Tag Archives: time

Lists, old and new

I have been quiet, shedding layers of time and memory and feeling rather retrospective. Memory is on my mind. Perhaps it is because we are touching the cusp of a big 20 year anniversary: 20 years ago this week Handsome and I started our journey together in Egypt. It started in Dahab, took a long bus journey to Cairo followed by an 18 hour train trip to Aswan and then onto a Feluca ( sail boat ride on the Nile.) Many planes, trains, automobiles, donkeys, snow sleds, jeeps and rickshaws later and here we are in a funny circle: back to the Arabian Sands. I was 22 and had no idea where my life would take me but we shared a love of adventure and we both embraced the new. If we were to write a bucket list back then it would have included a lot of travel, children, exciting jobs ( his an intrepid journalist and mine a writer and a drama therapist) a sejour in Italy, a parachute or two and some rather romantic notions. Well things often work out differently once life throws you a hoop or two and 20 years later we have done many things not even dreamed up on a bucket list and made a few new lists too.

I once had the good fortune to teach a highly talented girl, hungry for life and on the brink of many a success. She writes a lovely blog and recently wrote her bucket list. These are the dreams of a 19 year old girl, a young lady of fortune, talent and opportunity. Reading this list I was transported back in time to my own eyes-wide-open -with-wonder moments and I remember when I was 19 I longed for a magic crystal ball to tell me what my future would be and if it would all be okay. In the end it all turns out…as it does, whether we tick off our list or make new ones.

Here then is her list. I am awed by her choices, her dreams and the charm of her wishes.  Can you remember yours? Is it very different now?

BUCKET LIST:

  1. Go to Venice- not only for Carnivale ( which is a must!) but to learn, to be inspired and to write.
  2. See the Northern Lights
  3. Go to Australia
  4. Decorate my very own apartment
  5. Celebrate each Carnival around the world
  6. Ride the Orient Express train through Europe
  7. Publish a best selling novel 😉
  8. Live in an apartment with my sister
  9. Get my British Citizenship
  10. Become fluent in a second language and then become fluent in a third language
  11. Learn how to play an instrument
  12. Meet my favourite author
  13. Create one work of art of which I am proud
  14. Do a night dive and a wreck dive
  15. Travel in Space
  16. Make a profit at a casino
  17. Sleep under the stars ( ignore the mosquitoes, the discomfort and all the monsters obviously hiding in the shadows.)
  18. Go on a road trip
  19. See my favourite musician perform live
  20. Found a charitable organization
  21. Travel to Antarctica and see the penguins
  22. Sponsor an endangered animal and travel to wherever it is in the world to meet it
  23. Sing Karaoke in front of a crowd and not be ashamed
  24. Make a positive difference; in one person’s life, in many people’s lives, in a town or a country or the world
  25. Be remembered for something great
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Filed under How old am I?

October, really?

How can it possibly be October?

Really.

July 1st I arrived in London, after a difficult and boring week in Bahrain with no car, no furniture and no idea. I was starting my summer, my long awaited trip back to the Great Shiny West and I was filled with positive and sunny thoughts about reunions, sushi, shopping and Canadian Lakes. The thought of moving to Bahrain had been firmly pushed to a dusty corner of my mind and I was set to live my summer as a happy sunshine girl.

August 1st and I was in California, sipping creamy white wines and looking across and over mountains, sniffing the Pacific and staring at sea horses in a world famous aquarium. I was wrapped up in family and there was a glow about the day, despite the fact that the summer was slowly dying.

September 1st and I was in Bahrain. Furniture was here and unpacked, I had a car and had learned some roads and ropes. Eid was in full swing and Handsome was off work. We headed to the beach, excited, but knowing that school and new starts were looming. Within a few days I would be starting a new job, meeting new colleagues and the dust of life would begin to settle. September 1st was the last of the in limbo days.

October 1st. Here we are. Working, schooling, driving… a routine has been fixed and the fears of new starts have assuaged. Trooper has found her feet and has three different social occasions set up for the weekend. There could have been a fourth but I drew the line. ( Love that line, arbitrary and random as it may seem.)  Princess has had her second sleep-over, having found the perfect girl friends. They have turned into peas and slipped into their pod. I have been warned that by the end of this weekend I will want to hire a driver.  Handsome has returned from one business trip and is soon leaving for a second, followed swiftly by a third. He is happy. I am starting to figure out the mechanisms of a new class room, a new flock of kids; the navigation of a different and sometimes strange culture. It has been a tumultuous month of change and adjustment and learning. But the uniforms are less scratchy, the 5,30 am risings are less painful and the days slightly cooler. I am yet to find a circle of friends, I think you need yummy mummy coffee time to do that in such a short month. But there is little space left after work and I am more than content to fill that space with books, family and wonder.

