Sunday, September 23
Sunday morning, the three little AOPis, JoAnn, Judy and Helen, were scheduled to go to Three Rivers to see the painting I commissioned last April, at a show in Fort Mason, San Francisco. JoAnn, however, wound up in the hospital Friday night, suffering from a fever of unknown cause. They fixed her up, but not so’s we could take her on a road trip today.
It was a busy road trip. I did the fulfillment for the two cruises I sold on Saturday night, using Judy as my administrative assistant, while I drove. By the time we got to Three Rivers, both cabins were bought and paid for. That’s a good day’s work.
Zabel’s atelier is the front room of her house. Her husband, Jean-Francois, is delightful, and gorgeous, and they have four lovely children. They all came out to be introduced in English, so cute. My triptych was almost finished, and I took pictures, but I don’t think I want to spoil the vernissage, by showing one here. You will all have to wait to come party with it.
We sort of skipped lunch, but I stopped by a “patate” and bought French fries and gravy. That’s poutine, without the cheese curds. We shared it. Judy had about six fries and I ate the rest. Urp. We took the side road along the river, going through a few small towns, and more bedroom communities. We ended up coming in to Montreal, along Sherbrooke street, just in time for the Symansky family dinner for Judy, and dinner with Snell and Bev, for me.
Linda Snell and Bev Rowat have the most gorgeous new apartment on Wilder Penfield. That’s downtown, but up the hill, near the Old Royal Victoria Hospital, and just up the street from Ginger’s town house. It’s bigger than all three floors of their old house, very bright, well laid out, and it has a wonderful, ginormous patio. Wendy Sissons was there, too, and we all ate warm dead bird and drank wine. I can easily do that every week. Linda and Bev have been spending so much time in Japan, these past few years, they waved me out.
Monday night found us at the same dinner table again, but this time in Chinatown. Our old “Dump” has closed after about forty years, so we went to Keung Kee, about as authentic as it still gets. Linda has Chinese Residents, and they know. By Residents, I mean young Doctors. She teaches Medicine. Our Crew Dinners, get smaller every year, like everything else from the past. It was just Linda and Bev, Kathie and Peter, and Theresa Benedek. It was so wonderful to see everyone again, and the lobster with ginger and shallots, was as good as ever. They had Dungeness crab, done the same way, and I wanted to try it. It was just as good as the lobster, but no better, and twice the price. Don’t bother with that.
Tuesday morning, I had an appointment with Linda in her professional capacity. I like her checking me out, knowing how my medical life is progressing. It’s nice to know that I am very healthy, for someone my age. She always shakes her head, as my diet and alcohol consumption should likely have killed me by now. But here I am, still trucking along. Rod Anderson gets the same diagnosis. We laugh about it and try to do better, but we’re having too much fun. I was late for my appointment. I had checked out the whereabouts of the new McGill University health centre and had proudly told Linda the night before that I knew exactly where it was. Knowing where it is, didn’t mean I knew how to get there, though. First I couldn’t turn left, where I wanted to turn left. Then I couldn’t turn right, where I wanted to turn right. Then I ran into another detour, etc. I was fifteen minutes late. I could probably have walked in the half-hour it took me to get there. I parked in the short term parking lot, because I was late, and when I was done with seeing Linda, the paperwork and the waiting, it was two and a half hours and $25 later.
I spent a couple of hours at Ternis’, as I do every day. Paul is still very bright, and seems to be getting a little better every day, as we all spoil him with treats. I was supposed to be at Justine Sentenne’s at 5:30 pm but I was busy getting Andrea’s air for our Christmas get-away, and you can’t get off the phone in the middle of one of those calls. I was finally released by the Royal Bank’s rewards person, because his computer was acting up, and he couldn’t finish the itinerary. So, I was late meeting Justine, and he called back just when my main course was hitting the table. I think it took another half-hour, during which time, Justine finished her dinner, while I watched her eat, and agreed to everything the man said, which was what we had agreed to before, but he had to repeat it all. The food was great, when I finally got it, and she watched me eat. They have a good chef at “Vistas”, which is an assisted living facility for seniors, with much the same structure as FGL, only it’s a high-rise, near the center of the city. I had roast pork and it was lovely, but I didn’t get to sample their desserts, Justine had been shopping at the Patisserie de Nancy, and look what she brought home:
If I hadn’t been so busy the last couple of days, selling cruises and booking air and hotels, I would have invited a couple more people, but I never got it done. So I pigged as much of that as I could and took the pistachio cake in the foreground for Rod Anderson, who had called Justine an hour ago, as he expected to find me there. Well, Justine’s sister Helene, had died two years ago, and she thought Rod wanted to speak to her. Apparently, it was quite the conversation. She felt a peace offering, of the pistachio cake in the foreground, was in order, and we were never going to finish all that. I didn’t mind it being just us one bit, though. Justine is always very interesting. What a great friend to have.
I went back to Symanskys, took my computer out and looked at cruises with them. They already knew pretty much what they wanted. Wednesday morning, I called Viking and got a quote, looked at air, etc. Then we had another meeting and finalized. They’ll be on Viking Ocean, in the Baltic next May. Nice itinerary, Stockholm to Copenhagen, with three days in St. Petersburg.