Thursday, 20 August 2009

Dancing Queen

My mum emailed me my exam results and I've been smiling like a crazy person all morning. I know it's not the done thing to say what you got (why not? I don't know). I got what I was expecting.

Yesterday, I went to Canada's Wonderland with Porco Negro and the two older Toronto cousins. It was so much fun! But really busy, since it was about 30 degrees all day. We went on four rides in five hours. The best of them was the Behemoth, this new rollercoaster that's just insane. The first drop is the highest in the park, I don't know how high exactly, but high enough that just when you think you can't take any more dropping, it doesn't stop.

I saved that post as a draft 3 days ago because I ran out of time. Now I'm in residence!! I picked up my key earlier than I thought I could, and moved in some stuff on Saturday. Then this morning I went to IKEA with my parents and Porco Negro (my mum arrived yesterday evening; we picked her up from the airport and got a sandwich at Subway and the server refused to speak to me in French, he kept replying in English every time I tried to speak French to him) and got lots of goodies and my room is like a real home now!! Here are some pictures.

It's 1:30am now. I've introduced the house to the joys of Pimm's and Angel's Delight (a hit with girls more than boys). It's so hot. I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Midnight Show

I dreamed that mosquitos were biting me, and I woke up and my legs were on fire. I plunged them under the cold tap and realised I couldn't sleep. It's 2:54am and I haven't been up this early in a long time. I've had a glass of water and two tomatoes and a peach and a cookie, and it's nice being up all alone.

The reason my mosquito bites are particularly bad is that I have at least 15 on one leg alone, and it's a similar case all over, because I went mountain biking yesterday in a very hot, very humid forest. I did not like it. I loved cycling on the flat where you could look up at the trees without getting clotheslined by a branch, or tripping over a tree root, but when it got all bumpy it was really not my thing. I fell over, which was embarrassing enough, but even more so given the fact that I was walking at the time. But I have a very impressive graze on my right arm.

Afterwards, we went to a Mexican-Japanese fusion restaurant and it was really good. I had a trout tempura sandwich and churros. My grandmother had a cardiac catheterisation yesterday to inflate a balloon in her heart (which I think is called and angioplasty), but she was out the same evening.

I would go outside and see if there are any stars if I weren't afraid of a raccoon jumping out and mauling me. Not really. I think I'll just watch tv. Maybe a season of America's Next Top Model will be showing back-to-back.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

My Favourite Things

Yes, I've changed the titles of my posts. Maybe you can see a pattern.

Two days ago we went to visit the family of the boy who works at the meat counter in the local supermarket and is going to McGill - in the end it wasn't as weird as all that because we went to their house and they were expecting us. Their cottage was beautiful, over 100 years old (rare for around here, I think, most of the old places are all wooden and they burn down) and really cosy. There were four girls there all younger than Porco Negro and me who took us 'clustering', a crazy version of tubing that they made up because their tube broke. They had tied a small plastic lifesaver, a buoy, a pool noodle and a half-deflated giant rubber whale to lengths of rope and you held on to one of these things and got pulled along by a motorboat until you fell off. It was insane. Then we watched Heroes; it was the first time I'd watched any from the beginning and I'm a little bit hooked.

Yesterday was spa day... it was so good. I had a massage, and there was a whirlpool and a sauna and steam room and free dried apricots. I went with my aunt, and afterwards we drove to Indian Head Marina to meet my uncle in the boat to visit friends. At least, we tried to find it but ended up in Bracebridge, twice, after driving past the sign, twice (the words were so tiny we didn't realise the marina was where it was). It took us about 2 hours. Hmm. It was a different lake, and it was so choppy like boat wake was hitting the dock constantly. And yesterday night, PN, my dad and I went for dinner at a really nice place for his birthday (which was actually ages ago) and I had scallops!! Which are my favourite thing right now. But they weren't the best I've ever tasted.

Tomorrow I'm off to my other aunt's island nearer Bracebridge for a couple of days, which will be really nice, to be honest, because it'll be so calm...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Dancing In The Moonlight

The power's out until 10pm (it's now 7:50pm) so I should be quick because the remaining power on the laptop has to be shared. Today has been just a regular day in cottage-land, I drove the boat back from the marina went we got ice cream, which is always fun. It's easily as powerful as a small car (and fast - we usually go between 30-40mph), I've no idea why you don't need a license for it but I don't mind :) It's been so hot all day though, I'm really lethargic. Tomorrow we might go to Port Carling, where the son of a friend of my dad's older sister works at the meat counter at the IGA, and is going to McGill this year, and if my dad doesn't get a reply from this friend-of-a-sister, he's going to go to the meat counter and ask for her son and take it from there. I would find that weird. Wouldn't that be weird? If you were working at a meat counter and a guy you've never met comes up and says 'I don't know you, I don't really know your mum but my sister did, forty years ago'...

