Wednesday, 14 October 2015


I acknowledge that Anwar Knight and Tom Brown of CTV Toronto are talented weather presenters and admit that no one can match The Weather Network for long-range forecasting. I do love my Yahoo Weather App for instant temperature readings and in the case of severe weather forecasts immediately refer to the My Radar App on my iPad. However, none of these can match my three favourite weathermen for visual presentation.

Since moving to Uxbridge in 2012, I have headed to Uxpool for my early morning exercise. Much has been learned from the pool's experienced staff, strong friendships with fellow swimmers have been forged and introduction to my three favourite weathermen has been made. Who are they? Well.....

Jim often nostagically speaks about an exterior weather forecasting system written on an old barn board that decorated the outside wall of their family cottage.  It sounds similar to my three weathermen, but perhaps not quite as flamboyant.The board read:

Condition                                              Forecast
Board is Wet                                  Rain
Board is Dry                                   Not Raining
Shadow on Ground                       Sunny
White on Top of Board                   Snowing
Can't See Board                            Foggy
Swinging Board                             Windy
Board Gone                                  Tornado

Large sliding glass doors that run down the east wall of Uxpool overlook a local playground, pool parking and residences beyond. For most of the year, I enjoy that early morning view, but frankly admit that when heavy frost sneaks its tentacles up the windows and snow swirls blinding our outside world in white, I must do extra self-talk to convince myself that swimming that day is a good idea. Just get in!

Once in the water, my daily first glance is through the windows to my three weathermen who can be found gracing the end of the park. Yup! You would be correct. My favourite forecasters are trees. I have nicknamed them A, B and C........... short for Anemometer, Barometer and Condition. Accurate to a fault, they have never failed me. If I listen carefully, I can even hear them speak to me. I know - I'm certifiable!

Decked out in the lime green fuzz of new buds, my weathermen cheerily notify me that spring is on its way. The trio, their limbs set against a sinister black sky  and bent over in the same direction, warn me to don hat, scarf and rain gear before leaving the pool. Their brightly coloured leaves floating through the air as they descend, tell me that autumn is nearing its end. Sigh! Yesterday, their now naked branches clicking in the wind reminded me that snow tire time is rapidly approaching. I have become quite astute at reading their visual reports. Thanks guys!

So no. I don't watch Canada AM or look to my Yahoo Weather App. No huge weather maps, no talking heads, just early morning at the pool; my three weathermen tell me all I need to know.

Friday, 2 October 2015


Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows. ( Michael Landon )

Where to next, Hon? is Jim's standard question for me at this time of year. My mind quickly ticks off places to which we have not yet travelled and have thought to visit - Chile and Argentina, Israel, South Africa, Spain, the Czech Republic, Norway............ OMG, the list of possibilities is quite simply overwhelming. We should go to Spain next, I think and then shake my head. Did I just use the word should? Why? To put a tick beside another country? Who am I trying to impress?

Perhaps it is because Jim and I are pushing seventy - egads, when did that happen - but all too frequently, we have dear friends fighting debilitating diseases or passing on. Father Time's clock ticks relentlessly on. Great physical condition appears to mean little. Five years ago a good friend, who religiously jogged fifty to sixty kilometres a week, regularly ran marathons, and appeared to be in top shape, dropped dead. Is that an advertisement for eating well and swimming daily? I wonder. 

Jim's, Where to next, Hon? made me stop and ask myself, What if there really was no tomorrow? What if this were to be our last trip? Where to? And so I posed the question to Jim. If you knew ahead of time that this would be our last trip, where would you go? His response was instantaneous. Italy! 

Two major, lengthy trips to Italia and we have both fallen in love with the Italian people, their culture, history and art, their food and wines, and mostly, their love of life. Recordati di vivere. Jim and I will, this time, journey where we have not yet travelled - into the land of the mafia, Calabria, and into the land of the trulli, Puglia. Rome may be my personal favourite city in the world, but during our last trip, Venice cast her magical la serenissima spell over Jim, seduced him and stole his heart. He voiced a wish then to live for a week in Venice, to shop at the Realto Market with the locals, to cook in an apartment overlooking the back canals and to wander the magical, tour mob-less streets at nighttime. Life is short. Let it be so! 

Today, we booked our air fare for next year and are both beyond excited. Now I have a winter filled with the enjoyment of researching, dreaming and filling in the details. My favourite pastime. Earphones and microphone on, Jim already has already plugged into his Rosetta Stone program. Si, parlo italiano...un po.  Will this be our last trip? That is most certainly not in our plans. Next year I hope to again ask, If you knew ahead of time that this would be our last trip, where would you go? But should there be no tomorrows, we will be happy.