Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

snow, blowing snow, minus 12 (windchill, -20)

We're in Montreal. The sidewalks are reduced to one trodden lane through drifts of snow. We had more than a foot of snow on Sunday, then more yesterday and another 7 cms today. Streets aren't cleared yet. Cars skidding, many stuck in snowbanks which with time and bitter temps have hardened into concrete. Little girl, 7, trapped in a snowbank and suffocated. A 40 year old woman was hit by a snowplow last night and killed. Driver didn't even see her, and had to be stopped a few blocks away.


At one stage today I felt as though I'd stepped into the pages of my second book A FATAL GRACE - DEAD COLD in Commonwealth. Set in Quebec during a snowy Christmas season everyone was bundled up and anonymous. Perfect for committing a murder.

Michael and were out from 8:30am until 4pm - slipping and sliding, hailing cabs and walking, praying the wind would change direction and stop stealing our breaths and the blood from our faces. But have to say, we've had 2 winters that were freakishly mild. Almost no snow. This is the Quebec winter of my childhood. Of snowdrifts like mountains, big enough to toboggan down. People alternately smiling at each other and giving each other the finger - which in thick winter gloves is extra impressive.

Spent the morning in the hospital - Michael needed an x-ray. Huge waits. But still, people kept their tempers and managed to smile at each other. The ceiling at the Montreal General radiology department was festooned with brilliant red and blue fake icicles. They looked slightly threatening, like tiny Swords of Damacles hanging over the heads of these hopeful people.

Then off to get our hair done which with knitted pompom hats is really a waste of time - the hair looked great for about three minutes. Then the hat went on. Scampered across the street to the bistro on Greene Avenue for lunch. Off came the tuque and the hair stood straight up. Happily everyone in the restuarant had the same 'do.

Am reading the proofs for The Cruelest Month - and left them in Sutton! What an idiot. Found a HUGE mistake (which I won't tell you about - but it's in the first UK edition!!!) Needed to tell the US editors quickly, so had to call our contractor Gary, who has now aquired squatters rights to our bedroom. He read us the notes over the phone. He was disconcertingly close to them, which means he either ran down the stairs to the living room, or he was snoozing by the fire when we called.

Off now. Doctors appointments tomorrow am, lunch with good friends Jim and Sharon (upon whom Clara is loosely based) and one more night in Montreal before we leave. Might even catch a movie - a great treat while in the city.

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