Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Fearless Pups, Mysterious Trees, and the Word That Makes Me Go "Ewww!"

If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise ...

"C'mon! Will you come with me?" said Freddie.

"I'll go anywhere with you!" said Cousin Dusty.
"Even across this icy torrent!"

But where are we? 

Well, this scene below could be so many different places I could probably get away with calling it by any number of names .... Lynn Valley, Skookumchuk Narrows, Pacific Spirit / Lighthouse / Bridgman / Stanley Park ... Narnia, Brigadoon, Camelot ... take your pick; make it whatever you like!

Especially since I'm returning to a little bit of fantasy ...

The following forest scene from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (yeah, him again!) was lifted from Charlotte Issyvoo's blog, Sublime Mercies:

The first tree [Lucy] looked at seemed at first glance to be not a tree at all but a huge man with a shaggy beard and great bushes of hair. She was not frightened: she had seen such things before. But when she looked again he was only a tree, though he was still moving... The same thing happened with every tree she looked at. At one moment they seemed to be the friendly, lovely giant and giantess forms which the tree-people put on when some good magic has called them into full life: next moment they all looked like trees again. But when they looked like trees, it was like strangely human trees, and when they looked like people, it was like strangely branchy and leafy people -- and all the time that queer lilting, rustling, cool, merry noise.

Merci, Charlotte!

I haven't read Prince Caspian since I was ten years old, but I suspect that a garbled memory of this passage has stuck with me, lo these many years, and that this memory, coupled with plenty of west-coast forest hikes, is responsible for two scenes in the honking big novel manuscript pictured here

Scenes involving the coming-to-life of tree stumps much like these ones Freddie and friends encountered in the woods ....

Ooohhhh. Nifty, non? Anyone who's interested in the novel version will have to wait a bit. ;-) 

Speaking of which [digression alert!], this novel-in-progress is my first attempt to exploit my intimate and oft-dysfunctional relationship with diabetes. Horrible-sounding word, by the way: diabeeteez. Brings to mind some kind of wood-chewing insect that might infest your kitchen. Not that ol' Wilford Brimley's diabeetus is any better ("die" + "beat" + "us"? yeah, great). I know some of the younger crowd have taken to calling it "'betes" (not beeteez, but beats), as in "Hey, man, I got the '"betes," which I guess is sort of hip-sounding, but a little too colloquial to be useful. ANYWAY, by whatever name, this cursèd affliction gets rather a lot of attention in my latest fiction — and wayyy too much attention in my real life — and for that reason I try to limit its presence here (besides — this rambling digression notwithstanding, WWF is a photo blog!). However, if you're curious to know, say, what high or low blood sugar feels like, or what a typical day of Type 1 diabetic blood sugars looks like, click the previous links to visit the sites of a couple of my hip T1 cyber-friends in Ontario!

Of course, Freddie is the one consequence of my good-for-nothing pancreas that I'm happy to indulge anywhere, any time, and tomorrow he will once again be the center of the WWF universe!

"C'mon in! The water's great!"


  1. Even if "the bêtes" (and notice how auto-correct puts a circumflex over the first "e" in the word? Making it French for "beasts". There's something there I think.) does rear its ugly head, that's okay. It's your reason for Freddie, the walks and the blog, which are all good things.

    1. Diabeasties! Awesome. And the "bète" part of "diabète" in French sounds just like "bête." Thanks, Leigh!

  2. Okay, the Wilford Brimley PSA is hilarious. He does indeed say dia-beet-us (not to be confused with the deposed Roman emperor, Diabetus). You'd think that the minimum qualification for being a public spokesperson for a disease or medical condition would be an ability to actually pronounce the name of said condition, but apparently not.

    At least he didn't conclude the announcement by recommending Quaker Oats as a homeopathic treatment. I know that as a person living without TV, this reference will probably be lost on you, Heather, but if you go to YouTube and search for Wilford and the phrase "It's the right thing to do" all will be revealed.


    1. Uh oh. I just looked up diabetes in the dictionary, and according to Webster, diabeetis is a perfectly acceptable pronunciation.

      Who knew?

      And it makes this video one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I don't know why:


    2. Diabetus - wasn't he deposed for a level of reckless hedonism that even the Romans were uncomfortable with?

      I'd forgotten about Wilford's Quaker Oats endorsement (yes - I experienced it in its television form; I'm a recovering TV addict). That rap video is legendary in the Diabeetus community. Thanks for posting it, David!

  3. Ah, I'm glad I turned you on to Prince Caspian again. A few years ago, I treated myself the whole set with colour illustrations! Ahhhh. Cozy.

    I envy you your walks. My disability keeps me pretty close to home and, when I do go for walks, they're short and they hurt like hell. That's actually part of why I started the blog, to help keep me focused on the pretty stuff while I'm in pain, or, as I call them "sublime mercies... small beauties in a big bad world."

  4. This is awesome.
    I often call it 'bêtes (without the accent because I can't seem to get my keyboard not to put it there!) and I pronounce it "beetees"

    thanks for the shout out. You're awesome!

    1. Thanks, Scully! Canadian D-Girl is a pretty awesome work of art — thanks for all the inspiration. :)


What say you?