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Pickle Me This

May 24, 2006

Ah now; what now?

Sitting here with a cup of tea bigger than my head. There’s an article in The Guardian today, in defense of Nottingham by Jon McGregor. It’s a good piece, and Nottingham is a good place. The crime capital of England it might be, and it’s an outhouse compared to London, but I lived there for almost two years some moons ago, and that city was good to me. I arrived there completely deranged for a variety of reasons, and the time I spent getting over it was so fundamental. I had my first full time job there, and my little terrace house; I made wonderful friends and spent some brilliant days, and heard the songs, read the books, watched the films; passions began, for Mitfords, Miffy, EastEnders, weekend papers, bad europop and tea. And chips and cheese. (I also got really fat there). Where Stuart and I fell in love, and we rode double decker busses for kicks. That spring day three years ago, when as a surprise, Stu bought me the wonderfulIf Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor, Nottingham’s defender. McGregor has a new book coming out this year, and I can’t wait to read it, just to see how far we’ve come.

The latest installment of The Penpal Project arrived yesterday from Bronwyn. I received a postcard of The Queen and a map of Hay-on-Wye, as well as a lovely epistle. Having a penpal is the most wonderful thing. The lack of immediacy provides a real different dimension to communication from what I’m accustomed to. Writing to her last month, not knowing whether she had got her new job, but knowing that she would know by the time she read the letter. There are things you write in that situation that you wouldn’t otherwise. (And she did get the job, by the way). I will have her letter in the post within one week.

And a note of thanks to everyone who has been so wonderful and supportive about immigration. Our fax got a reply and there does appear to be light at the end of the long long tunnel. We’re resubmitting our application tomorrow and it will be bumped to the top of the queue. Oh, and there was “catch” at lunch today, so all is really really well. Especially since The Blue Jays won last night. And we were there, way up in the 500s. It was my first baseball game in years and Stuart’s first ever, and it is indeed a very strange sport. But we had fun, and we had an excellent time with Jennie and Deep, who live across the street from the Skydome.

Now reading Two Solitudes by Hugh McLennan. He’s terribly outdated, but I am a fan. The Watch That Ends the Night has been a favourite of mine for years. First, I love the way writers like McLennan wrote about Canada before we all got cool and accustomed to the idea of our nationhood (ha ha). It’s a good story though; alright, the characters are a wee bit wooden, the men are chauvinists and McLennan is entirely too obsessed with breasts and drippy females. But it’s Canadiana and we people like to eat it with a spoon.

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