Sunday, 12 June 2011

Bye bye summer...

rain, cold, temps 15

I wore gloves this morning. As you can see by the photo. Not just any gloves, though. These are wonderful, hand knitted and designed by a terrific woman in Bradford, PA, from wool gathered from her alpaca, named Cinnamon. Dear Lord, even as I wrote that I saw how unlikely it sounded...but it's true! People really are amazing. And you see the three pines design. Perfect gloves for today!

But wow, it is chilling today. Bone-chilling. Damp, windy, unseasonably cold. Bringing Trudy in from her morning walk I was sure it might snow. But no - just steady, heavy, rain.

A great day for treatment! We zoomed off to West Brome. Hit the spa at 9am. Michael wasn't particularly interested, but he brought his bathing suit with a view to taking a dip in the indoor pool, then reading. But when we arrived I'm afraid he was seduced by the fire in the main lounge of the auberge and the promise of a hot cup of I left him there, reading, and went off for my massage.

And hour and a half later Lynda had done wonders - concentrating on the feet and the scalp. And the shoulders, of course. By the end I felt like a side of meat...and thought they'd have to come and haul me away. What a beautiful thing a great massage is!

Got to Michael just as brunch was starting - 11am. Wonderful seat by the window. He started with a cavalcade of salmon. I tripped and fell into a vat of croissants. And cheese.

As most of you know, a buffet is not for amateurs. This is highly strategic and needs planning. Sadly, I was out of practice and let my stomach over rule my head...and filled up on those warm croissants and melting brie and Oka cheese. Still - enough space for scrambled eggs, bacon, roast beef, lamb. Fruit salad (for show), creme caramel, chocolate cake. And I have to say, that was nothing compared to Michael's superhuman displays. I need to test him for steroids. Though this has always been his strongest category. buffets. I'm very proud of him.

Grand Prix in Montreal today...though it might have been cancelled because of the heavy rain. Honestly, it's unbelievable.

Back home now - laid and set the fire in the grate. Yesterday I made a few arrangements of lupins from the pond and the first peony of the season. What a wonderful combination. You can see the one I put on the piano in the living room. In the foreground is my favorite photo of all time - Michael in St Mark's Square in Venice, making like St Francis. Up on the armoir you can see a wooden model of our home made by our friend Jack Walker. It's actually a birdhouse - how brilliant is that?

Sipping tea now. Happy to be inside. Hope you're comfortable and enjoying the day, whereever you are. I must say, I love it when you tell me a bit about where you live.


Debbie said...

I live in Ottawa now, but was born in Montreal and spent all my summers in Philipsburg until I moved for work. It was great to be able to swim in Lake Champlain and sun tan (burn in my case) on the beach. Water was clear then.

Weather isn't so great here in Ottawa today, but we didn't need gloves .Our temp was about 20 with clouds. Went to Mass in a sleeveless top and the Church is air-conditioned.

Lovely pictures you have.

Buffet sounded great. I gained 5 pounds just reading about it.

BTW how is your kitchen renovation going? You haven't mentioned it in a while. Are you still planning it?

K said...

I spent a lovely day in Zug, Switzerland, where my family and I are currently living (will move back to Minnesota in a year or two). We took a walk by the lake, Alps shrouded in haze in the distance, and partook of homemade gelato as we sat on the steps on the square. Beautiful, sunny day.

I also want to visit that buffet! We don't have those much in these parts! I did get to Starbuck's for a cappuccino this morning and a blissful hour and a half of writing without the family. Love love love the family, but need that quiet time for creativity too.

Jodi said...

That buffet sounds fantabulous. Cold, wet, and dreary here in NY too. No gloves necessary, but I'm wearing my cartoon Tasmanian devil sweatshirt.

Love those Three Pines gloves.

Nonnie said...

I so enjoy your blog! Your 'ordinary" day sounds so MUCH more fun than does mine... And here in the southern US South Carolina to be specific it is as my grandfather used to say "hotter `n blue blazes! it was 103 earlier and so humid it is like walking in a sauna! There has never been a June here where gloves were needed! But I LOVE the 3 pines on yours! Thank you again for sharing snapshots of your world with your fans:-)

Heather said...

I live in Hudson QC and love the small town atmosphere. Of course, Montreal is just a short drive away if I feel the need for a more metropolitan day or weekend.

I walked in the Juvenile Diabetes Walk to Cure Diabetes this morning in Laval. The rain held off until after the walk was done, thank goodness! It poured buckets on the way home though, and visibility wasn't terrific on the T-Can so I popped in to Fairview where lo and behold, there were sales galore!!

