Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Effing freezing

Yes it can be that bad. Worse. I hear people in the UK (not forgetting I was one of the most vociferous last winter) moaning about how cold it is,
'Ooh, it got down to -6 last night, it was freezing.'
No...that's not cold. Relatively, perhaps. But not bloody actually.
Actually, -22 'feels like' -34 is cold. I love that whole 'feels like' thing they do here. If it feels like -34 then why don't they just say it's -34. Or say it's -34 and 'if you are wrapped up like a duvet sausage it feels like -22'. Surely that would be more honest.
The dogs now need booties to go out which, of course, are impossible to get onto unwilling dogs weighing 9 stones and ludicrous to watch as they walk. It's more like a Thunderbirds walk with each paw lifted a good foot off the ground before going down tentatively (and with a look of mortification)on the ice packed ground. I'm glad to say my nostrils haven't frozen together yet - I still have that little gem to look forward to. It's the strangest thing really - you go from 70 degree heated home, or 80 degree heated shops, and step outside. INSTANTLY you are cold to the bone. Every centimetre of exposed flesh is prey to the searing cold. You breath in the cold and your throat shrieks, in my case quite loudly, in protest.
The cold here laughs at windbreakers. 'Ho, ho, ho...you think you can escape my icy fingers? Not a bloody chance. I see a tiny gap where you haven't duct taped it to you and through that I'm going to freeze your arse off.'
And fool that you are if you think you can just pop into the shop from your car without pulling your hat over your ears, muffling your neck and mouth and putting on your arctic gloves. Instant head freeze followed shortly by icy, brittle fingers.
No doubt there will be many another blog/moan about the cold here. Never will I be so flippant about the weather again.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

...and it's still snowing

This blog is a preemptive blog. The freeze sets in tonight so I'm writing this in advance of my first experience of head numbing Canadian weather. Tomorrow's forecast is for a maximum of -10. A MAXIMUM. And overnight...... -18. Don't people die in that sort of weather? And they want me to send my kids out in it! But here's the 'silver lining' according to the weather forecaster - it will be very sunny. So not only will I be paralysed by the cold , I'll also be blinded by the sun bouncing off the frozen landscape.

Or maybe it won't be so bad.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Breaking the law and other (white) stuff

So far I think I have broken the law 4 times since I've been here. I've been caught twice. Of the four occasions I had no idea I was actually breaking the law and one was definitely an over zealous policeman. Needless to say I won't mention which laws I've broken but suffice to say NONE of them exist in the UK. This place has ssooooo many laws that even born and bred Canadian's must struggle with. As an example...if I wanted to swear in French in public I should not, it's illegal. Merde.

So I'm feeling more alien than I thought I would at the minute. A foot and a half of snow in a day has added to the strangeness. How can that much snow fall in a day? And what crappy snow it is....you cannot make a snowball or snowman, however, you can make fantastic snow angels. It's probably been 30 years since I made a snow angel but I haven't lost my touch - perfect wings and dress and I even managed boobs on one of them made by my fists pushing myself up. Accidental snow boobs. Never thought I'd write that sentence.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Judy

My very bestest buddy Judy has just spent 6 days with us.

Prior to arriving we had weeks of angst and changing minds about whether she should come now or in the new year. She's too busy, she's too indecisive....take your pick, but every day she veered wildly from coming and not coming . Eventually she booked a few days before flying leaving me in a bit of a panic about what we'd do and where we'd go. Of course, at worst we'd resort to lolling around drinking which is our natural position.

I thought 2 'big' trips out would suffice with shorter trips around the area in between. So, on Friday we went to Montreal for the afternoon. We met Stuart for lunch and a few drinks. Shopped for about half an hour then found a bar and sat there until it was time to get the train. So, we didn't see much of Montreal but to be fair it rained all day. On Saturday we went to Ottawa. We barely caught the train (Stuart's fault although I was too nice to suggest this outright but he knows) and after we settled in our seats Judy ordered wine. The nice train man told us it wasn't legal to sell us alcohol before 11am.

Our day in Ottawa was pretty much like our day in Montreal; little shopping and much time spent in the pub, although the weather was just lip-freezingly cold and not raining this time. We did manage to get a couple of tourist photos in of the Houses of Parliament although this was down to the fact that the pub we were in was round the corner rather than us planning anything.

We got back safely but not without me leaving all my shopping on the train which was obviously Judy's fault.

Sunday, being a day of rest, meant a huge brunch at Mon Village followed by crap DVDs and a real fire. It was so hot in the house we could barely speak but I was determined to have a fire for Judy's visit whether she survived it or not. Judy spent the night awake with indigestion and, I suspect, some heat damage.

On Monday the snow I ordered arrived, transforming our neighbourhood into a winter wonderland. Judy was beside herself with excitement, taking photos and sending them to her son. She didn't much care that he didn't get them - it was the sending that mattered. We did some last minute shopping including us both buying identical singing dogs for Christmas. Incidentally, mine has a dodgy right paw and falls over mid way through his Christmas version of 'Shout'.

Judy left us yesterday and now the house is quiet and bereft of her pottering around in her nightie all morning drinking tea and asking impossible to answer questions about all things Canadian. 'What's the mortality rate on this road?' 'What does that big thing do?' 'Is that a telephone mast or a telegraph mast?' What????

Come back Judy. Your madness makes me appear sane.