Couldn’t be happier to have stumbled over a bit of info (please don’t ask how) advising that today, in 1583, the first English settlement in North America was founded at St. John’s, Newfoundland—an event I picture as involving a large sign reading Hands Off!, signed England, some merry jigs and a kitchen party or two.
I first went to that beautiful land a couple of years ago and while I was initially frightened by fog and ragged cliffs and isolated ports, I soon fell in love with fog and cliffs and isolation. And then I went to St. John’s… and was hooked forever.
So I may have to celebrate with some pan-fried cod (or equivalent) and scrunchions (there is no equivalent and I don’t know how to make them so forget that idea).
Or I’ll re-read of one of my new favourite writers or flip through my gorgeous glossy copy of Riddle Fence (still on issue #4) inside which is ‘A Conversation Between Two Fiction Writers’, namely Bernice Morgan and Joan Clark, who, among other things “…discuss the squatters in their heads, the nature of genocide, and that nasty little bugbear of political correctness: appropriation of voice.” Which reminds me I have yet to read Cloud of Bone. Or I could open House of Hate by Percy James, which I bought at the very wonderful Afterwords Bookstore on Duckworth Street and have wanted to read for yonks and which fits (kind of) the memoir-ish theme I’m working on these days. Okay it doesn’t fit at all but I’d like to read it anyway. And for something completely different, and not in the least memoir-ish either, could be it’s time for Come Thou Tortoise, which for reasons unknown has been on my mind a while…
Heck, why don’t I just push the boat right out… slap on some Ron Hynes , open a bottle of something lovely (no, definitely not that); mabye flip through the photo album, remember hiking Gross Morne in the snow, in June. All those moose, the picnic of cheese and water at Tablelands that was so amazingly delicious; feasting on fresh crab and lobster and cloudberry jam. And the way people talk—really talk—to you. The woman named Hazel who cooked us haigs and bacon in Twillingate while we watched hicebergs float by her livingroom window. And the guy who was mowing his lawn when we stopped to ask directions and how we ended up learning how many pounds of carrots and potatoes he generally harvested and how it got god almighty cold in winter with the wind coming in across the water straight at their house and, yes, my dear, it might seem like there wasn’t much around to love but he wouldn’t live anywhere else and that he had a son in Toronto who lived in an apartment overlooking the 401 and couldn’t wait to get home to the wind and cold and the nothing that is actually ‘everything’ that’s important.
Oh yes. I love that rock.
Happy August 5th.