Archive for August, 2007

to the islands

On a hot day, when the wind blows up from the south, Toronto gets covered in smog. I’ve been told it is the air from the States and the big cities like Detroit and Chicago, I am not sure how true that is but it would give Canadians another reason to feel cast in the shadow of the US. The day before yesterday was 34 degrees and smoggy so I finished knitting a mitten and applied for four jobs. Well done me. The mittens are pretty ugly, though when I said to Mark how ugly they were he said ‘at least they’ll be warm’ which is true as I used double strands of wool. I am the most excited about dyeing some white balls of alpaca wool I have with KoolAid. I have packets of Lemon and Lime, and Pink Lemonade. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


Yesterday we escaped the heat and headed out to the Toronto Islands with our new friend Jane. We swam in the lake, which was a bit algae-ish but cold and refreshing. We got a good view of the Toronto City skyline on the ferry on the way home, and a group of boys with blue teeth and faces eating huge bags of blue candy-floss and, with one kid snatching up stray bits from the ground and gobbling it down, mmm delicious.


We are moving into our house today. I am a little sad to be leaving the place we are staying. I’ve enjoyed making friends with the people here, and getting bunches of basil and tomatoes from our friend’s garden. But it will be nice to unpack our suitcases and figure out our new house and neighbourhood.


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When I was in my third year of university I often found four-leaf clovers. Maybe I looked for them more, but they seemed to pop up, and I’d pick them. I found so many I gave some away as presents. Today I found my first one since then, outside the Toronto University library.


So I think I should begin my job hunt for serious. Plus, I this morning while I was on the porch two tiny hummingbirds buzzed around the geraniums on the porch, which was pretty much an out of body experience for me! They were so beautiful and had long thin beaks they dipped into the flowers. I’ll have to spend more time in the garden in case they come back.

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Out west

Yesterday afternoon, on the way home from Price Choppers, I saw a raccoon asleep in a tree with its arm outstretched like it was very relaxed. It was in a big oak tree and was lying in the part where the branches start. The woman we were with, a Torontonian who arrived from Poland twenty years ago, thought it was a bit strange that we were so excited to see it up there.

Our new place we are staying is far from town, though right near the subway and close to one of the biggest parks in Toronto which has a free public swimming pool. The Lithuanian Consulate is down the road, and there is a Lithuanian Catholic Church on the corner, and two hotels with names like the Lithuanian Inn, or Vilnius Towers. I quite like that because I visited Lithuanian once when I first went overseas and loved it and would like to visit Estonia if I get a chance on my so far unplanned Europe trip.

Our daisy room is a luxurious change from our low-budget hostel, and not much more expensive – our towels have flowers on, we have our own bathroom, a shared kitchen and our basement neighbor, a Jamaican from Georgia, is interesting to chat to. When we arrived the owner’s mother, the same woman who was with us when we saw the raccoon, knocked on our door and told us she would take us to Price Choppers so we could buy some food because they had a great special on corn and potatoes, as well as canned soup. She was very nice and said she would show us where to go because when you arrive in Toronto you know nothing of where anything is, and took us on a tour of the area, and carried one of our heavy bags on her rolling walker thing, and showed us a fruit shop where we could battle with swarms of wasps to pick up some new apples and peaches – green ginger apples, and golden peaches which I love.

The humid weather broke last night and there was a torrential down-pour. We went for a walk in the park after it and saw a tiny brown frog about the size of the old twenty-cent pieces. Today we’ve been enjoying the sun and remembering how cold it is going to get which makes the heat so much nicer.

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A letter home

I’ve changed my mind and decided to come back here after an interlude at the new place – I think I still like my picture of the dogwoods and the white. It matches my  optimism after a brief slump which I blame on jet-lag (it is still a fair enough excuse). I feel A-okay now though, we found out we have some Canadian friends not far from the house we are moving into, also a farmers market in the park near our house, and there is rumour of an albino squirrel which I will hunt and photograph.

Toronto is an exciting city, I think, especially at night. We met up with two other New Zealanders tonight and ate Korean and ice-creams, toasted our new houses, and walked around Little Italy. Like New York, neighbourhoods have Little-Country names with shops and restaurants running horizontally along three or four main streets which stretch the length of the city, and residential areas in stripes vertically across. It is a mishmash of all kinds of people all crammed into the boundaries of the city and the streets are mostly really beautiful, with lots of trees and big old houses, though there are quite a few huge condos being built near the water which are pretty controversial. Tomorrow we move from our hostel to a guest house quite a way west as all the places were booked up – I guess due to the influx of students. Like in the US, we are staying in a variety of flower rooms which we will move around throughout the week, though in a basement this time. Happy almost spring,

xxx sarah

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new place

I have a new site

edit: but I think i will stay here.  Which is a typical decision making pattern for me.  pretty much.

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