In an effort to escape the heat of July and August in Rome (Rome in July: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!), I decided to return to Toronto for these two months. Not that it’s much cooler here and in fact it is very humid at the moment but most places are air-conditioned and I can also enjoy my garden.
As I walked down Bloor St. a couple of days ago, I realized how unusual and bizarre one of our bargain stores, ‘Honest Ed’s’ is. A giant bargain store founded in 1948 by Ed Mirvish, it claims to sell everything thing from “wine to twine”. Supposedly the first bargain store of this size in the world, corny slogans, such as : “Welcome! Don’t faint at our prices, there’s no place to lie down.” are plastered all over the walls as well as old signed photograps of celebrities, and copies of newspaper articles featuring the store. The window displays are tacky and the entire storefront which practically encompasses the entire block is covered with lights and signs. For many years, Ed would give out free turkeys before Christmas and people would line up from the early hours of the morning. Ed Mirvish has now passed away but during his lifetime, he would organize a huge street party to celebrate his birthday which luckily happened to be during the summer months and there would be entertainment and free birthday cake.
Interestingly, one of the ‘feature’ window displays this week is for pasta , namely Italpasta, a brand of pasta made in Canada using Canadian wheat.Fidz claims that pasta made from Italian wheat is superior and tastes better. He may have a point as my baking is much better when I use Italian flour which has a higher gluten content.
Did I say that I wanted to be here to enjoy my garden? There was so much rain here in June that everything has grown to giant proportions and there is serious chopping and pruning to be done. However, there is also enjoyment in the process of gardening which I don’t get living in an apartment in Rome so I’m looking forward to working quietly and peacefully in my garden and entertaining my friends and family to barbecues on my deck.