Friends and Flowers

Sunday, I attended my neighbourhood church for the first time in several weeks. I was not a regular church-goer until  after my retirement. When I was working, I did not want to a regularly scheduled activity on Sunday. I started to attend church with a friend and found that my mood was lifted by the singing, the sermon and the fellowship. I have not officially joined the church because I feel that I am not ready. Going before a congregation and making the commitment is like getting married.

Before I went to Europe, I joined a small group of people from the church to discuss the ideas that were introduced in the weekly sermons. Through group discussion, I have got to know some of the church members better. After church, there is tea and coffee and a pocket garden market where you can buy fresh produce and flowers in support of the homeless. I met a friend who was going to visit Victoria with her sister from London and I guided her to the Hostess' blog on tea in the Abkhazi gardens. By coincidence, she had just finished reading Paris, a Love Story by Kati Marton.There is usually a lightness in my step when I walk home through the neighbourhood after church.

I stopped at the flower store on my way home and made up a bouquet of lupins, delphiniums and orange gerbera daisies. I like to go into the cooler and choose my own flowers. The florist trims the stems for me and I carry my bouquet home feeling on top of the world. It's funny how some pleasant routines make all the difference in one's outlook.

Since my return, I have been careful to commit to a regime of yogurt, fresh fruit, salad, chicken or fish. I have been drinking sparkling water as an alternative to wine. As I don't drink soda with meals and I usually only have a cup of coffee with frothed milk in the morning, beverage choice is a conundrum for me. Wine is a beverage that enhances a meal and makes eating the simplest fare seem like a small celebration.

Today, I will be meeting one of my friends for a walk. As we haven't seen each other for almost 3 months, we will have lots to talk about. After our walk, we like to sit in the galleria of our library/cultural centre and visit. My friend, who has made the decision to go carless, then walks home.
There is a book club starting this morning but I probably can't make it this week. I have wanted to find a book club for a long time as I enjoy sharing ideas and impressions of books.

For me, in retirement, it is critical to interact with other people. Monsieur, Maman and darling daughter are very important to me but when I am at home, I visit with friends almost daily. A reflective practise,  a healthy lifestyle, friends and flowers are the best form of mood- enhancement.
The peonies at my local flower seller are as lovely as those in Paris.
A blog that I enjoy every morning with my coffee that Monsieur serves with frothed milk is Paris Breakfasts. Artist Carol Gillott's watercolours of Paris life and her enjoyment of the Aimée Leduc mysteries keep Paris alive on a drizzly West Coast day.


  1. Oh I do hope that your friend and her sister will enjoy the tea and scenery at Abkhazi Gardens. They are a delightful spot to visit...I go often.

    Your life as a retiree is inspiring!
    I love hearing about all your adventures and as someone who is still actively working I am unable to comment on the blogs that I read assured I read all your posts!


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