Saturday, November 18, 2006

A History Lesson

John Graves Simcoe lived from February 25, 1752, to October 26, 1806, and was the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. He founded York (since re-named Toronto) and brought British institutions such as courts, trials by jury, English common law, and freehold land tenure to what would become Canada. He was also notable for his considerable part in abolishing slavery in Upper Canada. He is also notable for this:

Lake Simcoe

That is Lake Simcoe, brainchild of John Graves Simcoe. It was he that had the foresight to plunk this cowskull-shaped oasis right between Barrie and Peterborough, so that anyone who wishes to actually go from Barrie to Peterborough must go approximately 150 kilometres to get between two cities that are about 80 kilometres apart1.

But, seeing as we recently celebrated the 200th anniversary of his death2, I can forgive his lack of vision, and relate tales of my 20-odd hours in Peterborough.

I, of course, went to Peterborough to see Carley (and thank you John for covering the rockwall for me so that I could go)! It's been about a month, I suppose, since we last saw one another, when she made the rollercoaster-like drive to Barrie to begin her reading week.

We laughed, we cried, we watched The Office. Actually, although it was a rather abbreviated visit, it felt like a good couple of days. We sat and caught up for about two hours over tea and chocolate milk at a very nice and very inexpensive café, went and saw Babel, laughed at the throngs lined up to see Casino Royale, and then got some excellent pizza at the Night Kitchen around 12:30 am.

This morning meant breakfast at Smitty's and a trip to Chapter's, although, sadly, no trip to the zoo. I would feel too bad for the animals anyway, stuck out in the cold like that.

So, although this has been a very short update, it really was an excellent trip, more than worth the drive. It always seem that when I catch up with loved ones that live a long distance away, the catching up comes in little bursts and I see everybody at once. While I wish I could spread it out and not have such long periods without, I will certainly take any opportunity afforded me.

Oh, and I finally remembered to give Carley the wall scroll I bought for her in Halifax in August. You think that's bad? Nad and I have exchanged birthday gifts in November.

1 - Unless you have a boat-car. Thank you Greg.
2 - You know somebody cashed in on some wicked trust fund the day the old man had been gone for 200 years.

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