Just spent my usual Sunday afternoon from 3 to 4 cooking and listening to Eleanor Wachtel – another old friend and fabulous woman to add to the list. Made a ratatouille and the last of my green beans engrossed in her fascinating conversation with Jonathan Franzen, who does not suffer fools gladly and obviously loves Eleanor, as does anyone who likes writing and thought. Her interview last week with Oliver Sacks, replayed from the archives on the occasion of his death, was a masterpiece. CBC’s Writers and Company is available as a podcast. Get out your saucepans and give her a listen.
This is the weekend of the joyous Cabbagetown Festival, a special one this year as I had a friend and her sister in from London England, visiting Canadian family, coming to see Canada for the first time at our festival. And I have to say, I cannot remember worse early September weather, ever, and I’ve enjoyed these festivals for nearly 30 years. Both days, cold and wet and grey, just miserable. Luckily the rain stopped for awhile yesterday afternoon and this morning; it was still cold, but at least the musicians could play and we could walk around, poking into the garage sales and the crafts fair, eating street food and meeting friends. Anna has long wanted a shed for her backyard, to store all the sleds, tricycles and water pistols cluttering up her apartment, and we’ve been watching Canadian Tire sales; even the cheapest that are big enough are over $500. But yesterday, I found a shed in a box for $120. Getting it home – pulled on a child’s wagon – and across town were challenges, as it weighed a ton, but that’s what the C’town Fest can do – provide a shed in a box. For myself, I bought the only thing I need – 6 beautiful wine glasses for $10. Hmmm. Time to try them out. Excuse me for a moment.
A perky French pinot – the wine isn’t great, but the glass is perfect.
This morning was the annual fundraising “mini marathon” – two or three kilometres through the neighbourhood, a friendly run with many dogs and children as well as a few serious speedsters and a few faithful old regulars, like moi. It was so cold this morning, I almost didn’t go, but I was inspired by my friends Chris and Sam, ultra-marathoners and triathletes, crazy people who run, bike and swim through all kinds of hideous weathers and situations. I could just see their faces if I didn’t do 2.5 k because it was a tiny bit chilly. So I put on some warm stuff and went, and of course it was wonderful, so much fun, my ‘hood. And – well yes, I have to tell you, she said modestly, that I came third in the Senior Women’s category, age 56 to 98. It’s the same group of us every year. Last year Marion ran past me at the last minute, and this year I ran past her, waving as I went, but she passed me again. Marion was second. The extremely speedy Sylvie, who’s a serious long-distance runner, was first, and my Sackville neighbour Gina was fourth. I do have to say, I think I’m the only true senior citizen in the bunch. Ahem.
So now my legs hurt, and this raunchy pinot isn’t making my aches feel better. But my prize, a gift certificate to the Peartree Restaurant to which I’ve already invited my family, is taking the sting of the cold away. And tomorrow I teach.