Friday, 30 April 2010


It's (almost) the weekend, and Kevin, Whisky and I are taking the kayaks down south later on today.
Smoke us a kipper.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Gay Gordons

Gordon Brown finds himself in the doggie doos as a result of not turning his mic off when he got into his car. He referred to a woman as 'that bigoted woman'. God knows what she said, but he has been and apologised personally.
Still, the British people should count themselves lucky that this week they have a Prime Minister who not only recognises bigotry, but finds it unacceptable. This probably won't be the case next week if the Tories take power. Their party's name is a by-word for bigotry and hypocrisy.

In Vancouver, the 'Little Flower Academy' Catholic girls' school has 'sent home' a teacher for being lesbian.
The Supreme Court of Canada protects the LGBTQ community from discrimination so they certainly couldn't sack her, but her contract will not be renewed when it ends in June. Since they have acknowledged that she's a good teacher, that certainly sounds like discrimination to me.
It's interesting to note, that her sexuality only became known when she asked the employer for parental leave since her partner is having a baby. The next thing we know is that the parents are complaining, you know, the usual thing, if people find out about homosexuality, they'll all want to do it and the next thing you know, the human race has died out. Oh, hang on, didn't this same-sex couple want parental leave because they are expecting a baby?
I know which part of the human race I'd like to die out, sadly they have some kind of objection to contraception.
But the upside of this story is that the comments are mainly sympathetic to the teacher and the majority of those who have read it have said they agree with those comments and disagree with the homophobic ones.
That is quite heartening.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Happy Birthday Kevin

Happy Birthday my love. And thanks Alex and Seth for an amazing meal.

Monday, 26 April 2010


Seems like the Canucks have won their round - or whatever you call it. So, no more 'Louououou' for a while. This seems to have been in spite of some sports commentator saying publicly how it would be nice to see the LA Kings (whom the Canucks have been playing) win the Stanley Cup.

I have to say something about the new Doctor Who. I mean, they, the Doctor and the new assistant, seem fine. But fine doesn't cut the mustard. David Tenant, Catherine Tate and Russell T Davis were a phenomenon. This was new, it was ground-breaking, it was inspired. Perhaps it's too early to tell, but so far, it just seems, well, fine.

I had one of those e-mails you get that starts with, 'You'll only understand this if you're over 40' and then goes on to enumerate the ridiculousness of modern practices. You know the sort of thing,

"My Mum used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mum used to defrost hamburger (meat) on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting e..coli...."

Ok, well firstly, the reason we know about e coli and food poisoning in general is because many, many people did get sick from those things, and the other things the e-mail went on about at length. It seems people didn't get traumatised and suffer emotionally, but in fact, small children were abused by adults and no-one talked about it, women not only WERE paid less than men for the same job, but it was allowed by law. The idea that the U.S. might ever have a black president would have been laughed at. No-one could live openly in same-sex relationships.

People not much older than me had polio, and were crippled or had to spend time in an iron lung.
People drove inefficient cars and didn't recycle, we ran the tap whilst we cleaned our teeth. We burnt coal and pumped chemicals into our streams - ok, well I guess we still do that.

There are definitely things that were better when we were younger, for example, um, for example, er...well, those third of a pint bottles of milk we had at school and...well, our parents were alive, but mostly, I wouldn't want to go back. Except, I wouldn't mind not having things in general droop.
Ah well.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Thin Veil

After church, there was a talk and power point presentation on environmental stewardship. The woman giving the talk has received an award at UBC for her contribution to environmental sustainability. I like the whole 'team talk' thing, it gets your enthusiasm and juices flowing again for the cause, but as ever, only the already converted were there. She started by reaching into the two waste paper bins in the room and the first three items she pulled out of each were recyclable.
She introduced the concept of 'exquisite sufficiency' when talking about consumption reduction.
In spite of being one of the converted, I noticed that of the examples of households that she looked at, the one which most closely resembled my own, was still generating 3.5 tonnes of CO2 per person per annum, whereas the level needed for sustainability is 1.2 tonnes.
I intend to up my game.

