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Posts Tagged ‘St Lawrence Market’

January is my time to dream……. The nights are long and the polar cap blows its icy winds. It is all too easy to snuggle up in front of a crackling fire. My mind is preoccupied by my dreamy thoughts where I look forward to the year ahead. There will be no thoughts on New Year’s resolutions either. Oh no, that is not for me! No thoughts on cutting out chocolate or on how I am going to be able to brave the cold for that much needed walk. January is my reprieve and my time to ponder. It is my La La Land month and I visit it with much zest and enthusiasm.
It had been a busy and special Christmas with our house bursting with our family. It was wonderful to have them all home with us and under our roof. Two active toddlers kept us all on our toes as we ran after them and attended to their needs. There was never a dull moment. We dreamed up indoor activities to busy these little tykes. One being a slide around the house on the indoor snow sledge. The kitchen was a hive of activity too. Our table was full and so were our hearts. When the house eventually emptied it seemed to echo. There was less of everything…..less laughter, less music and less food!

 

My kitchen helpers.....

My kitchen helpers…..

Lemon anyone?

Lemon anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This deprivation made me plunge headlong into dreamland. There were French lanes and intimate coffee shops. In my mind’s eye were quaint shop windows with French bakeries and French delicatessens. That was it, a trip to France! I scolded myself as I thought of the practicality of seeing this dream come to fruition. The brain went into overdrive. There was a plan. What about a trip up to Quebec City? It was only 800 km away instead of 6000 km and it would certainly be kinder on the coffers. A few phone calls were made, an Airbnb booked and we hit the road.
I must add at this point that I do not speak a word of French. We have heard that the Quebecois are understandably fiercely proud of their heritage and their language. Therefore I needed a quick crash course on a few fundamentals. The long car trip was the ideal time to practice and I rolled my tongue around the que’s and the de’s.
Un, deux, trois, quatre…..
This was hard and I just wished that I could make my words sound like my French teacher! It would have to do and I spent the rest of the trip reading up on the places to visit in Quebec City. Chateau Frontenac along the frozen Saint Lawrence River, Place Royale, Basilique Notre Dame de Quebec, La Citadelle and the historical Old City caught my eye. I also found our period house ‘La Victorienne’ in Rue Saint Jean where we would be spending the next 4 days.

 

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It was as I had envisaged it. There were narrow cobble streets to explore, French food to savour and plenty of French culture to soak up. I was in heaven!

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A painted mural in the Old Town.

 

 

 

The Plains of Abraham where the English and French battled it out.

The Plains of Abraham where the English and French battled it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January is the month to dream and to look forward to the year ahead and the journey within.

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The furry child

The furry child

I am going to write a bit of a blog, hopefully it will help me settle in and to learn to appreciate what I can enjoy here. I thought I would write it through the eyes of my dog, Josh, as he is always with me as I stroll the streets around the apartment. We rose early today and looked outside at the weather, we seem to do that each morning here in Toronto. The first job of the day is to take Josh,our Jack Russel, down to the park for his early morning ablutions. Josh hears us wake and knows the ritual.He excitedly dashes straight for the front door and slips and slides over the pseudo wooden floor. Once in the lift he checks out his reflection in the mirrors that line the walls of the elevator. Initially he thought that it was a mate but has worked this out for himself and just gives himself the once over instead. We dash through a car park next to the apartment block and over to the local park. Beautiful maple trees waft in the early light and the odd keen dog lover is out braving the chilly air. Josh surveys the talent, canine and ‘kleinwild.’ No raccoons to be seen today but a grey squirrel excites him into a frantic stampede. It realises the imminent danger and quickly scampers up a nearby tree. Josh continues to monitor the squirrel`s progress just in case it might come within biting distance. Then he spots another four legged pal, he runs over and displays his newly found EQ. He greets his mate with much licking and wagging of tails and moves on. This is so strange to see as Josh would always nip his Lonehill furry friends whenever he was taken out for a walk to the Lonehill Dam. Once all the necessary sniffing and morning rituals are complete we move along Spadina Road. The buildings are old and remind me of Cape Town and Loop Street. People are stumbling out of narrow doorways on their way to find the nearest Starbucks.There is the odd night club doorway with all sorts of spilt liquid which Josh finds delectable. Josh comes across a narrow planted trough alongside a building, he suddenly goes into attack mode and we realise that he has discovered the another member of the kleinwild city gang, a rodent. There is much soil flying and growling but the lucky devil gets away thanks to a hard tug on his leach. There was no way that I was going to expose him to the local strain of rabies. We get back to the apartment and make our own cup of nescafe coffee and I eat the last of my Woolies rusks. I have my first pang of being homesick! I need to find some buttermilk so that I can make myself some! Going to brave the shower outside to head down to the St Lawrence farmers market. Who knows, I might find some rusks there!

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