Scrapbook #21: Summer 2011

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I’m trying to pretend it’s still summer, but the mornings are especially chilly and it’s dark by 8 pm, so I’m ready to admit that fine, we have moved into early fall. But this summer? It was a nice one. Quiet. It was a summer of eating dinner outdoors. Many on our own balcony, but probably even more in parks. I can’t count the amount of meals we had at Parc Jeanne Mance, either at a picnic table or sitting in the grass, usually by the tennis courts. We would go to the grocery or get take out, stop at the SAQ for a bottle of wine, and head over to the park with 2 glasses, a knife, maybe plates or a cutting board if we remembered. We usually forgot. Sometimes we would forget the glasses too, no matter how many time we’ve done this. There were other parks too. Poutine in Parc Lafontaine. Pizza by the canal at Atwater Market. On the hottest day of the year we got takeout and ate it on the grass in Parc Laurier and there were so many others around us, everyone avoiding their unairconditioned homes.

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There was also lots of ice cream, thanks to the fact that I live within a 10 minute radius from the best ice cream places in Montreal. My favourite is Kem CoBa, which is conveniently also the closest. Their soft serve was amazing.

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There was a lot of travel. San Diego, Las Vegas, the desert, Toronto on many occasions for weddings or meeting new friends, a camping trip in Vermont, the State Fair in  Syracuse, a cottage weekend in Magog. Weekends in Montreal felt kind of precious and rare.

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I didn’t write much. I brought a massive print out of my novel on vacation to San Diego thinking it would be the perfect place to work on it – I could laze out in the backyard and read through it, take notes. But I didn’t touch it and then I didn’t touch it for the month of July and half of August. We needed a break from each other. I am happy to report that we’ve reconciled. I missed it.

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I read novels written by women. I kind of consciously did that. The Keep and The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan, The Wife and The 10 Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, Torch by Cheryl Strayed, The Astral by Kate Christensen. The Chairs Are Where the People Go by Sheila Heti, although that wasn’t a novel and it’s co-authored by Misha Glouberman, who is not a woman. I either felt like gulping down books in a few days or not reading them at all.  And I listened mostly to “Defender” by Bird of Youth, the new Snailhouse album and old CD’s in the car because my iPhone converter broke and I haven’t replaced it. And we’ve been playing guitar a lot at home, so maybe there hasn’t been a lot of new music, but there’s still been a lot of music.

So yes. It was a nice summer. Let’s see what the fall brings.

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