Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Toronto Tres

I moved to Rob’s. It's four train stops away from Foy's place on Spadina, making it a good forty minute walk into downtown Toronto. On my first day I cunningly walked in exactly the wrong direction and it took me a while to work it out, but I kept going anyway and did a four hour tour of some fairly boring and some quite unboring parts. I knew I was getting close to Rob’s when I started seeing streetsigns with Greek subscripts, and psychic readers.

Take that, Toronto!
Once he'd finished it, the artist went and poppined a cap in someone's ass.

I stayed at Rob's for four nights and got on quite well with his house mates Lyen and Lisa. And their cats.

To say 'thanks for putting me up' and 'goodbye' I did a dinner party.
It was a success and I was hilarious.
“This may sound a bit arrogant, but I am the most amazing and handsome man in the world!”
Everyone laughed and we all made love for hours.

My flight was cancelled on Friday night, so I turned up back at Rob's 3 hours after leaving asking for shelter again. They were most agreeable.

Upon getting back to Halifax the next night I was greeted by this email:

whats ur contact details?
do u have a mob i can call..??
i need to talk tou...

Apparently she’d been involved in a botched kidnap attempt in London, involving disenfranchised muslim youth; militant socialists; and a cadre of revolutionary short order chefs. It all turned out alright in the end, so we’re going to meet up in Buenos Aires as agreed. We will have plenty of time to work on her grammar.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Toronto part2

The shop where you trade in all those kisses and hugs at the end of letters, emails and texts.

28th January. I love Chinatowns. I can't help thinking that they are all connected by mysterious doors ala Howls Moving Castle. And if you know the right person you can walk into any Chinatown in the whole world.

This photo is on Spadina Street. The lines of trees and dressed stone on the tram tracks make it even more Chinese I reckon. I poked around here for a while and had lunch. Then walked back to the frat and gave Chris breakfast: a fortune cookie.

“Good things come in small packages in bed,” he told me from bed in bed.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Toronto around Australia day

I was met by DannyBuddy, television's Chris Foy and their mate Katy at Toronto bus station at 4:30pm on the 25th. I was immediately involved in preparations for that night's 'mixer'.
Foy lives in a frat house, which I didn't know til I turned up. I did know that it was his birthday. And I did know that it was going to be a mini-Marly reunion.
His frat was hosting, and they'd selected four rooms to be National rooms with an appropriate drinking game: Japan, Russia, Mexico and Australia. Foy was the Australia host and we played two-up as a drinking game – the first time I've played it. It was an awesome night. The playlist was Australian and general party stuff such as "All this love" by Similou and 'Let me clear my throat."

Rob, Foy and I made an impressive effort with "I still Call Australia Home". One of the girls asked if that was our national anthem. Then there was a rousing round of Happy Birthday for Foy is now 24. Did I say it was an awesome night? Katy takes a particular delight in calling me Harry Highpants. Australia went off – packed with dancing young things. The rest went off to a club called Tonic, but I rested my old bones on the floor. Rob ended up crashing out downstairs somewhere.

Before the party Chris, Katy and I had dinner a Chinese restaurant. At the end we got fortune cookies and I was about to mention the In Bed Game – where you add “in bed” at the end of your fortune – when Katy said we should play the ‘in bed game’.
See? Chinese culture is universal.

I got “Sometimes it’s hard for you to get going, but you keep yourself on task once you have started in bed.”
Katy smiled at me in bed.
This made me think of her in bed in bed.
In my mind we made love for hours. Then in my mind we got married, but it turned a bit sour after I got sick of Canada and we stood on the knife-edge of divorce. But luckily the aliens invaded and I was able to be the man I was meant to be: my hitherto latent abilities in leadership, courage and stoic nobility, were revealed. We were tearfully reunited, each having thought the other killed in the chaos of intergalactic struggle. I had her at hello. She then had me in the kitchen. Woah, wasn’t I eating Chinese or something?

“Harry? Why do you look like a drunk lizard?”
“Sorry, I was just thinking.”
“Of what?”
Oh, those eyes.

The next day was Australia Day and Rob's constant prompted for beer was met with indifference. "All this love" once again started up and interrupted Foy making up a song on the guitar about the girl last night with awesome breasts. He was happy in the remembrance, but then turned to restrained fury when he remembered that he'd dropped his camera in the toilet last night. He'd stormed off while Rob was trying to drunkenly explain travel insurance. Frantic searching in the morning had Foy worried he'd thrown the camera out in a fit of rage.
He found it.
This brought delight to his face.
He kissed the camera.
"Um, that was in the toilet."

