When I went down to the kitchen this morning, I thought about February. Today, the world was alive with colour, sound, and scent – flowers, birds, green, yellow, pink, red, purple, orange, and more green, the smell of lavender, phlox, gardenia, rosemary, jasmine. Sparrows and cardinals chatting. In winter, grey, brown, white, no smells, almost no sounds. Toronto in winter is a sensory deprivation tank. But we are Canadian, we get through, and here we are, in the richness of high summer.
Annals of aging # 647: two medical appointments this week, one with the supercilious and unpleasant Doctor Khan to check for glaucoma, and with the dermatologist to inspect and I hope remove white bumps on my face. Today’s pains: the left foot, some ongoing unidentified ache; in the left side of my mouth, a nerve issue under the teeth getting more acute. The rest – back, hips – the same. Lucky. My friend John, who has hip and knee issues, goes up my stairs on his hands and knees. I went to a yoga class today to try to keep the joints well oiled. I’m reading the obituaries more regularly now – two deaths close to me so far this year.
Blistering heat – 29, feeling, they say, like 38.
Sent the manuscript to two other publishers today. One I sent to last month has already written a polite no – miraculous that it came so quickly. He wrote very nicely that the nonfiction at the press is mostly focussed on political and social issues, not on memoir. Phooey. To cheer me up I had a pedicure. My toes are now light blue.
Supper – the garden’s cucumbers are beginning to pile up, so creamy cucumber salad. Fresh corn with lime. Salmon. Peaches. Rosé. Summer! Thank you.
The other day, I took a bunch of old books I wanted to sell to Acadia Books, a used bookstore on Queen Street East. What a lovely wonderful place. There are several homeless shelters nearby, so the street outside is very rough. Inside, a haven of old books, posters, maps, cherished paper of all kinds. It belongs now to Rochelle, the daughter of the man who bought the shop and ran it for decades. Can’t imagine it’ll last – who is buying old books on the roughest part of Queen Street East? And yet there she is, buying some of mine: a collection of the works of Edgar Allen Poe, ten small volumes, inherited from Great-aunt Helen; a Beatrix Potter from the 1920’s, and more. My latest attempt to tackle debt.
If you’re in Toronto or nearby, please make sure to visit Acadia Books. It’s like the film Being There but in reverse. Peter Sellers leaves a sheltered environment for the madhouse of the real world. Here, you leave the madhouse and inside is tranquillity, books and art and kindness.
Grantchester last night: no one seems to note the absurd supposition that the handsomest young men in England in the early sixties are becoming vicars. Have you ever seen a minister as divinely handsome as James Norton? I think not. Now, the new guy, also a cutie though not quite like James. Absurd that these gorgeous virile studs would enter the Church of England to spend their lives as men of the cloth. But fun to watch. And then John Oliver came on at 11, excoriating Boris @#$# Johnson, a shyster since childhood. Ghastly. What did the poor planet do to deserve these guys?
Sweaty, very sticky and sweaty. Where is that lake?