Shovelling in a Winter Wonderland

It is a snow day, so hurrah for that! It means I got to book off all my school districts and shovel the dock for my exercise. Ten minutes into the job, and I was whipped, but I persevered even though a lone seagull flew past me and thought, “What on EARTH are you doing?” I got the same incredulous reaction from some of the local men slinking past to return cases of beer empties. Or maybe their reaction was more guilt than astonishment, though they needn’t feel bad. Some of the men on our dock are quite elderly, and one has a bad hip, and besides, exercise accounts for my killer figure and good nature, so it’s to everyone’s advantage to have me shovel, especially John Darling, who can attest to some lapses in the good nature but is too much of a gentleman to tell everybody.
Then I came back to the boat and ate three slices of bakery raisin-bread-and-butter, which counteracted the exercise, but no matter.
John and I are safely back from the boat show (NO snow that weekend!), where we had a wonderful time. We spent all our profits on the two–star hostel where we stayed, but it was still fun. Not even one bedbug, and no mice anywhere. The room smelled a bit funny, like rotted wood, but then the building is nearly as old as the city of Vancouver. Also, they no longer rent rooms by the hour. Class.
I’d like to point out that of all the friends I invited to stay with us, not one person was brave enough to step forward and share a bathroom with us at the ‘Ho’. This denotes a failing on the part of our friends. Truth is, John Darling and I both have lived in far worse accommodations in the Arctic. There’s something reassuring and familiar about checking into a grotty hotel. It evokes memories of substandard housing in our pasts, when we were younger and things were simpler and we looked to the future with energy and optimism. Or maybe we’re just cheap and a bit crazy.
The boat show itself was a lot of fun, though people weren’t wildly excited about buying books. I sold all I’d brought, though, and I got to talk to some lovely people. I look forward to every boat show so I can visit with the other authors. They’re a fine and talented bunch. Anthony Dalton gave me a copy of his new title, “The Mathematician’s Journey,” which is a rip-snorter of a read. Anthony researches his books meticulously, then writes an adventure tale around his findings. The Mathematician’s Journey’ is the story of a young Englishman’s voyage with Henry Hudson. The details are fascinating, and the plot sucks you in one end and spits you out the other. The Yeadon-Jones will have a new edition of one of their cruising guides out this spring, and THREE of Peter Vassilopoulos’ cruising guides have been updated. Alan Boreman was back with his ‘Beer in the Bilges’, which is a must-read for anyone planning an offshore trip. Hilarious. Leona and Erik Skovgaard have a new technical title. Erik is a boat gadget VHS and Radar and all of it genius, and his wife Leona is the best salesperson I’ve ever met. Erik may be the ONLY author I’ve ever met who may retire rich. My hat goes off to Leona.
My own new title, “Darling, Don’t Try This at Home – Recipes from Mottle Cove’, sold briskly. The marina owners, however, have taken note of the piles of boxes in the common storage area. Selling books is so darn difficult In this post-reading age, that I have NO FEAR that anybody will steal them – hence the stacks of boxes. “Are you running out of your earlier titles?” John asked me once. “No. . . ” I replied. “I have a lifetime supply stored under the bread store.”
I have spent some of my evenings practising Egyptian hieroglyphs. John Darling bought me a Teaching Company course on hieroglyphs for Christmas, and I’m having a really fun time learning how to translate them. I am, however, not yet fluent. Hieroglyphs keep my mind off American politics.
love to you all, and many blessings!
Catherine

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