Thursday, 28 August 2014


I've just started reading A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, a writer, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest.  In her book, a teenaged Japanese girl has started writing in her diary, beginning with stories about her great grandmother, Jiko.

" This is a problem.  The only reason I can think of for writing Jiko's life story in this book is because I love her and want to remember her....
...And apart from me, who would care?  I mean, if I thought the world would want to know about old Jiko, I'd post her stories on a blog, but actually I stopped doing that a while ago.  It made me sad when I caught myself pretending that everybody out there in cyberspace cared about what I thought, when really nobody gives a shit. And then I multiplied that sad feeling by all the millions of people in their lonely little rooms, furiously writing and posting their lonely little pages that nobody has the time to read because they're all too busy writing and posting, it kind of broke my heart."

Well, that made me take a deep breath!  I flipped through the 'BlogFile' in my brain and realized, once again, that fromtheothersideofseventy is primarily a chance for me to write to myself, an occasion to focus more closely on my thoughts and feelings about life.  A place to post some of my favourite photos, many of our garden.  Since I haven't been in the studio for quite some time, my camera has become my artistic focus. When I look through its lens I seem to see more clearly-  certainly more selectively.

If someone reads my blog entries and looks at my photographs, that's a bonus.

Friday, 15 August 2014

the bug zoo

Last week's visit with our wonderful grandchildren was perfect!

Now that they are 5 and 8 3/4 they can play contentedly on their own, without the constant 'Nana, come play with me!'  'Gramps, come look!' Of course, we do play and look even without the refrain....

Our daughter and son-in-law had their first duo-vacation, sans kids, in 5 years.

One morning, we visited the amazing Bug Zoo on Courtney Street. A young man led an informal tour, taking various bugs from their enclosures, talking about them, and placing them carefully on the children's outstretched hands.  Leaf-chompers, stick bugs and the absolutely disgusting (to me!) black millipede.

Our guide said that big black eyebrows or a mustache could be made using the millipede. All but two of the gathered children simply held it on their hands, while Linden opted for the mustache! I watched only long enough to take a photograph as he tilted his head back to balance the shiny long beastie on his upper lip.

I thought this was the extent of my angst until....the tarantula....

Our guide took the spider from its cage and, while describing its habits, said that only adults could hold it.  I had, by this time, taken a full step backwards.  And then, quite clearly, I heard Linden's voice- "Nana, you hold it!'  Now, I'm okay around small, really small spiders, but when I see a big one it's 'Brian!  Quick! A Spider!.'  There I was, with both Linden and Stella watching me. I did what any self-respecting nana would do- I put out my hands to receive the Huge Furry Thing.  It walked on my outstretched palms as I held my breath.  Fortunately, I was soon released and the spider was returned to it's home.

It was the perfect time to leave the Bug Zoo.

While driving to the harbour to eat our picnic lunch, Stella reminded me that we needed to wash our hands first!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

another glimpse of our garden

Tomorrow our grandkids arrive from Vancouver for 31/2 days.  The mattresses are arranged for Stella and Linden, side by side, on the den floor.  I'll be banished to my ipad and I must remember to move the phone and to take extra vitamins!

The Bug Zoo and the pickle boat to Fisherman's Wharf are on the agenda, with Willow's Beach taking centre stage.  Brian is gearing up to challenge Linden's soccer expertise in net.  We have a wee park across the street which is perfect--a mere yell away from dinner.

Before I go into 'nana mode' I'm going to add a few recent photos from our garden.

The little apple is a Fuji from our new esplalier tree- one of 6 varieties

                                  A sweetly scented honeysuckle

The following photos are of the stunning eucomis, a mix of 'Oakhurst' and 'Sparkling Beauty'.