Tuesday, January 26, 2016

On the Death Of David Bowie: we all shine on


There are a few musical artists that I connect directly and especially with my brother. After we had come to the age where we both could enjoy music as equals, despite our 7 year age difference, he would come home from a local music shop, or from Montreal for the weekend, with a fresh stack of records, his new treasured discoveries and play them on the old family stereo. Oh, but the memories - new music - dancing in the living room. Sneaking a drag from his cigarette. Mum shouting from the nearby kitchen to "turn it down" - (but, occasionally there was a piece or two she enjoyed as well). Or, we just sat and listened. I had a good teacher - he introduced me to the best.

The Rolling Stones (the gift of the scandalous Sticky Fingers album - had to hide it from Mum!) - inscribed by my brother - "the greatest rock and roll band in the world." No, not the Beatles. I do not recall him ever playing them. How odd. But, as they say - there are two types of people - the Stones, or the Beatles. Alex was Stones all the way, as am I. 

The dark, exotic and totally different Exuma, for me, an impressionable young teenager. From the first sounds of footfall on gravel, then silence, then wolf howl - it was another world, indeed an otherworldly experience. Especially after everyone was gone to bed, me with headphones in bed - the booming intro travelling from one ear, through my brain, and exploding into the other ear. Totally awesome and transporting.

Patti Smith (Because the Night), Isaac Hayes (Never Can Say Goodbye - Alex's anthem), ... and David Bowie. Since the news of his passing, many of us have of course revisited the big hits, and some less so - his music was a soundtrack to my growing up, with Alex, without Alex - too often. When one of these "contemporary" artists passes, what follows is always this feeling of loss - again - my brother, and distant memories of when we were young, and healthy, and life and happiness seemed to stretch endlessly before us. We didn't think, we just were - in the moment. Now, with aching joints and and aging eyes, and a face that shifts ever so slightly day by day, I sometimes dance, alone, in my living room, and remember. I dance alone, until I catch myself, feel foolish, and stop. 

I dearly wish I believed in some greater power, some divine place where all those we love and have departed are cared for safely though eternity - until we meet again. I wish I could believe - I just don't know how. Instead, this endless period of mourning  enveloping my life, obscuring every path forward. I hear songs on the radio or online, and I think, yes, Alex would have liked that. And how he would have loved this "new" technology - to listen to music everywhere, anywhere. 

Goodbye David
Goodbye Alex - again...


Postscript - a sign (always looking for signs)? 
John Lennon, as I was about to post this, came on the radio to sing:
"We all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun...shine on shine on......"
Wow. Eh?


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Happy New Year - a Cold One


We went from a crazy warm green Christmas to plunge now into arctic temperatures (it was -21C this morning!) The cats just sniff the air upon attempting to go out the door, but quickly turn around - to see who can get to the heating grill in the floor first! I wish there were more of those - especially the large square ones - grills not cats, of course :)  The young and agile orange fellow, Ginja, usually gets to it first. Prime real estate in these wintry days. And so, another year, and despite the long absence, I hope to drop things here more often, if only for myself - fun to look back.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Late Summer Tones

The summer porch
 cheery and bright with
Hibiscus and Elephant Ears

A fiery and beautiful dahlia,
her name is Hawaii.

The season for Hydrangeas and rubeckias... 
Rudbeckia Goldsturm

Rubeckia laciniata Herbstonne

Ginja Ninja in a quiet pose.....

But always ready to wrassle!

Lots more to post - catching up for lost time
if that's even possible.

Ending here with a stunning daylily:
Final Touch.

And so she was, the last of the daylilies for the season.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tristan the White

Tristan with surprise summer bloom
of amaryllis President Johnson.
With effect for that special look.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sunday Sun-Puddle Play

Hmm - what shall we do in this lovely sun-puddle?
May I share? Looks like you have the whole thing!

Hey you - Manitou - wanna play?

Let him think on that for a bit....

I see some tempting toes!

Come on - shake a paw!!


Pretty pleeeeze????
I'll roll over for ya....

Alone in my sun-puddle.
Yes! Mission accomplished :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shelter from the cold

Our Zena loves the outdoors,
despite her history of being a street cat.
So we put a nice warm kitty hut on the porch,
Shelter from the nasty wind....
But what's that?
The door opening?
OK then, enough fresh air,
time for snacks and a warm lap!

Where do the humans sit?
Good question!

Ginja Ninja snuggles with spotty,
in a rare moment of calm.
And speaking of warmth,
here is the spicy Merengue,
a cybister type of Amaryllis - an unusual and beautiful form.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014


Welcome to my world!

Can you spot the festive visitors?

Santa makes himself comfy on my desk...

Green glass kitty hangs around all year 
- she matches the lamp!

She insisted on being included,
as this is Cat Whisperer's blog after all!

And of course, the little tree,
bedecked with ornaments new and old...

Vintage publications grace the table
 on which the tree sits...
Representing Britain, The Illustrated London News...

Inuit: The Night the City Sang.
Many many years ago,
when I was just starting in this field,
as a student assistant,
my boss would gather us "kids" at Christmas
to listen to a reading of this book,
a charming tale.
This book comes off the shelf every
Christmas to sit under the tree,
and I recall the wonderful time we all had,
and remember fondly,
this special lady who left us too soon.

And of course, French Canada - this is Quebec after all!

There is something so lovely about vintage decorations.
Over at the main library,
my colleagues got busy with a new twist
on a Christmas tree,
using books!

How cool is that?
Behold! Our beautiful tree, created from Forbes,
Fortune and The Economic Journal –
with some Church History added to the mix!
Topped by The Great Atlas of the Stars,
opened up to the Omega Centauri –
the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way!"

The tree is complemented by a paper star,
fashioned from discarded magazines,
a trick learned from YouTube of course!