IMG_1158I’m in trouble.  I have my Chai.  Feeling better, head clearing.  I can feel things draining downward.  But when I speak, I can hear my hoarse voice echo in my head.  My ears pop and my eyes tear.  When I cough, I can hear the rattle in my chest. Too soon for complete recovery yet.  BIG HEAVY SIGH.

I need to be patient and let the cold run its course.  But I am getting cranky and feeling distraught with discomfort at times.  These are not the restful symptoms of being totally sick, of doing/not doing of yesterday. I’m going to take these as signs of healing.  I better keep pushing the fluids and take an analgesic to relieve my distress and crankiness.  This morning, my tapping fingers are not enough.

I don’t know how other Canadians are feeling, but I am sick of the Jian Ghomeshi story. Only a day out, it seems to be in our lives over everything else.  So much speculations.  So many different opinions.  So much #*^!!!!  Reminds me a little of the O.J. Simpson story. Let me not add to the hash and rehashing of these stories.

Let me move onto my second week in France.  I was interrupted by a slow Internet there.


October 22, 2014

It is now Wednesday in France. We are down to our last two days before heading home.

I am happy for this time away from my familiar surroundings. It helps to take me out of myself, out of my small mind and gives me a larger scope of the world. I hope I can be more open-minded. At this same time, being away from home brings me closer to understanding who I am. I see my small concerns for what they are. I see my selfishness and my mean ways. I wish to do better.

IMG_1249I am missing my fur baby, Sheba. I can imagine her excited barks upon our return. I remembered the first time we were away from her. She was so happy to see us upon our return that she ran circles in the street.  She brought tears to my eyes. I’m thinking that we could learn from our pets. They know how to greet us. We should let the people in our lives know they are appreciated.

This is what I’m thinking as I sit here tapping my words. It should be that simple. But it is not. We have to make things complicated. We put in conditions. We insist that people see things our way. We demand that they hear us before we will listen to them. I believe we call this tit for tat.

IMG_1692I am quite weary of this way of living. I am exhausted by it. I am at many crossroads at this time in life. What a better place and time to find this out than in a place of neutral ground. Perhaps I will have a clearer sense of direction as I fly home.

I am hoping when we get to the airport on Saturday morning, we will not be told there is something wrong with my ticket. It is strange all the things that had gone wrong with our bookings when they were done by professionals. Now I’m totally sold on that there are no such things as accidents. Everything is meant to happen.

IMG_1712On these last mornings here, we walk the streets of the village. They are still quite empty. We see the same cat and dog. Some cars drive by. We wave. Now we are able to discern a nod from the drivers. We see a woman here and there clearing the flower boxes in the windows. We say bonjour, the only French word we know besides Je ne parle pas Francais.

Well, I like to say I’m trying. I am. Every day. Always. Sometimes it wouldn’t hurt to give it a rest.


mornIt’s 6 o’clock Monday morning.  I’m having my first cup of Chai since coming home.  It’s hot and I can faintly taste its spiciness.  The thing with a cold is it kills your taste buds and your sense of smell.  My tongue feels like sandpaper.  My head feels full of cotton batting. No matter.  Hot tea is good going down my throat.

I’m not sure if I’m feeling better.  I think the nature of the cold is changing.  My cough is less frequent but harsher when it comes.  I hear myself wheezing.  Will I live?  There is a relief in being really sick.  I can give myself permission for doing or not doing.  So – here I sit in my pink bathroom.  My hair is standing on end, almost tomahawk style, looking and feeling like hell.  Somehow that feels good.  I’m comforted by the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard.

Canada is experiencing so much drama recently.  First there’s the killing of a soldier by a ‘terrorist’ in Ottawa. Then yesterday, news of CBC’s firing of Jian Ghomeshi hit the air waves.  It’s a case of sex, scandal and she said, he said with no women coming forward publicly.  BUT seeds of doubt have been planted.  I feel myself being swayed in one direction, then another.  You know what they say, where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.

I am sure we all have been in situations of you said, I said.  They may not be the same high stake situation that Jian Ghomeshi is in, but aren’t all truths costly? Each of us have to weigh how much ‘the truth’ is worth and be willing to pay the consequences.

I had an epiphany recently about the truth of you said, I said.  We all wanted to be right and I want the other person see my right as his.  That is impossible because he wants the same, that I see his right as mine.  It’s an impasse. A little something nudged me.  Maybe I was hearing Dr. Phil saying:  Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?  I chose my well being over being right.  The truth does not set you free.

So much about Canada and truths, let me move on with my musings while in France.  The slow Internet had interrupted my postings.


