Monday, November 28, 2011

new valves for xmas


For Xmas I'll be getting two new heart valves and a new scar. Rumour has it scars are fashionable. I wonder if that rumour includes a zipper down the cleavage. Maybe I can start a fad with the valves too. Why keep a fallible biological valve when you can have one of these shiny metal ones that only stop clicking once you die? (Or they stop AND you die. The logistics still aren't clear to me.)
The date for surgery isn't set yet, but I've been assured the deed will be done before Xmas.
So the holidays will be quiet this year. I won't be baking tourti√®res and Viennese Christmas cookies. Nor building an amazon snow woman with my niece. Nor dancing with her and her mom to Trinidadian calypso. You don't do your duty, I don't make you roti. My niece and sister-in-law belong to R's side of the family. My family live elsewhere. Ties aren't close.
I'll be spending the holidays at home with R--or at least, I hope I'll be home. Who wants to spend the holidays in the hospital? Wherever I am, if I'm conscious, I'll be having a big glass of wine.
I've stocked up on books. A friend has offered me the loan of her CDs of author interviews from the archives of the British Museum, including Virginia Woolf (!!) and Conan Doyle. I bought some teal yarn--a cotton and silk blend--to knit a sweater. I have a lime-green embroidery hoop and some thread and patterns. Embroidery seems a good convalescent type of occupation. I don't expect to get past a floral trail or two, but I'd like one of those densely embroidered velvet tunics that I saw in Mexico last spring. I figure embroidery is like writing: you start small and project ahead.
Except for having bought new pyjamas and planning what might keep me amused when I'm housebound, I'm trying not to think about the surgery too much. It will happen when it happens.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

110-year-old cat print


The bricklayer, who's taking off our old bricks and turning them around, told us that our neighbour shows up at all his job sites asking for any cat bricks he finds. He says that in the 19th century, when bricks were laid out to dry, cats sometimes walked across them. (Of course, it would be a cat, not a dog.) People collect these cat bricks.
I thought he was telling stories. It sounds like an urban myth, doesn't it? Then he gave us this brick. Our very own urban fossil!