Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Thinking Aloud About Clothes

I've been re-reading this week, in fits and starts, my absolute favourite book about fashion, The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant. I love that book. I've written about it here on the blog before. About how, when I read it the first time, I felt as if I had found a kindred spirit in Linda Grant, so much so that I speculated maybe Ms. Grant awoke one morning and thought, "I think I'll write a book for Sue B." In fact, back when I was still teaching, I used to bring the book to school and read passages aloud to my lunch companions. Some of whom were even interested. Ha. 

two books. Diana Athill's A Florence Diary and Linda Grant's The Thoughtful Dresser
My non-fiction reading this week.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Spring Rite of Passage: Wardrobe Inventory

I don't know about you, but when the end of winter is in sight I regress. I become the small girl who couldn't wait patiently for the seasons to change, who longed for fall when it was summer, and for winter when it was fall. But I think the season I always longed for the most was spring. 

I longed for the snow to melt and trickle across the fields and into the ditches, so we could pretend to be engineers and build dams. For the ground to become soft enough, so we could make potholes with the heels of our boots and play marbles. For the playground to dry up enough, so we could bring out the skipping ropes. Skipping was my most favourite thing in the world for a few years, second only to Mum's seasonal unveiling of the treasures in the cedar chest.

fields, melted snow, tree and a fallen wooden fence
Snow melting in the fields back home in 2016.
Sigh. That was a yearly rite of passage. When the temperatures climbed, and we shed our winter coats, and mittens, Mum levered the top off the big old cedar chest and we dug out our spring and summer clothes. Oh, the anticipation. What would fit me this year? Which of my sisters' dresses might I finally be grown up enough to wear? Would I need a new spring coat, or a new pair of white sneakers? New white sneakers being as coveted by me as a new skipping rope. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Travels with a Ninety Year Old

You know, I've learned a lesson this past week, folks, while I've been home with my mum. If you want great service everywhere you go, and for everyone you meet to smile at you and try to be helpful. If you want traffic to stop in all four directions when you attempt to cross a parking lot. If you want people to listen attentively, and laugh at your jokes, and give you a big hug when you leave. Then always, always travel with a ninety year old. Preferably one with a walker, who chats with all and sundry, and doesn't mind using the odd profanity. A smattering of profanity seems to go over really well. 

green and white farmhouse in winter
                                                 The old farmhouse looks a bit lonely against that grey sky.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Tales From My Travel Journal : Ireland

I've kept a travel journal for years. I started recording our canoeing adventures back in the eighties, mostly because pictures cannot capture the essence of a trip like words can. Pictures cannot convey the misery of a sleepless night in a leaking tent, or the utter contentment of relaxing by the fire watching sparks from the flames disappear into the night sky. When Hubby and I began to travel more widely, I kept a journal for each trip. I dig these journals out every now and again, and read them out loud to Hubby. Sometimes I do this to settle an argument about some point we're trying to recall, the name of a town, or a mountain pass. Sometimes when we're in the midst of planning a trip, we become nostalgic for a previous adventure. We'll sip our wine, read and remember, laugh, and agree that travel is totally worth all the bother.

It was Hubby's idea that I share with you some small parts of our adventures as documented in my journals. I thought that was a great idea. I miss writing travels posts when we're not travelling. So if you don't mind journeying back into the past with me, I think I'll give his idea a go. And since I'm back home in New Brunswick this week, I'd thought I'd start with our 2011 trip to Ireland. Home of my O'Sullivan ancestors.

woman walking with a collie dog, field overlooking the ocean
Me and "Buddy" the dog, hiking on the Ring of Beara

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Voices in Our Head

In a recent phone call, my mum told me that when she first wakes in the morning, and is wondering if she has the desire to start her day, or the strength to get out of bed, she hears my brother's voice in her head. And he says to her, "Come on old lady. Time to get the hell up, and out of that bed." And so she does. 

I think we all hear voices in our head, don't you? The voices of special people in our lives, whose real voice we no longer hear. 

the sun just coming up, a melting river, and snow
I was up early enough to catch a shot of dawn on the river, yesterday. Me up early, a noteworthy event in our house.