It’s Tuesday in France. I’m here and tapping some of my thought and feelings. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in foreign country and in a foreign household. The language is different but we are managing somehow with our broken words and sentences and gestures.  We have more similarities than differences.  We are all human.

IMG_1533The village is small, containing over a hundred some inhabitants. The streets are mostly empty on all our walks. A dog and a cat greets us once in awhile. I can hear the echo of our shoes on the street. Life is a leisurely pace here. We hear the chime of the church bells signalling noon as we climb up and down the hillsides.

IMG_1693We are back at the house. After some time we leave to have lunch at the truck stop. It is a popular place for everyone, truckers and non truckers. There are separate dining rooms for each as the truckers have to eat quicker and be on the road.  The rest of us can take our time.

For 13 Euros each, we have a buffet of salads – as much as we want . It consists of a selection of cold meats, fish, shrimp, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. We get to choose a main course from 4 selections or ‘the plate of the day’. This is followed by a selection of cheeses and dessert.   Also included : a 1/2 carafe of wine , coffee or tea.  This takes a bit of time.

Finally we are finished with the courses of our meals. It is a grey and rainy day in France. We go on a tour of a high technology company where they make parts for airplanes. Metal is cut using laser and water. It is all very fascinating but I am sure it has more meaning for the men than me. It makes me see how different our brains are, how non tech I am.  I can only blink and scratch my head at what I saw.

So goes our days – a little bit of this, a little bit of that.  Then it’s the evening meal.  It’s usually 8 pm and after.  If you need time and space to be, France is the country to come. That is my experience anyways.



IMG_1878It’s Sunday morning.  I’m back from France, showing up at my keyboard.  I’m tap, tapping away though my head is thick and groggy.  My ears are still ringing and somewhat plugged.

Our flight coming back was almost as eventful as the one going.  My reservation showed cancelled again when we checked in with Air Canada at Charles de Gaulle Airport.  We had to show my ticket purchased at the airport in Saskatoon.  A long phone call later, everything was cleared up.  I was allowed to check through.

We were late departing from Paris due to air traffic and delayed further by strong prevailing winds.  Our scheduled stopover was short in Toronto to begin with and with the delay, we had to hustle clearing through Customs.  It was a good thing they had set up a system of scanners to process the papers instead of lining up for a Customs officer.  Thank God that there were enough personnel to help figure things out. Perhaps this is one of the times that I do appreciate the impersonal, of just feeding things through a machine.

After going through Customs,  we had to wait to claim our luggage and put it onto a conveyer belt for our connecting flight.  I had a good workout galloping through Lester B Pearson Airport.  We made it to the departure gate with just minutes to spare. Whew!

I have to admit that I was a little grumpy by the time we were on the last leg of our flight. There is nothing to crow about Air Canada’s food.  Reheated prepackaged frozen lasagna may smell delicious to the tired, hungry traveller, but then you bite into the overcooked crunchy pasta.  You eat it because there are no options.  Time pass and you forget – till the next meal.  This time is an over microwaved hot wrap sandwich.  On the domestic leg, from Toronto to Saskatoon, there was no food, only water and non alcoholic beverages. Not even a peanut or pretzel.

IMG_1883Yes, I was crabby and critical of the airline. Was it too much to ask for decent food? They provided movies and other entertainment programs but gave out cheap earphones.  I could not hear anything except loud noise.  I spent the time watching the progress of the plane on the map and coughing and coughing.

But I am home.  Sheba is laying beside me. The sun s shining.  I’m none the worse for wear.  The sleep thing is not perfect, in 2 hour spells through the night,  but my cough is a bit better.  I’m pushing the fluids. The suitcases are unpacked.  Laundry is almost done. Now if only lunch could be simple.

But – I am finding the words, having the desire.  I am quite pleased that I kept up the exercise while I was away.  I could even post using my iPhone, but the Internet betrayed me the second week.  My writing is saved on Werdsmith, waiting to be polished and posted. They are not perfect but they have captured some of the memories while in France.



It is Sunday in France. I am surviving the language barrier and time zone change somehow. Sleep finally came on its own last night. I’m feeling more at ease in another country and in another’s home.

I am not a good traveller, preferring the comfort of the familiar. I suspect that there are many like myself. I shall just have to get out of myself and not confine my experiences because of the smallness of my mind and body.

I am venturing out into the world again with my small steps. I will not put the blame of my inadequacies to my 30 plus years of working as a nurse. I am trying but it is much easier in my younger years. I do not have as much resilience and fortitude now. They will come with practice.

I am doing the best I can. That is all that I can ask of myself. It is good to have my words to guide me. I can still tap them out. Do not judge me for my lack of structure and poor grammar. I am not quite in my space. I am happy just to be able to write.

