Browsing Posts published in March, 2013

For someone who has a clear penchant for planning and knowing, I sure seem to spend a lot of time in limbo land. I do know where I’m going, as do a select few of you. I’m impressed it hasn’t been ‘leaked’ yet, and you better keep your lips sealed as I aim to have a guessing game in the next few weeks. Groan all you like—I’m up to my eyeballs in chaos over here and blog material is hard to come by.

Anyway, my point is there’s an awful lot up in the air these days including me in exactly 30 days. The good news is that in typing “30 days” I’ve reached my target heart rate for the day. That sound you hear is me breathing in and out of the paper bag that carried home my ‘medicine': 8 family size bars of chocolat noir. That should hold me for today.

It’s entirely possible that I’m overreacting. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t done this before, but still. I have to purge and pack. I have to ditch anything with a power cord attached to it (that’s the first clue about my destination). I have to unload my French blue bubble car and I have to ready the apartment for the new tenants. Plus, there’s the bureaucrazy both here and there to deal with, and I have to try at least 3 or 4 more Swiss wines before I go. A woman’s work is never done. Continue reading “The Witless Protection Program” »


The Height of Fashion

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I’ve been this tall (about 6 feet) since I was 12, so that’s over 3 decades of towering above the masses, and there’s no denying it: it’s generally a good thing. You can always spot me in a crowd and if you need someone to dust the top of the fridge, I’m your gal.

But today I say a thousand curses upon this giraffe-like physique of mine. This lament comes after a recent excursion that, for reasons I should be well acquainted with by now, left me wishing I could stuff myself in the dryer and come out shrunken to normal size. Yes, I went … clothes shopping.

After taking stock of my “wardrobe” and finding it heavy on sweatpants and light on attire fit for a return to the work world, I hit the stores. It’s been so long since I’ve done this, I forgot what an exasperating exercise in futility it is to clothe a woman who so closely resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Continue reading “The Height of Fashion” »


Finders, it’s official: I’m moving. Again. I don’t mean across town, I mean to a different country. Exactly where is not important. For now, it’s enough simply to divulge the drama of the impending déménagement—that’s French for repeatedly doing things that might lead to complete physical and mental collapse.

In case I’m misunderstood, I’m in favour of further adventure; I just want the magical version of it, where someone waves a wand or wiggles a nose and it all comes into place while I’ve been off having a full body massage. 

To say this decision was not arrived at lightly would be the very definition of understatement. Rusty and I discussed and debated like never before and, like always, reached a consensus. We know how to do this by now. We celebrated 11 years together Monday past, and I was quick to point out that 132 months had passed and we’d managed to avoid killing each other, a major triumph in my view. We’ll see over the coming weeks whether I spoke too soon. Continue reading “Mama Was a Rolling Stone” »


Aging Disgracefully

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Lately, every time I turn around, it’s March 16th. So what, right? Well, on this past March 16th, I found myself hitting 45 years on this Earth. 45. That’s halfway to 90. And yet, I don’t feel a day over 70. I’d launch into the whole 45 is the new 35 schtick, but I believe I mentioned my age, so I don’t have the energy or the time for that foolishness. Plus, I found a grey hair today, imagine how traumatized I am about that.

Speaking of old grey mares, in a recent magazine interview, the silvery state of my head was, as usual, a topic of interest. The journalist asked if I was surprised that some people thought it braver to bare my hair than to ditch a whole way of life. Answer: Hell, yes. I still don’t get that.

I can’t be the only one who thinks going au naturel is no big deal, but I might be in the minority. The other day a news item caught my eye. The BBC was investigating why there is a sea of black heads in the Chinese parliament. Most of them are over 50, yet not a hint of grey to be found in the lot. Genetics? Un-undiscovered anti-aging property found only in hot and sour soup? I think not. Continue reading “Aging Disgracefully” »


Cover to Cover

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So a while back, a lovely Canadian journalist contacted me to do a profile on my shenanigans for a magazine called The Medical Post, a monthly publication exclusively for physicians that covers everything from tuberculosis treatment to travel. OK, Vogue it is not, but it is national and seen by almost every doctor in Canada.

Naturally, I had mixed feelings about having all my former colleagues learn about my abandoning ship, but the woman who interviewed me was so respectful and smart and she asked very interesting questions, so I thought this will be fine, cool even. I’d come off looking all groovy and wise and worldly.

