It’s March and it’s been a year

It has been quite the year. I don’t know how else to say it. What do you take away from this past year?

Yeah, there are a bunch of assholes out there. But we knew that in 2016. Pretty much the same assholes. I think that (much to my dismay, I should add) we should not be flying around the way we have been in the past. For business, flying should be the last option. For pleasure, I get it – or to visit family but let’s limit ourselves. I admit I was guilty, back to Canada quite often from Mexico but I’m moving back. We can fly one way in the winter and one way back in the spring. Over six months, I’ve eliminated two extra round trip flights).

I think we should establish a policy of X number of flying miles, per person, per year. If you don’t use them, you can sell them. And if you want to fly more than that, buy some credits from someone else. Slow travel is what we need. It hurts the environment. We need to reduce these things as much as we can. So, that’s one thing.

I also learned how much I missed everyone and what I missed the most, which was eating and drinking and goofing around with friends and family. But at the same time, I think I always valued that or I wouldn’t have flown home so often 🙂

And the seafood, I miss west coast seafood

I wish I could think of something else I’ve learned. Yeah, yeah, I learned PADI again (diving) but that’s not the kind of learning I mean. I guess I’ve learned that I am more patient than I thought I would ever be. I’m really so much more “Oh, well…” than “Oh, f-ck…” these days. Maybe I have learned to be more accepting but you know, I don’t think so, I think I’ve always known how to deal with things that are out of my control although admittedly, there haven’t been many. But some. I catastrophize less. Because I don’t have to – there are enough real catastrophes now to occupy me.

I did work, of course. We did Bitches, I got Captivatist organized, did devote time to Padi, surely I did something else. Wrote some blog posts for a foundation. Oh yeah, one book update and one new book for a friend’s father, which is back to him now and just waiting for photos and cover art. Forgot about that, it really wasn’t much. Oh yeah, and I co-wrote one Christmas script (paid job) and co-wrote a spec script, which is out there but no guarantees. And did a major story update and new cover on DogStar (with CW).

New cover for DogStar 2020

And baked a lot of cakes.

Really not a valiant effort (it’s a carrot cake)

But … I got better at it, don’t you think?

I got better at it.

And we sold our house and sold most of our furniture, sent the rest to storage to await shipment to Canada and found a rental and moved. I did pretty much all the packing. And I did all the banking and transfers and sent the money to Canada. And oh yeah, we bought a presale on a house in Nanaimo.  And I did blog every week in the beginning, and for a long time.

No wonder I haven’t had time to learn much 🙂 I’m sure when I stop and reflect (after it’s over) – I’ll count my lessons once we have vaccines and a semi-normal state again.

It will never be normal again. Travel will never be normal again. This is bigger than 9/11 for that. And there will be more pandemics. That’s the part about not cutting down all the tropical rainforests and not doing industrial fishing off the coast of Africa in such quantities that there is nothing left and the local fishermen have to turn to bush meat. What is wrong with this effing world when anyone has to eat a bat in order to survive? There’s not even much meat on those suckers. And don’t even talk to me about the lucrative trade in endangered wildlife parts.

Okay, enough ranting. I’m tired from recounting the year, LOL. Hasta manana.

A few days later – Wednesday, March 3. Well, two days later. Still reading good news about how countries are starting to contain the virus – and yes there will still be spikes and outbreaks but they should begin to diminish as more and more are vaccinated. What that tells me is that if I need to do something that requires a solid chunk of time, I should do it in the next two months because, after that, things could get busy as things start to get more normal in the world.

For me, the big thing is for there to be a direct flight. I can do three days in a hotel and 11 days at the kids’ house (quarantine). Can’t do the 11 days anywhere in Toronto. I’m physically capable. But unless someone wants to pay for a suite at an airport hotel that long on my behalf, I’ll wait it out. There hasn’t been a direct flight from Mexico City to Vancouver since last April (2020).

So vaccines – either here or up north – whoever comes first. Beginning March 21, we can register online for vaccines in Canada – and will do. And then backtrack the two week quarantine and probably book flights, unless they have been announced here first. I’d rather get my vaccine in Canada – they are giving the AZ to 60-64 year olds only, so it will be Pfizer, I suppose. Maybe J&J. Any are fine.

This spring is going to cost us a shitload, both of us flying up north (maybe I can do that points), hotel quarantine for two (won’t be more than $2,000 and probably not that much, despite everyone’s fears). Then 11 days quarantine with the kids, which will be fun and I’m sure they’ll come to windows and talk to us. Then vaccines and I was hoping the house would be ready. I guess we’ll see.

It doesn’t sound like very far away to think we could be leaving in eight or nine weeks. Unless the dogs are dead (doubtful), we’ll have to come back and won’t be free from here but we will establish Canada as our base and this (and this house) will be somewhere we visit. Short term. When Rosie’s dead, PJ can come to Canada.

