Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day, Pirates and the Sandmänn

It's one of the weird things about the publishing industry.... we've often already 'lived' through a day before it happens.

Take today, for instance, Remembrance Day. Because it is mid-week, all sorts of deadlines and scheduling had to be altered. My little Lake Country Calendar had its deadline moved up to Friday for today's paper due to press queues and so that Canada Post had their copies in time to deliver it yesterday. Yes indeed, tomorrow's news today.

That meant that much of Thursday and Friday was spent working on Remembrance Day ads for the special section honouring veterans. Yesterday was regular publication day for the Morning Star, also containing a RDay section. I'm about poppied-out.

Poppied-out, pooped-out, flat-out tired. It's been a trying week or so. So much to tell you and so much time drifted by.

Hallowe'en was a hoot. Due to the fact that my shipmate already had imbibed too much grog before we even set sail, my portrait is blurry. I'm a little choked about that. It was a good costume.

However, when you have Death as a table partner, you're not likely to put up much of a fuss. That's the dread pirate PK to the left, me partner in crime.

'Tweren't all scariness. This cute couple won a few prizes.

A fun time was had by all, the costumes were great and we were home at a reasonable time (we are responsible pirates).

Had a great day cruising shops in Kamloops the next day, looking for items for Phyl and Gary's new condo.

Bryan arrived home the end of the following week. He had a good six weeks up north and is ready for some R&R.

I already had plans for Saturday, never assuming he'll be home when he says, so it became a 'date' day. To my favorite antique shop to look again at a bookcase I'd been considering. It's a student bookcase; there's a companion desk that I wasn't interested in. I found it especially nice because it's Vilas maple, which means it's well-built, but also because it's blonde wood, and most Vilas furniture is a deep red colour. I used to have a bedside table that I gave to a friend who had most of suite in that style.

The 'new' bookcase is now in the guestroom, loaded with volumes ready for your perusal. In fact, most of the one on the first two shelves are available for readers to take home with them. I know how it is, to start a book at someone's house and no time to finish it before departure.

The Inuit pictures on the top shelf need to be hung. The one on the right is by Benjamin Cheechee - I particularly treasure it. The photo is Rebecca when she was just over a year old. She would pull a small chair over to the piano bench, crawl up and then gently play away on the keys, looking at whatever music was open on the ledge as if she was a concert performer.

As we prowled Randy's shop, Bryan looked at some vintage toys. I heard him say, "Hey! Look at this!" and handed me this wee fellow.

To most of you, he's just a funny little doll. But we know better. He's a Sandmänn ("Sandman") from the GDR (East Germany). And this one is from the early 1960s. Sandmänn is a children's television program that airs in the evenings, just before young children ought to be in bed. Our 'daughter' Claudia and her partner Chris grew up with the Sandmänn, and now their sons are as well, as the GDR version is still telecast as reruns. He's very much a part of the country's culture. Like Mr. Dress Up or the Friendly Giant in Canada.

Claudia gave our little Abby a Sandmänn nursery ornament that plays the Sandmänn song.

Wiki trivia about Sandmänn:
Sandmänn was part of the Soyuz 31 voyage to the Soviet Space Station Salyut 6 along with fellow GDR citizen Sigmund Jahn, Soviet Cosmonaut Valery Bylovsky and the Soviet Doll "Mascha", in 1978.

It was a nice find for us. Randy was bemused by my excitement, I think... I know, because the doll means nothing to him. We, however, have context. Anyway, when I made the deal on the bookcase, Randy gifted us the doll.

We went from there to a caselot sale for fresh nuts - pecans and almonds, walnuts and cashews. Then up to The Rise for a tasting session and purchase of some house white and their merlot. Stop at Swan Lake for black oil sunflower seed for Bryan's birds and a sack of Ambrosia and Honey Crisp apples (where are the Pink Ladys this year?). Nuts, apples and wine - that's intelligent shopping!

Well, it's looking to be a nice day. We the shortened daylight hours, I'm at that stage of the game where I travel to work in faint dawn light and home in the dark. Other than a 1/2 hour walk during my lunch break, I'm bereft of sunlight. Days like today, I'm either outside as much as possible or curled up in the sunbeams, book in hand, in the house on blustery days.

I'm not attending a cenotaph ceremony this year, but I'm well aware of the day. I hope you are, too.

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