Report on Canada so far

I’ve been out of internet access for the past few days, and so I guess I should catch up.

On Sunday (Boxing Day), I cleaned my house, did my laundry, packed my bags and car, and drove up to Montreal. I arrived at my aunt’s house at about 9 pm. If my GPS had been less dense, it would have been 8:30, I’m certain. I chatted with my aunt for about two hours, before retiring to bed. And there you go, that was my Sunday. Apparently I can be brief when I want to be ;-)

On Monday, I arose early to confer with my relatives up in St Donat. One of my aunts and uncles has a chalet in the small town, about an hour and a half’s drive North of Montreal. Their family, whom I spent Christmas with three years ago, were all up there, but a fair number leaving around midday, and so I departed Montreal at around 10 to visit those who were departing briefly, and those who were not departing for a little longer. It was lovely to see everyone again, and I hope to see some of the departing ones again tomorrow (Wednesday). In the afternoon, my aunt, uncle and I (my cousin not feeling athletic) went iceskating. In St Donat, there is an outdoor skating area through a woodland area. The skating trails are artificially created, but have the unusual property of sloping. I’d never skated on sloped ice before, that was a little unusual. The ice wasn’t as flawless as it is in a rink however, and was therefore quite bumpy, and not particularly conducive to any figure-skating techniques. Given the narrowness of the trails, even skating backwards was dangerous. Regardless, it was quite enjoyable to skate around of an afternoon. It’s been too long since my feet were shoved into those small skates though; they complained bitterly, and I have the blisters to prove it. I fell once, trying to avoid somebody else who had fallen – I veered too close to the edge of the trail, and all of a sudden there wasn’t hard ice beneath my skates any more. The ground was still hard, though. I came crashing down on my side, and have a lovely bruise for my efforts.

Tuesday morning, I woke early to go skiing. We went to a place… that I can’t remember the name of. I took a trail map to remind me, but it’s in the car at the moment. I was a little worried that my skiing skills hadn’t been used in almost a year, and decided to start on a nice easy green slope. This was boring. I ended up scouring the mountain for interesting blue slopes, vering on the blacks at times. I ended up finding a nice blue slope that was just about the right gradient to zip down quickly and still feel just enough flutter of “Oh my, this is a little too steep for me!” inside. The view from the top of the highest hill at the resort was nothing particularly special, after seeing the view from the top of Whiteface or Gore mountain. However, the sky was stunning. Ifni is adamant that there is no such thing as a cloudless sky, and unfortunately I did not have a 2 Pi steradian camera to image what I saw today. There was literally no cloud in the sky, and not even a haze on the horizon – just a perfect, beautiful blue sky. It was lovely to be out skiing! We skiied until about three in the afternoon, before returning to the chalet. My relatives were returning to Montreal today, so I had to return with them. I took some pictures in the chalet though; it’s really beautiful. I’ll post them when I get the piccies off of my camera. I’m currently staying at the same relatives’ place in Montreal. They have a four storey house cut into the side of a hill. The place is enormous, and really very picturesque. The guestroom has the biggest bed I have ever had the opportunity to sleep in, I believe. I’ll have to take some photos tomorrow morning before I leave.

Tomorrow I plan to have lunch with yet more relatives, before heading on down to the family farm in Dunham. It should be a fairly relaxing day; I don’t expect to end up doing anything physical. That will come later :-)

Otherwise, I am surprisingly exhausted from the day of skiing and the drive, even if it was only one and a half hours or so. I’m currently looking forward to a hot shower and a good night’s sleep. The only other thing to note is that I’ve just finished a book called “The Curse of Chalion”, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Given the rate at which I devoured the books in her Vorkosigan series, it should come as no surprise that this one lasted me just under three days. Yup, that’s right, I read it inbetween driving/skating/skiing/everything else. I really rather enjoyed this book. The characters were likeable, the plot captivating, and the setting wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the simplistic and yet highly effective religious structure Bujold came up with. An excellent reccomendation, Ifni.

I don’t know that I’ll have internet access again until after the New Year. Thus, to all those who read, have a good one ;-)

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