This time last year, Toronto was in the grip of an ice storm. In a temperature of -25 deg C (-13 deg F) we had no power, no heat and no water. Eighteen days we suffered this hell. Waking up in freezing temperatures, washing with bottled water, wearing four layers of clothing, dining on take outs and going to bed shivering. Looking back I don’t know how we survived it.
February saw the closing of a friend’s bookstore. The darkened room, filled with empty shelves was a depressing sight to say the least.
My blog has no entries for March, so I guess nothing noteworthy happened.
April saw me filing a lawsuit against my previous employer. For 10 days I put up with the most horrifying verbal abuse and when it got to the point that I feared physical abuse I quit. I reported the said lawyer to the Law Society of Upper Canada, who duly investigated. Unfortunately the lawyer denied my allegations and the case was closed. Note to all employees, male and female, if you’re planning on filing a lawsuit against an abusive employer, make sure you have proof. Set your phone on record, for just in case.
In May we had our annual Bowl-a-ton, a fundraiser for the Toronto Cat Rescue. When such a Bowl-a-ton was first organized, only a handful of bowlers showed up and we raised very little money. This year so many bowlers signed up that people had to be turned away (not enough lanes available) and thousands of dollars were raised. The Toronto Cat Rescue is a no-kill organisation and the money is used for food and medical expenses. In addition to finding loving homes for kittens and cats, the organization also traps feral cats, spay or neuters them, and then sets them free again.
In June our weekly grocery shopping trip turned into a bit of a nightmare. When we left the house there was sun and blue skies; when we left the supermarket there was a light drizzle; a few minutes later we were caught in a downpour with gale force winds. By the time we got homes we were soaked to the skin, literally, we were wet right down to our underwear. It took three days for the sneakers we wore to dry.
In July we put up safety netting on the balcony. Something we should have done years ago. Now my cat family is 100% safe.
In August I started a new job working for three lawyers who had started a property development company. In my second week, on my way home, I had a slip and fall, sprained my ankle and was on crutches for a week. Despite my injury I kept going to work. As a direct result of my injury, I developed a spine condition called sciatica piriformis. It took two hospital visits, 6 weeks of rest and plenty of painkillers, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory pills to see me right. Unfortunately I lost my job.
In September I started yet another job, perhaps the most interesting job I ever had, working with the best people I ever met.
October saw the release of my third novel “Lily”. “Lily” touches on child and spousal abuse and how to deal with it.
On the surface, Lily has a loving and caring mother. But Marion Vermeer has mood swings, causing her to lose control.
Having suffered emotional and physical abuse at her mother’s hands and having been denied the chance to go to high school, Lily’s confidence and employment opportunities are limited.
She marries young to get away from the strict rules of her mother, only to end up under the thumb of her husband. Not prepared to be the battered wife, Lily joins a self-help group and bit by bit finds the confidence to stand up for herself. After a bitter divorce, she finds herself alone with her young son in a foreign country.
November came and went without any highs or lows.
December saw the completion of a project. For some time now I’ve wanted a fireplace. Thanks to some creative thinking, and a handy son, that dream became a reality.