Monday, 24 December 2007

Christmas Eve in Quebec

huge flakes of steady snow, mild - minus 3 Celsius

Merry Christmas Eve!

Sweet potatoes boiling on the stove right now, almost ready to skin and turn into a casserole for tomorrow. The house smells very sweet. And potato-y.

A gorgeous, picture postcard Canadian Christmas Eve. Torrential rains yesterday threatened to actually melt the five tons of snow on the ground, which would have been such a shame. But we still have lots of snow - and now this new stuff.

Lost power last night. Kept coming on and off. Michael and I were watching a Poirot DVD - Murder in the Clouds. Just as Poirot says, 'Of course I'm not all right. How could I be when -'

Bang - the power when off. We jumped out of our skins.

High winds and rain changing to snow did it. I finally went to bed. Happily the lights stayed on long enough for me to read and drop off. Michael said they flickered on and off for the next hour and he finally gave up and went to sleep too.

We're in the new bedroom!!! Gary's amazing Christmas gift to us. Poor guy worked until after 7pm every night last week and even came yesterday and again today. But the room is spectacular. Not large - but cosy and comphy - with a wall of bookcases and three windows - wide plank old pine floors and fresh lovely yellow paint on the walls. Michael chose the colour. It's perfect. Cheery without being over-powering.

And for the first time we have a television in the bedroom. My idea. But the funniest thing is, we're on Star Choice satellite out here - 400 channels to choose from, including one that only shows a roaring fireplace. And so far, that's all we've put on. (don't tell Gary - he struggled to get the DVD and everything going - he'd be furious if he knew Michael and I lie in bed and watch the fireplace!) It's mesmerising. We have a lovely open fireplace in the living room, and we'd tossed around the idea of putting one into the re-modeled bedroom, but it was just too expensive. So this is perfect. And humbling. When the Star Choice woman told me about it I guffawed, but she said it was very popular. And now look at me.

Had a lovely breakfast with Cheryl, Gary's wife, a couple of days ago. The winter solstice. Did a Winter Solstice ritual... lit a candle, wrote on a piece of paper what from the past year we wanted to let go of (pain, anger, extra weight, a bad relationship, low self esteem, fear - whatever...but Cheryl suggested it not be a list, but the ONE thing that might have marred the past year), then burned it. Only because we were in Chez Camil restaurant we decided not to do that - though frankly it wouldn't have been the first time customers at Chez Camil smelled something burning. Instead, though, we waited to burn the paper at home. Then on another piece of paper we each wrote what we hoped the new year would bring. Didn't show it to each other. Some things are just private...but it sure felt good.

Off to Kirk and Walter's for their annual Christmas Eve dinner tonight. Michael's been brewing his annual batch of gravlax to take. What a treat. It's a a relaxed evening with friends and acquaintances - many people we only ever see once a year at this party. Used to go to one of the local chapels for Christmas Eve service before the party - in fact, everyone did. But haven't in recent years.

It's so pretty driving around and seeing the snow on the trees, and at night, the Christmas lights.

I'll write again tomorrow, to wish you all a Merry Christmas on the day - though for the Australians and New Zealanders - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Will speak tomorrow.

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