Attila and I had a busy day. This time, it wasn’t about unpacking boxes, it was about filling in forms and applications, exploring possibilities, trying to peek over walls of bureaucracy.

We applied for prescription drug coverage, which we no longer have. We applied for a local family doctor, and are now on a very long waiting list. I sought assistance in getting a flu shot this year, things don’t look hopeful on that score. This kind of stuff has to be done, and we are always glad when it is done. I always feel out of sorts after wrestling with the machine of modern bureaucracy.

The weather was beautiful today. We were out and about together this morning, dropping more items off at the women’s shelter, buying milk, mailing forms. The sun shone, the breeze was warm and gentle, and the morning passed pleasantly. Attila left for work right after lunch, so I spent the rest of the day working on administrative things related to health care.

I just realized tonight that when Attila is working the afternoon shift, the feelings I had about living here alone last winter are affecting how I feel now. The evenings were the hardest, when we were living apart, and now the evenings without Attila are triggering some unwelcome feelings. Right now, when this dampened feeling comes over me, I think about Attila coming home in a few short hours, and the sun comes out from behind the clouds. Eventually my unconscious mind will figure out that Attila is coming home every night.

My book needed more edits than I had anticipated, so the second draft will be my copy of the book, as it is not suitable for Archives Canada, or for sale. There were a few things that I did not catch when I edited the book, things that were actual errors. However, some of the errors were the work of the autofill devil, like the word hand instead of and, things that the spell checker would not catch. And then, after reading the actual paper copy, I decided to add a section, a transcription of my GGG Grandfather’s letter home to Scotland, after the families first year in the wilderness.

There is something about a real paper book that is so much easier to interact with than a digital screen. Perhaps that is because I grew up with paper books, and so prefer them.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 PM EDT Monday 19 October 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 11.6°C
Dewpoint: 4.6°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SSW 36 gust 54 km/h


“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
A.A. Milne


  1. WendyNC

    “. . . Attila is coming home every night.” Those are some very sweet words.

    You don’t have a doctor because the waiting list is so long. I, on the other hand, could have one easily–if I could afford it, which I can’t, even with insurance. I’m no so sure either of the systems is working so well, but I also don’t have a solution, except eating right and trying not to need such services!

    It sounds as if you are making serious progress on your book. While I don’t necessarily do better with paper instead of screen, what I find is that it’s the switch from one to the other which makes it easier to spot problems.

  2. Taking text from screen to print is essential for the final proofing and even the last edit. I often am pressed for time at the newspaper but any time I skip taking a look at the paper-print copy, I regret it.

    So lovely that you and Attila are together again properly! Now just to get him a job with the hours that suit (and a big paycheque of course), and here comes Easy Street!

  3. Wendy, it is interesting to hear how the health care system is working where you live, it varies so widely over the world. A lot of people in Ontario find that the health care plan works very well for them, but a significant number of people fall through the cracks, and they are ignored. Keeping healthy in the first place is definitely the way to go!

    That is an interesting idea, that the switch from digital to paper brings to light things that might otherwise go unnoticed. I wonder if it works in reverse.

  4. Kate, thanks for sharing you experience with taking text from screen to print, I feel a bit better about having missed the edits, that now seem so obvious.

    Attila is working on getting the hours he prefers, we have our fingers crossed that it works out. As for oodles of money, well… that would be fabulous 🙂

  5. Lee Ann, I believe you are right, it is only a matter of time until I adjust to Attila’s schedule. We hope that over time it becomes more regular, even predictable, but even if it doesn’t we will get used to it.

    PS I hope your husband is doing better after his fall.

  6. Joan, I feel exactly the same way! When Terra was trying to get me to part with some of my books, she failed completely. I have entertainment at my fingertips, at no additional cost, and all I will need is to sit by a window, or on the veranda, to enjoy a good read.

    One bonus I have noticed lately, in re-reading books after many years, they feel familiar, and yet the stories seem fresh. I don’t remember what happens in a book, so much as how I felt when I read it, and what it taught me about the world and myself. Now that I am older I guess I am ready to learn new things, and so these same books bring me fresh insights.

