Mynett wins the Ryga Award

Geoff Mynett’s (left) deeply-researched book on a doctor who brought medical care & the first hospital to Northern B.C. in the early 1900s, has won the George Ryga Award for social awareness in literature. FULL STORY

#65 Happy New Year

December 20th, 2016

I’m having some repairs done on the sardine can.

I might check myself into the mental before it’s over.

Got a phone call today from the guy at the building supply store; he wanted to know if I would prefer a round toilet bowl or an oval one.  I can’t ever remember pondering the shape of the toilet bowl so I went all Gertrude Stein on him “a toilet is a toilet is a toilet is a toilet” and told him whichever was easiest to order.

Oh, and what kind of taps did I want?  I want one connected to the hot water and one connected to the cold water.

Sorry, I just cannot get enthused about toilets and taps.

It’s been a helluva few months around this place. First the furnace packed it in and, wouldn’t you know it, it couldn’t be fixed, I had to buy a new one. Well, that devoured a week. Then, for reasons I did not fully understand, I had to get a new thermostat, something about two wires going to three wires.

I had no more than started to recuperate from the financial shock of all that and I hear this …sound… odd sound… haven’t heard that one before… so I went looking. Holy old baldy, there’s water all over the damn place! Had to run and get my neighbour to shut off the water because my back wouldn’t let me get at it myself.

Why do they put these shut-offs in places where you need a contortionist to get near them? So. Took every towel I own and a couple of blankets to soak up the mess on the floor, and then it was a half-hour with the mop and bucket… and the sad realization I had to get a new hot water tank…

The nice young man who came to install the hot water tank is six-foot-five inches tall. How he manages to do his job in the tight spaces in which they hide hot water tanks, I don’t know. He wanted to drain it by running a hose from the thingy at the bottom, out of the bedroom window and down into the back yard… however, the jigger thingy to which the hose ought to have connected was made of plastic (WHY?) and was twenty-plus years old and it broke.

So we had to do the job with, believe it or not, a bowl and a pail. The only bowl I had which was short enough to fit under the jigger thingy was the metal bowl which is actually the dogs’ dinner dish… true thing, that! It took eight of them to fill the pail. Then I lurched off to empty the pail while this very tall young man refilled the dogs’ dinner dish with more hot water…

Well, then he wrestled the hot water tank out of it’s hidey hole and… “Oh my,” he said, “this isn’t good…” Seems the bugger had been dripping for quite some time and the floor was …yep… had to cut out a section of floor and replace it with plywood… then wrestle the new tank in place and hook it up…

I made the mistake of taking a deep breath. I mean what else could go wrong? I found out a few days later when the pipe going to the hot water tap blew.

More water all over the damn house! Up the wall, across the ceiling… I could have screeched.  I may have screeched.  I probably DID screech.

So the handyman, Mike, goes under the house… tells me something about the size of a spaniel dog has been living under the house. IT ripped down the pink fibreglass insulation and made a nice soft comfy bed of it.  I can only hope it didn’t raise a family. I don’t know what my critter was, my neighbour down the street had her own critter, she thinks it was a weasel. Or maybe a mink.

She tried all manner of thing to send it on its way. She even set a big rat trap but her critter was smart enough to recognize a trap and it didn’t get caught in it. Her critter pooped on the trap. She did get rid of it, though. She put a radio under her house because critters do not like the sound of the human voice. She left the radio turned on day and night and on the fourth day the critter left.

She had the radio tuned to the CBC so there, see, it proves that as knackered as it is, it’s still good for something. I think it was Rick Cluff that did it.

Other than that the news is good.

We had a fierce wind storm last night with lashing rain, and that got rid of the white shyte which had ruined the place. It’s also much warmer today, for which we give due thanks to all the elder goddesses because what was happening was just not what we’re used to. It ruined the banana crop and I think the pineapple crop is scuppered, too. I hope everyone enjoys the festive season. Eat your faces off, and have fun.  Hold your family close and cherish them.

Read lots of good books.

Happy New Year.


Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.



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