Starts with a massage.
My occasional luxury of choice. (Which really isn’t a luxury at all if you talk to Hippocrates.)
No complaints there. Even though the massage therapist tells me she’s not a morning person. I worry momentarily about cold stiff hands and lethargic moves, yawning from above, but she turns out to be great. Even gives me a couple of tips:
1) buy a timer to remind myself to stand up at my desk now and then, move about, roll my shoulders, breathe, etc.
2) get a new mattress every ten years.
So I go to the dollar store and buy a timer in the shape of a pear and while I’m in line I think about evolution and wonder if humans accidentally stopped evolving a lot sooner than we were meant to. I mean, everything else in the universe seems to have the sense to remember to roll its shoulders without the help of plastic fruit.
The woman ahead of me has two baskets filled with what I recognize as the fixings for loot-bags and I remember the first birthday party I organized for my stepson. He was nine. We did the usual: cake, lunch, games, arts and crafts, then a trip to the bowling alley for some five pin action. At the end of the day, as the parents started arriving to pick up their kids, and as we waved and said bye bye now, you little darlings, one of the kids said: so where are the loot bags? I had no idea what he was talking about. Last kid party I’d attended I was nine myself and the only thing I brought home was a piece of cake wrapped in a soggy serviette.
From there I take my still squishy, flushed, massage face with its massage table indentations to the library where I hope not to frighten small children. I smile the smile of the freshly massaged who have three books waiting to be picked up:
I wander over to the free-giveaway shelves where I find a bumper crop of Canadian Gardening magazines. It would be selfish to scoop them all so I sit down and flip through each one in order to choose. Then scoop them all. (I paint a rosy cast over this unbecoming behaviour by telling myself I’ll return them to the giveaway shelves once I’ve finished reading them and have become a brilliant gardener; it could be a while…)
There are also a number of French books, including dozens of Harlequins, which remind me of a friend who once told me she learned French by reading stacks of Harlequins while living in Paris. I grab one for her for old times’ sake and one for me, as a learning aid. Also find a copy of Gabrielle Roy: De quoi t’ennuies-tu, Eveline? The cover shows a matronly woman in feathered hat and fur collared coat, a snow-covered field and two small houses in the background. I like it already. Er, that is… Je l’aime deja. (BTW, I had to google translate that, which tells you all you need to know about my French; I can only pray the Harlequin will do its magic.)
I should be heading home now but instead find myself entering a little second-hand clothing shop. The woman sitting by the till is covering for her daughter who has pleurisy. She’s taking care of her grandkids also. She looks tired. She lost her husband in February and helping her daughter keeps her mind off things, she says. I tell her she must remember to look after herself as well and she nods, smiles, says no one sails stormy seas forever. When I knock over a display with my shoulder bag she calmly fixes it while I apologize and worry about any teacups in the debris. She says no, nothing breakable, laughs, says it happens all the time. She’s one of those people. I’ll bet it doesn’t happen all the time at all.
I buy a floral print jacket in lime green and pale pink. An odd choice given that I mostly wear black with occasional splashes of white or grey. Never prints. Especially flower shaped ones. (Could it be that I picked up some weird pourquoi pas? c’est printemps! vibe among all those books with their covers of feathery hats, heaving bosoms and holiday themes…?)
By now it’s almost lunchtime so I decide to get some rotis and fish cakes from the Carribean place next door, and a new thing called ‘doubles’—a spicy chick pea wrap.
At home I pick dandelions in the garden, sorrel leaves too, make a salad and watch The Big Bang Theory, which I admit I’ve developed a slight addiction to.
I hang sheets.
I tidy the yard and make a note to buy more seeds.
Later I will have a glass of chardonnay on the patio and eat grilled salmon and Peter’s double baked potatoes, which we will douse with butter and sprinkle with garlic chives.
We will talk about the day. His, mine.
There will be reading.
Some gossip about the neighbours.
Plans for tomorrow.