Today was spent ponderously, in pursuit of refreshed memories. Camera in hand, I walked through the village and up the familiar but neglected path to my high school. Initially unwilling to go inside, I just circled it warily, walking first to the corner store that gave character to our inter-class breaks and then back up to Cleveland Dam – noting with alarm how low the water level in the reservoir is: a fact only evident by day.
Later, on the sofa in the kitchen and by window-light, I read several chapters of The Great Fire, finally passing the half-way mark. Somehow, the tone of the book has changed for me. With a stack of reclaimed books in my room, I feel a new urgency for finishing it, tinged with shame at having taken so long so far. With the book now in my mind more as a task to be accomplished and less as a thing to extract beauty and understanding from, the prose flows much more rapidly from eyes to brain.
Tonight, we are to celebrate Nick Ellan’s birthday through drinks and general socializing at his parents’ house. It is my hope that Sarah will come to join us. The lack of her company has been more biting than I would have expected for myself, though all such thoughts are heightened in the anticipation of my departure.
Nick’s party was relatively low key, with Jonathan, Neal, Maya, Emerson, and Lauren turning up. While I shot a large number of megabytes of images, I am not in the best shape for judging which among them best captures the event. I shall therefore provide one and allow those with sturdy imaginations to extrapolate the rest.
Many congratulations to Nick for another successful orbit.
Tomorrow night, I am going for dinner with my family and to a play. Since my mother will not be in Vancouver for my Oxford pre-departure party on the 17th, we will be having a familial celebration tomorrow, albeit sans Mica. We are seeing The TJ Dawe Box Set at the Arts Club Theatre, heavily influenced by the good review it received from The Georgia Straight. Beforehand, we will be having dinner at the vegetarian Foundation Lounge at 7th and Main.
PS. Look how ancient, how medieval, Wadham College looks.
PPS. I decided, less than a week ago, to stop eating factory farmed meat. The reasons are threefold. In short, it is unsustainable as well as ethically and hygienically repulsive. The newest theory about the emergence of BSE (see Alan Colchester in The Lancet) powerfully underscores the third point.