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Tim Winton

Sunday Sundries – Take The Long Way Home

tumblr_mffbw4Gf101qckcjqo1_500 cameronjohnCourtesy: Cameron John

Today was the best day we have had, in recent memory. We hit teen double digits today, the breeze was light, and the skies were blue. Still, I layered and wore my jacket.

Last night I spent the evening with my friend from California. I was telling some friends earlier that I ate better this week, than I have in months. Going out to dinner is rare for us, so eating out three times this week was a treat, but a drain on my wallet.

Tuesday night we had dinner at the hotel, a little steep for an Angus burger. Wednesday we hit up Rueben’s Deli for some delicious Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, phenomenal. Last night we hit up Baton Rouge in the hotel complex, you either are a Rib person or a Prime Rib person. We haven’t been to this particular restaurant in years. So we feasted on chicken tenders to start and I had a whopping 12 oz cut of Prime Rib. Fantabulous !!!

I got home close to 1 a.m.

I finished reading “Eyrie” by Tim Winton. It was a good read. I enjoyed reading something written by someone from a different continent, and entirely different way of seeing the world. It was a great story. It was all about loss, austerity, how people come together and work it all out, and just how life is very funny.

The main character, Tom, was a high end spokesperson for an organization, who took a hit and lost his job, ended a relationship, and is, in many ways broken. Coming from money into almost poverty is a common story across the board. He finds a woman living in the same building and on the same floor as he, who he knew as a young person. Coincidence or Providence ?

She has a grandson, she is caring for while his mother does a stint in prison.

Shit happens. They team up and have a go.

The father of the boy is a meth head, and has nothing to do with his son. But grandma gets his things from him, carrying Tom in tow as protection and jealousy, and procures the car as well, that was her daughters. The ex father cooks up a plan to extort money from grandma because she parades our Tom, in front of him and he thinks that she has money or access to money … and they want that money, for no good reason.

They eventually fail at this endeavor.

The story is slow moving from the first word almost halfway through the book, when Winton then cranks up the story and things get heated. Here I am getting all excited for a wham bam thank you mam crescendo to earth shattering conclusion, and what I got was a soap bubble popping.

Very underwhelming. Boooo !!!

Tuesday night we went by Indigo before dinner and I picked up two other book written by Tim Winton, “Cloudstreet” and “Breath.” There is plenty more to read.

I opted to turn next to the next book in the Kathy Reichs/Temperance Brennan series, “Break no Bones.”

There are three other new books by my bedside to dive into for the next little while.

I was out early for tonight’s event. I took the tunnel outbound and made a stop at the Five Season’s grocery store on the way and I noticed that “Little Mount Greene” is half the size it was last week. Little Mount Greene is what we call the mountain of snow that has been piled up all winter, just off Greene on the way to the church.

Imagine a snow pile that is roughly, 50 feet long, end to end, about 7 feet tall at it highest peak, and is about four feet deep from sidewalk to the parking lot behind it.

Today the pile is about three feet tall, and a dozen feet long now, and about three feet in depth to the lot behind it. It is melting ever so slowly. The church lawn is almost bare, save a few spots near the church building where snow still sits.

Tonight’s read: Feminine Victory.

The first portion of Experience, Strength and Hope is the stories from the First Edition of the Big Book. Back in the thirties, alcoholism was a mans problem. Women were long suffering housewives, trying to keep a home, maybe working, and caring for children, meanwhile suffering the ravages of alcoholism that is taking a toll on their husbands.

Alcoholism was not the purview of the female gender.

That all changes, when early on, the first women in the program appeared at meetings, and found their seats and their voices. Early A.A. was not kind. The norm, white, middle class or poor blue collar workers were the bread and butter of early meetings.

In several documentaries, meetings had to deal with racial issues, whether to allow black men into white meetings, they also had issues with other folks who showed up plastered. Women were another issue for those men of old. In some meetings, alcohol was served. And we all know how that one ended.

Suffice to say, we have learned from our progenitors.

The Traditions guarantee “anyone” a seat in any room, “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Had this tradition existed before, well before, it was written, would have solved many of the problems facing the early groups at that time.

That did not solve all of A.A.’s problem. There are those who are not so accepting of “other” than we would like. But A.A. is constantly evolving.

Anyways, women.

Out story tonight was written by one of the first women to add her voice to the collection of stories in the book. Meaning she lived during the time just prior to the writing and codification and printing of the first edition. Women were just as equal to the men when it came to the disease of alcoholism. On the main, the story is the same. The insidiousness of alcohol, the slow descent into hell, and the issues of selfishness, self pity and resentments are the same.

Through the Four editions of the Big Book, the spectrum of writers expands. Although the first 164 pages of the book remain the same, there are those who say that a Fifth edition should be printed, to reflect today’s age, wisdom, and should be written in 21st century language.

It was a good night. Everybody is alive and well.

I was the last one out of the church, everybody had walked on. And I put a little Xanadu on the tunes, and started walking home. It was so nice outside this evening that I opted to walk outside instead of taking the tunnel, the long way home.

It was a very pleasant walk.

