Walking across the pedestrian bridge (over the downtown Union Station rail corridor) I'm taken, as always, with the rain on pavement. I've just arrived home from Sudbury, appreciative of the downtown airport's proximity to my home (ten minutes' walk) and am on my way up to meet my people for beer o'clock at our usual local. It's good to be home.
It's one of those little gifts life hands you every once in awhile: a rainy Sunday morning. That which invites you to have coffee in bed, to loaf around in your pyjamas and to think of things to cook. Tomorrow I'm heading out of town for the week for work, so I've got some things in the refrigerator to use up, like a red pepper and some zucchini. I had recently noted this recipe in my Pinterest recipe collection which I'd saved from my favourite foodie blog, Skinnytaste.com, and decide to make it, modified to incorporate some not-so-skinny pancetta, also sitting there in the refrigerator. More thumbs-up from both sides of the table.
Friday night. After work we meet up with Carly for "beer o'clock" at our favouite local. Winter has returned today and it's tossing snow around the street like wispy ribbons. I have refused to bust out my warm winter coat yet, and thus walking outside to head home in my inadequate coat makes the blustery wind more unpleasant than it might otherwise. Hello winter.
Today I am participating in a long conference call and so I camp out in a vacant office so I can close the door and put the phone on speaker. The office overlooks Adelaide Street and one of my favourite downtown buildings, the Canada Permanent Trust building. I get watching the office workers on several floors and it strikes me that each floor is a separate world of its own, each person oblivious to the others moving about above and below. That gets me to thinking about the thousands and thousands of office workers moving about the the windows of all the office buildings downtown, like worker ants. The thought of being a worker ant makes me a little depressed so I turn my attention back to the meeting and get on with my job.
Walking through the newly landscaped Clarence Square Park on my way home; looking back toward Wellington Street. It's a substantial improvement to that little part of the city, and includes a large, fenced dog run and numerous new trees. My enjoyment of the one-minute walk through it mornings and evenings is enhanced too.
Tonight we meet up with my girls and some of their people for a drink before going out to dinner at a nearby bistro on a gift certificate I got for my birthday back in (the MUCH MORE TEMPERATE) April from those same devoted girls.
We really enjoy the food, both indulging in the place's specialty, steak frites, and the casual ambiance of the place. I like that our mildly snobby but very attentive server is wearing low-top Converse runners with her skirt and blouse. Sitting near us is an elderly and elegant couple out on what seems to be a regular date. I wonder aloud if Ceri and I might still be going out for meal dates 30 years on. (We seem to concur - yes.)
On the walk home I admire the beauty of the city, looking east toward it on Wellington. My photo doesn't come close to capturing how it sparkles; but then it's a photo-a-day project (in spirit) and this is the one photo I got. You'll have to take my word for it.
It's the Grey Cup weekend. As a significant portion of the regular visitors to this space are not from Canada, I suppose I should say that the Grey Cup is the championship prize for the Canadian Football League. The CFL is 100 years old this year. The only people who care a lick about Canadian football, or even know it exists, are Canadians; but they really, really love it.
Each city that hosts the annual Grey Cup puts on a big party. It's an especially great party when your team is in the final. Last year I flew into Vancouver on the day their Lions won the cup. This year it is in Toronto and our Argonauts are in the final. Front Street and those around it are closed to accommodate stages and bands and vendors and beer gardens and colourful fans from all over the country.
We walk up from my place to crash the party. The wind is wicked and whips down from the north; it's bloody cold. Football fans from those cccold provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan and Manitoba and Quebec (and they're all here, along with those from the practically local Ottawa and Hamilton and the not the least bit local British Columbia), would laugh at my complaints. Nevertheless, it's fun to be a part of this very Canadian 100 year old party.
Later, warming the cockles in Fionn's, we enjoy watching some of those colourful fans have the kind of fun they may (or may not) regret tomorrow - game day. I've never been a football fan, but the spirit's infectious, if not the desire to squirt lemon in my eye before tossing cheap tequila down my gullet. Call me a woosy.