Monthly Archives: August 2002

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Oyez, oyez!

His Majesty’s web mistress is pleased to announce that The King of Canada now has his very own blog, serving as weekly updates in his quest to restore Canada to a monarchy.

Serve us well and you will be rewarded when he is victorious. (I think MLG has a lock on the Buckingham position, but there are several other places about this court in exile that are equally exciting career opportunities.)

I honestly didn’t mean to announce it for another couple of days, since I literally only founded it as he was making dinner last night, but the timing in the conversation at MLG’s housewarming last night was too perfect. Speaking of the housewarming, is’t possible that JD didn’t get a picture of the Mediaeval Baebes who were in attendance?

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Got my new birth certificate in the mail! My husband handed me an envelope from the Prince Edward Island Department of Vital Statistics, and I bent it back and forth; hmm, no hard laminated certificate. Maybe they’ve rejected my application for a certificate; maybe I don’t exist?

I tore it open. They’ve changed the format. (After thirty-one years – keeping up with the times, you know.) Now it’s a slip of bank-note paper with all the pertinent info on it, in a plastic sleeve. On the back it says “Void if altered or laminated.”

I liked my laminated birth certificate. It was sturdy. Oh, well.

Now the missing one can show up any time.

Here, birth certificate; I’ve got a friend for you to play with. Here, certificate, certificate, certificate….

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Oh – gods –

Ceri gave me a tablet of real chocolate as a thank-you for feeding her cat whilst she and her consort were away on their mini-break. Dolfin’s Chocolat noir au th� Earl Grey. Mmm, I said, two of my favourite things.

Egad. This stuff is like chocolate-covered coffee beans for coffee-addicted persons. I broke a corner off this morning while I was working, and crunch – yes, it’s actual loose tea blended in with the fine chocolate.

I’m putting this stuff far, far away from me.

The Luthier

After a semi-disastrous day that imploded around six o’clock, I managed to get my cello to the luthier last night, half an hour before they closed.

As soon as I walked in, I relaxed. Wilder & Davis is in an old townhouse on Rachel street, just a block west of St Denis. As I lifted the cello up the stone steps to the doorway, a woman in an apron enjoying the night air on her break smiled and said, “Bonsoir.” As the door closed I could hear, somewhere upstairs, a cello being played very slowly. To my left was the empty reception area, which has a lovely bay window and a fireplace; to my right was the workshop, wide open. “Bonsoir,” said a youngish luthier; “votre violoncelle?” I explained that I needed the bridge replaced and the fingerboard examined. He beckoned me into the workshop (into the workshop!) and motioned for me to take it out of the travelling case and lay it on the workbench while he cleared a space for it. We stood on either side of it as he squinted at the bridge (“Ah oui,” he said immediately. I wanted to apologise; I know I should have brought this in a couple of years ago, but I held my tongue) and then pulled out a level and moved it all over the fingerboard. “Vos cordes – ils brisent ou?” he asked. (Actually, he tried in very broken but quite earnest English: I had explained about the bridge and fingerboard in my mother tongue, since in my imploded mental state the French terms for “bridge” and “fingerboard” had completely escaped me. I insisted on speaking French after that initial mind-blank, though.) “Mes cordes ne brisent pas,” I explained, “c’est le vernis; ca s’enleve pendant que je joue, mes doigts se rendent tous noirs apres seulement quelques minutes.” “Je vais le nettoyer quand je remplace le pont,” he said after he’d grabbed a bottle of cleaning solution, then looked at the viola he’d been working on next to him. I have a funny feeling that when he goes to clean it he’ll get a swipe of black colour on his rag, but he’ll figure something out to stabilise the stain, I’m sure.

It was so peaceful. I felt like collapsing in the papasan chair by the plants in the front bay window and just closing my eyes. The whole place smells like orange oil, and wood; there’s no sense of the busy St Denis strip a few hundred metres away. He filled out a work order, looked at me anxiously and said, “Mercredi prochain, ca va?” “C’est parfait,” I said. Actually, I knew darn well that as soon as I didn’t have it I’d want to play it, so getting it back today would have been nice, but my husband has a whole three days off in a row because it’s Labour Day weekend, and I wouldn’t end up playing it anyway. So Wednesday is just fine. (I did, in fact, indulge in a pre-emptive strike against seperation anxiety in the form of a Mendelssohn trio yesterday. I love Opus 49 in D minor.)

The bonus: I get to go back next week. Hurrah!

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For years now, my friend Annika and I have had photos taken of the two of us – light and dark, day and night. And in every single one, someone’s eyes are closed. That’s about fifteen years’ worth of snaps.

This presented a problem when she was my maid of honour at my wedding three (ye gods, three) years ago. The wedding proofs are a riot.

Anyway, at a party last Saturday night, Hobbes was waving around a digital camera. At last! we thought. Let’s get a photo with our eyes open! If it doesn’t work, we’ll just keep erasing the ruddy things until we get one that’s right!

So we did. If we look glassy-eyed, it’s because we’re making sure our peepers are bright and wide.

Then we decided that we could look serious and have our eyes open too. MLG tried to take that one. He decided that two such stunning examples of feminine beauty should by all rights be smiling instead, and stood there waiting for us to give up. We were all set to outwait one another when a little sprite with blonde braids ran between us on her way to a parental unit. We cracked up. He took the picture.

At least our eyes are open!

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You’d think I’d learn. Well, maybe I have, since I haven’t actually acted upon this insane urge to visit Ikea.

(A) I really need nothing in the way of Ikea products. (Well, more bookshelves; I always need more bookshelves, but I also need more space for the bookshelves, which Ikea for some reason does not sell. Apparently it’s related to batteries-not-included or something.)

(B) I really, truly do not need the aggravation which is parking/strolling/standing in line at Ikea. Especially now, the week before school begins.

For some arcane reason, for the past couple of years, my husband and I have decided to go to Ikea on the day after Canada Day (a.k.a. the day after Moving Day here in Montreal), the two weeks that bracket Labour Day, and usually a day around New Year’s as well. We don’t plan it, honestly; it’s just coincidence. I personally believe it has something to do with the amount of “Must-go-to-Ikea” thoughts that are in so many people’s minds around those paticular shopping days; I become infected by the sheer volume of Ikea-connected mental noise. Last week, we picked up a catalogue at a friend’s apartment; today we got a card in the mail saying “Come get your new English catalogue and get X$ off before October somethingth!”; and Ikea’s just generally been on my mind.

Maybe it’s the change of weather. Nice cool nights, days which have finally shed that wet-blanket humidity… yep, it’s back-to-school season all right. We moved the funiture around in our bedroom last night, too, something that I do around this time of year for no particular reason other than I’m seized by the urge to reorganise. Ah, that stretch of the year between high summer and fall; September appears to have arrived early. I’d love it if more of the year were like September.