Monday, February 17, 2014


I didn't know I was going to be writing my 100th post today, but a funny thing just happened.  It's like one of those telescoping dreams I sometimes have, where one scene leads to another and they always make perfect sense at the time.  I had actually planned to write a post about a vivid dream I had, which I remembered in minute detail.  But now I'm going to write this Sheherezade-like series of events, and hey, it just turns out it's my 100th post.  In honour of Ivaan, who could not bear a story that wasn't succinct, I will try to keep it short and snappy.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

It all started with my friend Mary Ann, who owns a house that is magnificent. The first time I was ever at her place, I never actually saw the kitchen because the whole house was filled with people, but on a subsequent visit I did, and although I am rarely short of words, I was pretty well struck dumb.  First, it was about the size of my entire place.  Second, it was a simple lapis lazuli blue and white colour scheme.  It just had a feeling of calm permanence about it.  It was perfect. And indeed, when I asked, she told me it was just like this when she and David had bought the house over 10 years previously.

At the time, I didn't even have a kitchen here, though there was a room designated for that purpose.  And I was managing just fine without one, largely by virtue of accepting every invitation to dine that came my way, and extending quite a few of my own invitations to dine out.  One of my nephews calculated that on a recent visit, we had 14 consecutive meals in restaurants.

So, in short, it's because of Mary Ann and David that I became obsessed with having my own lapis lazuli and white kitchen.  It was either that or volunteer to be a scullery maid over there.  I ordered a kitchen, it was installed last week, and everything was good till I realized I still had some sanding, sweeping, priming and painting to do in there.  But I couldn't find my sanding sponges, or my dustpans, or my brooms, or any of my power tools.    They had vanished, so no work got done today, but a lot of searching occurred instead.  And while I was searching, I came across some interesting archival photos from the 1950s that Ivaan had put away for someone.  Setting those aside, I sat down to look at the remainder of the photos in the envelope.  It is very unlike me to misplace anything, but I have been looking for two particular 8 by 10 photographs since April of last year. It seemed almost unbelievable that I should be searching for my power tools and find two photographic enlargements instead.  I'd promised to give them to Barbara Frum's daughter, Linda, who had been a toddler at the time her mother interviewed the heartthrob English actor Alan Bates at Stratford in 1967.  (This would be like Linda Frum going for an afternoon picnic with Hugh Grant, or me with Gabriel Byrne, or Mary Ann having an assignation with Paul McCartney, and of the three scenarios, I think Mary Ann's is the most likely to occur.  She just has that kind of life.)

Alan Bates and Barbara Frum, Stratford, 1967, by Ivaan Kotulsky
(c) Linda Frum
Alan Bates and Barbara Frum, Stratford, 1967, by Ivaan Kotulsky
(c) Linda Frum

So, to wrap this story up, I have found the photos Ivaan took of Barbara Frum and Alan Bates in 1967 and will pass them on to Linda Frum with immense satisfaction and relief, but I still can't find my power tools.  Maybe Paul McCartney has them.  Grrrr.

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