This is the book that the librarian had chosen for October. I went to the book group for the first time yesterday – it is held in the basement of the library and anyone who wants to go along is welcome. A large table was surrounded by chattering women and a silent, solitary man when I joined them – there was little opportunity to talk or to meet anyone as the librarian came in with a trolley filled with cups, coffee, tea and cakes. She left and returned with a paper with many discussion points and notes. She led the discussion with some interesting points. I had not read TC Boyle previously, a well known and prolific American author. The Tortilla Curtain, deliberately titled to reflect the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall and any other man-made wall separating peoples, was written in 1993 and is now on the US High School curriculum although it has been challenged recently (in 2010) by a mother who wanted it removed. Each person around the table then had the opportunity to express their opinion about the book, the subject matter and the writing. What was fascinating were the many different responses, from loving to loathing the book, the subject matter and the way in which the book was written. I was gripped from the outset and although the subject matter, the contrast between the lives of wealthy Americans and illegal Mexican immigrants, was often very painful and depressing, I would absolutely recommend it. It is particularly pertinent given the current situation in Australia with asylum seekers and after the tragic loss of life in Italy recently. Happy reading! And any book recommendations will be gratefully accepted! I am sure there will be plenty of time for reading as winter sets in whilst Simon is toiling away at Arrowsmith!
Here we are on our parent’s walk this morning – all rugged up against the much lower temperatures we have been experiencing this week. From left to right, Frances, Leah, me, Lynette and Elizabeth (and Lynette’s friend Toni who took the photo!) all braved -6 to go for a frosty walk on a beautiful sunny morning in the picturesque Jackson Park, where we saw the most magnificent heron.
I have been thinking about some quirky Canadian ways! When I arrived here I had no idea that the general manner of greeting someone is to hug them – I have overcome the reserved Englishwoman in me who found this rather forward! Nevertheless I still find it somewhat strange to be hugged upon introduction to someone I have only just met! It even makes the Australian/Riverview habit of shaking hands seem rather overformal!
And as for “eh” on the end of every sentence – who knew! Simon and I have bought a Canada-opoly game and stated on the lid is “A Canadian game from “eh” to z! I am sure we will make more observations as time goes by!
After such a wet weekend today was a glorious day – I met Elizabeth on the way back from dropping Simon off at Arrowsmith and she invited me for a walk with Leah. We went to the nature reserve near the university and had a lovely, brisk walk – Wild Women pace! Simon had a good day and is now doing clocks, rather than typing, for his homework – getting increasingly accurate with increasing practice!
What do you think? We think our pumpkin is pretty impressive! We had fun making him (inspired by the pumpkin that Simon and Ashleigh carved in Melbourne two years ago – thanks Ash!).
Come again another day! What a wet, wet morning! We set off in all our wet weather gear (thank heavens for our New Zealand trip for which we had to buy all the gear!) to the Farmer’s Market but we had to stop halfway to buy Simon some waterproof boots. His trainers were soaked and we didn’t bring his hiking boots, since after the Gold Duke of Ed hike he said he would never put them on until he is 25 years olf! So, a good while later and with “Bogs” on his feet – a photo to follow tomorrow – we set off again. Simon said he would prefer it if it snowed rather than rained – that is something I think I might be reminding him of when it is snowing! There were very few stalls at the market – half had simply not turned up, given the weather. Those who were there looked wet, cold and rather miserable. We came home with many extra goodies given to us by stall holders grateful we had made the big effort to come in the rain! We huddled inside for the rest of the day, once again pottering whilst listening to Harry Potter and cooking dinner for Amanda, one of Simon’s fellow adult students, a gorgeous person. We had a lovely evening with her, and a lovely chat with Jean earlier in the afternoon – we love facetime!
We have been here a month now, and this is what we were doing just before we left – celebrating the end of year 12, having our own Pre’s before the Blue and White Ball.
Well, the cold weather has certainly arrived – we are all rugged up for the morning walk from the bus stop up to Arrowsmith. Just have to buy the -30 boots now to keep our tootsies cosy once the snow starts – off to the Mall tomorrow!
We woke up this morning and for the first time I considered switching on the heating rather than relying on the ambient heat from the building, which usually allows us to wear tshirts and shorts in the evenings as it is so hot! This morning was different and what I thought was frost on the cars outside was snow! Wet flakes fell as we set off for the bus station – this is when I discovered that for an unknown reason,long forgotten and unfathomable, the hood was no longer on my ski jacket. Style going out of the window in favour of warmth, I wrapped my head in my scarf and looked like a hobo! Simon, meanwhile, was very cosy in his brand new ski jacket, with a down inner! A cold and very brisk walk back to our warm apartment, admiring the beginnings of a winter wonderland with snow on the roofs (rooves, as it is spelt here!) and some clinging to the leaves underfoot – beautiful but unfortunately I dashed out without my ipad so no photos!
Here is a photo from the weekend, it was at the Cooks Table in Newport where Michael ate with David and Candy on Thursday evening – Simon liked this photo!