  7. Every time a book arrives by the delivery person du jour, I say to myself “No More Books!” and then days or weeks later, another one will be delivered and I’ll say it again… over and over like this. When will I ever learn that I have ALL the books I could ever read here in this cottage for five lifetimes! And I don’t have much of this one left to go! I just can’t read a book online. I’ve tried several times but it’s not for me. I like my Reading Room that has a radio/CD player in it but that is ALL as far as gadgets. No internet is allowed in there, no E-readers either… just my books, my glasses, my cup of water, and my dogs…


  8. NORA

    So much red tape Maggie. Forms, forms and more forms.

    It’s wonderful to hear how nice it is to have Attila home so often. I hope the schedule you prefer comes through.

    Oh, Bex we must have similar DNA but my problem is I am buying books (on the sly because I shouldn’t be) and I can’t even barely read them from start to finish anymore. Prime makes it to damn easy!

    Maggie, Hopefully the book will be 100% ready soon! x0x0x0x

  9. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Put me down as another writer who has noticed that the best editing is done once an item is printed. Something about the print and line spacing, and maybe even the contrast of print on paper, makes editing so much easier!

    With us, it took us about 2 years to find a doctor who was accepting patients. Not sure about your flu shot problem, though. In our area both Shoppers Drug Mart and the various grocery store pharmacies give the trivalent shot free of charge.

    Have you seen this interactive map of where you can get your flu shot, Maggie?

    Glad you’ve noticed those feelings that are tied to being at the house last winter. Now that you realize it you can keep reminding yourself that Attila will be home shortly and you’ll have many hours together very shortly.

    Maggie – it’s the weekend! You have Attila for an entire weekend, again! 😀

  10. Your reading room sounds divine Bex, a real haven. I love books, and we own hundreds and hundreds of them. I have read all of the books I own, but not all of the books Attila owns. Attila’s books are almost all Art and History related, while I prefer poetry, fiction, and the classics. I have been borrowing digital books from the library lately though, and reading them on Attila’s IPad, which is great to hold due to the Griffin case he got for it.

  11. Nora, it is great to see Attila each and every day! We haven’t had much fun this week, as we have been dealing with all these forms, and that makes me a bit grouchy, as I am the computer person at our house, and have to make sure everything is tickety-boo. Attila says I am always grouchy when I have to deal with the machine, something to do with ennui I suppose.

  12. YES, Teri, the weekend! And there is no danger I’ll be working on forms over the weekend, or making calls, everything is closed… sigh of relief!

    Thanks for the info and links re the flu shot. Clinics and drug stores will not give me a flu shot, they decline the privilege due to my anaphylaxis. That is why I have been going to the doctor for flu shots until now. I think we might have found a solution, I now have the names of the flu shots given by the local health unit, and have called the doctor’s office to see if he will confirm that they are safe, then the public health nurse will give me the shot. The doctor’s office told me to call back next week, so the journey continues.

  13. NORA

    Maggie, I’m not sure how different shots compare with ingredients but when I was suppose to get a whopping cough vaccine (which I did not do) there were different types and that contained different elements like Mercury for instance. After researching the ingredients I opted out. I have never gotten a flu shot and have not had the flu in probably twenty plus years. Is there a specific reason you need them?

  14. Nora, no, I do not have a specific reason for needing the flu shot, but from my perspective, avoiding illness is important. A lot of antibiotics and medications contain my allergen, so if I get really sick, there are not many options for care. Best to avoid illness if at all possible.

    I have been getting the flu shot annually for many years, but last winter was the first time I can remember getting the flu, and I had the shot last year. The strain of flu I caught was not in the shots apparently. Now that I am no longer confined to the house for six months of the year, I am exposed to a lot more people and bugs, so we shall see what happens this winter.

    There are different flu shots put out by different companies, and it is the non-medicinal ingredients that cause the problems.

  15. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Yes, it was well documented last year that the flu shot contained the wrong virus strains. I think it was only 10% effective. Unfortunately, it’s looking like that might happen again this year, though they expect the shot to be at least 20% effective. Hopefully, it’s better than that.

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