Sunday, June 27, 2010

Suburban Blues and the Montreal Jazz Festival

I'm pretty sure this building, second story once housed the NDG Library for Boys and Girls where I took out King of the Wind (about the first Arabian horse)100 times a year. I live in horsey country now, and I still get a thrill when I pass a farm with Arabian horses.

The Couch I want. Cite Deco and Re Design. Only 'rich' families in the 60's had Danish Modern, so I want it. Of course, EVERYTHING is Ikea now.

My house on Google Earth, last year. Tighsolas, means House of Light in Gaelic and that house, in Richmond, had plenty of windows. I don't think Margaret argued with her husband about renovating them. That house,unlike ours above, was solidly built.

I went out alone last night, a Saturday Night.

My husband and I spent hours arguing (over windows!) and I took the plunge, got into the car and went to the Montreal Jazz Festival alone. About 100 years after Edith Nicholson of the letters bitterly complained that she couldn't go to a lecture all alone and had to stay in her room in her respectable lodgings on Greene in Westmount, I had difficulty going out alone in a very public place. At 55 years of age. 100 years of feminist progress and it's still hard for women to go out alone to a function alone at night. (I have to pretend in my mind that I am a tourist. I wouldn't hesitate to go out alone in London or Paris.)

Isn't it hard?

Do you do it?

Anyway our fight was about renovating windows and how much to pay and how many windows to replace. Our fight was over turf. Who decides what. We both generally agree we both decide, but my husband wants all the windows done and I want only the patio doors done. He's been complaining for years that the big sliding doors let in the cold and raise the cost of heating and he covers them in plastic in the winter which makes me feel as if I am vacuum wrapped. (This is debatable, that new windows, however energy efficient, save much money, at least from what I read on the Net, and this is what precipitated the argument, which was basically over 'nothing' -arguing for the sake of argument. It all got pretty silly and circular and "I never said that" "yes, you did five minutes ago"all over the place. And that's when you know you need a break from each other. A Time Out.

I was tired from taking care of old and sick father in law- and the weather has been damp and bleak, with intervals of sun.

My husband, of course, has pressures of his own. Indeed, he has raccoon eyes today which suggests allergies had something to do with his bad mood.

So we argued over nothing.

"We both decide about windows, " I said. "Not just you."

"But you just told me you're going to buy a couch."

"Yes, but did I go out and actually BUY it?"

(I had found this wonderful refurbished 60's couch, orange "Danish Modern' and thought it would perk up my staid Edwardian living room. *All Furniture inherited from his family, including at least one lovely piece, an oak table with some classical flourishes, belonging to Tighsolas. My husband wasn't impressed. He isn't into Retro. He likes new. New windows, especially. Even if they are plastic, or PVC and as ugly as the ones we already have and despite having the federal government's stamp of energy approval, these expensive new windows would only save us a few hundred a year in heating bills at most, which would take 30 years to recoup.)

Anyway, I am into retro. Which is perhaps why I decided to park at Queen Mary Road and take the metro to the Festival at Place des Arts. That area is where I lived in the 60's and where we had crappy 60's furniture, well, fifties style but low end and upholstered in beige burlap, from what I recall.

After my outing, as I walked back to the car from the Snowdon Metro, (I never noticed but the apartments on Queen Mary at Ponsard are beautiful Deco Style) I think I passed the building that once contained the NDG Library for Girls and Boys. I am not sure. (Just wait while I do some surfing on the Gazette archives...Nope, just some indication in was located on St. Antoine in the 40's.) Anyway, a branch of the library was on Queen Mary in the 60's. I can recall the first visit I made with my mother: very exciting. For the next few years I kept taking out the same books: Wind in the Willows, Dr. Doolittle, The Last Days of Pompeii (Weird). Silent Spring. (Weirder) King of the Wind and other horsey books. Now NDG has no English Library, with the Fraser Hickson closing.

Anyway, after staring out at desolate, although pretty, suburban gardens through rain haze all week, it was nice to be part of a huge crowd of people, in this case a vibrant multicultural crowd and full of eye pleasing individuals, interesting, eclectic, well-dressed but casual, young and old, mostly couples. Unlike me. The CITY world. The REAL world. As I got to the Rio Tinto Stage, a guard felt down my purse (checking for booze, I think) and then I grabbed a hot dog (delicious, my special treat) and listened to a full figured woman in red taffeta evening dress sing for about an hour, until my back started hurting. The woman, Crystal Monee Hall from San Francisco had a superb Phoebe Snow type voice, and I had the urge to hear her sing Poetry Man... Still, she was a pleasure to listen to, amid the colourful friendly crowd of Montrealers and tourists. Alone or not. And the sun was out, for a change. There's nothing better than the city in summer. (I think I'll take that money for the windows and rent myself a pied a terre.)

For all the crowd's multiculturalism, I noticed that in the entire crowd, there was only one woman in a headscarf though. Sexy blues songs I guess aren't for everyone. (Crystal's first song was something like "Take me home and do me really good." I wonder if she writes plaintive songs about renovating turf wars.)