A piercing experience!

In the last few months since hearing about the daith piercing and its effect in reducing/controlling headaches and migraines, I have done a fair bit of reading and research.
I decided it was something I would do one day. I figured that if it had no effect on my headaches, I’d still have a cool piercing.
This afternoon, after 4.5 days of a particularly nasty thumper of a headache and not much sleep, I made an appointment for 4.30pm.

This headache had persisted for almost five days despite the not-for-the-faint-of-heart painkiller routine that I have for my back and other chronic pain.

The room and bed were super clean, the body piercer was knowledgeable and told me all I needed to know about this piercing.

She also showed me information about this point in the ear, used in both acupuncture and acupressure to control not only headaches and migraines but also tension and anxiety. I was impressed by how much she knew about the non-body-piercing aspect of the physiology of the ear.
The piercing itself took less than three seconds from start to finish, and all I felt was a quick sting.
By the time I got home 45 minutes later, the intensity of my headache had already reduced by about half. The light sensitivity that I had experienced for days had disappeared, and I no longer felt sick turning my head from side to side.
Usually, this kind of headache leaves me feeling exhausted and dopey, like I have been hit in the head with a rubber mallet, for a day or so after the pain itself subsides.
As I write this, only three hours after the piercing was done, I have only some twinges of pain and none of the usual lethargy.

Am I impressed? Heck, yes!
I wasn’t expecting anything so prompt or marvellous! And even if this turns out to be some hinky kind of psychosomatic/placebo effect, I’ll still take it.

And, as a bonus, I have a really cool piercing.

Hot.

In the car on the way to town, I said,”It’s hot in here!”

He said, “No, it’s not.”

“It is!” I insisted.

“It’s only really warm in here. The sun’s been on the car.”
It’s summer in Australia, and I swear he’s part fish. 

Illusions of familial bliss. 

Yesterday afternoon, I went to meet LMC at the corner as she was walking home from school. I needed to go to the supermarket, and I didn’t want her to walk all the way home when I was in town anyway. 

I waved as I saw her walking toward me, and she broke into a run.  Then she threw her arms around me and said happily, “Boy, am I glad to see you!”

Before she had a chance to explain why, two ladies who had just walked out of the bank and stopped nearby  both smiled at what they saw and heard. They probably thought I was her mum, and that she just loved me that much. 

One said, “Oh! How beautiful!” The other said, “That’s so nice to hear! Just lovely!”  

They both beamed at LMC and then at me, as if I had performed some kind of child-rearing miracle. 

As LMC and I walked away, she explained that she wanted to go to the supermarket, and she needed to work out what to wear for a disco-themed out-of-uniform day for school. And could she have something special for an after-school snack?  It wasn’t so much that she was happy to see me: it was rather that it suited her hopeful plans for me to be there at that time. 

Even so, I’m glad she didn’t blurt that out in front of those ladies. It would have been awful to shatter their illusions of our idyllic family life almost as quickly as they were created. 

Fall.

Today the leaves are positively dive-bombing off the trees. 

  
The sun is shining again and the sky is azure blue, but yesterday’s snow has caused the autumn leaves to give up hope and cast themselves to the ground. 

  
Roads, garden beds and grass are carpeted with those who have already fallen, while other more hopeful souls still cling desperately to their tree. 

  
It’s easy now to understand why North Americans call this season Fall as well as Autumn. 

Even on a still, sunny morning, leaves dive and drift, collecting in rather tragic piles beneath the increasingly bare trees that only a week ago were vibrant with colour. 

In Australia, I never really had the perception of so many leaves falling and fluttering, or languishing in the breeze. Most of our trees stay green, and the occasional ornamental maple or elm shedding its leaves in a garden or the main street of a country town doesn’t really have the same impact, as beautiful as it may be. 

This sad abandonment of Autumn splendour has a beauty all its own. I’m very privileged to be able to sit here in the sunshine and witness it. 

The Perils of Trampolining.

Watching Family Feud this afternoon, the question was “Name a part of your body that might hit you in the face when bouncing on a trampoline.” 

After the regular answers such as hand, arm, leg, knee, and fingers, there was just one answer left. 

One guy suggested “your butt”. Hysterical. Not surprisingly, though, it wasn’t on the list. 

The opposing team suggested that a man’s junk might hit him in the face. 

Then this conversation happened between the three of us watching together.

V: “Do you want to tell me how a man is going to get whacked in the face with that?”

