Tag Archive | World War II

A year in the life….

Wow. It’s been nearly a year since I last posted.

But it’s been a good year. The Cipralex continues to do its good work — I only wish I’d known about it sooner. Stuff still happens, but I handle it so much more easily now. It’s a kind of feedback loop: the calmer I am, the better things go, and the better things go, the calmer I am. And so on.

Ballantine books. Just a sample...

Ballantine books. Just a sample…

I’ve also been spending many fun weekends hunting around in antique markets and used bookstores with a childhood friend whom I’ll call “The Falcon” here for his uncanny ability to zero in on the exact books we’re looking for (Ballantine WWII history editions) from 500 paces. It’s really spooky. We take turns driving, and spend the day on our various routes around Southern and Southwestern Ontario. Book dealers and model shops have gotten to know us, as have the staff at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant in Kitchener. Mmm. Noodles.

Many happy returnsss of the day.

Many happy returnsss of the day.

Boyd, my beloved ball python, is nearly three years old now, and almost four feet long. He recently escaped (my fault — I left his cage door open overnight) but was recovered safely the next morning from his hiding spot in my hall closet.
Sophie the cat is now 18 and a half and slowing down considerably. It’s hard having an aging pet, and sometimes the yowling and clingy behaviour get on my nerves, but we have both found solace in a) anti-anxiety medication and b) her little grooming comb. Grooming is calming for both the groomer and the groomee, and this is how we get along.

I did two levels of improv classes at Second City here in Toronto in order to tackle my lifelong stage fright (yup, it works!), filled in on my pub quiz team for a guy who was overseas for six months, saw a lot of good shows at the Art Gallery of Ontario (the David Bowie one was my favourite — I saw it twice), and visited the Butterfly Conservatory in Cambridge.

Her Majesty.

Her Majesty.

I swam a whole lot in my friend Ann’s pool, drank more of her excellent G&Ts, saw some excellent films and some not-so-excellent ones (yes to The Theory of Everything; HELL NO to Boyhood), read lots of good books, got hooked on Game of Thrones, did quite a lot of work for good new clients, and spent much less time dealing with the crappy ones.

This is five minutes from where I live. Seriously.

This is five minutes from where I live. Seriously.

Ate lots of sushi and Ethiopian and Korean food, went for countless long walks on my beloved Don Valley trail, rode my bike a bit, did NOT get sick over Christmas for the first time in years, and just generally had a pretty decent year.

…and that, really, is that.

Life is good. More later. Hopefully not a year later this time. 🙂
~ AG


My little Mosquito: finished at last

For the last several months I’ve been hard at work on a very special project: making a replica of my grandfather’s Mosquito bomber.

Jack's army (RAF) ID photo

Jack’s army (RAF) ID photo

The genesis of the project, and my startling discoveries about my grandfather (whom I’d never met and of whom I have only a couple of photos), are detailed here in this blog, and here on my other non-Asperger blog.

Long story short, for those of you who won’t click, is that when I met my birth mother, nearly 30 years ago, she gave me several photos of my grandfather, saying only that he’d been a Mosquito pilot in WWII. Early this year I started to research him in earnest, with an eye to building the exact Mosquito he flew, and discovered, to my immense shock and pride, that he’d flown with an elite RAAF squadron, Squadron 464, known as the Gestapo Hunters.

It’s been an interesting journey of discovery — of my roots, of a grandfather I never knew (he lived through the war but died shortly before I met my birth mother), and of previously unknown wellsprings of patience as I worked at something I’d never done before.

(The exception to that patience came yesterday when I was affixing the itty-bitty serial number decals, which had to be cut, soaked, detached, and applied individually. With tweezers and a magnifying glass. ARGHHGHGHGHHG…..)

Anyway, without further ado, here below are the pictures of the work in progress, and the finished product.

My next project will be a replica of the Spitfire flown by the late husband of my dear friend Ann, who has generously loaned me his Pilot’s Log Book and training manual. As soon as I have done my research in same, it’s back to the table for me.

I’m hooked.