A fine moment yesterday: my grandsons stop by the table where the printed versions of my blog are laid out – six fat books, from 2007 to 2020. Ben picks up the one from 2015 and finds the many pictures of his birth day that July, and Eli finds himself in May 2012. There they both are, their newborn selves immortalized in their grandmother’s books. They gaze for a moment – perhaps they think all grandchildren’s pictures turn up in books – and move on. They play soccer in the living room and somehow, despite using a soft cloth ball, smash a bowl that belonged to my mother. They play hide and seek in the kitchen and overturn the cat’s dishes, breaking one.
And yet it was one of the best visits ever. Their mother perhaps put the fear of Glamma into them. Sometimes they beg for a bit of TV; this time there was no mention, they just played. They spent nearly an hour playing boats in the bathtub, with resulting splashes, and Eli kept beating me at x’s and o’s – fairly, I never saw his coming victories. I’m so bad at games, I bore him. They only fought 3 or 4 times, ate what was offered – the huge challenge of pasta with tomato sauce or pesto – and as they always do, commandeered my post-its and pens to write their names many many times.
Ben told a joke. What do you call a can opener that doesn’t work? A can’t opener.
TWO sets of my mother’s binoculars. They stared at each other for ages. Ben does not want his hair cut, so it’s not being cut.
At 7 we took the streetcar and subway – ecstasy for Ben, for whom every kind of transit is exhilarating – to see Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat. Anna wanted them to see it. Her father worked for many years with Andrew Lloyd Webber, and she and her brother saw the show, starring Donny Osmond, several times. When Mirvish announced a special deal for tickets, I pounced.
The production did not disappoint. Flashy, loud – sometimes too loud – and absurd, with clever, catchy pastiches of just about every kind of popular music, it had lots for grown-ups to enjoy but held the kids, even Ben, who with his ADHD cannot sit still. The second act was hard for him and he writhed, but he watched. The lead, a talented Welsh actor, looked startlingly like Justin Trudeau.
It was a bitterly cold night, and I was dreading the long subway/streetcar ride home for me in one direction and for them in another. Instead, when we left the theatre, there was a line of cabs waiting. I put Anna’s gang in one and jumped in a second and was whisked home. A great luxury.
I’m in that limbo state, waiting for the essay book edits to arrive. Must clear that book’s detritus out of the office and begin to think about the next one. In the meantime, I’m editing for several writers and for a thrilling So True next Saturday.
Made a list of the restaurants nearby on Parliament Street, many of them new: Halal Noor, Webliye, Angithi Biryani, Haldi, Shalom, Masala Guys, Chachu’s, Cumin Kitchen, Hakka Bistro, Gushi, La Gloria, El Nahual, and Poutine Delight.
All just five or ten minutes from my front door! Let’s get some dinner. Whic country would you like to dine in today?
Despite all this pleasure, my heart aches. The Guardian review of the Vermeer exhibit: “One of the most thrilling exhibitions ever conceived.” And the first time I checked the Rijksmuseum site, there were tickets available. How could I not have realized how quickly they’d sell out? My favourite painter in the world. Ah well. Paris will have to do.