July: It’s a Wrap!

Woman in Gold: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer - Gustav Klimt

Woman in Gold: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer – Gustav Klimt

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!

Diiv at Gridlock Festival

Diiv at Gridlock Festival

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.

Some of my library peeps!

Some of my library peeps at Pride

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!


  1. Fiona

    It sounds like a very busy and summer-y month…I am jealous of the thought of boardwalking and ice-creams! Here, it has been unusually wet and cold this winter.

    I’m glad you have left the Closet under the Stairs until later (I feel this gives me ‘permission’ to unpack all my many boxes s-l-o-w-l-y!)

    It is great that your church is so welcoming and open to change. Would that all were similar. Gay marriage was a big issue in the recent Australian election and it surprised me to see all the underlying opinions coming out on Facebook (once again!)

    It’s interesting to read that ‘rashies’ are not widely used/available in Canada. They are used here for UV light protection…it makes me wonder what the UV ratings are in Canada in summer? Temperature is not really a guide to the potential danger of the sun. Here, melanoma is a very serious threat, so ‘rashies’ are more or less essential.

    You are very good to continue the weeding of the neighbouring boundary for such a long period! Are pesticides (like weed-killer) legal in Canada? I know they have been banned in France in the past couple of years.

    • Hi Fiona, You have my permission to unpack at a snail’s pace. For what it’s worth! 🙂 I am really puzzled by the resistance to LGBTQ equality among a certain faction in Australia. I think of Australia as a more tolerant, welcoming country and I hope ultimately that is the case. The UV ratings are high in the summer, but summer is only 3 months long and we don’t get long stretches of unbroken sunny weather here on the coast. There are lots of surfers in wetsuits! As for the fence line, it’s really just self-interest. I don’t like my property looking shabby because of the neighbour’s neglect. The area in question can’t really be seen from their house and deck, but it can from mine. I expect I will continue looking after it and no one will notice which is fine by me. Yeah, herbicides are banned in the city, which is also fine by me – I wouldn’t like to buy, store and use them. And why let plants die a slow death when I can just dig them up! I hope you will soon feel acclimated and able to put your own stamp on your new place.

  2. sounds like a great month.

  3. I have a Tilley Hat (I bought it 20 years ago for a trip to Morroco) and it goes on every hot vacation with me. They do last forever because once you’ve spent 100$ on a hat you make sure that you knew exactly where it isand you keep track of it just like your Passport – and you can’t lose it. I don’t think anyone actually wears hats out – mostly they get left behind. I’ve lost shirts, shoes, belts, and umbrella’s on vacation but that Tilley hat isn’t getting out of my sight.

    • Ah, yes, that makes sense. I only wear my hat at home for gardening since I’ve never taken a hot-weather vacation (well, except Disney about 15 years ago). I’m sure if I ever leave home with it, I will leave it somewhere.

  4. Funny that. I watched ‘A Walk in the Woods’ the other day and have read the book. I walked 600 + miles of the Appalachian Trail in 1997. I always have thought that Bill Bryson didn’t capture the tremendous sense of camaraderie from the trail. x

  5. Mr S wears speedos. Has caused some embarrassment for our sons. Mr S feels board shorts are for surfing, (he used to be a surfer.) Speedos have all manner of slang names here, mostly derogatory. But Mr S won’t be swayed.

    I love the Klimt paintings and Helen Mirren so will have to look out for the movie.

    I always feel so old fashioned when you write about concerts. I never know any of the ones you write about.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: