On these hot, humid days, it would be uncomfortable and unwise to be out walking in the sun. I try to go early (happened to wake at seven this morning so got out for a mile and a half) before the air heats up, and sometimes late after it’s begun to cool, though the mosquitoes are out then and what I really want is to put my pyjamas on and read.
During the day I amble only to the end of the driveway several times, for the pure pleasure of it.
This week a national TV show spotlighted Manitou Beach, where Emil goes every summer to Camp Easter Seal for five days. It’s a popular concept in this country — not a new one, but with its own twist: visiting small towns across Canada (Rick Mercer’s doing it, with great success; On the Road Again did it for years) but in this case the towns are only shadows of their former selves, yet Still Standing. During the filming, various residents help Harris tell the story of the community; much like Stuart McLean did on his annual tours with “The Vinyl Cafe” for CBC Radio. Host Jonny Harris also does a comedy routine about his time there, which the locals particularly appreciate. Small-town Canadians love goodnatured teasing.
Harris also co-stars in the weekly detective series Murdoch Mysteries, set in early 20th-century Toronto. It’s a family show, not grizzly, but progressive and humorous. The detectives and other characters often employ newfangled gizmos — precursors to those now in use every day — that “the world” hadn’t yet invented. The show’s writers have imagined these little moments in our past in such a way as to give viewers a giggle and make us laugh at the idea that indeed Canadians invented every practical gadget there is.