Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nothing like an old friend.


I am at the end of a three week break from writing, revising, email, twitter, linkedin,  and of course FB. Oh how easily we get attached to this form of communication. I occasionally checked email and FB and deleted most as I wanted to spend the time with my friend of......let’s see.... Glynis and I met in 1962-63(you do the math) at our first jobs as telephonists or switchboard operators for the GPO. At sixteen we were civil servants working the old plug type switchboards in a room with another hundred operators. I loved the job and would be a telephonist for the next 20 years. But most of all I loved the fact that Glynis was staying in a bed-sit with another girl and she was away from home. She was from the Border country in Scotland and it was quite usual for girls to go to the big city to get work.

I begged my parents to let me try living on my own but at sixteen they would not even consider it. Glynis and I became fast friends and I visited her home in the Borders and she visited my family in the tenements. We were both with boyfriends who would become our husbands. Joined at the hip, Glynis and I became engaged the same year and married the following year and I was her bridesmaid. That’s when I broke up the dynamic duo. My husband and I immigrated to Canada and Glynis and her husband settled in the Border country. We corresponded for years, ( yes, we even wrote letters) and had our first children five years later in the same month. Glynis had a girl and I had a boy.  When the children were little we visited back and forth and they stayed with us about four times over the years. As often happens life gets busy and complicated so the Christmas cards were few and far between but we always knew we would be there for each other.

Last year was one of those times. Glynis called to say Alistair, her husband was very ill. We talked constantly on the phone and finally she took him home to die. When he passed away this January we didn't hesitate to ask her to come and be with us for as long as she wanted.  She made it and spent Thanksgiving with us. Glynis is very close to her two daughters and their families but I hope she enjoyed the time with her old friends who have known her forever and could share stories about Alistair.

We introduced her to our friends here and went to a fall fair and we also visited old friends she had met on previous trips. A drive in the beautiful fall colours to Kincardine to friends for a few nights, visits to Goderich on Lake Huron and then Stratford with stops along the way. We had long talks into the night with a few gin and tonics to loosen the tongue as we caught up with the intervening years. We laughed, we cried and it was as if we had never been apart.

Glynis has gone home now and I gave myself another week to enjoy the fall colours and plan. Liz and I are on the last leg revising Body Perfect. You may have read that here before but I am always tinkering with it; but enough is enough. It will be ready by Dec 1st.

I have read some great Canadian crime writing this summer. One of my favourites is Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay. I entered a contest on Linwood’s facebook page with Orion Publishing and I won a signed copy of his book.  Lucky me.If you like thrillers this is the one.

Next on my list to read: Peter Robinsons- Watching the Dark: A DCI Banks Mystery and Giles Blunt- Until the Night. Those should keep me going for about a week.

Talk soon,
Slainte,
Pam

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sweaters and Scarves and the Furnace Oh My!


Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada and the weather truly feels like Autumn.  This past week I've enjoyed my westerly drive along the 401 because the colours of the trees on both sides of the highway just past Milton have been truly magnificent. So vibrant this year, with the late afternoon sun bathing the hills in the glorious Canadian sunshine of Fall that will too soon give way to gloomy and wintry drives home.   Widespread heavy frost is in the forecast for tonight and the skies today have been heavy with dark clouds that gave way to a small downpour.  Tis the weekend for turkey, ham and pumpkin pie and gathering of friends and family.  Thankful?  Yes indeed, to live in this beautiful country and enjoy freedoms and bounty denied to many around the world. 

Heavier sweaters and scarves have begun to be part of the wardrobe this week as well, and the furnace has been called to duty a time or two this weekend.  One of the reasons I love this country is to have distinct changes to the seasons.   This afternoon it was a treat to snuggle under a comforter and finish reading R.J. Harlick’s “A Green Place for Dying”. Set in the wilderness of Western Quebec it’s a very good tale that the author uses to highlight the all too real serious and sad problem of missing aboriginal women. Woven into the mystery are well written descriptions and insights into native traditions.  A really good read that I’d highly recommend.

Next on my list to read is Vicki Delany’s latest “More ThanSorrow”. (see Pam’s last post below)  I'm especially eager to read this as it centres around United Empire Loyalist refugees from the American Revolution of 1784 – stock from whom I'm descended on my father’s side of the family.

At work I always keep a book in my desk drawer for those times when I lunch by myself.  Well this time I made a mistake in my choice of reading material.  "Damaged", by Pamela Callow was definitely the wrong story to bring to work because I didn't want to put it down! It’s an engrossing thriller and may be the only thing that makes me want to get back to work on Tuesday!   In fact I have the other Pam to blame for not being able to finish it this past Friday as planned.  She decided to pop in and meet me for lunch that day and introduce me to her friend Glynis who is visiting from Scotland.

And as for Jamie Tremain – we're still doing some minor revising and tweaking on the latest draft – our goal is to be finished by December 1.  We decided on a deadline date if for no other reason than we will never be done tinkering if we don’t stop!   The ongoing challenge for me is always time, although Pam will bemoan the fact that she seems even busier now in her days of retirement than when she was working.  My own after-work schedule is busy for the next few weeks; I've been seeing a chiropractor three nights a week and I'm also trying to be faithful to Tuesday and Thursday nights walking the indoor track at our local ‘Y’.   Soon the chiropractor visits will reduce though and that will free up my hours after work to devote to Jamie Tremain business.

As I glance out my window at the grey skies it feels like a very good time to make a cup of tea – so I’ll leave you with best wishes for a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!

Cheers!
Liz