Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Tailing Michael....or not

gray day - temps minus 3

Not doing much of anything outside - just cold and damp. We got up at 5:20 this morning - fed and walked Trudy then hit the road at 6am when Tony arrived to look after the house.

My car has a bit of rust at the door handle - the sort of thing that is aesthetic right now, but will become a problem if the rust eats more of the car away. This is a continuous problem in Canada, and why cars don't last all that's not so much for cold as the salt we put on the roads. it corrodes the metal of the cars.

I hate putting salt down on our driveway - but I did yesterday because it was sheet ice. Unbelievably dangerous. So, for the first time since we've lived in the country, I spread salt - and glad I did. But wow, does salt do the cars, the grass, the gardens, as the snow melts and it all runs away and seeps into the ground.

But for now, our problem was the dot of rust. We'd made this appointment at the autobody shop in Sherbrooke (about an hour from our home) a month or so ago. 7am. What were we thinking? Don't even have the excuse of being drunk! So, off we went at 6am. thankfully the roads were clear, though I could see the sheen of ice. Michael was in his car, I was in the VW beetle. He quickly outpaced me and I lost him on the highway - which was unfortunate since he had the GPS and knew where we were going. I knew it was somewhere in Sherbrooke. And I have to say, in the dark, in the winter, when all cars are covered in filth and dry salt, every car looks the same, so as I scooted along trying to find him, it was almost impossible. finally I got behind a gray car (they were all gray) and figured, good enough. I'm declaring this one Michael and will follow it.

And guess what? it was him! Took us straight to the autobody shop. thank heaven, because I was all but convinced we'd pull into some office building and a stranger would get out - having called the police about the whacko following him.

I asked Michael if he realized he'd lost me and he said yes, but he figured I'd find him again. Which sounds all quite romantic - but wasn't all that amusing or practical at 7am on the winter morning. Still, he was right. Damn him!

We dropped my car off and did what we always do when it's being repaired....we headed to Manoir Hovey for breakfast. Actually, we checked in, since the painting etc will take a day or two. Poor us. But makes for desperately expensive car repairs.

Still, no one's complaining!

The manoir is on Lac Massawippi. We sat and look over the skating rink Hovey has created in the middle of the garden - out onto the lake. Which is iced over. But the pre-occupation here is how thick is the ice? they're sending a crew out today with an auger to hand drill holes and see the depth. Not because they want to walk on the ice, or skate (though we've skated from Hovey to North Hatley one glorious visit after a thaw then rapid and deep freeze - so that the lake was glazed and perfect for skating) - the issue is far more serious....two of the manoir's guests will be arriving by ski plane on Friday and plan to land on the lake.

Frankly, the staff of the Manoir are sick with worry, which is why they're sending out crews to test the thickness of the ice. They're suggested other modes of transport, but the people are coming from another inn further north, where ice thickness isn't an issue.

I don't think I'll watch. I guess some people are more adventurous that I. Indeed, I suspect most people are....but I find as I age I'm far less courageous physically, but far more courageous emotionally. The inverse of when I was younger.

A storm is coming in Friday - so there's a pretty good chance the ski plane will be a no-go anyway. For now, Michael and I are sitting in front of the fireplace...reading the newspaper. We're actually also here for some quiet time, to discuss the next book. Some of the plot points. We'll be joined on Friday (weather permitting) by our friend Susan, who is a superb and senior journalist - so we can all toss around thoughts. I have two very specific plot points, but need some help and advice and expertise. I really enjoy tossing around ideas - thinking out loud. Not everyone is suited to help at this really demands people like Susan and Michael and my brother Doug is great at it too - who have thoughts but understand I need to own it. They can't be bossy. And not every idea will be good, but they all need to be respected....because sometimes the horrible ideas contain just a nugget of gold. There's a sort of alchemy that happens when people who are good at collaborating get together. Very powerful. So I'm looking forward to that too. And fun to do it in such beautiful surroundings.

Will speak soon - hope you're safe and warm!

9 comments: said...

Bonjour Louise

Je vous remercie de tout cœur d'avoir si gentiment dédicacé mon tout nouveau livre défense de tuer acheté à la librairie de Knowlton.

Aussi je vous souhaite beaucoup de bon temps au Manoir Hovey et de bonnes idées pour la suite de vos romans.

Pendant que vous serez au Manoir Hovey je serai plongée dans les aventures mystérieuses qui se tiennent au Manoir Bellechasse.

Merci encore pour votre grande générosité et bonne journée !


lil Gluckstern said...

Enjoy your time, and drive safe!

Lee Ann said...

It just sounds heavenly!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for sharing your "process" with us! It's fascinating to follow along while you make your magic.

Krista said...

I really enjoy and appreciate your wonderful sense of humour and how you write about simple things like Michael being right "damn him!". Makes me chuckle and I'm always grateful for those moments :). Thank you!

Beth said...

I just heard about your nomination for a Dilys, and wanted to offer my heartfelt congratulations. It's further proof that independent booksellers have excellent taste.

xxx Beth
in Oregon

Blacksadegirl said...

I spent my summers on my grandparent's farm in the Eastern Townships and was thrilled to learn about your books. I have such wonderful memories of the people and places. Next time instead of salt try Eco Traction -


Helen Mack said...

Your Blog comments are so interesting, drawing graphic images of the life 'up there' at present and drawing me back to a part of the world I love. My Sutton Xmas and New Year were magic times, snow and ice included. But!! Oh so good to return to the balmy climes Down Under - beaches, long evenings, sun and, in Wellington of course, refreshing winds. It's just a hop, skip and jump to get here - bypass Jamaica, we'd love to see you down this way again. It MUST be NZ's turn!
I hear that fireplace ashes are better than salt on the ice....

Terry L said...

Just wondering...
Do you all leave your autos outside in that frozen tundra? Seems like a garage would be the #1 priority up there. Anyway, hang in there, Spring is just around the corner.