Ontario, Hamilton and Dundas, June 28 and 29, 2008

3 08 2008

Laying Hens

Laying Hens

Claire

Claire

We spent the next couple of nights at Pete and Mary Anne’s, who live in an old farmhouse in Dundas near Hamilton with their two children Beatrice and Claire, and a bunch of chickens. To get there, we drove down Burlington Street at night and it was a Futurist fantasy, with all these beautifully lit industrial steel mills. It looked like a Bladerunner Disneyland, and it made me wish I could spend hours there trying to photograph it. Usually it’s nature that is awe inspiring, so I guess it’s kind of weird when it’s a pollutin’ stink-hole that is so magical to see, but there you have it. I’d say it was one of the most beautiful sights in Canada.

Claire, Robin, and Beatrice

Claire, Robin, and Beatrice

The first night we were there, there was a violent thunder and lightning storm right above us. (While we were in Ontario if we weren’t in a thunder storm every day, we could see one from where we were). Even though everyone offers us a room, we usually sleep in the Boogie Bus for comfort and the storm was so close it would be too dangerous to get out but it made the inside feel really safe and cozy. The next morning the sun shone again and Mary Anne took us to Hamilton where we went to the Ontario Worker’  Arts and Heritage Centre, where there is a lot of displays about Ontario Labour history and some art and stuff. The current show was original comic art, which was weirdly coincidental as Mary Anne didn’t know about my cartooning background.

 In Hamilton we also visited the Farmers’ Market (of course), where we bought a variety of foodstuffs. As it was now late enough in the season for produce, at this point strawberries in particular, the food was getting exciting! I was able to buy a bag of new potatoes no bigger than peas—my favourite and only available for a week or two every year. Mary Anne also has an impressive vegetable garden and that night’s dinner was one of the eating highlights of the trip.

A Very Good Dinner

Purple Hair in Front of a Purple Tree

Purple Hair in Front of a Purple Tree

Our friend Liz is moving into the upstairs suite of Pete and Mary Anne’s house, and while everybody else was building a fence for her dog, Reckless, Mary Anne died my hair purple, something I’ve been meaning to do since last summer but hadn’t found the time for. Then Step and I walked in the Royal Botanical Gardens, which is right next door. It’s a lovely place.

Pete works at one of those Living Museums as an archivist or something, and in his spare time he writes Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. I think he’s written 4 now—a Vampire trilogy and his latest “Sunrider”. I’m a big fan of Sci-Fi and I really don’t like Fantasy, so I was reluctant to start it but I have to say once I did it’s a page turner! He has quite a few fans but he distrusts publishers so he just prints his own and sells them at conventions and fairs and stuff.

 Pete also has a band so he and Step jammed both nights we were there which was great for Step, as I think he was jonesing to make some music.

Step Visits McMaster

Hamilton is a University town and like all University towns it’s somewhat funky. Step was in the Arts and Science program at McMaster University, so before we left Hamilton he showed me around the campus a bit. Without students around it seemed a bit dreary, although I did like the sculptures and the Science Building which had been cleverly designed to be able to add more stories on as needed. We also had lunch at an old favourite Lebanese restaurant he likes. Because Lebanese food is mostly vegetables, beans, and mainly vegan unless you order a meat dish, I have eaten a lot of it in my day, and the food served to us at La Luna was some of the best I’ve ever had.

Fresh Meat at Hamilton Farmers' Market

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