Hi everyone  I am publishing   if  we  were having coffee  early  this  week  because  I need  to take  a break!  I will not have internet  access from 23rd December  until  the 30thDec.  Now  don’t  panic  Paul’s  wonderful blog  will be  over at Mark Bialczak  blog on Sunday  28th! Please  don’t  forget  to visit  there  for coffee! After  that I hope  to be less  weird  and  we will have our  normal Sunday  slot  back!

The Power

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again inside Willow’s home where it is nice and toasty, tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. We’ve moved inside to beat the winter cold in the garden. Willow has fluffed the cushions and stared a blaze in the fireplace to make a cozy place to sit. I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

In case you will be travelling to London over Christmas, you can indulge yourself in Afternoon Champagne Tea at Claridges – as pictured above. You can find a picture of a few of the sweets available at the bottom of this post. Oh, just a heads up: the pictures come with some fine print at the bottom: “discretionary service charge will be added to your bill”, so behave yourself.

My week’s been not bad. A few little bumps in the road that caused me to miss my dialysis treatment on Monday – they rescheduled me to another hospital and were unable to change my normal transport so as a result I had a scheduled treatment at one hospital and transport to another. I gotta tell you, having done logistics most of my life, I have to bite my tongue and roll my eyes when I see them dabbling in logistics – the medical care is second to none; getting the patients, doctors and equipment all in one place at one time often seems beyond them. It is funny in retrospect and if I had deemed it to be life threatening, they would have moved mountains and made it right, no matter the cost. Either way it was going to likely result in my finishing dialysis at about 2 am and then having to wait until 7 am for a ride home. My health was better served by sleeping in my own bed (sleep can sometimes be an issue for dialysis patients and missing too much will cause problems in itself). But by Wednesday, everything was back to normal and they apologize profusely and promised to never do it again.

So, how was your week? Anything interesting going on? Perhaps plans for visitors next week, perhaps travel plans? Have another cuppa and a sweet, settle in and do tell.

1981 Chevette – Vroom, Vroom!

I thought perhaps we’d take a short break this week from discussing Christmas and do something else instead. I enjoy our weekly Sunday teas and Willow has encouraged me to discuss any topic that I please. She is very creative, often writing poetry and verse to express her feelings, a talent that I admire and am sadly lacking. However, upon occasion, for reasons I am unable to ferret out, when I am stressed, I will write verse.

Twenty three years ago on Dec 31, 1991, I packed up my little 10 year old Chevette (for our non- North American readers, that was a compact car sold here for many years and it was tiny) and set out from the Maritimes to drive to my girl friend’s in Ottawa – about 700 miles away- where she and I were planning to live. I had no job lined up, an old car, just enough money for gas to get there and even a portable radio taped to the dash for music.

The Power

Being a pensive sort, I used the driving time to think and when I arrived on January 1, 1992, I wrote the following verse:

The Power

Dear God please grant me The Power.

The Power to believe in You and in myself –

To the point where I could easily work for someone else

If it was required or equally to have

People work for me and treat them

Fairly as human beings.

The Power to discard what I believed

Was wrong and not long for it back.

The Power to pursue Truth and Love

Without getting caught up in personal gain and sex.

The Power to live without fearing death and,

The Power to die without clinging to life.

The Power of having without needing to possess.

The Power to give without expecting to receive.

The Power to believe in Good without seeing it and

The Power to understand Evil without becoming it.

The Power to Live and make a difference in this physical world Without being dragged down to its level.

Stress Brings Out The Poet

Have another cuppa and a sweet – we have Beaver tails available now too and stiffer drink for anyone who pleases. Well, I wrote The Power and left it in passing on my bedside table, not sure what to do with it. I didn’t keep a diary or any form of written logs, and I didn’t have anything to join the verse in a file. It was just one of a kind, sitting there on a piece of paper and eyed occasionally somewhat leerily by me. My girlfriend found it homeless and so enjoyed it that, unbeknownst to me, she had it printed on fancy paper, mounted in a frame and gave it to me as a gift. It has accompanied me wherever I have moved for the last 23 years. Looking back I can see that it well expressed my emotions at the time: jobless, new home in a new city, broke, new relationship (that came with 2 kids – also new), and every other stressor available to mankind. Ha! Still had my radio taped to the dash – that was some comfort. Do you have any stories about big life changes over the years and how they affected you?

So, that’s the story of The Power, and it has never been published or even seen by anyone other than my Ex until today. I hope you enjoyed it. So it’s time to settle in front of the fireplace with another cuppa. Sweets anyone? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week.

We look forward to seeing you here for tea (or the beverage of your choice) again next  week.

