I’ve done thirty-plus Sudoku puzzles on holiday, filling time in airport lounges and quiet afternoons with my grandparents. I’ve slept on sofas in Côte-St-Luc, Montréal Midtown Manhattan and Astoria, Queens in New York City. I’ve flown London-Montréal, Montréal-New York and back again, and then bussed to Ottawa-Gatineau. I’ve seen thunderstorms (a repercussion from hurricane Irma?), rain showers, sunshine and grey, misty, overcast days. I’ve spent time with high school friends, university friends and extended family alike. But London still looms as I keep in touch with the people I care about over there and continue my (so far) unfruitful job search. I’ve been on a regime of vitamins as well as a slightly altered dose of my medication, which seems to have lifted my energy levels somewhat. Otherwise I am very much taking it easy, with late morning brunching, early nights and days lounging with Sudoku in the dappled sunshine on the veranda, or in front of the television set. Here in Canada the leaves are just starting to change, and the beginnings of fall are very much in the air. It has been a very wet summer, and my grandmother’s garden has reached new heights with giant flowers and tomatoes in the vegetable patch. Each morning I sit and watch the blue jays, scarlet cardinals and chipmunks vying for seed at the birdfeeder. It is a very different landscape to the view of my other grandmother’s balcony in Montréal, where red geraniums surround me as I look out at the empty snow dump and condos. I am also doing a different kind of writing to my blog; my Giagia or Greek grandmother shares her recipes for Spanakopita (feta and spinach pie), tarama and apple cake. They are otherwise undocumented as she cooks from memory. Here in Gatineau I am hoping to work with my Dutch grandmother, Oma, on her memoir. My Papou also has many stories to tell of his childhood spent in a cave during the war, whilst my Opa sits silently puffing on his pipe and occasionally asks about my life in London. All is quiet, otherwise. There is much concern over my Oma’s quickly progressing dementia and a physiotherapist for her ailing back visits us weekly. Knees are giving way, getting up from a chair is a painful ordeal and teeth are replaced by dentures as bodies breakdown. Having said this, I am lucky to have all four grandparents in relatively good health. Although Oma’s memory is declining she is in good spirits and laughs when she realises she is asking the same question or telling the same story over and over again. Such is the reality of aging. I have ten more days left to enjoy their companionship, culminating in Rosh Hashana or the Jewish New Year on the eve of the next full moon. All in all this has been a special opportunity to catch up with family and old friends who live an ocean away from my life in London, and I am grateful that my free schedule has allowed for three weeks in their company.