Summer arrived to Toronto in no uncertain terms on the afternoon of June 20th with a heavy, thick, sticky cloud of smog and humidity promptly descending upon the city. Took little more convincing to send me packing back to the Land o' Lakes [Link]. It's 3 hours east of Toronto, in south eastern Ontario, way off in the woods, atop the Canadian shield. I've been camped out at our place there for about a month now. The days are pleasant, if not rather cool this year, usually topping off at 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Nights can dip dangerously close to the single digits even now. It's been fairly rainy, especially on weekends. None of that matters much to me. Retired now, I come and go from our air-conditioned home away from home out in the country, travelling with the weather and against traffic, as I please.
Do I have any regrets? Very few! Even a cool summer in Land o' the Lakes can be mighty nice! Why? In Canada we get 4 very distinct seasons. In each, one can experience nature in all it's full blown glory. The summer country air like the towering forests and the clear lake water are clean, fresh and invigorating for the heart and soul. There are a zillion stars at night! The true north comes alive in all it's majesty. Make no mistake: a little too hot or too cold -no matter! Either way, there is little finer than a Canadian summer beyond the smoggy, humid confines of big city life.
So, summer finds me very much a "Nature Man", if you will. Yup! I'm out enjoying Lake Mississaganon in my kayak, paddling here and there, diving with the fish. Or on a fishing boat with the lads enjoying the sunset as they cast a line. Reel a few in. But damn! That looks like it hurts a lot, when they reel in another big Pickerel or Bass with a sharp, nasty hook stuck in it's gills or down the ol' gullet!
I'm afraid, despite every ones protestations to the contrary, that's not for me! It's not that I don't eat meat. I plain just don't like to catch and eat fish. I'm quite content to just swim with them underwater in their natural habitat instead. Enjoying the steep, rugged rock formations. The sparkling, clear, blue depths. The lazy schools of fish swimming to and fro. So when I say I've "gone fishing", what that really means is that I'm just off diving in the lake. Checking the fish out. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just to get this straight ...
As for life in the big city? Family and friends come and go from our place all the time, with or without me. Life here at our home in Toronto goes on unabated, busy as can be. For now, our home is turned upside down as the contractor and work crew renovate the kitchen, re-tile our floors, and give the place a fresh coat of paint. It's got me running back and forth a fair bit, but I know it will be nice for when autumn rolls around again, and it's time to cocoon indoors again.
So far, it's been a very busy year! Janet and I have travelled far and wide, on numerous occasions, as frequently reported here. The Cuban School Project continues! As does all the other writing and activity on my blogsite. A lot of the focus has been on the Ontario teacher strikes which now seem headed for a big showdown this fall.
I'm ready! I've got my brand new conga drum. Am raring to go! I planned to use it on the Tim Hudak PC's, but no matter, it seems the Wynne OLP have decided to take their place in the Neo Lib/ Neo Con [take your pick!] canon. We are probably going to be very busy, so more down time is definitely in order!
My Teacher Free Speech blogsite will continue throughout the summer, as usual, if not at a reduced pace, as I will indeed be "gone fishin'" a lot to enjoy our Canadian summer while it lasts! Without doubt, you will be looking forward to a break from all things school related too, but please, do still drop by! Here is what you can look forward to:
My Teacher Free Speech July News and Views Blog and Summer Contract Guide will continue, business as usual, though perhaps at a much slower rate, depending upon the pace of the news, as well as my own coming and goings. Contract wise, we might well expect this summer to be a snoozefest, with all hell about to break forth come September, when we will also be headed into a very important federal election.
A proviso though: I will project a one in five chance that there could be either a surprise breakthrough in the contract talks. Or a one in three or four chance that somebody will jump the gun again with a side deal or some other such surprise.
Let's not be naive: Experience has shown that some such seismic event could still ruthless tear assunder our summer news slumber. If so, check back here el pronto. I know I will, to report. Otherwise? Ease up and relax too! You will need the rest!
On my other blog fronts, I have a few almost ready to launch. It is the "Kulture Kult Ink" features, rather than my teacher news, that remains of interest to many of my other non teacher readers. I still aim to please, despite the preoccupation with all things teacher unionish as of late.
I still haven't completed my Bob Marley or Beatle's series. There's a Rolling Stones blog almost ready to go. More Cuba stories. Maybe some more music and book reviews. Dunno. I often end up doing some writer wood shedding on rainy days out by the lake, so there could be a lot more. Or maybe not. It all depends upon how the spirit moves me.
So this summer, please do continue to drop by! See what's new! Explore my news archives [Link] at your leisure! Use the Comment space below each blog or gmail me at my address on the top bar as need be. Also remember, guest blogs are always welcome [Link]! Otherwise? On with the Nature Man Summer in Canada show ...