Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Drought

We counted every hour of every day that it did not rain. We had moved to Stage 3 Water Restrictions last Monday. I heard this Niveau Trois news on Radio-Canada French news, while in a ferry queue. Never in all the time I’ve lived here, have I been so acutely aware of the lack of rain, need for rain, and the drought, that was also accompanied by a mad volume of forest fires that torched our province and Saskatchewan during June and July. (More fires in June alone than the entire fire season of 2014)

So, not unlike Kennedy’s death for Americans, I know exactly where I was when this much desired rain started. I was here. 5 paces from this sea, indoors.

 

IMG_0961IMG_0956 IMG_0957 IMG_0959

And this what what I was doing when the rain fell.

IMG_2046

Fog followed rain

I must pause to record the first rainfall warning of the season last week. Perhaps two rainfall warnings or perhaps one that lasted 2 days. It was a relentless rain that fell. Grey on waking, grey on sleeping, lashing in between.

Hark today we are back with megawatty sun bright! But what came in between, what came by chance was eiderdown to the mind. Yesterday driving North in Washington there sat fog. By the side of the road fog. Small bowls of fog. I was tempted to call it rolling fog but it wasn’t rolling. It was sitting in a bowl-shaped-pudding fog.

I was puzzling out whether this was particular only to Washington State, when I found more patches of it sat identically on the side of the road once I crossed the border. Curiously though on the Canadian side it was more square-shaped. Are we therefore square to Washington’s pudding?!

*

Teashops they are a changing. Yesterday I met my first ultra slick and swifto tea hustlers. Usually teashops have one man, bedraggled or reading a mystery novel at the back or a hung over student or a woman juggling the dishwasher and the tea selling. Not yesterday’s encounter. It was doubles tennis rebound tea selling. I have never seen so many people selling tea in such a small space. And selling tea swifter than the sample could traverse the tongue. So you’ll be wrapping that tea up and taking that tea home will you? Unfortunately the tea in question was sweetened and decorated beyond recognition — it tasted like tea-ish cool aid.

What can we deduce? The Venture Capitalists have landed on the tea leaf. Still enthusiasm for the leaf is never an entirely unhappy thing, just in this case a tad pressured and go easy on the sweetener.

*

I faithfully disagree with Colm Tóibín’s point in his weekend Irish Times interview about tea in the novel. You can never have too much tea in a novel dude. Tea is the word. True progress will announce itself when beds come with built-in kettles. (along with my other unrelated but much belaboured desire for 24 hour swimming pools).

Over for Agonia

I would worship the God who was able to stop that Agonia rain weather event overnight. It ceased! Thanks be to “insert speculative God like force” or the simple art of meteorological passing, it stopped.

I must find out where the most rain on earth falls and send those towns, villages or 5 people a large tin of biscuits or a barrell of gin. In fact hello all you wealthy philanthropic sorts heed this call.

Yesterday I decided we need significant rain related comfort rituals. I am not sure what they are or might be. They probably involve hot water bottles, food and alcohol, maybe comedy and very soft bed socks. Post your suggestions. Together we shall compile and change the future shape of being deluged. #endagonia.

 

Mushroom lines

After the rains of Saturday and the rains of Sunday, we have a testament to the mega-mm that fell. Today I glanced at the grass beside the pavement and thought I saw smashed up apple. A closer peek it was a line of mushrooms, a regiment of mushies popped up out of the trampoline damp. I must now take my eyes hence and try, at a less inconvenient hour, to understand more about the spontaneous cultivation of mushrooms. They are everywhere out there on the grass.

Welcome Irish & British readers

A big hearty welcome to British and Irish readers. I am delighted Malarky is now published in the UK and Ireland. (and Aus, NZ, S Africa, India & all commonwealth countries). I very much hope you find my novel engaging and thank you most sincerely for reading it.

There was a lovely review in Saturday’s Irish Independent and a nice shout out from Colum McCann in today’s Sunday Independent, Colum  chose Malarky as one of his summer recommendations. Thank you to Colum, a writer I have long admired and respected.

