I wrote the following posts when I was still in Toronto, and I've finally gotten around to posting them... :)
(The first one below is quite unnecessarily wordy, because I wanted to practice typing on my new laptop)
August 9th, 2009
I've done it! I've got a netbook! An Asus eee PC 1008HA. Unfortunately, it's Windows (:O) not Linux. Installing Linux sounded really complicated when the computer guy explained it, so I don't know if I will. But there's very little I can do at the moment on this thing; without internet I can't get Open Office or iTunes, so I'm typing in Notepad and it lets you save it as a .doc, which I was surprised about.
Anyway, here's the story of how I got it.
Grandfather drove dad, Porco Negro (Brother's new codename) and I to Downsview subway station, and we got the subway to St George. It was so hot, it's like the tropics out there today. The subway was not busy and not eventful. I started a new Dorothy L Sayers mystery, which I like simply by virtue of the detective being called Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey (about as good as Baron Maximilian Darock de Hildeban, whose main advantage over Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey is that he's real). Our destination: the University of Toronto bookstore and computer shop. They had no qualms about selling me a laptop despite me not being a student (whatismore, being a student of a rival university) which I thought was really lovely of them. A nice bald (by choice, I'm sure, he was quite young) man helped me to choose between this Asus and a Toshiba, which was nice and slightly thinner but had a mahusive hinge on the back, which I think formed the battery encasement. Porco Negro and I took it home on the subway (all alone, oooooh, my grandmother was convinced we'd get raped but we just played Bejewelled on the iPhone) and walked back from the subway station. It was like every hot summer tramp through overheated, gasping suburbia you've ever imagined, like Stand By Me with Queen Anne's Lace and prosperity, and I loved it. I almost thought we were lost, then I realised we weren't. I opened the box as soon as I got home to general ooohs and aaahs. It's Windows, so of course there's nothing on it, but notepad works fine for blogging. At least, I type the entries and I'll upload them later.
August 9th, 2009, 8:29pm
I'm in the car driving through northern Ontario to the cottage. Everything's so green, it was like England but the trees have changed now from deciduous to mainly coniferous, and there are outcrops of rock everywhere. We're on the Precambrian Shield, shaped by glaciers during a few ice ages, and the lakes are quite like the Lake District ones: long and thin, although it's not mountainous at all because the mountains got flattened down too, I think. We took a pit-stop and I had 3 inches of a Subway sub, my first of the trip, chicken and lettuce and red onion and tomato on wholewheat, shared with Porco Negro. It's neat using this for the first time on the move, on my lap in the backseat. We're not having the second thunderstorm we were promised, rather, it's a beautiful evening with a big red sun. It's a bit cool though, but perfect for a bonfire. My aunt's ordered pizza which will be waiting for us when we arrive. Pizza delivery in the middle of nowhere, just because rich Torontonians gather there in their masses every summer to zip around in luxury speedboats and wear Ralph Lauren and buy tomatoes for a dollar each, or something crazy. Staying in Muskoka equals living a different life for a couple of weeks, I love it.
Porco Negro made a background for my computer while I was out picking my dad up from Yorkdale, and there's a poem on it:
maybe im not the
summer sun on a
river in the wood.
But i do love you
quite a lot so i
good. (As afore
I thought it was sweet. Its tone is quite reminiscent of my marvellous haikus.
We've taken a bet on when we'll arrive. Porco Negro says 8:45, dad says 8:54, and I'm on 9:11. I really hope I'm wrong; there's no prize for me to win, and I want to get there sooner rather than later.
At this point, this post is really just ramblings to keep me occupied and test out the keyboard, which is absolutely fantastic. Probably about 94% full size. But it's breaking my heart that the lid is picking up smudges so quickly. Right. Time to stop, since I'm sure you're bored, and I need to practise my mad Minesweeper skillz. I got down to 2 little squares, one of which I knew was a mine and the other was not, and I clicked the wrong one :(
August 17th, 2009
Rainy Night House
We went to town today! Not much of a town, just Bracebridge, of which I had already seen enough after driving through it three times looking for Indian Head Marina. But this time was better, because we had lunch at a Japanese restaurant called Wabora, which is where the G8 are going to eat in 2010, and they’re in for a treat. I got a beef teriyaki bento and it had beef on steamed vegetables, a mound of rice, shrimp tempura, potato tempura, squash tempura, salad, California rolls and a fancily-cut orange, each in their own little box, and all for $15. It was amazing. I want to eat there for the rest of my life. But maybe only once a day.
After dinner we sat on the dock and waited for the thunderstorm. We could hear the rain on the mainland and watched the wind build - the trees behind us were perfectly still, but beyond the shelter of the natural cove where the dock is the water was rippling. The rain came suddenly from behind, so the sky ahead of us was still pale blue tinged with pink and the clouds were white and wispy. Everyone else went inside when the rain got heavy, but Porco Negro and I stayed singing ‘Rule Britannia!’ and ‘Some Speak Of Alexander’, until my dad ordered us in. Then I exercised my right as an 18 year old, then he said ‘not while you live under my roof,’ then I said ‘I don’t,’ and he said ‘Nooooooooooooo!’ and I sat on the dock in the rain. But it was epically anti-climactic and stopped after only a couple of minutes. So I jumped in. It was the best swim of the summer, with the added bonus of giving me confidence that if I fall off a boat with my clothes on, I’ll still be able to swim perfectly well. I floated on my back and blew out my breath in bubbles, and my body started to sink. Try it (it’s best if you wear goggles) - it’s the creepiest feeling.
Then I had a shower and we watched The Secret Life Of Bees, which is really good because it’s one of the most accurate films of a book I’ve ever seen. Except I didn’t like the ending, it was too sentimental and came too soon after the climax, and missed my favourite bit of the book.