It’s the little things #3: and sometimes the really big things!

As we entered April I became more aware of what is missing as well as what is emerging. What is missing seems to be bloggers I follow even if I do not comment or Like. (Sorry about that, it’s the signing in to do so that throws me when I am already reading their piece) I miss you. However, like me, we often have more important events to deal with, and we often just do not have anything to say if we are not writing about what our main passion was. Which is why I am still hoping to bring a little joy, smile, weirdness to the very few who are still reading me.

Each tiny grain of sand makes a vast beach. Very low tide on the ocean side of Esquimalt Lagoon.

Geese and ducks preparing for nesting. Pungent skunk cabbage finally within close view and olfactory. Balcony Rosemary to refresh the senses.

Getting too close can be dangerous. No nests nearby yet.
I know loving the sight of skunk cabbage is considered strange. Yet, it makes me happy.
I bought a rosemary bush for my balcony. Discovered it is already flowering. I love the scent. Best of all, it is edible!
A behemoth of rail machinery on the now defunct E & N tracks. What is it for? Why is it there? Can I sneak in a ride? These ran through my mind. Oh for the days when I can catch a train!

Urban Walk: Christmas Eve (daytime)

A friend had shared a photo of a Christmas tree at Esquimalt Lagoon a few days earlier – one of those days when the rain held off. I had not been there for ages and thought this would be a perfect afternoon walk.

The only thing marring an otherwise enjoyable 30 minutes was all the off leash dogs playing on the beach. Perhaps that is allowed. Rather than leap away whenever one approached me I headed back to the relative safety of the curb side where cars park. I am happy to say I still enjoyed the ocean, the driftwood art ready for the holiday and the camaraderie of strangers also out for strolls. Even the dogs. (The captions are all mine) I never did find the tree.

You will enjoy Christmas.
You forgot the presents!?
Really, really, really! I really saw Santa!
Is this dressy enough?
Can I, can I, can I? Oh please can I open my stocking now? (Upper right)
Oh yes, this really does set off my feathers nicely.
Dinner will never be ready!
Where?
Bah, humbug!

As I was walking on the lagoon I spotted a gaggle of family. Two cars, both laden down with gifts, all passengers wearing their requisite masks. It was a distanced gift exchange! We are all doing our best to cope with what has been a very challenging year.

Driving home I heard the unmistakable vroom, vroom of a big motorcycle that then stopped at a stop sign, was that Santa riding to catch his sleigh? Beard and hair flowing as he sped off to the honks of ecstatic drivers. A fitting end to my Christmas Eve walk.

Urban Walk: a rainy morning

Still wanting to get out for fresh air, and still allowed to, I made the decision to keep many of my walks nearby rather than driving ten minutes to one of the few trails nearby. Although we cannot travel we can enjoy our neighbourhoods.

One of those trails is tantalizing close. I have been waiting for the connector to finally open up to join two trails that will mean avoiding traffic on narrow streets without sidewalks.

Next to the defunct E&N Rail. The fence was down – an end in sight? It was the weekend which meant no work.

One bonus to walking in my neighbourhood is actually the density. There are all sorts of stores, cafes, restaurants and even a small library one can visit. Many are local businesses.

This one is closed for renovations. Waiting behind this bin for a grande or venti might be a test of patience. (For a Starbucks fix there are three more about a 10 – 15 minute walk away.

I would not be surprised if some caffeine deprived drivers tried to line up here.

More West Coast November: a wander through James Bay

On my last day looking after my daughter’s cat, before going home to my two, I took advantage of the foggy yet fairly decent morning to walk along the coastline pathways. So many people think the west coast of Canada is too grey in the fall and winter – I say they are not looking for the gems. Although I have not left the island, nor gone beyond Greater Victoria, I can find so much to enjoy.

Fisherman’s Wharf. The always popular, colourful mix of houseboats and fishing boats where you can find eateries, artists, kayaks to rent, music, hopeful seals seeking a handout (I believe no longer allowed) and a mix of visitors. Mirror clear.
Art installation?
I have no idea if the bits and pieces were added before this stump washed up on our shores or if someone saw its potential. I love the tide surrounding the base.

A Retrospective – rising above the bleak

October 2020

**As I slowly return to writing my travel blog this draft nearly had me rolling on the floor in laughter and agony. The final sentence could not have been farther from reality for humanity. Yet, for me, beyond not travelling, life has not been too terrible.**

I started out saying I had not travelled this year. Then I cast my memory to prior to October, when I spent three months in Ontario, before everything seemed to go downhill. Thank goodness for that time! Even fitting in little at home adventures seemed to be lacking. Or I did not find them very exciting/illuminating/educational or any special nugget to hold onto. Can it be I am becoming jaded?

That question brings me to the tail end of October. I had minor surgery then. Nothing to really worry about beyond the anaesthetic and recovery. It did set me back a bit. Then I was hit with a dreadful stomach flu bug that held me down for ten days. I was so ill my daughter with whom I live considered calling her older sister, a nurse, to ask if I should go to the hospital. I only found this out when said nurse told me I should have gone to emergency. I survived. Lost about 12 pounds (necessary but not that way) plus another few when I ended up with a bad cold! I was a sad sack indeed.

Not to be held down I did manage to work a temporary retail job, first time in my whole working life I have done retail. It was fine. Would I do it again? I hope not. However, this was to help out with joint finances my daughter and I share after her hours were severely cut. ( **I did find another part time job. Little could I have known what a saving financial grace that would be, after the fact, after the world shut down) Little did we suspect the powers that be were massing together in an attempt to bring us to a complete halt.

Musa, our black cat (with a triangle patch on his chest) became deathly ill. We ended up with a massive vet bill – a piss poor ‘Cat Clinic’ (I had words with them and eventually the main vet) plus the animal emergency hospital – of over $3300.00! So much for me even thinking of perhaps a day trip up Vancouver Island. As we did not have the funds we borrowed heavily, and received some donations from family, friends and a GoFundMe. (Desperation means doing whatever one can) I think the latter only works if people already have a strong connection in social media or a strong work/community/friends source. This is not to say one should not try, rather it is important to have as many resources as possible.

The first ‘clinic’ had a locum vet. She and the staff working with Musa on his second visit chose to misconstrue what I told them as well as withhold drastically important medical factors from me. Musa was sent home, unbeknownst to me not a great prognosis. Fortunately I know the signs of a cat in urinary distress. Musa was taken to the hospital, immediately treated and carefully monitored. Two days later he came home. My daughter will be paying back the angel who loaned the funds with her student loan. Who cares if we will not be any further ahead – we have a healthy Musa!

I am ready for whatever 2020 may hurl or gently offer.

Of course I was not ready for a pandemic. It put a near instant halt to so many plans. My workplace shut down. Being at a college it will not open in January as originally hoped. A move to Ontario was not only put on hold, it was killed. (Not too dreadful, I hate the snow) Musa is great. He hates us. We got another cat – rescued from Texas!

Sayyida

Musa nearly a year after being so ill.