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Cup Match is Upon Us!

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Cup Match is the annual long weekend holiday when Bermudians take some time off by camping and watching the cricket match between St. George’s (East end of the island), and Somerset (West end of the island), and people wear their Colors proudly.

Red and navy blue, you are a Somerset fan. Light blue and navy blue, you are St. George’s fan.

 

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What happens is the island shuts down Thursday and Friday and some shops reopen on Saturday but most Bermudians will be in St. George where the cricket match is taking place this year and they will be watching cricket and playing crown and anchors. Many will also be camping near the beaches and listening to the game on the radio.

Historically, Cup Match was introduced to mark Emancipation Day, which took place on August 1st, 1834. Bermudians from Somerset and St. George’s marked the anniversary of the abolition of slavery by holding annual picnics, with the highlight being a friendly cricket match played between lodges from the east and west ends of the island.

Today, it is a long weekend that most Bermudians plan a month in advance. It is a big and important holiday for most Bermudians.

Daddy Cool and I have never been to Cup Match and we don’t plan on going. For us Canadians, the thought of going to watch cricket when the weather is at its hottest of the year….no thank you. We are flying out to Montreal tomorrow and these two Canucks will be celebrating Cup Match weekend by the lake. We may be wearing our light blue-navy blue Colors, (we live in the East end) but we will be doing so on our dock while enjoying a cold one!

Happy Cup Match Weekend to All!

 

On The Rock…

The heat is relentless. I realize a lot of you friends in the North East and UK are having a heat wave but for us on island, it’s simply called, the weather. And usually at the end of a heat wave, you get a storm with some rain accumulation. We haven’t a good downpour in a LONG time. We NEED TANK RAIN!!!!

Daily weather forecast for Bermuda- between 86 and 90 degrees and the humidity is always above 75%.

I know, you will say, ”but you can go to the beach.” But there is only so much a woman can go to the beach. I go kayaking and paddle boarding and although I enjoy it and it’s fun, especially at the end when I jump in the water off our dock in Harrington Sound, I am still hot and missing the cooler Canadian weather. This is just too much heat for this Canadian Mama.

If I want to do anything outside such as tend to my gardens, it has to be done before 11 am otherwise, I will burn to a crisp and just sweat my butt off.

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They say ”the grass is always greener on the other side”, but I think in our case, it’s more like hay and our neighbors have nothing to envy us.

Every 3 to 4 days I have to put the hose in the pool and add water for about 45 minutes since the water is evaporating in the heat and I can’t let the water go below the water filter too much, otherwise the motorized pump will not work properly and the water will start to get cloudy and that would mean shocking the pool, a chemical treatment etc…since we are the ones paying for pool maintenance, I try to stay on top of it. The only thing about this 45 minutes of water every 4 days means, my water tank is getting low and that means I may have to order a water truck soon to top it off. Water is such a commodity at the moment. I try to shower when I go swim at National Stadium and Peter showers at Squash Club as much as possible. Did I mention, WE NEED TANK RAIN!!!!!

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Daddy Cool and I are leaving next Wednesday for a little cottage country R&R and I can’t wait. It will be nice to get out of this heat.

2 Weeks Post Surgery

Here I am today, two weeks post second surgery to get rid of my renal aneurysm and my recovery has been a lot easier than the first time around.

I think a couple of factors helped the second time around. The aneurysm was smaller and before the surgery, I told them I had a hard time with the fentanyl last time. I think that drug really knocked me out, even though I was awake for the entire surgery, it was hard to come out of the fog after. This time, they started the surgery using fentanyl as my anesthesia, but about 45 minutes into surgery, I told them I was nauseous and then started to vomit. They stopped the fentanyl and gave me something else, (they told what but I don’t remember the name), all I know is I was more aware of my surroundings and afterwards, I was more alert.

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My card with the serial numbers of what may prompt the Airport Security Imaging scanners to buzz. 

I was so aware that I saw this other surgeon in the OR talking with my surgeon. He was a brain surgeon that usually deals with brain aneurysms.  I was instructed many times to hold my breath when they were injecting me with die, in order to get a clear picture of the aneurysm. Then, near the end, all I heard was, ”This is awesome, makes it so easy” and everybody was cheering and celebrating. Then my surgeon asked me how I was and I said, ”can we get on with it?” I had been in the OR for almost 4 hours. Between the prep, my surgeon checking out the results from the first surgery and the second one, I had been in there for a while, I just wanted to leave!

