Thursday, December 7, 2017

Mary, many many Marys

I went off to Vic today with the Man to visit the Medieval market.  It was fine.  They sold a LOT of tcotchka, but it was still a very good day.  We went to the Vic Episcopal museum, which was really neat.  I think there have been a lot of moneyed people in Vic for some time, and when great grandpa died the family would give all the stuff in the attic to the museum, and they've got some very cool stuff!  They also have a lot of work that was (somewhat dubiously) removed from rural churches all over Catalunya. That's a whole other post.

A lot of the material dates from the early middle ages, like the 11th century, and it seems that there weren't such strong ideas about what Mary should look like, so there was quite a lot of variation......


All of these are the classic Madonna with Jesus on her knee. 

This one below is my favourite I think....

I think these ladies are lovely and I adore the variation of expression and beauty.  They are not all teh same classic Madonna face and expression that became codified later, and they are charming.  When we get later into the Renaissance, things got a little creepy.....check these two out....These are statues to saints who hold, embedded in their chests, parts of their now dead bodies....

I am, however, somewhat suspicious, as one has a skull and no jaw, and the other a jaw and no skull....and those teeth!!!


Monday, December 4, 2017

Year of the brain, year of the brawn

Well, last year was really intense, a lot of work, finishing the Masters and it was all very very mental.  Last summer was also pretty intense with work, but I did almost no exercise.  I stopped doing any exercise at all more or less in March cause I just didn't have time, and I had barely done any before that anyway.....

Last summer I swam, which was marvelous but it was only 6 weeks, and ran a bit till I took a bad fall....

And my brain was w.e.a.r.y by the time September came around.  I am not studying anything.  Nothing.  I am reading detective novels, and doing a lot of physical exercise.  You see, I threw my back out in September because I hadn't done any exercise....I had to use a cane to get around for a few days.  Not fun.

So now?  I swim twice a week, I am doing weights twice a week, I do pilates once a week, I ride my bike three days a week and I wish I could get motivated for some yoga (unfortunately Chuck the dog wants to join me and it is not very successful) 

My back is just getting to the stage that I could think about running, but it is freaking freezing here.  Not by Canadian standards, I know, but still, we're sitting at about 6º most of the day and it is NOT motivating for going running.

However, this morning?  This morning I swam 3.2 km.  3.2!!!  In an hour and a half!!!  Ok, not exactly making Phelps worried, but still!  That's a lot of front crawl!!!!!  I've been working on technique, and I got that a lot better, then the breathing went down the toilet, but today it all came together and I just swam and swam and swam.  I could have kept going too! 

That said, my arms are a little weary, but I went to do weights and it went far better than I thought it yeah!

In the New Year I'll introduce a little mental work.... maybe......

Saturday, November 4, 2017


Graduated from the Master's today and I have to say that it felt pretty sweet!!!!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

What happened next

Well, Puigdemont declared independence, and Catalunya was independent for about 1 minute, and then he suspended it, asking for dialogue and mediation.

Disappointing, but wise.

The Spanish responded by shutting down the website of the Assemblea, almost instantly, charging the two Jordis, heads of Assemblea and Omnium with sedition again, alongside the head of the Mossos, Trapero.

Rajoy came on line and basically told Catalunya to fuck off.

They have made the first step towards invoking Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution that will remove Catalunya's autonomy and the Spanish will have complete control of Catalunya, the schools, education system, police, government, health center etc......

They have also sent to orders to the Catalan education system and the  much loathed Vice-president (whose entire family are actually fascists, except for one brother) came on to say that there would  never be dialogue.

They require Puigdemont to clarify his statement, and he has until Monday to answer.

The pro-Spain group had a demonstration in Barcelona today, with predictable violence.  Trashed the Cafe Zurch, etc....

Life is not that peaceful or comfortable.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On the proclamation of independence

I feel like I should have been writing more here about what is happening, but I just haven't.  Too stressful maybe?

Anyway, I just wrote this to a friend, and it seemed apt for the moment.  A declaration of independence, as a republic has been made.  Pretty amazing stuff right there.

October 10th, 2017.
Sort of all holding our breath.  Puigdemont, the Catalan president declared independence, and then suspended it to give the chance for mediation and dialogue.  Mostly Catalans are concerned as he didn't put a timeline on it, some are disappointed, but it is the wisest course in my opinion, especially considering the people asking for mediation and discourse.  Let them find out how intransigent the Spanish government is.  About 20 National police riot vehicles roared at high speed through the downtown of Barcelona with their sirens on while Puigdemont spoke, like toddlers who want attention.  Unreal.  If talks fail, they will invoke independence.  There seems to be a good chance that they will arrest Puigdemont, and possibly soon.  They may also dissolve the government in Catalonia, but the Catalans and the Catalan parliament won't recognize that.

It still doesn't look good.  The Spanish government's vice-president was positively rabid about this being illegal, and there being no movement and no dialogue, and the Guardia Civil, one of the two groups of police that were beating people up have (again) shut down the website of one of the two big non-governmental groups that are organizing this.  We have a variety of chat groups, like whatsapp, but more secure, that are based out of the States and out of France, that they cannot touch, but it is not a good sign.  China 2.0

Held breath is the best description.

So far so good, I guess.
Especially as the ruling party threatened to arrest and kill Puigdemont yesterday.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

What I should do

I should use this blog as an indicator that I'm doing too much, if I want to post and simply haven't the time and energy, woops!  Too much.

Lots of lovely things to say, got back on the bike, had dinner with a dear friend, got a hair cut, went sailing, at delicious gelato, hung out peacefully at home with the man.  Best of all.

Photos to follow, but for now, to walk the dog.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Saw the first bunny of the season while running today!

Cool, no?  It has been so wet here there just haven't been many bunnies about.  I've seen a raccoon, a baby who climbed up a tree while the man and I were walking the dog.  Some squirrels too, though their numbers seem much diminished by the coyotes, we say coyotes too.  Chippies, and a student's dog got skunked this morning, so they still seem to be around.  

It is pretty neat isn't it.

Days at work are pretty frantically busy, but very good.  Wooooosh and the day is gone by.


Saturday, July 22, 2017


My favourite part of ebooks?  Never having to give away a book you love again. 

We're going through the storage locker, going to bring things over to Spain and so a lot is being discarded.  Ouch. 

Ebooks, read 'em and leave 'em.  That sound cold, but with the Toronto Public Library I can read them as often as I want and then just let them go.  So nice. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Having spent three weeks in Toronto now, I have discovered I am wildly radical. 
Little did I know I was such an iconoclast.  I seem to be radical because I am pretty much the only person I see who doesn't have a tattoo, let alone 10 of them.

At what point does edgy and cool just become ugly and commonplace.  For me, it has easily been reached.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Went to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the AGO today with the man and my folks.  First we had something to eat though.....


At the Pho place.....

then a coffee around the corner:

decaf mocca latte, aren't I special!

Then on to the amazing AGO, which didn't let us take photos in the O'Keeffe exhibit, so these are from another very cool show and the building itself.

The man and I are also in the trenches going through papers to decide what to ship to Spain, and what to bin.  Sucky work, except when you find the photos!