At last this week feels like summer should: hot, sunny and glorious. The Sweetie and I decided to frolic at Centre Island for the day. We traipsed to the ferry docks, slathered with sunscreen and dreaming of riding the giant plastic swan that swims through the pond on rails.
The ferry was closed due to the Toronto City worker’s strike. Gahh!
I never expected to be a reverse Norma Rae, but I have little sympathy for the city worker’s strike. When people are losing their jobs or hanging on to them by a thread, it feels wrong for employees of the city who are being paid taxpayer’s money to strike just because they want to bank their sick days for retirement. The Sweetie and I have already had a few heated debates where he is trying to defend their right to strike but as someone who is self employed, I have zero job security, zero benefits and zero sick days, let alone sick days I can bank for my retirement, so I am not overwhelmed with sympathy. I was even less sympathetic when my dreams of a tacky swan ride and soft serve ice cream were thwarted.
Luckily it is summer and the sun was shining and it is hard to remain cranky when the weather is so beautiful. We strolled around Harbourfront like tourists and had a wonderful day despite the city strike. Furthermore, if we had made it to the island I never would have met Bill. He was sitting on the boardwalk surrounded by pigeons eating bread straight from his hands. Bill was kind enough to teach me his special bird feeding method- start by scattering crumbs to whip them into a bit of a frenzy, then hold a piece of bread (crusty Italian is their favourite apparently) in your palms and wait, quietly. Eventually I too was a pigeon whisperer and had birds landing and pecking from my hand. There will be other opportunities to go to the island but a lovely interlude with a gentle, generous man felt like a surprise gift and far outweighed a swan ride.
Sometimes the best moments are accidental ones, although if it had been a cold and miserable winter’s day there would have been nothing but cursing at the city workers and a surly subway ride home. Thank you summer, thank you Bill the bird whisperer and a back handed thank you to the striking city workers.