Thursday, 8 November 2012

Toronto, October 2012, Part 2

Quotation Of The Day ~ Ian Rankin: One fateful night, I decided to go and see post-Peter Gabriel Genesis in Edinburgh, rather than Rory Gallagher. We learn through our mistakes..

Okay, so where was i?

Saw Oysterband  and it was brilliant but as all good things must, it came to an end and so i hit the subway train -- to Broadview station, closest to where i was staying the night with Julian & Andrea. Andrea was already asleep! But Julian and i had a glorious natter, oh, and i found the card he gave me, the play he's directing -- it is -- oh, shit, i've lost it again -- no, wait, here 'tis: it's "My Boy Jack" by David Haig, at The Papermill Theatre. Buy your tickets at (Julian, am i eligible for a commission if anyone buys their tickets through spriggsblog? Just curious....)

Wednesday morning, i wasn't feeling 100% -- at first i thought it may have been a hangover, but i've had hangovers before (i know, this is shocking news) and this was different. I was cold and achey -- and the fact that it was raining probably didn't help.  Julian and i chatted pleasantly for a while, Andrea sawing wood upstairs and, even though i suggested that it would be very rude for me to leave without seeing her, i wanted to get moving.  He told me not to concern myself, she's pretty anti-social in the mornings, and so i headed out.  And went to Broadview station, bought a day pass for the transit system, and travelled around for a while.

Down to King Street, across to Yonge Street, and then way, way north on the subway, so far north i found myself in an entirely different city: the city of North York. Yikes! I'd never been that far north in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) before. Adding to my coldiness and achey-ness now came a nosebleed from the northyness. It was pretty bleak, though, i can tell you. Oh, and it was pouring rain, too...A re-visit is not in the cards.

One of my plans for the day was to visit a Kelsey's pub.  As i may have mentioned (ad nauseam), my local pub in Splatford is Kelsey's, part of a chain (  but i'd never been to any other of their outlets, and purely out of intellectual curiosity i wanted to see what another one looked like.  Their website told me that the closest one was at 861 York Mills Road, so, transit pass clasped firmly in hand, i hied me to the York Mills subway station and was confronted with 8 or 9 different York Mills buses. Eeek! And remember now, my cold or flu or whatever is getting worser and worser....

So, i went to the first bus that arrived and said, do you go to 861 York Mills Road?  He said, sure, i think that's at Leslie Street, and so i hopped on.  Travelled though parts of Toronto i'd never seen before, enjoying the view immensely, and hopped off at Leslie Street.  And the rain continued and all i could see was mini-malls everywhere and no sign of a Kelsey's.... I explored at length but to no avail and, to make it worse, none of the buildings -- not one single one -- had a street number on it.  Believe me, i looked. (I did find a Swiss Chalet, but there was no way i was going in there!)

In the tradition of the great English explorers like Livingstone and Speke (it must be around here somewhere) i decided to walk a bit further east.   Over a bridge, past a scrapyard, feeling pretty miserable but at least the rain was lightening up and then ... i found it.  Kelsey's.  I shoulda told the bus driver that that was my destination, rather than just giving him the street number, but then i've never really had that good a grasp on the practical.  (If anyone's interested, it's at York Mills Road and Lesmill Road, not Leslie Street.)

The facade was identical to my local one but inside was very, very different.  Much larger, for one thing (my server -- who was very nice -- told me that it's one of the larger ones). With the added attraction of the aroma of fresh paint.  Yes, they were redecorating.

So, i had lunch. But i also had the collywobbles. The food was great but i found myself unable to finish the meal -- very unusual for me, i am, generally speaking, a vacuum cleaner when it comes to food. 

And that was it.  The rain had stopped, i finished my pint, headed back into the heart of the city via bus and subway, walked and walked and walked and had a couple of desultory pints in a couple of desultory pubs (only because i needed to have a whizz, my craving for alcohol was at a shockingly low level by this time), had some street meat (spicy Polish sausage with hot mustard and loadsa onions) from a street vendor outside Union Station, and then it was, home.  And i spent the rest of my week off feeling sick as an armadillo....

(Most people would say "sick as a dog"; i try to be different.)

Oh, and as i haven't written a playlist in a while and as i know how much you're all interested, here's what's been under the laser in the past few days:

Lisa Gerrard - Whale Rider
Marillion – Sounds That Can't Be Made
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock
Rory Gallagher - Live In Europe
Billy Talent - Dead Silence
Richard Thompson - Live At Boardinghouse Park (bootleg, shhh)
Supergrass – Supergrass
Jethro Tull – Roots To Branches
Happy Rhodes – Many Worlds Are Born Tonight
The Albion Band - The Vice Of The People
Man - All's Well That Ends Well
The Tragically Hip - Now For Plan A
Barlow - Barlow
The Beach Boys - The Very Best Of The Beach Boys, Vol. 2
City Boy - Dinner At The Ritz

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