Posted by: sulya | 31 July 2009

Bits & Bobs from this Trip Thus Far


I am now staying with my friends in their condo as pictured in its entirety above.

My desire to hug and generally make out with every dog I see that started about a month ago has not been at all minimized by being in another city.  Though many of the dogs here speak French, and some of them are downright uppity,  I have had at least one surprising, mid-walk love session with a very handsome strawberry blonde pooch whose owner, frankly, seemed a bit jealous.

My friend’s son is utterly, unspeakably, ridiculously charming and delicious.  He is four months of smiling, laughing, soft skinned, gorgeousness.  My ploy to have him fall madly in love with me has worked extremely well and when I leave here tomorrow I will definitely be crying cuz I don’t want to miss a second of this little guy’s life.  (That said, I don’t want to miss anymore of my son’s life either… conflict conflict conflict…)

I miss the holy hell out of living in a city where there is a small shop that sells just one type of thing and where there is a shop for just about every type of thing.  These sorts of shops are just about everywhere within walking distance, too, which just makes them even more missable…  To buy bread at a bakery, to buy meat at a meat shop, to buy fish at a fish market —  to walk into a store with row after row of JUST fruit and vegetables — and to basically be able to do it in your pajamas if you really want cuz it’s barely a two minute walk to the shops…  There are trade offs, of course, because noisier, more densely populated cities are the places with many specialty shops to cater to those many and noisier people but I’m used to noise.  I grew up with it and I live on a fire route now so a lot of the time it sounds like I live in some sort of symphony of sirens…  And, it’s also about being in cities that are not built up around a culture of driving… Small shops on small streets make it hard to park…  I’m fond of my car but I think I’d pretty much give it up in a heartbeat if I didn’t need to use it…  Oh well.


I have reaffirmed my feeling, after eating several absolutely divine croissants and pastries from a Boulangerie Bretonne that I do not – and likely never will – fully trust anyone who does not, at least occasionally, consume real butter.

Travel does not, it would seem, mean I get any more sleep than usual.

It would appear that almost all of my girlfriends like to take me out and encourage me to purchase pretty dresses I will likely have very few occasions to wear.  I feel foolish but I am also grateful for the fact that they encourage me to treat myself like I am pretty and worthy of pretty things and for the fact that these items are pretty much always on sale.

Humidity makes my hair appear a good two to three inches shorter than it actually is (fresh out of the shower it touches my shoulders these days) and gives me the air of a poodle with its paw in a light socket.  (Photo below for proof — And, yes,  I would want to make out with that poodle too, though I would make sure that he took his paw out of the light socket and take him to the vet first…)


I like my life.  My everyday, take-care-of-my-son-worry-about-my-future-get-very-little-sleep-hang-out-at-home-or-on-the-phone-or-by-my-computer life.  I like it.  It is another thing I miss.  It’s been a long, difficult, beautiful, challenging year filled with loss and crazy amounts of renewed hope along with the addition of several wonderful new friends and I have been away from my everyday life for over a week and one of the many gifts of this time away is that I am quite certain, right now, that I really do like my life.



  1. I miss the holy hell out of living in a city where there is a small shop that sells just one type of thing and where there is a shop for just about every type of thing.

    Testify! The five years I spent living in Kensington Market in Tranna were some of my best eating years, matched only by my time spent in Mile End. It’s not just about the food though, the social aspect of getting to know the regular shoppers and the folks who run the stores is lovely — it is nice to recognize and be recognized by others, especially fellow food-lovers :)

    Dresses are for wearing any day you don’t risk dying of exposure. Wear em if you got em (so long as they don’t need dry cleaning, which is pretty much my only rule when it comes to what kind of laundry I’m willing to generate significant quantities of…).

    Happy to be away, happy to go home. That is the end result of the best kind of vacation. Good for you!

  2. I’m so with you on giving up the car in far of walking to neighborhood specialty shops.

    The city suits you well, look at those rosy cheeks!

  3. The city just called me to say it loved having you here. Me, too. Naïm, three. Martin, four.

    Thanks for drawing our attention to the reflection of our building in the lamp across the street. Four years and we had never noticed it. Four days and you were already setting up the perfect shot. That’s what visits from good friends can bring, beautiful new views of familiar places.

    Oh, and thanks for making my son fall in love with you! We will have to do regular webchats or risk having his heart broken at four-and-a-half months, which is out of the question.

  4. Sally – I appreciate the advice about dresses… I think I put them in a category “for other people who live other sorts of lives” and have for much of my life but I have secretly always loved them. It only got worse when I had a kid and started to spend much of my time in clothing best suited to hiding puke or jam stains… And the biggest thing I miss here is decent small food shops for sure… There are lots of charming independent boutiques but this is just not a food town… *sigh*…

    Kitty – Those are not rosy cheeks – those are POODLE cheeks (smile)… Thanks MizzKitty… Perhaps we will all one day find ourselves magically in the same town full of wonderful shops with wonderful flavours we can share! When I have my “kids in bed” glass of wine tonight I will toast this idea!

    Jameela – I am missing you all terribly today. I am brewing a fantasy where we can all go to a cabin together one summer for a little while… It’s not beyond the realm of possibility and when the kidlet saw the pics of your delicious baby today he was full-on jealous that he had not been there with me and demanded a web chat so that he could show the baby his trains!!! LOL…

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