Wednesday, June 24, 2009

in which the Rambler opens the carton of blue bags...

I figure if I fill one of those big blue recycle bags with paper and so forth every day of the week from now on... I should be about able to walk out of the door on R-Day and hand back the keys without, as they say, a backward glance...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


the project this morning is to find a parishioner...not just any parishioner, you understand, but Mrs. N.
Mrs. N is a widow. She is all but completely blind. She has no siblings, and only one child who lives in another country.
On the weekend she suffered a fall in her assisted-living seniors' residence. She MAY have fallen as a result of a mild stroke.
Or, of course, vice versa.
Her two most attached friend-households were both out of province at the time. One of them was reached by phone and persuaded her to let herself be taken to hospital.
We know which one.
We are told that she was discharged from the hospital.
We are told that she has not returned to her apartment.
We have no idea whether she was transferred to an auxiliary facility (this is our fervent hope); or whether she was simply ushered out of the primary-care hospital without follow-up.
Getting this simple piece of information, "What have you done with Mrs. N?" is unbelievably obstructed by a piece of legislation, referred to unlovingly as FOIPP.
(which stands for "Freedom of Information and Personal Privacy")
The institutional cry becomes, "we can't tell you that because of FOIPP." One of the things that "they" can't tell is whether a patient has been transferred to another facility, and if so, which one. No, no. That would be a breach of FOIPP.
So this morning I shall commence calling all the auxiliary-care hospitals I can think of, enquiring, "do you have Mrs. N there, by chance?"
The rationale for FOIPP is personal protection. It doesn't work that way.

***Late Breaking News~ FOUND HER, FOUND HER, FOUND HER. TBTG. Still at the acute-care hospital where she was first taken.

Sometimes the problem is FOIPP.
And sometimes the problem is D.U.M.B.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


...struggling with creeping disorder in my life...

My sleep pattern is seriously out of whack, and I realize that I've carefully conditioned myself in some unhealthy ways: for example, getting home is the signal to collapse onto the couch and abandon useful activity for an indefinite period. Not good for energy levels, digestion, or mental health generally.

However I did attend to some overdue domestic details this week, getting caught up on laundry a was high time ("high" in whatever sense you choose to take it).

I found a cache of damp items in the bathroom hamper which had developed a fine colony of mildew. Good news, folks, chlorine bleach still works. The tricky part was finding a "venue" for soaking that wouldn't be accessible to Nefertiti the Terror of the Plains. I didn't fancy coming home to a black-and-white cat...

Finally I found a sufficiently large plastic bucket, and filled it with dilute bleach and the blighted items of laundry, shut the whole project in the bathtub/shower enclosure with shower doors closed and bathroom door closed.

The cat didn't get into the bleach, the laundry came up white without just falling apart, and life rolls on.

Need to find some way to con myself into doing some yardwork, the abode looks like "a widda-woman's place" -- and you will have to imagine the infinite scorn my grandmother could put into THAT phrase!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

since you asked me...

"was the Princess NICE?"

Yes, she was. The little girl she is greeting here has profound hearing challenges; she is one of an African family sponsored by Most Holy and Undivided.

Monday, June 8, 2009

and upon reflection...

Well, it was quite a Sunday. I'm not sure we've ever revved ourselves up to quite the same pitch of excitement in the time I have been here.

Sunday of course was preceded by Saturday -- and even Friday -- Friday was the wedding rehearsal, and Saturday the wedding...half an hour before "Dearly beloved" a wedding guest accosted me, "Excuse me, I don't know if you know, but the ladies' washroom is flooding..."

This would be the ladies' washroom renovated with infinite pains in the preceding weeks...and it had flooded in such good earnest as to flood the OTHER ladies' washroom on the floor just below, gravity being what it is, still.

And also considerable acreage of floor space on both levels.

Turn off little twiddly valve, and yell for help.

Parishioners rushed in from the garden, snatched off their shoes, rolled up their trousers like bit-players in "The Good Earth," and mopped, and mopped, and mopped, and was just aitch-too-oh, not sewage, thanks be to God. And nobody the wiser, come Sunday.

Sunday was epic. Vehicles parked where their owners had been told they mustn't. Told in written form, yet, on letterhead...and great was the grief and hand-wringing thereat, until a large military person observed the reaction and murmured, "We have five tow trucks on hand, Ma'am, this will not be a problem" and whisk! it was not a problem.

Arrivals of caterers, bearing smoked salmon in great quantity. Arrival of military band, with preliminary whompings of bass drum. Arrival of florist to deposit Princess's nosegay in a Safe Place ("I looked it up, she loves white roses, I've given her white roses and blue iris"). Arrival of volunteers, with ropes and stanchions and clipboards and lists and charts. Arrival of large solemn watchful gentlemen with curly wires in their ears, very imposing.

Assembling of choir (and friends). Deploying of volunteers to control access to building.

Military parade in the block in front of the church, causing murmurings: "she marched them up to the top of the hill and she marched them down again..."

And then it was 10:30, "Welcome, Your Royal Highness" and away. we. go.... "Holy, Holy, Holy," Children's focus time on the symbolism of the pronghorn on the regimental flag, three readings including "Nicodemus" which is substantial, the Venite, the Te Deum, the Jubilate and the Psalm, all to proper Anglican chants my dears, sung minor litany, sung collects (thank you, precenting SIL), "Bright the Vision that Delighted," Sermon, prayer for the Royal Family, General Thanksgiving, Prayer of St. Chrysostom, "God Save the Queen" and "How Shall I Sing that Majesty" (little editorializing there), and Walton's "Crown Imperial" for a postlude, and signing of the guest book and out the door to talk to our Sunday School children and have pictures taken, INSIDE THE HOUR...
And then downstairs to consume the sumptuous lunch and "process" everything we had seen and heard and thought and done...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

in which the Rambler comes out of retreat and revs up for Royalty...

Hello all.

It froze overnight, here in Prairie Metropolis. In Other Prairie Metropolis, 300 km. south, it's snowing.
"Oh what is so rare as a day in June,
Then, if ever, come perfect days."


I've been away at a Roman Catholic retreat centre in the suburbs (in the posh suburb, as a matter of fact), with three young men, well, younger than me, who will be ordained DV on Sunday night, one as a deacon and the other two to the priesthood.

I don't know how effective a preparation this was for them but we came away in a state of considerable charity with each other and that has to be good, right?

We had a good time and ate a lot and talked almost incessantly -- so much for silence -- and covered many topics such as the poetry (and prose!) of George Herbert and the regulations governing clerical weaponry (agreed that we should confine ourselves to inflicting BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA only in the proper mediaeval decorum)... the potentially mixed blessing of the clerical "assistant"... selected bons mots of the late Ed Friedman, and the dreadful lacunae in seminary training in the "choreography and legerdemain" aspects of Practical Liturgy. NONE of these men has had a "dry run" through the Eucharist. NONE. And it's not that they have graduated from Punkin Corners Seminary and School of Mines, not by any means.


And it would appear that the Rambler will be doing hands-on tutorials next week...

And apparently nobody ever, ever, learns to sing any more, in preparation for liturgical leadership.

This isn't right, either.

We also went to the pub nearby on our final evening...

MEANTIME, "princess is comin'" and the cleaning up has been done and we are all in a tall state of furbishment,and have coped with the announcement that the Child Most Likely to present a nosegay--and all the child's siblings--were diagnosed on Wednesday with pediculosis...

I have a wedding at 1 p.m. today as well...good rehearsal yesterday afternoon, with a STELLAR ringbearer of maybe 8 or 9. Boys at that age are WONDERFUL. No irony. Pre-pubescent towers of strength, one and all.