Stratford July Day Trip

sky over 401 as we set out
tarts galore at The Shakespeare Pie Shop
sky over The Shakespeare Pie Shop
dining a la fresco at Features
new Tom Patterson
other side of the new Tom Patterson
another view of the new Tom Patterson
paddleboats on the Avon

for more about the trip & more photos see Stratford Protocol  https://topoet.ca/2020/07/24/stratford-protocol/ 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee
sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Stratford Protocol

Earlier this week we took a day trip to Stratford. This is the first summer in decades I haven’t seen show there, & the first time since the 50’s my partner hasn’t seen a show there. Neither have never been there when they wasn’t a show running. Unlike out usual visits there we didn’t have to pack as much in the way of snacks & fluids 🙂

With most of the province inching into phase 3 I was curious to see just what that meant outside of the golden horseshoe. We left later than usual, no rush to get there for 2 pm curtain. The weather was perfect. The traffic was the usual with slowdowns outside of Kitchener. Our first stop was the Tim’s at the edge of Cambridge. 

Masks on & in we went. No seating but washrooms were open, on request, one person at a time. Follow the arrows to the exit please. Staff masked & gloved. Coffee up to their standards. From there we took the New Dundee Road though New Dundee, Haysville & on to Shakespeare, This was the only major slowdown for highway work being done on the intersection there. 30 mins while road-plows plowed the road. It seems university guys aren’t doing construction this year to pay their tuition 😦

It was worth the wait for our next stop: the Pie Shop. There we bought chicken pot pies, lemon tarts & other nutritious snacks. On to Stratford for lunch at Features.

Yes Features was open for ‘take-out’ only. But they had patio tables set up & brought your order to your table. The town had more people than expected wandering in & out of the fudge stores. But the Festival theatres were all shut down even the gift shops. With so little tourist traffic the town opted not to do any gardening along sidewalks etc.

We did drive around to see the new Theatre. The rush for opening has allowed them to take their time with landscaping. The lots was fenced off so I didn’t get any real close up photos. People in paddle boats on the Avon was out matinee performance 🙂

Drive home was good. Road workers on lunch break as we passed through Shakespeare. One last stop at the Pork Shop for their excellent pulled pork. Home by 4:30. exhausted by all that sitting, taking photos & enjoying the scenery? Maybe we’ll hit Niagara-on-the-Lake for an August day trip. A big maybe because there isn’t even a favorite restaurant we miss there.  

A Not Bored Covid Diary

Many people I follow or am in contact with have been  bored into stressing about having nothing to do in their social isolation. These are the sort who post lists of Ten Stop-Motion Films that have changed their lives. One recently blogged a list of ‘last times’ they did certain things like eat in a restaurant, call a barista a stupid fucking idiot – those things we all miss so much.

To rub salt in that wound I haven’t had time to be bored 🙂 Blogging, editing, yard work, house cleaning, purging & zooming around have kept me busy. Covid has saved me money – do I really want to line up for a cup of watery coffee? Are those bonus optimum points for bagels worth the effort of gloves & masks? 

I found some who took social isolation too far by not leaving their homes, apartments for weeks on end. I told one ‘friend’ I go for walks nearly every morning  & they were shocked. They didn’t see the difference between locked down & locked in. Though having a house with two floors & a reasonable sized front & back yard does give me more space for social isolation. I don’t have the experience of being cooped up in a bachelorette for days on end.

It has been inevitable, but sad, to see many businesses along the Danforth closing down with ‘for lease’ signs in their windows. Even with government assistance most didn’t have deep enough pockets to deal with a lockdown this long. Some that are reopening, or who have reopened, have limited hours/days they are open. 

The Danforth itself is about to under go a ‘transformation’ from Broadview to Dawes Road that is to see a reduction in car lanes, an increase in patio space & bike lanes. I hope the bike lanes are wide enough to keep cyclists off the sidewalks where we pedestrians are such a nuisance to them. There’ll also be prettification to encourage people out of their homes & spend spend spend. There’s nothing like the smell of spilt wine & vomit from the night before on a hot summer morning.

