Tool.

Tonight, in a family Trivial Pursuit game, my brother asked: ‘What tool did astronomer Roger Thompson say is “fundamentally altering our view of the universe’?”

My answer: “Donald Trump.”

My brother: “Correct. AND the Hubble Telescope.”

A piercing experience!

In the last few months since hearing about the daith piercing and its effect in reducing/controlling headaches and migraines, I have done a fair bit of reading and research. 
I decided it was something I would do one day. I figured that if it had no effect on my headaches, I’d still have a cool piercing. 
This afternoon, after 4.5 days of a particularly nasty thumper of a headache and not much sleep, I made an appointment for 4.30pm. 

This headache had persisted for almost five days despite the not-for-the-faint-of-heart painkiller routine that I have for my back and other chronic pain.
The room and bed were super clean, the body piercer was knowledgeable and told me all I needed to know about this piercing. 

She also showed me information about this point in the ear, used in both acupuncture and acupressure to control not only headaches and migraines but also tension and anxiety. I was impressed by how much she knew about the non-body-piercing aspect of the physiology of the ear. 
The piercing itself took less than three seconds from start to finish, and all I felt was a quick sting. 
By the time I got home 45 minutes later, the intensity of my headache had already reduced by about half. The light sensitivity that I had experienced for days had disappeared, and I no longer felt sick turning my head from side to side. 
Usually, this kind of headache leaves me feeling exhausted and dopey, like I have been hit in the head with a rubber mallet, for a day or so after the pain itself subsides. 
As I write this, only three hours after the piercing was done, I have only some twinges of pain and none of the usual lethargy.  
Am I impressed? Heck, yes!
I wasn’t expecting anything so prompt or marvellous! And even if this turns out to be some hinky kind of psychosomatic/placebo effect, I’ll still take it. 

  

And, as a bonus, I have a really cool piercing. 

Kia Ora and going the Extra Mile.

Tonight I’m on a trans-Pacific flight from LA to Melbourne via Auckland. There are kids on this flight who have been on a trip to Disneyland courtesy of the Koru Care charity which is sponsored by Air New Zealand.  To continue the Disneyland experience, the flight attendants have all dressed up in fancy dress to serve the kids and make their flight more fun.   

 
Dinner and drinks were served by Minnie Mouse and Tinkerbell, while coffee was served by a CHiPS police officer.  

 
I have to say that he did take it very well when I asked when the rest of the Village People were coming out.

I’m so impressed by the continual efforts of the staff to do everything to make the flight memorable and fun. It’s a great war to promote the charity, too. 

They’ve also been wonderful to me after a very long and emotionally exhausting day. After a painful and tearful farewell followed by extended flight delays and an international connection time that was whittled down from 6.5 hours to 47 minutes, in which I managed baggage claim, terminal transfer with all my luggage, check in and baggage drop, security checks and getting to the right gate before they closed the flight. When I realised I had made my flight, I burst into tears of relief. The attendants were just lovely and so supportive, and did everything they could to reassure and comfort me. 

I love flying with Air New Zealand and I love the way they treat their clients. They’ve won me. 

Postcards from the Past #2

This gorgeous postcard from Niagara Falls, dated 1949, is another that I found in an antique store in PEI. 

    
 
Anyone who reads my blog knows how much I love Niagara Falls and how excited I was to go on the Hornblower cruise on the river below them. 

I am so happy to have this little piece of memorabilia. I have no idea who wrote it or kept it before now, but I will keep their little memory safe. 

 

Postcards from the past #1

Last weekend I found myself in an antique store in Summerside, PEI. 

I commented to my friends that it was a very good thing that I had to fly home, so that I could not buy all the lovely things there. I did pick up some old postcards, including a couple that depicted places that I had recently visited. 

The first card I chose was an old black and white picture from Port Dalhousie, Ontario. It clearly depicts the part of the beach where Sean and I sat and ate our picnic dinner a couple of weeks ago, and the carousel which we rode. 
   
I was so excited to find this lovely memento from the history of a place that I so enjoyed. 

There is no date on the card, and the postmark is incomplete, so at first I thought there was no way to know when it was written. 

 
Then I had a thought: the stamp! Surely that would give me a time frame, at the very least.

   

This is a George V Scroll stamp issued between October 1928 and April 1930. This places my Port Dalhousie beach card as most likely dating from somewhere between those dates. 

Of course, it’s possible that someone might have posted it with an older stamp, but given that these were the years of the Great Depression, it does not seem likely that one would spend money on a stamp that was not going to be used right away. The handwriting certainly does not suggest someone with an expensive education, given that penmanship was still highly valued back then. 

