Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Are you sane?

cloudy, cold, temps 10

risk of frost tonight. I bought flats of annuals two weeks ago and Lise (smart woman - my external brain, if you remember) said I was WAY too early. According to Lise (our assistant/gardener/judgement) we shouldn't plant annuals until after the new moon - in early June. So now Michael and I spend a great deal of time moving our annual garden into the mud room, then outside, then back in. Quite fun, really, to come down in the morning and see rows and rows of annuals, as though the inside of our home had become a field.

Had our great Cowansville breakfast - lots of coffee in white mugs, french toast, real maple syrup and mountains of fresh fruit. With a side order of bacon.

Then we zipped off to the courthouse so I could get out of jury duty. Then to Canadian Tire for light bulbs and a gift certificate for Tony. Then off to the bank, then home to drop off Michael and get into Sutton in time to meet Michelle and Joan (Rose) for lunch at the Tintoretto. Such a riot. Michelle was one of the first people we met when we moved down here. I used her husband's name (Marc Brault) with his permission in book 3. He loves mysteries, though is suffering quite badly now from Alzheimers. Michelle is a wonderful potter.

Joan Rose is one of the funniest women I've ever met. She describes realizing she'd never be the actress she'd hope when she was in a play and as soon as she stepped on stage, before even opening her mouth, the audience started laughing. Both Michelle and Joan are in their 70's and were describing some of the trials - like having to renew drivers licences, in which one of the question is:

Are you sane?

I thought soup would come out of my nose when Joan described trying to answer that question. Is it just Canada? Do other government's politely ask that question? then believe the answer?

Had a small 'crisis' this afternoon when we got an email from the woman who was going to rent us her flat in London for 3 days in early June. I'm off to the Bristol CrimeFest convention June 5,6,and 7th - then we were going to London. It's the same flat we rented in April, and quite often in the past. We'd made all the arrangements, then she wrote to say she was double booked and we were out of luck.

Huh? Are you sane?

Those of you who've tried to find hotel rooms in London you know the difficulty. Not the hotel, but the expense! It's inconceivable how much hotels cost! So we put our heads together to come up with a plan - or a few plans.

Here were the options:

Not go at all
Find another private flat to rent for 3 days
Find a hotel
change flights and go to Toronto early (Sunday instead of Wednesday)
change flights and return to Montreal on Sunday then drive ourselves to Toronot for BookExpo Canada.

We called our travel agent about how much it would cost to change our British airways tickets. She looked it up, investigated then told us. 1,500 dollars. Each.

Are you sane?

When we regained consciousness we yelled, calmed down, and asked if there were alternatives. Yes, she said. Get this. The alternative is not to re-book, but to fly to London this coming Saturday night as planned. When we get in to Heathrow we go to a BA desk and change our return flight then. At that point it will cost us 200 dollars each. Funny how suddenly 400 dollars sounds like a bargain.

So that's our new plan. Plan is I think too hopeful. It's our new wild hope that that works. How can this be? I can understand a penalty for changing the return flight...by why 15-hundred before and 200 in the middle of the round trip?

I must be missing something - or perhaps I really am sane. Maybe this is the test. If the British Airways rules make sense, you're nuts.

Very cunning.

Off for breakfast tomorrow with the wonderful Cheryl - she who does the best children's books and illustrations in the world. So looking forward to it!

Then a day of laundry and packing. heading to Ottawa Thursday for an event in the evening - a panel discussion with other Crime Writers of Canada members to celebrate National Crimewriters week.

I'm not kidding.


Anonymous said...

I think you'd be justified if book six included the discovery of the dismembered body of a London flat owner who was found on the outskirts of Three Pines and was subsequently discovered to be on the lam after the embezzlement of vast sums of pounds from British Airways. How do you double book your own flat? Sounds like something a sane person would remember having rented already.
I don't know if the "Are you sane?" question is strictly Canadian, but it's not asked in my state. In the U.S. however, we do drive on parkways and park on driveways; have expiration dates on Sour Cream containers; have highway rest areas with no beds or blankets; and have stores which sell Evaporated Milk in cans, though I've never figured out what that liquid inside could be!
phil g-m

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Phil,

Lovely! I could read your letters all day...filled with such humor and empathy and delight.

Thank you. And good luck in your upcoming ball games.