It is sunny on this day in France. I’ve had my tea and toast. I’m tapping to relax my body and mind.


It is now evening. We’ve just come back from an outing around Lac du Der to watch the cranes fly. Along the way we visited a couple of heritage site churches. We spent the afternoon around the reservoir.

I’m poor describing places and events. I’m taking note so I will have something to refresh my mind when I return home. Quite often I return home from vacations with nothing much to show and tell. It really is not a bad thing. Vacations are meant to get away from it all- even yourself.

But there are times like this when I want a bit of memory of where I’ve been.


It’s Saturday morning in La Celle-Sous-Chantermerle. The sun is shining brightly. I have been to the market with our hostess while Rod is out bicycling with the men.

I am tap, tapping on my iPhone, getting proficient, doing almost everything I can do on a laptop. I’m not attempting to insert any photos,just enjoying the beauty of words in black and white.

I am reading Anne Lamott who says good writing is about telling the truth. We all want to know and understand ourselves but the process is about as easy and pleasurable as washing a cat.

I always tell/write the truth – as much as I am aware of it. Sometimes I have to tap very hard to get it out. Other times the truth comes tumbling out from my finger tips. Life is like that.

What is my truth this morning? My body is still rebelling but slowly coming around. I’m slowly learning to take time and just be. There really is no need to react and respond to any stimuli like an amoebae.

It is now evening. We have just returned from Provis, a world heritage medieval town from the 11th, 12th and 13th Century. I have to tell you I know very little of France and have not heard of it before. I cannot tell you my impressions. I have to let things sit and settle. I will have to do some research when I get home. More importantly I need some French language lessons.

The truth now is my thoughts are disjointed and I’m rambling like Lewis Carroll. It had worked for him so I’m going to carry on thus. Not everything needs to make sense. Sometimes there’s a lot of wisdom in nonsense. It sounds good anyways.


On a Wednesday I’m tap, tapping away on my iPhone. I’m trying to keep the momentum going. I’m such a creature of habit and routine. Little changes can easily upset my apple cart.

Change can be good for the soul. It jars me out of my rut and forces me to look at the world through a new lens. Uncomfortable as it is, it forces me to grow and develop new dendrites. It certainly adds material for the pen.

I don’t understand this reluctance of mine for change. I have never been comfortable with it even when I was younger. I admire those who thrive on it. They are blessed.

But I do TRY. Perhaps we don’t see ourselves objectively. Some people see me as brave and taking chances, always trying something new. I don’t see myself that way. I feel my smallness – the reluctance to let go of the fear and uncertainty.

I’m feeling a bit of this on this cloudy day in France. It must have rained. The balcony is wet. Perhaps it is just a little jet lag, a bit of travel fatigue. I’m tapping it away bit by bit.

I’m not up to my desired number of words. I don’t even know how many I have as there is no word count on the iPhone version of WordPress. I have tried writing on Werdsmith, which has a word count, then copy and pasting onto WordPress. It pastes but only into the box for the title.

It does disrupt flow, not adding to the creative process. But a person can learn to write under all circumstances.

It is Thursday noon in France. We rise late having breakfast after 10. Then it is almost time for lunch. Our host and hostess are having guests for lunch. With my clumsiness in language and manners I offer my help. It is good to be able to do something in return. One feels so selfish and lazy just sitting and receiving.


It’s Tuesday late afternoon. I’m tap, tapping from the Champaign region in France. I want to keep up my daily writing conversations as best and regularly as I can.

I have to tell you I feel strangely at home in a foreign country. It’s the same wherever I go – Ghana, France, Japan, etc. There’s always a sense of familiarity, Of home. My brain must have a great disconnect or connect, whichever way you want to look at it. Is it its way of comforting itself In a different environment? Whatever it is, I’m grateful for it.

I had not slept at all on the plane coming over. It was not time for we are 8 hours behind France. But it was such a relief to board the plane and be on our way after the problems involved with the travel agency.

We landed in Sunny and warm Paris Monday morning about 8:30. Getting off the plane and boarding the bus for transport to the airport, I became aware of the diversity of passengers in ages and ethnic backgrounds. Not knowing the language did not seem important. We all knew where to go and what to do. Or so it seemed.

It was relatively easy getting through immigration and onto the baggage area. Then we saw our family members there to meet us. We were off. We walked some streets of Paris, bought some sandwiches and drinks and had our lunches on a park bench.

We continued with a driving tour of the city after lunch, hitting some of its highlights – Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc. It was a nice introduction since we were already in the city. We saw the history surrounding us. There is a lot to see and explore.

I could not keep my eyes open after we left the city. Fatigue claimed me during part of the ride through Champaign country.