Monday, 31 October 2011


Quarter past six, standing in the dark, watching the film of cloud drift gently over the morning stars. The last morning of October. My routine blood tests were due this month, so that's where I was.
 And the day has turned into a spectacular one, clear skies, and wind that makes me feel part of everything and a strong need to recite,
'O wild, west wind, thou breath of Autumn's being...' and I did. Whisky was dead impressed, so were the trees and the birds. On the phone, later, Alex listened to my recitation and humoured me. Only seven hours between here and there this week, the veil is thinner than usual.

Brightest blessings for Samhain.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

At the Static

A weekend at the Static, yes, a weekend. I had Saturday off to make up for working an extra day earlier in the month. AND...a weekend when miraculously, we have internet. This hasn't happened since spring. Makes a difference. You think you want to step outside of the worldwide web, but only until you can't get back in.

I am reading a book that is very enjoyable apart from the sloppy translation that sends us back to the fifties. 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' is an amazing read, but the gendered language of French does not need to be translated so literally into the ungendered English language. Yes, I know I could probably read it in the original and be less annoyed, but I didn't want to wait three months to have a copy couriered by tortoise from France.

'Flavorwire' (sic) gives us ten U.S. sitcoms that moved women forward. Of course, they are just that, sitcoms, and there are other shows, such as Cagney and Lacey, that really did the business. There are even other sitcoms that showed women as able to think for themselves, such as 'Cybill' and that leads nus right back to Britcoms such as Ab Fab, Girl on Top and The Vicar of Dibley that did the same. There are still programs that get it almost right, Bones for example, but then when you look at this season's offerings,  sometimes women seem so peripheral to everything, you'd think we lived in a different realm, oh wait.....

And at least in the UK, that isn't going to get much better, since 'Bird's Eye View',  a festival that screens films by women, has had to be cancelled due to funding cuts.

British TV presenter, Eamonn Holmes (Irish, but works on British TV), ended an interview with a rape victim who had the presence of mind to deliberately leave evidence at the scene of the crime, the rapist's car, by saying to her, 'well I hope you take taxis now.' Yes, yet again, blame the victim Eamonn, well done, not. Sometimes you've just got to wonder how the person gets the job.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

After Dark

Monday night, Skytrain downtown. Walking to my friend's house, Vancouver after dark. City of tents outside the Art Gallery - Occupy Vancouver, the denizens high on something and righteous indignation.

Firefighters practising climbing a ladder while waiting for something to go wrong. Face it, they get called when something goes wrong, but meanwhile send the lads and lasses up high steps into the dark.

A pair of well-fed skunks amble along the pavement, snuffle in the undergrowth. They go undisturbed, people see the stripe, white against the darkness and skirt around them. Not fierce, this pair, they look fluffy and adorable, but when frightened, oh, no-one wants to go there.

Turning onto my friend's street, a dog approaches, on a lead, but with a bicycle's rear light attached to its collar, blinking red as the dog takes its owner for a walk, it too sniffing the foliage.

An ordinary evening in the city that never snores.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Colonel Who?

Who knew that Gadafi's first name wasn't 'Colonel'? Why didn't Noah Webster try to change the spelling of 'Colonel'?
Was Colonel Gadafi actually Fatima Whitbread?
I think we should be told.

When I took Whisky for his walk after I got home from work, three young men were quite openly smoking the stinkiest weed I'd ever smelt. Of course, even living in BC, my experience isn't extensive, but this did smell very strongly. That in itself doesn't warrant comment, but the fact was that each of them then got into a different car and drove off. Kevin had told me the same thing had happened yesterday. If it happens tomorrow, people will be informed.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bees, Birthday, Band

Finally the leaves.

On Saturday I went to a fundraising event for work. There was a great talk on native bees. I don't understand the passive-aggressive response of some women.
Just like when I used to play Betty Bee, many of the women whooped and clapped when the speaker described the envisceration of the male bees after mating. Alright, not really that passive. Why, in this society, will women still accept being addressed as though they don't exist, and yet they will revel in such detail? Again, when laid out like that, the two do seem to go together.

