A bull sea lion who gave us orders to leave.

Photo credit Diane Hill (But I held the boat steady from seat 5)

This is Music Performance season, so along with writing the sequel to Always Pack a Candle and proof-reading Shadows in Sussex which has a release date of Sept 12, 2023, I am trying to practice for my part with the violins in our upcoming concert. I am not a very good violin player but this is a community chamber orchestra where all levels of incompetence are accepted. I show up for the rehearsals and soldier on but, just in case my skill might ruin the performance, I bought a ticket to the first concert date so I can sit in the audience. There are two rehearsals left. The last one will show whether I can handle the pace. Aside from the stress of the performance, playing in a group is fun.

I am also getting ready for my trip to the Channel Islands. That requires making arrangements for my dog who is going to a new sitter but one I know well, so I’m sure she’d be spoiled. And my cat who is never satisfied no matter how much she is treated like a royal dignitary. I’ve been asked if I am going to set another book tin the Channel lslands. I don’t have a contract for one set there and I don’t know if I will—but it’s highly likely. My fingers will probably itch to write one.

On the way to the Channel Islands I will stop in London and coincidentally be there for the Coronation of Charles III. He hasn’t invited me to Westminster Abbey (an oversight, surely) but my hotel is only a few blocks from the parade route. I’ve every intention of getting a look-see if possible.

I once went to dinner with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, along with 2500 other people, many years ago. She did walk three feet from me and, yes, I curtseyed. She acknowledged me with a nod. That’s my connection to royalty.  Oh, I did go to dinner with Princess Margaret a year or so later and several hundred others. I was at a table of eight with Kim Campbell who later became the Prime Minister of Canada. It all sounds as if I was important, but I certainly wasn’t important to royalty or the Prime Minister. Someone in the Cariboo where I lived at the time, put my name forward. That was kind.

It is a cold spring here in Gibsons. We are still paddling our outrigger canoes in wet suits as the water temperature, should we huli (overturn), is shocking. The wildlife is abundant and we were able to watch a large group of about thirty sea lions chasing herring. We kept our distance but it was too close apparently as a big bull probably weighing about 1000 pounds stood straight in the water and let us know it was time to leave. With about fifteen sea lions standing straight in the water behind him ready to back him up, we obeyed.

I am going to enjoy being in England again and I trust the weather here at home will be at gardening temperature when I return.

All the best to you all.

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