This week I am in Dublin doing interviews about Malarky. I’ll be on TV3 The Morning Show on Wednesday.  I am enjoying being home. The big story is my sister’s greyhound Sally. I send special love out to greyhound owners, rescue services, since this dog is exceptional. Affectionate and both snoozy and sweet. (Not quite what I envisaged from a greyhound). Today we walked along the canal with her. I am not so much of a dog person, but Sally has converted me to these wonderful creatures. I may have to revise my ambition to be reincarnated as a penguin.

There was patchy drizzle this morning in Dublin, which by night gave way to a stronger downpour. Gardens are looking terrific from the recent hot spell. And it’s good to have access to Cadbury’s Turkish Delight and more importantly lively exchange and great friends.

Next week I will be in London talking to the media about Malarky. If you wish to interview me please do contact either me (mrsokana@gmail.com) or my publicist Henry Jeffreys at Oneworld in London. Or Cormac Kinsella my publicist in Dublin.

More weather reports to follow.

Best to all for now, AK.

Withering weather

There are up to 20 weather warnings today in our province. For our city, it is rain and for the Island wind warnings. It occurred to me that we haven’t had so many rainfall warnings this season, yet it never seems to cease raining.

Friday was a particularly abysmal day. Yesterday a beautiful blast of blue light, which now has given way to worse than Friday.

I think along with weather warnings forecasters could begin melancholy measuring alongside the warnings. This weather is likely to induce the following in people: then the challenge to find appropriate adjectives to match the weather. Writers could be hired. I find the language of weather forecasting has such potential.

How is your weather, wherever you are?

 

Last Night of the Proms weather updates

I am shockingly behind with weather events, of which there have been several.

The Last Night of The Proms style Thunderstorm immediately comes to mind. Very dramatic thunder and lightning, which myself and the small male (who’s taller than me now) delighted in. We love storms because we speculate the power will go out (it rarely does) and if we’re truly speculative we make flasks of water and boil the kettle. Once we even purchased storm friendly sushi! The Last Night of The Proms thunder event was followed by the Last Night of Proms monsoon rain event. Fantastic — have not seen monsoon rain like that since nearly 20 years ago in a monsoon rain event in Jakarta. It was so thrilling I may have to bring forward my plan to have the Japanese weather symbols tattooed upon me. I need my own personal forecast and thunder and rain seem apt.

Overall we are in a wonderful batch of long hot days that make for working outside and eating truckloads of blueberries and cherries.

I am hoping to build a balcony garden, gardening at the community garden (nothing hectic to report, except peas — this year I am merely gardening to make the bees happy),

Summer is wonderful. Amen.

*

 

Weather diaries, George & planting

I’ve just discovered, thanks to my partner Jeremy, the Weather Diaries of film maker George Kuchar. Joy!

Not inconveniently I am enduring a period of immense challenge with our current West Coast weather. I saw the Flowerman on the road today and he conveyed his despair over the weather and his plans to usurp his current arrangement in his plot at the community garden. He generously reconfigured some of his great plants along the communal sides of our garden and I was struck by them as I left the garden the other day. He really is an extraordinary and generous gardener.  I sometimes imagine all of the people who receive immense joy from his efforts.  He gave me some advice on seeds… apparently I am planting them way too deep because everything should germinate in this weather and basically in my much neglected plot very little has germinated.

Mme Beespeaker gave me some bee friendly plants, but so far not much luck in them popping up, likely because I messed up some of the planting. Repeat! Repeat seeding will be required! Not too worry am wiser now.

One great aspect of this decling weather situation is the planning. When it’s pouring rain, a la aujourd ‘hui, my community garden plot can’t flourish beyond not having to water it, so I begin plotting how I’ll move the strawberry plants once the fruits are finished (And boyo they have been fantastic this year) to the sides and then plant some vegetable starts and hope we are lucky with some sun before September. The Flowerman and I shared our “plans” in the rain today.

As I type this I’ve been listening to a video interview with George Kuchar (RIP 1942-2011), right now he’s joking about his eyebrows, but earlier he talked about his fascination with twisters and how the internet more than provided for his weather watching needs in that regard.

*

There has been some astonishing flooding as the Fraser River gave it up in Sicamouse (sp?) and some truly horrific forest fires in Colorado. I took a peek at the Fraser out in New West last week and it was high(er) and swirly.  I would love some day to write a novel about or around that river. I have developed quite an affection for the small parts I’ve come to know of it.

