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The city hijacked by 905? Forget it, eat a peach

My absolutely favourite time of year, these warm days of fall, with the last peaches and nectarines and the cornucopia of apples too. Like a squirrel, I am storing sunlight and warmth, relishing every moment. The garden has started to fade, but only just. Time to dig out the sweaters from their summer spot in a box beneath my bed.

I’ve decided that for my sanity, I have to ignore Toronto’s mayoral election. The thought of seeing Rob Ford’s angry, beefy face in the newspapers for the next 4 years makes me ill, not to mention the thought what what this heedless dinosaur can do to my city. But it’s a city, not a province or a country. Yes, he will damage what I love, but let’s face it – the alternatives are not so great. George Smitherman simply has not come through.
Surely Ford can’t smash Toronto as Mike Harris and his boys did; he can’t try to destroy the very soul of my nation, as Harper does. He’s just a right-wing bully, not a cold-eyed timber wolf with many devious plans. Ford’s plans are horrible, but not devious. My hope is that he’s such a foul, foot-in-the-mouth idiot, he’ll become a laughing-stock, like Mel, and the city will return to sanity.
That’s all I can come up with right now for comfort, as the 905 suburbanites hijack my city.
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Many phone calls to Ottawa yesterday – more questions for the residence, more reassuring talk with Mum. She is seeing the plus side now. One thing about this place that really perked her up is that 40% of the residents are men. My mother has been a beauty all her life and is still stunning; there has never been a time, both during her marriage and after my father’s death, when there wasn’t some besotted guy hanging around to catch a glimpse. Well, with over 100 housemates, she’d have at least 40 men to meet every lunch and dinner. This will give her a sparkle for years to come. So – she’s still weighing pro’s and con’s, but the pro’s list is growing. And how grateful I am that we can contemplate this expense, the luxury of 24 hour nursing care and a grand piano in the salon.
I find it hard to spend too long in Mum’s condo without getting cabin fever – (what’ll it be like in the minuscule apartment we’re considering?) – but it helps that we spend the evenings watching movies. Well, Mum begins to watch and then wakes often enough to keep vague track of what’s going on. We watched “A Beautiful Mind,” which I thought I’d seen but hadn’t and found moving – and Russell Crowe as a Nobel Prize-winning mathematician almost believable. Mum told me about a film she’d watched and loved, so I ordered it delivered from Amazon: “Love and pain and the whole damn thing,” a quirky little film starring a very young Maggie Smith as a sharp spinster touring Spain, who falls in love with a younger man. It is classic chick flick, and we had a wonderful sappy time watching it.
And best of all, we watched Laurence Olivier’s “Hamlet” on PBS. Mum stayed awake for almost the whole thing; what pleasure, the two of us side by side, enjoying two of the greatest theatrical geniuses of all time. If you want a primer on how to speak Shakespeare so that every word is clear and understandable, that’s it. It’s stately, magnificently acted and beautiful, with a few flaws, like Ophelia’s silly braided wig and a moment or two when Larry enunciates just too damn well. But that’s my picky side.
Now, back to work. I’ve sent a draft of the article to the Ottawa editor, and the second Ryerson class was last night, brave souls all – our stories have begun. As I said to them, after listening to tales from all over the world – I love my job. I get to tour hundreds of inner and outer worlds from a desk in downtown Toronto.
Which is a city I know and love, for the next few weeks, at least.

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One response to “The city hijacked by 905? Forget it, eat a peach”

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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