rainy, windy, cool temps 13
But - yesterday was gorgeous! We drove in to Montreal (after a breakfasting in cowansville, bien sur!). Dropped some boxes at the apartment, then headed north to Outremont. Perhaps the loveliest quartier of Montreal. In my books, Reine Marie and Armand live there. It's built just below Mont Royal and is filled with parks and mature trees, with gracious old row houses with outside stairs leading to the upper flats. No home is more than 3 floors high and each has a pocket garden, some planted with flowers some with vegetables. It's a rich area, culturally, with the Quebecois intelligencia and a large Hasidic community, as well as some Italian and Greek. And a few Anglos.
We were in town to meet Peter, who is the head of International Sales for Headline - my UK publishers. He was in Toronto for meetings and decided to fly to Montreal so we could talk over lunch. Plan strategy etc. We like Peter, and he included Michael which makes us like him even more.
I'd wondered what to waer but decided to go casual (no, not my flannels). A week or so ago we were also in town because an endowement we'd created at the Montreal Children's hospital had finally reached a level where the interest could be handed over to the head of research into childhood cancers. so there was a little ceremony. But I didn't think I'd make it because of a two important dental appointments - so I'd simply worn some old clothes.
but the appointments went much faster than planned and I had lots and time. I called Michae;l - yes, I could still make it. it was in 20 minutes. But I was in clothing only fit for dental dribble.
I ran over to place Alexis Nihon - the ceremony was in a board room above it...but below were shops. I had 10 minutes to find something presentable to wear. I tore around there like a new reality show. Survivor Montreal. Believe it or not I found a really nice camisole and a lovely sweater.
So I wore those to see Peter too. I should shop under duress more often. god know, Michael does.
We wanted Peter to get a taste of French Montreal, and we know Lili and David have a home in that area, so we asked and she suggested the restaurant Lemeac, on Laurier.
Perfect. I made reservations, we drove up, parked - arriving intenionally early so we could wander. It's acxtually forgotten how lovely it is. laurier is stuffed with boutiques and bistros, cheese places, pastry shops, cafes, bookstores. In fact, we met Peter wandering up and down too. He'd arrived early. so we all went into a French bookstore and browsed.
then off to lunch. It was sunny and mild and I'd asked for a table on the terrasse. We were placed beside a lilac bush, with fresh flowers. It was beautiful and fragrant...the whole thing felt magical. Including the meal. Michael and peter had the calves liver...I had the scallops. We ended with cafe au laits and creme brules - though Michael had a line of mini-profiterols. I didn't think we'd get him out of there.
then we zipped home.
It's the long weekend in Quebec...Victoria day for the anglos...and patriots Day for the Francophones. Oh well. Neither can claim higher ground.
Susan was coming out for the weekend, and coming over for dinner. As you know we think of susan as a sister, so we don't go to much trouble...some salads, a fruit salad for dessert and a confit de canard on the BBQ. When we'd left that morning we'd gone by the cottage to leave off some flowers and a message...
Welcome. Hope the drive was good. See you for dinner. Love, Michael and louise. PS, try not to fall into the big hole of crap.
Yes - a big hole of crap has opened up on the lawn of the guest cottage. Normally we'd blame susan but sadly it appeared before she did.
I do wonder if it's karmic. Piles of bear crap on our lawn, we just clean that up when the septic whatever yawns open next door. It's everywhere.
So this morning, before the rains came, Monsieur Cote arrived to look into it and pass judgement.
Yup - it's crap.
Yup - it's a very old septic system.
Yup - you need to replace it.
Nope - it's not free. And apparently we can't pay in dog biscuits either.
It's always something.
Happily, the lovely Susan came for dinner last night - and brought not only herself but homemade granola and a birthday gift for Michael since she couldn't make the party. Eccles Cakes. Susan makes the best.
So, once again, Michael and I ate our troubles away. We understand that's a healthy thing to do.
Will let you know tomorrow what other piece of crap falls on us. However, I have to admit, it still smells sweet, and far more good stuff lands on us than bad. Really, who doesn't have an effluent hole in their front lawn. Just one more conversation piece.
If you see me coming at a cocktail party - run.