Living in Toronto – Month #1


I have lived in the city of Toronto for about a month now and I have really been enjoying it.  Mostly. 

There are some little things that I need to get used to but they aren’t so overwhelming that they overly colour my experience in a negative fashion.  They ARE worth blogging about though, if not just for the entertainment factor.

One of the big things that requires some adjustment is the proximity to my neighbours.  Well, I’d love to be able to adjust *their* proximity, but unfortunately it’s me that needs to get used to things.

I spent the last ten years living in an attic on the third floor of a house. I was far enough from my neighbours, and high enough that unless someone had a telescope in one of the highrises downtown and blocks away, there were no prying eyes in my windows.

Now, both my bedroom and my bathroom windows open to a view on my neighbours brick wall…which is about three or four feet away.  Their bathroom window is placed in line with mine so if we both crank them wide open, we can see into each other’s washrooms, wave at each other, share a bar of soap if one of us runs out…

Okay, I haven’t really waved or done the soap thing…or actually met them at all…but you see what I’m getting at.  These things *could* happen!

The other lovely thing about our washroom windows being peeping buddies is that we can pretty much hear everything going on!

Rustling shower curtains, the loooong Austin Powers pee.

You know, when you think strangers can hear you, you even fart differently!  The whole “let ‘er rip” freedom is lost.

The other problem with being on the ground floor, that I didn’t realize would be an issue, is my sense of safety.  The years I spent living alone in my attic abode, I felt incredibly safe.  I was three floors up.  Any psycho would have to bypass many other chaos causing opportunities, and be quite good at rappelling, to get up to my window.  Prior to that, I lived in a townhouse, attached to others on both sides, with a fenced in backyard, as well as a third floor apartment during college.

But now I’m on the ground floor.  A person can pretty much just walk up and take a peek if they wish. Sounds a little paranoid?  Yeah, I know. I’m not one to subscribe to the culture of fear that our media seems to like portraying every day in our newspapers but rational thought doesn’t figure in to it when you’re home alone and you wake up at 2am to some strange noise that sounds like someone taking a pee right outside your window!  (Granted, THAT could be my neighbour *actually* in their washroom…in which case, I’m just going to have to get used to it!)

Oh, and on that note, can I just add…

Wind chimes are EVIL!  They are all laughter and light during the day but once the sun goes down, they tap into every primal fear, every scary thought you have ever had!

Some of the creepiest moments in my new apartment have been due to my evil wind chimes.

EVIL Wind chimes!

You can’t tell me you haven’t experienced it….

It’s silent around the house.  You’ve just been roused from sleep by a creaking floorboard.  Omigod, is there someone in the house with you???

You listen intently.

Silence.

Not a whisper.  Even the air is still.

You sigh. Curl up under your warm duvet, hug your pillow and tell yourself that you’re being silly.

And then…

You hear the slight, very slight, tinkling of the wind chime in your kitchen.

Your heart jumps into your throat!!!! And you KNOW.  You just KNOW that every monster that ever hid under your bed is hovering outside your bedroom door just waiting for you to nod off.

It’s an open door for soul-sucking monsters and you promise yourself that in the morning, that wind chime will be in the rubbish bin!

So you sleep…sort of.  One eye open and all that.  Weird dreams, tossing, turning.  You see 3am, and 4am…5am…and then as the sun just starts to rise and lighten the day, you nod off and grab a heavenly 45 minutes of sleep.

First action item of the morning? To dispose of the evil Wind Chime from Hell!  But in the sunlight, it just looks so pretty and sounds so lovely…oozes such innocence that you convince yourself, “Pshaw! There’s no evil here. Look how lovely and pretty….”

You’ve lost the battle.

So what else have I learned in Toronto throughout my first month?

Well, there are a few things…

AstroTurf makes a great easy-to-care-for lawn…

Real grass or no?

But obvious seams give it all away!

Astro turf seam or ant trail?

Papasan Chairs work as garden decor!

Bracket fungus is COOL! (Okay, I already knew this, but I needed some type of heading so I could include this picture!)

Centipedes are CREEPY and like to live in my kitchen sink!

Fred the Centipede helping me figure out Ikea directions

***Centipede Community News Bulletin: Creepy or not, it must be mentioned that centipedes eat all the other pests that annoy us…flies, moths, even spiders (this particular meal doesn’t make me overly happy because spiders also have a job to do!).  So, if you are able to get over the creep factor (which I’m able to do somewhat so far because I don’t actually see them THAT often) and if your many-legged friends are able to keep well-hidden, they are actually kind of helpful. http://arthurevans.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/house-centipedes-on-the-move/

I have found that naming our centipede has helped. Fred has appeared in my sink twice and we have removed him…twice. As long as they stay the same size, I will continue to believe that it is always Fred returning to the scene as any thoughts entertaining the idea that there is more than one in my house cause me to run screaming like a banshee. ***

 

Nova Scotia Donairs CAN be made outside Nova Scotia and still be orgasmically delicious!

Nova Scotian flag on the Danforth! A little taste of home!

Awesome donairs made by the guys at The FuzzBox on the Danforth!! http://www.thefuzzbox.ca

And on a final note….I’d like to introduce two new members of our family!

Spike and Priscilla

I have managed to kill many a plant in my lifetime, but Priscilla especially is touted as a practically unkillable ZZ Plant!  

We shall see…..

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