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Archive for the ‘unplugged’ Category


On May 23rd Patti Blouin’s exhibition “Patti Paints A Picture” opened at the Gallery In the Attic at 140 1/2 Hunter St. Peterborough, Ontario. It runs until June 13, so if you haven’t seen it, let this be a reminder to get there before time runs out. You’ll be glad you did.

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I woke up realizing it was a month ago I planned to sit down and write about nothing.

Since the calendar says January 26, that day would have been Boxing Day 2013, the perfect day of the year to do nothing, so that’s what I did – nothing (more…)

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We’ve all heard of the ubiquitous summer reading list that everyone rattles on about as if reading is only a summer activity. Reclining in the backyard under the shade of butternut trees, glass of white wine at the ready is pleasant enough, but Fall is the season that gets my blood flowing. 

Imagine it’s chilly enough to make you throw a log on the fire and get cozy with the flames crackling away as you sip a glass of velvety smooth Merlot. That my friends makes for a nice evening that comforts the mind and spirit. Now grab that book you’ve been meaning to read and crack its spine. (more…)

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Because I by-passed common sense and succumbed to the seduction of a frothy cappuccino at 7 pm the night before, I recently found myself wide-awake at 2 am.

I lay there feeling the chilly breeze blowing through the open window, my mind reeling on all things under heaven and earth. At 4:12 am, my eyeballs still peeled upwards staring at closed eyelids, I threw the covers off as considerably warmer air wafted in the window. Within a few minutes, Mighty Thor clapped his thunder and a solid rain rode in on the wind.

It wasn’t long after that I realized the cushions of our lawn furniture were out on our back deck, soon drenched, if not already soppy and swollen. My partner Peter, oblivious to the storm outside, lay snoring beside me emitting a soft whistle with every exhalation. I decided I would weather the storm in the middle of the night to rescue the cushions while he caught up on some good REM. The next morning, over coffee, I would relay my good deed.

I rushed down the stairs, wiggled on my yellow flip-flops, grabbed an umbrella from the stand beside the front door and headed towards the backdoor, stopping for a split second to put the kettle on. I figured since sleep was eluding me, a good cup of tea was in order. When I stepped out into the darkness, a west wind grabbed the door, turning the umbrella inside out. Wrapped up in an oversized housecoat, I wrestled the beach umbrella into the wind to right itself; lightning illuminated the upturned silver spokes and thunder cracked around me, I felt like I was on the set of Frankenstein.

the-frankenstein-monster-dick-bobnick

What in the world had possessed me? Like a hamster on a wheel, the nocturnal brain loops in strange ways and had me convinced this was the commonsensical thing to do. Now it seemed like nothing but the strange machinations of insomnia but onward I marched.

Somewhere between the time the cushions were saved and the kettle boiled, I tripped on an overturned flip flop and slipped – THWACK – landing on the wet slippery deck, bashing my tailbone. Afraid to move, I floated above myself a few seconds as a shudder rose through me. I observed myself lying there while visions of chiropractors danced in my head.

I moaned OW, OW, OW, OW, OW, OW, OW seven times. Good thing the bedroom window was open. Peter awoke to my discordant symphony, in synch with screech of the kettle, and came bounding downstairs. He followed my voice to find me lying out on the deck.

Over the past week I’ve really learned a lot about tailbones, ahem, the coccyx. Did you know that for the first month of life all humans have a vestigial tail that evolves into the tailbone? For the rest of my life when I see pregnant women, I will picture them carrying around little dinosaurs inside them. You know, as I sit here on a bag of frozen peas, I admit, sleepless traipsing is not what it’s cracked up to be. Unless, you’re my tailbone, and then maybe it is.

This incident is really nothing compared to late one Sunday night when I remembered I forgot to put the laundry in the dryer. I hate doing laundry so I weighed going down to the basement vs. waking up to wet clothes on a Monday morning. Not being a morning person, the former won out; a descent was necessary.

This house was built in 1880 and the basement is, shall we say, rustic. There is one possible source of entry – a trap door. As I lifted the trap door to place it against the supporting wall, I somehow over-estimated my height. My foot was already feeling for the step beneath but my arm’s reach missed the wall. I descended the ladder-like staircase all right – until the trapdoor slammed down on top of me. The bang reverberated upstairs and Peter came running to find only my white-knuckled fingers exposed above the floorboards like some scene from tales of the crypt. While I dangled beneath. I recall being shaken, headachy and needing ice, but otherwise okay. What is that saying about horseshoes …?

And yes, after a short but spirited conversation, the next day the washer and dryer were moved to the ground floor.

But back to the future; which is now past … Being a bit squeamish about things I decided wait a day or so to take a look at the site of this recent tailbone injury. My flesh was a god-awful combination of angry red, purple and some other hue I have no word for. Peter said, give it a few days to fully show its true colours.

Well, a week has passed, and in true rock ‘n’ roll spirit, my ass has moved out of the blue and into the black.

© Christine Nicholson, September 2013.

p.s. I have updated my bio page (which might help this make sense).

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Crow’s Landing is the sequel to Red Means Run, Brad Smith’s first novel in his Virgil Cain Mystery series. In the first novel, eponymous anti-hero Virgil Cain gets all tangled up with love interest slash policewoman, Clare. The Bobby Fuller Five hit, I Fought The Law ran through my head as I turned the last page.

If you haven’t already, pick up Red Means Run; it is entertaining, full of drama, intrigue and wit.

In the second novel, Crow’s Landing, we only get mention of Clare, who is in far away France. Good thing too because one sunny day while fishing the Hudson in his cedar strip boat, Virgil hooks his biggest catch of the day – a cylinder full of cocaine.

Complications ensue and propel the story forward because, of course, drugs mean money; dirty money, dirty people and a strong foundation for a crime novel.

Crow’s Landing is crawling with a cast of nasty characters operating within the seedy underworld drugs. The rogue’s gallery includes (more…)

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Nothing gets the travel bug more jittery than a fresh spring breeze radiating with a hint of summer around the edges. And it was just that kind of morning when we headed out of town on the Canadian long weekend. While meant to officially celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, monarchies aside, the holiday was the perfect excuse for a road trip.

Last few years instead of taking one vacation throughout the year, my partner Peter and I, have taken to extending the long weekends whenever we can. Cell phones are locked in the glove box for emergencies only and we travel unplugged … the internet is out of bounds.

Last spring we took a whirlwind adventure to Nashville, this year our journey took us to another musical place: Woodstock, New York.

Give or take it’s a 8-hour drive, so we broke it up dipping through a section of the Finger Lakes before stopping over in Watkin’s Glen on the southern tip of Seneca Lake. (more…)

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I recall enjoying the ‘all-nighters’ of yesteryear saying, “Life is too short, there’ll be enough time for sleeping when I’m dead.”

Well, I guess my karma is coming back to bite me on the ass. (more…)

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