Just finished listening to the podcast version of Terry Fallis’ fourth novel, No Relation. It’s very funny, in Fallis’ bordering-on-cheesy style, and a good story. A narrative driven novel, it’s an easy read, and involves a lots of Hemingway lore and a shout-out to the Sherlock Holmes society in Toronto, The Bootmakers. Highly recommended.
TIFF starts next week and I’m planning to see 16 films over the 10 day festival. I may add in a couple more that were on my list and that have received good reviews. I’m seeing five with Zouheir (he’s only available on the weekends) and one with a friend. Here’s my list. I don’t pay extra for premium screenings (first screening of high buzz films) as I don’t particularly care about the red carpet (although I always stay when there is a Q&A after screenings, when I have time before the next film.) I see the majority of the films alone which is fine by me. I always have a book to keep me occupied in line, and I don’t need to look for seats together. The one star I’d love to see is Eddie Redmayne who’s plays the role of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. I first saw him in My Week with Marilyn and from everything i’ve read, he’s smart (Eton/Cambridge) as well as a gorgeous, freckly red-head. I also wouldn’t turn my head away from Adam Driver, Ethan Hawke, or Robert Downey Jr.
My book club met last Sunday to discuss The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country by Charlotte Gray. An absolutely fascinating study of World War I Toronto, we rated it an average of 7/10. Gray details the social structures (and strictures) of life at that time, particularly for women. Unfortunately, we have nothing in the historical record in the voice of Carrie Davies (the “maid”) so she remains a bit of a mystery. We were fascinated by the burgeoning maternal feminism of the time, the Toronto Local Council of Women, and the Toronto Women’s Court. In chatting with my aunts about this time (they were born in the following decade), they reminisced about Sunday observance in the city, where swings and slides in parks were locked up and their Scots Presbyterian father forbade running, knitting, playing with toys (with the exception of some dolls their grandmother had give them), and swimming on the Sabbath.
Our 31st wedding anniversary was this week. It passed quietly as Z is very busy at work these days, and our celebration will be our trip to France in late September. We’re spending a week in Paris and have rented an apartment, and then we’ll spend a week further south. We need to book a rental car and start planning our little road trip.
Michael texted me from Montreal yesterday. His flat-mate is back from China and they were cooking dinner together (she’s a pastry chef!) He wanted my guacamole recipe which made me feel warm all over (he still NEEDS me….). MIchael had a wonderful if exhausting time at the Orford Orchestra Workshop this summer. We headed to Orford to pick him up a couple of weeks ago and heard their final concert, which was marvellous. Really, the best orchestra which which I’ve heard him play. They performed Smetana’s La Moldau, Stravinski’s Firebird Suite, and Brahms Symphony No 4, under the baton of Jean-François Rivest. They started the program with a Bach Chorale, sung by the musicians in their seats, something that they did every morning to warm up and “form a community”. It gave me the chills.
Alex is fostering a kitten! He’s named him Pascal (after the mathematician) and I suspect he’s on the road to being a “failed foster” i.e. he’s gonna adopt him. The Toronto Cat Rescue hooked him up with this cutie.
I’m off to Canadian Tire for and oil change, new headlamp that just burned out, and new tires. Exciting, eh? I really like my local CT shop. They don’t talk down to me, don’t try to upsell, and are just nice guys. Plus, there’s a mall attached to it with a Fortinos so I can get groceries while I wait.
That’s it for the week! I hope to be back on here more regularly, but no promises, LOL.
Well, my darling readers, it’s been an incredibly busy summer with house guests, travel, TIFF, and a fancy-schmancy wedding. Fall is my favourite season and it’s time to get back into my routines. My Istanbul blogging stopped as TIFF began, and I hope to get a couple more posts up about that trip (that seems so long ago at this point.) I have been out of email and phone touch with many of you, but that will change. Promise.
I’ve started two programs at my local community centre. On Monday afternoons I’m taking a Feldenkrais class. It promises to help me work out some of the body kinks I’ve been feeling as I age. I can remember seeing posters about it back when I lived in Ottawa and have wanted to try it for years. The first session was excellent and I’m looking forward to more. I also went to my first yoga class (ever) yesterday. The instructor has been teaching for 40 years and it’s the Sivananda style of hatha yoga (quite classical, if I understand correctly.) While most of the class are experienced (and many have been coming to the same teacher for years), the newbies like me are being brought on board slowly. I’m looking forward to learning to breathe more intentionally and to strengthen my core. The centre is walking/biking distance from home so that’s a bonus.
I’m working my way through the Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel for book club next weekend. It’s a big book, chosen by the group to read over the summer when we only had one meeting. I’m about two-thirds of the way through. While I’m planning to keep my comments (and review) to myself until after we meet, let’s just say that if there was a trivia game based on Thomas Cromwell, I’d stand a good chance of winning.
I have so many small projects around the house to get to. This week, I’ve been mainly focussed on getting through stacks of laundry and ironing. I need to reorganize my books now that they’ve been (randomly) moved to our new study (in our old dining room) and get my new crafting area set up in a recently vacated bedroom. I have a couple of sewing projects ready to go once I get a table. I also need to finish my travel diary/scrapbook from Istanbul. We’re looking for a round table for the study, and we want to replace our built-in oven that buzzes randomly (and continuously) due to a wonky clock and very poor temperature control. It’s 20+ years old so I don’t feel bad about not repairing it.
How’s Michael doing at McGill, you ask? I have no idea. I haven’t spoken to him at any length since he started classes so I need to have a good chat with him this weekend. I’m going with the no-news-is-good-news scenario. I know that he had a couple of lessons with his teacher in August but am anxious to hear what ensembles he’s in and how the classes are going.
Alex is settling into life in our basement, working on his Master of Management Analytics, and tutoring math part-time. Yesterday, he had road-trip to London Ontario to tour a brewery as part of his program (for his supply-chain management course, or so he says.) He saw some vintage delivery vehicles there.
This weekend Zouheir and I will be attending a meeting of the Bootmakers of Toronto (Sherlock Holmes Society of Canada) as a guest of a member. Author Terry Fallis is speaking and I hope to get one of his books signed (if I can find it in my currently non-alphabetised home library.) I loved his first two novels (The High Road and The Best Laid Plans, now getting made into a TV Miniseries), and I read Up and Down in early summer. The Sherlock Holmes connection in the latter brings him to the Bootmaker’s meeting. Oh, and Sunday is Word on the Street so I’ll be checking out this years offerings down at Queen’s Park.
And that’s all folks! Hope to be more regular with the posts going forward.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, Fallis’ third novel hits the hot spots. Canadiana, Sherlock Holmes, feisty elderly female bush pilot, public relations, and the International Space Station are all part of this fast-paced work that kept me engaged right to the end. It lost a star for predictability, but even though I knew where it was going, it was a fun ride nevertheless. His rather broad humour is not for everyone, but i found it didn’t quite cross the line into slapstick (although it comes close a couple of times.)