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It is a whirlwind in here

Margaret Atwood Travels Further Than Ever – Blessed Be!

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I have noted some folk looking at this post from a couple of years ago. I had put it up because of the success of the television series, A Handmaid’s Tale.

Now, Ms. Atwood has produced a new novel, The Testaments, [which, by the way, has a brilliant front and back cover] with an international launch from London, England. I can humbly state that my part in her literary life remains the same.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was not my intent to piss off Margaret Atwood.

The opposite, in fact. I wanted her to know she was an inspiration.

She was giving a reading at the University of New Brunswick in my student days. I attended, but there was quite the gathering and she was whisked away at the end. However, I overheard there was a ‘gathering’ in her honour. Invitation only, of course. Academia and literati.

I crashed the party (that was the term used by the professor who clapped his sturdy hand upon my shoulder but – happily – did not thrust me into the night).

But Ms. Atwood was kept deep in many a learned conversation and I had no opportunity to converse. I did, however, overhear where she would be spending next afternoon – the historic University Observatory.

Next day I knocked upon the Observatory door.

It was not a cheerful Margaret Atwood who answered, and answered with alacrity.

She asked my name.

She asked my business.

And she asked how the hell I knew where she was. She had stolen the day to do some writing. Some ‘real’ writing, in this window-of-opportunity grudgingly offered on the book tour.

At least I was there to praise Atwood and not to bury her with some essay question.

Nor had I a manuscript to hand to her.

I might not have garnered a smile, but her curt thank you was reward enough.

For me, at least.

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In The Line of Fire On Twitter

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I posted a tweet – a response, actually – to a tweet that showed a fellow standing off to one side as a tornado filled most of the video. I made the comment that it looked as if he was standing in front of a ‘blue screen’.
It *still* looks as if the fellow is standing in front of a ‘blue screen’, and, fifteen hours later, there has been no verification of the video except the video itself.
However, from that point yesterday, and continuing still, I have been caught in a trail of annoyed, argumentative and sometimes mean tweets about this one post. Many, many, many say that the tornado really happened. I have no doubt of that. Other tweets condemn folk (myself included, of course) of not being meteorologists and thus having no right to state an opinion or – more aggressively – me having the effrontery to make an opinion. Remember, as of yet, I have seen no proof of verification of the tornado video.
But then comes the offshoots, the aside,s and the outright digressions. From nothing stated in the tweets themselves, but (apparently) by folk looking up the particular Twitter account of the person making the comment, a flood of anti-Trump comments were spewed. Some tweets took Muslims to task.The “Mexican wall” was mentioned. One tweet stated: “Dude.they stay on the kind side of the radar.” No, I don’t know what that means. Another tweeted: ” Grow up . It is def real and major damage. Get a life superstar”

 
There were assorted GIFs, and emoji, and even video showing tornadoes. But nothing to verify the original video (which I concede might be true, but does not look it).
So – so far – there are around 40 folk who agree with my observation, and 15 who (more or less) class me as a bobby..
Whirl, you wild winds, whirl.

I Am A Sophisticated Friday Night Drunk

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(Some New Brunswick Friday entertainment)

 

It is a Friday night
In New Brunswick.
There are Friday nights
In old Brunswick,
They are called
Freitag Nacht.
 
 
In New Brunswick (perhaps of old),
The guys and gals
Got drunk,
And ate well,
To celebrate
The weekend.
 
 
Steaks and beer,
(Maybe fish & chips),
As long as one was
Well-oiled
To slide into Saturday.
 
 
But I am a
Sophisticated
New Brunswick
Drunk
 
 
Though
Perhaps not
Refined.
 
 
With my steak
(and fries),
I have red wine.
Red red wine
Though – admittedly –
From a box.
 
 
But it is
High-toned
Red red wine
(In a box),
Imported
From Australia.
 
 
Where they also know
How to eat steak,
And let ‘er rip
On a Friday night.
 
~ D.E. BA U.E.

Eats On The Menu From Heaven

good20eats

 

Bernard’s Bartibog Bridge Bistro
Has hearty Baloney Bouillabaisse
And other, fine
Experimental cuisine.
 

Dare one speak of eggs
Deviled
Yet
So Heavenly?
 
 
Cherished Cashew Chowder
A nut
And a Tusk
Entree to Paradise?
 
 
Frothy frankfurter frappé
Crunchy ice crystals
And a hint of
Condensed milk.
 
 
Tuesday Treat
Tufted Titmouse Tourtière
Feather light
And airy.
 
 
Blue Fin Tuna
Blue Plate Special
Blue Sea fresh
Blew me away.
 
 
Vibrant Velvety Vichyssoise
Leeking its rich taste
Into crème de la crème
So cold it’s hot.
 
 
Succulent Seaweed Soufflé
Dulse Vita Maritime
Ripped from the rocks
Of a Grand Manan shore.
 
