Sunday, 28 April 2013

Picture post

Today was our first summer day - yes I know it's only spring, but we could have run around naked quite comfortably. 

Wait. Why do we live in the city again? If we lived in the country we could have done that! 

So, anyway... we spent the day in the back yard doing garden work and playing with the best girl in the world. We took some pictures. Some of them our family will love. The many faces of Penelope is on going however...

 peak-a-boo in the hammock
Rockin' the shades
 It's been a long day, Imma just gonna chill out here for a bit
 Oh hey, something is hilarious...
 wait... no. no it's not
 In fact, I'm a little annoyed you're taking my photo to begin with...
 Okay, screw this I'm going to play with Papa...

Getting a kick in the pants from Lawrence Hill

This was the week of girl's nights.  A trek to Toronto (three bottles of wine and a dirty martini later), a catch up with an old friend over dinner and tea and then last night I washed the toddler out of my hair, a clean t-shirt and put on some eyeshadow. With lattes in hand we embarked on a literary girls' road trip.

Enjoying a reading by Lawrence Hill would have been spectacular in itself, but it happened to be held at one of the most exquisite pieces of property in the area, Wintergreen Studios. Wintergreen Studios has 200 delicious acres, completely off the grid with a straw bale lodge and a series of hobbit houses along the property, which houses a lake and beautiful walking trails. *yum* A walk through the woods, a hike in heels, and an offering at the river reconnected me. To the land. To myself. To passion.

Hill himself was poignant, funny and a delightful reader. Hearing about his trials with the book burning in the Netherlands made me realize just how strong you need to be to be a writer. You need teeth and determination.

As I realized my copy of The Book of Negroes sat in my dining room, unable to be signed, I was lucky enough to chat with him about writing, children and the trip to the UK with my 10month old daughter on my back. He asked, “Who does that!?” and I say “Me... I’m VERY SLOWLY writing a memoir about it.” He then asked me who my publisher was, I replied with a laugh. He told me to get on it.

He’s right.

I’m starting to forget the little details. As a freelancer, I write for work, so rather than chronicling the amazing stories of our trek when I have down time, I have started to doing other things... like ironing.

So, with the sunshine and our dance around the Maypole coming up this week (Happy Beltane) I am tapping into my muse with a renewed sense of conviction and determination to do this... if not for anyone else but Penelope and I.

Thanks for the kick in the pants Lawrence Hill.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Bicycle, Bicycle... I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike...

In the winter of 2012 I sat in my dining room table and cried. Big drops splashing on the table top as I described one of my loves in detail, which was now missing, to the police. My red and white Schwinn had be stolen from our back yard. It wasn't so much that I was sad about the bike (don't get my wrong I was) but I was furious that someone had gone through our gate and taken it. So, I cried. 

Feeling violated and pissed off, I made myself feel better by telling myself that, living in a city infamous for bike theft, it was only a matter of time before it got stolen. But damn I loved that bike.

Imagine how quickly my head whipped around when I walked past our friends' house a few days ago and saw my beautiful bicyclette propped up against the garage door! After a few emails we discovered my bike had been ditched on their neighbours yard. The police wouldn't come get it so they gave it to my friend.  

 I know I should be super grateful and excited I got my bike back. I am. What are the chances, seriously!? I'm a little annoyed, however; at the guy who found it and was too lazy to take a super nice bike to the cop shop (a 3 min drive away) in hopes of someone being reunited with their long lost love...


... okay okay, I'm taking a breath and letting it out.

And now I'm stoked to have my bike back.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Charlie... it's short for Penelope

When her name came to me I thought that would be it. We got the old lady vintage baby name we wanted; she was classic and I stayed true to the insane reoccurring dream I had while pregnant of a spider. I will spare you the gory B-Movie details... but what it came down to was dreaming of the weaver, the change... MY change... voila: Penelope.

So, why do I want to call her Charlie?

Almost 2 years ago it was basically narrowed down to Matilda or Penelope. Then a couple weeks before our daughter was born, my partner and I both kind of fell in love with the name Charlie. Then I called her George for the first day she was alive because she reminded me of my grandpa George, super wrinkly and looking like she should just be out fishing somewhere... in plaid with big cuffed jeans. (yeah, he was all kinds of awesome.) Anyway, after day 3, or 4 maybe I tried calling her Matilda or Tilda and it just didn't fit. (Much to the joy of my sister in law who has promptly claimed the name for her first daughter.) Then, because I also dig the boy names for girls I tried calling her George (J hated it) or Charlie... but I knew she was Penelope. I could feel it when I looked at her. So, we named her that. Penelope Mae. She's my vintage doll.

Although I look at her and I do see Penelope (Poppet), there is still part of me that wants to call her Charlie. Quite strongly over the last week or two... What the hell? Am I alone in this? Anyone else second guess their kid's name through the years?

I can just hear it now...

"What's your daughter's name?" 
"oh, cute... is that short for Charlotte?"
"no no, Penelope"


I found out Saturday night that J's grandfather's mom was named Charlotte... that would have been so perfect. And now just keep thinking about having another baby so I can name it. I have apparently had too much whiskey tonight.