Wednesday, June 15, 2011


It's the night before full moon, clear and cool for mid-June. I was at a fairly hot discussion about Kensington Market, then bicycled down to King Street to hear an open air free concert, part of Luminato. I caught the second act, Yemen Blues, a mixed bag of people from israel and elsewhere singing in Arabic, with some modern flash and flare and some feeling more anchored. Ran into friends there and felt lucky: music. friends, choices.

Don't know why I'm telling you this except that I just came across the little question thing put out by the OECD, where you rank the level of importance you attach to health, education etc, and it tells you which countries you want to live in.

Basically it comes down to Australia, Canada, Sweden, etc. These are underpopulated places where the environment is not yet completely degraded and there's reasonable health care and public education. It made me realise how few places there are where people can be taken care of in their hour of need or just encouraged to realise their full potential. hmm

I had a chance to talk to an old friend this evening, one of the people I ran into at Yemen Blues. (By the way, there was a nice big crowd, and some dancing and general body-happiness. I found the lead guy a bit forced and over the top, but if I listened rather than looking at him I was fine. Great percussion, and a viola and cello player as well as trumpet and trombone and various lute/guitar relatives.) One of the things she said was that she's been reading a lot of non-fiction for a number of years and has just started back into fiction.

I am the same way (apart from thrillers on airplanes etc). I wonder whether our pattern has been shaped by the publishing industry or has shaped itself independently. In any case, I am interested to watch myself go after novels. I just finished the amazing 1000 autumns of Jacob de Zoet and have started on David Mitchell's Nine Dreams or whatever it's called. He is extraordinary. I am thrilled to have the rest of his writing lying ahead, like riches in the larder before Christmas holidays. I read Camilla Gibb's first book the other day at one swallow, so amazing. Now to read her latest, set in Vietnam. More riches!

What are you reading these days? Do you find yourself with less reading time, or less attentiveness for a book, in this era of online jumping around and consuming of bits and pieces, rather than long sustained works?

Perhaps it's just as well to have books lined up, for I seem to have some kind of injury in my left foot. I'm phrasing it vaguely because the problem shifts a little and feels ephemeral, except when it most definitely feels like a serious and unavoidable problem. I will stop running for a week and also try to see a sports-medicine doc and hope I can get a handle on what it is. But in fact what I really want is to figure out how to get running again with no problem. Argh!

Every sign of aging or unwellness has to start with something, I do know that. But I can't accept that this is some kind of sudden onset arthritis in my ankle...I will keep you posted.

Meanwhile I should report to you on the delish fresh lake trout I had from Akawenzie's (they sell at Wychwood market). It was a long wide fillet, so it went over a small charcoal fire. I had put on some nutritional yeast, as recommended by Potz, and a little olive oil and salt: that's all. In ten minutes the fish was firm-textured, and the shallots I put on at the same time were done through, softened and sweet.

Food has been pretty basic around here for awhile, I admit. I do make the odd skillet cake, and my breakfast is plain leftover rice with fried dandelion greens and garlic chives, all from the back garden, together with a fried egg.

All the above was written late at night on the 14th. Now it's bright sunshine on the 15th, with the fat full moon due to rise in a few hours. There's a full eclipse of the moon in Africa and the MEditerranean, but it won't reach us here in North America we're told. And the other thing we're looking forward to this evening is the arrival of old friends whom we haven't seen for ages, a father and daughter. She is almost fourteen, and we last saw her in Kovalam near the southern tip of India, when we all danced our way into the year 2000. YEs, she was two and a half, and dancing at midnight. ANd so were DOm and TAshi. Now all of them are tall and have taken full shape as people. I love this anticipation of their arrival!

News on the foot front: I got seen by my great doc today and it looks like my arch has sagged on my left foot. Very strange. But with extremely high arches I am at risk. It does hurt, but not always. I think I'm heading into orthotics or other kinds of under-foot support. I just want to be able to run and not feel like I'm doing myself further injury.

Compared to a friend who has agonising pain from her herniated disk, this is nothing. I am grateful, even as I whine and worry, to have just this to trouble me.

Happy mid-June everyone, and enjoy the light of the generous moon tonight.

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