Farewell Toronto

The conclusion of my Australian rendezvous in 2005 was an overload of wonderful friends, family, conversations food & music. C'mon, it's pretty hard to beat a quick swim at the beach chased with fresh brekky & a Boag's before a session of baroque French opera! Fond memories of reunions with the orchestra in Sydney, a thoroughly successful opera season & recording with Pinchgut .... I feel so lucky to have such a big basket of amazing friends who challenge my understandings of how to exist in this privileged time we're each given. Plenty of philosophical beach time with violist & uber surfer Nicole, humbling heady conversations with bassoonist Simon and a new opportunity to reset the calipers on the whole "life experience" via the opera patrons (& my hosts for the weeks in Sydney) Liz & Ken. Thanks all .... you rock! Back to Adelaide for reunions ... two years on, it feels like we only departed for Canada yesterday. The most dramatic of changes in our home town, was the explosive proliferation of cibo espresso franchises ... of which we made exemplary use during our weeks in SA Happy
Stepping off the plane back in Toronto, to be greeted once more by snow the dejavu of "coming home" on the other side of the world was a new experience but tempered by the inevitability that I'll depart Canada only weeks later. We've made some incredible friends while in Toronto who are now scattering themselves to the far corners of the globe on advetures of their own.
It's little quirky things that I know I'll miss whenever I think back to these last 2+ years spent in Toronto;
Bilingual ingredient lists on everything in the supermarket. I've expanded my French vocab beyond expectation, but the only sentences I can construct are pretty piss-poor: "ello missieur, oui ... ah wood lahk three emulsifiers, two artificial colourings and a pound of your finest fructose".
Sitting at the computer keyboard, gazing out the window from our beautiful loft at the streetscape below and all its various "characters" going about their day completely oblivious to our cubic life on the other side of the glass. Staring, mezmerised by the fat snowflakes gliding past the window ...... actually let me clarify that last bit .... clicking a button on my web browser, then staring, mezmerised by the fat snowflakes for about 10 minutes until my cellphone rings ... right on cue ...... hello, this is Swiss Chalet .... I have your roast chicken in the lobby sir ... shall I bring it up to you? Wow ... I can't believe I've been here 2 years & I've only just discovered Swiss Chalet!
On their (very belated) honeymoon, Alex & Makiko visited Toronto with Alex's parents and we spent a pair of precious days together, walking around (& under) the city, playing in the snow, eating at the favourite establishments Zoe & I grew to habitually occupy and sharing some of the most concentrated & revealing conversations I think we've had since university if not high-school days. They headed back to the US to visit other friends before a quick stop in Greece & then landing back in Japan to set up their new lives near Osaka where Alex will resume the position he left with Aeon shortly after Zoe & I arrived in Toronto.
Our downtown loft is clean .... really clean, the movers only took an hour to pack our lives in bubblewrap and another hour
to wheel it all downstairs into the waiting truck. Now the wood floors and concrete walls leave the apartment resonating with a very cathartic echo and I'm really sad to say goodbye to our home which has seen 3 new years celebrations covered in snow as we overcame the challenges of high stress work, making new friends and importantly the adventure of living our lives together wherever we choose to exist.
I can't wait to reunite with Zoe in San Francisco before a quick trip up to Vancouver then a more permanent touchdown in California & the new adventure of life & work in the bay area. This is destined to be amazing! Come see us when you get a chance!