Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas pudding

This isn't a black picture. Look again. It's a lovely gift of homemade Christmas pudding steamed for 1 1/2 hrs, upended on a flameproof dish, doused in brandy and lit with the lights turned off. In real life the blue flame made a larger, more impressive halo. And--we turned the lights on again--SO delicious to eat.

Normally I would ask for the recipe to learn how to make this myself, but in this case I don't want to know how. I hope we get a Christmas pudding again one day.

Monday, December 22, 2014

social action nativity scene / pointe st-charles

What do we have here? It's a few days before Christmas and looks like a nativity scene such as you can see at this time of year in countries where Christianity is practiced. This one's in our neighbourhood, one street over outside the health clinic.

The sign behind it translates as: Birthing Center, Pointe Sainte Charles. We can't wait any longer. They're coming out!  Or however you want to translate Ça pousse!

On closer examination, it's not Mary and Joseph hovering over a baby in a manger, but a doctor or midwife delivering a nappy-haired infant. Pregnant women are standing waiting. All kinds of pregnant women.

Subtext? Give these women somewhere better than a stable. More than one healthcare professional available please. All those babies just ready to drop.

Whoever designed this display: thumbs up!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

14 / 12 / 14

Went for a walk by the river today. A grey day makes you more aware of the yellow grasses, the pink sky, the glassy reflections. And don't forget the snow dogs in the park.

All this less than an hour's walk from where I live in Montreal.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

still snowing 12 hrs later

It's not just the snow. In terms of depth, this is nothing. What's interesting about today's downfall is how it sticks even to vertical surfaces. It's doing a surround-blow, get-into-the-crevices, coat-the-branches, suffocate-with-white gig. The wind keeps it moving, gives it some upswing. The ice pellets help it stick.
I walked home into the wind and ice pellets. The road I was on had not yet been cleared, so my walk was more of a stagger and trudge. I'd had a lovely supper of grilled Parmesan-Portobello mushroom drizzled with secret ingredients, followed by lamb pierogi. A glass of port, a bit of old cheddar, some cherry tomatoes.
The cold outside makes you want to imagine good things to eat.

snow on the trees / Pointe St-Charles

It was snowing yesterday evening when I went out for a walk. Still snowing when I stopped reading at midnight. Even in my sleep I knew it kept snowing because the house felt ever more cushioned. Et voilà, here's what I see out my study window this morning. 

Snow on the trees. Brick row houses across the street. 
That particular group of houses are painted a colour called brick red--sort of like the difference between a real cherry and a maraschino cherry. Painting is a cheap way to freshen up brick that's aged and beginning to chip and flake. The houses were built 120 years ago by Irish settlers who were nostalgic for home. Brick row houses with one family living upstairs, one family downstairs. Families with twelve children. R and I are extravagant, living in our house alone. 
On the window ledge are stones and bits of pottery I've kept. For whatever reason. The ceramic tiles were bought in Tunisia. The glass bottle is a gift from a friend who brought it home from Ecuador. And there's that funny pot I made when I took a pottery course in 1973. It was the first summer I lived with a man and although I was glad to be away from my family, in retrospect I wish I'd had a little more imagination about how to support myself. I had a long summer of reading Margaret Laurence, Marian Engel, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Gabrielle Roy... Women growing ever more conscious of their unrest with domesticity. Me too. 

Clearly, fixing the back gate onto the alley is not a priority.  
I should be studying Spanish. Exam today.