Jane's Space

Jane's news and thoughts.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

August 25

BOFA babies

How lovely to see them — yesterday, Trisha, Andrew and Robin visited for the afternoon, for iced tea and coffeecakes. Rae had to go to Montreal to sign a lease, and couldn't come. Everyone looks wonderful, and is set to be really busy in the fall. Trisha- who is still not quite well- has already started her dance year at LAMMI. After a day of dancing from 9 –5, she has to do academic studies from 6-10 all week at Dawson College. Robin goes back September 11 for his last year of theatre school in London, a year of performing- except for two courses. And after a couple of years working, Andrew is heading back to school to study Radio Broadcasting. He has been playing with a band in Montreal. It was so good to see them all, relaxing in the living room in the old way.

I watched Greg Cochrane's show, Comedy Now, on CTV, on Friday. Greg was great and looked confident and beautiful, yeah, he did.


On Sunday I had a lovely evening with Greg Nelson. Greg is a playwright, whose new play, The Fall, opens this year’s GCTC season on Sept.7. Greg was in my English classes and in LAG performances at Laurentian High School. We got back in touch after Raoul discovered our connection, when he was acting in one of Greg’s plays out west. Greg was a sterling member of my very first improv team. We competed in 1984 and won the west end, for some reason our only competition. The games were very different then and so were the Games, that year being small, and run by Ottawa drama teachers.


Steph and I spent a couple of days in Kingston this week, doing summery things- We had a picnic of organic shrimp, wine, cheese, asparagus and chicken, on a windy hill overlooking the waves in Lake Ontario Park. Later we stopped to watch some improv, in a building on the edge of the starry lake, and then we went to a drive-in movie! We couldn't resist, after discovering that one still existed. Wonderful, our first drive-in in how many years? ( Well, the drive-in was wonderful, the movie, Talladega Nights, um, it was ok.)
The next day we went on a cruise of the Thousand Islands. Beautiful blue sky with perfect clouds, rocky islands, some with cottages, some taking up the entire island, and seagulls hovering overhead. Lots of wind, summer hearts.

Did you know that in order to qualify as an island a piece of land must be at least six square feet and have two trees?


My trip home was horrendous. A sudden, other-worldly roaring in my car on the 401 meant that a tire had burst. I pulled over onto the shoulder, and in my rear-view mirror, I numbly saw a transport truck looming behind me, and a van smashing into it - twice - in sparks and flying metal. Thank God only metal and tires were damaged, and no one was hurt. While we waited for the police, the truck driver, a truly decent man, changed my tire for me. Dealing with it all took about three hours, and then I drove slowly home, a long, dark drive, and a shaky heart, on a tiny tire which had been buried deep in the bowels of the car. I didn’t even know it was there. Home was a great relief. A shame to end the Kingston trip's sun-shiny memories that way. Now I am re-thinking my dislike of cell phones....


You are aware of the awful illnesses and harm that sometimes come about from the way cattle are fed, I am sure. You know that Ken Godmere,who owned the comedy club,The iNSTiTUTiON in Ottawa contracted that brainwasting disease, Jakob-Creutzfeldt. You know that cattle are often fed the remains of other beasts- and that they are fed antibiotics when they aren't sick. You know that these antibiotics are in the milk we drink, and flushing into our water systems. All this to make lots of money for food-producers.

This page on the care2 site describes some farms and producers whose products are clean. You can find your province, and maybe find the clean products in the grocery stores:


Friday, August 18, 2006

August 18, 2006.


I decided that I could use a blog to answer the people who say to me, "I never know what you are doing. " Maybe I'll create an entry every month - or whenever there is something to say.

So let me say this now: I am happy, I am reborn this summer!
What does this tell you: I am riding my bike, yahoo!
I went hiking in the Gatineau Hills this week with Jim and Marjory, and I saw a scarlet toadstool and a tiny dark green baby frog. Two, one up close, very close! Up hills, down dales, very soggy dales!

I had surgery again in January, my ninth since that initial horror in '98, and I am doing better than ever! I have a new doctor who was an ER doctor for 20 years and he GETS it! He understands, he KNOWS, he LISTENS, he CARES, he fixes me!

This summer I soared, listening to FOUR National Arts Centre Orchestra concerts, with piano soloists, and blue-tummied Pinchas Zukerman, and impossibly soft transitions...and whispering winds... and ten chamber music concerts, under the spires of melting churches...I saw a zillion Ottawa Fringe plays and LOVED the best of all, CSI with Greg, Jordan and Chelsea - so polished, so smart, so funny, so colourful.

I have visited with so many BOFA people - that's another entry- and I actually "acted" in Duncan's movie! A first, and another entry! I went to Perth to see Tyley sing in the park, mmm, and I have been swimming and gardening all summer. I planted five new roses in the back, and they are glorious. I spent a weekend with my family at a cottage in the Muskokas and laughed at the dogs and swam in clear brown water. I laughed at the puppets in the festival in Almonte,and baked in the sun. I water my flowers for an hour every day. I have started to write.

And I have been taking piano lessons for three years, now that's a passion! I practise EVERY day and I love to practise. (But I am nervous to play for anyone, especially Ben.) And I love Ben too, my gentle, demanding, skilful, bassoon-playing, guitar-playing, creative, patient, knowledgeable and beautiful piano teacher.

Oh, there's so much more, but...

I also thought that a blog would be a way to share my latest concerns or passions.

Here is one- a concern and a passion. It's about cancer.

My grandson was born in '98, with neuroblastoma, cancer. That's an abomination, I think, for a child to be blasted in the womb.

In 1999, Johnson died of cancer, months after he had been diagnosed with it. Many of you participated in the show we held at Canterbury, the Johnson Jamboree, in February. Johnson planned to come see us perform in the Games- and he tried. He died in the early hours of the morning the day we were playing.

Johnson still looms in The Games and the NAC Studio, and his friends ache with loss.

In the summer of 2003, my brother told me his wife had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I tried to help as my brother struggled, turning into a haunted, haggard, sleepless skeleton himself, and my sister-in-law got weaker and weaker; they both hoped always for a miracle.
I held her cold, yellow body one day as the nurse was changing her bed, and then I left for rehearsal. Less than an hour later, she died. She was only 50.

Our beautiful Marjorie, Bofa '92, has just recovered from the fight of her life- beating leukemia.

I am enraged. How about you?

How much more so to realize that we are all absorbing uncontrolled carcinogens without number. In our air, our food, our water - always thinking that we are protected from harm by legislation, by governments, AREN'T WE?
Well, no, we are not. Especially not in Canada.

So I am going to put some information in this blog. Don't use teflon-coated pans. Don't use those dryer sheets to soften clothes. Don't breathe or drink or eat anything that has been warmed in plastic. All plastics are not safe at all. Check out everything, including the sources of articles you read. Just be aware. Be smart.

Check out this: http://www.newstarget.com/002693.html