What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Did the Walk to Fight Arthritis. Underwent eye surgery.

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more?
I don't really do resolutions but I do have a couple of goals for 2016. One is to learn more about Muslims (particularly Muslim women) and the Islamic faiths in general. The other is to explore art therapy and journalling therapy.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes - my daughter.

Did anyone close to you die?
My mother-in-law. A close friend's mother. A few others who weren't super-close but their deaths were still a bit of a shock.

What countries did you visit?
I didn't travel outside the country or even outside Ontario and Quebec.

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
More energy and better eyesight.

What dates from 2015 will remain etched on your memory and why?
April 21, 3:30 AM (when we got the call about my mother-in-law) and all day May 27 and 28 (when we looked after grandchildren #1 and 2 and awaited the arrival of #3)

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably integrating two 13-year-old cats into our family.

What was your biggest failure?
I'd say the failure to divest myself of some of my excess possessions and organize the rest, and maybe the failure to update my will, PoA, etc.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing life-threatening, but I did experience a resurgence of my arthritis and a problem with my left eye that required surgery.

What was the best thing someone bought you?
If it has to be something bought, then possibly... a yoga mat? It's something I wouldn't have thought to buy myself, and I do find it useful. If I can include home-made items that were given to me, I'd say the cards made for me by my grandson, and a very interesting game he gave me (that I still haven't completely figured out how to play).

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I was really quite touched by the outpouring of support and encouragement by family, friends and colleagues as I went through various life-moments such as the loss of my m-i-l, my walk for arthritis, and my eye surgery.

Where did most of your money go?
Various things around the house.

What did you get really really excited about?
Grandkids and cats.

What song will always remind you of 2015?
Harperman, it's time for you to go!

Compared to this time last year, are you (a) happier or sadder, (b) thinner or fatter, (c) richer or poorer?
(a) a little sadder as I contemplate the limits of my mortal existence, (b) about the same, (c) slightly poorer, although finances are not a big concern.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Maybe exploring new things.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
All those health maintenance activities (doctors' appointments, blood tests, filling and picking up prescriptions, etc.) which, while necessary, detract from time I'd prefer to be spending on other things. Also time spent on boring paperwork and in endless telephone-tree hell.

How did you spend Christmas?
Most of the socializing was on Christmas Eve when my daughter's family were over. Christmas Day was quiet but pleasant. New Year's Eve we stayed home and barely managed to stay up till midnight, when we split a tiny bottle of fake champagne (with a fake cork in it). New Year's Day evening was a bit of a TV-watching marathon with 2 hours of Coronation Street followed by 1.5 hours of Sherlock.

Did you fall in love in 2015?

How many one night stands?
We always buy nightstands in pairs, one for each side of the bed. They have doors hinged on opposite sides so each of us can easily access their own stuff - unless of course one of us gets up on the wrong side of the bed.

What was your favourite TV program?
In terms of fairly new programs, I've rather been enjoying The Librarians, which airs at 8PM Sundays on Space.

What was the best book you read?
Maybe the one by David Lagerkrantz which was a fictionalized account of the death of Alan Turing, told from the point of view of the police sergeant investigating the case. The same author has also written a sequel to the Stieg Larsson books entitled The Girl in the Spider's Web, which I hope to read in 2016.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Requiem for the Fourteen Roses, written by local musician Elise Letourneau in 2014 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. We actually went to a performance of it here in Ottawa for the 26th anniversary.

What did you want and get?
A healthy third grandchild. A more progressive government. And a new sofa for the living room.

What did you want and not get?
We didn't make much headway on home improvements (new bathroom, new windows, heat recovery ventilator), for various reasons.

What did you do on your birthday?
Went to see the movie Mr. Holmes, in Kanata. Stopped off at the cemetery to visit my parents' graves on the way home. Went out to dinner at Asian Stars.

What one thing would have made your life immeasurably more satisfying?
I don't know - maybe a second life, provided it was a good one!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Classic easy-care casual.

What kept you sane?
I really treasured my alone-time, whether at home or out and about.