The week begins tomorrow and it will be the warmest it has been since last fall.

More to come, stay tuned …

Wednesday … The Move is On … And Other Assorted News of the Day !!!

muhcThis is the Brand New, Not quite open yet, But coming soon, M.U.H.C.

The McGill University Health Center…

This build project began years ago. And is in the final stages of prep for opening next month.

It is ONE MASSIVE MONSTER of a Hospital building.

You might not know that Montreal has hospitals scattered all over the city. They serve both the French and Anglo populations. There are two concurrent builds going on, One for the French sector and one for the Anglo sector.

This project is going to consolidate the major hospitals into one location. The Children’s hospital which is located right up the street from home, is being moved as we speak. Many departments that were situated on other sites are being moved here as well.

Things did not go to plan, as some departments that I need to visit were moved to a secondary site, for 9 months, prior to coming to the Glenn site. It was good that my main HIV doctor has an office off site that I get to go to instead of having to do the trek to the Glenn.

The trek would involve either a one train solution, Orange from Home all the way to Vendome, or the two train solution, which is Green to Orange and over to Vendome. It all matters because there is a tunnel involved in the trek which I hate walking at any time of day or night.

On the way out, I jacked my card with tickets for the days travel.

I knew many months ago that the I.D.T.C. (Immuno-dificiency Clinic) was being moved. And the dentistry office was closed as well. We’ve been to the new dentist office recently. I decided to NOT go to the satellite site where the I.D.T.C. is now, rather go to see my doctor directly at his private office.

That is where I want to go for now. But all that changed this morning. After being sick for a week, I never drop labs when my system is down. I waited for the first day I was feeling normal again to go do that, which was this morning. Common sense said, “oh, go early, you’ll be in and out in twenty minutes …” WRONG !!!

I got there before 8:30 in the morning. The place was packed. I looked on the wall counter to see what number they were at, (that would have been # 8) I took my number. I was holding #40 !!!

Thank God I brought a book to read. Because I was there a long time.

After my labs, I was told to go to the Diabetes clinic, to see what their status was, because my next appointment is in May. Today they found out this morning, that they too were being moved to the Glenn site next month. A massive number of departments from the General are being moved to the Glenn site.

Over the past nine months, I have seen three doctors. Two brothers, and a Son. Each of them have given me things to do, pills to take, and other assorted information. It’s complicated.

Sometime soon, I need to take a field trip over to the Glenn to scope out the new hospital. I’ve seen it up close, but I haven’t been inside, and have no idea where to start. Which is the same deal for every other Montrealer, who didn’t get to the Sneak Peek some time ago.

So that is a thing…

I had several things I wanted to do today. And having taken my time dropping labs, that ran me up to almost lunch time. All my other stores would be open now, all I had to do was get there. I waited for a bus down the hill, and got on the train to the village.

Yes, the worlds Sexiest man was working when I got there. And yes, I bought what ever he showed me – sometimes you just can’t say no !!! We spoke about my last purchase and the refund that was given in stead. Rubber and Latex are not my friend.

I shopped and got back on the train and headed for Indigo Book Sellers for some light reading.

I am on a Kathy Reichs run as of late. Having read two books over the last couple of weeks, I needed the next two from the series, as they are listed. I had time to kill and wasn’t in a hurry to go home yet, so I browsed a bit. A friend gave me a couple of titles to look up and that was fun.

You have book shelves with books on them. Then along side those book shelves are what I like to call IMPULSE book tables. Stacks and Stacks of books just waiting to be picked up. And if it was up to me, I’d never have a bored moment ever again…

Books cost money – they do !!!

I was walking around that end of the store and I happened upon a book. It was just lying there on the table. There was only one of them. All by itself. There were no other books written by the author of said book, on said table. Someone must have just dropped it there, having pulled it off a shelf, considered it a moment or two, then just put it down where ever it landed.

It is called “EYRIE…” A novel, written by Tim Winton. “The internationally best selling and twice Booker Prize shortlisted author of Breath, The Turning, and Dirt Music.”

The blurb on the front of the book reads: “A superb novel of disillusionment and redemption, loss and beauty, the taking of responsibility and the overcoming of disappointment.” The Guardian.

That got my attention.

The turn the book over and it says: “Tackles myths of prosperity and success in a way that is not always comfortable but that stirs deep thought. It is rich in compassion and affectionate toward the unlovely. It has a strong belief that no journey ends at the halfway mark. Eyrie is a novel for which our culture has been in urgent need.” The Age …

I wondered why someone would put this book down, after reading blurbs like these?

I am a fussy reader, the book has to jump off the shelf or I was looking for a particular book.

For a moment, I considered putting the book down where I found it, but I held on to it. And now I had three books to read. I was heading for a fourth, but decided against that.

Sometimes a book says … READ ME !!! I got that feeling when I picked it up off the table.

I then headed to Micky D’s for some lunch. When was the last time I took me out to lunch?

I headed for home after eating and did some supermarket safari on the way home so that I did not have to go out this evening. I had other plans.

It was a very productive day today.

More to come, stay tuned …