Alexandra Writers Centre Society
ONLINE Writing The Seasons
Tuesdays10am-12pm June 8, 2021 (4 weeks)
Our life patterns journey around in cycles and spirals. The season’s rhythms summer, fall, winter, and spring provide inspiration for self-reflection, to celebrate personal insights, enhance our creativity, claim our unique wisdom and unlock our muse. This will enrich our lives, nourish and develop our courage as writers.
This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.
Manage Your Workplace Emotions
You can't change conflict and opposing points of view in the workplace. You can, however, change the way you react. Become more emotionally aware, harness your emotions and express them positively with control, confidence and composure.
Friday 7th May 1.00pm -4.00pm

Conflict Resolution for the Workplace
Successful conflict resolvers are not born; they are trained. Build your skills as an effective conflict resolver and mediator. Learn to recognize conflict patterns and what triggers and escalates conflict in others, master strategies that reduce conflict escalation, assert yourself confidently and give constructive feedback. These skills will help you work more productively and harmoniously with clients, colleagues and superiors. See Course Outline.
Instructor: Wilma Rubens - see Instructor Profile

Fridays 4th 11th June 2021 9.00 - 4.00pm

Entangled Enchantments

Entangled Enchantments
My very first collection of poetry. These poems celebrate my journey on the uncharted waters of the feminine. For your very own copy purchase at Cafe Books, Canmore, or Pages in Kensington, Calgary or contact

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

White Christmas

We're excited to be home. Minus20 or so I haven't really been outside. The sky sparkling blue, mountains covered in snow and santa's reindeers prancing through the snow in the back yard what more could I ask for? Shona welcomed us at the airport. So great to see her after what seems like months and months. My brain is too fogged to work out the actual time. Oringinally she was supposed to be in Europe so I am extra extra happy she is home.

Did I ever think I would be so happy to see my washing machine and dryer, dishwasher, and my wonderful CLEAN home? The plants look great - thanks to Pat. Yes it is great to be back and appreciate so much of the stuff I generally take foregranted.

Now I have to pack for Revelstoke replace the swimsuits and bike shorts with skis and boots and a very warm jacket!! Then bring the Christmas baking - thankyou Shona, Helen and Lenore for providing the treats. Can't wait to see Lisa, Chris and Griffin. It will be a great day - rumor has it Chris is changing our traditional Christmas walk for a Christmas ski!! How wondrous is that?

Have a great great Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ho Ho Ho in Peking Airport

Here I am in the cavernous halls of this ultra modern Airport. We left the warmth of Kata Beach, Phuket yesterday after an early morning walk along the beach, accompanied by many joggers, local fishermen, soaring sea eagles and a mad Kite swimmer. I thought he was destined to be swept out to the distant horizon but was rescued by and elegant local long boat made of solid teak.

We spent a couple of nights on Rawa Island on a primitive resort, no hot showers and only electricity for the fan between 6 pm and 6 am. Out cabin sat on a headland overlooking the turqoise waters, and dense forested hillsides. During the day the beach scattered with day trippers who left mid afternoon. Two minutes across the island was Siam Beach even more deserted and more the reason I had made the effort to visit Thailand.

We did a couple of dives on the Island - the dive company was run by Finnish people and did not appear to be well organised. It was very windy which limited the sites that we could visit. We did one dive off a Long Boat. This entailed lugging all the dive gear down the beach and into a long boat. Then doing a strange contortion to get out of the water into the boat. Our dusky boatman headed out around the headland into choppy waters. There we had to somehow struggle to put on all our gear, 5 of us sat on the gunnels and fell backwards into the water at the divemasters command! I survived this test. Then it was DOWN DOWN DOWN. I couldn't see the bottom and I couldn't see the surface just blue water all around as I constantly blew on my nose to equalise the pressure. I thought we would never reach the bottom! But we did and then swam along the bottom for about 40 minutes amongst big boulders, angel fish, sea cucumbers, corals and many fish. Back on the surface I struggled to put my weight belt, BCD and myself back onto the heaving boat. The second dive we decided to do just from the beach was much more relaxing and enjoyable.

After a couple of days in Paradise it was back to Kata beach and the Sugar Palm resort, booked on the internet at discount prices. It was ultamodern, white tiles, white wall and white bed covers with yellow, purple and orange accent cushions. We spent our last day hooning around on a motorbike, snorkelling and kayaking. The After Beach resturant provided a superb lookout at the sunsetting into the ocean.

We had problems when we reached Bankok airport when Air Asia said they would not let us fly to Ho Chi Minh without a Vietnamese visa but we could easily get a rush visa on the internet. Well that would have worked it the internet terminals were working but after struggling for hours we had no visa. Meanwhile Clive managed to purchase new tickets from Bankok to Peking. So here we are - just in the riches to rags year we have been counting our pennies we did not want extra expenses. The consequences of not flying to Ho Chi Minh would have meant missing all our connections.