It may just be an old postcard to most other people, but for me this is part of the real history of a beautiful place, and it’s very exciting to have it among my souvenirs. 

Oh deer! 

Sitting in my friends’ living room in Quebec this evening, I glanced up to see two young deer in the yard, calmly eating the grass and flowers. 

    
I watched for quite some time as they wandered around, quite at peace with their surroundings. They were there  for about half an hour before darkness fell and we could no longer see them. 
What a beautiful end to a lovely day! 

A different kind of baptism.

This evening, Sean and I stood on a flat rock, polished smooth by the ocean, and stepped into the cold water together. 

   
 
We only got wet up to our ankles, but we did it! Neither of us had seen the Atlantic Ocean before last Friday. Now, we’ve had a little ritual of wetting our feet in it together. 

We weren’t born siblings, but we did this together to further cement our mutual adoption.  It’s safe to say that we have really bonded in the past five days. 

  
We’ve experienced many firsts together on our short vacation in the eastern provinces of Canada. It was the first time for both of us to visit Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Sean had his first lobster. I fulfilled childhood dreams with Sean by my side. We have laughed and talked and taken photos and blogged and got rained on and visited many new places together. And the meals we’ve shared… Oh my. 

This trip out east has been sensational in so many ways. 

It’s going to be really hard to leave him tomorrow and go back to instant messaging. But we will. It’s so much better than nothing!

Lower Bedeque School, Prince Edward Island. 

While sharing lunch with my friend in Summerside, PEI, sour server mentioned that we were not far from one of the schools where Lucy Maud Montgomery had taught in 1896-1897. 

We decided to go by and see the school house, which now serves as a museum. It wasn’t open, but we did peek in the windows as well as taking photographs of the building. 

   
  

  

How delightful to see another part of Montgomery’s own history on PEI. 

The story of her time here is quite poignant. While teaching at this school, Montgomery boarded with the Leard family. 

Lucy fell in love with the eldest son of the family, Herman, but he ended the relationship because he was less educated than her and believed she could do better. 

Montgomery’s grandfather died suddenly and she left Bedeque before the school year was finished to return to Cavendish and take care of her grandmother. 

When Herman Leard died of influenza in 1899, Montgomery was distraught, even though their relationship had long been over. 

Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Lucy Maud Montgomery is famous as the author of “Anne of Green Gables” and many other books. She was also a poet – something I did not know until today! 

In addition to visiting Green Gables, I also visited he site of the home in which Montgomery lived with her grandparents at Cavendish and her birthplace at New London, on Prince Edward Island.

Both of these experiences were lovely. The home of Montgomery’s grandparents is no longer standing, but the site is commemorated by a rustic bookstore which specialises in book by, and about, Montgomery.   

  

  

 

Walking through the house in which Montgomery was born was both fascinating and quite moving.

   

To see letters handwritten by her, clothes and shoes that she wore, and to walk on the very same floorboards and stairs that she walked on as a child had a very profound effect on me.  I have always felt connected to her characters, but to feel a sense of connection to the author is another thing again.  

  

  

 

The rooms do not have the original furnishings owned by Montgomery’s family, as the house was sold when her mother died from tuberculosis at the age of 23, when Lucy Maud was only 21 months old. 

It was during her mother’s illness that Lucy went to live with her maternal grandparents at Cavendish. Here, she frequently visited relatives who lived in the house nearby that inspired her to write the story of Green Gables and the red-haired orphan girl, Anne Shirley, who went to live there. 

The house is furnished with authentic items from the time period, according to the way in which such a house would typically have been furnished. Close attention has been paid to every detail.  

  


  
 

I’m so glad we found these places and decided to visit. As well as fulfilling a life-long hope and dream of mine, I discovered some new places and learned new things about this wonderful writer whom I have admired for so long. I really have had an absolutely marvellous day.  

Trans-Canada Highway.

Heading from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, we found ourselves on the Trans-Canada Highway. For some reason which escapes me, I thought that ran much further  north. 

Then it dawned on me.

I am further north than I have ever been. And yesterday, I was further east than I have ever been. 

So, as we drove along, I started singing Gene Pitney’s “Trans-Canada Highway, take me home…” because my brain-pod had immediately started playing it as soon as I saw the sign. 

There was a moment of awkwardness when I realised Sean had not heard the song before, but then I kept singing it anyway. That’s how I roll. 

We crossed into New Brunswick, bypassed Moncton, and headed to Port Elgin. Once there, we headed over the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. 

We headed for Charlottetown and found ourselves on the Trans-Canada, yet again. 

  
Three provinces in one day. Not bad for an Aussie maple leaf, adrift on the wind!