 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

rainbow flags all east end Toronto

Covid 101: McMask Meals

Actually it’s probably 105 days of ‘lockdown’ which has loosened somewhat this past week even here in Toronto. I can tell by the amount of traffic on the streets both vehicular & pedestrian. The shift to more masking has seen an uptick, as is masks litter. Though I haven’t seen much ‘corporate’ branded masking. No McMask Meals yet. But I predict they’ll take the place of baseball caps & t-shirts as give-away promotional items. What would you prefer another notepad or a mask? 

No covid immunity breakthroughs, not that I expected one this soon. We’re learning how to keep it from killing people but that’s small consolation. One way to boost the immune system is to stop reading/listening to all the contradictory news. It is clear that travel for pleasure will be restricted to the wealthy, if it happens at all. No DC visits in my future 😦

The US has decided the economy is more important than health – well, that’s always been the case – profits trump everything. Maybe there’s more money to be made in ventilators or letting people die, than in keeping them safe. As they say follow the money – if there was no profit in poverty there’d be no poverty. Treatment is more profitable than cure. What are funeral costs like these days?

In my walks around the neighbourhood I see more dusty stuff at the curb. The result of social isolation covid cleaning frenzies. By stuff I mean old dressers, old upright pianos – big items clearly dragged up out of basements or down from attics. Many of which I’m sure are gone before garbage pick up. I know stuff I’ve ‘curbed’ has been gone within hours. Thanks to covid my house weighs at least 1000 pounds less. 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Welcome To Covid Gardens

Covid Gardens – sounds like the name for an old folks home.

Ontario’s State of Emergency has been extended another week rather than another month – I suppose that is encouraging news. Masks have gradually become more stylish & also more frequently worn though seeing people wearing them constantly makes me feel some haven’t fully understood the message. Or maybe I got it wrong – I only wear mine when in transit or in a store or if I have to pass a line up at the beer/wine stores.

The US Presidents mocks reports wearing masks, while shoppers hound a woman shopping without her mask up, store owners get attacked for refusing to let people without masks into their shops, while the mayor of TO ignored social distancing & mask to ask why someone is ignoring social distancing. It is mighty confusing.

I was dismayed by the recent sunny park crowd scenes & was amused by the almost sanctimonious response to it. It certainly gave many an opportunity to indulge their ethical/moral superiority over the covidiots in the park. The fact that many of us are willing to live within the recommended restrictions doesn’t make us saints, or make those that don’t into demons. It’s been 3 months now for people to get the basic message – social distancing & masks make a difference, washing your hands makes a difference. This is not a deliberate infringement on one’s social freedoms but a new way of living to keep ourselves alive.

My social isolation has been gardening now that the weather has warmed up enough. Wedding, trimming & planting. I repotted geraniums that had survived the winter. Bought flowers to create my own hanging baskets. Planted herbs, sweet peas & morning glories. Enough for one week. 

Even managed some more housecleaning & purging. I can’t describe my satisfaction in seeing the garbage men drag away bags of VHS tapes. Better yet seeing some things disappear even before the garbage guys come. I dragged some things stored in our basement by people who have since moved on. Bye bye anodizer, oscilloscope I hope you found better homes while I enjoy my better gardens.

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy plants

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

All pics of the garden – back steps with fresh herbs; various hostas that I planted several years again. Lilacs fresh from my garden earlier this week.

Summer Events

The state of emergency has been extended to June 2, 2020. Social distancing will be deemed unnecessary on June 3, 2025. Masks will be become a legal requirement. There will be boom industry in making them & also a boom in clear plastic face guards. Face guards will be available from optometrists with your vision prescription built right in & also as sunglasses. Sales of sunscreen will plummet.

