Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Rant-balancing Bouquet on Canada Day

Having indulged in a rant, however reasonable and muted I believe that rant to have been, it seems only right to offer a bouquet. The coppery roses are Royal Sunset, the yellow ones Graham Thomas, the small white ones with the yellow centre are Darlow's Enigma, the purply-pink is Belle de Crécy, and the barely-pink ones are Awakening.

To go with the roses, here's a bouquet of random information from my recent life:

1. I'm finding Duchesse's series on gift-giving both entertaining and instructive. If you (or, perhaps your significant other, it's a possibility) is giving-challenged, you might want to check out PassagedesPerles. I can't wait 'til tomorrow when she unveils the final part of the series, examples of stellar gift-giving.
2. Just finished reading Stephen Henighan's The Streets of Winter which I'm thinking of teaching next spring for a 4th-year Canadian fiction course. Interesting depiction of a group of disparate yet intersecting characters living in the Montreal after the 1980 referendum. What's the name of that phenomenon whereby, having been introduced to, or somehow made conscious of, some element in your immediate life, you begin to notice it everywhere you look (you know, like when you see pregnant women everywhere once you find out youryou're pregnant -- or, conversely, can't get pregnant)? I was delighted to see that one of the novel's peripheral-yet-simultaneously-main characters, João, is Portuguese, and that some of the novel's dialogue is thus written in that language which I probably wouldn't haven't been able to decipher before, but now, have a nodding familiarity with. Further, João comes from the Beiras, the part of Portugal we were visiting.
3. I'm so very pleased to see that my Arbutus uneda (which you might know as a strawberry tree) is finally, after several years in my garden, studded with the berries which will get bigger and turn red, thus giving the tree its common name. (Maybe next year my Hydrangea petiolaris will finally bloom!)
4. My daughter, son-in-law, and husband all went swimming this weekend, probably the earliest ever dip for Paul. I couldn't join them because I'm still babying my rotator cuff and was afraid that navigating the uneven bottom, coupled with the cold, might trigger a painful spasm (as happened at the pool in Portugal). That's pretty impressive for swimming in the Pacific here, and I'm hoping we have many more sunny days this summer.
I can't help thinking there are many more random bits I should be sharing with you, but apparently that's it for now.


  1. I find No2 happens to me all the time, right down to learning a new word then seeing it everywhere. It's always there just not always seen.

  2. Alison: yes, I notice it with words as well

  3. "The roses, the roses, the roses" as Mary Oliver writes. Exquisite.

    Thanks for the mention of my post, think I have a book on gift-giving in me.

  4. I adore that bouquet, how I wish I could pick something like that out of my garden, alas my green gardening thumb is also known as 'the thumb of death'.

  5. Duchesse: If you wrote such a book, of course, we'd be frantically buying it up to give to those who really need to give us better gifts ;-)
    Cybill: Oh dear! Well, that's what florists are for, right?


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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