Friday, June 5, 2015

Five Things Friday

1. Weather: My daughter just Instagram-posted a screenshot of the weather in Rome, where she's been trying to find shady spots for hanging out with our granddaughter. 34 Degrees! That's tough in a city, and they've already had many 30 degree days through May. Here on Canada's (south)West Coast, we're being warned to expect a "heat wave" this weekend. In our case, that will constitute temps that might hit the low 30s inland, and a probably quite pleasant 26 here at the water's edge.  Might even take a quick dip, although I know the water will still be cold. . .

2. Watching: We've just watched the first season of this on Netflix (all that's available, for the moment). It's available with both French or English subtitling, which doesn't happen too often, and which really pleases me. We watched with the French subtitles, a great way to work on oral comprehension, with the aid of a written crutch. Gorgeous camera-work in this (set in Normandy) and some good writing with strong, interesting characters. A hint of the supernatural, but not too much. And does anyone else ever think that Thierry Lhermitte reminds them of Liam Neeson?

3.New around here: A router. Our old Wifi router was very fussy about anything i. . . .iPads, iPhones. . . and it wasn't happy about Macbooks and their ilk either. This was becoming increasingly annoying, and resolutions were made, er, last summer? to replace it. Finally, three or four months ago, Pater bought a new router. Step the First. . . but then, he considerately argued, he didn't want to interrupt any service while I was still working. I thought my week in Paris would be the perfect time for the magic transformation to occur without me having to be aware of any inevitable cursing and gnashing of teeth. But no, Pater had a few work commitments and was scarcely home during my absence. And when he was, apparently he was more inclined to kayak and work in the yard and sit in the sunshine. . . (yes, I know, probably not fair to point any fingers at all, given that he was doing the installing, but I know my strengths and my limitations).
Anyway, I came home after my dentist appointment Tuesday to find my office in disarray. Cords seemed to be everywhere. Old router was on one side, new router on another, and there were instruction papers scattered about. Useless, according to the muttering I heard. Several grumpy hours ensued, interspersed with genuine cooperation, pulling together to invent and remember passwords, or to read long, impossible-to-transcribe permutations of numbers and letters from the backs of devices into on-screen error-intolerant boxes. Phone calls were made to help centers. I went to bed with Pater taking breaks to watch some game or other, and when I got up in the morning, I found that every device that could go Wifi had gone Wifi. Happily, smoothly, continuously Wifi. And so it's been ever since. I'm very grateful to be married someone so Persistent and Patient (although I'd also be grateful if he were as willing as I am to "just call someone and pay them!").

4. In the garden: Surely you didn't think I'd let this opportunity pass, did you? 'tis the time for foxgloves, and this particular volunteer delighted me with its quiet interruption of So. Much. Green.
 5.Grandkid Stuff: With the new Router (see above), Technology becomes even more effective in keeping family connected. The same daughter who Instagrammed the Rome weather posted a ScreenShot of a FaceTime session: in the little corner inset  box,  she and her 9-month-old sitting in a room in Rome; the main frame filled by her sister lying in bed with 2-year-old and 2-month-old snuggled beside her in Vancouver. That was science fiction when these daughters of mine were the age of my grandchildren.
And then yesterday evening, I sent the 6-year-old two little videos I'd made: one of a family of Canada geese, knowing she'd find the goslings cute, wondering if she'd recognize the island landmarks from her visits here; the other of the heron nestlings waiting for their parents to return with food -- their huge, huge nests are so cool to see. Her mom soon texted back that N had been really excited, exclaiming that she'd "never seen birds in their nests before" and remarking that the geese had been down by the dock. She knew the spot well.
And then her mom texted this back. It's a list of what Little Girl has planned for her next Spy Adventure Day. We're not to let on, your lips must be sealed, if I tell you, I really should have to . . . well, let's not go there, but she believes she's a "real spy" so Shhhhh. Her mother found this list accidentally, and N doesn't know that her mom knows. . .  There was a separate list texted, with Names of those to be spied upon. That's confidential, those names. Eyes Only. But I've got permission from N's mom to share this one. As long, as I say, that we all stay quiet on this. I can trust you right?

Such joy when I saw this on the screen. I do love this girl, love the stories, love the binoculars at the top, the intensity of the planning, the way her spelling and printing is gradually regularizing (she's had some anxiety about this, but minimized by relaxed assurance at home), the letters and numbers are increasingly facing the right direction. It's the absolute immersion in, and seriousness of, childhood play that this list brings me back to. Remember when part of you knew you were playing but another part pushed that knowledge deliberately aside and Became the spy? So earnest. So important. So fun, somehow, at the same time.