Many of the events I look forward to in summer are not happening. Capturing Fire postponed to fall (maybe – but I doubt if travel restrictions/conditions will be lifted by then. Who can afford 14 days quarantine in USA?) Stratford Festival has cancelled its 2020 season, the same with the Shaw. If social restrictions for restaurants loosen we may make a day trip to Shakespeare to pick up some pies & on to Stratford for lunch at Features – to make sure we remember the route 🙂

Resorted to Amazon for vitamin c and zinc – if we could have found them on the shelves at Shoppers I would have bought them there but both have been out-of-stock since early March. I’ve frequently at least 5 different Shoppers at various days & times & unlike toilet paper, the have not returned.

I’ve kept busy with covid deep house cleaning, purging & rearranging. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see, or rather not see, energy moved out of the house. When the city picks up the various bins it’s like losing weight. I feel no remorse or regret, yet, for shedding those things saved for donation, or for a time they’ll come in handy. It has been a week of in house work – too cool in the morning for working in the garden 😦

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Password: Isolation

Are we near to planking yet? Some once was star believes covid19 is part of a conspiracy to rid the planet of everyone over 60 (who isn’t as rich as them to buy protection & distance). Media whores can always spin events to get themselves some focus. Go back to your room once was star.

I’m watching these cooking competitions on the Food Network & thinking they must have all been in the can before covid19 was out of the bag. Will there be another season of So You Think You Can Dance? How safe are the contestants in the Big Brother Canada house (a show I have 0 interest in)?

Meanwhile on the home front I’ve been taking my vitamins, listening to a different one of set of “All 9 Solfeggio Frequencies: Activate Qi Flow and Healing Energy With OM Mantra and Powerful Drums” each morning. Opted to use my morning walk time to do yard work Mon Tues & Wed – thus increasing my social isolation. The yard needed lots of work. In particular the rose of Sharon, which is a vigorous self-seeder. Cut off all the remain seed pods & starting pulling up the sprouts before I have a forest back there. Rhubarb sprouting, as are the various bleeding hearts, hostas, lilac, poppies, even wisteria has a few leaf nubs.

Taking in some Zoom meetings, even a zoom poetry slam. I wonder how soon there be a market for zoom back drops because I’m seeing parts of people homes I never expected to see. Zoom working out some privacy, security issues – suddenly password are needed & some meeting are including that password as part of their notification – which to me sort of makes a password irrelevant. 

Latest word on masks – wear them when social distancing is comprised by line-ups outside waiting to get in to shop, in transit. Cloth is okay for holding in virus but not for keeping it out. So I finally candid into my collection of stunning Diop bandanas 🙂 if I have to pull it up once to cover into the wash it goes when I get home. 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Mask Mess

Woman wearing mask around her chin, smoking, clearly irritated she can’t smoke while wearing it. Two men in front seat of a car, masks around their chins, talking at each other. Woman pulling mask down to talk on cellphone. Me thinking maybe I should buy a beekeeper’s hat – which is probably as effective as a mask & will also be great for blocking uv rays for what is looking to be a socially distant, but sunny, summer.

Social distant stripes at registers, plastic shields at registers. I almost said cash registers but only cornerstores are accepting cash the days – bank profits will be sky high with the additional fees they collect on both ends of those transactions. Hey banks – how about waving credit/debit card fees for three months?

Walking around parked cars, into on coming traffic,  to avoid people on the sidewalks because patios, fruit market offerings are taking up so much room already. Which is worse hit by a car or covid? If they hit you will that driver’s insurance pay or can they sue you for damage to their paint job?

All these are the dilemmas of the new world we have been thrust into. I wonder how long before we have iDistance – a device that beeps when people get too close. One newish development has been the Zoom boom. Many 12 Step meetings have gone to Zoom so recovery people can stay connected – a great idea – I ‘belong’ to one such group, so far. Some wonder about online anonymity but I think in the end I’m powerless over who finds out I’m in recovery. I do think ‘the only requirement’ is sort of compromised – beside the desire for recovery one must also have a device to access online & a data plan.

We will survive but I doubt if lessons will be learned because the rich will get richer & the rest of us will be left to scramble.

(photos all north side Bloor to Danforth overpass & viaduct)
– April 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales – online

https://www.facebook.com/events/529712257592790/

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees – ducky, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet