Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Llama Burgers and Ebooks and Sick Poodles.

Google Street View of Bank of Montreal, Cornwall and Truffles Burger Bar Pitt Street.

Rossmore Fire from a postcard

Today my husband and I got up early to drive to Cornwall to bring our big poodle to the St. Lawrence Animal Hospital there.

Our regular vet in Van Kleek Hill is away and besides, our dog is very ill and she was in need of help.

There goes my vacation to Ogunquit!

Anyway, our appointment was at 10:30 but the vet wanted to do another round of  blood and urine analyses. Chloe, the pet in question, hasn't been eating right for weeks.

She asked us to leave the dog there and come back at 1.pm. So we did.

And to kill time we went to a burger place down the street. A high-end burger place called Truffles; fine except that we were both looked like bums.

Here's the exotic part of the menu. Llama burgers, kangaroo burgers, boar burgers, camel burgers. Well, I had the lamb. (I've recently eaten kangaroo and alligator. I can't possibly eat llama. There's an alpaca farm near by house and I pass the adorable creatures twice a day.)

Funny how we eat some animals (most of them) but spend a fortune keeping others alive. It's decadent, I think, but the Pet Industrial Complex is very good for the economy.

Last week, I bought some hamburger for meatballs for the sick dog, hoping they'd entice her to eat.  I noticed that the grocery store was also selling horseburger. Imagine! I told my son, the chef, who said that the horses they  use aren't old nags, but young animals raised for meat. And in horsey country! Yikes!

Years ago, my father bought a can of Alpo horse meat and was going to give it to our family dog. I kicked up such a fuss, he threw it out. Or pretended to, anyway.

To be honest, I would like to be a vegetarian and I am most days. I do burgers for my husband.

Anyway I  broke my 4 month weight loss diet too this lunchtime but, hey, I was depressed. Depressed about the sick dog, slowing starving to death, and depressed about the  cost of tests for said sick dog, even in Ontario, where vets are WAY cheaper than in my suburban neck of the woods.

That's why we drove to Cornwall  on a day my husband has to work.

As I was eating away at my big fat garlicky baaah baaah black sheep burger, I thought of something more dark and depressing. I told my husband, "I think we are eating right next to the site of the Rossmore Hotel, where your Great Aunt Edie's boyfriend died in a fire in April, 1910.

The Bank of Montreal, next door, is on the old Rossmore site, I know.

How weird."

Edith and Charlie, 1909

 I've written about the Rossmore Fire and Edith Nicholson's sad loss. Her boyfriend,Charles Gagne, a Bank of Montreal clerk, ironically, died in a stairwell there in the middle of the night. The couple wasn't officially engaged, but there was 'an understanding.'

It's all in Diary of a Confirmed Spinster my e-book, where I play around with some facts a bit and turn it into a murder mystery of sorts.

I snapped a picture of a plaque on the Bank of Montreal Building, erected in the 1930's I think. The plaque, put there in 1989, commemorates the site of the original Presbyterian Church in Cornwall.

Edith was a Presbyterian and Charlie, a French Canadian, had converted to that religion. He implied  so in a letter to Edith from Cornwall the day before the fire.

He told her he spent most of his off-time in the Presbyterian Church, which by 1910 had moved to around the corner. I guess that's the kind of thing a guy tells a girl in 1910.

The Rossmore Hotel, popular with salesmen, had a glitzy bar, apparently. She wouldn't have wanted to know he spent all his spare time there.

Funny, I found Charlie's death certificate on Ancestry, ca. His mother buried him as a Roman Catholic.