Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anita Birt's Note book

Little miracles happen every day but who'd think to find a miracle in a bottle of cough medicine. I've had a bug of some kind, then a cold and then a nasty,nasty cough keeping me awake at night.

I dropped into a pharmacy to gaze along the rows of cough medicines. I picked on Robitussin, DM Cough control, paid $7.99 plus tax. Take two spoonful every six to eight hours. I thought how can an "over the counter med" work?

I took my two spoonsful before going to bed and I did not cough once all night. There it is then, my little miracle in a bottle of Robitussin and worth every penny of $7.99 plus tax,

We had a gorgeous summer-like day. Sun shining on the sea, gulls wheeling overhead as though enjoying the blue sky and the light wind lifting their wings. Another bright day promised for tomorrow and after that - rain and a chill in the air.

What is the plural of spoonful? I say spoonsful and a red line informs me I am wrong so I try, spoonfuls and that is supposed to be correct. Must be a Americanism. Hey, they don't like how Canadians spell "harbour" and other words where we keep the "u" and they take it away.

When I send my work to an American publisher I use American spelling but to a UK publisher I use my Canadian spelling. Keeps my brain busy.

A sad note. My granddaughter's dear old dog, Skoolie, is very ill and may not make it. Skoolie is fourteen years old. Melissa got her from the SPCA in Vancouver
when she was studying an Simon Fraser University. Skoolie is one of the smartest dogs I've ever met. She's had a long, wonderful life with Melissa. My heart goes to Melissa who is hurting and to Skoolie who is trying to recover.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Anita Birt's Note book

Having never worked in a mine or been underground my thoughts keep returning to what happened to the thirty three Chilean minters for the seventeen days when they were completely trapped and didn't know whether any would survive. If this doesn't interest you, ignore it.

The miners had their hard hats and their lamps, standard equipment in mines. Did they have food with them? My husband's father was a coal miner in Wales and he never left home without his Tommy Box - in it his food to keep him going during his work day. Penallta Pit had rich coal seams and the miners used what seems to us now, as rudimentary equipment, to dig coal from the coal face.

Back to the los33. If they left their hard had lights on the batteries would soon run down and they would be complete darkness. After the initial shock and fights that reportedly broke I suspect the shift foreman stepped in to organize his men. Like a drill sergeant my ex-army son suggested. Keep the men busy. Give them tasks.

But I'm still thinking about their helmet lights. Did they ration the time for them to be on or what? I went caving here on Vancouver Island many years ago. We were equipped with helmets and lights, like the miners. We climbed down a steep ladder into the cave. A steel lid crashed closed up above. Our leader asked us to switch off our lights, which we did. Now we are in complete darkness. It was to me, an unbelievable experience and the memory made me feel something of the trapped men when they experienced complete darkness, not knowing if they'd every be saved. Try and imagine it.

Did the Chilean miners carry "tommy boxes" with them? Possibly strapped to their belts. The story of those seventeen days is the one I'd like to hear. Ration light. Ration food. The "sergeant" keeping the men organized and busy. Tell me the story!

In newspapers, book and magazines there is much ado about happiness. A book called, The Happiness Project. What about, oops I can't remember the complete title - was it Eat Pray, Love? Sarah Hampson, a columnist in the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, is writing a weekly column called Happiness. It's about heading out into the world with a "happiness" goal invisibly etched behind our eyes.

I'm feeling rotten right now, a cold and 'flu and a cancer diagnosis. I paste a smile on my face when I meet and greet people because no one wants to be around a sad sack or someone describing all her aches and pains. Happiness is an elusive concept. Try it, by all means, but don't feel guilty when the miseries creep in and you have to hide out until they drift away.

There's a lot more to the Happiness story but I'm not in the mood to carry on. I am tired.

A comment or two would be nice. Or sit back and either enjoy or dislike my thoughts.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anita Birt's Note book

I could not "kill" my blog so I have resurrected as a note book - for my pleasure. Any can join in and add comments. Like millions of TV viewers around the world I watched the rescue of the miners in Chile. What a wonderful end to a grim story. I'd like to have seen more about the five man rescue team sent down to assist in the evacuation. Also how the drilling of that hole worked and how the escape cage was designed. I understand that NASA assisted,

Yesterday I treated myself to the book that won the Man Booker Prize in England - The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson. Last years winner, Wolf Hall was a fabulous read. I haven't dipped into The Finkler Question. Have to finish two other books I'm reading.

I have The Pocket Book of VERSE on the table next to my favourite chair. I flip it open now and then and love coming across words like these.

Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a Mandrake root,Tell me where all the past years are, Or who cleft the Devil's foot; Teach me to hear the mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy's stinging, And find what wind, Serves to advance an honest mind.
By John, Donne, 1573-1631

The keyboard on my new HP Windows 7 computer is driving me nuts. No matter how carefully I type mistakes keep happening - not my fault! I'd like my old keyboard back but it has disappeared never to return.

Anita Birt,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Saying hoodbye

I am closing my blog and may start another one sometime in the future. Thanks to all of you who stopped by. The recipe blog worked well.