We watched some Eddie Izzard standup. Very good. Someone asked what the name was for people who had a fetish for amputees. The internet was consulted.

Foy: "Sex AND the handicapped?! We want sex WITH the handicapped!!"

Happy Australia Day.

I think we left at about 3 for food and stuff. We went to a NewZealand pub and won teeshirts and touks for Australian trivia. We made snow angels on the way back.
There's a bit of tradition amongst my friends to marry Canadians. I choose Katy, and not just because she's great fun and so very, very pretty; but because my last three weeks will be spent in Halifax which is populated by fat lesbians.

Okay, so Foy has Chica Cherry Cola by Savage Garden on this thing.

Please enjoy the below.
I am a photographical genius, managing to exlude most of my head from this one. The girl is Katy. No, I am not touching her inappropriately. And none of us have any idea what song we're singing. My guess is that great Australian classic 'Twist and Shout' by the Beatles.

I have photos of two 19 year of Canadian hotties who look like they are about to make out. Luckily Foy totally hit on one of them, thus avoiding many grey hairs and hairy palms.
Instead of posting it, however, I am showing some 30second snow angels from the Marly.

(l to r) Me, Foy, Rob. Angels, all of us.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Toronto. The Marly Diaspora

Hello chaps,


How about we do something for Australia day?

Possibly not involving being arrested.

Oh, ok, I'll get arrested.

regards Harry
Who got spasmo drunk on his second night in Canadia and spent the third day convalescing in bed and spewing into the toilet. Hoooray!

(l to r) Me, Television's Chris Foy, Big Rob and DannyBuddy.

Danny is a Toronto local who came to Sydney and worked with us at the Marly for about eight months. He became close friends with Television's Chris Foy such that four months ago Foy moved to Toronto to try and break into acting there (and thence the US). Rob left Australia in early December or late November. He was in Vancouver for a while but shifted to Toronto about two weeks ago.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ottawa the last post

Chris O'Donnell: Holy Korean Matyrs, Batman!

Harry: I'm Batman.

Matt: No, I'm Batman.

And now..... The script of the "The Prestige" by Harry Simpson.

Christian Bale: I'm Batman.

Christian Bale's twin brother: No, I'm Batman.

Christian Bale: I'm Batman!

(Hugh Jackman enters)
Hugh Jackman: I'm Batman.

Both Christian Bales: Shut up, Wolverine! We're Batman!

Ottawa's golden heart

I had to go to this nightclub.

Ottawa, Canada. The choice is obvious.

Do you like Chopin, plumbing and cutlery?

Or are you FOR BATTLE!!?!!

Finally! A country that gives you the option.

All you tofu wearing; tie-dye eating, soap-dodging hippies can turn right here.

I'm going to say "Poo, wally!" to all that and jolly well charge on in and give Jerry the good news. Straight ahead to battle. And straight to glory!

A whole wing of the War Museum is full of artillery pieces from all ages, trucks, apc's and tanks. They have a good comparative display of six Sherman variants. But for some reason a lot (there would be 40vehicles+ and 30 artillery/cannon+ all up) of the pieces didn't have signs. But I was still able to pick what most of them were because I am a nerd. They had a schwim-vagen(sp?) and even one of the remote controlled tracked bombs the germans tried in late 43-44ish. It looks alot like a ww1 english tank butt about 1.5metres long. It was like a remote controlled car with a big red button for "boom" on it.

They had a recovered Valentine tank - one of a batch of 40 that was sent to Russia in 1942. This one broke through ice on a bog and sank. The crew got away but the tank disappeared. It was dug up in 1997 in pretty good nick considering, and given back to the Canadians.

"We drop your tank. It go glug glug."

This whole part of that museum looks a little bit like Topsy's garage, in a way.

Matt: So did Sauron's forge.

In the fully extended version, Sam and Frodo walk into Mount Doom (Doom, I tell you) and immediately trip over four swords, an anvil and parts of seven catapults.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa is a surprisingly pretty city. Although maybe that just reveals the paucity of my research before rocking up.
The first morning Christina showed me the CBD and parliamentary area of the city. My trusty guide pointed out the parliamentary library.
"It burnt down – that's why it looks different to the building attached to it."
We took the parliamentary tour where we were informed that the library was the only part that survived the fire.

