Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Land of the Giants

It's the middle of the night in Ottawa and we're too far from Washington to hear the inauguration celebrations. Canadians I know seem to have watched the historic ceremony at work and school and home. They're all asleep now (the ones I know.)

There's not much to see outside but I can still make out the dips in the snow on the balcony railing where a squirrel shimmied along it two days ago. That's the thing about snow, all sorts of things are frozen for weeks: dog pee, squirrel prints, rubbish. You leave water and cameras in the car, they freeze too.
The snow blankets and muffles as you'd expect. It wraps up sound and tucks it down for winter.

We are in a giant fairy tale. Really. Giant. Eggs come in one and a half dozens. I saw a blue jay today, it's so much bigger than I thought a blue jay would be. There was what looked like a child's fort in the trees and my nephew said it was an abandoned crows nest.

Squirrels are darker and more menacing when hopping through snow. When you run into a baby bear, look for the mother, you might need to start running again.

Snowflakes on your eyelids are enchanting. In your eye they hurt.

Cafe au lait and brioche for breakfast in a patisserie. If we'd only come for that it would have been enough.

Today's winter sports and their aftermath: my niece was on a ski-trip but a suspected broken leg from a fall saw her stretchered off the mountain (luckily it's just a double sprain), my brother-in-law was on an annual ski trip up Mont Tremblant and lost his car keys, my nephew skated on the school rink without mishap ( we have pools, they have rinks.)

We go ice skating on the canal on Thursday. I can't ice skate.

I am reading Alice Munro's stories after buying a lovely new Penguin (Canada) copy of Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage at Chapters Bookstore in Ottawa.

I found Rachael King's The Sound of Butterflies there too and felt very proud.

After Munro, I need to finish Auster's The Brooklyn Follies. Then I think I'll start Obama's Audacity of Hope. The book is in my suitcase. It begins: 'On most days, I enter the Capitol through the basement...'



Anonymous said...

Looks deliciously cold Mary, yet another 35 degree day here in Oz, melting like an ice sculpture. Love the idea of snowflakes on my eyelashes

Fifi Colston said... all I can say (whoops, sound like a crow) but blimey it looks amazing!