sunny, windy, cold, temps minus 15
Feels almost summery compared to yesterday. Of course, today we got smart. Went out to the bakery (boulangerie) on rue St-Jean for breakfast and knew we'd be out walking for a little while, so we put our snow pants, ski mitts and mad bomber hats on...along with huge down coats.
We looked like cartoon characters...fortunately so did everyone else.
There's a particular sound that goes with wearing snow pants - a sliding sort of sound as leg rubs against leg. But I didn't care if I looked like a maniac, I was warm.
had a fabulous day. Breafast was a great bowl of cafe au lait and the biggest croissant I've ever seen...flakey and buttery. Then we (I) decided I should find the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec City. It's long been a hub of the small but vital Anglo community here. That and the adjoining church - which I couldn't remember.
Almost threw up yesterday when I did a google search on the Lit and His Society. As you know, I'm in Quebec City to research an upcoming book. Most of the action will centre on this very old Lit and His society and the church next door...and for plot purposes it needs to be within the walls of the old city. But the google map put it way outside the walls.
I was gutted. There went my entire planning and plot. Fortunately Michael swooped to the rescue, made a cup of tea and did more research and discovered the map was wrong. In fact, not only was the Lit and His inside the walls, it's about two blocks from our rented home!
So after breakfast we zipped up and went in search. Arriving at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in time for Sunday Service.
It's a glorious church. The walls are plaster and painted cream and robin's egg blue. The wooden box pews are in a graceful semi-circle, mirrored by the balcony above. There are huge stained glass windows all with variations on a rose theme or a nautical theme. Bright and cheery. the space is open. It was like sitting and breathing in light.
Not a crucifix in sight.
I believe it's the most beautiful church I've ever been in. It's 250 years old. I'd lived for 2 years in Quebec City - many years ago - and never visited. What a shame.
The sermon was lovely too. It was on the themes of Hope, Joy and Peace. And the minister quoted CS Lewis - Surprised by Joy. Which figured quite large in my first book, STILL LIFE.
After the service we went back to the church hall for coffee with the parishioners. It was an intimate and familiar and welcoming group. From there Michael and I stepped next door to the Literary and Historical Society library. A hidden gem - and it will be perfect for my needs.
After that we decided to walk over to the Chateau Frontenac - a massive old hotel (apparently the most photographed hotel in the world) - and walked along the Dufferine Terrace to watch the families eat maple syrup poured on snow and hardened into a sort of toffee...and tobogan down an ice slide.
by then our faces were frozen so we scooted inside the Chateau and made straight for the famous Bar St-Laurent. A paneled, circular bar with two large open fireplaces, overlooking the St. Lawrence river. We ate French Onion soup and watched the teams practice for the upcoming canoe races over the semi-frozen river.
and now, 6 hours after setting out, we're home. A fire in the grate, tea and pastries in front of us, hot water bottles filled.
A couple of small things to add...tomorrow I'm going to start of week of blogging on the St. Martin's Minotaur site, Moments in Crime. Join me if you can...though the blogs will be similar (probably identical) to the ones I'll be posting here...but thought I should tell you about it.
And, I had an email from a self-published writer asking what I knew about Google Booksearch, and whether it might be something she - as a self-published writer - should consider.
I wrote back to admit I knew absolutely nothing about it, except there was some copywright infringement issue recently...but that I would ask you. If you know anything that might help this woman, please write a comment, or email me from the website.
Thanks so much! Hope you're enjoying your visit to Quebec. I sure am!