What we did find out afterwards was that on top of coiling the aneurysm, they installed some ”special flow diverter” that the brain surgeon from the Lahey clinic invented and I was the first patient in the world to get this ”diverter” on a kidney. Apparently the brain surgeon will write a paper about it and I am suppose to get a copy of the paper….we’ll see. All I know is maybe this diverter also helped making my recovery faster. And I do know that when I go through security at the airport, I now buzz because I have a piece a metal in me. On my way back from Boston, when I went through security at Logan airport I did buzz and had to explain I just had surgery and now have a piece of metal. I was given a card to take with me when I travel but I did not need to show it to security.

At the moment, I am back on the Rock. It is hot and humid and I spend a lot of time indoors in the comfort of the AC. Not recovering since that is pretty much over, just trying to stay cool.

 

Triathlon Fever

World class triathletes are in Bermuda for the second stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series that is taking place tomorrow in Hamilton and the island has been BUZZING with athletes all week.

The pool at NSC has been busy with swimmers, the streets of the island have seen an increase in Pelotons cycling and all week long, I saw groups of runners hitting the streets of Hamilton around 3 pm. I think the elite athletes are trying to adapt to the heat and humidity they may encounter tomorrow afternoon.

Coming out of the pool this morning I struck up a conversation with three elite athletes who had just finished their swim. (Thing 1 would have been embarrassed, she doesn’t like when I talk to strangers.) When I asked them, ”Where are you guys from?” They responded they were from Brighton, UK. I said, ”I love Brighton. I ran the half there a couple years back.” One of them said, ”It takes place in February.” And we started to talk about running. They told me they were here last year for the first edition of the Triathlon and they were a bit surprised with Corkscrew Hill. So this year they came early to practice.

This is Corkscrew Hill that they have to cycle 10 times and run 4 times!  

The reason why the ITU World Triathlon series stops in Bermuda is because of Flora Duffy. Flora is probably the best athlete ever to come from Bermuda. She is the 2016 and 2017 ITU World Triathlon series World Champion, the 2015 and 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion, and a four-time winner (2014-2017) of the XTERRA World Championships. She won Gold at the last Commonwealth games. The only hardware she is missing is an Olympic Medal. Last year she dominated in Bermuda winning by a big margin but sadly this year she has been injured and has not competed yet. She is however on the island and participating in the relay portion tomorrow so Bermudians will be able to watch her compete.

Flora is everywhere!

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The barricades have started to go up downtown, tonight is the kids’ duathlon and tomorrow the main event. This means that we will be staying away from town and watching it live on TV. If you want to watch this event and see how beautiful the island is, I believe you will be able to watch on BBC sports and failing that, just go to http://www.triathlonlive.tv.

Happy Tri weekend everyone!

Mama Why Don’t you Write a Blog Anymore?

Is what Thing 1 has been asking for a month. She brought it up again last weekend while she was here for Easter, and frankly, the only answer I gave her is, life in general has been busy.  Here is a glimpse of what has been going on with the Coopers in Bermuda (and Montreal) since we came back from Christmas.

Thing 2 – As a 20 year old young man, Thing 2 doesn’t talk much. As far as I know, he has been busy with his third year of university at Concordia while working as a lifeguard and swim instructor. Whenever I send him a message asking anything I get the usual, ”yes”, ”no”, ”Sure” and ”Can do”. Thing 2 has never been a huge talker. One good news about him. He applied and got a job with parks Canada and is leaving his Mama for three and a half months (this is how I see it anyways…) on May 12 to go work in the Yukon, at Kluane National Park. It is beautiful up there and I know he will have a blast.

But, before he can go, he needs to have his wisdom teeth removed. His Mama is flying to Montreal on May 5th. May 6th I will torture Thing 2 by taking him shopping for hiking boots, (I swear, he HATES shopping. If he could go barefoot and naked, he would be much happier.) May 7th is his oral surgery and then for the rest of the week I will take care of my Thing 2. Daddy Cool will come to Montreal on May 10th for one last weekend with Thing 2 and then on May 12th, we will put him on a plane and go for brunch!

Thing 1 –  She has been busy working and finishing her thesis while playing rugby and training for the half marathon we ran two weekends ago. She is now a ”Maître” and we are very proud of her. A week before the half-marathon, she called me after her first rugby ”Contact” practice and announced she had injured herself. I wanted to ring her neck! Alas, youth is on her side and her ACL was not torn, just sprained and she managed to run this half in NYC with a PR of 1:54! (Bitch! Just kidding, excellent, very proud of you!) We had a fun weekend in NYC with my Sole Sister. It was a fun time and if Thing 1 can find my Sole Sister and I a 10 km to run (we think our Half careers are over!), while she runs another half, we may consider it. But there better be wine involved.

