Monday, September 25, 2017

a long summer in Montreal / no complaints

You go away for vacation in the summer. I don't have kids. I'm not tied to a school schedule. My favourite season to travel is the fall.

During the summer I stay home and work. I don't have a/c but the dirt cellar keeps the downstairs cool. Just don't shriek when the occasional centipede ventures upstairs. They eat spiders which is good. Leave the centipedes alone. Not that they even react when you shriek.

I like being in the city in the summer, wearing a floaty dress and sandals, getting lettuce from the garden, cycling followed by bbq and wine.

This summer I finished a long and intensive bout of work. I spent so much time at the computer that I gave myself... ahem... De Quervain's Tenosyvitis from banging the space bar so hard with my thumb. Very painful. From the thumb through the wrist up the forearm. I'm still trying to teach myself not to bang like that and wondering why I ever started. Why so aggressive about making spaces?

I'm not ready to get back to blogging yet but I will. I need some time to myself for all the other things that have piled up and gotten dusty and neglected.

In the meantime, while out walking, I saw a couple of sights that actually made me pull out my phone. 

This past weekend was very hot, so we cycled across the St. Lawrence via the old ice bridge aka l'Estacade. Here, I'm facing Montreal across the river.

On the other side of the ice bridge, if you turn west, you're on a spit of land called la Petite Voie du Fleuve. The St. Lawrence River is on one side, the St. Lawrence Seaway on the other. When there aren't too many trees, you can see water on both sides. I took a panoramic shot to give you an idea--and ha! A cyclist dashed by. Neat what the camera did to him, no?

And here I'm heading home again. And yes, I know one isn't supposed to take pics into the sun.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

eating and books in Stratford / Appetite for Words festival

It looks as if, since I had the exciting news that a chef in Stratford, Ontario has designed a menu "inspired" by my novel, Five Roses, all I can write about is food.

What can I say? They asked.

Here's the example I sent. Their photographer--and clearly amazing kitchen store--did a better job.

It's also harvest season.Time to hope the beets and carrots will grow just a little bit more before winter. Wishing the tomatoes on the vines will still ripen. Will there be green beans for another meal? Will I still get rhubarb?

Thursday, September 7, 2017


This made 5 large freezer bags of sauce.

I've got another batch cooking and I still have more than half the box to go.

Tomatoes bought in the wintertime--in Canada--are so hard and dry and juiceless. I told R a few days ago that if I had Italian plum tomatoes from the market, I'd make sauce. He told his good friend who works near the Jean-Talon Market. His good friend is known for kindness and generosity. As he said when he came, What's the point in buying a basket of tomatoes when you can buy a crate?

The tomatoes smell so fresh and... fruity! The knife slides like into peaches. I chop until I almost nick myself and I stop because I don't want to mix blood with tomato juice. (I'm on a blood thinner. Believe me, I bleed.)

Tomato sauce bubbles. I work near the kitchen so I remember to stir it now and again. I have deadlines. Work I need to finish. Work I need to start. But: it's tomato season and I am grateful for fresh, locally-grown produce and good friends.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Five Roses the novel

There's no telling when you write a book what might happen. I thought I wrote a novel about surviving insurmountable loss. I thought I was exploring the historic Montreal neighbourhood of Pointe St. Charles where I've been living since 2001.

In the book I wanted to include cycling by the St. Lawrence River, writing about pastries and pastry-making, living in a cabin without running water or electricity, weaving on a loom, Trini cooking, abandoned factories along the Lachine Canal...

I didn't think a chef would concoct a meal after reading my book!

Pointe paintings by R. I use words not a paint brush.