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Filed under Family Stuff, Great Big Shiny West

Trooper is 14

Trooper is 14 today. I can’t quite believe that I have a 14 year old nor that so much time has passed. Time stretches over us like gauze wrapped too finely, sometimes we sense it might break as we wrap ourselves further and further back and forward in time. But it never does; moving forward I wrap myself in memories to keep reliving those days gone past.

I went into labour in the middle of the night (why do babies always want to come when we are asleep?) on a spring May 26th in Winnipeg. 26 hours later she was born right on time, due date baby and she has been either early or prompt ever since. This girl is continuously in a hurry, to get started, to get done, to walk, to live, to do it all Now and not a minute too late. She sucks the juice out of life.

A new chapter is about to start in her young life as she moves to live in her 4th country. And she is still fresh, half baked, and not yet ready to settle for anything less than her dreams dictate.

A young woman poised to take off and I give her the wings and hope the parachute of lessons I have wrapped around her shoulders will open and carry her all the way to safer ground.

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Filed under I have two girls

Ambitious projects for the remainder of the year.

Time is skipping on by, winged chariot and all and there are things I really must do before 2011 rolls round and I am hit with that awful sense of zero accomplishment. Is there a word for that? I will make one up: under-accomplishment. There.

Perhaps if I write a list, put it up here in the most public of places then it will be more likely to happen, owing to the shame and name rule.  So here it is: my short list of big things to do.

1.     I must buy a spare bed. We have guests arriving from the far away Land of Oz and there is nowhere, presently for them to sleep.

2.     Buy Christmas gifts, easier said than done if you live within money throwing distance to a glorious temple of commerce, otherwise known as a Mall. Here the options include African crafts, handmade tree decorations, Wildlife Photography books and some lovely material to wrap around one’s waist.

3.     Invite people over to dinner. Why is this so hard to do? I can teach a room full of Camp Hormone inmates, co-direct a pantomime, drive a car through scary pot holes…but invite people over to my house to eat? Not.

4.     Throw things away. I hate clutter and there is a scary pile that has appeared on my desk. Not entirely sure where it came from, but there it lies, taunting me, and I need to head into the red room and sort it all out. Soon.

5.     Find a costume for Veruca Salt. Apparently she needs some sort of fur wrap. Likely one that. More head scratching needed.

6.     Gather all the wires, for all the electrical paraphernalia we have, including USB cables, chargers, TV wires, other black or grey wires that have no name and sort-them-out. I am being taken over by wires.

7.     Go out on another photo walk-about-trip.  The last time I did this it was very successful, although somewhat tiring considering the number of times I had to ask people if I could take their photograph and explain who I was and why I wanted their picture and promise that I wouldn’t use it in any untoward way. I think it is time for another walk about. Each time I feel more fully engaged with the place that I live rather than seeing it through fleeting and rushed moments while either walking to school or driving around.

8.  Bake a cake. When I lived in Montreal I was a true baker, often pulling treasures out of the oven 2 to 3 times a week. It has been a while since the warm scent of fresh cake wafted through my home and it is time.

9.   Read something other than a prescribed IB text. I have two books by my bed I am aching to get into. I need to make the time to start them as I have a small window of opportunity before the next IB text rolls around.

10.  Lie in my hammock. Just once.

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Stop all the Clocks

 

I am reading about Silence and the lack of it in our world. I am reading about how much we need it but we might not be aware of this need. I am growing aware that the lack of silence and peace in my life is taking its toll on my creative abilities. My schedule is jam packed. There is school, there are friends, there is the organizing and to-ing and fro-ing of Trooper and Princess’ lives; there is the Pantomime and all the fun that entails. There are the far away friends that I like to email, skype or facebook, there is my photography that has been shoved to a rather tatty backseat, there is 3limes which I feel has been rather neglected of late. There is the reading, that which is prescribed by being an IB English teacher and that which I simply want to read. I am longing to snatch Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom” out of Handsome Husband’s hands, I am addicted to the wonderful literary journal Granta and have been for 18 years, but now I am 6 editions behind. There are films that I hear about but never see, there is the FT and Globe and Mail that I read religiously each Saturday morning. There are the blogs that I like to read but find I can barely get to. There are my favourite photographers that I like to follow on Flickr. There are websites to follow, texts to answer, emails to reply to, letters to write, photos to take, marking to do, essays to read, research to do, ideas to form, meals to cook, friends to make, friends to meet, photographs to take, photos to process, favorite shows to watch…

And yet there is no time for Silence. The moment to simply switch it all off and just pause and let those creative juices flow. Reflection. Peace. Quiet.

Who would ever have thought that we would need to carve out time just to be quiet.?

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Filed under I have no idea where to put this

Behind the windows: Photo # 3

Behind these windows is the library of the V&A Museum. While I was doing my degree in History of Art, many summers ago, I spent hours and hours reading, learning and loving every minute of that library. I also used to stare out of the window at the courtyard below wandering who all those people were. Today I was the one in the courtyard  looking up at the shadowy figures sitting at their desks. It was a time warp moment.

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Filed under Great Big Shiny West, Photography