You just know that it’s going to be a bad day when you wake up with a “pillow face”–that’s waking up with the edges of a lacey pillow imprinted on your cheek—or having bad “hat hair”–that’s when you whip off your hat and instead of perfectly curly hair like in the movies, your hair is flat and yukky.  You absolutely know that it’s going to be a totally horrific day when you get both “pillow face” and “hat hair” at the same time. I was right. The omens never lie.

Milly confronted me just before I made it out the front entrance of my condo building. Milly was another owner in the building who made everyone’s business hers. For someone who called herself “shy” and reclusive”, she managed to keep her entire hand on the pulse of the building.  I had privately labeled her a “condo bully.”  Today, she was the self-appointed “condo police.”

“Hi Milly. I’m just on my way to an important appointment and I don’t want to be late.”

“Not to worry–this won’t take long. I wanted you to know that someone is not flattening their cardboard cartons when dropping them into the paper dumpster. And someone is tossing his recyclables in the wrong containers.  And someone’s car is polluting the air with a heavy burning odor that I’m sure will kill us all.”

“We have a number of new owners in the building and there will be an orientation meeting for the new owners as well as a refresher for anyone who wants to attend,” I replied.

“I’ve left a number of letters in the Council mailbox about things happening in the building, but no one has responded yet.”

“I’m sure the correspondence will be attended to and you will be receiving a reply to your concerns. Now I really must be off or I’ll be even later for my appointment.”

Walking briskly, I decided to alter my walking route so that I was a good distance away from anyone from the condo. I opted to walk to “Delish” for my morning caffeine and their fresh baked almond pastry.

The morning became worse. “Delish” didn’t have any almond pastries left and there wasn’t a single vacant chair anywhere in the room.

I had a late morning meeting with a security consultant who worked for one of the major banks. I had hoped to pick his brain on preventative measures on embezzlements and modern day bank robberies for a story I was writing.  Because of horrendous winter weather, his plane was still in Montreal with no immediate plans to be air-bound to the West Coast.

Bummer. The gods were really having a terrific time messing up my day. Since I was only a few more  blocks to the water, I sipped my take-out cup of coffee and kept walking. Victoria was having one of its sunshine days with clear blue skies–cold, but good walking weather if dressed for it.

I noticed the patches of purple and white crocuses popping up in various gardens. There were unexpected “carpets” of creamy white snowdrops in gardens and along the boulevards. The pale pink blossoms of the Japanese plum trees were slowly beginning to open and by the corner of another neighbourhood coffee-bar, a pussy willow tree showed the furry promise of small green buds. There were yellow daffodils and the creamy whites of narcissus bursting forth ahead of the bright reds, yellows and purple tulips. A Mama Deer moved cautiously across the road, followed by her two youngsters. Checking impatiently behind her, Mama Deer waited impatiently as two more youngsters gamboled across the street, not at all repentant about keeping their mom waiting. The Fairy House, at the base of a giant fir tree, had a fresh coat of red paint on its tiny front door. A labradoodle, wearing a sassy straw hat, happily ambled alongside his owner. They brought a smile to the faces of everyone they passed.

Well, it was just too nice a day to feel miffed. Pillow-faces aren’t permanent. Hat-hair is also resolvable–don’t take off the hat  Spring was definitely on the horizon as all her colours were bursting forth.  Despite the crisp cold and annoying beginning, it had become a peaceful, relaxing walk at the end. Who can stay miffed and exasperated when Mother Nature coaxes you to enjoy her daily show. . . . .


  1. There’s something gentle and peaceful about Mother Nature. In this city, gardens can be a patch on the corner, an artful display on those island boulevards or someone’s front yard/backyard gardens. But whatever pops up is usually a dazzling burst of color, trumpeting the arrival of Spring. Glad you enjoyed this, Diane 🙂


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