Today, my last day on Gabriola, I told Chris there have been 3 places I’ve visited regularly in my life that I think of as heaven. One was my uncle’s little hotel the Kingsley Club on the semi-deserted east coast of Barbados, where the dining room was open to the breeze and birds flew through. We visited 3 times as a family; my kids were young but when a tour bus came through, Loris let them help behind the bar, opening soft drinks. Maybe that’s where Sam got his love of serving.
The second was the small apartment on the rue Claude Bernard in the Latin Quarter of Paris that I rented 3 or 4 times from friends, with a huge south-facing window that opened onto a courtyard and heavy shutters that swung closed at night.
And the third is here, Chris’s house on Gabriola, the one big room inside with his stone fireplace, the fire always going, and everything – even his plates and cutlery, his pots and pans, let alone his decor items – beautiful, and trees trees trees trees trees.
My uncle sold the hotel, my friends sold the Paris flat, and one day, perhaps, this big property will be too much for Chris, and I will once more be exiled from occasional visits to Eden. But perhaps not.
Yesterday was visit with Shari day – walks in the woods and making meals.
In Chris’s courtyard in front of one of his out buildings – his studio. Showing Shari his huge garden.
I roasted a chicken and veg for our dinner, and we had a long meal with intense talk of adoption: Chris was adopted at age two by a dreadful couple and found his birth mother when he was in his forties. Shari – it’s no secret, she sings about it every concert – had a baby boy when she was 15, gave him up for adoption, and found him when he was 40, in a very happy reunion. So they were on opposite sides, the baby given up, the mother who had no choice.
Shari left at dawn today. While Chris went on his dog walk, I danced with Nicky Guadagni’s group in Toronto.
Now I’m outside tapping and sniffing the crisp, smoky air, and he’s watching the Great British Baking Show, one of his faves. Tonight I’m taking him to dinner at the Surf, which overlooks, surprise! – water, rocks, and trees. Tomorrow I walk onto the small ferry from Gabriola to Nanaimo, walk or cab to the big ferry terminal, walk on for the two hour ride to Horseshoe Bay outside Vancouver on the mainland, and then wait for the next ferry to Bowen Island, where Shari will pick me up. A three ferry day. It’s predicted to rain from morning to night.
Boo. But that’s life on the rain coast of Canada. Salut. A bientôt.
PS In the middle of this idyllic retreat, my FB Messenger was hacked. Friends sent me screenshots of someone pretending to be me sending messages. My friend wrote back, “I don’t think you’re Beth,” and the hacker replied indignantly, “I Beth.” Today, he wrote to someone else, pretending to be me, “Did you see the Fox news?” I guess this person doesn’t know me very well.
No. I Beth.