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Up On Cripple Creek

Turns out they have internet here! Who said that the true cottage experience should be a getaway from technology? The weather was a bit cold and grey this morning, but it's gorgeous now so I can sunbathe, score. I had really yummy pizza last night, with goat's cheese and roasted onions and peppers. So good, and I was surprised with myself :) Later we're going to get ice cream from the seriously quaint local town, either there or the marina, I'm not sure yet. Either is good, although with the latter I'll get to drive the speedboat! Photos to follow, and there'll be plenty more updates, including two I wrote on my laptop to test it out in the car yesterday, which I need to transfer to this computer. The only memory stick I have is the genius Take That-stocked one Jessie gave me; I hope there's room for a Word document on it, because I'm certainly not taking any of the videos off it :)

Cousin 2 has a splinter in her foot, but refuses to get it taken out. Much tears. I had a really good cocktail down at the dock - Smirnoff Ice, lemonade and pomegranate juice, or pomtini, or something. And the hot tub's working. It's so amazing outside I'm not going to hang around here any longer!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of

Having said I won't be able to post very often from now until I arrive in Montreal, I now find myself posting more. Not in a conscious attempt to compensate in advance, but because my dad insists on working more than I thought he would and there's nothing else to do. We left the house at 8am to get here (the 'here' still being my grandfather's office)- not exactly sure why it needed to be that early, but I was up anyway because of jetlag - and it is now 11:55am. I have read the entirety of 'The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily' by Dino Buzzati (highly recommended, but set aside a couple of hours in Borders to read it because it was 15 pounds. There's no sign on this keyboard for that.)

Here's an excerpt:

Now begins a hurly bur-
Ly, shrieks and yells and << Sauve qui peut! >>
One runs away, one leaps the ramparts
And falls into the ditch's damp parts.
All shout orders contradictory,
Pride has a fall and bears have victory.

It's not actually all a poem.

With glistening eyes, high dignitaries and important personages bare their heads in silence. Look, even Professor Ambrose's beard is quivering. Is there no hope for the young bear?

I also went netbook-hunting, and I think I'm going to get the ASUS eeePC 1008HA. But I need to find an electronics shop where I can try them out, as opposed to the small office in a giant building with a nice man who found stuff on the internet for me, but didn't actually seem to have any computers for sale. Maybe I'll phone him later and see if he can order it in, so I can support small businesses.

Voulez Vous (The Visitors)

It's 9:07am and I'm in my grandfather's office in Toronto. We're going to my aunt and uncle's cottage this evening and I don't know when I'll next be able to get to a computer, so here's an update :)

My flight was fine, but there were no seatback tvs. I was excited when they said 17 Again would be playing, but they were wrong and it was He's Just Not That Into You, and I couldn't be bothered. I ate beef provencale and listened to Mozart's Requiem.

The weather here has been crazy. Yesterday there was an insane storm in the morning, one of those ones where it's like twilight outside at 11am, then there's a huge clap of thunder and the heavens open and the gutters are like rivers within five minutes. It lasted all morning, then turned really hot and sunny so it was like a sauna outside. Like breathing in soup (when I told Brother (he needs a blog codename, but I don't have a more interesting one yet. The Sister is Biscuit Johnson, on account of her smelling of biscuits and baby shampoo, but I haven't had a need to mention her yet) that, he said 'you look like soup'. And then, 'actually, there's nothing in the world you look less like than soup'. We tried to think of something, but even Chris Tarrant and fish are vaguely sentien beings). We went to the Art Gallery of Ontario which is great now they've completely renovated it. The whole basement is full of model boats. Then we went to see real art, and I have a new one-of-my-favourites painter, called Raoul Dufy (to whom thanks is due for the picture at the top of this post). His paintings make you feel like Audrey Tatou, or boursin, or Foux De Fa Fa, ie, really really French. Wikipedia tells me he's a Fauvist painter, but I've never heard of that movement. There was also endless, endless amounts of Cornelius Krieghoff, a famous Canadian painter who as far as I could see was able to paint three things.
1. Red carts with people in.
2. Yellow carts with people in.
3. Trees.
And mix those three things together in infinitesimal ways, adding snow for occasional variety. They all looked exactly the same.

The thunder in the evening was incredible. It made the windows shake, and the lighting was like a really bad son-et-lumiere show I went to in Malaysia. Lots of houses (not ours) are without power this morning. The guy on the radio was talking to the guy who coordinates repairing cables and stuff, and he said 'what can you say to the people who are waiting for their electricity to be restored? how long will it take?' and I thought (as I always do in these situations), what's the point of that? The people waiting for their electricity to be restored cannot possibly hear this.

I'm really looking forward to the cottage. My oldest little cousin is 5 now, so we can properly have conversations. She has the most adorable accent. I'll write again as soon as possible, and post pictures :)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


Two more days left in Oxford. So much to pack! I'm trying to condense 17 years in Oxford into 89 kilograms or so. I'm watching something unbearable on the CBBC channel, all the characters seem to have bubblegum-pink hair, except for the one that looks like Ron. Now there's some toxic nuclear waste pouring over a city accompanied by a jolly 'let's all be friends!' type song, or something of that ilk. So I turn to Dave, thinking it would oblige me with a Top Gear triple bill, but noooo. It's Ray Mears. I give up. I'm going to watch bidtv and sulk.

I'm starting this blog because I love the idea of blogging, but I've never had much motivation because school life in Oxford was... unremarkable, I suppose, to anyone except me and the people I shared it with. Sorry, the people with whom I shared it. Now I'm off to university in Montreal, I want to write more of a documentation, of a time that hopefully will be more exciting.

Right now, I'm really just so excited. I thought leaving would be really hard, but I don't think it will be. Being there will be hard, after all the excitement has dissipated and I've only got work to distract me from homesickness. But it's university. I was always going to leave home. That in mind, why not go the whole hog and choose Montreal?