As I walked Sandra to work this morning, December 28, the town folk were either asleep or still away south somewhere on vacation. -29C but no wind. The town was very quiet, except for the snow crunching under my -100C snow boots. And dark, of course, but the sun is starting to come closer back up to the horizon every day.
The lack of activity in Inuvik this morning seemed to add to my sense of isolation. But isolation has its advantages. I am free to walk anywhere with minimum chance of getting hit by a bus. I can. I can dream dreams and believe they will come to pass - because there is no-one to look over my shoulder and tell me "it's impossible" or "that won't work" &c. However, the down side is the wonderful coffee shop is closed for the holidays. Would you believe it? When people are relaxing off work and have the time to meet and sit and talk and drink a mocha and eat a muffin, the darn shop is closed! Life isn't always fair!
Well, with reference to my last blog, I am back on my Asus computer after having it repaired by the one tech person in Inuvik who knows these things. I have had to send things that I filed on the old Acer from mid October to last Friday. The server I use only holds three weeks of email. I have come to rely on the old USB flash drive method to keep documents from disappearing forever from memory.
And I am back from London. Sandra and I had the best time every in London this time around. We stayed at the Commodore Hotel just north of Hyde Park. It cost about $225 per night, which is cheap in London. But we were then in walking distance from Buckingham Palace, and only a couple of hundred metres from the nearest tube (underground railway) station. We used the tube (remember: Mind the Gap) to travel a bit further to the Covent Garden market and to book stores. We haunted coffee shops and book shops. We bought a real honest-to-goodness English china teapot (NOT made in China) for our friend Louie in Inuvik, and other neat gifts for the kids.
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 reception at Buckingham Palace on December 1 certainly met our expectations. We were able to meet Princess Anne, in whose honour the reception was held. She has now been President of the Royal Commission for 10 years. She asked where we were from as she shook hands with us. "Inuvik" we replied. "Oh, I've been there," was her reply. She visited Inuvik in 1970 when she was 20 years old. Great memory. Prince Philip was in fine form for his 95 years. I am sure there will be another reception in 2026, when I will be a sprightly 86!! I can hardly wait.
Ok, I am still concerned about the cancer thing of course. My next CT scan is in Yellowknife, Friday January 6, and my visit with the visiting oncologist from Cross Cancer Institute is on Tuesday the 10th. That will mean almost 5 months since my last CT scan August 22. All I know is I feel just fine. With the reduced weight and better nutrition I do indeed feel better than I did 30 years ago. However, the nagging cough, although less prominent, is still there. And that might be a symptom of continuing cancer. Looking back, the nagging cough began during the months preceding the discovery of the already Stage 4 kidney cancer just over a year ago. Does the cough mean anything today? Nobody knows.
Another reason to go to Yellowknife next week is that daughter Lynn and hubby Derrick are moving from our house on Ragged Ass Road to Saskatoon February 1. Derrick will continue driving for Superior Propane, and Lynn plans to go back to university. Anyway that puts us into a bind regarding what to do with our house. Rent it out (and how do we find good renters)? Sell it? That will keep us busy for a few days, including packing and moving yet more stuff into storage, including our piano. Not good to put a piano into cold, dry storage, but we have no choice since we do not want to sell the piano. I will let you know how this all turns out.
I need to figure out how to post photos in this blog. When I was in Tuk in late November, I took a really neat photo from my bandb window that showed the sun skimming red along the horizon, and two pingos outlined against the sun rise/set.
So that is all for now. I will update you, dear reader, upon return from Yellowknife on Sunday the 15th after CT scan and packing and moving stuff from house to storage.