Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Sunday Recap - Canada Day

It was a good thing our time at the cottage before Canada Day was fairly relaxing, because we got right back into the swing of things once we got home. We got up at a decent time Sunday morning and had breakfast on the front porch as per usual. Our landlady, Joan, and her partner, Max, were over doing some yardwork, and popped over to have a bit of a sitdown with us. 

Tim read a study some time ago that stated that people with red doors are happier and more adventurous. He's been wanting to paint our door red since we moved in, but I wouldn't let him until he talked to Joan - Tim is more of an ask for forgiveness person than an ask for permission one. While joan was sitting with us on the porch, he decided to broach the subject and the conversation went something like this:

Tim:    Joan, what would you think if I painted the front door red?
Joan:   Well, I just don't think I'd like that!
Max:   Oooo, I think that would look sharp!
Joan:   Really? I don't think it would look good. Why do you want to do that?
Tim:    Do you know what a red door means?
Joan:   Yes, I know what it means! (Thinking about the red light district in Amsterdam, I believe.)
Laura: (Laughing) No, no, no - not that! Tim read a study -
Tim:    I read a study that says that people with red doors are generally happier and more adventurous!
Joan:   Oh, well . . . 
Max:   I think it would look sharp!
Joan:   Well . . . I guess . . . If you're willing to paint it back to white if we don't like it - then go ahead. 

Tim almost immediately got up and went downstairs to get tape to start taping the door. I think him and Joan had a conversation about him being all gungho about it, but the next thing I knew he had the car keys and had left. When Joan asked me where he had gone off to, I told her, "He's gone to get the red paint for the door." She was a little taken aback and, laughing, asked, "Does he want to get it done before I change my mind?"

Whether she was going to change her mind or not, Tim had the door taped off, off the hinges, painted, and rehung by midafternoon. I think the colour is perfect - the deep red really looks nice against the white house. There are only three small problems. One is that he used glossy paint on the steel door, and it has a bunch of damage at the bottom. The gloss seems to show the damage a lot more than the old flat white paint did. Also, the first floor (but not the second floor) gingerbread trim is painted a pale minty green which just looks a bit odd. Maybe that's an eventual summer project for Tim, to have him paint that out white, or maybe even a different colour. Tim does like colour. Finally, the plastic trim around the window pane has weathered to a dull yellow and looks a little icky against the red. I'd like for it to be painted out white again at some point. 

Door coming off hinges.

Door being taped off (with Winnie the Pooh wrapping paper, no less.)

Starting the paint application!

Gotta love Tremclad.

Almost there!

Finished! The colour looks a bit brighter here in full sun than it does now that it's hung on the house. 

Talk about a perfect Canada Day project! White house, red door, big Canadian flags - we were so patriotic! Of course, once Tim gets started, he doesn't really stop - so he decided to wash the front of the house. Some Vim, water, and a bit of scrubbing later and the front looked SO much cleaner. 

Summer cleaning!

In the meantime, I made a cherry cheesecake (again with the patriotic colours) for the potluck we were going to at Blaire's in the evening. 

Cheesecake in (gasp) the stand mixer! Inaugural use - by me, at least. Angel had already used it a few times. 

Mmm, cheesecake filling!

 To continue the productivity and patriotism surge, I decided to give myself a Canadian themed mani/pedi on the porch. Tim was keeping me company, just having a drink and people watching. I had finished my toes and was starting to work on my fingernails when he told me to check out the guy that had just gone down the wharf. Tim was exclaiming over the length of his shorts, which were baggy like swimshorts but went all the way down to the middle of his shins. I probably made a noncommittal grunting noise before going back to my manicure. It was only a couple of minutes later that Tim told me that a guy had just jumped off his bike and slid into the water. At this, he got up and went down to the edge of the lawn. Him getting up interested me enough to get up and check it out from the edge of the porch. I was there in time to see a woman throw the life preserver on the far side near the boat launch.

At this, Tim asked me if I thought he should put him bathing suit on and go check it out. I - obviously the cynic - said that she was probably just being an idiot (like quite a few people in Peterborough) and throwing it in for fun. He said no, that there were people diving. Again, I said that they had probably just lost something. Complete denial, that's obviously what I'm good at. Then we watched a couple of people hurl themselves in off of the boat launch dock, and Tim ran inside and got changed. All of this probably happened in under a minute, which was within three or four minutes of us having watched the original guy with the long swimshorts go onto the pier. Tim was in the water diving with a dozen other people, including the guy's sister. Tim was even talking to his sister, who confirmed that it was her brother who went down, wearing long swimming trunks. And that he was 30, the same age as Tim. Apparently he dove off the wharf towards his sister, who was standing on the dock at the boat launch. He came up once and yelled 'Help!' before going down for good. There were lots of people in the water diving for him and police and emergency services were there with two boats within the first five to ten minutes.