Before 'after church', Margaret talked about the places where the veil between the two worlds is thin. I feel that at the moment, that my friend's life hangs in the balance and the veil is thinning around her. I don't want her to go, I so desperately don't want her to go, but maybe it's her time. I have learnt a great deal from the few years I've known her, and I will carry her baton with pride and fervour.
But mostly, I want her to go on carrying it for a while longer.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Hospitals and Hockey

Friday. Went to visit my friend in the hozzie after work. She hardly knew. The hozzie is right down the street from Swiss Chalet, my fave chicken. But then I also had to go to L.A. chicken, because that's Kevin's fave. Waiting for the order, I opened the Richmond News and there was Alex's column, pride, buzz.

The Canucks are in the playoffs. Wishing Sleepy were here.

Stupidity. Why do we allow the krazy kristians to stop the sensible people doing stuff?
In Ontario, the scientists and the people who know, updated the sex education curriculum, they thought this would be a good idea.

Doesn't seem too revolutionary,
"Grade 1 children were to be taught to identify genitalia — among other body parts — using the correct word, such as penis, vagina and testicle.

In Grade 5, children were to be taught to identify parts of the reproductive system and describe how the body changes during puberty.

In Grade 7, the plan was to teach kids how to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV."

But the Church of the Poisoned Mind decided otherwise, I mean, far better to let kids learn about sex from TV. Not.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Our boy Seth is the kind of man that many other men would like to be. He is tall, athletic and ridiculously good-looking (to quote the looks guru Derek Zoolander). Now, were you an advertising person, you might like to pose the Seth-lar, say, cutting wood, to enhance the old standard of masculinity. Maybe he'd be tanned from a few days' outdoor work.
This afternoon, this is the scene you might have come upon at Seth's place of work.
Enter a posse of drossie. Male dross that is.

'That's some job you've got there,' calls out one,
'Tell me about it,' says the Seth, continuing with his task,
'Good thing you're still at school,' says twonk-face,
'I'm not,' says our man, still working,
'Perhaps you'd better go back,' sniggers the chucklehead, soon joined by his co-morons.

When he told me about this, I pointed out that the bloke didn't actually mean school, he meant university.

Not that the likes of these can read, but let's imagine they could and that they drifted onto the blog. Make a sentence out of these words gentlemen,

'pigshit; fucking; thick as'.

Of course you can't do it! It's a trick! You can't make a sentence without a verb, and in the absence of an auxiliary, 'fucking' is clearly being used as a gerundive.
See what I did there?
Out-pillocked them.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Volcanic Eruptions

You couldn't make this stuff up. My ex-husband, the kids' father, came over to take Laurence on a trip to the States. They came back late Wednesday and he was due to depart very early Friday morning. And the rest I don't need to tell. He is of course, now stranded here for at least a week, due to the Icelandic volcano.

Kev and I went down to the States for the weekend. We vegged out and watched some films that Kev had put on his laptop, and local TV. 'Hurt Locker' was a great film. Not so long ago, we watched 'Inglorious Basterds', and that was brilliant too. The local TV in Washington State however, seemed to consist of wall-to-wall old films, and....David Attenborough's 'Life'. Only it seemed to no longer belong to David Attenborough, but rather had been voice-overed by Oprah Winfrey. Now god knows that I am all for the woman's voice on TV and film, but seriously, instead of DAVID ATTENBOROUGH????? Fortunately, Canadians can deal with the English accent and the original is shown on our TV.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Usual stuff. We pre-empted the inevitable snake questions. Mattered not.

'Any snakes here?'
'Where are they?'
'Oh, pretty much everywhere,'
'Any poisonous ones?'
'Any dangerous ones?'
'Any rattlesnakes?'
'Nope, not in this part of BC,'
'Just gardener snakes then,'
'Garter snakes, yep, just them,'
'So, gardener snakes, right, the worst they can do is choke you,'
'Only if you try to eat one,'
'What? You can eat gardener snakes?'

There is the most SUPERB article by Gary Younge on the Graun's webbie, 'Republicans are like frat boys in "Animal House".

