Well look at that, it’s Friday again. The last Friday of the month which makes it a Comfort for the Apocalypse day (Issue #19). Now that’s out of the way, I need to get on recording some violin tracks this weekend for Brian’s latest album project.
The past week has felt quiet, even though I had to go to Nanaimo for a dentist’s appointment. Going to town for things has not been on my radar lately, and I had forgotten that with all restaurants shut, there is little to do but walk around while waiting for entry to things. Because of the way ferries work, I had an hour to kill before my appointment, which I spent walking around the old neighbourhoods above downtown and I was struck by how much that part of Nanaimo reminds me of Victoria in the 80’s. Esquimalt and Vic West still have a bit of that older (Edwardian, WW2,) house thing going on, and it makes me nostalgic for a time when everything wasn’t shiny condos and uber-modern houses.
During my pedestrian travels I discovered that my new dentist is close to The Common Foundry, which a friend posted online about recently. To reward myself after the tooth cleaning (yuck), I went back there to investigate their small, beautifully curated collection of stationary, pencils, paperclips, and fountain pens. I won’t tell you how much I spent, but I can tell you that my quality of life is greatly enhanced with high-end pencils and cotton paper to write notes on.
In addition to the stationary supply, I also bought a 5000-yard cone of fine silk for weaving with. I was discussing plans to weave a very fine, overshot shawl in the future with one of my weaving-neighbours and she told me that she had the right weight in white silk for my project for sale! Even though I don’t plan to weave that shawl right away, I took it as a sign that it really should be on the agenda this year, and so I swung by yesterday for a visit and yarn purchase. True story is that I had a very spendy week all round.
I have been weaving a lot this week, with a cotton-linen warp on my loom I am just now weaving off the last of four hand towels for the bathroom. I also finished knitting a shawl that I started six weeks ago, and it is packaged up to go out as a gift later today. I had not planned it as a gift when I started it, but for reasons related to the timing, it become apparent to me that it was meant for someone else. Still, when I put it on yesterday after blocking, it was hard to take it off and fold it up in the bag to go out. That likely means I’ll be making another one in slightly different colours. This is a pattern by Isabell Kraemer – whose knit designs I adore.
There are more handmade gifts on my near-term agenda, plus dish towels, napkins and a sauna towel for myself. After a long absence from weaving, I’ve returned to it a bit rabidly – which is funny given that spring/summer is when I should be outside! If this continues into the warmer months than I probably will set my small loom up on the deck as it’s easy to move with a bit of help.
Work has been strangely quiet this week owing to a number of folks being away sick and dealing with family crises. Since I have next week off (for a union convention, not vacay), I’m just as glad for time to tidy up my paperwork and get things in order – but I do prefer being on a team that is active and vocal – the opposite of where folks are at the moment. On the other side of things, there have been a couple of union blow-ups lately, including one that has me questioning whether I should just leave my position as local president now. Of course that won’t happen because I always fulfill my obligations, but am I ever ready to quit that role.
One highlight of the past week was getting out for an evening kayak on Monday. The tide was up, the water was like glass, and the rain stayed away long enough to get out and paddle in the sunset. That’s twice that I’ve had the boat in the water this season and I look forward to a lot more paddling in the near future. I finally got a rack for my car so it will be safer to travel distances with the kayak (right now I just strap it down to the cross-bars, which is fine for short distances but not highway driving). I am hopeful that with the vaccine roll-out we’ll be allowed to leave home for little trips this summer and fall. I have a few days booked on Cortes with a friend and plan to take my kayak and paddleboard both!
I am definitely feeling a little lonely and sad lately, though perhaps it is just nostalgia for the way things were eighteen months ago. I really do want to be able to come and go, see friends and family, plan all the fun things – and even though my shot is coming soon (May 9th!) I know that it will be some time before things are socially more relaxed. I worry too that with the variants, we may never be truly ahead of this thing. What is happening in India right now is nothing short of horrifying, and we know that many mutations will result (as they have everywhere that the virus has proliferated), some which may be even further out of our control. I am sure not going to be one who cries about lockdown when I have the privilege of a home and all the distractions I want. But still, this long emergency takes its toll in big and small ways and I’m feeling it this week as we wait in the queue to get the vaccine.
I hope that all of you are finding ways to stay safe and support others out there! The only way we’re getting through this is together, even if we’re mostly apart.