First, the photos. I took the dogs to our regular place: Stewart Park in the middle of town. It's a lovely park, though always filled with joggers, dog walkers, strollers, skateboarders...oh, you get the picture; it's a well-used city park. The last time we were there--last Friday--the trees were just spectacular with their Fall leaves. Then, over the weekend and a bit yesterday, we had some pretty good breezes and a few strong gusts of wind, which means I wasn't happy to discover this morning that most of the beautiful foliage was gone..!! Buggers. Still, I managed to take a few shots, much to Max's dismay and his camera phobia.
Our walking route takes us past the baseball park, alongside the golf course, down along the river, then back around to the baseball area where I've parked the car. It's a good, long walk and usually takes nearly 40-50 minutes, depending on how many times the boys have to stop, sniff, pee, do the guy dog thing.
This lovely tree is right inside the golf course. It looks so bright amd golden in the sunshine...
Walking across the road, from the golf course side of the park to the river side. Two small trees on the bank of the river. With no rain for months, you can hardly tell there's even a river there..!!
Sunshine through the trees and sparkling on the river, though I realize it's pretty hard to tell there's water flowing. Maybe clicking on the photo will help..??
So, now we're back home, dogs are happy and taking their late morning naps. I want to post the next portion of the travel journal, then this afternoon I'm going to start the NaNo book. And yikes, that ought to be interesting as I don't have a clue what to write..!! Oh well, that's half the fun really. (Yeah, and remind me I said that when I'm pulling out my hair because my brain's fried and I've literally lost the plot..!!)
Sunday, Oct 16th
George Hotel 3:40pm
Lord, what a couple of days. So many waves of loneliness, stomach aches of missing Alan, tears by the tormented bucketful.
Let's disgress -------
Friday night was wonderful w/Miles and Avril. We sat in the lobby of the hotel, tucked into a niche on a comfy sofa, had drinks, and talked until after 10:00pm. Miles is a very tall, gangly guy, I think he must be at least 6-1/2 feet tall, and very slim. He's also very, very sweet and I enjoyed my time with both of them so much. Avril is lovely. We talked about all the documents/photos/family history that I'd mailed to them over the past few weeks. Gave him the Great America Tour slides of Alan and Keith in 1980. He can somehow change the slides into photos and will send me a few later on. Miles told me some memories he had of Alan; I confessed I'd ruined my scarf by blowing my nose into it at the Gardens earlier in the day. I loved meeting up with both of them.
Thought after such a nice, relaxing evening, I would sleep like a baby. NOT. Managed a few hours, then laid awake until after 4:30am. Finally--no doubt from sheer exhaustion--fell asleep but seemed just a few minutes later was woken @ 8:00am by the bloody alarm. Very weary start to a busy day.
Met w/Alison at Noon. She is so cute, and bubbly, and perked me up immediately, even though I was really tired and still had the night out w/Jack & Alice to come.
Was thinking I could get an afternoon nap in before the night, but Alison and I were having too much fun. Went shopping all along George, into Rose St, then sat for ages over coffee @ Costa off Princes St. talking about life, Alan, things in general.
It was really, truly great to hang out with her, though I wasn't anywhere near my usual self. I must have felt like an albatross she was dragging around with her all day. I don't think I was too cheerful and/or upbeat, for sure.
Got back to the hotel after 4:00pm, message from Jack he would be collecting me around 6:30-ish, so with having to eat something for dinner, shower and get dressed for a night out, a nap was out of the question. I loaded up on coffee, had a quick fish & chip room service dinner, then got dolled up and went to the lobby to wait for Jack.
The evening at Bainfield was just great (at first!!) for two reasons: Alan & I had many a good time at the club, especially in the early years of our relationship; and it felt so normal to be hanging w/Jack, Alice and of course Jimmy, who showed up shortly after we got settled at our table. I spied him coming in the door and dashed across the dance floor. His incredibly wonderful hug, and his wizened ol' face, brought back so many memories of Cramond, and Alan, and those Thursday gardening days...it just made me cry. Great way to start the evening...right??!!
Things went along fine for awhile. Drinks, some laughs, a good night. Until about an hour into the cabaret act, and the singer made a big deal about grabbing your partner and getting out on the dance floor. I had this mind/body meltdown of the last time we were at the club--a Burns Supper--and Alan & I dancing this wonderful, slow dance. He was a great slow dancer; held onto me in one of his great hugs and whirled me like a feather around the dance floor. His hugs. I miss those more than words can say.
I could feel his arms around me, could remember how we danced together, could almost hear his voice in my ear...and against my will, unexpected and without warning, I was sobbing. In public. At a club function. And do I have a tissue..?????????? Of course not. I dashed off to the Ladies and cried in a stall while my makeup ran down my face. There were two women in the bathroom who naturally wanted to know what catastrophe had happened to me. As I wiped my face on toilet paper (and why does toilet paper hold together for...well, you know...but doesn't hold together for tears..??), I explained it was my first night out without my husband in a place where we had had lots of fun in the past. Then one of the women started crying along with me because her mother had died just when Alan did..!! Honestly, just take me along for a good time, huh..??
Alice came in to see if I was okay, and after comforting me and talking for awhile, I was able to stop blubbering and go back to the party. I felt hollow and empty for the rest of the night though and missed Alan like an amputated limb. My heart has a gigantic echoing hole in it. That echo is nearly deafening these days.
So. I get back to my room about 12:30am, and think that surely after 3 whiskeys and all those tears, I will sleep like a log. Crap.
I think I finally dropped off around 4:00am, but had already decided I was not getting up with the alarm; I would wake up when I woke up. No alarm, no caring about the hotel breakfast...just sleep.
Work up at 11:15 this morning!! Half the day gone, and it's a beautiful sunny one, too, dammit..!!
Cripes, this is really long, and I still have 6 pages left in this entry. Needless to say, it was a very emotional weekend. I think I'll stop here though, and pick up tomorrow as I leave the hotel for Ocean Terminal. Alan & I used to go there every Tuesday for a coffee and slice of lemon cake before grocery shopping. I had planned on spending Sunday alone as it was going to be a Memory Lane day for me and there were places I wanted to go--by myself. I'll start there in the next installment...