Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Of Holidays, Burgers, and Strange Sightings

When I was teaching, there was nothing like a day off. Perhaps the best days were those rare and unexpected snow days when classes were cancelled. The best days were when they actually closed the school because then the teachers could stay home too. Mostly they were loath to do that though because I worked for a very anti-teacher board. No, they'd officially leave the school open, which meant that the kids would stay home and the teachers would have to get there one way or t'other if they wanted to be paid. More than once, I had to drive into the country when it wasn't safe for the buses and then man my empty classroom. Sheesh! That's not what this post is about, however. It sure didn't take me long to digress.

What I am getting to is that, what with Canada Day and all, we just had a five day break from our babysitting gig (although we did babysit twice on two somewhat short ad hoc occasions). While we had thought of traipsing here or there and maybe even staying somewhere overnight, we ended up staying pretty close to home. The energy level wasn't high, and as the weekend wore on, we didn't see the point in just going somewhere for the sake of it.

We have books to read and Wimbledon to watch and some fine weather to enjoy, so time went quickly. Sometimes. it's just nice to have a recuperative break from routine. As much as we love and enjoy Nikki Dee, it has also been very relaxing and restorative to not have to care for her very much for a few days.

We haven't been bored and have found a number of little things to do. For example: last night we took in the Canada Day fireworks in our small town, and today we had lunch at a pub which has an outdoor patio right on the river. However, I'm glad it was a nice day and that we didn't have any pressing engagements because it took the best part of two hours to order, receive and eat standard pub fare — a burger in my case. I have no idea what was going on in the kitchen, and I think that's for the best. Anyway, we had been meaning to eat there overlooking the river for almost three years now, and today was the day when we finally made it. But as I said, I'm sure glad it was a beautiful and lazy day with lots of time to kill.

We did see the strangest site whilst we were waiting our interminable wait. There was a man standing in the river, just standing there, almost up to his shoulders. For some reason he kept his two hands out of the water. As we watched he kept bringing the one hand to his mouth, and it began to dawn on us that he was smoking. After quite a while, he lumbered to the bank and didn't he get another cig, turn around, and immerse himself back up to his chest again. Finally, he was done with his smokes and dunked his head under a few times before heading home. It was very strange let me tell you, but it was a fine diversion while we were waiting for that elusive hamburger.

I'll bet you didn't see anyone just standing in a river for a half hour smoking a cigarette! I would be surprised if I ever see such a thing again.


womaninawindow said...

Funny, that label that you have on your post. I bet you don't get much play out of that one!

Kila said...

Well, at least he was less likely to start a fire with that cigarette!

Happy Canada Day!

Anonymous said...

I guess it would have been alright if he needed to be extinguished quickly. New health and Safety rules? All smokers must be more than knee deep in the water before lighting up! haha
I'm pleased you and Cuppa have enjoyed some time just for the two of you. It's good to do whatever on occasion.

Ruth said...

too funny! It isn't all that warm to stand in water like that for a smoke. Maybe it kept the smell off his clothes (undoubtedly)

Heather said...

Perhaps he was the same man who walked barefoot and bareback down the middle of my street yesterday, talking to himself in a very animated, intense way. Maddie couldn't resist pointing him out for his oddness, and I had to tell her that it wasn't polite to point at strangers.

Donna said...

No Telling what he was up you both got a rest!hughugs

Lorna said...

I'm very tempted to speculate on the smoker and his thoughts; it would make a great story.

I've wanted to eat at that pub (I think) too; there is something so appealing about being on the water, but I can walk up the Canal and eat at Le Café at the Arts Centre, and it would only cost as much as a flight to New York.

Pearl said...

that beats smoking while cycling.

JunieRose2005 said...

I'm happy you're enjoying your little break from the baby girl.

;) sounds like a fun time- just watching that strange guy smoke in the river!


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

To the best of my knowledge there are no fire restictions in effect.

I guess you river stander (certainly wasn't a swimmer)thought he was a cool smoker.

mreddie said...

Sounds like his cigarettes were just too hot, should have gotten menthols - that was very strange indeed. ec

Janet said...

That may be the most bizarre thing I ever heard. Maybe he told his wife he quit smoking and was staying submerged so his clothes wouldn't smell when he got home.