Tuesday, 30 June 2020

A tolerance for pain

When this is over - if it's ever over - there are some things I will miss.

Here's one of them. One of the most joyous pop-songs I've heard about falling in love. It's from the musical Hamilton, and this "lockdown" version features features the original cast, among others.

The Resident Fan Boy and I just celebrated a major wedding anniversary with a zero on the end, so this is as good a time as any.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Aren't they supposed to be immortal?

Woke up this morning to this treat. (I got the DVD set for Christmas.)

Not sure what an angel and a demon are doing under lockdown. "Setting an example" sounds a bit flimsy.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Instead of sheep

I've actually been sleeping quite well. Early on, when this country-shutting-down business began, I'd wake up, hoping I'd imagined it, but, for the most part, I drift off easily.

Should it ever become a problem beyond the occasional Valerian, I could always take Bing Crosby's advice and count my blessings. I have a baker's dozen, at least.

1) I am at home with all the comforts thereof, enough food, and a safe place to sleep.

2) I am with my family, including both daughters, and we all are, at the time of writing, comfortable and healthy. I get the occasional uneasiness when I'm stuffy, sneezy, or head-achy, but opening a window usually is enough.

3) We have electricity and WiFi.

4) Demeter is a two-minute stroll (a one-minute panicked dash) away, and she is reasonably comfortable and very healthy.

5) I can still venture forth and get things for my family and particularly Demeter.

6) We are on a beautiful (unusually quiet) street, and our windows afford views of flower beds, trees, and, up until recently, a steadily diminishing number of passersby -- also the occasional delinquent deer. It's spring, something at which Victoria excels.

7) I am actually hearing more from friends than usual, due to, no doubt, their own senses of isolation, but heck, I'll take it.

8) Marie Phillips, due to her own sense of isolation, is blogging again. I'll take it!

9) These days, we have free access to theatre and ballet, courtesy of the Globe, the National Theatre, and the Royal Opera House, among other sources.

10) I have opportunities to pursue family research, my go-to mental health activity in the best of times and the worst of times. I just demolished a major brick wall in the Resident Fan Boy's side of the family tree a couple of days ago. I did lose some sleep over that - due to excitement. Don't say it.

11) We still have access to take-out from several of our favourite eateries, which we support for entirely selfish reasons.

12) Miraculously, some of my favourite shops are offering limited, and very personalized, service: book stores, stationers, hosery... It's my bounden duty to help keep them open, right? And I'm shopping local.

13) I'm not in Hades. Sorry. It had to be said.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020


There must be something reassuring about doo-wap these days.

This is a video edited from the live concert Stronger Together, broadcast on CBC last weekend. It features Michael Bublé, the Barenaked Ladies, and Mexican singer Sofia Reyes.

The performance is a cover of a recent offering by Barcelona trio Stay Homas, who are riding out this thing by making music from their apartment.

A number of Stay Homas fans are calling out Michael Bublé for covering this song, but I notice Stay Homas has sent a thank-you to all the musicians involved, for using the song to raise money for foodbanks.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

The world is grown to one vast drysaltery!

This notice appeared on the exit door nearest our condo a few days ago.

Oh god. Just what we need.

Victoria does have a rat problem; my Friend of the Right Hand got infested once, and one of our house-sits featured a large rodent, who basically scared daughter into representational drawing.

I'm not sure the Pied Piper is such a good idea, though.

"It's a horror story," I explained, years ago to a future godmother, who was planning a show of the Pied Piper for her drama students. "The people of Hamlin don't pay him, which is wrong, but he revenges himself by taking their children away."

Future Godmother stared at me for a long moment. She was a divorced mother of two, on not great terms with her ex-husband.

"I never thought of it that way."

Best to just keep that door closed.

Monday, 27 April 2020

"I'm not a doctor." "No kidding."

Apparently, Julie Andrews sent Randy Rainbow a message of approval about this video -- via Carol Burnett. That's got to be Gay Guy Cloud Nine.

For all you Mary Poppins fans, who don't mind the occasional cuss-word. (I gather Julie Andrews is one of those.)

Sunday, 26 April 2020

The longest time

I don't know if this video is viral, but it's going around.

This is the Phoenix Chamber Choir (and some friends) out of Vancouver, BC, with a clever take on one of my favourite Billy Joel songs. If you can, get the video to the largest view you can manage, to see what the various singers are getting up to.

Here's the 1984 video, a fantasy in which a sextet of men show up at their thirty-year reunion with most of their hair. (Despite the back-up, Joel recorded all the vocals himself.)

Saturday, 25 April 2020

A room of one's own

Elder daughter has now been in residence for two weeks. Tomorrow, she will emerge from the sofa corner she's been inhabiting in a modified self-isolation, and will venture into places like the kitchen and the laundry-room.

What has become evident is that, with elder daughter here for the foreseeable future, and the Resident Fan Boy working from home for a similar length of time, and no coffee shops, we really need a working area separate from the living area.

The Resident Fan Boy spotted a notice at our favourite second-hand furniture shop, offering "viewing appointments". He made one, and I shuffled the row of totes, laundry baskets, high-boy, and television stand along the eastern wall of our bedroom, and found a space of just under four feet.

The lady at the shop has been home for about six weeks, and has a case of what I'm going to call "pandemic patter". My mother has noticed it when she calls around for her church. Elder daughter noticed it when having a Zoom chat with a group of Hades pals that lasted three hours. The sun was gone when she staggered in from our patio, where she'd gone for privacy.

Furniture shop lady chatted and chatted. Her daughter's boyfriend has moved in, and while he's lovely, she's wondering if he's ever going to leave. She got yelled at by an elderly man at the grocery store, who charged her with his shopping cart, hands trembling on the bar, and bellowed: "She's hogging the meat counter!!"

We understood the garrulousness, and, because it was a furniture store, we sat down.

We've acquired a charming old secretary desk. The top folds down into a plain table, but contains two deepish small drawers, and little slots that could accommodate cheque-sized envelopes. It might be a great place to store theatre tickets -- if theatres ever open again.

I discovered that the desk can line up to the far east corner of the window, so I can get a breath of fresh air and gaze out past the plantations outside. Our floor is slightly subterranean, so I see the flowering shrubs at eye level and beyond, masked people walking their dogs on the sidewalk.

At seven in the evening, the pots and pans will bang in tribute to the health care workers, and I'll hear the clamour, like scores of distant bells.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Staid and skittish

Continuing on the birthday theme, my birthday, and that of elder daughter, have prevented me from watching the National Theatre's 2017 production of Twelfth Night, one of the productions made available for free each week as long as there's a lockdown in the UK, I guess.

Orsino is played by the impossibly good-looking Oliver Chris, who was posh and funny in the National Theatre's One Man Two Guvnors in 2011 (which was also shown for free three weeks ago, although I saw it in a cinema last November - when you could do that).

I have until Thursday morning to see Twelfth Night, and intend to see it this weekend, as I address birthday cards for my fellow Taureans, and prepare for younger daughter's birthday in early May.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Can I ax a question?

It was elder daughter's birthday today. And I had to accompany Demeter on her eye procedure appointment. All in the middle of a pandemic.

Which means I missed seeing any of BBC's Big Night In.

But you know I can't resist David Tennant. Even with a zigzag hairband.

(The Doctor W.H.O. reference is really quite clever, isn't it?)