Divers, kayakers, and emergency services looking for the man underwater.

 It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, so I can't begin to imagine what it felt like for Tim. Once the police had both of the boats in the water they asked the divers to get out of the water. When Tim came back to stand with me, he was a little weird. He said that every time he dove, he was praying that he'd find the guy, while simultaneously scared that he would. It was obvious to us at this point that the guy wouldn't be successfully recovered. It was well after twenty minutes after he went in.  

Crowds of people gathering around the search area. 

I think it shook Tim because he saw the whole thing - from the guy testing the water temperature with his foot to the guy's sister treading water, obviously in shock herself. I couldn't believe how fast it happened - how does a fit-looking 30-year-old man just drown in 20 feet of water, surrounded by people, on a beautiful summer day? 

We went to the potluck BBQ at Blaire's, once Tim had showered and changed. At that point they still hadn't found the body. We came home around 7:30 to police tape strung across our front lawn and a crowd of people watching the recovery divers. 

Police tape in front of our house. 

They did find Charles Urquhart's body just after 8:00. The divers found him, right under where Tim and the man's sister had been diving. It's not surprising that they didn't find him, in 20 feet of murky water, but it is heartbreaking. What I don't understand is why there weren't divers with the initial emergency response. We live in the Kawartha LAKES region - there are multiple drownings each year. They had two boats, why couldn't they have a scuba suit and at least one trained diver? It was hours before the recovery divers got there. Perhaps if a diver had been in the water within the first ten or twenty minutes, they could have found him right away. 

There still haven't been results released as to what caused his drowning. Tim's theory is that his overlong swimshorts came down when he dived and tangled in his legs, causing him to panic and drown. Swimming cramps have also been suggested, as well as drugs and/or drinking. Whatever happened, all my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Backyard gathering at Blaire's!

Heading to the potluck was a good distraction from the weirdness Tim and I were both feeling regarding the drowning. It was a lot of fun to see everyone at Blaire's. There was absolutely TONS of food, lots of sitting and chatting, and a little bit of Beersbie. I had three memorable moments. 

The first was when Blaire, trying to get all the barbeque orders under control, asked Tim if he wanted a sausage, hot dog, or burger. Tim wanted to know how big the sausages were, so Blaire told him to ask Josh. Cue Tim yelling out: "Hey Josh - how big is your sausage?" And cue general hilarity and lewd jokes. 

Also related to the barbequing was the second funny moment for me (or the second standout, at least - lots of things are funny in my group of friends). I had gone out to pick up a little extra mix for Blaire and came back to Mandy trying to convince her youngest son, Toby, that just because the hot dog had black flakes on it doesn't mean it's burnt. When I came in he was trying to grab the hot dog off of the plate and throw it in the sink while Mandy was trying to put condiments on it for him. Apparently the only way he eats hot dogs is boiled due to his preference for unburned meat. Poor kid - char is the best part! 

Finally, I went in to get my own food sometime later to find Carley giggling like a schoolgirl. Rachel, Caitlin, and Mandy were in the kitchen as well and we all wanted to know what she had done. Having found Blaire's phone, she had changed Blaire's Facebook status to, "I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! Shout it from the roof tops ppl!!!" Of course within minutes it had multiple happy congratulations and teasing comments. Given that her phone was sitting on the counter beside the sink, in the middle of a pile of food and where people had been making drinks and spilling stuff all evening, I took her phone and put it out of the way in the living room. My primary objective was to make sure it didn't get spilled on (it would have been just Blaire's luck if it did), but it suited me just fine as it probably made it take longer for Blaire to come upon it. Haha, more time for the comments to pile up. 

After everyone had finished up at Blaire's, they came down to our place (the search for the body was complete by then and the crime scene tape removed) for drinks, music, and fireworks. A few of Tim's friends showed up as well, so it was a really nice mixed group. It was a good showing of how our house works for entertaining - there was a group around the dining room table, another on the couch, one on the porch, and a final group on the lawn. Over the course of the evening we probably had over twenty people. 

What are fireworks without sparklers?


Plus we had to take the ubiquitous pictures with the slingshot chairs in front of the house. Me and Rach.

Rach and I.

Nate and Tim.

And Tim and Nate!

Happy Canada Day!!


  1. One of my favourite moments is when Toby told me that Brad needed to put a shirt on because he could see his boobies.

  2. Hi, I’m Charles’ sister. I’m sure in the moment I forgot to thank Tim for all his help, looking for my brother. I know it’s been 5 years but I just came upon this. The results of his autopsy was heart failure due to unknown/undiagnosed heart condition. He did not suffer. He had not had any alcohol/drugs in his system.
    We still visit the wharf evey Canada Day and on other occasions. My Daughter and I laughed hard about his baggy swimtrunks, I asked him if he was going in in his pants myself. :) anyways thank you, Jane