COVID-19: Part the third

This was my first full week working from home. Except for some short walks around the building, and one quick trip to Blackbird for some bread, I haven’t been out at all. Until this afternoon, when I took an hour walk outside, stopping along the way at Reid’s Distillery for some gin and hand sanitizer.

I did start the week feeling sick, but just with cold-not-covid symptoms. And it’s pretty typical for my body to have a quick little sick right after I push myself hard for a few weeks, just as I start to relax. And I did, so it did. But by Tuesday morning I felt fine and have since.

I’m an introvert by nature so staying inside and not talking to people in person is fine with me. So far.

I’ve been replenishing the wine & gin supply with online orders from local wineries and distilleries, and so far have had more than enough groceries and delivery options. So: still feeling awfully lucky.

COVID-19: Part the Second

Wednesday was my last day at work. It was a pretty crazy sprint, but now I (like most of my company, and most of the people who can) am working from home. Wondering how to move to 100% e-commerce. Trying to figure out how to share an open loft with someone who has very different approaches to work. Thinking longingly of cancelled trips to Spain, London, New York, and Montreal. And eminently grateful that those are the least of my concerns, personally.

I’m exceptionally thankful for so much, of course. My employer is continuing to pay everyone, and I’m able to work effectively from home. I have no physical challenges with looking after myself/us, and am not especially concerned about my immune system. My family is safe, after a bit of an international adventure. I worry about my parents, especially with my mom having so recently endured cancer treatment, but being isolated on a remote farm might now come in handy. My cat seems to be thriving with both his parents around. My wine collection is coming in handy, and I’ve been ordering from local wineries to restock it. (And pre-paying a tab at Chez Nous for when this whole thing breaks.)

And so: the long haul.

COVID-19: Part the First

So yeah. I haven’t written that much about COVID-19…goodness knows there’s enough news & discourse about it already. We are, for now, fine. Or feel fine, anyway. Lindsay’s classes have been moved online. Work has been a series of sprints for me over the past week or so; most people are working from home now, and I reckon I’ll follow once I can. I was actually meant to be in the UK right now for a conference, but all my spring travel plans (which had been centered around work events) are cancelled.

Lots of panic-buying here in Toronto, certainly, which is disheartening and scary for people not physically or financially able to hoard shit. I don’t know why people think a country as heavily-forested as Canada is about to run out of toilet paper, but there were fights breaking out over it in a nearby Loblaws Friday. So there’s that.

So we’ll hunker down, be thankful for our wine collection, and do our best to avoid cabin fever.

I guess this might curtail our Pandemic playing though. 😐

Cover photo by Laura Loveday, used under Creative Commons

Le frère

I was lucky enough to have two unexpected visits with brother #1 this week, due to some impromptu travel changes. The first visit was with the whole family, brunch at Allen’s on the Danforth, and I got to see my nephew experience a jukebox for the first time. Cutely enough, his choices had half the place dancing in their chairs.

The second visit was with the brother, plus Lindsay, at Richmond Station two days later. We had plates of ricotta and scallop crudo and some oysters to start, then duck two ways and rabbit fettucine and steak, then bread pudding and pot de creme and deconstructed pain au chocolate for dessert. Lindsay and I shared a bottle of 2018 Clos De La Roilette Gamay with all that.


Cover photo by Laura Loveday, used under Creative Commons


About a week ago I started binge-watching Fleabag (imdb | rotten tomatoes) again. I’d started watching it with Lindsay and then just fell off for some reason. She finished it ages ago; what spurred me to go back to it was that she bought tickets to see a recording of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s performance of the Fleabag play at the National Theatre in London last September, at the Paradise Theatre on Bloor.

First, the series: as we all know by now, it’s brilliant. All the superlatives are earned. It’s clever and moving and dark. I think season 2 might be even better than season 1, but might need another watch to confirm that.

Second, the (filmed) one-woman show: recaps a lot of the first season of the show, often verbatim. Offered a few interesting changes. Also strips it down to a woman on a stool, so no winks at the camera or other actors to help carry things. I might have found it funnier if I didn’t know 98% of the jokes in advance, but it was enjoyable to watch. Cool theatre too — we sat in comfy chairs in the balcony and had cocktails brought ’round.

There’s also a bar attached to the theatre — Bar Biltmore — and a restaurant — Osteria Rialto. We had late reservations at the latter, and passed the time at the former with cocktails (Paper Planes, Negronis), wine (Gruner Veltliner, a crazy Chardonnay) and oysters.

For dinner we had:

  • gnocco fritto w/ mortadella, grana padano
  • salumi / prima donna cheese / focaccia
  • macaroni verde w/ veal ragù bianco
  • tonarelli w/ ‘nduja carbonara
  • a bottle of Punset Barbaresco

The salumi board ended up being massive, so we ordered bread and cheese to go with it; by the time that was done all we could manage was a primi each. The secondi and dolci menus looked great, so we’ll have to go back and restrain ourselves out of the gate.


Cover photo from the Paradise site