I booked my March-April flights to and from Europe on points. Yesterday, an hour on hold with Air Canada’s Aeroplan, only to find out that I’d forgotten the booking was with RBC Rewards. So, this morning, an hour on hold with RBC Rewards. With a $150 penalty – because Air Canada is not issuing refunds for trips to France – I have cancelled my trip.
Today it was reported that a woman in her sixties just returned from France with the virus. So – good call, Beth. Tho’ I have much less concern about getting sick and more about being stuck under quarantine in France, driving my friends crazy.
Then I cancelled the little Paris hotel I’d booked for the end of my trip and must write to a bunch of friends I’d arranged to visit. Lynn is negotiating to cancel the airbnb flat she booked for us both and Bruce our train tickets and flats in Venice, Vienna, Budapest. Now I’m on hold with RBC travel insurance to see if I can get anything back for the EasyJet flights booked with my Visa card. Another hour with that hideous music designed to drive you mad. And then I need to try to cancel the health insurance I took out for the trip. It’s more complicated NOT to travel than to actually go somewhere!
Now I’ll be around for the advent of spring in Toronto. I like to leave when the teaching terms end at the end of March because April is so interminable, still so cold when we’re ready for heat and light. But – the sun is bright and this afternoon it’s going up to 16!
As if in comfort, I was listening to CBC while on hold and heard the end of an interview with Richard Louv, who has written about Nature Deficit Disorder, how we need regular contact with nature and with animals. He recommends a “sit spot” where you sit quietly on a regular basis, just listening and watching and sensing. I have just the spot at the end of my garden, will go down there as soon as I get off @@#$#@ hold, and sit.
More rapture: yesterday saw a matinee of Hamilton and was overwhelmed with its incredible originality and nonstop action and dancing, music and history, its blend of the political and the personal. What infinite confidence to produce something so groundbreaking: a jazzy hip hop musical with a cast mostly of colour about key moments in early American history, what lunatic thought of this? It assaults you, in the best way, from the first chord and never lets up. Phenomenal. And it was an understudy, fantastic, in the lead role!
I thought, no wonder the Americans, for better and for worse, with their limitless chutzpah and drive, ended up being the most powerful country on earth. Once upon a time. No more.
And now – to my Sit Spot.
PS. Sat for a bit in the sun but then had to get up and prune dead branches from the clematis. And then a young sparrow hawk hurled himself into a tree and tried to catch some lunch – the squawking of protest from his intended meals as they flew away! Made myself sit for a bit without worrying about what needs to be done in the garden. A marvel.