May 17, 2010


“Toronto?” queried Neighbour Who is Always Inexplicably Holding a Spanner, as he passed the time of day with The Mushroom. “It will be the worst thing you ever do, moving there.” He nodded knowingly.

“Really?” replied The Mushroom, “Really? REALLY?” She was being sarcastic, I think.

“Concrete jungle, down there.” continued Neighbour Who is Always Inexplicably Holding a Spanner. “And they want to be American. They’re not really Canadians, those folks in Toronto.”

The Mushroom nodded. “Right.” she said.

“And it’s fulla foreigners.”

“Ah,” she said.

What Neighbour Who is Always Inexplicably Holding a Spanner didn’t know, of course, is that all of these things are, to The Mushroom, pretty good, but that’s by the by. In a twist of gorgeous, Mushroom-esque irony, now that the decision has been made to leave, she is getting all wistful about the Prairies.  This is due, in no small part I would reckon, to the weather.

Saskatchewan has appeared to entirely bypass Spring and go straight to Summer. ‘Hoorah!’ thought everyone in the Basement Suite. Blazing sun; endless blue skies; birds a-tweeting; big, yappity, hybrid dogs a-yapping; stray cats a-urinating, and a rather speedy transformation from brown to green.

“This is excellent!’ exclaimed The Mushroom. She looked happy. It made a massive difference to her face, this looking happy lark. The Baby, who is permanently happy because she’s a baby and possibly because she gets everything she wants, looked even happier. My Dad looked suspicious.

Saskatchewan is a significantly less crap place to be when it’s no longer Winter. It’s pretty. There are flowers and that. Lots of birds who presumably heard about this winter business and buggered off for seven months are now perched, merrily, in trees. Little scurrying chipmunks scurry.

And, every now again, a group of Seagulls arrive, perch for a while, look confused, then fly away again.

Seagulls. SEAgulls. The clue’s in the name, boys. LOOK AT A MAP. There were two on our roof the other day.

Seagull 1: Alright, mate.[ Pecks casually at a feather.] Where you from?’

Seagull 2: ‘Hull. [Pause]  You?

Seagull 1: Cleethorpes. I’ve got a sister in Hull.

Seagull 2: Ooh, whereabouts?

Pause.

Seagull 1: By the river.

Seagull 2 [looking embarrassed]: Yeah, yeah, of course.

Pause.

Seagull 2: Where the fuck are we?*

Seagull 1: No idea.

*Seagulls swear. They hang around Hessle Foreshore and Hull city centre, stealing people’s chips and swearing. Fact.

But it’s Summer, and everyone here was a-smiling, apart from possible the lost Seagulls.  My Dad and The Mushroom are getting tans, The Baby is learning to apply her own sunblock, Fluffy Usurper has decided he likes climbing trees more than he likes having sex and I’m getting out and about. It’s all pretty blissful.

“She’s loving it here at the moment!” exclaimed The Mushroom to my Dad, “I think it’s really good for her to be able to explore nature! And…”

“The winter is seven months long…” began my Dad.

“…in a city, The Baby simply wouldn’t be able to run around hugging trees, would she, because…”

“…and I used to come home and you were rocking silently in a corner…”

“…you couldn’t let her out of your sight for a second, but in the fields here of course you…”

“…muttering single, unconnected words like sheep, glue, marzipan…”

‘…can, and she’s learning all about the trees and the flowers and today we saw a woodpecker…”

“…and I’ve resigned from my job now because you basically said if I didn’t…”

“…and some moose prints and we fed the geese by the creek…”

“…you would actually go insane.”

The Mushroom looked at my Dad. “Don’t worry. There are still no restaurants or theatres or bars.”

“There is a bar.”

“That bar scares me.”

“I’m just saying.”

 It got me thinking, though. Is there a BEST place to live? If one took away the fact that The Mushroom can’t drive and the seven month winter, is a city actually better?  Or does is simply have more stuff? I can’t really see the benefits myself; the cities I’ve lived in are just noisier than here, and I don’t get to go to the theatre much regardless of where I live.

 I wonder what The Mushroom feels she’s missing, from the city. I wonder if it’s important.

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3 Responses to “”

  1. hayley said

    Cities are definitely better because of the stuff!! Who can live without stuff? Apart from you, Zeebs, because you’re a cat and cats seem to be immune to the charms of make up counters and nice coffee shops and impractical clothing and nice bottles of wine. So, get packing. x

  2. Ammydance said

    Oh i agree with Hayley. Stuff is good. Cities are good. Stuff in Cities is the best. And the Countryside-type-places don’t disappear when you leave, you can always go back and visit. Though why you’d want to is beyond me…take loads of phots and you won’t need to.

  3. deb maclean said

    Stuff in the cities cost money. Living in the country you will have more MONEY. You can always visit the city for “stuff.”

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