PJ (right), Maxi (left)

Friday! It’s Friday! I like to make Friday a big deal. Even if I just say, “It’s Friday!” Kind of denotes the weekend. Sunday is horoscope day. Saturday feels like a day off, but I usually do work. But it still feels like a weekend. I think that is important. Important for those who go into retirement as well as for those working at home during pandemics. Make sure the weekends ARE weekends for you.

I cannot imagine a life with no tangible goals and dreams. Tangible being the keyword. Maybe if you’ve done everything you’ve dreamed of and are content, I guess that could be possible. I must have a hungry ghost for goals.

Yesterday, I got notice that there is a free storage unit (where we have our current storage on Vancouver Island) as of April 1. Our stuff is sitting in a warehouse in San Miguel and I’ve given them the heads up that it can ship to arrive anytime after that. So our stuff should be there by the time we are. They are part load shipments so as soon as they have one or two others ready to head that way, the stuff is on its way home. Including my new Annie Evans sculpture.

She will be perfect in her new home, wherever that is!

I don’t know why it delights me so much to have our stuff in the queue to be enroute to Canada. I guess because the longer it stays in Mexico, the better the chances the company goes bankrupt and we lose it all. And there’s a lot of our last eight years in there. We’d recover, we kept out the stuff we’d grab in a fire (small satchel size) to take home ourselves. And the rest, we’d learn to live without.

Saturday, March 6. One more week and it’s been a year. I have another bitch, btw. I saw this on the Superama site (groceries) and thought it would be good for attaching (like an edible glue) the dogs pills to whatever he will currently take without finding the pill.

Totally looks like Cheez Whiz, right?

When it got here, not only was it more orange than I have ever, ever seen Cheese Whiz be, but I’m afraid I should have paid much more attention to the size. I have never seen one this small either. What is this? Oh yeah, and after all that, the dog isn’t fond of it. Smart dog.

Seriously? I never cease to have my expectations crushed in this country.

And I compared shredded mozarella prices between Superstore in Nanaimo and Superama here. Here, I can get a brand name (Sargento) shredded, 226 grams for about $7.50 CAD. I can get 330 grams brand name (Kraft) for $6.50 in Canada (that’s 1/3 more cheese for less money) or the Superstore brand for $4.98 (normally $5.98). So it *does* cost more to live here for a lot of things, I am seeing. But I saw that the last time I went to Costco in Canada and the same products are about 70% of the cost here in Mexico. Sigh.

You can live cheaply here if you want to eat Mexican food, and cook Mexican food and use Mexican ingredients. Or if you drink a lot – booze is cheaper (I drink maybe six beer a week and Chris doesn’t drink). You can live here cheaply though, but there is a reason I work, so I don’t have to live cheaply. Meat, poultry and seafood are the same price as Canada, and of course all frozen almost. Fruits and veggies are less (and I find them to be of far less quality).

On the other hand, I had a wonderful meal last night from Las Casas (House) hotel, delivered. Baja Tacos. Chris had an Afghani dish and said it was excellent also. This is the first place we’ve actually found takeout worth buying. The meal was 800 pesos total – which is like $25 each Canadian. No difference in ordering from a place of this quality in Canada. Although Chinese would be more, but we’d likely have four or five dishes, not two. And I did get a piece of strawberry vanilla cake with the tacos for my $25 CAD.

Breaded shrimp Baja style tacos

This is something I plan to point out in my new book. I can’t decide which title I like better:

The Real Cost of Living in Mexico: smart tag line

Why I Left Mexico: smart tag line

I think the first, don’t you?

Anyway, I should just post this week’s blog, it’s long enough. Let me find a song for today. I’m really sick of sitting in the house and not seeing anyone or going anywhere. I think it’s finally starting to get to me.

Oh yeah, we’ll try to do the R&B Zoom Room Social Hour every Wednesday from 4pm – 6pm Eastern time (3-5pm in Central Mexico and 1-3pm on the Pacific Coast, that’s 9pm – 11pm in the UK and GMT). It helps. There is a Facebook page (R&B Zoom Room – it’s a private group, ask to join) where we will list the Zoom URL every week, it’s simple. Just search “R&B Zoom Room” on Facebook and you’ll find us. If you don’t have Facebook, what planet are you on? Just email me in that case, LOL.

That’s it for me. Stay safe, stay informed, stay kind. Vaccines are coming (for some of you, they’ve been and gone, you are the lucky ones).

I’ve always been a sucker for horns …



  1. Diane Cole Reply

    Always enjoy your updates and outlook Bev, looking forward to having you back in Canada for much if the year

  2. Louis j. Christen Reply

    Time flies -when you are having fun!
    It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since the covid shit hit the fan. Just yesterday, Jane and I were talking about how our lives have changed since the virus became the operative factor in determining what we can and can’t do. Frankly, we believe we were both lucky to be in our eighties when a ‘quiet time’ was forced on us. Now, we can’t imagine going back to the frantic social schedules we were living only a year ago. We even agree that playing bridge online is better than a 25 mile drive to the bridge club every weekday. I suspect the world will be back to full time crazy by mid-Summer. Get ready.

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