A Sampling of Sweets at Claridges Christmas Champagne Tea

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . !   If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/ 

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 20:06:28

    Good day Willow! thank you for publishing this piece. I wasn’t sure how it would play. It is much harder to write about emotions than it is to tell a story. Thanks to you I’m getting a chance. Oh, thanks for correcting the errors – I accidently pressed a key sequence that turned on tracking when I was writing the post and i could not get the sucker off. Ha! I promise the next one won’t need so much editing. I hope you husband is well and have a great Christmas.


  2. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 20:12:31

    Sorry to hear about the mess-up with dialysis / hospital.
    I’m going nuts thinking of all I must prepare for company this week. The power went off this afternoon. We heard it was a transformer which cut off electricity for miles and miles. Expected it would be out till tonight, but a couple hours later, it was back. Yay.
    I wish you a wonderful Christmas, Paul, and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.


  3. markbialczak
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 22:14:35

    Fantastic and Powerful guide you put out for yourself 23 years ago, Paul. You are a strong man. Thanks for sharing it today.

    I look forward to having you back at my place as a guest blogger next Sunday. Happy Holidays. Don’t let them mess up your dialysis transport this week!


    • willowdot21
      Dec 20, 2014 @ 22:15:49

      Here, here and a big thank you to you Mark!!


    • Paul
      Dec 20, 2014 @ 22:50:11

      Hi Mark! Great to see you here today. Yeah, that piece was a one of a kind. I’m glad you liked it. It is a bit raw from lack of writing experience but somehow that lends it some charm. I hear I’ll be visiting you next Sunday whilst (see that British? I’m practicing) Willow takes a much deserved break. I’m looking forward to guesting with you – much appreciated.

      Funny you should mention the dialysis schedule. The unit is open 363 days a year – closed only on Christmas day and New Years day.I travel by a handicap service – Para transpo and they try hard and have some odd rules. My travel appts are set up as repeating every Mon, Wed, Fri, forever or until changed. So, for the next two weeks only my dialysis is on Sun, Tue, Fri. Dialysis will make any changes they want (after informing me) and so they have to change my travel pemanently to S, T, F and leave it for two weeks and then change it back to M, W, F.. They have messed this up before so i called today and confirmed that the appts were changed and set up properly. I’ve learned to double check or chance being left in the cold. ha! We should be OK for the next two weeks – fingers crossed. Thanks for the thought.

      Have a great week Mark and i’ll get the guest post to you by next Sat before noon, if that’s OK. If not, you have my e-mail, let me know and I’m flexible. Thansk so much for dropping by.


      • markbialczak
        Dec 21, 2014 @ 02:29:53

        Fingers crossed on the transport. It’s so important, Paul.

        Yes, Saturday before noon is great for your guest post cuppa story. I’ll be seeing you in comments before then, my friend. Have a great Sunday, and holiday week.

      • Paul
        Dec 21, 2014 @ 08:16:34

        Sounds good Mark! 😀

  4. Exile on Pain Street
    Dec 22, 2014 @ 10:55:07

    I’ve always wanted to spend Christmas in London. If I had the cash, I’d do it every season. I’ve completely bought into the Dickensian Christmas scene, hook, line and sinker. Sign me up.

    Paul, I wish it were logistically possible for me to drive you to your dialysis. I’d do it in a sec. No charge.

    I’m old enough to remember Chevettes. You’re lucky it went 700 miles without a breakdown.

    Thanks for sharing The Power. A very inspirational tumble of words you’ve got there.


    • willowdot21
      Dec 22, 2014 @ 11:55:44

      Paul is on his way with a cup of coffee for you, as I type! 😉


    • Paul
      Dec 22, 2014 @ 14:50:10

      Hey Mark! That is funny – tumble of words. It is so isn’t it? I was looking for a phrase to descibe it and you nailed it. ha! A poet i’m not. Thank fully stuff like that doesn’t pop out often – have no fear, we are NOT off on a new track here. Bwahaha! Oh, thanks for the concern about the transportation – it really is a good service and i use it with only a monthly bus pass. To be eligible for the door-to-door service it requires a doctor’s note sayng one requires it. otherwise no special requirements. They are very professional and accountable, but they are gov’t run and the gov’t couldn’t efficiently run a two-hole outhouse if it tried. I grit ,my teeth when I see how inefficiently they are organized and my fingers itch to dig in and re-organize it – which is not to be. They could go to a dynamic disatch for a few million dollars and get an ROI of no more than two years and improve efficiency by at least 25%. Customer service could be greatly improved and moral needs an adjustment – there is a sense of entitlement with some of the employees and a lack of leadership. The biggest probelm is that they are a 200 diver unit division of our 2,000 driver city bus system. They are the forgotten miniority. Anyway, pet peeve. but they are like little kids – they think this is normal and are quite cheerful and naive in their demeanor. It’s hard to stay mad at them.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and having a chat Mark. I’ll be over at Mark B’s this coming weekend as Willow is away. Hopefully i’ll see you there. have a great week and a merry Christmas.


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