It's been a pretty hefty set of days, but Erin can now rest through the month of December. After nine readings in five provinces in four weeks, we came to Nicholas Hoare Books in Toronto for her tenth reading, and had a really good time. Erin read alongside Jeanette Lynes (she of Antigonish, who came to Toronto with her husband David) to a good crowd of about twenty, including some pretty high-level poets, who braved heavy rains and rush-hour traffic to come out.
I ran into a couple of Toronto bloggers at this event, starting with Andrew Spicer who showed up and was happy to mingle as we waited for the reading to start (a group of poets seem less likely to start things on time than other segments of the population). As we waited, we also met Warren Kinsella, who was kind enough to stop in and say hello, even though he couldn't stay. We met, appropriately, by a column of books which included the title: Salem Pax, the Bagdhad Blogger. We chatted a bit, and Warren bought a signed copy of Ghost Maps. Andrew stayed for the reading, and he has a number of kind things to say about it on his blog.
I'd also like to thank Paul and Ruth Gillespie for coming out. It was very nice to see them and, afterward, they showed us a good time by taking us to the Irish Embassy and then to the Masquerade restaurant at the base of BCE Place. Thanks also to Noelle and Maria for making this event possible.
The rain dampened our grand plans to spend Friday on the town, but Erin and Rosemarie did get some shopping in in Yorkville, and I wrote some more of my Rosemary and Time revision. We then made the mistake of trying to go to the garment district in the middle of rush-hour traffic in Rosemarie's rental car (we should have parked the car and walked or taken transit but (a) the cost of parking was prohibitive and (b) the rain made walking uncomfortable). In the end, we had dinner at Georgio's while we waited for traffic on the Gardiner Expressway to thin out, and paid a visit to Ikea on the way home.
We're pretty tired, now, but we're looking forward to a Dim Sum lunch with my parents, and then to settling into this winter night with soup or coldcuts or turkey leftovers or something to watch the extended DVD version of The Two Towers.
While in Toronto, I read about George W. Bush's surprise Thanksgiving visit to the troops of Iraq -- so secret that George Bush Sr. and his wife Barbara showed up at their son's place expecting a quiet thanksgiving dinner and found that they'd been stood up.
I have to say, as morale boosters and political statements go, this one is a masterstroke. The soldiers on the line are going to remember this gesture for months and, thanks to the presence of the media, we'll be remembering this too, straight through to next November.
It almost makes up for the fact that Bush hasn't been to a single funeral for soldiers killed in Iraq.