Monday, March 13, 2006

at heart i'm a gumboot girl, then and now

This is a picture of me enjoying Cape Breton when I was little, which--except for the overalls, I no longer wear overalls--is what I did this past week. Different location: this picture was taken at my father's house, the cabin where I grew up. But I did have gumboots on at several points of my break, and I was as happy as I was at three years old.

Laura and I had a fabulous break, if I may speak for her and if I may say so. We partied in Sydney with the by's, went over to Inverness for a drive (Laura loves Alistair MacLeod, the writer) and had a delicious dinner at our friend Kathy's place. Kathy is, as Laura said, like a Martha Stewart who might have done acid in her younger days. In other words, great company. The week was mostly quiet, we did schoolwork and took walks, and Dad took us out for a hike in the middle of the week. He talked us into the closed and cold Hall of the Clans at the Gaelic College, getting the maintenance man off his tractor to let us in. Gemini behaviour! We watched films (Sideways, Monsoon Wedding, Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill, Alfie) and drank copious amounts of coffee and teas black and green. I was able to see good friends, and all in all it was as perfect as real life gets.

We also cooked lots--one night we made a pizza with a base of polenta (cornmeal and cheese mix), loaded with goodies: smoked oysters, red pepper, hot peppers, mushrooms, feta cheese, olives, and other stuff I can't remember. Another night it was nachos, and we polished off an entire tray and then felt ill. Yet another night we put together a delicious corn chowder and for dessert made chocolate lava cake, the recipe for which came from Grandmaman. Each day for lunch we'd have toasted bread sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes, pesto, cucumber.

I return to Fredericton feeling relaxed, but also ready for school again. The weather is beautiful, beguilingly springlike, although it probably won't last. Schoolwork is busy--this week I present a paper at our school's research fair, but I'm hoping I'll be too busy to get nervous about it. Going home made me excited for summer and re-realize that the head-trips we can get into (there's some sixties lingo for you!) are usually just that, all in my head. When things get too crazy, there's always home, with a full cold room and a comfortable couch.

Now what I need are gumboots in Fredericton, and life really would be perfect!

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