And I did, mostly. Of course the goofy element was loud and clear, but what wasn’t loud and clear was that the cover would feature of picture of my head. Sweet hand of god, not much subtle about me now is there? I pictured me on the back page, you know, the one that nobody ever reads and gets used to sop up spilled coffee or line the compost bucket. I should have known when they asked for multiple pictures of me. So, neither subtle nor swift, me. Continue reading “Cover to Cover” »


Every now and then, I get to flex my writing and psychiatric muscles simultaneously, and this time it’s all glamour, all the time. I was asked by Canadian film director Kris Booth to offer my perspective on what might happen if 6 souls were thrust into space on a trip to Mars…and things went horribly wrong.

The movie, Red Horizon, is a contender for the Cinecoup competition, and with a grand prize of one million bucks to finance a Canadian feature film, there’s a lot on the line (you can vote for the film on the Cinecoup website).

I was thrilled to be asked to contribute, and I fully expect to pick up the Oscar for Best Psychiatric Advisor next year. So, while I’m picking out my dress, have a read of what I had to say here.



I often forget just how good I have it—easy to do with Rusty the Wonder Husband at the stove, and living in a place where spring comes exactly when it’s supposed to.

As a former psychiatrist, I should know better than to be bragging about rosebuds and the smell of spring like I did last week. Not exactly a model of empathy, given that I was raised in the North Atlantic. I picture everyone I know, shaking their ice-crusted mittens at the sky and hurling their shovels into the street, screaming, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!”

I haven’t suffered through a Big Winter for a few years now, and I’m not going to anytime soon if I can help it. In fact, it’s a major issue as we think about where we’d be willing to live other than La Suisse. But there I go again—is there no end to my insensitivity to those suffering from EWS, known to non-shrinks as Endless Winter Syndrome?

So, with the victims in mind, I thought I’d share these beautiful images of the season so often connected to discontent. Looking at stunning pictures like this one…

makes me want to add Alaska and Siberia to the shortlist of possible next stops on my personal tour of chaos—way, way down on the list, but still.

If you are suffering from EWS, relief is on the way. Before you know it, you’ll be coming down with a raging case of Spring Fever, or for those in my homeland of Newfoundland, ERDFD (Endless Rain Drizzle Fog Disorder). But I’m not worried about that lot, they’re tough. For them, ERDFD feels like a case of the sniffles after a long bout with Bubonic Plague.

Anyway, I’d love to hear more about hard winter has been for you, really I would, but I’m just going out the door. Those roses aren’t going to smell themselves now are they?


Gimme Some Sugar

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Holy god in heaven, with so much going on over here—major decision making and now what appears to be hot flashing (information on that mess will be provided on an absolute need to know basis)—any pleasurable diversion is most welcome.

This past weekend, I finally watched a movie I’ve been meaning to get to for some time now: Searching for Sugar Man. Now I don’t normally bore you with the ins and outs of my Friday night activities, the highlight of which is usually a bag of chips, but this film is so extraordinary, so full of what it is to be human, that I just have to devote a few words to it.

It’s the story of ’70s singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, an unknown in his native America, and unbeknownst to him, a legendary, believed to be dead superstar in apartheid-era South Africa. Sort of like me—I’m a nobody in Canada, but I’m huge in southern Lithuania. Continue reading “Gimme Some Sugar” »


Ah yes, uncertainty. It seems it’s only human to desire the known and the sure. But that would be just too easy now wouldn’t it? And probably exceedingly boring. That said, I could use a little tedium right about now. I’m so used to the humdrum of my day to day life that all this excitement threatens to lead to some sort of radical action on my part, like baking or getting dressed.

We’re all over the map these days—one minute it’s Switzerland at all costs, the next minute it’s Canada or bust! There’s even been a brief, and I mean brief, consideration of a sojourn to the US of A. If Hilary Clinton calls looking for a personal therapist, I’ll put it back on the table. Otherwise, the land of the free will be free of me.

It seems the only certainty chez nous is a lack of certainty, but who the hell cares I say. No matter what kind of chaos life conjures up, there is one thing you can always count on: the passage of time. The sun rises and sets without care of what happens to be going on in my little life. Continue reading “Hope Springs Eternal” »

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