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/ 

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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.

 

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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. 

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Postcards From The Covid Edge

Ontario’s State of Emergency has been extended to June 30 -m that gives me threes to finish my covid cleaning frenzy. Thanks to rainy mornings I’ve been fairly focused though I only manage ninety minutes each morning it is getting thing done. This past week it was the front porch. The space is long & not too wide so I have to move things to one end, do that area move things back, move more things move them back etc. 

As with other rooms discoveries are made as I sift the site for artifacts lost in the dust. Bags filled with stuff that hasn’t been used, or seen for decades. Rubic’s cube? You go to the curb. Sorting through my postcard collection & I find cards going back to 1966! Cards from around the world from people whose names mean nothing to me saying how much they wished I was with them.

Most will be kept. I may do another sort into countries, states, provinces & maybe year – if I can make out the post mark. I even found a Father’s Day  card that I gave my Dad! Must have something my sister found in his pile of things after he died. No, I don’t remember buying it but I do recognize my handwriting.

Next step in porch cleaning will be the windows on Friday. The we get back to the garden next week. Social isolation is working out is ways I didn’t anticipate so I may end up with a couple of new habits around the house. Though the next round of cleaning probably would result in as much purging. Are ashtrays now collectables I wonder?

No real news on the covid front. The number of new cases per day is dropping even with increased testing. More stores are opening but with new safety protocols. Masks & gloves become ordinary. More places are producing their branded wear so I expect to see happy meal masks by the end of June. No mask postcards, yet.

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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.

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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.

Bye Bye Monopoly

Thanks to the weather this has been yet another week of deep house cleaning, purging & rearranging. That is three mornings of social isolation in which I listen to podcast & dust, vacuum & lose the weight of stuff. The weather has cooperated somewhat with rainy or overcast mornings so staying indoors isn’t so challenging. 

Advances in technology have made the purging process easier – I found a drawer full of those little diskettes that predated cds. Bye. Bye. So much paper that our recycle bin is full to the brim. I can’t wait to see it emptied by the city at the end of the week because I already have more to get rid of 🙂 

The covid crisis hasn’t been personally stressful but I has let me stop & do things I’ve been meaning to do for too long. The meditative power of the walk seemed more spiritually elevating than getting rid of cobwebs (yes there lots of those in not so dark corners). Food a pile of board games : Scrabble, Monopoly etc that hasn’t seen the light of day in over 20 years. I put them near the sidewalk for folks to take & most of them, except Monopoly where gone within a couple of hours. Put the remains out the next & those that didn’t get new homes were unboxed & sorted into the blue bin. Bye bye Monopoly. 

I opted to do this home isolation a few morning a week to comply with the stay home rule. Now that I’ve pulled out the vacuum I am pleased with the sense of peace that comes seeing no dust, no twenty-year-old caches of never-to-be-used paper & to see actual empty space. The house is cleaner. More rooms yet to be done though as I am only devoting 90 focused minute at a time to this process. Who knows how much longer this lockdown might last & I don’t want to do a whirlwind job just to get it out of the way, then have no productive distractions left. Yes, I can eat one chocolate a day from a box of chocolates 🙂

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Photos Don Valley April 23, 2020

Covid Rocks Toronto

Once the kids got tired of chalk drawings they moved to rock painting. These are from various yards in the east end Toronto. The Lady Bug suits the rock, the hairy eye ones are next level projects.

 Star Trek?

Lady Bug

Frog Family

That’s a command

rocky rainbow

I only have eyes for you

you lookin’ at me

I only have eye for you



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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 😦

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