There was also concurrent flooding epsiodes in Belfast and Cork. Cork has previously been hit very badly by flashfoods and this last round seemed to come on so fast. A weather forecast, yes, but bam! Floods like you wouldn’t believe. One spokesperson commented it was impossible to be prepared. The wonder of rain, ne c’est pas?

 

 

Lost sneeze weather

Today a darkening series of rainclouds closed in on us over several hours until they finally conceded to burst their banks. But the waiting was like missing a sneeze that kept threatening return. Except there was no light to entice it with! (If you miss a sneeze, look at the light so the saying goes)

At the pet shop (guinea pig hay supplies) the woman behind the counter compared notes with me on how she had processed the darkness according to her working day. I looked out thought it must be 7pm,  it wasn’t yet 3 she said.

Rain and quakes

Wales appears to be under serious flooding, I heard reports of heavy rainfall from the West of Ireland and here in BC we have a mixture of 6 current flood watches and warnings in effect. Rain is the theme!

Today however we enjoyed a blast of sunshine. At 6.30pm I had to dodge indoors for fear I might even get burnt. (It doesn’t take much, I can manage to get sunburned indoors with the curtains shut)

Oh the other enormous piece of news that I managed to shamefully miss for two days because of being in a deadline tunnel was an earthquake (4.0) off the coast of Co. Mayo! Felt in Mayo, Sligo, Galway which has the geologists pondering and some of us pointing at the fracking activity for inquiry.

Beached rain

My partner is a great believer in walks on the beach.

Borrowing from him, I am pioneering a slight alternative… walks in the rain on the beach.

The other day during the mysterious Winter Storm Warning I took to the beach and was struck by how calm the water was and how warm the temperature was. (air not water) It was lashing rain and I can say there were very few people out and about. A few hardcore dog walkers in the distance and one drenched person running.

Ever so peaceful. No people, that vast water and those tankers anchored out there — what exactly are they waiting there for?

It is reading Gertrude Stein weather. It is reading The Good Anna weather and trying not to miss every occurrence of always or should that be all every always occurrence.

It should be noted that this is reading The Good Anna and reading Three Lives for the first time for me.

I love the circular nature of it. within which the circular nature of the women’s work, instruction, rebounds

*

My tongue has been chasing a cup of tea all day that it has not yet landed in.

 

Weather exile, nay exhilaration

Fog (Sun eve) my first official note of fog amid bewilderment as to whether in actual fact I merely need new glasses.

Fog – rain – rain – wind (bit) – immense over cast grey bulge — rain – rain – rain.

This morning it’s confirmed a La Nina Winter Forecast for us this winter. What this means will become apparent as I continue “past-casting”.

*

In Murakami weather moments I can report a degree of exhilaration running with water dripping off my sleeves and nose and eyelashes. I passed a completely bereft park and laughed out loud at how ridiculous running in pouring rain is.

But I admired the 8 people out strolling under umbrellas yesterday.

For the second of two nights at precisely 10.29pm I am aware that it is raining.

Yesterday’s 10.29pm weather event was immediately apparent to me because I stepped out of a pub, continued a conversation with my companion, dodging under the roofs along the street for shelter.  The rain was vicious and had come out of no where. It had been such a mild night when I started out. My coat, of course, the good coat, has no hood on it.

(What kind of a coat is it? You might ask. It is the coat approved by the sister. It is an elegant coat seemingly. Oh the impractical nature of elegance.)

Tonight it’s another variety of rain, darting rain to yesterday’s decisive and impaling rain.

But then the view of the rain differs, even though the time is identical — 24 hours apart. I am looking out at it, not up at it.

I love to look up at the rain, I made a remarkable discovery once looking up at the rain. It’s impact upon me I have never forgotten.

 

Did I mentioned it rained? I let out a yelp. I worried long into the night about my transplanted seeds. I worried so long I wrote to The Anglican as back up if the pagan prayers wouldn’t deliver. This morning The Anglican wrote by return to request I tackle World Peace by 3pm. I am fuelling up on eggs. I ate the best egg of my life in Pakistan, no egg has ever touched it, but these eggs polleny are coming up fast on the inside, over the hedge and down onto the last furlong … nipping at Karachi’s heels….