Posted by: Mish | June 30, 2010

Family, Food, and Summer

Nothing says ’tis the season like a full house and now it finally feels like summer. A friend’s house is the place everyone comes to and there’s always room for one more. With people staying from a night to a month or longer it becomes the Hub in summer. I’ve spent many comfortable nights in the camper, an old VW van. It didn’t happen this weekend, but it’s not unheard of for a tent to be pitched in the backyard.

the Hub

the Hub

I spent a fantastic, long weekend with a lot of people: 1 from Ottawa, 2 from Prince Edward Island, 1 from Swaziland who likes to escape the African winter months, a family of four from Paris whom we simply call “the Frenchies”, and of course the host with the most. A friend and his son came to spend an enjoyable day in the backyard with us. Also present was another friend who used to live in the Hub but is now a block away. Every summer the French girls are bigger and a month is never a long enough visit. It was awesome to see them over Christmas break last year. The dozen people there are part of my chosen family and extended family.

I read only about fifteen pages of Moby Dick because I was too busy enjoying good company. My arms are sore from wrestling, playing Wii Sport, and playing at the playground with the girls (now 11 and 8, I think). Watching them box is highly entertaining. At their request I brought out my guitar and after playing some tunes went for a song they’d likely know. The oldest wanted to try and now she knows how to play “Old MacDonald”. That game Simon really comes in handy. Their dad brought out the harmonica and they ended up having an impromptu jam session on the balcony. C’était trés cool et amusant.

Squash art

Sculpture à la Squash

After leaving the Hub yesterday afternoon I started my new job at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to work at for three years. It’s near impossible to get into due to its extremely low turnover rate. Finally I just went in with my resumé and the timing was right. Tonight was a great second night, meaning busy. I’m working with some great chefs who strive for creativity and going a bit crazy. We have fun there. Tonight’s featured flatbread pizza with béchemal sauce, dill havarti cheese, walnuts, dried apricots, and dried cranberries was a hit. Last night it was a bowl of mussels in a wine sauce that included Thai chilis. They were banging. I’ve missed being challenged, having free rein in the kitchen, and looking forward to going to work. It’s definitely a much needed change of pace.

Maybe I’ll read the last dozen pages of Moby Dick tonight, unless I opt for a fantasy anthology like I did last night. Neil Gaiman’s “October in the Chair” was good and makes my hundredth short shot. The 100 Shots of Short reading challenge hosted by Robaroundbooks has been completed.

07/01: The epic journey has ended. I liked it. More to come about the monomaniac and his search for the White Whale.



  1. Sounds like a wonderful summer in store. The restaurant sounds most interesting. Congrats on the job. Hope you found the biblical interpretation stuff useful.

  2. Thank you and yes to all of the above. 🙂 And thanks for the email. I haven’t had a chance to read the passages yet, but I’m sure I’ll find them useful.

  3. This sounds like a very nice start to summer for you. Congrats on landing the job that you wanted. It is always very cool, and such a good deal to be working in an environment and in the job that you like…that jells with you. Helps to take some of the doldrums out of the every day work life.

    Wow! 100 short shots…kudos to you! I think you are the short-story reading Queen to me…LOL. I do not read short-stories. I have tried a few, but they do not seem to do much for me. Although, I am curious about Gaiman’s short stories.

  4. Thank you and yes.

    I’m an avid short story reader, but hardly a queen. (No worries, it happens a lot in the blogosphere.) Most people don’t like shorts due to getting into the story just as it ends or them being poorly written, which happens a lot because it’s so difficult to write them well. Why didn’t the shorts work for you? I’ve only read Gaiman’s shorts in group anthologies, not his own (yet), but really liked them. He does them well. He read one at a SF convention last summer that was so eerily good I might have to track down the anthology so I can own a copy. Too bad I don’t remember the title.

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