 
Pickled Peach Pie
I Scream Ice Cream
Delightful dessert
“Will that be to go?”

Bluenose II – Ghostly Ship Under Sail, Updated

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It now is Sunday, and The Bluenose II has come and gone. And, it was not exactly a Ghost ship, but I had difficulty seeing it as it slipped into view from the fog. Even with binoculars. For awhile the ship did slip in and out as the fog wafted in front of it.  But – finally – it appeared side-too (much as it is on the Canadian dime) and all was right with the world.
Also, it stayed insight a good long time – around half an hour. From our reasonably-secluded viewing spot from a hill, there was an uninterrupted view, with just a few small pleasure craft keeping it company.  It was during this leisurely exposure that my partner casually noted that her grandfather had helped build the original Bluenose fishing vessel, at The Smith and Rhuland Shipyard. back in 1921, as he lived in Lunenburg NS. That was the home port of the original sailing ship, and is the home port of the current Bluenose II.
When it was time for the Bluenose II to leave, it went around the island which had been the backdrop as we watched, and started along the coast, headed for Grand Manan Island.
Original post:
Sunday, if there is no fog, I’ll be able (binoculars at the ready) be able to see a famed sailing ship pass the island at the mouth of the harbour. A replica of the ship, at any rate, itself now quite an acclaimed sailing vessel. In addition to setting into many a  port as a nautical ambassador, it is a training vessel for young sailors.
This is the site of the Bluenose II (replica of the original Bluenose).https://bluenose.novascotia.ca/
A detailed history can be found there. Needless to say, it is an impressive .schooner when under sail, and will be an impressive site out on the open sea. I hope it lingers.
I had dealings with The Bluenose II many a year ago.
I was seated on a bench on a wharf in Halifax harbour. I had noted a tall masted sailing boat pass, but I was watching a large cruise ship prepare to leave.
Suddenly a man was at my back. He was asking me to move so I would not get struck in the head. I turned to see the sailing boat – The Bluenose II – coming alongside. It edged toward the dock, closer and closer, and then a crew member on the bow shouted to me.
He asked if I would grab the rope when it was thrown. I agreed. Soon I had the bow line in my hands and at my feet.
I was asked to put it over the ‘second’ post. That proved to be quite a chore for something thicker than my arm and heavy in weight. But, I had had some practise doing such a thing, just not so unexpectedly and on the fly..
It took a couple of minutes, but I slipped it over and jumped back.  It was a taut rope indeed.
Someone yelled thanks, and the crew started preparing the ship to be secure at the dock.
I did write a blog about it at the time, and sent it to the Bluenose II web site. I received the answer below. I’ll have no similar chores to perform when I see The Bluenose II (I hope) out in the mouth of the harbour.
Thanks again for your help. I will pass this along to the ship.

bstrgds

ww

 

Capt Wayne Walters
Director of Operations – Bluenose II

A Ship Under Sail At Sea – The Bluenose II

bluenose-1024x576-1

Sunday, if there is no fog, I’ll be able (binoculars at the ready) be able to see a famed sailing ship pass the island at the mouth of the harbour. A replica of the ship, at any rate, itself now quite an acclaimed sailing vessel. In addition to setting into many a  port as a nautical ambassador, it is a training vessel for young sailors.
This is the site of the Bluenose II (replica of the original Bluenose) .https://bluenose.novascotia.ca/
A detailed history can be found there. Needless to say, it is an impressive .schooner when under sail, and will be an impressive site out on the open sea. I hope it lingers.
I had dealings with The Bluenose II many a year ago.
I was seated on a bench on a wharf in Halifax harbour. I had noted a tall masted sailing boat pass, but I was watching a large cruise ship prepare to leave.
Suddenly a man was at my back. He was asking me to move so I would not get struck in the head. I turned to see the sailing boat – The Bluenose II – coming alongside. It edged toward the dock, closer and closer, and then a crew member on the bow shouted to me.
He asked if I would grab the rope when it was thrown. I agreed. Soon I had the bow line in my hands and at my feet.
I was asked to put it over the ‘second’ post. That proved to be quite a chore for something thicker than my arm and heavy in weight. But, I had had some practise doing such a thing, just not so unexpectedly and on the fly..
It took a couple of minutes, but I slipped it over and jumped back.  It was a taut rope indeed.
Someone yelled thanks, and the crew started preparing the ship to be secure at the dock.
I did write a blog about it at the time, and sent it to the Bluenose II web site. I received the answer below. I’ll have no similar chores to perform when I see The Bluenose II (I hope) out in the mouth of the harbour.
Thanks again for your help. I will pass this along to the ship.
bstrgds
ww
Capt Wayne Walters
Director of Operations – Bluenose II

And a royal princess she is: Princess Anne reveals her favourite supper — Devilled Pheasant from Royal Central

The Princess Royal is notoriously coy about revealing details of her everyday life but as she approaches 70, she has revealed her favourite recipe. Princess Anne has guest edited ”Country Life” magazine’s latest edition as part of celebrations marking her milestone birthday. Her contributions include her favourite dish and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it packs a punch.…

via Princess Anne reveals her favourite supper — Royal Central

When A Lighted Cross Saw Me Through The Night

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It has been my odd experience to have twice lived across the street from a huge, lighted Cross.
The first appeared to be the height of three men standing on each others shoulders. It was across a wide field and a road, from where I used to house-sit a number of occasions over the years..It was in the yard of a private dwelling, and was (so I was told) a memorial to a relative who had died in a mine disaster.

