Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A quick note, here on this third day of November, sunny and bright and cold! to say that I'll be talking and cooking in London Ontario this weekend. There's a writers' conference and a lot of events and workshops, all to benefit Wellspring, the remarkable and helpful cancer support organization. Here's the link to the website about all the events: . I hope that if you're in the area you can make it.

I'm feeling a little out of rhythm, for this morning I took Silky- a beautiful ten year old tabby we have as a housemate for the year while her family is in NYC -to the vet for a check-up. She has a longstanding large fleshy lump under her jaw, which doesn't seem to bother her at all. A friend was over for supper on Monday and was appalled that I hadn't had it checked. Well, I said, her family said it was just a fat deposit. "That's not good enough, it needs to be looked at!" was the reply.

And indeed she was right. The vet said it looks like cancer and in any case should come off. So Silky's there being anaesthetized and cut open right now. I hope she recovers, but I doubt she'll be feeling warm and fuzzy and forgiving of me anytime soon!

There was a thick white layer of frost on the grass this morning as I ran through campus, and a smell of cold in the air, that smell that blocks out all the delicate scents of autumn and tells us that we're headed for cold and snow soon. It's beautiful though, morning frost on the ground, with brighter green showing where it has melted, and under trees, where the air has been kept a little warmer (or is it just that the dew doesn't set there, so there's nothing to freeze white?).

I'm slowly getting prepared for my trip (I leave for Chiang Mai on Wednesday). I'm assembling my camera paraphernalia, such as it is, and also my travelling clothes, lightweight comfortable layers of easy-to-wash garments. I've ordered some US dollars, in perfect condition, for in Burma, where I'm hoping to spend three weeks, nothing less than perfect bills are accepted. It's not sensible, just paranoid and superstitious; not the people's doing, but the rule of the government-run central bank. And of course there are no ATM machines or credit card facilities, so if you don't have enough money, there's nothing to do but spend less or leave. It's a reminder of what travel used to be like, and the constraints can be fine, until they corner you, and then you remember what constraints people are living with every day in Burma and elsewhere, and you stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself.

We don't even know what freedom feels like, we have so much of it. Only when we run into constraints can we take stock of how few of them there actually are for most of us.

The people who are out of work and pissed off in the US and voted against Obama, thinking that somehow the Republicans, the party of big money, will take better care of them. How crazy is that? Why would a person lower on the economic ladder think health care was a bad thing? I just don't get it.

And with that last snarky comment, this scrappy blogpost is done! I'll be more coherent next time, and will hopefully have good news about Silky, too.

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