Friday, 14 March 2008

A glimmer of hope

The week-long break from school in the term after Christmas is called "Spring Break" in Victoria. The crocuses are past their peak, but a different street breaks out in cherry blossoms each week between February and April, and the daffodils make their appearance, followed quickly by the tulips.

However, I live in Ottawa.

It's called "March Break" here, and during this particular March Break, we're apparently about to surpass the winter of 1970-71 for total snow accumulation.
I'm not all that upset. The week before, younger daughter and I managed to pussy-foot our way to the bus-stop midway up the hill, and paused to watch pedestrians hurtle past us rather like that scene in Titanic when the vessel is preparing to take her final plunge. It was an unusually mild day after a day of freezing rain, and many had blithely ventured out in street shoes. The carnage... Snow --- well, that you can at least walk in, provided you have Mountain Equipment parkas and Sorel boots.

Elder daughter is currently in Barcelona on a class trip which managed to depart Ottawa between two record-breaking snowstorms. She called a couple a days ago from Proven├že after a day's cruise around the calanques near the village of Cassis. But this way madness lies.

Younger daughter had carefully planned out the week on the large calendar in her bedroom: "exsperimental farm - firt day; movie time at silver city -second day; lunchtime at diner eat at restaurant - third day; home watch television - fourth day; disney film - last day". Now, once it's on her calendar, it's sacrosanct, so even though I thought she felt warm on Monday, we braved OC Transpo and the now single lane streets with snow-plough shovings obliterating the sidewalks to make it out to the Experimental Farm which younger daughter adores. (I don't, so I prefer to go in winter when there are no flies, muffled smells, and on this particular day, not so many kids --- the smell still follows you for the rest of the day...) Then, we went to see (yet again) Enchanted at the Rainbow Cinema, a second-run movie house operated by gay cinephiles, because there wasn't anything younger daughter wanted to see at Silver City. However, by this time, even younger daughter's Taurean sense of will couldn't fight off the virus that she'd evidently had for at least two days, and we hustled her home into bed, from whence, despite fever and wracking cough, she has joyously watched PBS kids' shows and videos and DVDs nonstop.

The Resident Fan Boy returned to work yesterday, and the prison doors slammed shut. But there's good news: acquaintances in Victoria for whom we have house-sat before are off to Europe for five weeks this summer. Persephone will be out of Hades briefly again --- and she won't have to stay with Demeter the entire time....

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