Sunday, September 7, 2008

now that was a weekend!

This photo, which has nothing to do with this post, was taken in Lisbon this summer, near the Praca Rossio. I'm including it 'cause I think you need a visual and I've got nothing else -- plus I love the idea of police patrolling on Segways -- pretty comic, don't you think?

That was a fun, full weekend, and probably the last one like it for some time. A bit risky taking that time away from preparing for class and I might pay for it later, but I'm going to justify it as a last bit of transition from summer schedule to fall. I caught the ferry to Vancouver after classes were done on Thursday and got to our apartment in time for the lovely meal of salmon, pasta, and roast green beans (one of my favourite in-season veg) Paul made for me -- in fact, as I was driving along Beach to the apartment, I spotted him out for a quick run -- made the city seem small, like a pleasant neighbourhood as I honked to get his attention.

On Friday, I ignored the reading list I was supposed to be working on and arranged to meet my sister for coffee instead -- she works right downtown and it's always a treat when our schedules coordinate enough to allow for a quick catch-up and some of Caffe Artigiano's fabulous brew. Then a bit of shoe-shopping (more on that later), checked out a Banana Republic blouse on sale, and headed to Murchies to stock up on our favourite teas to blend (we blend 4 parts Russian Caravan to 1 part Lapsang Souchong -- so smoky good) -- and recognized the daughter of a one-time best friend whom I've sadly lost contact with. Great to catch up and since then I've got an e-mail from my friend and hope to get together soon.

And the day got even better! After a quick trip back to the apartment to recharge with a cuppa, I headed off to meet a grad school friend for sushi. Once the school year starts, I find it hard to do the social thing at all, and then when summer break comes, it tends to be all about catching up with family, so I'm so pleased when I can find time to see those friends who really mean a lot to me. Karina's someone I can just pick up where I left off with, and even though we haven't got together since last December, we had a wonderful visit -- a solid, honest connection that made me wonder why I don't make the effort more often.

After that, no wonder I was relieved that after his work week, Paul was quite happy to relax with DVDs. We picked up a French film and something much lighter -- Heroes, Season 2, disc 1. Guess which we watched?

Saturday was even more full: I ran the seawall which, counting the Ks to get there and back, was about 15K, so my crêpes tasted fabulous, especially since we got to eat them while visiting with Bronwen and Adam (daughter #1 and son-in-law). After that, I'd arranged to meet my 16-year-old niece, Rohan, for a shopping expedition, and we did very well. I was all restraint, but egged the next generation on, making her try on the Rock & Republic jeans she loved but knew were too expensive -- valuable lesson learned, she didn't like them on her, thus saving $265!! We checked out H&M, Gap, Aritzia, B2, and too many other shops to remember. Oh, and if her fairy godmother's reading this, she loved a pendant at Blue Ruby that was engraved thus: What if the Hokey-Pokey IS what it's all about? We stopped at Cactus Club for Rohan's favourite, the yam fries plus some very yummy mini-hamburgers, and talked about life as we knew it so far -- I have to recommend very highly spending the afternoon with a smart, witty, charming 16-year-old -- it surely lifted my spirits!

Again, happy to crash at the end of the day I let Paul go out and provision us with take-out sushi. Living in the city is sooooo much easier than here on the island. All the good sushi you can eat less than 5 minutes from home AND dinner for two for $25 -- much cheaper than some of the meals we whip up at home on a Saturday. And we stretched our intellectual viewing capacity a wee bit, enjoying the subtitled version of Ceux qui Restent. Gentle, thoughtful movie about two people dealing with their loved ones' cancers. Emmanuelle Devos plays a character who I found very agaçant, chalk-on-the-blackboard-irritating, I wanted to scream at her to shut up -- very convincing. I won't tell you, of course, what the ending is, but it's so typically French-movie-ending -- you know, you're going "huh?" in such a way that you can't help nodding, "That must be it, that's an ending, French-movie-style." Do you know what I mean?
I'm a bit worried about how well I'll manage here at the blog as the term gets underway. Even before classes started, I'd noticed I wasn't taking photos as much as I had been. No garden reports, not much happening on the knitting front. But I've got a few posts percolating and there are shoes just offstage . . . What about you? Does the fall mean an adjusted schedule or does it make no difference?


  1. I'm glad you had such a great week-end. Your niece sounds lovely, its always inspiring to hang out with the 'younger' generations, and find out what the latest trends are. I'm one of those people who rarely feel stressed or over-worked, even when I am, so to me not much makes a difference. I just do stuff when I do it (oh I sound so Zen!).

  2. Your weekend sounds like the Platonic ideal of weekends.Great coffee, friends, shopping,shoes, sushi, a French movie and lounging with darling husband. I was feeling good about my weekend until I read this post.;-)

  3. I too have tried to avoid knuckling down, but my wallet is now on it's knees. I am so behind with planning I actually ended up working at home on Sunday, which is a first for me. The work life balance seems to get harder for some reason. Good job we get the hol's!
    I love the contrast you have between city and island it sounds idylic.

  4. Cybill: I'm soooo not zen, altho' I do admire and aspire.
    LBR: It was great! But it will be a long while before another like that.
    Alison: Yes, thank goodness for the hols -- as my colleague said on our first day back "Don't worry, May will soon be here" -- I have to work most weekends or I'll never get through the marking, but there's nothing to mark yet.
    And yes, the city/island contrast is very good.

  5. Unfortunately, as a 32 year old man it is generally frowned upon for me to spend time with a 16 year old girl. I say unfortunately not because I think this thinking is wrong, but because our world is such that it very often IS wrong. Alas.

    I have often thought of matching interested and willing teenagers with mentors. I know the legal and social consequences are probably too staggering to attempt this, but my belief in the "world as school" won't let it go...

  6. Thomas: True enough, that's not an option for you, is it?
    Big Brothers/Sisters has a mentoring program that's less intense than the trad. version -- but it's meeting a different need, I'm guessing, that what you're talking about. I do think a mentoring relationship -- and think of the old-school apprenticeships -- would have huge positive results for teens. I'm always impressed by how keen students are to have something like that, with many staying in touch, stopping by for advice or just to chat long after they're out of my classes.

  7. City living at its best! This is why when I am a real elder, I want an apt with a window on a busy street.

  8. The guns on Segways pix at are more disturbing.

    You should definitely send your pix to Paul Saffo, who collects them.

  9. Duchesse: That's precisely my vision of my future as well.
    Badmomgoodmom: Very disturbing! Thanks for the link -- and I did contact Paul Saffo.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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