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January 31, 2014


Perfect, Beth.I love the visuals (written and photographed) and the sentiments. The last paragraph rings especially true (and I love the combination of flowers).

Very pleased that we could steal time for coffee. This winter has been brutally cold; we have to get out to get on top of it. I call those "real roses" too, unlike the embalmed-looking longstems sold for Valentine's Day.

I read this post earlier this morning while it was still dark and started arranging what I imagined would be a neat and irresistible response in my head. Why not set out to ignore weather as much as possible and deal with the unavoidable extremes via a series of ad hoc reactions. No more wallowing, no more cursing, no more observing and no more acknowedgements.

A recommendation that lasted all of three hours. VR wanted to go downtown by bus and I needed to give in to my greatest recurring indulgence - by refilling my wooden bowl with a block of George F. Trumper almond-scented shaving soap from Curzon Street. The temperature was about 4 deg C (piffling by Canadian standards), the wind was strong, rain arrived in brief harsh squalls, and the lighting (a notable feature of this winter) was low and oppressive. All the philosophy I'd worked up drained away.

When I got back I re-read your post and saw other reasons why weather can't be ignored. Things need to be planned and done. Not least the migration of sunlight-needy houseplants which you must manage. But the theory attracts me even if it is impractical. I would like to move imperturbably through sleet and the risks of sunstroke, my face expressionless, my body erect and uncurling. An exemplar to those who wince, shudder histrionically, shade their eyes, flap their open shirts. A modern stoic striking terror into the hearts of the utility companies.

Just the fact that someone is mentioning Easter is a tonic to me this morning. I'm imagining you singing with a brass choir and wishing I could hear it now.


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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.