Janice's blog

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


I'm learning Jaws. It's a program that allows blind people to use the internet. So far I hate learning it. My menopausal brain can't retain all the details. Anyway, enough of that -- I already mentioned it once. I must be obsessed.

Today I went to Ludgate Hill to meet Andy for lunch. St Paul's has more scaffolding. The front of the building (or is that the back!) has a bizarre screen hiding the scaffolding with a screening of the actual building on it. Ludgate Hill has this ambience that reeks of old London, who knows what era. I imagine women with bustles and umbrellas and horses and carts. I don't know why. I just felt it, like ghosts along the road.

I'm totally unmotivated to do my walk today. I haven't missed too many. It is day 17 of my eat less move more plan. I refuse to weigh myself. I had a thought, you see. I am trying to feel and be healthier. So if it's about how I feel, why bother with the numbers? It's immaterial. After two weeks of feeling stagnant but sticking to it, on Monday suddenly I felt different. My jeans felt less tight, my body felt different inside my clothes. That felt great. Today I am more used to this newish me and I feel normal again. On to the next plateau!


Sunday, February 15, 2004


I'm back in London.

It's weird but I have culture shock. I have forgotten how to do things but at least I immediately remembered that the traffic travels on the left. I was nervous about that one.

London is unruly. It came to me in a rush almost as soon as I landed. It's chaotic and, despite the fact that rules are posted and broadcast by PA, by notice and billboard, by newspaper, radio and TV, There Are No Rules. People vault over barriers, they careen around in their cars assuming no one will notice that they are breaking the highway code, they sneak ahead of you in line/queue whatever you call it where you live, they ignore grammatical rules...innit? they travel without tickets, they are children grown very large and with money in their pockets. They look that way too. In London faces are a study in themselves. Looking around I see the oddest ones -- distorted, disproportionate, lopsided, with features at odd with themselves.

Toronto is orderly, neat and lawful.

So why do I love London? I could say I don't know...well, I don't completely...but its character is seductive. To be part of the chaos, or rather to stand just outside the chaos and look in, gets my imagination going. I walk around writing stories in my head, stories that rarely end up written down. The English don't really know they are odd, and of course they are not to themselves, but to this observer they are very odd. They are lumbering through life somehow hitting on getting through it, managing things despite everything, defying people like me who wonder how ANYTHING gets done, how I can possibly trust my life to a bus driver who can't converse above a grunt, and managing to remain fascinating and delightful.

In other words -- I hit on this the other day -- orderly and lawful can equal bland very quickly. Chaos is sexy.

Talking of chaos. Here is my life in a nutshell right now:

I have an article to write that I can't begin because I don't seem to have anything to say -- about social networking. The deadline is about three weeks away and I am terrified!

I am supposed to start writing for www.kwickee.com which is a fantastic idea if I ever get around to it. I also started teaching again -- I teach disabled adults to use the internet -- and they gave me a blind student. Next thing I know I am being hustled off to learn Jaws. It's absolutely dreadful. I will NEVER remember all those keystrokes. I'm a menopausal woman FFS!

On top of that I had to go to this very smelly flat in a horrible part of London and use a nasty 'lift' to go to the 12th floor (I am elevator phobic!) for each lesson. Shoot me! This week I have DE UK meetngs and they are counting on me to resurrect their zine which has just stalled -- am I CRAZY?

I'm going to a conference all day Friday for women who want to start their own business. I even get to have a personal coach -- yay! Fantastic but time consuming.

Finally next Monday I have my yearly mammogram and much more scared than I let anyone know.


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