Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quick Visit followed by a Slow Return

We travelled to Halifax this past weekend to help our daughter move, and while there took the chance to drop in to the Old Triangle Ale House and do a spot of set dancing on Sunday afternoon. It was lovely to dance at speed to Kevin Roach's fiddling, and we did the Clare, the Mazurka and hmmm...the Plain.

Fred did another more obscure one too - the one we learned last Easter, I think, with the squares in it, maybe the Newport Meserts. No, it wasn't - I asked and it was the Antrim Square. It looked lovely. I was at that time sitting with a group of newish knitters who had decided to visit the Triangle with their needles and yarn for a S'n'B. One had knitted a hat for her boyfriend (he thanked her for the yalmulka, so I guess it was a bit small) and was starting a scarf. The others were even more beginner.

They were all very impressed with my diamond sock, and the 1.5 mm bamboo needles it is on. I raved about The Loop yarn shop, just down Barrington St. from us. They had visited, but decided that The Loop was away above them as yet - the beginner patterns they were recommended looked really hard! They were school teachers, and were hoping for a snow day on the morrow.

I think they got it, too - we set out at 5 pm in a flurry and quite a brisk wind, and, after dropping off our daughter, set out for home. Lovely Alister and Cathy, our Halifax hosts, had put up a packed lunch for us, and so we ate and travelled at the same time. Well, we got to the Cobequid Pass fairly easily, but it was white-outs and quite a bit of snow on the roads all the way after that. Was predicted to change to rain but no sign of that while we were on the road.

Luckily we encountered a bunch of homeward-bound Islanders at the Port Elgin rotary and followed them to the Bridge. There was a scary bit when we came upon a group of cars by the side of the road - they were assisting the driver of a snow plough, which had gone off the road and was lying on its side in the field, about 4 metres below the road level.

Once on the Island we debated which route to take to get home - we live on a secondary road, which might not have been plowed - so we took the main route - which still wasn't plowed in spite of it's main-ness - and literally plowed through. As we got nearer we started saying, "well, we could walk from here", and that became more true the farther we got! As it happened we did get to drive all the way, but it was 11 pm when we got home. 6 hours for a 3.5 hour drive.

It was a lovely time anyway, and we'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Try to remember this in July

Man, is it cold! We've gone a couple of years without the -36 windchill and I'd forgotten what it's like - the car was sluggish this morning (at -22) and I thought I would never get the gearshift into neutral so it could sit, idling, for a bit before I had to get in and drive for 20 minutes. However, it was more willing to shift gears later on the drive in.

We are caught up in the excitement of a costume ball! A local theatre is doing a Valentine's Day period ball from the era of the Noel Coward play "Private Lives", set in 1929/30. In addition to the ball, our tickets provide for 6 ballroom dance lessons (in the six weeks leading up to the ball) and assistance with making a ballgown of the period. I've a huge stash of fabric, with 9 different chiffons with glitz, entirely appropriate to the 1929 period. I have just to choose! The 30's bias-cut satins aren't going to do it for me, so I've plumped (pun intended) for the no-waist late flapper look, with a shift in something shiny (I have silver satiny stuff and a red/burgundy taffeta) and some glitzy chiffon to drape over it. I may have to do a couple before I decide.

Fred has his black suit, fresh from the cleaners, and a new formal shirt and black silk bow-tie. Won't we look splendid!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Year!

Christmas always lasts and lasts at my house because there are two post-Christmas birthdays (the 10th and the 31st of January) to celebrate. So, even though the Christmas goodies are still not all gone, I made a birthday cake on Saturday. The usual Maritimer's Mint Chocolate Cake, without the mint as Fred's not crazy about it. Good cake, even without - the secret Maritimer's ingredient ensures amazing moistness. No. If you're a Maritimer you'll know what it is. If you're not, you can't know. It's not allowed.

This holiday season's jigsaw puzzle, a 1500-piece Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" (aka: Venus on the Half-Shell), has been hanging on as well - it is a *big* monster. However, we did quite a bit after dinner last night and now only the boring bits are left - mostly water around the shell, and the shell itself. That should be easy, though, because it's very geometric and directional. It should be good to get the dining room table back again.