What political issue stirred you the most?
I'd say the events in Paris - first the Charlie Hebdo business and later the attacks in November. I had just been in France (Lyon and Paris) in August of 2014 to attend a conference and I really enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere in the Saint-Germain-des Pres area of Paris - it's sad to think that many people aren't or don't feel safe there any more and that I'll likely never go back.

Who/what do you miss?
All the significant people in my life who are now gone. My youthful self and energy levels.

Who was the best new person you met?
My new granddaughter.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
The world won't fall apart if I don't read the newspaper cover-to-cover and do all my Sudokus and Kenkens every day.
Last January and the one before, I tackled 36 pre-set questions about the year that just ended and the one newly begun. I considered doing them again this year but decided the framework provided by the questions didn't quite fit what I wanted to talk about. So this year, I'm looking back at them as a guideline, but no longer following the Q&A format. It's still interesting to see what I planned a year ago versus what I accomplished as well as how my plans and hopes for this year have changed. Then of course there are the things that happened, both good and bad, regardless of whether I had any control over them.

In terms of travel, I went to France, including Lyon for the first time and Paris not for the first time. I was there to attend the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), which is held somewhere different every year. I also went to Monterey, California, for the Left Coast Crime convention. Then there were some trips to Toronto, mostly to attend Board meetings of the Ex Libris Association. In 2015 I'll still be on the Board so will continue to attend those, and I hope also to make it to New York City for the International Association of Music Librarians annual conference (again held in a different location every year - I attended one in Montreal a few years back and really enjoyed it). The Canadian Library Association annual conference will be in Ottawa this year, so I certainly plan to attend that.

I've been wanting for some time to get back to New York, where I haven't been since I was about nine. On the other hand, I don't expect to make too much progress in 2015 on other places I want to visit before I die. These include Canadian provinces I've never visited, as well as other countries: Scandinavian countries, some other European countries, and possibly Australia and New Zealand.

Last year I answered a question about what I'd like in 2014 that I lacked in 2013 by talking about my computer set-up. While my outdated desktop is still set up and I do occasionally play a game of solitaire on it, my new laptop has made day-to-day life considerably easier. I can read the files people send me without having to go through excruciating contortions. I can do Sudoku and Kenken puzzles on it. I can download books that are only available in electronic form (though I still prefer reading the printed variety). When I travel, I can take advantage of free wi-fi on the train, in my hotel room, and from assorted other venues.

These days, I seem to have a bit more home-alone time, especially on Sunday afternoons. I still find the "ought to-dos" drowning out the "would like to-dos" and "would-like-to-tries" and "would-like-to-just-veg-outs" but overall I'm not all that short of free time. I also still enjoy my Wednesday mornings out and about, doing errands and just exploring on my own. I also managed to take another Learning in Retirement course at Carleton, this one on culinary regions of Italy.

My partner and I continue to take in cheap Tuesday movies and visit the art gallery (and sometimes other places) together. We get out for a walk together every day and sometimes manage to "do lunch" somewhere. We go to Ottawa Baroque and other concerts and the two major summer music festivals. And we spend time with the kids and grandkids. Most of the time, life is good.

It's been awhile since we took in a play together. But in April, we're going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Gladstone Theatre. Maybe we'll get to a few other plays as well.

In terms of home improvements, we did finally get the rusted-out pillars at the front of the house replaced and an issue with the sump-pump remedied (water was pooling outside where a pipe had corroded - which was admittedly better than pooling or flooding INSIDE, but still worrisome). There's always more to do, of course, but I won't go into my wish list here.

Some new TV shows I got into? "The Librarians" (Sunday evenings on Space) was quirky and interesting - I hope it returns for a new season. In the crime-drama genre, Broadchurch, and Shetland. This year I'm also going to be following Grantchester for a while, anyway, as I think it has possibilities.

I did quite a bit of reading, too. Especially crime fiction and biography. In 2015, I'd like to do a little more reading (and re-reading) of the classics. But I'm not going to commit to anything specific at this point - that would be too much like homework!



October 2017



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