I happened to be in a thrift store the other day, when I came across a 4 inch-in-diameter resin replica of Queen Elizabeth I’s personal seal. Only $19.00. Now, I would never have known I couldn’t live without one until I saw this one nestled there in its little (well, four-inch) box, but naturally I snapped it up as fast as I could. On the way home, I wondered how I would explain my purchase to my husband, who had spent most of that week dunging out the boat and putting junk in storage, but by the time I got to the boat I had a strategy. I used the argument ‘look how happy I am and besides it’s nearly Christmas and besides I’ll throw out some more of my underwear so I can fit it into my underwear drawer!’ It worked. John is a very tolerant man. However, what shall I do with my excess underwear?

I always said I would travel the world and buy my souvenirs in thrift stores, but I’ve only been to London, and I have quite a collection.

It’s frosty on the docks in the mornings, the November storms are past with luck, and I’ve been subbing like crazy. A substitute teacher hopes for a good solid flu season like a farmer prays for rain. This is not at all honourable, but a fact of my profession.

My editor the wonderful Anthony Dalton tells me I use too many adverbs. He is absolutely right. My next book is poised to be published in January, though I haven’t yet informed the printer. The title is ‘Darling, Call the Coast Guard, that Boat is Listing!’ Anthony has done his magic, and now I’m waiting for the talented Pat McCallum to draw the cover. People love the cartoons he draws for my covers.

Yesterday John Darling installed a new microwave in the galley. The microwave looked much smaller in London Drugs. However, he persevered (took him all day), and now we are attempting to figure out how to use it. The last one, purchased for $5.00 from a thrift store, had the virtue of fitting into the wooden box holder John had built for the microwave before that, but it was taking ‘grotty’ to new heights.

I made an appearance at Ladies’ Night in Cowichan Bay last Thrusday, selling no books, and another at the Lake Cowichan Christmas fair, selling a few books. I am quite happy – I talked to a lot of really great people!

Life is good. We are warmed by our kerosene heater, our propane heater, our electric heater, and goodwill from our friends on the docks and around the globe.

Many blessings,