Back on the Bus

It’s been more than 18 months since I used public transit: the exigencies, followed by actual COVID, followed by perceived COVID, kept me away. But I needed to get from downtown to midtown this afternoon in a hurry, and so on the bus it was.

Two developments since my last ride: a comfortable, beautiful, spacious, brand new bus, and the ability to use the Hotspot Parking app to buy my bus ticket. Both appreciated.

There were only two other people on the bus with me, and everyone was masked, so I felt comfortable. It was good to be back.

Sobeys is Uphill

Really the only downside to cycling to get groceries at the Allen Street Sobeys is the hill climb from my house to the crest of Upper Prince Street. As arduous cycling goes, it ain’t no Andean trek. But it’s a hill. And on a hot tired day, maybe that’s enough to be too much.

I thought I could play an end run around gravity tonight by sneakily cycling over the bridge to the Stratford Sobeys, benefiting both from the absence of the hill climb and from the delights of the “Extra” in that location.

‘Twas not meant to be, alas: I couldn’t figure out why the cycling was so sloggy-going on the way there. I was pulling a trailer, yes, but even with allowances there was a molasses quality to the ride.

It was only when I turned around and essentially coasted all the way home, and then consulted a topographic map, that I realized that Sobeys in Stratford is at 23 meters above sea level while the crest of the Upper Prince hill is only 17 metres. So Stratford Sobeys is atop a higher mountain.

Even that, and that it’s twice the distance from home, the Stratford Sobeys has one killer feature for the cyclist: almost all the route there is on dedicated cycle lanes (Hillsborough Bridge, MacKinnon Drive) or on streets with a marked cycleway (Water Street), whereas the ride up to Allen Street is a relative hellscape of parked cars backing up, squeezing through the needle of Upper Prince, and a tricky turn onto Allen Street.

We’ve got some work to do.

What it’s like offworld…

DNA Lounge in San Francisco reCOVIDopened this weekend:

I had wondered whether people would stil be skittish about being in crowds, and the answer to that is, NOPE. They were happy being absolutely packed in, sweating all over each other. Though all our staff are still wearing masks, I’d say that less than 1% of the customers were. No soft re-entry here: they have embraced the Full Florida.

The thing about islands…

I’ve been unable to shake that quote paraphrasing George MacLeod, from bookbinder Rachel Hazell, “The thing about islands is there’s less space between Heaven and Earth.”, so I asked her permission to commit it to type and paper and she generously consented.

I used my daredevil printing skills to set the type the round; divine intervention, rather than careful planning, meant that, in 24 point Futura Regular, it fit perfectly:

The thing about islands, in metal type...

Keeping the type in place was something of a dark art involving multiple quoins plus strategic slips of paper, and significant prayer.

When I realized that the resulting circle was about the same size as my letterpress cut of Prince Edward Island, I conjured up a red-and-black combination of the two, resulting in this:

The things about islands, in red and black with outline of PEI underlaid.

I also printed a few outliers without the background of the Island, including this one, printed on handmade paper made by Catherine many many years ago, which I love:

The thing about islands on handmade paper...