When the sun went down, it came on. Whether someone in the house turned it on, or light sensors on the edifice gauged the amount of darkness, I do not know. The street was a dead end street, so there was not a lot of traffic. However, if I so chose, I could get the full benefit of it. It shone brightly for hours onto the front of the house. And into the house if one was in one of the front rooms or bedrooms. It had a blue hue, and an unrelenting vibrancy that made one eventually think of neon. I didn’t so much think of spirituality or practicality, but did wonder at the waste.of money and resources for – let’s be honest – so little effect. I also (somewhat uncharitably) assumed that the cross did not shine forth from both sides, and the folk in the house behind it were not affected.

Then, years later, I found myself in another house, across another street, from a giant cross left alight all night. This cross did not shine directly into the house, but slanted more along the street, and not across it. It is affixed by mighty metal stanchions and stays atop a huge Evangelical church. When darkness comes, its emblazoned light can be seen across a whole city and, by my reckoning, into the hills beyond. I am not certain, but I also imagine it can be seen by ships at sea.

But, both crosses bestow upon me the light of the Lord, and I’ll happily take whatever blessings might be granted.

Shine on me.

(image) https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41r6ETelb8L.jpg

Kafka Lights His World On Fire

libo-quemandose1

 

My novel. Kafka In The Castle, fills in Kafka’s missing diary entries. This is how I imagine Kafka’s best friend, Max Brod, reacts to one of the many times Kafka burned his own manuscripts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

19 April 1917

Max was horrified when I told him about last night.

“You burned your stories? Are you crazy?”

“I wrote them, so I must be.”

He smiled at that. Max’s anger can be easily deflected, for it is never deep. Max is a very good man, and cares for me more than I do myself.

“And the novel? The Amerika novel?”

I told him that many chapters of that must have been burned. Probably right from the start – they were no doubt the first things I grabbed from the chair.  “Anything else?”

“There were a couple of plays. I remember pages of dialogue.”

Max’s voice became hollow. He might no longer be angry, but neither was he happy. “I didn’t know you had written any plays. You have secrets even from me.”

“I keep secrets from myself. Don’t be offended.”

“What else?”

I could picture him writing down an inventory.

“Some diary entries – those were deliberate.”

“And was that the end of your pyromaniac obsession?”

“Of my own work – yes.”

He looked at me questioningly – he didn’t need another secret.

“There were a couple of bundles of letters from Felice. Neatly tied with string. They burned slowly. I have not had such warmth from her for a long time.”

 

[image] https://quelibroleer.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/libo-quemandose1.jpg

How I Will Save Canada And Enrich The Nation

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[Rideau Hall]

I am putting myself forward to be chosen as the next Governor General of Canada. I am open to the job in the natural progression of such things, but can be on call to finish off a term if – well – the need arises.

I am a sturdy Maritimer (I think this part of the country could use the boost); have travelled nearly across this fair land; am a successful artist; and am descended from United Empire Loyalists.  I will be more than proud to represent our Monarch.

I also have a stellar idea of how to raise funds for this great country, even in these times of COVID-19 disruption.

I propose to turn Rideau Hall, official residence of the Monarch, into an AirBnB. I’ll be more than happy to live in Rideau Cottage, or even 7 Rideau Gate. I generally live small.

Rideau Hall has 175 rooms and sits on 88 acres. It can easily pass as a Gated Community – with guards. It is set back from the hustle and bustle of the city. Unwanted visitors are removed.

Though it could indeed be party central for the insanely rich, I think more in terms of renovating the interior into a number (admittedly, a large number) of rooms and apartments, suitable for a vast array of the world’s population.

Also, the way things are going, well-done – though admittedly hasty – renovations could turn the building into a grand place for staycations. Proud Canadians from sea to sea to sea can come (eventually) to stay in the nation’s capital. There might be a shuttle service for residents to go to the Byward Market to stock up on provisions.

I throw open this proposal even if I do not attain the high position I desire. It will be a gift to my fellow citizens.

But I think I would look right nifty in uniform

 

[image] https://www.gardensottawa.ca/img/cache/126/261/11/86976117480161100269-0114588001517009332.jpg

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