So there we are. Five idiosyncratic things on a Friday. I woke at 5:30, got up at 5:40, have been futzing around on my keyboard with this ever since, and it's now 7:18. I'm off for a run now before that "heat wave" sets in. What have you got planned for the day? the weekend?
Or just any comment about anything here that strikes your fancy. . . Or just wave as you click on your busy way. It's all good, as the kids say. . . .

17 comments:

  1. Do you remember the book " Harriet the Spy"? Little Girl might enjoy it but it is from the 60's and might be dated. I woke at 5:26 and have been up reading blogs, playing trivia and talking to my mum who also wakes early. We have Open Door Richmond this weekend so I always like to visit the studios of local artists. There are so many creative people in our midst. Thanks for the Netflix recommendation. I'll watch that one. We watched Jack Taylor, a detective series produced in Ireland, this week. He came across as sort of a Celtic Wallender. It is great that you are able to keep in touch with Italy. Technology is quite marvellous.

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    1. Yes, I loved Louise Fitzhugh's books and read them to my kids -- Little Girl's Mom says they tried it last year, but it was too early and she'll try again in the fall, perhaps.
      I love that you'll be going to Open Door Richmond this weekend, one weekend after Portes Ouvertes in Belleville -- keeping a Paris vibe going in your cultural life. We really don't need to travel so much, do we?!
      I've read a few of Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor novels and I have the TV series bookmarked on Netflix, but haven't watched it yet.
      Enjoy your weekend -- in this heat, the early rising is a smart idea!

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  2. Well I have risen much later so I have less time to linger on the keyboard.
    Love that spy stuff and the imagination of a young girl....takes me back to my preteen days when I read Nancy Drew. Not good literature but engaging and inspiring for a curious 8 year old mind!
    Keep hydrated!

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    1. Loved my Nancy Drew, back in the day. Especially in the summer, stretched out under a tree somewhere. . .

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    2. I loved Nancy Drew, too! I remember telling my parents one year that if they gave me two books every Christmas, by the time I was 30 I'd have them all.

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  3. I was up at 7 am, had breakfast and made sure I looked decent for the fence people coming. Spoke to one of them at 9 am, then haven't seen hide nor hair of them since.

    I've had my first running injury! A sprained calf on Tuesday, so had to miss yesterday's run. Today I'm going to the sports store to buy some of that special tape - have you used it? Is it any good?

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    1. Oh dear, I hope the fence people return and get that done this weekend so you can move on to the next stage -- I know you've lots of plans for that back yard this summer.
      So sorry to hear about your running injury. I haven't used that tape, but I suspect between your running group and the sports store you're getting some good advice. Never hesitate to visit a physio -- I'm such a believer! Let me know how it goes. I do hope you heal quickly -- ice, ice, and more ice, and you're smart to miss runs until you know you're mending well.

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  4. I love the spy day schedule! I have another book suggestion -The Great Cheese Conspiracy. It's a wonderful story about 3 mice who live in a movie theater, eating popcorn and watching gangster movies. Inspired by them, they plan a caper - robbing the cheese store. You'd probably have to wait a couple of years. My husband and I read it to my stepdaughter when she was 8. He loved the book so much that when he was away, we had to suspend reading it.

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    1. Thank you! I'll put this on the list for sure -- sounds like fun!

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  5. That temp will be beautiful where you are. 34 is beastly for anywhere, but I never think of Rome as that hot!
    Routers and internet outages are very frustrating. Glad your back at it.We are so lucky to have facetime and all the electronic connections to our loved ones. I'd be lost without my FT with my grandson!! Have a great weekend!

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    1. 34 is certainly too warm for me! Rome was really hot when we were there last July, and apparently, it's been 30 for many days through May and not in June.
      As for here, the temp was beautiful and I've already swum in the ocean twice! Hope yours was a good weekend as well.

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  6. I have just marathon watched "Les Temoins" (it is called "Witnesses" here in the USA) - thank you for the suggestion, it is very good!
    Greetings from Seattle,
    Joanna

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it (it might actually be called "Witnesses" here as well, I think). We'll be waiting for Season 2. . .loved your city. . . waving back . . .

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  7. Nola is adorable - that list is totally frame-able. And your secret is safe with me :-)

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    1. I think the big secret is that her mom saw the list -- N had already confided to me about her spy career, but she doesn't think Mom and Dad know yet. Their names are both on the other list. First names, natch. . .

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  8. That list is priceless ... what a perfect joy :)

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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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