Summertime, and the living is easy …

Reading: Around the World on a Bicycle by Thomas Stevens, written in 1885. (download it for free). This guy went around the world on his bike which meant there wasn’t always a road handy. He once had to take a railroad track for some 6 miles and at one point, perched on the edge of a cross-beam holding his bike over the edge into the precipice below…. quite the read!

Eating: gazpacho, and lots of it since it’s way too hot to cook.

Listening: catching up on old episodes of This America Life via an iPhone app that is truly fantastic – gives you access to all past and current episodes. Check it out!

Watching: just discovered this little Canadian Gem, The Republic of Doyle. It’s great fun. I’m all about Newfoundland these days! If you missed seeing it last fall and winter (as I did) you can buy it on iTunes.

Cycling: all over the Montreal Island. There are some truly beautiful paths in this city. I thought going car-less in the summer would be hard, but as it turns out, it’s a treat. I’m seeing more of the city this summer than I have in the previous 3 put together! some samples…

Lost of paths by the river and the canal, which I love since I really like being by the water. This photo was taken along the south-west end of the island. I could move to this area and be quite happy…

And there are also lots of paths that take you through pretty little wooded areas, like this one. The folk responsible for designing these paths really did a great job.

While going carless is turning out to be much easier than I thought, I did get to visit my old car when I went to Halifax recently. I couldn’t resist taking a quick picture as I followed it down the highway.

By the way, since I no longer have a car, I took a train to Halifax, which is a much more civilized way to travel! Instead of spending 14 hours hunched up behind the steering wheel, we did things like look at the scenery outside the observation deck…

and when we got tired, we curled up in the little flip-down beds and went to sleep. Much, much better than driving for 14 hours!

So, what are you up to this summer?

jazzy guitar and hobbits, oh my!

It’s never been my favourite day of the week – still isn’t and this particular Monday has done nothing to recommend itself. It’s 8 pm, I’ve got yet another cold (even I can’t believe it!) and even though I have a few more work issues to deal with, I’m calling it quits. Done. no more. nada. c’est tout!

Over the weekend I discovered that Bill Frisell and _The Hobbit_ go together very, very well … I never would have guessed that, but it’s true. So I’m donning pj’s, brewing some tea, and for the rest of the night, I shall follow Bilbo and dwarves into Mirkwood to see what trouble they find there. It’s been a while, but if memory serves, they will soon find themselves off the beaten path and tangled up in one sticky little mess!

Book swap

My librarian daughter just shared the link to a site that lists book swap locations in Canada. There are three in Montreal, and I can’t wait to visit them! I’ve got a pile of books at home I’d like to get rid of, and a list of books I’d like to acquire, and a commitment to not buy any more bookshelves, which means either I get used to piles of books around the place, or I stop buying them. But a swap… I can work with a swap!

Here’s the list…

Ten Thousand Villages April 22
5674 Monkland Avenue, Montreal

Maison Coop Vert April 25
5785 rue Sherbrooke ouest, Montréal

St. Andrews United Church
75-15th Avenue, Lachine

McGill Chaplaincy Services
3600 McTavish, Suite 4400, Montreal

lists…

Inspired by Jessica‘s blog, here are my lists for this week…

reading: Snow Crash by neal stephenson, a novel that blends ancient sumerian texts and biblical myths with cyberpunk in a crazy careening ride into the not-as-distant-as-we-once thought future. Stephenson makes his readers work a bit, but the ride is worth the effort.
And because it’s now a bit too hot and muggy and the air too thick for too much work right now, I’m also reading a summer detective fiction by Louise Penny. The Murder stone, set in the woods of Quebec.
knitting: it’s a surprise, so I can’t tell you but here’s a peak… (I’ll post more about that square and what’s happening with it later)
I also have some rather beautiful blue lace-weight silk that’s waiting to be turned into something wonderful as soon as I settle on which pattern is most appropriate. I have never worked with lace-weight silk before, and find I am in no rush to start working something. I am looking at a lot of patterns, imagining how it would if I were to choose something as dramatic as Aeolian Shawl or something more flowing, like Shipwreck or maybe a stole, like Hillflowers. I like the unworked silk so much I’m a little reluctant to start working with it in case I find that either my knitting or the pattern I finally settle on does not do it justice…
eating: blueberries, green beans, and freshly picked peas, which I’ve been eating right out of the shell the past few days because they are so good, so green and so fresh! Yum.
weekend plans: vacation, which starts on Monday, and will involve waterfront and trees, and hopefully more fresh peas!
listening: Storm Front by Jim Butcher (a novel, not music) the first novel in the Dresden Files series. It’s what reviewers call “hardboiled” detective fiction, only the PI is actually a wizard. But Harry Dresden ain’t no Harry Potter. It’s quite snappy and smart, complex and also quite fun. It’s read aloud by James Marsters who, as it turns out, is an excellent reader.