I love your Three Pine gloves!

kath said...

LOL @ fruit salad for show :)

Myke Weber said...

We finally got Summer yesterday here in Eastern Utah. Should be gone by tomorrow. That's alright. It was too blasted hot! We'd like to keep it cool as the creeks and rivers are already at flood stage and if it stays hot the bulk of the snow in the Uintahs will come all at once and drown us all.

It was good to get summer on Saturday. If it falls on Sunday we have to miss it for church.

Maryse Lafleur said...

It's true that we love reading blogs - well, I do. I had few ones few years ago and I'm thinking about getting back to one (but in french, my first language). It might look weird to those who don't know about these things but maybe it's a little of what you do that is interesting, and a lot of the way you write about it. I'm sorry if I can't write well enough but I'm sure you'll understand. Anyway, here in Quebec City, it has been rainy nearly all day. I rested a lot since yesterday, we went to Victoriaville to celebrate my older grandson 6th birthday and I'll have to go back tomorrow early morning to babysit (the younger one who is now 2years and 7 months old as his big brother puts it lol) - I like being retired and to feel free to go wherever I like whenever I like. I have a wonderful husband and finally, my life is good. Funny though ( ... right choice of word?) how, every time I did something to improve my life, I had to leave someone behind or to move out. Oh well ... what is important is that it worked, isn't it? maryse L.

anne said...

Love the gloves and I would bet she could sell several pairs in a minute! No gloves needed here on the North Carolina coast. We're sitting on the porch under the oak trees with a lovely breeze coming in through the screens from the waterway. The temperature is 84 which is almost perfect at this time of day. Wishing I had your new book to read but will have to be content reading other books till September!

fallafooka said...

Today was overcast and cold... but the rain held off and my niece Alissa was able to have her outdoor wedding at a lovely place in York, ME called Clay Hill Farm. Reception was inside. Great day full of love and wonderful food. Very proud of my niece! The weather didn't dampen anyone's spirit!

Anonymous said...

I planted bedding plants today in my wee planter and some pots because I'm convinced the danger of snow has passed. It did snow last week. Lots of light - only a week till Solstice and 24 hour sunlight. I am in awe of your and Michael's brunch stamina. Cheers.

Emerald in Yellowknife

Mary L said...

I live in Omaha, NE, where we are battling flooding;everywhere in the area, people have had to move out and/or put sand bags around their homes and businesses. My husband has helped by filling sand bags. We hope the flooding does not get as bad as the experts predict, but here, in the midwest, we go on and help our neighbors, no matter what. I loved the sound of the buffet;you can almost taste the food as you described it. Reading your books has helped so often in handling stressful situations. Thank you!!

Miss Diane said...

Je vous envie Louise, j'adore les massages. Pour nous, ce fut cinéma, Midnight in Paris de Woody Allen. Revoir Paris nous a fait grand bien.

Nancy said...

I LOVE the atmosphere at West Brome. We have only ever eaten there in the winter during ski season, but I always find the food fabulous. Glad to know there is a brunch, will keep that one in mind for our next trip.

Donna K Wisconsin said...

I love the Louise and Michael husband is still not retired but I feel like collecting Louise and Michael soujourns as an example of seeking atmosphere and pleasure with spontaneity..ha you should write a manual..'hopping away..find your day' or...let the day find you...Love it!
Donna K

Barbara said...

Northeast PA has cooled down too, thank heaven. Last week was too hot for us. Lots of beautiful storm clouds the past 3 days.

By the way, Fallafooka wrote of daughter's wedding at Clay Hill Farm. It is such a gorgeous place, near Ogunquit, ME where we got married on the Marginal Way by the ocean. Have celebrated anniversaries and birthdays at Clay Hill Farm.

I see you are enjoying your time off, Louise. You certainly earned it.

suzy said...

Sweltering here in the Charleston S.C. area....and fighting to keep the gardens alive and well. Have had to cut back a lot so they did not have to work so hard. Am hosting our family reunion in July, so the gardens cannot go unattended. Am thinking of begging, borrowing and stealing everyones ourdoor umbrellas to give the flowers (and me) a break! Send cool breezes this way please!

A Novel Woman said...

I'm no place exotic I'm afraid, just the West Island! But yesterday we were up at Lake Louisa and the weather up there was pretty good compared to Montreal - overcast but no rain, and still warm enough to kayak.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Thank you for your great comments! Love, love, love hearing about your homes and lives. Thank you - allows me to travel.

We're sending cool breezed to those who need them - and prayers that flood levels go down, and wild fires stop.

Katrina said...

