Sunday, 1 December 2013

catch-up

i've fallen a bit behind due to travel and not sitting in one place for very long until yesterday. i'm back in the prairies with my family and dog, which is really nice, and i'm knitting away as ever. how do you do sneaky knits when people are around you all the time? anyway, there's not too much to report since landing, so i'll keep this part short and then give you a recap of the past few days instead. 

oh, the etsy shop has gone on holiday until i'm back in the uk. i'll be adding new items at that point, but you can keep an eye here on the blog for sneak peeks.

(side note: i've been doing a tubular cast-on for the sleeves of a sweater i'm knitting. whoever invented tubular cast-on should be smacked over the head. i don't care how pretty the result is. it's the biggest pain i've come across in knitting in a long time.)


a list measured by time and movies (written nov. 27)

my day has been spent primarily in transit. i was on the ferry at quarter to six this morning, then on a three and a half hour coach, spent almost nine hours on a plane, and then two hours on the bus/subway/bus journey from the airport to my friend’s place.

the mrs. was too ill to come further than the ferry. she’ll be joining me on the prairies after xmas for a visit, but this bit will be the longest time we’ve spent apart. it’s especially strange given that we live together and so see each other basically every day. luckily, she has the cat to cuddle and i’ll have the dog to cuddle once i hit winnipeg. it’s a bit of a cushion for the pining that’s already setting in.

the good thing about long flights is that you can watch a load of movies. i watched four absolutely stunning films, all fabulous in their own way. the way way back was just precious, a perfect coming-of-age story that didn’t have a perfect ending, just enough hope at the end to let reality be alright. the lesser blessed was a canadian film based in the northwest territories, and was brutal, but beautiful. i love the north, and wish i could go up there more often. hopefully next summer...another canadian film that i watched was blood pressure, which was a fascinating and devastating story based in the prairies. one thing i enjoy about canadian films is how many of the stars got started in degrassi. clearly that’s the way to go if you want to do film back home. and then there’s what maisie knew. if you love kids, this one will break your heart.

i’ve been getting a fair amount of knitting done as well, of course. finished off the right front of dad’s cardigan, and started again on mumsy’s project after a false start a few weeks ago. i would have kept going on dad’s, to be honest, but i forgot my smaller set of needle tips. they were in my checked baggage, of course.

after finding my way eventually to my friend’s house in scarborough, i ventured out again to meet up with another dear friend in cabbagetown. let me just say, that for being a major city, toronto’s transit system is nowhere near london’s. while it’s a lot more relaxed in toronto, i was not a huge fan of needing to wait 20-30 minutes for street cars and buses again. my friend and i had a nice catch-up over thai food, and she gave me a gluten-free baking book for xmas. i’ll have to post some pics of the first recipe trials i do from it.

after the meal, i tried to catch up with the friend i’m staying with. unluckily for me, toronto orientates itself entirely using directions, and given that there aren’t exactly trees with moss growing on certain sides that i can check, it was kind of inevitable that i’d get lost. i waited for half an hour for a bus that ended up going in the wrong direction (later learning that i would have reached my destination if i’d walked fifteen minutes in the other direction). i decided to just head back to the house when i reached the far end of the route, since i didn’t want to risk getting stuck on the other side of the city after the subways stopped running. ah, adventure time!

t.dot (written on nov. 29)

toronto was a pleasantly surprising pitstop. i've always said that i'd never live in toronto because it's big and unfriendly and expensive. then i moved to london, and let me tell you, toronto's got nothing on london in terms of those things. i was walking through the eaton's centre yesterday and people actually stepped to the side rather than careening into me. oh canada, you and your glorious manners. i missed you. although not all your political scandal. that's just embarrassing.

the main reason (well, the only real reason) for my visit to toronto was to get my next visa application done. canadian visa applications are a convoluted and expensive process, and there are only a few cities where you can even do them due to biometrics (winnipeg is not one of them). so, extended layover in toronto. luckily, i have quite a few friends living there, and one of them put me up for the two nights. it was lovely staying with her, and her parents. we went out on the full day to shop and deal with my visa. queen street west has some of the best shopping i've ever seen. and the yarn shops! we went to romni wools before the appointment, but it was just totally overwhelming and so i didn't get anything. after the appointment, we went back and checked out knit cafe (which is like the loop in halifax, just with an espresso machine). i was drooling over all the madelinetosh, but canadian funds were a bit low and there wasn't enough tosh dk in firewood to make tin can knit's winterberry from pom pom. so, i ended up with one skein of cascade 220 for my brother's xmas gift. 


then we continued on back towards yonge street, checking out various cute shops, including the paper place and americo, which is by far the sexiest knitting shop i've ever walked into. i ended up leaving with a skein of copito medio in a mottled red. i'll be using it for the "oh bondage!" project i wrote about a little while ago. 


then we met up with an old friend of mine for supper. we ended up at this delightful french restaurant called la palette, and ate some really delicious food. they serve horse meat! (it's a french thing.) they also had a gluten-free beer, which was way more exciting. here's a pic of our bill, mostly because it was hilarious. 

the "something from belgium" was a beer.
afterwards, my host headed home while my other friend and i went for a coffee and a catch-up. we've got a pretty long history at this point, and have seen each other through some crazy stuff. it was really lovely to sit with him for a few hours and talk life and theatre and mental health stuff. it had been a while since the last time we did that. i headed home after a few hours, and my host friend and i stayed up for another few hours talking. it's nice to have the opportunity to catch up with friends you haven't seen in a couple years. 


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