Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Washing retrieval wind

I noted a sharp wind ouside just now when I pulled in the washing off the line. I was surprised at the chill in it and checked the weather station which claims an 8 degrees. But there was something enlivening in it after a particularly draining day. An encore quality. The reward for carrying on. Must remember to dip out and take note of night weathers and temperatures, they can be so satisfying.

Low-pressure unison

There is another low-pressure system coming in that’s provoking yet another curious weather situation. Today, late in the day, wind, cold freezing wind with a snowfall warning. It looks like the snow will be slush but the combination of wind and nearly snow coldness was unusual for us.

The clouds hung low in that pre-snow mentality they possess.

The weather redolent of a shift and around us the talk is of a teachers strike and  this morning’s news of the death of Jim Green, (RIP), a long-term poverty activist and former City Councillor was written all over those sad, low clouds today. A strange unison between weather and change and sadness out there.

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A unity that failed to occur today however was the chicken soup I decided to make (Asian style) before the misguided notion overtook me to hurl four lamb sausages into it. I am still several hours later wondering what possessed me to do such a thing.

Answers on a post-card to ….

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A major woodwork undertaking that should not have been undertaken but God loves an ambitious palm-sanding woman, with her dressmaking measuring tape and her dremmel. An extraordinary sized shelf has resulted. I think a very spacious, high-class shoe rack is the outcome, which needs to have a back to stabilize itself. My first experiment with mad-sized lumps of plywood from scratch. It looks better than it touches. It touches, well, wobbly. Lesson learned= measure the space into which the intended shelf will dwell.

Turbulent birds

The dry-sounding November windstorm blew into an epic wind event all day long. Vigorous and refreshing. It’s still gusting out there now, but the dial has been turned down on the worst of it.

Today at the Farmer’s Market the poor, tent-less vendors were grabbing and clutching their goods like you would a tumbling child. I bought some very tasty arugula and have found a source of local BC salmon, which I’d previously been hunting for. Very delicious supper. We are so lucky in these parts with the access to local and so much variety of fruits, veggies and great fish.

The birds were dipping and being sidelined by the wind. I was watching them trying to understand how they compensate because they still seem to level out. But they certainly experienced turbulence today the poor blighters.  Would we were so savvy as the birds when turbulent circumstances strike!

Big storm overnight, the wind was literally performing battering contractions at the window beside my head. It woke me repeatedly and had a very distinct sound. It took place while people slept, I wonder how many were aware/unaware of it?

80,000 lost power, reports say.

B agus O

In every sense of the word today was a weather event.

Am following matters closely in Ireland over the bailout. The bailout that everyone knows is coming, except the Finance Minister and Biffo.  The BBC and the Financial Times were reporting talks as early as Sat night and still the Dail is maintaining a near Masonic silence and secrecy over whether or not they’ve taken place.

Particularly enjoyed the British papers headlines (everyone has the word Ireland emblazoned on front page)

My faves:

EU tells Ireland Take The Bailout. (Judging from my kitchen table it is not in the national characteristic to “do what you’re told” so good luck on that one.)

Ireland on the Brink.  (could apply to any average Thursday.)

Ireland isn’t working: Celtic Tiger becomes sick man of Europe.

While the Irish newspapers still lead with the more tranquil

Taoiseach insists Ireland not applying to Europe for bailout.

To which we can only respond, erm how come the rest of the world do not believe him….

Another curious thing is the papers need to catch up with what’s already taken place. They are running these pieces about young people potentially fleeing the country, but we know from the figures people have already left. I’ve never heard so many Irish accents in the area here as in the past six months and this is not a place historically the Irish gravitate to. There aren’t even good flight routes to get here!

To add to the current inventory of woes, it’s -3 overnight in Dublin.

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Here in the Wessst Coast it’s blowing a gale, the greenhouse splitting at the seams as I type. I’ve already had to do aerial moves to rescue a flying sledge and a turbine fishing net. The clouds are extraordinary and the trees, well they’re doing a fair bit of bee-bop out there.  Over by the supermarket there was a head banging line of conifers

1.22am. A moment when I wish night was day. An unusual weather event is taking place at this hour, an uneven windstorm. The gusts come intermittently and they blow in shapes like big old beer bellies. A bellows kind of bluster. Short blasts. 2 to 3 seconds and then give way. Inbetween there is a strange hum in the air. The wind is not cold. It’s 13 degrees and fresh. It smells like Mayo wind, except Mayo wind would never pause for prayer or thought or inhale the way this one does. There is a howl off it, which again is rare for urban Vancouver wind. Naturally I stuck my head out the window to examine and partake and noted no one else has their head out there at this hour. But if they did, they’d have seen black cloud barrelling North, yes North. Normally the clouds travel West when I look at them from this angle.  Single taxis travel the street but you could list everything in the fridge and cupboards aloud in the time that lapses between them.

Today another request! This time Eros! From a male friend could I read a paragraph of a love letter … which was a touching request. He and I don’t agree on much because he is full of youthful idealism, in contrast to my Beckettian acceptance of the awfulness of everything amen, so we often spar, however on this we agreed. The paragraphs were beautiful. Paced. Thought out. Painstakingly so. It was so moving. It was wonderful to see caution thrown to the wind over the more typical strategic cloaked murmurs.

I was rather lifted and moved by the romance of it all. “You’re such a sensualist”, he said critically, but I misheard it as “You’re such an essentialist.”

I like this accidental term essentialist.

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On the ferry at the weekend it was rough and windy from Cortes to Quadra. I’d never been on a bumpy BC sailing before but I spent my childhood, being of the Sealink generation, back and forth on the vicious Irish sea. Sometimes it was sooo windy we’d have to pull ourselves along the rails outside on the boat and it wouldn’t be possible to get around the corners at the head of the ship. Your hair would be on end!

Between Nanaimo and Van on Sunday it was again windy, but nothing like as hard on the stomach as that Cortes ferry. I was pleading with my son to come out and run along the deck with me for the craic, but he was nervous at the prospect.  Given that sea air and fighting the wind is such a rare enough experience and it’s worth tackling nerves and I offered a few games of pac man in the arcade afterwards. Compared to the old Sealink winds of the 1970’s this was merely a bit of a breeze but we’d a hoot pulling through it.

The smell of boats has changed so much. There was almost a diesel or metal industrial smell that pervaded in the 70’s which would dissolve when everyone inevitably started puking their ring up. I recall if the sailing was rough, people had those bags to their noses and vomit would be the pervasive smell. I must look up and see whether things are just as rough between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire and Fishguard.