This has been a week of meetings. Just two, but every evening counts.

My sister's birthday today.

Last Friday, Ben's band played at Indig02, and reports were that it was an amazing gig. Still no video up on YouTube. Their next gig is playing for the after show party of Liam Gallagher's new band.
Rock and roll.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

All Over the Map

See if you can do this, I readily admit I was pretty poor at Geography at school, but I think this is more politics than Geography, and it still took me a while.

During the course of my researches today, I discovered this little piece of distress. If you remind women that breast cancer is a disease that predominantly affects women, then they are less likely to donate to cancer research, if you make it more gender neutral by, ooh, disassociating it from the colour pink, then they are more inclined to donate. Yes, women hate being reminded that they are women. Either that, or secretly, they really do hate pink. The men who love them are far more forgiving though.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Harvest Thanksgiving

After a cool, wet spring, and then a cool, wet early summer, followed by six weeks of endless sunshine, the trees have been late changing colour, which they finally, now, have done, or I should say, are doing. There are some coral pinks and dark reds out there, even a few golds from the Cottonwoods, but it's a fairly lazy turn this year.  

I came up from the Static on Sunday morning because I was reading in church. There were a couple of typos in mine, and God seemed to be issuing decrees, commands and statues. Now, given that a fair proportion of our congregation probably do still think of God as an elderly gentleman, the random presentation of statues would be in keeping with the ageing process. And it made me wonder - because some of the other readers would simply have read what was written on the page - whether God's mysterious ways may indeed seem more geriatric than mystical. 

The Schloss's own harvest has been sparse this year. (The picture is not representative).
We have a number of late-ripening tomatoes, both red and yellow, a massive amount of parsley, and likewise of lavender. But we live in a place and time where my own lack of success in the garden has not impacted my family's ability to obtain food, and for this I thank my Goddesses.

I know we live in a privileged society where there is no cause for anyone to starve, and yet people still do go hungry because whilst we pay lip service to all people being equal, when push comes to shove, we don't really believe it. We like to blame, somewhere deep inside, we buy into the concept of the 'undeserving poor'.
We mentally point a finger at street people, drug addicts, people with mental health issues and reassure ourselves that we are righteous, we do the right things not to be like them, and thus condemn them through our disregard.

At this time of Harvest Thanksgiving, where is our concern for humanity, where is mine? When I think about the contempt for the Earth, for the Environment, for the health and welfare of the other travellers through space and time, I realise the importance of the long, dark, teatime of the soul. Because whilst we're feeding our faces, are we starving our souls?

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Kevin says it's a raindrop on the lens, I say it's something supernatural or otherworldly. It totes wasn't the moon.

Driving to work is something I haven't had to do for a very long time. Actually, I can't remember ever having to drive to work, but there must have been a time. Mostly, I'm going in the opposite direction from the majority of the traffic, but Tuesday night I was forced to do a long stretch of the road in second because there had been an accident involving 'a police cruiser and a truck carrying cranberries'. So very specific to our area at this time of year.

Kev and Whisky are down at the Static, Kev having taken a couple of extra days off before the long weekend. Even I get this Saturday, in lieu of Monday, which is the Harvest Thanksgiving holiday.  Of course, some of the harvest was spilt on the slip road to the Queensborough bridge.
To whom do Atheists give thanks?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Waxing Moon

October. Luvvly.

Saturday after work, I drove down to the Static and thence to see Kev's folks. Cousin from Spain was there. Apparently  peanut butter is in short supply there. And why shouldn't it be? Much as I like a bit of beurre d'arachide meself, I'm sure the Spanish have more exotic things to spread on their pan.

Sunday, one glorious day of rest, swimming toute seule, since it's way too cold for anyone else to be doing lengths outdoors. Again, apparently.

Yesterday, Vancouver for a seminar followed by an evening seminar. The evening one was excellent.

I feel that Facebook is getting bossy. It e-mailed me to tell me I was missing all sorts of updates from my friends. Rookie mistake. What they should have said was, 'In the time it takes for you to read this fatuous e-mail,you could have checked out your friends' status updates.'

Yeah, well, quod non erat demonstrandum.