18 July - 7 August
I’ve been here for A MONTH! How did that happen?
So when we last spoke I was still in Montreal. In the last few days there I went to see the Dark Knight Rises, (which I loved. Especially the “so that’s what that feels like” line from Kingdom Come) took some photos of Old Montreal (here), explored Mount Royale, and went to take photos at a Montreal Roller Derby bout, which was amazing (354-30!).
I loved my break in Montreal, but by the end of my week there I was ready to move into an actual house with an actual kitchen and make and actual meal from actual ingredients. So I travelled back on the Megabus on 22 July and went directly to my sublet on Carr Street.
It’s always a bit intimidating moving into a new place with total strangers who already live there so I have to say a massive thank you to Melinda, Kristin and Kyle for being the most lovely, welcoming housemates I could have asked for (and another thank you to Alexandra for letting me her room). I’m threatening to make a trophy for Best Canadian; Melinda says I win Best Welshman by the virtue of being the only one she’s met. Yeah I got skills.
During my first week at the house we did a lot of hanging out; visiting some local bars and sitting on the roof deck, which has the best view ever. We also watched a massive storm over the city from my bedroom window, lightning hitting the CN tower. Kyle roped me in to playing 5-a-side and I thought I might die from exercise but actually did ok. On the weekend we went to see some bands at El Mocambo, which was a pretty cool place, and went to see Mar guest bartending (Martending) at the Fountain on Dundas. She made up a cocktail for the night and a few of those kicked my ass. Sunday consisted of going to the park and eating frozen yoghurt.
In between going all this it was so nice to finally have a base to do work - I got derby photos edited, designed some posters and got on with the Threatmantics artwork. I feel like my work has improved so much since I started using my drawing tablet.
This last week has been a bit more like normal life, except in a really sunny place. Doing some work in the days, hanging out with friends in the evenings. I even made some meals like I dreamed of a few paragraphs ago. On Saturday I went to see Justice, M83 and Austra at at a historic fort underneath a freeway. It was excellent. It kept raining between bands then stopping just in time for the start of the set. I like nobody cares about the rain over here, because it will stop in ten minutes and you’ll be dry in another 5.
Yesterday I finally went over to the island. Seeing the city from the boat as you head over is brilliant. I went with my friend Jen and her sister, and we went to the beach and swam in lake Ontario, which was freezing but not too bad once you got in (until our limbs went too numb to swim, at least). It was such an amazing day. The beach was ‘clothing optional’ which was enlightening.
Later on we treated ourselves to a massive poutine (pulled pork for me - epic) and watched some of the olympics - the first I’d seen. Nothing like watching world-class athletes while you pig out on fries and cheese curds, I find.
I loved the American coverage. For the diving they had a really vague splashometer, which just went from green to red with no real values. GOOD SPLASH. BAD SPLASH. They had a camera with the team too, so you got to see the coach tell the diver that the bit going through the air was was good, and the bit hitting the water was good. Such specific feedback! No wonder these guys are the best in the world. It’s also been interesting watching the facebook feed turn from ‘olympics failure whatever budget London farce etc’ to ‘so proud to be British’ since it started. People are so fickle.
Today I’m working on a poster for Tiger Bay Brawlers, and planning what else to do this week. There are a load of brilliant gigs coming up. Can’t decide whether or not to go to Heavy T.O. festival this weekend, which has Deftones, System of A Down and Slipknot headlining. Could be fun. Could make me revert back to being 17.
See you soon.
PS. I’ve also been looking after our cat Duma for the last few days as everyone else is away. Duma is thus far still alive.