July was a good one! I was busy enough to forget all about the house painting. I ignored the closet under the stairs (the catch-all) and didn’t put anything back on the walls except my robot collection. Eventually it will get done!
The month was filled with entertainment. On Canada Day, I went to a community dinner, to a boardwalk along the harbour-front for ice cream, and out for a concert and fireworks at night. At last, a local summer music festival came along and we went to see Lower Dens, Diiv and Wintersleep. The next week we saw a play based on a local story, the Black Battalion: a crew of Black enlisted men who were not authorized to fight in WW1 but were instead assigned to support White battalions on the front lines by doing all the dirty work (clearing land, building roads and defusing land mines). It was a real eye-opener.
Of course a highlight of the month was our Pride Parade. I walked in it for many years but the past few years I’ve just cheered it on. Like all Pride Parades now, it keeps getting more corporate, but it’s still a wonderful celebration. Later in Pride Week I gave a talk at my church about changing language to be more inclusive of trans and nonbinary folks. I didn’t want to speak alone (being in neither of these groups) but in the absence of other available speakers, I ended up doing it be myself. I had Link check it over!
Speaking of trans stuff, when we met up with Link for our Rockies vacation, Link went swimming with us at the hot springs. It was their first time in a public pool, in their current gender identity. Link wore a swim binder and shorts and used the gender-free change room for persons with disabilities which seemed to be the only safe option. Swimming tops (such as rash guards) are uncommon in Canada and a lot of pools won’t allow you in with a T-shirt. Fortunately, at this place I saw loads of different swimwear, from T-shirts and shorts to full-body Muslim swim gear. Meanwhile, I had to buy myself new swim gear in the Spring and I wasn’t up for something “beach-y” so I bought myself a running tank and shorts that are “almost” a tankini, similar to the ones above. Rom hadn’t been swimming in over 10 years and probably would have worn an old Speedo if I hadn’t intervened and bought him swim shorts from the modern era. Which was rather controlling of me but I can live with my decision 🙂
It felt really different on this vacation to bring clothes suitable for outdoor recreation. We normally travel to cities and bring a wide range of outfits for museums, cafes, shopping, and nightlife!
Since returning from vacation, I’ve been doing lots of gardening, mostly weeding the flowerbeds and pruning shrubs. Once again I weeded all along both sides of my suburban fence line because the house next to me is vacant. The owner occasionally comes over to mow the grass but does the bare minimum. To my surprise, after 3 years of empty house, the owner has rented it out! My new neighbour works at home and seems to be keeping things in good shape.
I made a money-saving gardening purchase. I know that Tilley hats are the industry standard, but bought myself a cheap copy. I am sure it won’t last a lifetime but it’s getting me accustomed to wearing a wide-brimmed hat. I feel soooo over 50 in it 🙂
My last event for the month was going out to the annual Buskers Festival (street performers). I saw a strong woman – my next goal for myself is strength training! – a mime show based on Marie Antoinette, and a tumbling show.
Finally, I watched a few DVDs in July, which I almost never do:
At home, I watched A Walk in the Woods (Redford/Nolte) and thought it was just OK. I finally watched Amy, the Amy Winehouse documentary. I really felt awful when she died and I don’t think anyone should be written off as a druggie/addict. The movie left me with the feeling that her death could be explained by (a.) bad parenting, (b.) fame and (c.) men. What a talent – it’s too bad she couldn’t have remained an independent artist with a slow-building career.
En route to and from Calgary, I saw The Intern and Woman in Gold. The Intern starred Robert DeNiro as a senior citizen intern working for the smart but overwhelmed boss of a start-up (played by Anne Hathaway). I highly recommend it! It turns a lot of character clichés on their heads. In Woman in Gold, Helen Mirren plays the rightful owner of a famous Klimt painting that was stolen from her family in WW2, and her court battle to claim it. Ryan Reynolds plays her lawyer but I much preferred the journalist character played by Daniel Brühl. The family history of Mirren’s character (Maria Altmann) was poignant and the movie was a good one. On the plane, I also tried to watch Paper Towns but I didn’t like it – I felt like it was a bad variation of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I wanted to see if Cara Delevingne could act but I will reserve judgment. I’ll have to read the book.
The only other note I have from July is that I’ve developed a taste for hard cider 🙂 I’ve been tasting different ones in my travels these past few months – regular apple, and other fruit flavours. Now Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer has been released in Canada and that is right up my alley. Cheers!
Tell me about your July!