In choosing Canada as our home, we were aware that one of the possible downsides is that paid holiday (vacation) time is significantly less than in the UK. However, we felt that this was balanced out by an apparent Canadian capacity to make the most of leisure time. The weekend just past certainly saw us embrace this spirit, nourishing mind, body and soul!
Friday evening: etchings by Rembrandt and Freud – the Rembrandt so incredibly fine and detailed, the Freud bolder but no less masterly, both capturing so much more than a visual likeness of their subjects; then fabulous photos, model ships and (as AGO members) VIP entry to the King Tut exhibition, recapturing an earlier fascination in the breathtaking beauty of so many of the items on display.
On to fire and ice – the Angel of the Apocalypse belching flame into the darkness as we skated, the trees glinting red and gold with Chinese lanterns to welcome the new year of the Tiger, as pillow-fight snow-flakes drifted down; a huge screen, held in the embrace of City Hall’s twin towers, provided a constantly changing vertical stage filled with oriental images and peopled by fan dancers, stick fighters and more. (On Sunday we caught a different acrobatic spectacle by Compagnie Les Passagers with a more elemental theme.)
Appealing to our senses, the foodie explorations encouraged by the fixed price Winterlicious menus are a delight – we enjoyed two great meals over the weekend. A late Saturday lunch at Pure Spirits took us to the Distillery District, followed up with the post-prandial pleasures of checking out our favourite galleries there, as well as lusting after high-style lights at Artemide. And we can’t seem to resist the wonderful Quebecois cheeses, St Lawrence Market offering up this week’s temptation!
On Sunday, we went Tumbling Into Light – amazing music, dance and visual imagery! Deeply moving, its intention to reflect the constant spiralling of light into darkness into light (individual, cultural, cosmic), I was awed by the twin awareness of the hugeness of the human capacity to encompass pain and the hugeness of the human capacity to manifest beauty.
On our way home from an early supper (Moroccan at 93 Harbord), Winter City claimed our attention again with an eerie performance by Glacialis, an Ice Orchestra. Who would have believed that ice tubes would resonate so wonderously in response to a hot flame!
So often here I am conscious of that I can still be that saucer-eyed child, utterly present, utterly entranced and engaged . . .