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Total Eclipse of the Heart



Our wedding anniversary was on the 21st, the day of the solar eclipse. 

I don’t have to get all Bonnie Tyler about this. I’m not falling apart. If anything, I’m coming together. It’s coming together: marriage, life, kids and, the kitchen.

Yes, I’m talking about the new kitchen, again. But in the short time since completion, it’s become the centre of our home. It’s where we hang out. It’s where my husband and I sit and talk. It’s where the light is. 

At first it was too new. It needed something old. So we dragged in the big hutch from the old kitchen, the one that was there when we bought the house. The previous owner said it came from her husband’s grandparent’s farmhouse in New Brunswick. We used it on the set of Love Food to add a touch of ‘home’. It fits perfectly between the two kitchen windows overlooking the backyard. It’s like it was always there. 

Something old. It made me think of that wedding rhyme – something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. The internet tells me:

Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity

On my wedding day I wore my sister’s veil she had made while living in Mexico. It was something old and something borrowed. Her borrowed happiness, and continuity from one place to another. Something new – the dress itself. Optimism for the future. Something blue – a bracelet my mother-in-law Rose gave me, made of blue zircons. The stones were purchased by her Uncle Clive in Sri Lanka when we was “on a little stint working on a tea plantation before the war.” He spent his money on stones for the women in his life. Somehow, they’ve made their way to me – purity, love and fidelity. I’ve lent that bracelet to two dear friends on their wedding days. Borrowed happiness, and continuity, passed on and on.

Of course none of this is necessary, but these traditions slow the day down a little. They change the subject. They press pause on the stress, adding meaning to a blurry day. And funnily enough, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue fits perfectly in my kitchen. That big wooden hutch is just what it needed – something old to warm it up, to ground it, to give it some history, continuity. Something new? Well that’s the whole kitchen, a room that used to be a dining room. The  island. The wall ovens. The fridge. The sink. The dishwasher! Optimism for the future. 

Something borrowed? The copper pots, borrowed from my mother. My grandfather used to sell copper pots; my mom and aunts now house his collection. I originally borrowed them also for the set of Love Food, and have kept them ever since. I promise I’ll give them back Mom…someday. ) Something blue? This lovely little bowl I bought in France from a potter down the road from where we were staying. It was a ‘come by chance’ kind of place. Rose and I drove up in the rental car and parked next to a giant boat with the words ‘pottery’ painted across the hull. We walked into a courtyard where a man was meditating in the shade under prayer flags. The potter, Violette, eventually came out and led us to her studio. Her hair was wild; her feet were bare.

I said above that I’m not falling apart, as Bonnie Tyler does, once upon a time, in her songTotal Eclipse of the Heart.  But that’s not true. Every now and then I do fall apart. But that’s when I remind myself I have a partner in all of this. We cover each other like the sun and the moon. We cast shadows. We shine bright. 

And we have a dishwasher.

something Blue