J: “You mean that’s never happened to you?”

Me: “If men could work out how to make that happen, they’d never be bored again.”

Those ten seconds were more entertaining than the whole show.

Thanksgiving.

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada today. It’s nice to be here for it and to share in such a nice tradition.  

I’m looking forward to sharing a special meal with some friends who are very dear to me, although I confess to being slightly nervous about meeting some new people at the same time. 

Thanksgiving Day is clearly a Notth American thing, but I have been surprised at how many people here think the whole world does it. My hosts were quite shocked this morning when I told them we don’t have it in Australia.

Maybe we should. Giving thanks for our freedom and blessings cannot be a bad thing, and it might make some people less selfish and xenophobic.  

Postcards from the past #1

Last weekend I found myself in an antique store in Summerside, PEI. 

I commented to my friends that it was a very good thing that I had to fly home, so that I could not buy all the lovely things there. I did pick up some old postcards, including a couple that depicted places that I had recently visited. 

The first card I chose was an old black and white picture from Port Dalhousie, Ontario. It clearly depicts the part of the beach where Sean and I sat and ate our picnic dinner a couple of weeks ago, and the carousel which we rode. 
   
I was so excited to find this lovely memento from the history of a place that I so enjoyed. 

There is no date on the card, and the postmark is incomplete, so at first I thought there was no way to know when it was written. 

 
Then I had a thought: the stamp! Surely that would give me a time frame, at the very least.

   

This is a George V Scroll stamp issued between October 1928 and April 1930. This places my Port Dalhousie beach card as most likely dating from somewhere between those dates. 

Of course, it’s possible that someone might have posted it with an older stamp, but given that these were the years of the Great Depression, it does not seem likely that one would spend money on a stamp that was not going to be used right away. The handwriting certainly does not suggest someone with an expensive education, given that penmanship was still highly valued back then. 

It may just be an old postcard to most other people, but for me this is part of the real history of a beautiful place, and it’s very exciting to have it among my souvenirs. 

Laura Secord.

Laura Secord was an incredibly gutsy woman. 

When she overheard plans by the Americans to attack the British soldiers defending Canada in the War of 1812, she walked almost 20 miles from her home in Queenston to warn them. She was determined to get the message to the British soldiers, under the command of Lieutenant FitzGibbon, at Beaver Dams, where the Americans planned to attack. 

This was no walk in the park. It was over varied terrain in 19th century ladies’ shoes and clothing which, it may safely be assumed, were not designed  for much other than drinking tea in parlours and visiting a shop or two on the odd occasion. She didn’t go by the main road, because she didn’t want to be stopped by more American soldiers.  Even though she was afraid when she came upon a camp of Iroquois, she asked for directions and was pleased to find that they supported the British. She was even more pleased that a guide accompanied her to Decew House, where FitzGibbon and his men were in a meeting.

The message borne by Laura Secord made a huge difference in the outcome of the Battle of Beaver Dams. The British ambushed and defeated the Americans, and gladly took all the credit in their official reports. Laura Secord didn’t even get a mention. 

Nice. 

It is rather good, though, that her homestead has been preserved, and that there is a lovely monument to Laura Secord and her bravery in Queenston Heights Park. 

I visited her homestead today, and was thrilled to find her monument when I went to see the monument to Isaac Brock, a key figure in the War of 1812 and the Battle of Queenston Heights.

   
   
There is also a wonderful chain of chocolate stores named in her honour. The founder of Laura Secord Chocolates wanted her memory to be preserved and the story of her bravery to be told. 

It’s a big ask, but I am willing to do my part in perpetuating the memory of this Canadian heroine. 

   
 
I’m calling it a patriotic duty. 

Stop… in the name of Ontario…

It’s not unusual in Ontario to see a cross intersection with four-way stop signs. 

That’s right.

Everyone has to stop, look at each other, smile, and say, “After you…” before proceeding on their way.

The first car to arrive gets to drive off first. In the rare event that you arrive in a dead heat, the driver to the left gets to go first.  This makes me wonder, though… if the drivers are across the intersection from one another, are they not technically on each other’s left?  I can just picture an “Ontario Stand Off”.

Driver A: “After you…”

Driver B: “No, after you…”

Driver A: “No, really, after you…” and so on. 

In theory, this could continue for some time, given how nice and polite Canadians generally are. 
On reflection, I can see why this has not been attempted in Australia.