mercredi, décembre 20, 2006


The snow started Wednesday afternoon. A frere et soeur christmas shopping trip was aborted and instead we drove around in the frere's hatchback, pointing and laughing at all the people who were stuck/had driven into the ditch. Snowtires do not make one invincible, but they kick up the schadenfreude a level...

Good clean fun.

Then we came home and shoveled the driveway.

There is little that evokes home/canada/family for me as much as shoveling the driveway at night in the snow. Our street is quiet and has no street lights, so its usually the shoveler and the moon. Shovel scraping against the frozen ground and the bottom of my lungs tingling when I inadvertently inhale the wisps of my airborne shovel-full. Meditative work. Only, because it was me and le frere, we raced a little-the intricacies of sibling rivalry prohibit us from saying how much we'd missed each other so we compensate by trying to outdo the other in driveway shoveling prowess.

When it's cleared, we head inside. Flushed and with suddenly runny noses. The house is warmer, brighter, more cozy than when we started. And there are rewards...

lundi, décembre 11, 2006

the lead up

to home?

Thursday: Scott Polar Institute. Cafe in Cambridge in the rain. Acquiring more books-Christmas presents. Is it ok to read aforementioned christmas presents before one wraps them and hands them over? The Fox and Duck. Pints. Foot massage. Tea laced with calvados.

Friday-Escape from potentially ackward housemate situation via London. Camden. Fruitless search for cheap noodles. Posh British people at a fancy dress party. All of them named Ollie and Ellie and Georgie and Betts and Camilla. Fox stoles. Vodka and The Proletariate. The longest cab ride EVER.

Saturday-Hangover. Hungover posh brits making breakfast. Coffee in the best coffee house in central Londres. The largest independent book shop. Postsecret exhibiton. Sun in Trafalgar Square. Aimless wandering in Soho. Eating pizza outside at a cafe in December. Spending far too much money on a dress. Scottish women enabling said purchase. Roping a defenseless Swede into coming back to the farm. Wine.

Sunday-Sleeping in. Walking in the rain. Making lasagne for ravenous housemates. K's Choice for the first time in years. Finally sorting out work prioraties for January. Packing. Wine. That 70's Show. 3 Julians at one dinner table.

Monday-Putting the Swede back on the train to London. Weaving in the loose ends or just ignoring them. Cambridge for dinner. El Amin sausages and sweet potatos. Transatlantic calls and planning: haircut and dinner party on Friday, the Messiah on Saturday...

Tuesday-(tbc) Train to London. Tube to Heathrow. Mince Pies. Will my knitting needles make it on the plane? Calgary...(stay tuned...)

mardi, décembre 05, 2006

Learned today: Lemming Availability

"A snowy owl's preferred meal is lemmings—many lemmings. An adult may eat more than 1,600 lemmings a year, or three to five every day. Lemming availability may determine the extent of southern migration."

lundi, décembre 04, 2006

In which she rambles...

[this will probably not be well structured, thematic, or readable in any way. I was going to distract you, dear reader, with pictures. But the pics are not uploading for shit, and they'd be a cop-out anyways. Pictures may absolve my lack of blog content, but won't do a thing about my laziness concerning writing...]

November has slid by in a string of ever shorter gray days. My copy deadline for the magazine was Dec 1st, and most of the month was spent typing steadily toward the magical 1200 word mark. 1200 words is not that much, really, but 12oo well chosen words strung together in kicky, funny, hip sentences on topics that I have no prior interest in or understanding of, quickly turns into a strange nightmare of google searches and abuse of the MSWord thesaurus function.

But. It's all done, and I think that I did ok. It'll be posted online around Feb 1, and y'all can check it out then.

Highlights of November include ... The gala 25th anniversary party for my ngo. Chatting to the brother of one of the founders, only to figure out later that it was Yusuf Islam... formerly known as Cat Stevens. Yes. I managed to serve Cat Stevens food and wine, and chat to him about theatre and publishing in a completely normal manner-BECAUSE I HAD NO IDEA WHO HE WAS... I think it is best not to wonder how much of a blithering idiot I would have been had I clued in earlier.

Germany. Sent on my first ever 'real journalism' job, to cover a conference of young environmentalists. A whole hotel room to myself. A whole bathroom to myself. An invisible person who made my bed every day. Heavenly. The conference was good too. I met a bunch of very inspiring young people, and a bunch of journalists who taught me a lot about reporting. The conference was sponsored by a multi-national pharmaceutical company, so I got a first hand glimpse of how big, profit driven companies are tackling environmental degradation, and I've been mulling over what I think about that approach. As usual, I am sitting on the fence, but I want to think more about it over December and hopefully come to some kind of position I can defend.

Wales. 10 hours on the train=one pair of wrist warmers and finishing some leg warmers. Hiking up a 'mountain' in Snowdonia. Walking on a beach. Drinking beer and eating steak and kidney pie in a pub on the beach. James Bond. Cooking. Talking. Comfortable silence. Driving: complication-free mobility. A bit of a rest. No rain. Sun, even.

Yesterday. Nina and I discovered the best pub in the world. The Beehive. We were adopted. 3 hours. 5 pints. Sent on our way with blueberries 'To keep your strength up.' Apparently I am a dead ringer for Renee Zellweger, even though I hem my trousers with duct tape.

Back to the motherland in a week. Not exactly sure how I'll navigate the 'holiday season'. For the moment I'm wondering what to cook for dinner.