24 February 2015

Distractions From the Cold

Mother Nature is not being very kind at the moment.  We here, in my corner of Canada, are fed up with the likes of winter and bundling up just to get out of bed, never mind to go outdoors.  The mercury is waaay down the thermometer and when you add in the windchill factor we've had to endure the likes of  -36C lately.  It's uncalled for!

Thankfully there are plenty of things to distract me from the icicles hanging down from the eaves and mounds of snow threatening to block our view out the windows.  Yesterday, I finally finished my epic reading adventure of The Moonstone.  There were moments when I wavered but they were fleeting.  Far greater were the moments when the book was barely off the end of my nose as I raced through paragraphs of suspense dying to find out what would happen next.  How Wilkie Collins mapped out such a complex web of characters, multiple narrators, intrigue, laugh-out-loud humour, and romance while under the influence of so much opium he needed to string along four doctors to acquire it - is beyond me.  Reading The Moonstone with a group of colleagues from two branches of the library was my brilliant idea of a way to fend off some of the winter blues.  We're meeting this Friday to see how everyone got on and I'm a tad worried since there hasn't been much said about the whole thing this past month.  At least people don't seem to be avoiding me in the staff room which has to be a positive thing....right?

Another exciting occupation to help me forget the frigid weather is planning my trip to London.  Despite the fact that I keep telling myself I will spend more time sitting on park benches in beautiful leafy squares simply people watching or reading a book - I want to go everywhere!  Persephone Books will be having their Teatime Reading Group, the Imperial War Museum is featuring an exhibit Fashion on the Ration, the Dulwich Picture Gallery will be showcasing Eric Ravilious, Elthan Palace is hosting an Art Deco fair, Emily of EmilyBooks runs a book group with a ramble that I must email her about, and a day in Cambridge is on my itinerary, not to mention my date with Mary in Regent's Park and Bletchley Park is a possibility.  If you see a blur of a woman whipping about London this May - it's me.

Speaking of London, my neighbours have just returned home from a trip there to visit one of their daughters.  Lucky for me, I am their chief cat-sitter; with a fairly new kitten in the house it was such a delight to spend lots of time playing with him.  Lucky for my neighbours, my rates are ridiculously low.  When the house keys and instructions were dropped off I handed over a piece of paper with my fee request - a copy of A Scream in Soho by John G. Brandon.  It's one of the mystery titles reprinted by the British Library; set in London during the early days of World War II it ticks a lot of boxes and will hopefully be a fun read.  Anything to take my mind off of this....


...it's so cold that the thunderous Niagara Falls has become a frozen work of art.....sigh.

10 comments:

  1. I've been shivering in icy winds all day - you'd probably think it was swimsuit weather!

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    1. Just about! My long down-filled coat would be cast aside in a heartbeat but having said that - my neighbour said the damp in London was bone-chilling. Does this mean your gloves have come out of hibernation, Mary?

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  2. I'm not math-oriented, but I had to look this up, because if 0 there = 32 here, -36 had to equal -75. How is it that the numbers start to converge in the negative numbers? I'm glad I was wrong, because -36 or 37 is bad enough. :)

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    1. You have it every bit as bad, Audrey, so both of us deserve a medal...or, at the very least, a t-shirt (long-sleeved!) for enduring this wicked weather.

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  3. I love The Moonstone and you are right about Collins -- how did he do it? Your London trip sounds fun but don't expect Soho to much resemble the way it appears in Brandon's book -- which is great fun, by the way.

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    1. A lot of proof-reading the morning after? Poor fellow...

      My alter ego The Victorian Prude would need plenty of smelling salts to get through a stroll in modern day Soho, me thinks! While I'm all for whatever makes you happy, it's probably a good thing I'll be completely done in by 9 pm and tucked up with a cup of tea soon after.

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  4. I can't even fathom cold, snow, ice, etc. It may be 117 F here in July, but it's worth it to have such mild, beautiful winters. You should come visit Arizona - lots of Canadians are here right now so you'd feel right at home! Your plans for London sound absolutely dreamy...wishing I could go back again this year. I hope you get to go on the Walking Book Club with Emily. It was such a great experience!

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    1. Thawing out sounds wonderful, Anbolyn! My husband is a golfer so Arizona comes up in conversation every now and then; he's off to Florida soon...but one day I just might stop by to say 'hello'. Really....117F! Note to self...pack lots of sunscreen and a sun umbrella.

      You've done one of Emily's walks?! That's wonderful...having a chance to chat to a blog friend in person is lovely, isn't it.

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  5. Love your comments about "The Moonstone." Really made me laugh! I have read it but didn't know Collins was on opium and stringing along the four doctors. So funny. I have also read The Woman in White. There's nothing cozier on a cold winter day than sinking into a Victorian mystery novel. So glad you enjoyed it. I hope your book club enjoyed it as well. I know that feeling of responsibility when you recommend a book and don't get positive vibes from the other members. before the meeting. What I have learned is that even if some people didn't enjoy the book, we always seem to have a good discussion. How exciting about your trip to London!

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    1. Oh Sunday, we meet tomorrow but early indications are that our group is split down the middle. It's completely shocking, I know...but for some it was a bit of work...where are my smelling salts?

      Your posts were part of the inspiration I needed to click the 'pay now' button on the British Airways site. Watching too many news stories made me a bit nervous to venture far from home but you have to get on with things and live your life...so thanks for that!

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