To The Feline Hilton
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
|Yellow Rosa 'Buttercup' & Rosa 'Margaret Merril' 11 October 2023
|Niña & Niño 11 October 2023
While it is
sunny here in Kitsilano I am in a melancholy mood. In a couple of hours I will
be taking Niño and Niña to their Feline Hilton on West Boulevard. I must put
them in a cage first. They don’t like that and they meow in my Chevrolet Cruze.
I am fully
packed and I have a notebook where I write down necessary stuff to take in this
21st century like my phone charger and the laptop charger.
I will get into my bed and there will not only be the absent presence of my
Rosemary but that of my cats. I will feel empty.
trip to Mexico City will I want to part from those little creatures again?
illustrate this blog (5921) I was rewarded by cheery roses. The yellow English Rose,
Rosa ‘Buttercup’ was a Rosemary fave. But it is the white one, Rosa ‘Margaret
Merrill’ which she would have smiled at. It died before she did but I replaced
it her memory after.
In the snap
I took of the two cats a few minutes ago I see my belt. I will pack it into my
suitcase and it will be one less object to remove at airport security.
A Waning Garden, Mexico City & My Rosemary
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
|left - Clematis, centre Aconitum carmichaelli 'Arendsii', Rosa 'Bathsheba' & Geranium, 'Delft Blue' 10 October 2023
It is cold and rainy and I am wearing a flannel shirt. I
feel kind of blue. I am going to Mexico City on Thursday (it will be a happy
event) but leaving my cats behind tomorrow afternoon at the West Boulevard Feline Hilton is a sad
undertaking. When I travelled with Rosemary we could comfort each other in that
we would be leaving our needy Niño and Niña alone in cages.
So with all my stuff packed, Mexican Pesos in my wallet, a
Covid booster and a flu vaccine today, I am ready for my adventure.
I am sad because leaving my garden, one that used to be ours, behind is almost like leaving the cats.
I picked these flowers today as they remind me of Rosemary,
particularly the blue ones. The clematis is one that has no tag. Rosemary was
an expert in knowing when to prune the different kinds of clematis. If you
prune them at the wrong time you get no flowers.
The waning of the garden reminds me of the last few
months of Rosemary when she was sick. Perhaps I should feel a bit less sad as
her garden will come back. It will manage, while I am gone, in the same way that
when I went to Mexico City the last time, 7 years ago, Rosemary was here and I
knew everything was going to be all right.
Niño, Niña and I will spend what is left of today and most of tomorrow on the bed. They will be on top of me and we will exchange that so human (feline, too) affection which the three of us so crave.
And Niño and Niña somehow have a quality that Rosemary had in spades - stability.
Rosemary & Her Plastic Bags
Monday, October 09, 2023
|9 October 2023
After almost 3 years since my Rosemary died I have found
some solace reading Joan Didion’s essays.
In an interview for the New York Times she said this:
“I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm
looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”
Of late as I go through old blogs of mine (5918 of them not
including this one) correcting typos, I am astounded ( I have to beat on my
own drum) that some of them are well written. I have now modified Joan Didion’s
I write entirely to find out what I was thinking, what I was
looking at, what I saw and what it meant. What I wanted and what I feared.
Today I checked this blog (link below) for typos and found about 3. But I
think it is one of my best ever.
John Arnold the Spy
My trip to Mexico City this Thursday has me not sleeping
nights, packing and even ironing creases on my black jeans. These activities
that I call menialities, keep me a tad distracted but then not so. When I pack I
remember my grandmother who was an expert. The other expert was Rosemary. With
her gone I can spot remnants of her existence everywhere. And today it was most
visible when I opened my medium sized suitcase and the carry on. Inside
there were all these plastic bags. Rosemary would carefully fold my shirts and
T-shirts and put them into them. While not as good as she was for
folding, my packing looks pretty good.
It was Rosemary who remembered the myriad stuff like
chargers for our phones, small containers with our fave shampoo and of course
the pasalubums. What is a pasalubum? This is Tagalog for the gifts you take for
friends when you travel or the ones you bring back. I have five packages of Yorkshire Gold loose
tea. When Rosemary and I lived in Mexico, good tea was not available. Some of
our friends would bring us Lipton Tea bags which I must confess we often
re-used. The Yorkshire Gold will be seen as real gold when I give them to my
hosts who are sponsoring my participation in Mexico City’s International Book
Fair beginning on the 13th.
My Last Hurrah
The last time I was in Mexico City I went alone, but Rosemary
was at home and she helped me, not only to pack, but she did all my travel
arrangements and even found cheaper airline tickets.
Who would have suspected that the presence of plastic
bags in a suitcase would have inspired me to write what is above?
Lauren Elizabeth Stewart - Elegance in Spades
Sunday, October 08, 2023
|Lauren Elizabeth Stewart
It is most appropriate that this blog on elegance coincides with my mother's birthday which is today 11 October. (I am putting back the blog to fill a hole). She was elegance supreme.
In a recent 2022 blog that I wrote, I noticed that my
photograph illustrating it was of Jill Daum showing an incredible elegance. That
her hands are perfect has a little to do with my being taught to photograph hands
by Rosemary and my taking shots of ballerinas.
Sylvia Plath - Jill Daum
After I noticed it I remember that just a few days ago I
wrote about the theme of elegance in relation to my mother.
My mother's elegance
Now while looking at framed photograph of my youngest
daughter Lauren who is 20 I was hit by the fact that she personifies elegance
to an extreme. Part of it may be that steady, unwavering stair into my camera
that seems like she might have something in common with Superman’s X-Ray eyes.
I will have to get her to pose for me now that she is 21 and an
And today a day of melancholy with my cats at the Feline
Hilton (I am writing this today 11 October but will put it back to fill some
holes) she has brought a smile into my face.