Sunday, April 19, 2009

The dog ladies meet again

This weekend has been blur.

Healthwise, not so great, a gum infection compounded by a sinus infection, leaving me quite lacking in energy and focus. I think it's getting better, but hard to tell, it's so damn gradual.

Friday and Saturday felt like summer was just around the corner, it was so warm! But today, Sunday, it's back to cool and windy, I almost put my winter coat on to take Dobby for a walk. The daffodils and forsythia are in bloom and there are green lawns everywhere, so it does feel like spring is well underway. The chirping robins confirm it!

My main activity though has been editing and writing documents for the Clean Train Coalition, the newly formed organization to fight the diesel train invasion. The first document was a short "FAQ" that will be printed up in brochure format. This was started on Friday and completed today, all by email between about five people, including myself.

The next document was something called a Backgrounder, I'm not sure how to describe it, which is odd because I wrote it (the first draft of it I mean). I just sat down this afternoon and wrote a two page outline and then five pages of text, pretty much non-stop. Then I posted it on a website where it will be available for other people to edit. It is supposed to end up as a three page document, which means it is going to need some serious editing. I am too brain-dead to tackle it tonight, the others can spill all the red ink on it that they care to.

In the meantime a couple of other people are preparing a long FAQ, an expansion of the short one we wrote this weekend. Looking at what they've produced so far, there's quite a bit of overlap with the Backgrounder, so hopefully my document can be cut down to size without losing any crucial information.

The Coalition website is not up yet, when it is I'll post a link to it.

It's been quite interesting doing this, I've learned a lot about diesel locomotives and local politics. This whole thing is politics, there's stimulus money out there, lots of people want to get their hands on it, projects are being put together in a hurry with a skim of language about "greening" the city, "climate change", "world class city", and so forth, and pushed through environmental assessments and public consultations all in the name of getting that stimulus money. As for diesel, well, don't get me going!

On Saturday, Isaac, Gretel, the kids and I all went to see a dress rehearsal of Roseneath Theatre's Rocket and the Queen of Dreams. Quite an amazing play, a mix of actors, puppets and shadow puppetry. A very imaginative story about a child who is afraid to go to sleep because of bad dreams. It seemed quite long, but all the children in the audience were quite entranced by the amazing puppetry, no one fidgeted at all.

After the production there was quite a long Q and A with the actors, the children were fascinated by the behind-the-scene details. Later, the workings of all the puppets and scene changes were exposed and the kids examined every inch of it. This play is being taken on tour to many schools, I am impressed that they can pack and unpack such an intricate setup at many different locations.

Last Monday night I went to a potluck dinner at a neighbour's, Fatima's place. Same place the dog ladies had their party last January. In fact, pretty much the same cast of characters, all dog ladies. There were five of us: Fatima (Alpy), Sandra (Chico), Grace (Indie), Catherine (Dylan) and me (Dobby). Dinner was salmon and pasta, asparagus, fresh greens and feta salad, and Blackbottom Cupcakes (I made them from the recipe that Gretel made my birthday cupcakes from, it's in the latest Joy of Cooking).

And six bottles of wine. Not only did we drink all six bottles, but then after everybody else left, Fatima and I got into her bottle of Calvados. Oh my. I have not had a shot of Calva in a very long time.

But we had a great time, laughed ourselves silly and apparently I agreed to buy a house in Brazil and invite everyone down to stay. Or so I'm told.

Fatima just had an operation and is taking six weeks sick leave to recuperate. She spent a couple of weeks getting her strength back and now she's ready for Stage Two of her recovery: two weeks of eating and drinking and laying around in the south of France. She's not allowed to lift anything so she's taking along a friend who must tote all her baggage.

So the next day all of us were thoroughly hung over. I was supposed to go to the McMichael Gallery with Zach, but I could barely stand up for more than five minutes without getting nauseous so I had to cancel. And of course Zach told everyone in the dogpark so when I showed up there in the evening a half dozen or so dog owners were laughing at me.

The next day after that the gum infection kicked in and I had to cancel out of my weaving and carving classes, not to mention the public meeting about the diesel invasion. And I am sure the sinus infection can probably be blamed on this train of events as well. Last night I broke out the whiskey to treat the gum infection with, it appears to have done some good.

But I haven't knitted a thing all week.


Alan G said...

LOL....Can't wait till you start blogging from your new house in Brasil! At least you escaped from your "ills" for a while! Certainly sounds like you gals had a blast.

Tamara said...

Good for you for getting involved! There are many folks in Langley who are pushing for a light-rail commuter system to come out (and reuse the existing rail lines/or have another commuter option) but so far no progress. Meanwhile, there's a huge debate within the community (and done deal with local gov't it seems) to reappropriate farm land for a new overpass. I'm not impressed with local gov't these days.
Sounds like a great party! Feel better soon!

Zabetha said...

Hi Alan, me neither (can't wait)! LOL

Hi Tamara, good to hear from you! The side effect of fighting a "done deal" is, it brings the community together. Nothing like a common enemy!

Yeah, I'm gonna have to pay a little more attention to the alcoholic intake, apparently my immune system is protesting.

Zabetha said...

Tamara, I hate that they're always reappropriating farmland! We can ill afford to lose it! Nothing like reducing our ability to produce food locally in order to increase automotive carbon emissions! I hear your frustration.

Barbara Anne said...

Hi Anne, What a wonderful, varied life you lead!! Hope you're feeling lots better now since I'm playing catch-up here.

Please add me to your guest list for that house in Brazil!

Your mention of the importance of farmland reminded me of a book by Barbara Kingsolver titled "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" that is the story of their first year on the family farm, but which also contains lots of dismaying information about wasteful food practices. It boils down to grow your veggies or buy from local farmers who grow the veggies and get used to eating seasonal foods in season and doing without the rest of the year. Reasonable and very much the way our foremothers lived.