Daddy Cool –  There has been lots of squash in the first three months of 2019. In February, he played and won the Senior Club Championship and is now back to back Senior Club champion. In March, there was a tournament with overseas player and we hosted a couple. It was a lot of fun and we saw some really good squash. Two weeks ago was the Legends of Squash where 8 players come to the island to play in this fun tournament. I think 4 were former world #1 and the other four were either former #2 or #3 and there was a young guy who was number 12 in the world (I think), but we saw him play last summer at the Masters and he won the 35 – 40 years old players. He was the youngest on court and he ended winning but if you want to see something funny, I invite you to watch this video from the BSRA Instagram account.

 

Yes! The shoes belong to Peter who had put them on top of his locker to dry. L.J. who had been struggling with his shoes all week, saw them, tried them on and decided to play with them. The shoes have now been autographed and I don’t think they will ever be played with.

Aside from that, Daddy Cool went on a whirlwind tour of London, Singapore, Dublin, and then London again before coming back to the Rock. He was gone for 18 days and since I don’t sleep well while he is gone, I was becoming a Zombie. He almost missed his return flight. He fell asleep in the BA Lounge and when he woke up, they were announcing the final boarding call. He ran to the gate (which was on the other side of Gatwick) and made it in time as they were closing the doors. I needed my sleep and would have killed him if he had been delayed one more day. Good thing he made it back in time.

Mama – As for moi, let’s just say a lot of stuff has happened since Christmas.

One: Been busy coaching my little swimmers, a.k.a. ”My Minions”. They are doing great, having fun with them and they are keeping me young.

Two: I struggled while training for this last half-marathon. My plantar fasciitis that first manifested itself in 2011, came back in the middle of my training with a vengeance. My last 6 weeks from Monday to Sunday pretty much looked like this, SWIM, SWIM, RUN, SWIM, SWIM, REST, LONG RUN, REPEAT. And Tuesdays and Thursdays I would go see physiotherapist or podiatrist for laser treatment. The run was hell for me. It was mostly, RUN first 5 miles, then WALK up hills, and RUN down hills. I made it, it was painful but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with copious amounts of Aleve, cocktails and wine. Let’s just say that when I finally went to bed on Sunday night after watching the first episode of Game of Thrones, I COULD NOT FEEL A THING ANYWHERE IN MY BODY! It was Awesome! At the moment, I am on a one month break from running with loads of swimming and walking. Have to rest up the fascia.

Three: This kind of stuff only happens in Bermuda. Before Christmas, my GP ordered a pelvic CT. So I went to the hospital and they performed a CT scan. This was my first ever CT scan and I just did what I was told. They injected dye and I laid there and entered the machine and held my breath etc… Friday Dec. 16th, (I remember the date because I was driving to the airport), my GP office called and asked if I could come in to ”discuss the test results”. I informed them I was on my way to airport and asked if it could wait till after the holidays. They said yes. Upon the first week of my return I went to see my GP who informed me that the hospital had performed the wrong CT, and that I needed to go back for a pelvic CT, but that in the meantime, they had discovered an aneurysm on each on my kidneys. The right one was very small and the left one was a bit bigger but nothing to worry about. She just said, ”Every week there’s a vascular surgeon that comes from the Lahey clinic and maybe you should meet him. I will send his team the films and they will contact you but I wouldn’t be worried, they will probably just want to keep an eye on them for now.” I didn’t make a big thing of it. Someone called me at the end of January and arranged the consult. But that got cancelled because the surgeon had been delayed getting on the island, due to a storm, I would have to wait another week. This happened twice. Third time, the surgeon wanted to see me before he flew back to Boston so he asked that I go to the hospital at 8 am, before his flight back to Boston. He came in the consult with his suitcase ready to go to the airport. After a 45 minute consult I came out of there a little bit in shock and phoned Peter at work. The consensus is that the one on the left is quite large, and in the words of the Surgeon, ”Your GP doesn’t know what she is talking about.” And then he said, normally, this would not be urgent but because you live on a Rock in the middle of the Atlantic where there are many X factors that can make this go sideways if it was to burst, I would like to operate sooner rather than later. When I asked if we could do it next time he comes to Bermuda, he just shook his head NO. He said that even though this is a new hospital, they are not equipped to deal with this. He kind of put the radiology department under the bus and just said, ”Listen, the fact that they performed the wrong CT to uncover this says a lot about who is working down there.” So now after several weeks of back and forth emails and phone calls, Peter and I are getting an all expense paid “séjour” at the beautiful Lahey Clinic downtown Burlington Mass. Not suppose to be flying for a solid week after operations, so I will be off island from May 5th to May 26th. Actually looking forward to driving up to the townships after my surgeries and enjoying some quiet time at Weirwood.