It's hard to imagine having to wear gloves in June. Living in Charleston, SC, gives a whole new meaning to the 3 " H's "--Hot, Humid, and Hazy. There has been very, very little rain here in almost a month, so the grass and flowers are really suffering. My dad used to say when the weather was not good that we must not be paying the preacher enough. Have always loved that saying. Can't wait to read your new book--have missed Three Pines.

Gretta said...

Today Brooklyn is cool and breezy with big cumulus clouds hovering over the brownstones, 1930's movie theater (still showing movies) and tall columns that mark the entrance to Prospect Park. We are psychotherapists with an apartment above a pharmacy that is part office and part "just us." The us includes Bill and our mini-poodle, Gandhi. The building is from the 1890's so the ceilings are high and today I have the two ceiling fans on and the windows open. Last week, when it was 95 and muggy, we sprang for air conditioners in the living room and bedroom. We will need it!

There are tall windows in every room and each window (3 directions) looks out on trees. But it is also certainly a city world here with a bus stop in front of the building and a subway below us. If you listen closely you can hear the glasses in the cupboards rattling from the vibrations. We overlook the park on one side, the entrance where the skate-boarders move all the garbage bins and create obstacle courses with boards and other items they retrieve from the garbage.

Weekends, the neighborhood is bustling with cook-outs and picnics and soccer and baseball, Frisbee and even cricket games going on. Every possible nationality is represented, with smells from all kinds of foods wafting over a jumble of music and languages.

On one corner of our block, there are competing bars. Farrell's, populated with Irish cops and fireman who have been coming there since the 30's and across the street, micro-brewery beer and grass-fed beef hamburgers with organic greens and a brioche bun.

There are also competing coffee shops, two Korean-owned grocery stores and a Spanish Deli. We have Italian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, French, Chinese and Mexican restaurants within two blocks. That doesn't count the three pizza places and the hand-rolled fresh bagel place. The small farmers market is at our entrance to the park on Wednesdays and the big one is at the opposite entrance on Saturdays. We go to both.

Our our living room window there is a large red neon sign saying "DRUGS" advertising the store below run by our landlord Mohammed and assisted by Steve from Mexico who brings us fresh tamales and Henry from Jamaica who has creative ways of fixing plumbing.But if you look beyond the sign, you can see Bartel Pritchard Square, with its WWII memorial surrounded by red roses, now fully in bloom and towering flowering chestnut trees. There are usually a few people sleeping on the benches.

Two and a half years ago we lived in the woods, on top of a mountain, with deer in the backyard, eagles and Pilated wood-peckers sighted regularly and coyotes howling at night. We sat in front of the fireplace and sat out on our deck, Bill playing his music and me attempting to sing.

Now we sit outside on our tiny iron-grate balcony that can barely fit the two chairs and tiny table. We have geraniums and herbs in window boxes. I have filled the rooms with plants and buy flowers all year round.

Bill still plays his fiddle and banjo while I crochet. Home is where your heart is and I am lucky to have place filled with heart. We are looking forward to August traveling to North Carolina for son's wedding and Nova Scotia to visit family and Maine, to spend 10 days writing and kayaking. Then we will be happy to come home.

Thank you Louisa, for sharing your images of heart and home.

lil Gluckstern said...

Your peonies are lovely as is the rest of your display. The food id definitely an all day feast. Here in northern California we are having our "June gloom," which means fog, with glimpses of sun. The flowers are blooming, however, and give wonderful color to the day. I have daisies which reseeded and made friends with my roses. Daisies are such a friendly flower. Reading your blog is a journey. I've been to Zug, and being reminded of how rich New York is in its people is delightful.

Anonymous said...

I thought Michael was the male version of the woman who was feeding the birds in Mary Poppins! Tuppence a bag!

Martine Therrien

S L SINCLAIR said...

We One Book Bradford group love that you are still talking about us.... we are still talking about your visit also! Thanks, Susan

Jodi said...

@Gretta, love your description of Brooklyn. I used to live near Farrrell's too (long long ago). Wonder what the Irish cops think of the grass-fed beef crowd!

Marianne said...

Thanks to Gretta and Jodi for sharing their Brooklyn sights and sounds. It brought back a few memories! I know the exact neighborhood you are talking about. I spent the first 18 yrs of my life in that neighborhood more than 40 years ago. I went to that movie theater many many times. I went to a Catholic school just a few blocks away from there. It certainly was Irish back then. I'm in CT now with the deer in the backyard and the wild turkeys crossing the street in a long line. It's what I need now. That and a Louise Penny book! Enjoy.