worn surface of the stairs, and the shadow of the vertical surface shows deep black in the shot. It’s a stunning set piece. Then Ripley walks up the stairs and his shadow moves across the zebra surface of the stairway. It’s stunningly beautiful. The whole film is beautiful.

I’m glad I’m getting the gas discount, presuming I do. I definitely qualify, and I was told of this support by an auto insurance agent. I wasn’t looking for ways to profit from my disability. I felt uncomfortable about it, but I very definitely qualify.

When I was a young man and out, at various times, men would approach me. I never once, every in my life, approached anyone. I have never felt confident enough to do so. And if a man asked me to go to his place, I would instantly become very uncomfortable. And this was unfortunate because I didn’t want to bring a stranger into my home. I did a couple of times with men I really felt safe with. 

I would fast-start our relationship, no matter how the relationship was to play out, by revealing my history with a violent sexual experience (in France). And I told them this to explain that I would need to have a drink together somewhere so that I could feel safe going to his place. And then whatever was going to happen, happened.

I was too shy about my phobia to say outright: I can only go to a person’s home if it has two unlocked exit doors, and in the same way, I have always been anxious in busses and subway vehicles because I cannot ask the driver to stop because I’m afraid. I must wait to the next stop, get off, and get the next bus. It’s the same on the subway, but on the subway, I just change cars. That was me before my breakdown, now it’s a hundred times worse. And if I have a seizure, I can miss several stops and must catch a bus or train back.

That’s why I bought a car, and that’s why I qualify for this assistance program. They will refund my gas expenses for every receipt I have for the past 6.5 years. I’m passing on that. But soon, I will be saving all my receipts and using them to get a 25% refund, plus a refund on my insurance at the same rate. I am eligible for the mental health rate reduction.

There’s one reason this makes me happy: I’m going to stop bitchin’ (jokingly) about the cost of food with the clerks at Nester’s.

What’s worse: what the pope says, or the media reporting on what he says?  I want to scream SHUT UP POPE! every time another moral judgement by the pope is in the media. Oh, and STOP SHUFFLING PEDOPHILES. The Catholic Church is in no position to judge others; their integrity is long gone. He’s come out against gender affirming surgery.

It’s a stunning day. I’m going to the dentist for a cleaning and then I’ll be busy in the garden, and I may take a break to. Just chill in the sunshine. There ain’t a cloud in the sky!