Thursday, May 31, 2007

My dear friend Chris

I got news on Tuesday night that I honestly didn't expect and it's taking some getting used to. My dear friend Chris who has been battling cancer all of the 5 years I've known him, passed away a month ago.

I went to work for Pam and Chris back in 2002 when Chris was first diagnosed. I was hired to take care of their wee boy, Isaac for 3 months, he was 5 months at the start. I stayed with them for 5 months in the end and only left to go home to celebrate J & L's 21st birthdays. When I got back I moved back into their tiny flat and we all lived there for a total of 3 years.

Mum and I eventually decided to get our own place and we moved in October 2005. I had spent 3 years playing scrabble and watching bad tv with Chris most evenings (when I wasn't working), drinking too much wine and listening to Chris's fantastic selection of music, being driven to complete distraction by Chris's desire to cleanse every germ off the face of the planet, playing more scrabble, talking about Chris's illness and his fear of leaving Isaac and Pam alone, BBQ's in the back garden, walks in the park and row boats in the Hollow Ponds with Isaac - I have extremely happy memories of that time in London.

When Chris took ill again last year his doctor recommended he go home as soon as possible if he wanted to go at all. Home being Canada. Within about 8 weeks, the house was sold and all belongings packed up and shipped out. It was a sad day when mum and I saw them off at the airport. I wondered if I'd ever see Chris again, but deep down I really thought I would. I never thought I'd be getting this news before making a trip over there to see them all settled in their new life.

I have missed Chris, Pam and Isaac so much since they all went to Canada, but it's hard to imagine that I will never get to see Chris again. It doesn't yet feel real and I'm not sure it will until I land on Canadian turf and he's not there to meet me.

I know Chris is in a better place and he never has to suffer again. I wish I could be with Pam and Isaac, but until such time as I can visit, my thoughts and love are with them.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Feijoas and jaffas

My mother truly knows the way to my heart... or is that my stomach?

She went home for a month and upon her arrival back here, presented me with 6 feijoas and a box of jaffas. I was a very happy little chicken! I am eating the feijoas one by one and thoroughly enjoying each one.

"The Feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana, synonym Acca sellowiana), also known as Pineapple Guava or Guavasteen, is an ever green shrub or small tree, 1-7 m in height, originating from the highlands of southern Brazil, parts of Columbia, Uruguay and northern Argentina..."
"...The fruits have a juicy sweet seed pulp, and slightly gritty flesh nearer the skin. The flavour is aromatic and sweet..." (Wikipedia)

Jaffas are an orange candy coated sweet with chocolate in the middle. Also rather delicious and unfortunately I was less able to ration these and they are now all gone!

Next time I head for home I really need to plan it for the feijoa season.