There you have it. Almost four months in a nutshell. Not very exciting, ”C’est la vie! Et la vie continue.”

Thing 1, I promise to write more in the future. XO

 

 

O Tanenbaum!

Tuesday morning Thing 2 and I set out to look for the perfect Christmas tree for Weirwood. Thing 1 who has high school connections with a tree farm dynasty, sent us to an uncle of the so called high school guy, (I will keep his name confidential, I don’t want him to get into trouble).

Upon our arrival to the so called tree farm where we were suppose to select and cut our tree, we noticed the deserted parking lot. More importantly, the entire place was closed, even though their website claimed it was open…

We called Thing 1, she apologized and told us that her high school connection said that if we could not get to his uncle’s tree farm, to go to this other one and she gave me the phone number. I called, they were not opened on a weekday, just this weekend. Hummm? I don’t know if I want to wait till Saturday, December 22nd. I thanked him, said I would think about it and called Canadian Tire to see if they had any trees left. They did not. I phoned Rona, asked the same thing. They had one left at their Magog store, “How tall?” I was told 7 feet. Okay, I decided to drive us out of the forest and instructed Thing 2 to keep his eyes opened for guys selling trees on the side of the road, we would go check the one at Rona in Magog.

On the way back into Magog, Thing 2 was on the phone with his boss from the pool when I stopped at a nursery who was advertising Christmas Trees for sale. No joke, all he had were Charlie Brown Christmas trees, I was starting to get a little nervous. I returned to the car, Thing 2 was off the phone, we drove on to Rona to check the 5 footer, not 7 footer, tree standing on its own by the door to the store. I told Thing 2, it’s okay but short. If we don’t find anything, we will come back.

We drove out of the Rona parking lot, and I noticed the trees in the Giant Tiger parking lot and made a bee line for the lot. Thing 2 was laughing his head off because Giant Tiger (a thrift store with very inexpensive clothing items, is where he shops all summer when he works at camp.) And there, sitting on its own, all wrapped up was this 10 footer. I asked the man selling them if it was a nice one. He reassured me by telling me that he has sold 4 of them already. One to a regular customer who has been buying from him for the last 10 years and she had sent him a photo. I looked at the photo, the tree looked full, no holes so I decided to take a chance. He said since we were close to Christmas and it was a big one, the price was $75.00. I laughed internally and said okay with a defeated look. Trees in Bermuda are anywhere between $110 and $230. Turns out, all I had in my wallet was exactly $75.00, it was meant to be!

 

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Back home it was not easy to put it in the stand. Thing 2 had to chisel the base to fit.

 

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While it dropped, I was baking my cassava pie and my tourtiere.

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Then it was time to get the ladder out and put on the lights and the many decorations.

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The next morning, I added the village. It takes a village.

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This is the final look. (There is a hole in the bottom in the middle, I will fix it when I get back to Weirwood!)

Before any of you start to write me an email, I know it’s a bit crooked on one side, it leans a bit to the left, no worries, I bought the fish line for Daddy cool to fix it when he gets to Weirwood tomorrow.

In the meantime, Happy Holidays everyone! The Coopers.

Not So Traditional Christmas Music

Sitting at the airport in Bermuda and while I am waiting for the call to board AC943, I am listening to my Spotify Xmas list more closely and realizing that some of these Christmas songs are not your usual Christmas tunes.

Looking at my list of 315 Christmas songs, the ones that pop out as ‘’Non-Tradtional’’ are the following;

1. ‘’Elf’s Lament’’ by The Barenaked Ladies

2. ‘’A Spaceman Came traveling’’ by Chris De Burgh

3. ‘’Tout Va Changer’’ by Michel Fugain

4. ‘’Fairy Tale of New York’’ by The Pogues and Kirsty McColl,  and one of Daddy Cool’s favorite.

5. ‘’Shake Up Christmas’’ by Train

6. ‘’Christmas in Hollis’’ by Run – D.M.C.

7. ‘’Puppies are Forever’’ by Sia

8. ‘’The 12 days of Christmas’’ by Bob & Doug McKenzie (A Classic).

9. ‘’Christmas Every Day’’ by Simple Plan

10. ‘’23 Décembre’’ by Beau Dommage

There you have it, just 10 of the ones I noticed from my list. By the way, if you have a Spotify account and you want to check out my Christmas list, it CanadianMama67 Christmas. There’s lots of good music, some choirs, some in French, some in Gaelic (Enya). You just have to download and let it play for HOURS….

HO!HO!HO! Boarding my plane to Feliz Navidad!!!!