It is minus nine here outside - just to prepare us for Canada where it was apparently minus 42 in Banff one morning last week.

It is that time of year and I wish you all lots of yummy food and

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Phuket, Thailand

Freefalling in Thailand took us to Phuket town for a couple of nights and as in writing, walking around in the heat dragged me down to a shadow place I didnot what to visit. Guidebooks are good at disguising the truth of a place. Instead of lonely beaches with golden sands we have found unrestrained advertiseing and beaches covered with umbrellas and many northern euros lying like red lobsters and blubbery whales. After a couple of days of culture shock we found the relatively peaceful Serene Resort, our budget room tucked in at the back overlooking a canopy of tropical vegetation even has a squirrel. The Serene Resort has a resturant which it tries hard to invite people in. The first night the loud noise of the Elvis impersonator seemed to have the opposite effect, his booming mic a good deterrant to quiet dinning. Last night their was a crooning guy/lady, I wasn't quite sure, singing those age old beatles songs to a hardy few folk. He had to compete with the strident noise from the bar across the road - which seemed so loud I am sure you could here it in North America!

Yesterday we literally took the plunge and did a refresher diving course. After a 3 hour boat ride, reviewing some theory, I had to jump into the lumpy churning waters overlooked by a sheer limestone cliff. Then it was straight to the bottom, equalising all the way to review skills of mask clearing, taking the BCD out of my mouth and replacing it, buddy breathing. I found this quite nerve racking but I did each skill successfully then we were off to visit the sea bottom. It felt quite unfamiliar at first and at one point I started shooting up as I had forgotten how to use my breath for bouyancy. I had to remember to breath through my mouth, when I forgot I seemed to feel my lungs being crushed. There were many wondrous fish to distract me but I was relieved to be back on the boat for lunch although I was too nervous to eat. The afternoon dive was fun, I remembered how to use my breath to help me sink and was able to relax more as we watched a couple of sharks, angel fish, see anemomes, star fish and other exotice creatures of the deep. An incredible world.

We had thought we would go to the Simian Islands to dive but after yesterday decided that the long boat trip out there would not be much fun so are heading to a little island instead where the diving is more mangeable.

I managed to get sunburned on the way back on the boat so eventually headed to the masseuse who slathered my body with ice cold aloe vera. That seemed to do the trick, soothed my red hot back. I will miss my $10 massages next week when we are back in the depth of the Candian winter. In fact I would like to bring one of these skilled women back home with me!

It has been hot. The travel agent this AM told us it was even hot for Thai people! I have accepted the busy holiday resort. Last night as I walked around the crowded streets there was a traditional Thai group of 6 musicians all dressed up in santa outfits!

So we are into the last few days of our long trip. My brain will be happy not to deal with the weird money, vietnamese dhong, laos kip and thai bhat. I am hoping that the cold canadain weather will not come as too much of a shock most of all it will be clean air, family and friends I will relish.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mooonshadows in Changmai

I have been chasing for moonshadows around stupas, golden temples and night markets here in Changmai northern Thailand.
We had the most extraordinary day walking in the forest. Our female guide, spiky haired Nik began by choping me a perfect bamboo walking stick with her very sharp machete. We stopped frequently underneath tall trees ringing with birdsong to sample jungle fast food. She offered us a peice of liane to eat to cure whatever back ache we might have. The bitter taste was enought to distract us from the backache. Then some soft bamboo shoot, followed by juicy banana tree trunk, succulent red petals from a plant, sweet pure sugar cane, lemon grass, vietnamese basil, and even the bitter new leaves of a mango tree. After all these snacks we stopped at a wondrous waterfall to swim while she carefully handcrafted some chopsticks out of a nearby bamboo. We used these to eat our Pad Thai, noddles thai style,which was wrapped in environmentally banana leaves. Macdonalds take note! After lunch Nik meticulously made a cup out a peice of Bamboo.

After lunch we headed up the hill through a new rubber plantation to a small village complete with three solar panels and TV aerial. There was a pig with lots of little piglets only a few days old. The villager in an yellow teashirt and his hair cliped up announced he was going to eat at least one tonight, to celebrate the harvest of sticky rice! He said they were delicious!

We headed out of the village past a huge tree with a tall straight trunk whose spreading canopy seemed far into the sky. This was a bee tree. There were bamboo spikes hammered into the trunk to create and ladder for some extreme person to climb up and fetch the honey! That wouldn't be me!

After quite a long walk we came to the bat cave. This entailed scambling down some slick rocks into a dank cave which was actually specactular. The bats clung to litte domes in tne ceiling which were illuminated by our delightful guides flashlight. They looked like weird little mice.

