July was bright and sunny and busy. I started the month at the Deadmau5 show which the municipality brought in for Canada Day. The fireworks fizzled in the fog, but the music kept everyone bouncing!
As you know, I read Shake Hands with the Devil by Romeo Dallaire this month, and he spoke at a public lecture by the Child Soldiers Initiative here in Halifax. I spent a lot of time thinking about Rwanda and genocide and child soldiers. The events are beyond comprehension, but for me personally, I can’t choose not to try to understand.
During Pride Week, I went to another lecture, by the journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee, about being gay and Muslim in Yemen and Canada. I had read his book Intolerable (recommended) and have my name on the library list for his next book, Brown.
Pride Week involved a glorious big parade on a fine day.
We also went to see Tegan and Sara (my 3rd time seeing them – favourite artist!) They played a lot of songs off their album The Con, which is 10 years old this year, and was the first tour of theirs I saw. I really liked the opening act Japanese Breakfast – similarities to Purity Ring, Broods and Diiv.
Since the weather was so cooperative, we went out to the seaside boardwalk, and to the Tall Ships festival. All along the east coast, sailing ships tour the big harbours every couple of years and do a sail-past. It is impressive!
Lots of bad stuff happened but I think it will all come out right. Rom put his back out, is going to physio regularly, and continuing to work. He is doing pretty good. My mom had hip replacement surgery after a long wait, and is doing exceptionally well. They only gave her a two-night hospital stay! The father of my childhood friend died at age 76. In my age group, most of us still have our parents and that seems young to go by today’s standards. I was glad to be able to visit in his last days. Most surprisingly, my cousin’s house was struck by lightning and burned to the ground while the family was away! They are feeling wildly lucky that no one was in the house, but they lost everything they owned. Insurance will cover the rebuild but it will probably take a year to go through the process.
Please don’t feel gloomy on my behalf. I think everyone mentioned above (or their families) are feeling quite fortunate in the way things worked out or are improving.
It is hard not to enjoy life when I am surrounded by sunshine and flowers and strawberries and cherries and good music!
My movie list for July was:
Bon Cop Bad Cop – a Canadian police buddy movie with Anglo/French humour and tension. Very enjoyable! Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 was released this year.
Guardians of the Galaxy – #1. I apologize in advance. I didn’t like it. I think that means I am completely humourless.
La Vie en Rose – What a knock-out performance by Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf! It blew me away!
Jellyfish Eyes – A children’s fantasy movie set in contemporary Japan. It had every B-movie over-acting trope you can imagine and I kept shaking my head, but it was still quite touching!
Elstree 1976 – Documentary on Netflix about extras and small-part actors in the 1977 Star Wars movie, many of whom have made a career on the convention circuit, chatting with fans about their moment of on-screen glory.
Vivre Sa Vie – 1962 French new wave movie told in vignettes. Beautifully filmed, full of joie de vivre and glamourous smoking! Predictable ending after having seen Breathless, but it didn’t matter.
Book-wise, after reading Shake Hands with the Devil, I started reading a piece of fluff by Wendy Holden. Her books were always light but clever. They took a slide in quality for a while but I am finding the latest amusing. I read one every summer 😊 I also read a book for my book club, The Door by Magda Szabo, which was both worthwhile and irritating. The main character puts up with a housekeeper who is passive-aggressive at best and narcissistic/damaging at worst. But she has many admirable qualities. It really made me think. (I only found out now that it was made into a movie with Helen Mirren! It appears I’ll be able to watch it on YouTube.) Then I read a book of essays, some comedic, by Scaachi Koul: One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter. It dealt with race, feminism, family, and growing up. Much food for thought told in a fresh voice. Finally, I read the graphic novel about Mama Cass, called California Dreamin’. It made her life and times come alive! I especially liked the expressive drawings.
August will bring our annual trip to London and Brighton, for which we are planning a mix of new and repeat activities!
How was your July?