First things first, I'm happy to report that British Airways (like Virgin) still supply free drinks. More than that, when I asked for wine they gave me two of the individual bottles, suggesting I save one for dinner. I suspect it can't last much longer. Another welcome development was the UP train that takes you from Pearson Airport into the heart of Toronto. Those unreliable shuttle buses used to be a pain.
According to plan, I spent two nights in Toronto and Ross came down on the second day and drove us to Haliburton County the day after that, enabling us to have dinner in Toronto with another old chum of his from his Toronto University days. I had booked the Holiday Inn Downtown, which by sheer coincidence was the same hotel I had stayed nineteen years ago, though then it was a Days Inn.
I enjoyed the quiet life in Haliburton County, and Ross's little community in Minden. This is an area of lakes, hills and forests, and despite his fears I would find it dull, it was interesting simply to watch how others live. Ross is a great bridge fan and runs a bridge club. Although I do not play they made me very welcome.
The weather was unusually hot for September so lazing about seemed justified (though we did a little touring too, and visited Peterborough where I was able to look around while Ross had a hospital appointment) and I was almost sorry when we set off the following week for Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Shaw Festival. This is a theatre festival, though despite its name it is not confined to the works of GB Shaw. The play Ross had bought tickets for was A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde. It was quite a good production but I'm not sure transferring the period to the 1950s quite worked. I think Ross wished he had booked tickets for musical Alice in Wonderland instead, which despite mixed reviews might have been more fun.
It was an enjoyable fortnight in Canada, but there was a background worry over Ross's health although he made a courageous effort to pretend it wasn't there. A few days after I left he had a further hospital appointment and he must start chemotherapy and radiation treatment again. Whatever the outcome, that reciprocal visit to England will not take place, but that makes me all the more grateful that I went to Canada.