Sunday, August 09, 2015

Whilst walking along Vaughn Road in Toronto I came upon several boxes of books on the sidewalk and obviously free for the taking . I sorted through them and picked several that interested me .There was an old Penguin book by John Buchan titled "The Island of Sheep" in perfect condition . It had been reprinted in 1960 and first published in 1936 but what caught my eye was was the price on the cover 2/6 .Only those who had grown up in England at that time would understand that 2/6 meant two shillings and six pence or 30 English pennies , 1/8th of a pound ,and also known as half a crown , a crown being 5 shillings or more commonly known as five  bob (a shilling in slang is a bob and Bob times 20 is a qwid which properly named is a would think that would be all we need to know about British currency but there is more.A penny is 1/12th of a shilling  plus  a halfpenny coin is 1/2 a penny and a farthing is 1/4 of a penny which gives enough information to calculate 240 pennies in a pound .One more thing there is also the guinea which is 21 shillings but not common in my time .

John Buchan  was among many other things famous as a novelist    his best known work being "The 39 steps" which was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock .He was also Governor General of Canada from 1936 to 1940 .Check him out on Wikipedia a serious over achiever . He was a contemporary of Norman Rockwell though they never crossed paths but another serious over achiever thanks to my help in another  life ....
I was pretty much smiling to myself all day in fact I was positively grinning and it was just because the way my day began walking down Oakwood St in the early morning sunshine .When I'm walking I take an interest in the journey and often just stop and stare at things that catch my eye . There were  flowers and they caught my eye as if they were turned towards the sun in rapt attention . It was almost like the sun said "come on soak me up 'and every petal on every flower was perked up like a dogs ear ready for action . Then I saw the bee flitting from flower to flower for nectar and more bees thinking to myself, all's well with the world remembering an article I'd read about bees dying off and here they were still flitting around right in front of me .Eventually I continued onto  St Claire West ,a street with an active and prosperous business section .

George Elliot . The Mill On the Floss . Wading my way through this book but yet hardly able to put it down in spite of having to read whole paragraphs over again after losing my concentration for the umpteenth time . the volume of words , the immense vocabulary , the emotion . the    sentiment , and the detailed description of an 18th century English hamlet and the family that lived in the mill on the river Floss .

Down Vaughn Rd to St Claire West ,then to Bathhurst down the hill and left on Davenport to Bedford St and if you look South on Bedford you get a perfect view of the C.N. Tower . From there I ended up on Bloor St and once past the science museum the high end retailers are on both sides of the Street . I cup my hands around my eyes  and press against the glass at Prada and see hand bags back lit in glass shelved cubby holes. I imagine the fashonistas entering to worship at the hand bag alter or even a modern day Wordsworth composing an ode to a bag .As I leave I notice I have slobbered on the glass and a touch of spit dribbles down from the Prada sign on the door .