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Montreal – such fun! Climbing Mont Réal, queuing for Poutine, not to mention the queues de castors….

The main purpose of our recent trip to North America was to visit daughter number 4, currently living in Canada (*waves* – could be some while till we meet again!). We had the choice of March or May. I badly wanted to see a real Winter (and we did!!) – but how lucky was that…we just missed the travel ban, quite by serendipity and my enthusiasm for snow.

A warm welcome from some Canadian relatives in Kingston – fabulous views over Lake Ontario, and three colours of squirrel. This is the black one, which I didn’t know existed. The red and the grey are smaller and kept their distance. I wanted a shot of all three together, but they weren’t up for co-operating.

Mont Tremblant, where SOME of us went skiing. The rest (me) wandered around the Disney-like little winter sports village. All very cute and pretty but not real. I wished I’d brought my Thomas Mann Magic Mountain, which I last read in the Alps – but way too heavy for the plane journey.

Ottawa  – frozen rivers and canals, as far as you can see… definitely magic. The second picture was taken outside the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau – beautifully laid out, really interesting and on a manageable human scale.

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Finally – no prizes for guessing the last stop! Niagara, on the way back to Toronto airport. Terrifying force – and such a noise of rushing water. You can only stand and stare.  Literally awesome. I haven’t upgraded this blog to accept video – so you’re spared that!

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This is so striking. We came across it on the way out of the Met. and it caught my eye because it looked like a modern sculpture, down amongst the Greek and Roman exhibits. It turns out it is by Jean-Antoine Houdon, called ‘La Frileuse’ (but known as ‘Winter’) and dates from the late eighteenth century.  I can’t believe I had never come across it before – it’s probably famous. We just walked round and round it. Stunningly powerful.

(Much better photos than these on the internet, sorry about mine!)

 

 

Those were the days….

Of transatlantic flights, that is. About three weeks ago actually. Unbelievable.

Fabulous variety of food. Crazy, vibrant fun city.

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It will be back.

Yarn addicts will note there was a pilgrimage to Purl to check out the artyarn handspun. (Bit disappointing actually – not a lot of choice and definitely no better than my own – at  over double the price!)

Strange times – but so much to do!

No-one would have wished to gain time in this way – but enforced isolation has its compensations…

Lots of yarn work. Custom orders for Etsy (some quite unusual!),

Spinning (bliss, still my very favourite).

Dyeing (acid dyes this time – less subtle than the eco stuff, but gloriously bright – definitely lifts the mood)

Maybe even the looms will make an appearance – long time since I was weaving….

We are fortunate to be hiding away healthily.  This is not the case for everyone – and who knows what is to come.  But for the moment I feel we should help out where we can  – but also grab the opportunities so unexpectedly presented. Maybe a calm interval will stand us in good stead if we are seriously to be tested….

 

 

OK, no excuses….

(And definitely no resolutions, either!)

But this is where the time went – late Autumn in the Auvergne, then a family wedding in the West (with another visit to Salisbury sneaked in). In the photos it all looks rather brown. The picture of the leaves on the black grass has recently evolved into a skein of tweedy speckled handspun – so I have been fitting in a bit of work….

December was much more urban.

Paris, the first week of the French strike….Eurostar cancelled, no metro, no buses – and no **** Opera, which had been booked since September!

The Orangerie was also closed – but they let tourists into the Monet waterlilies – AND they didn’t charge! The dramatic metal figures (outside, along the river) are free to view anyway – such upmarket street art and so French!

Then back to Christmas. Rather traditional this year – family, books, music, puzzles….ridiculous quantities of food…. The decorations have got to be the best bit – I spent a great deal of time staring into the depths of the tree and was fairly gutted to have to take it down!

Some silk dyeing has been going on too – but that is for next time.