Cover photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

A small big thing

It felt — it always feels — weird to focus so intently on something so inherently micro and personal to us in a week when so much is/was/isn’t happening around us all, but it still feels important to share.

We bought a house.

It’s ten minutes’ walk east of where we are now, so it’s familiar, but an exciting change at the same time. It’s narrow but high, and has a backyard, so we’ll have the space, separation, and outdoor space we’re craving during COVID. It’s a leafy street that we’ve both always wanted to live on.

It’s my first house (after owning three condos/lofts) so I’m heading into more complexity than I might have wanted pre-COVID, but we’re excited. The planning has begun with great enthusiasm. As has the design — I now have a Pinterest account, for god’s sake.

.:.

Cover photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Schitt’s Creek

I kind of didn’t believe the Schitt’s Creek (imdb | rotten tomatoes) hype when I was hearing it. Despite the cast’s more senior pedigree it was a CBC show. I don’t usually pay attention to those. But then Lindsay watched it and swore I’d like it, so I started. By the middle of season one I was pretty much locked in.

Today, maybe two months after we started it, we finished the series. It definitely made me snort-laugh more than most other recent series I’ve watched, and left some all-time classic lines in my head (e.g., “Where is babay’s chamberr?”). Meanwhile Dan Levy’s reaction when Eugene Levy tries to hug him but gets caught on the seat belt is straight gold. But it was also sweet and joyous without being cloying, which is hard to do, and the final wrap-up mini-doc after the last episode made us cry quite a bit, so. Yeah. Good series. Highly recommended.

I’ve forgotten to write about them, but in recent weeks I’ve watched Run (imdb | rotten tomatoes) and, in an attempt to catch up to Lindsay, season one of Broadchurch (imdb | rotten tomatoes). We also watched Waco (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which, well, meh.

Happy Second Kramerversary

Two years ago (more or less) we adopted Kramer, our cat. Here’s how I described him at the time:

He was a feral outside cat for over a year, so he’s still pretty wary of us — we can’t touch him, or even get near him. He usually sleeps under our bottom step where we can’t reach him.

In the first year he made remarkable progress:

He hangs out with us far more often, rarely sleeping under the stairs anymore. We bought him a stand so he can stare out the window at birds and squirrels. He shows us his belly when he sleeps. He can’t quite meow, but he squeaks at us with enthusiasm. He demands to play with us on a regular basis, and will now even hang out and play when company is over vs. just hiding behind the bed.

In the past year, and especially in the five months since COVID hit here, he’s continued to warm up to us. He now lets us pet him all the time, and in fact demands it. He half-meows outside our bedroom in the morning until we come play with him. He sleeps near us most of the time. He purrs, occasionally. He’s even jumped up on the bed or couch with us, if we lure him with treats.

It’s hard to even imagine, given what he was like two years ago.

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Unexpected sprots [sic]

The way the NHL season was going in February I’d pretty much given up any hope of seeing my Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs. They were well out of a playoff spot.

Then, when the season was put on hold in March, I didn’t think it would come back this year. But they, along with the NBA, had a plan to resume…and said plan featured a play-in round for the 5th through 12th seeds in each Conference. That meant Montreal had a chance. A weak, outside chance given they were the 12th seed and would play the 5th-ranked Pittsburgh Penguins to get in, but…a chance.

Turns out they won the series, 3 games to 1. Maybe they shouldn’t have, since it ruins their chance to win the #1 draft pick, and now they’re up against the even stronger Philadelphia Flyers. But still…when you have Carey Price and a bit of luck, you can do some damage.

Between unexpected hockey and a (hopefully deep) Raptors run, there’s more sports on TV this summer than either Lindsay or I expected. I’ll let you guess who’s happier about that.

In other news, I had a second excursion for dinner this week, this time at Gare de L’Est for dinner with my boss, just to get caught up in person.

.:.

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Elora

More than fourteen years ago brother #1 visited from England, where he was living at the time. An impromptu decision to get out of the city for a bit led us to Elora, and a night at the Elora Mill Inn. This last weekend Lindsay and I, desperate to get out of the city for the first time in 6+ months, ended up back there.

It was always pretty, but it’s definitely gone through a reno some time in the last fourteen years, so that was nice. Also nice: our room had a huge terrace overlooking the river gorge — and, as it turns out, the pool — which is where we spent most of our time.

Our first night there had dinner downstairs in the restaurant, and it was a good one.

  • Oysters
  • Burrata and farm herbs on grilled sourdough
  • Lobster and melon salad with sea buckthorn, mint, hazelnut
    • NV Robert Moncuit Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
  • Beef tenderloin with swiss chard dumplings, coal roasted mushrooms, sage
  • Duck two ways
    • Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2003
  • Red fruit sorbet & ‘spark’ with cherries, raspberries, strawberries, Tawse sparkling

We spent the rest of the evening, into the wee hours in fact, relaxing on the terrace, enjoying the weather, watching shooting stars. Just, enjoying the peace.

The day we had a big sleep in, drank coffee on the terrace, ordered a late breakfast (the staff was very nice in overlooking that we’d missed the cut-off time), drank Pet-Nat mimosas, and read outside until the sun crept too close.

Our one excursion into the town itself led us to a scenic lookout over the gorge, a little walk down the main street, beers & sausage on the patio at Elora Brewing Company, and a quiet sit by the Grand River.

The terrace was so nice we decided to have dinner — charred tomato soup with basil creme fraiche; pan-roasted Chassagne Farms hen with potato butter, arugula, mushroom jus; grilled mozzarella sandwich with focaccia, rosemary pesto, baby-kale cashew salad, and a bottle of The Farm Chardonnay — up there.

The next morning we hit repeat: more coffee & breakfast & reading on the terrace, before heading back to Toronto. It was so nice to get away from the loft, and the city, and into some combination of luxury and nature.