How To Fight Boredom #2: Have Jet-Lagged High Schoolers Pay You A Visit! Or, Meet Yr Pen Pals In Real Life

I was going to give this a slightly more polite title, but I like the way Clara worded it. She came to visit me back in August and we had a few days of adventures together. We’ve been pen pals for the past year or so, since she sent me a letter after reading my zines. She includes adorable illustrations on envelopes and in her perzine, Paper Doll.

Illustration by Clara Lipfert

It must’ve been a bit of a whirlwind visit for her, as I kept her up ’til three in the morning in spite of the fact that she’d just flown in from Edinburgh, Scotland, making it eight o’clock in the morning her time. We went dancing at a show at Casa Del Popolo, then had a long walk home after missing the last metro. I love having houseguests, but I’m not always the most responsible hostess. Let’s be honest.

On Saturday morning, I snuck out of the house and let her sleep in while I spent the day hosting open studio at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare. We met up later on for letter-writing and tea. The better part of the evening was spent wandering through the Marché Atwater and lying in the grass by the Lachine Canal.

Reading and writing in the grass with Clara

Lachine Canal

J'ai enfin fini ce beau livre.

Piments québécois, cinq dollars.

Marché Atwater at sunset.

We were so exhausted that night, I think we just read zines in my bed until we fell asleep. I find it really nice to be around people who are content to sit down and read together all evening, rather than have a need to be constantly entertained. There’s just something quaint and relaxing about it. It was also nice to have someone around to talk to about the things I was reading, instead of keeping it to myself.

The next day, Montreal was seeing its small share of Hurricane Irene. We threw a small tea party and were joined by Brad and Susan for an afternoon of chatting and zine-reading, with a soundtrack of Jolie Holland and Leadbelly. Quite lovely, indeed. Thrift-shopping the next morning, and then Clara was back on a bus to her home in New Hampshire.

Rainy-night dance party. My entire neighbourhood is a construction site.

Two weeks before that, Chelsea of Nothing Rhymes had come to Montreal for a short visit as well – mostly we drank tall cans in various parks and talked for hours. It was great. Though I can’t believe we didn’t take any pictures, or even stop by a photobooth.

Meeting up with pen pals is one of my favourite things. It can be strange to go from writing to suddenly speaking face-to-face, but I’ve generally felt closer to my pen pals than anyone else (it’s easier to write down my secrets than to say them out loud), so finally getting a chance to meet them is always exciting. And speaking of… There’s a seat sale currently happening at! Trips between Buffalo, Toronto, Kingston and Montreal from now until December 14th are only $10 if you enter in the coupon code FALL10. So I’ll remind you that Expozine is happening on November 26th – 27th, and I may be organizing a zine reading for the evening of the 25th – why not come see me in this beautiful city?

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2 thoughts on “How To Fight Boredom #2: Have Jet-Lagged High Schoolers Pay You A Visit! Or, Meet Yr Pen Pals In Real Life

  1. Amber, you are lovely! I think the first photo of the two of us (reading/saucy look at camera) is very representative. Rad all around!

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