Winter Finally Arrived!

Winter Finally Arrived!

OK, so friends & family back in Canada will be wanting to strangle me… seeing the picture of frost-laden leaves on the ground and using the “w”-word to describe it. Yet, the -1/-2 degrees that we’ve been getting at night are more seasonal temps for us. Friends assure me that several weeks of -15/-20 used to be a yearly occurrence here… but not so any more.

I’m OK with that.

Feeling the need to quickly move on to less controversial topics however, let me tell you about our week…

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Lessons from the Greenhouse

Lessons from the Greenhouse

Liz would tell you – as would the kids – that I’m the hardest person in the house to buy for at Christmas.

If I am difficult to buy for (I’ll neither confirm nor deny), you’d never know it from this year’s gift. Liz nailed it and I couldn’t be happier. One of the local gardening centers had a good deal on this 3m x 3m (10′ x 10′) polytunnel.

Fellow gardeners will understand my enthusiasm and putting it together over the past couple of weeks has taught me a few things…

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(re) Construction

(re) Construction

Just a quick post for today as it’s a Bible School weekend the day will soon be in full tilt.

Today’s feature photo (see larger version below) is, exceptionally, not one I’ve taken personally, but one which was published earlier this week by the National Heritage Foundation and features Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral as seen from a construction crane erected to work on restoring the world famous monument.

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"Snow Day" in Angers

"Snow Day" in Angers

If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you’ll know that the chances of having an actual snow day are slim to none. You will also have seen me use the expression back in early December when I had an unexpected Saturday respite from travel to the Paris region.

What do I mean by a “snow day”?

Growing up in the throws of a Canadian winter, snow was just part of the drill. You dressed a little warmer and on a good day, you got a fresh bread bag to slip your feet into before placing them in the snow boot. This wasn’t a “poor” thing, it was a “keep your feet dry despite snow getting into your boot” thing… and very effective.

Getting a snow day was when it had snowed particularly vigorously overnight, snowplows hadn’t reached all of the primary & secondary streets and the school board deemed it precautionary to cancel school for the day.

In other words… you woke up fully prepared and expecting to go to school (or work) and then… surprise, surprise… your day was completely yours… total freedom.

Those days happen less as an adult, but they do happen.
Let me tell you about mine yesterday…

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Welcome to A New Year!

Welcome to A New Year!

These are some of the lights put up in out little town, over the holidays.

The structure is a small scale replica of two great smokestacks that stand a kilometer or so west of that location. Here, it’s dressed for the Christmas season but last summer, city workers had that same steel structure planted top to bottom with flowers & vegetation… quite a feat really, extending the functionality of the decor over several seasons – ingenious.

The real towers are a throwback to the city’s industrial past and a winding staircase and platform make it possible to access the stacks and get a birds’ eye view of the city. So this tribute to them in the center of a major city traffic circle has been well done and well appreciated.

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