Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Procrastination Diary

It took me a few days to notice that I was making myself super busy doing stuff that isn't packing to move home, because I don't want to say goodbye to our condo and also, I don't really believe we are moving home this summer.  (Even though we probably are.)  So while I wait for the chicken stock I'm making to be ready to become soup, let's look at some of my procrastination techniques.  Starting with


of course.  Just one sock, because I am trying out new square needles and I only have one set and just in case they are different from my other ones, I don't want to mix. It turns out I do like these needles though, and will order more... probably soon, and probably many pairs, because it has been awful rationing my existing needles when I thought I could never find a replacement.

Quick sock-related aside: Ray is buying the flooring for the porch tomorrow... but he has to drive 90 minutes just to get it because everybody around here is sold out of the size we need.  I cannot WAIT to have the porch back so I can take outdoor sock pictures again!!


Omigosh so much walking.  Among other outings, Pete spotted an interesting outdoor display last week about efforts to promote worldwide peace, installed on posts that spanned a long run of downtown parks that were developed as part of the Pan Am Games two years ago.

It took over an hour to follow the trail they made, just reading everything, which was... appropriately enough, peaceful.  Even though some of the posts covered some very sad situations.

I was iffy about the sculptures in these parks when I first saw them from a car - and one is pretty gruesome even up close - but on foot they are great.  (except for the gruesome one that reminds me of a terrible recurring nightmare I used to have and would like very much to forget entirely.)

There is a good bit in this park that I didn't photograph for you because kids were playing there and I wasn't going to invade their privacy.  It's on the other side of this giant blue metal family, and it's a long run of cement tiling with coloured lights set flush to the paving in two tidy rows.  If you walk over them they trigger jets of water.  Kids have SO much fun leaping in and out of this splash pad, and dogs have just as much fun trying to bite the water, and people like me have fun as well, watching all the playtime lit up with different colours.

(even though biting dogs and excited kids don't sound like a good combination for a public space, it works here because of the length of the installation.)

Also I love this lamp post sculpture.


After three years of putting it off it became positively urgent this past Friday for me to book a much-wanted trip to England next summer.  Pete wants to get to France to see some battlefield sites (I do too) and I want to see my cousin in Surrey (he does too) and we both want to get up to North Yorkshire because there are lots of train history things there.  Also I read Attic 24 and it is a constant reminder to me how absolutely gorgeous it is in that part of the world.

Planning such a wide-ranging itinerary in a pretty tight timeframe was a perfect exercise for this In Denial about-to-move-house person.

So far, I have picked a London hotel (it's in Mayfair, because when I lived in London I always wished I could live that close to work and my favourite parks) and a York hotel (it's inside the city walls because why not indulge our love of history?) and reached out to a bespoke tour guide about a whirlwind day that includes Vimy Ridge and some other sites.  I've also decided we will do a 9am flight over rather than an evening one, because the plane configuration for the daytime flight offers roomier seats, the better to keep me calm in midair, and I am pretty sure we will be less horrifically jet lagged on arrival if we aren't also sleep deprived.  Also, the hotel in Mayfair can send a car to the airport to collect us so it doesn't matter that we're landing pretty late at night.

All this probably means spaghetti suppers every day for the next year, but I think it's worth it.


Manicures do not have a place in my life because even though my nails grow surprisingly well, they also break because I am always doing things with my hands.  Also I am not so good with nail polish when it's on me - WAY too distracting.  I am always either admiring the colours or being annoyed by the chips and marks.  It's just easier to go natural.  But... for some reason, my nails are just growing right now and not snapping off at the tips.  So I'm in a competition with myself to see which comes first: me getting so fed up I clip them myself, or them finally breaking.  And with all the typing I am doing to write this post I feel pretty sure the winner will be "me getting fed up."  But not totally sure.


This is even more lame than watching my nails grow, but the second-floor bridge over Queen Street between the Eaton Centre and The Bay/Saks Fifth Avenue is a key component of my usual erranding route and it was really bugging me that they took the old one down and left us all with nothing for a few weeks.  Thankfully, the new one went in this past weekend!

And I got this picture, right smack in the middle of the road while it was closed for the crane to do its work.  I haven't tested out the bridge yet but I am glad to see it's back.


This is a really tough one.  We have been very fortunate to live in two amazing parts of Toronto - one residential neighbourhood that has great small-town qualities, and one very urban neighbourhood that attracts travelers from all over the world.  Before we bought our house we lived in other areas too and I was never really sorry to say goodbye to them... and I'm not really sorry to say goodbye to some qualities of downtown either, like the car exhaust and cigarette smoke.

But other parts of living here will be hard to give up.  On a hot, hot day like today was, it was no problem when I decided to make chicken stock even though I was missing key ingredients - I just popped downstairs to buy the needful things.  I wasn't outside long enough to get hot, and I walked in the shade of the overhang from the second floor of our building. But at home... I will have to walk five blocks in baking sun to buy anything, because the shady trees on most streets are harder to come by as you get close to the nearest grocer's.  And in winter, those blocks and all the others will not be cleared of snow or ice with any sort of frequency, whereas downtown, you never have to worry about slips or falls.

I think too I just really love this condo!  And the building, and our neighbours and the other people in the building generally.  I love the way the concierges see me coming through the security camera and swing the door open for me as I approach, so I don't even have to get out my key. I love how friendly everybody is, joking and chatting in the elevators.  I love the space and the layout of our unit.  I love the leafy shared terraces, and the skyline view, even in winter when things are pretty stark and grey.

I am pretty sure I will love the 'new' version of the house as much - more, when we finally get our landscaping done outside and our things back in inside.  But it's hard to imagine our old life there right now, and it's hard to work up the energy to pack so we can make a new one a reality.

Good thing we're about to open up the cottage for the summer, huh?  Because I was running out of things to keep me from thinking about moving.

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