Quotation Of The Day: Billie Holiday: Don`t threaten me with love, baby. Let`s just go walking in the rain.
Yes, i'm on holidays, a five-day mini-vacation and the primary reason is this man here, to the right. My friend Paul, whom i've know for about thirty-five years, celebrated his 65th birthday on Saturday, and i went up to Toronto for the beano (that photo, btw, was taken two years ago, when we went to see Oysterband at Hugh's Room). (Photograph © Eric Thom.)
But this post is going to be a diary of my weekend, so first things first. Saturday was a beautiful day, mild (for April) and sunny. My train arrived at Union Station bang on time (well done, Via Rail!) -- i had arranged to meet Julian & Andrea for lunch at The Wolf & Firkin pub in Elm Street (possibly my favourite Toronto boozer, known affectionately as The Pterodactyl & Firkin LOL, i never fail to pop in at least once on my Toronto visits), but i had my camera with me and wandered around a bit, hoping to take some photographs -- cityscapes, as Toronto really is a beautiful city -- but discovered that the %#!*% camera (which i'd been having trouble with for a while) was as dead as a doornail. No it wasn't the batteries, they were new. It was yet another example of technology failing. Like i haven't had enough of that this year.
With my photographic aspirations in shreds, i wandered in to the HMV superstore on Yonge Street.
Twenty years ago, my trips to Toronto, i would always include about $300 in my budget, with which to buy obscure albums i was unable to get in Stratford. The Internet changed all that, though. Obscure albums i can't buy in Stratford, are now easily obtainable online. This has made my visits to the big city immeasurably cheaper, but i usually drop in to HMV anyway, just to see what's what and what's new. And i bought this:
For $6.00. Yes, i know, don't say it. But i have dual-weaknesses for Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino. Ahem! Sometimes one needs some light relief from all those Bergman films....
So then headed for The Pterodactyl and had an excellent lunch with .... It's funny, or perhaps not. I moved away from Toronto about 26 years ago. So many friends from the old neighbourhood have fallen by the wayside, those who remain are the bestest people and i love them dearly. Anyway, i mentioned that i was thinking of going to the cinema on Sunday, and Julian & Andrea recommended "The Adjustment Bureau." More about that later. 26 years of geographic separation and i feel closer to those two than ever.
After lunch, i walked, and walked, and walked, taking in old neighbourhoods and all of the freaks who were promenading (and Toronto, like any other city of 6,000,000, has its full complement of weirdos and freaks). The traffic was heavy, Carlton Street was virtually a parking lot when i stopped in at a pub called The Spotted Dick to slake my thirst. After a couple of pints there it was time to head north, to Yonge & Eglinton (where i used to live) and to Terry & Ann's house (where i was staying for the night). And from there to Paul's birthday bash.
Oh, my, what a super party it was, too. I'm not an avid party-goer, as you can imagine, considering my incipient Asperger's and so on, but a splendid time was guaranteed for all. The company was excellent -- i saw people i hadn't seen in 10 / 15 / 20 years (and was astonished to notice that so many of them had dyed their hair grey LOL), the food was brilliant and the drink flowed and the conversations were scintillating. (I expect you'll be surprised to learn that i didn't drink too much, i was enjoying the social intercourse far too much -- although, as always at these occasions, some people overdid it, but who am i to criticise, i have been know to overdo it myself.) (Not this time, though.)
Also, oh deary me, Anne E. was there. I had a crush on her 20 years ago and i took one look at her and realised that i still do. And i told her so (thanks to either the courage or stupidity brought on by a couple of late-evening whiskies). My, she looked good. Sigh. Or perhaps i should say "Urk!" Crushes are most undignified in a man of my age. Well, i haven't been able to think of much besides Anne since my return, but, realistically, nothing's going to happen. (Although we did exchange e-mail addresses....)
And that was Saturday. The party broke up relatively early (we geriatrics need our sleep, you know), and i'll write about my Sunday in due course.