Nik pointed out early on that there were not wild animals in the forest because they had all been eaten by the locals. She did catch a couple of circada and some red ants. Apparently the red termites are drunk with whiskey but only by men.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Goodbye Laos, Hullo Thailand

Here I am a beautiful cool morning looking over the Mekong River to the golden roofs of the temple in Laos, waiting for a minibus to take me to Changmai. I am watching some crested bulbus, flitting around the broad leaves of a tree, beyond is a palm tree with the biggest coconuts I have ever seen. There is low hum from the computers, dogs barking, people chatting and the putt putt of the 40feet wooden canoes that ferry people across from one country to another. A faint musty smell surrounds this little computer cafe.

We have just spent two days coming up the river from Luang Prabang. Even although we were coming up river against the current, we chose the slow boat option. There were crazy looking speed boats that skimmed over the surface with all the 6 passengers wearing crash hats. With all the rocks that looked like the knobbly backs of languid crocodiles we decided not to tempt fate and the slow boat was fun enough. We past through jungles, cleared forest, road scars, fields, even saw some elephants bring their cargo to the river. On the side of the river people lived as they always have, dicated by the season, the floods and in cooperation with others.

Interestingly this AM as I walked along the road I watched a small group of boys waiting to go to school. A small boy came along and agressively attempted to kick them. Rather than retaliate the older boys quietly stepped away. It is the grace of Lao people that I will remember most. The children who lined the roads as we cycled past shouting Sabadee, hullo. And our waves rewarded with big smiles. Fathers and mothers attentive to their young children, babies straped to their mothers and fathers, and all mothers are working mothers.

On our boat with its assortment of western travellers all reading was a contrast to the local people. It was sad that I did not see more wildlife. I suspect that anything that moves here is eaten. I even ate some fried crickets one night but passed on the frogs and worms. The cricket were quite tasty but their little legs tickled my throat!

So on to the third and final part of our trip, freefalling in Thailand without a guide or a bicyle. It appears that Bankok airport is back to normal but the number of tourist is down. We hope to spend a few days in Changmai then fly south to soak up some rays, do some diving before heading back to the Canadian winter and christmas in Revelstoke with Chris, Shona, Lisa and Andrew and others.

Oh yes Chris and Lisa have opened their Bed and Breakfast in Revelstoke called the Cheeky Beaver. I am sure that it will be an awesome place to stay. The dictates of building inspectors will have made sure that the plumbing is well finished. I am sure I will not get my feet wet when I wash my hands - here the waste pipes are not connected to anything and just pour on to the floor!

Shona is in Europe again and racing a slalom in Spain but will be home for Christmas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I did it. Finished the last two days of this monster tour. I now don't need to get on a bicycle for a while! It is a beautiful day here in Vientaine, the capital city of Laos, sun shining, warm breezes as I battle with the internet. That reminds me I will try and post this before I write tonnes and then lose it all. Watch this space!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hills, Thrills and no Spills

Well I did write a post the other day and it decided it did not want to be published and is now lost somewhere in cyber space. We are down to the last couple of days biking of this hard assed trip. I should have more sense than to go away with 9 guys and one other woman! Biking has been the focus of the trip and climbing more hills than I can possibly remember. I do remember sucking a lot of air and looking at a lot of tarmac while my knees ached and my muscles tightened.

We did have a rest day the other day at a wonderful world heritage town called Luang Prabang I think! It was full of wonderful old temples, and young monks in bright orange clothes. THere were cake shops, delicious fruit shakes and wonderful food - food is the second focus of the trip. All those hard cycling bodies consume a tonne of food. After our day off we had a 6200 feet climb. Actually I didn't do too badly until the last little bit. At the top were we stayed in a hole in the wall it was redeemed by a local party! These wonderful people know how to party and I tried to dance away my aches and pains. The young women were dressed in the wonderful outfits.

Yesterday we climbed another 4,500 feet and the highlight was a natural hot spring to refresh us for the last 20 km! And today was short - just a half day which my body was not very happy about. We did a kayak trip in the afternoon. We stopped at the side of the river while the guide cooked delicous kebabs. We ran a few rapids, floated and paddle. We came to this amazing party place were there was loud party music, hordes of white bikini clad tourists some jumping off there high platforms into the river, it felt totally bizarre. We stopped at one that was quiet and our youngest team member Jose from the philipines who lives in Tokyo did two jumps - i reckon the water was pretty chilly - far too cold for me to try plus my body is too exhausted to anything very much other than type right now.

Massages have been keeping me in one peice. They are quite bizarre clive and I had one together and the two young girls who pummelled us chatted quietly away to each other. My body did feel better for a while but then it was back on the saddle.....

Well let me see if this will now finish up on my blog. Watch this space for photos.