As mentioned below, after my long walk across Spain I was invited to my friends' gorgeous villa, along with Finn, for some sun, pool and summer feasting. Here's me with Dawn Thompson on the boat heading for the old town of Marbella. We did a little walkaround, ate paella, bought some presents for my family back home. Dawn is a producer with Diplomat Films, along with her husband Keith Thompson (Tudors, Vikings et. al.), a wonderful couple I've known for years. We hope to do a project together one of these days!
Absolutely thrilled to see the election results in Canada. They have finally thrown out American Tea Party Harper (not to mention the embarrassment for a Toronto Mayor, Ford)! Harper's attempt to swing votes with a nasty personal campaign against the charismatic Trudeau and a last-minute Hail Mary pass against the Muslims (pardon the mixed religious metaphor) failed spectacularly as Canadians remembered that kind of thing just isn't ... well ... Canadian.
I've always liked to sketch and paint and have to wonder why it took me so long to do something about it. (Too busy writing, travelling and child-rearing?) So I've enrolled in a full-time two-year art course in a college around the corner from me with classes in painting, drawing, textiles, metalwork, woodwork, desktop publishing and ceramics. Loving every minute of it! Was welding last week - terrifying but exciting. Here's my first attempt at painting after a few years absence: an acrylic on paper version of my favourite Canadian painter Emily Carr's oil on canvas Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky. (Haven't finished it yet.) Carr lived a lonely life in a cabin in the deep woods of British Columbia, along with her dogs. I read her autobiographical Hundreds and Thousands years ago. She was a great writer as well as painter.
Here's a great shot of the loooooonnnnnng road ahead. I was walking with three Scandinavians for several days - Louise from Denmark and two Swedish sisters, Anne-Marie and Annika (who lives in Vancouver and has a Canadian husband and kids). Had a wonderful time with all three. Shared a delicious meal cooked by the sisters - blue cheese and peppers pimiento and green salad to start, then spaghetti for the main course. I brought the wine and broken chocolate (handmade)from a chocolateria. My God, do the Spanish know how to make sweets. I first met Annika and Anne-Marie walking from Trinidad de Arre to Pamplona. Days (weeks?) later I met them again in Lorca (where we picked up Louise) and we walked together to Los Arcos and then on to Logronos. How funny it is that a 20-minute walk in normal life can seem too long - where's the bus? where's my car? - but on this kind of pilgrimage you walk across an entire country and it feels right!
Who's got a Joan of Arc complex? It was a brilliant day! At least 100,000 showed up for the anti-water charges, anti-austerity march in Dublin City organised by the Right2Water. That's me stepping out in front of family members - niece, sister and two brothers-in-law - aided by a walking pole for my post-Camino knees. Luckily the protest moved slowly as I'm still in no shape for a fast pace. Both quays along the Liffey were packed full as groups walked from Heuston Station on one end and Tara Station on the other to converge on O'Connell Street. The winds of change are blowing in Ireland. A lot of Irish flags and "we want our country back" and "the banks got bailed out, we got sold out" messages. Yes, our young are emigrating en masse and our middle classes are being impoverished but at last we are starting to object to the mass mismanagement of our nation.
Sleeping, eating, swimming in pool, and sleeping. It's a hard life. Recovering from my 'long walk' in the gorgeous villa of my friends and colleagues, Keith and Dawn Thompson of Diplomat Films. Will post photos when I get home which is soon.
Things I have lost on the Camino: 1) miscellaneous bag with clothes pegs, contact lens, and other items I haven´t discovered gone yet 2) my deodorant (not good in this heat wave) 3) rain cover for backpack (DISASTER). Things I have discarded: 1) blue leggings 2) sandals 3) orange survival bag (after Pyrenees, as promised to Finn) 4) footie socks. Uses for orange survival bag that Finn made me bring: 1) ground sheet to sit on when having picnics ("the orange sofa") 2) yoga mat 3) lining for backpack after it got soaked in the Pyrenees because I lost the raincover (sigh). I now call my pack "The Rock." It´s particularly heavy towards the end of the day and in the heat. Can feel like a dead body back there!
I was born in Ireland and grew up in Toronto, Canada with my seven sisters and two brothers. Left home at seventeen to live in a commune, then headed off across Canada with my pal, Carole, and we hitch-hiked around California for months, then back up to Vancouver(Van as we called it then) and across Canada with two more pals, Linda and Peggy. A year later, headed off to Malaysia and Borneo with Jeunesse Canada Monde/Canada World Youth for a year. Baik-lah! Back home, went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto (posh blokes) while also joining the Canadian Naval Reserve as an Officer Cadet. Trained on the east and west coasts of Canada every summer. Great fun. Then what? Hmm. Started to write books, dodgy personal life (that's personal but let's just say it's been a long time between drinks) started to wander around the world, had a darling daughter, settled down in Ireland, wrote more books.