"The Republican party, in particular, and American conservatism in general, have taken to operating in a similar manner to the Delta fraternity – increasingly reckless, anarchic and strident. Faced with defeat they respond with desperation. "

Monday, 12 April 2010


Kev has been bloody horribly ill all weekend. He has a bug that has been doing the tour of his office. Nonetheless, he has fitted a new hard drive in my laptop, and recovered my documents and various other vital stuff from the old one. Normal service will be restored forthwith.
Yay verily, the computer god at the Schloss is male. His name is Kev.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Blankety Blank

This morning I dropped my laptop from a decent height. I killed it. I hadn't even read my e-mail. Kevin is working on the resurrection. Watch this space is all I can say.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Downright Evil

On the one hand, sportsperson Tiger Woods - are we fed up with that waste of space yet? Gets more coverage than theatre makeup.
On the other, Martina Navratilova courageously sharing news of her illness so that other women will think about getting screening, gets less, not none, but by no means wall-to-wall.

And how much news coverage has vile blot on humanity Eugene Terreblanche had? Yet now that he has been brutally murdered in his bed, it doesn't sit right somehow, as though we should expect better of those he himself brutalised and persecuted.
But why?
Would it have been better had he been legally put to death? Not really, we all get marred by that. And no-one could argue it wasn't justified.
The suffragettes in Britain had to resort to minor acts of terrorism in order to even get their case heard.
And what of the rest of us? What have we done to combat the likes of Eugene Terreblanche? Did our refusal to buy South African goods and our righteous indignation really help to rid the country of Apartheid?
Well maybe it did.
I'd wager that if right-minded people hadn't performed whatever small piece of resistance they could, then apathy would have kept Apartheid in place.

In more uplifting news, Alex now writes a column for the Richmond News. Her first one appeared today. She is fearful that it lacks value, but I have told her that she must trust her editor, trust her contact journalist, just trust their judgement.
Oh, and mine, of course.

In my absence, Gordon has called an election. I now have to register to vote. Home thoughts from abroad. Even with me Gordon may not prevail, but without me, he is doomed.
I hope he realises that.

Monday, 5 April 2010


Jill Spratt, for thus she must surely have been named, could, we are told, eat no lean. Not very likely one feels, however, I feel some empathy. I cannot, well, probably could, but certainly do not like to, cook, so when we have a big family meal, I am happy to clear up afterwards. Kev cooks, I clear. Friends and family mostly understand that I like the clearing away, the pottering, this time they did at least let me do it, but the next step has to be that they need to leave me to do it. One of the great advantages of being the cleaner-upper is the tranquillity. The implied tranquillity. The THEORETICAL tranquillity.
I need a scullery.

Easter Sunday was long. It started at 5.15. I had to drive to YVR for 6.00, Lars and his dad were leaving for Dallas. Then straight down to Garry Point for the daybreak Easter service. It feels so esoteric, because it's a shared service and a small group of differing denominations gather just before dawn by the water, dark figures converging. We celebrate Easter as the sun rises, this time, the sun and two great blue herons, rising from the water, so close.

Today I started back at the Nature Park. Little had changed, except that I had long since been blocked from the City's e-mail server, so there was a mess of stuff to plough through.
The hummingbirds were in place, but there were no frogs, no snakes, no bees. And no coffee.
It seems as though the place atrophies in our absence.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Maria Desolata. Not really desolata enough, but then, that's women for you, deep, disconsolate pain, but, stiff upper lip. When we weep, we feel embarrassed about it, we feel weak, but it's not our weakness, it's our strength, this ability to feel deeply and to weep.

Good Friday was not so good, the weather was very bad-tempered, gale-force winds, icy cold and torrential rain. Apart from that it was fine. Or maybe meh, yep, it was more meh really.

Alex and Laurence's dad has arrived to take Laurence off on a trip to Dallas and New York, yes, the ultimate British tourists.

We are watching Eve Ensler giving the Vagina Monologues, in some odd way, appropriate after the Holy Saturday vigil.