I had contrived to loose my beanie (or 'touk' in the local lingo) on one of the two buses between Quebec City and Ottawa. "We can pick up a hat in the mall" which was closed at that hour.
"We'll find a hat for you in The Glebe." The only place was a Build-your-own-hat place. I thought briefly about it.
"Harry! When did you get the horrendous head wound?"
"Nah, I just made my own hat."

Although thinking about it, I could have realized my Year10 dream of a moose-horns combi eh-eh beanie. Good source of moose horns after all.

We shopped for groceries and last on the list was milk. In Canada they have four litre bags of milk. Yes, plastic bags. I poked one in astonishment.
"Don't they have them at home?"
"No! This is awesome." Poke poke poke.
An attractive long-haired young Canadian approached from my other side already laughing. "Yeah, they freak me out too," she said.
I said something about advanced Canadian technology. She laughed and we made love for hours.

Ottawa Choose You Own Adventure(r)

You are in a nightclub in Ottawa called Zaphod Beeblebrox.

You are slightly pissy.

Do you:
Kiss the pretty girl who, had you been 24, you would have fallen for in about two minutes? Turn to page 8

Or do you:
Lick her housemate? Turn to Page 17

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Quebec City

Do you like cannons; old stone buildings; cool little restuarants and funky little bars; AND freezing your dick off?!?!?!

Of course you do!
That's why you should go to Quebec City!

It is awesome and I definately need to come to Canada in the warmer months. However I have managed to fullfill a life long dream that I made up two days ago. Well, actually it was just a natural progression of (a) I need to wee, and (b) I'm in a snow clad forest bit of a park.
Slobro and SloSister-in-law have headed back to Halifax to find out if their house is still there and not covered in fallen trees.
I got to use my awesome French in a pharmacy. “Pardon. Ooh ay le lip balm?”

The old town is picturesque. by random wandering we ended up there three times. On top of the hill there is a monstrous Germanic-looking hotel complete with round turrets and plenty of them. It is called Chateau Frontenac. Ottawa has a similar building called Chateau Frontenback whose bells ring on the hour. And Toronto has the Chateau Backcrackensak You can tell when it’s 9am by the screams.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Peggys Cove

This is Peggy's Cove. It's a tiny little protected bay that holds a small fishing fleet for the forty people who live there. The ocean you can see is the North Atlantic.

Oh, and for some reason Canada makes me burp. I have no idea why.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Halifax, Canada. Part2

Two days ago Slobro, SloSister-in-law and I went to the edge of Fanghorn forest or whatever it's called from Lord of The Rings. The Plains of the Dead are beautiful at this time of year. Actually we were at a place called Peggy's Cove which is a little village on a peninsular of glacier scraped granite. There are dropped boulders sitting inconcruously on high points of the rock and all the low points are high-acidity sphagnum moss bog with dwarf spruce sticking out. It looks like Newport beach at superlow tide at first glance. Really thick clumps of reighdeer moss (actually a lichen. It's what you can buy in hobby shops to use as bushes for Warhammer), buttloads of other mosss, heath plants, moss and red leafed pitcher plants (above). It is astonishingly beautiful. The rain let up so it was a bit misty and thus 100% eldritch. I did see some orcs but they scarpered before I could draw a bead on them.

We also went to the shore of the Bay of Fundy and watched the World's Fastest Tides (TM) go out. Red sand/mud flats perfectly sculpted with little ripples the whole way to the water and beyond. High tide is marked by ice. The last two days we've had real proper snow.

Slobro called me from the lab yesterday as a fair amount of snow got dumped and said "Happy? It took a lot of organising, but there you are!"

Definately a place to come in the Summer, but still very awesome in the winter.
Today I bought a sleeping bag, so I'm almost fully kitted out for the GreaT aDVENTURE THAT STARTS ON fEBRUARY THE 22ND. Oh fuck. Caps. NoRMal!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Halifax, Canada. Part 1

Dear Ms Raishbrook,

I was prompted to think of you this morning.
It was -16 degrees C with a windchill factor of -15degrees C.
Initially I thought "Awesome!" but once I started walking I realised that it was, in fact, brutal.

Sir Harry Simspone KA (D.Phil. frozen)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Canada. I'm on a mission from Rob

Dear Canada,
Rob Pullar says to say 'Hello' from him.
This is a bunch of biologists and biochemists from Dalhousie University, Halifax.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Half-arsed farewell

I did have a farewell. It was half-arsed.
But it did involve a cavalry sword, twelve bottle of bubbly and a good bunch of people getting gradually pissed.