Let’s see — on Friday night, I attended a fundraiser for Shannon’s work at Bain Mathieu, a converted public swimming pool now used for art shows and small concerts. It was a tad disorganized (for example, neither of us knew it would be a costume party), and attempting to make small talk with complete strangers has never been my strong point even without a language barrier, but the food and music were good and I managed to end up in an improvised limbo competition with an incredibly flexible man almost my height while a francophone Beatles tribute band sang Lennon and McCartney’s greatest hits in only slightly accented English. The party featured the donated services of the Cirque du Monde, who are somewhere between a charity project and a youth wing of the Cirque du Soleil, and have the feature that one can hire them to show up in small numbers at an event you’re planning to make it less boring. I’ve known lots of people who were good at being cute and personable and entertaining at parties but I had no idea one could make a living out of it. It’s kinda a happy thought. Edit: Oh, and I forgot to say I won a raffle prize at the party! They sold tickets, gave away half the proceeds to one lucky ticket holder (me), and kept the rest for themselves. I won about $130. Whee.
Saturday we spent biking around town, in part to return some library books in Westmount and in part because it was a beautiful day. I have yet to get over how crowded some of the bike paths in this city can get on a summer weekend, such as the ones along the Lachine Canal. I don’t enjoy being stuck in a traffic jam of bicycles any more than one of cars, but apparently other people do. Of course, it’s easy to find a parallel side street to take instead, so this isn’t actually a problem. After Shannon went to work, I met my friend Caroline and headed to Le Mondial de la bière. As far as I can tell there are two types of beer drinkers — those who are in it mostly for the taste, and those who will happily drink warm, flat Labatt Blue if it’s the only thing going. We were expecting to mostly find the first type at the festival, but at least that Saturday night it was overwhelmingly the second. After literally elbowing our way past frat boys with “Beer: it’s not just for breakfast anymore” t-shirts long enough to sample three or four beers, we retreated to a smaller, quieter tasting session on her front stoop. The beers were great, though. Favourite new beer from the festival: the stouts from La Barberie, a microbrewery in Québec City that sells at a handful of bars and corner stores across the province.
On Sunday, I worked until four or so and then biked to the train station with Shannon to travel to Vaudreuil, from whence we biked along the St. Laurence to her brother’s place outside Hudson, and stayed there until this morning. It’s so beautiful out by the water, and it was very nice to spend a day or two swimming, canoeing, watching the cat play in the dandelions, cooking on the barbeque, but mostly just sitting around with a book. We biked into town on Monday for supplies for a dinner with a few friends who drove out to join us for the evening, and had wonderful feast. Shannon’s brother is moving back to Montréal in a few months to facilitate his graduate studies at McGill, so we have a little more time to take advantage of their country home. We’re both looking forward to it. If he leaves town and asks us to cat-sit again this summer, we’ll definitely invite people out another time.
Alright, time to go meet Shannon on her way home from work. G’night, all.