Thursday, August 04, 2005

Home, baby!

It's a sad fact of the e-world that getting internet hooked up in your new place feels somewhat like being able to breathe again.

But, that being said, here I am! All hooked up and wired and tapped in, etc etc. And more or less settled -- still sans a couch and a kitchen table unfortunately, but everything else is as it should be. And can I tell you how much I love my new place?? (For those wondering, no the picture here is not of my new digs, just a typical street in St. John's; I'll post a pic of my building soon) Finally, after all these years, I have a work space that is not in either my bedroom or my living room. A study! You'll have to excuse me as I geek out a little on this point. Now, it doesn't have the overstuffed leather armchairs, inlaid burnished mohagany shelves, vast oak desk or fireplace that furnish the study of my dreams, but at the moment some repainted bookshelves and a $150 L-shaped desk from Staples seem to me positively decadent.

I'm sorry, I'm running on ... one of my critics -- Laura H. (no, that's too obvious, let's say "L. Hansen") -- has labelled this blog long-winded. Sorry for my novel-length entries, but hey ... anything less just wouldn't be me. In my family (well, my dad and I) if you use one word when you could use twenty, you're just not trying hard enough.

ANYWAY ... things are pretty much set up and good to go. K and I went food shopping this afternoon, and I'm in the process of making our first home-cooked meal since leaving on this excursion. Amazingly, eating out does get boring ... and probably accounts for the current snugness of my jeans. The inaugural meal? Pot roast! Because we have the weather for it -- unlike the state of affairs in London, which is apparently 30+ and particularly humid. Not that I'm gloating over our twentysomething temperatures, going down to 12 degrees overnnight ...

So, a couple of random pictures seem in order ... to my right here is the sign for the world famous (or more accurately Placentia-famous) Harold Hotel. When I told people it's name, nobody seemed as amused by it as I was until I realized they thought I was saying "Herald" hotel -- which would actually seem kind of noble or upscale. Sorry, no, b'y. It's Harold. Which also, as you can see houses the principal pizzeria in town.

Actually, I shouldn't mock. It was a very well-run place, with good rooms and almost all the amenities, though the walls were a wee bit thin for my tastes (no comment on that one); and (as I discovered while out searching for ice), many of the hotel's clients seemed to be overweight men who liked to watch TV shirtless with their room doors open. Yikes.

The last leg of the journey was an adventure ... as mentioned, up at 3:45 am on Monday in North Sydney to get down to the ferry by 4:25. The ferry itself was an amazing thing -- we were on the Joseph and Clara Smallwood, with just about every stamp of humanity that has yet been pressed. We were lucky enough to get a cabin, which made the crossing more bearable (especially after only a few hours sleep). What made it also more bearable for me was that I delayed buying Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince until we were in Halifax, so reading that managed to kill a few hours of the crossing (more on Harry Potter and stuff of that sort in later posts, to be sure -- but for those who have read it, without of course revealing secrets, please tell me what you thought of it in the comments).

Also, we saw a whale! Not very close, unfortunately, but still visible in the distance. It actually reminded me of a bird in a birdbath -- just breaching the surface repeatedly and splashing. And splashing. And splashing. It looked like it was having great fun, whatever it was doing.

And the rest you know ... arrived in Argentia, stayed at the Harold, drove to St. John's on Tuesday. And the new place already feels like home. I guess now I have to start doing work again.

MONDAY'S STATS:

Departed Clansman Motel: 4:15 am
Song on the iPod: "Suffragette City" by David Bowie
Arrived at Ferry Docks: 4:25 am (after a stop at Tim Horton's)
Checked through: 4:45 am
Boarded Ferry: 5:20 am
Left Dock: 6:25 am
Arrived Argentia: 9:30 pm (local time)
Total ferry travel time: 14.5 hours

Overheard: A very very loud woman who always seemed to be in our immediate vicinity talking to fellow travellers and asking them (a) if they were from Newfoundland, (b) if so, what was their church? and (c) had they yet let Jesus into their lives?

Seen: An awful lot of French Canadian leathermen (well, two, but they seemed to be everywhere -- I wonder if they had a conversation with Jesus lady?): a whale! (see above); far, far too many screaming kids.


TUESDAY'S STATS:

Departed Placentia: 8:55 am
Song on the iPod: "Born of Frustration" by James
Arrived St. John's: 10:15 am
Walked into the new apartment: 11:10 am
Distance: 125 km

Annoyance: There is more street work being done in St. John's than London, Toronto, Kingston, and Montreal combined.


TOTALS:

Total distance driven: 2416 km
Total time on road: 27 hrs, 15 min
Total $$$ spent on gas: $216.07
Hotels stayed at: The Lakeview (Fredericton), Quality Inn (Dartmouth), Clansman Motel (North Sydney), Harold Hotel (Placentia)
Most memorable landscape: Tough call, but Cape Breton (at left) wins

TOP TEN ROAD SONGS THAT HAPPEN TO BE ON MY iPOD:

10. "A Little Less Conversation," Elvis Presley
9. "Locked in the Trunk of a Car," The Tragically Hip
8. "Ray of Light," Madonna
7. "Beautiful Day," U2
6. "Losing My Religion," REM
5. "Brothers in Arms," Dire Straits
4. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," Gordon Lightfoot
3. "Looking for a Place to Happen," The Tragically Hip
2. "Suffragette City," David Bowie
1. "Desire," U2

5 comments:

Loz said...

beautiful. i love seeing pictures. just reading your impressions of the east coast makes me miss home. sigh...

FanglyFish said...

Ahhh Pickled Weiners... Not sure what the hell they are but I have found some useful Internet references....

1. Lilly N's Pickled Weiners Recipe:

5 lb. weiners, cut in half
2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 c. comino powder
1 sm. jar hot pepper sauce
2 onions, sliced
1 qt. white vinegar

Pack weiners and onions in a gallon jar. Heat vinegar and spices and pour over the weiners in the jar. Keep out of the refrigerator. These will keep indefinitely. This is an unusual Hors D'oeuvres

2. To Quote Weird Al Yankavic from his song The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota:

Oh, we couldn't wait to get there
So we drove straight through for three whole days and nights
Of course, we stopped for more pickled weiners now and then
The scenery was just so pretty, boy I wish the kids could've seen it
But you can't see out of the side of the car
Because the windows are completely covered
With the decals of all the place where we've already been

syl said...

...if you use one word when you could use twenty, you're just not trying hard enough...

I believe I have heard that before :)

I'm excited to see pics of your actual settlement! But oh my, the pickled weiners sound great...

Anonymous said...

http://hitmyblog.blogspot.com/
im from st johns

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Thanks for sharing.