So, I haven’t posted in a while. The Montreal summer, house hunting, a job that has required my focus, allergies… there have been many reasons I haven’t dipped my virtual pen in my virtual ink pot. Really though, all excuses.
I was speaking with a colleague last week and somehow – I don’t remember how – we got to talking about being ‘detail oriented’. I had mentioned something along the lines of how I have to check certain things because some people are just not detail oriented. “It’s a matter of desire” he said. “People are as detail oriented as they want to be.” It rang true for me, being one of those non-detail-oriented people in a former life.
Blogs are a matter of desire too. When all said and done, if I’d had the desire to actually write a blog post over the summer, I would have, regardless of parenting duties, late nights at work, or marching around open houses on the weekends. It’s not as if nothing has happened, or I’ve had nothing to say either:
– The rioting in England. I sat and watched, and shook my head at that. I’ll put my thoughts in the next post.
– A hot, hot, hot summer in Montreal. As hot as I remember in my 11 summers here. What a pity I’ve spent most of it…
– House hunting in Montreal’s West Island. And, without any luck.
– And, I believe we had a Royal visit in Canada too… when they came to Montreal, I donned my England football jersey, got in the car… and left town for the weekend.
Has my blog posting desire returned? Well, only time will tell, right?
It’s recognized as a great British pass-time; talking about the weather. And, it’s true. I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with my mother in the last 10 years where she hasn’t mentioned the weather. The Brits just love talking about it. Or should that be complaining about it?
The irony is, in general the Brits don’t have any weather. Ok, they have ‘weather’, but not ‘weather’. Not the kind of weather we have over here in Canada. We have seasons in Canada. In spring it rains, the sun shines and it gets hot in summer, the fall* is a little chilly but we’re treated to the beautiful foliage. And in winter, well it snows. A lot. And it’s cold. Very, very cold.
In the UK it’s usually mostly a grey and wet spring, followed by a largely cloudy summer with showers, a gloomy autumn with some downpours, and a miserable wet and cold winter. Barring a day or two of sun in July or August, and the annual few days’ national shut down due to an inch and a half of white stuff, it’s pretty standard fare. Of course, I understand that this is some justification for the complaints, but it’s hardly riveting conversation is it?
“Bit wet and chilly today, innit Bob?”
“Yup, mind you not as wet and chilly as yesterday, Bill”
“Ye’r right there. What’s it supposed to be like tomorrow Bob?”
“Gonna be gray Bill. With a bit of rain. And chilly.”
“Tut, tut. Bloody weather.”
“Yeah, bloody weather, tut, tut.”
Conversations like this have been going on for centuries across the British Isles. There are probably thousands of conversations like this taking place right now.
I genuinely admire the Canadian resilience in the face of extreme weather. “A bit chilly” to them is -10°C, with a -20°C wind chill. They’ll also wear shorts at the first sign of sunshine on grass, regardless of the temperature, and they’ll be sitting outside on terraces milking the last glimmer of sunshine until the last leaves fall.
Now that’s weather, and how to deal with it.
*Fall is Autumn in North Americanish (for the Brits without North American experience)
This is not a post about personal challenges, or drama. It is quite literally about the worst month in the year.
The calendar year comprises 12 months. Most have something about them that makes them tolerable – even enjoyable to live through. But one – well, one I really struggle with. It has no redeeming characteristics at all. And, we are in it.
June in Montreal brings the summer. It’s festival time in July. October offers those striking fall colours, and Halloween. December has the first real snow, and the holidays. The month of January boasts the most important day of the year (my birthday). And, February is mercifully short. Thank you for that February.
But March? What does March contribute?
I’ll tell you what: it contributes slush, grey and black snow, and the smell of de-frosting garbage and dog poop. And, it’s still minus freeze-yer-bits-off-degrees. There is nothing good about March.
By this time of the year I’m done with winter. Really done with it.
We kid ourselves that March is the end of the winter. But, as Montrealers were reminded yesterday, we all know that we have a few more heavy snow falls to come, and we know our ears and noses remain subject to frost bite.
March is cruel. It teases you with the odd day of sunshine, and balmy temperatures around freezing, before bringing on a snow storm and -19C the very next day. March, you’re not funny.
**** you March. **** you.