Friday, March 29, 2013

endorphin patrol

Release is nigh! According to the weather site on-line, it's 11 degrees outside, but according to my mother's old  British thermometer hanging beside me here on the deck, it's 75 degrees. It sure feels like it, hot, full sun, me out here in a short sleeved sweater and skirt. I just came back from a walk to Riverdale Park, where Toronto is out in force - the Farm crowded with Easter celebrants looking at lambs, kids in the park running in the mud - for there is a lot of mud - and a man with a yellow paraglider jumping off the hill.

The cold will come back, it always does, on and off until mid-May. But today, a hot holiday, is a gift.  I hope even those mourning the death of their lord can enjoy the sun.

I recently watched a British science program on TVO during which the host asked random people on the streets to clench a pencil sideways in their mouths, and to report how they felt. Silly and cheerful, were the replies. He pointed out that the pencil forces your mouth into a kind of smile, and a smile releases endorphins into your brain, actual chemicals that make you feel cheerful. So it's true that simply putting on a happy face, even a fake one, makes you feel better. And if you simply can't smile, reach for the nearest pencil.

Hard to smile, though, when I read Joe Fiorito's column in today's "Star," about the closing of the beautiful bookstore Nicholas Hoare on Monday. What a loss for our city, that warm room with its armchairs, golden wood, bright light and acres of good books. They kindly hosted my book launch in 2007 and I'll be forever grateful. I'm going down there tomorrow with a good bottle of wine for Chris, to thank him and the others. And to have one last long lovely browse.

An accomplished and extremely sharp lawyer friend came for dinner last night; since she is in semi-retirement, she has decided to become a troublemaker, and what welcome news that is. For example, she is taking the Canadian government to task for allowing Conrad Black to retain his Order of Canada, when as a convicted felon he is the embodiment of everything the award is not. And, I added, they have taken back Garth Drabinsky's and not Black's? She got me riled; I'm going to write to them myself, and I urge you to do so. He's particularly on my mind because his loathsome wife Barbara Amiel has just written the most appalling column in appalling "Macleans" magazine, blaming the girl who was sexually assaulted in South Dakota for drinking too much and not wearing enough clothing. It's the most vicious, small-minded bit of writing. The two of them are disgusting.

My friend is also researching another beef. She says our western world is no longer divided into left and right but into entitled and not entitled. Even before today's release of incredibly high salary details - read them in the "Star" - she was on the case of public servants making vast salaries with vast benefits and vast pensions. She's not complaining of poverty herself, just imbalance and injustice. In an email, she wrote: send a note to young people looking for a career - train as a plumber; work for the School Board, and earn $127,000, plus terrific benefits and pension.

And now - I have to go inside, it's too hot here on the deck. Repeat: it's TOO HOT. Where am I?

PS. Speaking of mud puddles - the little video below is sheer joy.

Such Is Life

No comments:

Post a Comment