Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jeremy Clarkson's Henry II plan and Toronto

I know I'm overdue on the details of our weekend trip to Toronto and Thanksgiving in Denver but I'll come to that later. I was just enjoying my usual mosey through of the Times online and giggling my way through some of the travel articles when I came across one of Jeremy Clarkson's articles. Being the huge motor fan that I am, I do of course have a soft spot for the cantakerous Fifth Gear presenter and as he is nearly always guaranteed to make me laugh, I read the article with relish, it appealed both to my francophile nature and unwaivering British arrogance. Here's an extract...oh, the article is on capital punishment, in a rather roundabout sort of way...
"...There are two ways a truly civilised and advanced nation can be defined. One, it has a fleet of nuclear submarines, and two, it does not have the death penalty. That leaves you with France and Britain. And that’s about right.
Think about it. When you empower the judiciary to kill someone, you are not even hoping that the person will be rehabilitated. It is pure punishment. But who’s the punishment aimed at? Sure, it can’t be very pleasant sitting in your cell dreaming up some ludicrous last-meal request that will stump the jailhouse chef, but actually, after the poison has done it’s dirty work, you’re dead and that’s sort of that.

The people who actually suffer most are your parents and your children. And they weren’t the ones who did the crime..."
Follow this link to read the article in full

Anyway, a small diversion. So, last weekend, (or would that be the weekend before?)Keith, Jay and I drove up to Toronto via Detroit and then came back via Niagra and Cleveland, thus I was able to tick off Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania as states that I have now been to. Toronto was amazing. It was truly blissful to be in a big city again. We stayed in a mediocre 4 star hotel (the Metropolitan), which despite not being quite all that for a 4-star was in a brilliant location, downtown not far from Toronto University, beautiful, or the South shore, simply divine to be near water again. Our reason for being there was so that Keith could check out Steve's studio and we could discuss the possibility of a potential move to the city. While we will be staying for a while longer in Fort Wayne, it was great to see what our options would be should we decide to move to Toronto a year or two down the line. They'll have to do something about the weather though because there is definitely that whole witches' tit, brass balls on a monkey thing going on. I'm still holding our for my little slice of writer's inspiration in the Umbrian mountains or a Florentine apartment but having now visited Toronto I would seriously consider it as a viable option. Everyone was super friendly and I detected a faint dryness in their humour that has been sorely lacking from my life in the past six years.
Our fleeting visit, less than 48 hours, culminated in us driving home via Niagra Falls which was quite a sight despite it being bloody freezing. Niagra itself seems a bit of an odd town, sort of like a mini Canadian Las Vegas. But the Falls were incredible and provided good food for thought along the lines of, wow, isn't nature clever and what do you think would happen if I dropped my hat/glove/iPod over the edge? Sense got the better of me as I did none of these and merely snapped some photos instead.
You can view some of the photos from our Canadian adventure by clicking on the Photo Album link to the right of the page.

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