Saturday, 9 February 2013


This is what winter usually looks like here at Mas Blanc

This is the view from my study window, and bleak though it seems in some regard, it also offers a lovely study in perspective... The  recently inserted fenceposts for the  new vineyard (planted last spring to replace old vines) are still bright and shiny and they catch the sunlight, making wonderful patterns. We have had a little snow this winter but nothing substantial -- not like Toronto or Montreal or Halifax -- and it has melted away leaving just the pale grey-brown that is the sign of the Earth resting. Dormant, waiting....

In fact, already now  there are signs... the tulips and daffodils are pushing up their little green noses, there are crocuses in the garden and an explosion of pink blossoms on the almond trees, both in my field and throughout the countryside. Can really make you believe that whatever cold sadness you are suffering now, it will eventually be transformed.

Well the truth is, I don't understand it, this passion of mine for rugby, but watching the games today (Scotland beat the pants off Italy,which was a bit of a surprise
and Wales beat France in a tighter, tougher game, a score that disappointed me as it seemed for the first half that France was the stronger team).

I have come to one conclusion... and that is that men -- in general, and in particular when playing rugby -- are an absolute mystery to me. That's what draws me in... My gentle feminine sensibility is alight with curiosity. Do they REALLY like doing this? Do they know what they're doing in a scrum? I can never work it out, really, and yet they seem to have a plan... I can follow plays on the field but a scrum? man, that is total weirdness.

And of course what wins my heart is the upper-class gentlemanly roots of the game  that show when,  immediately that they're finished, men from both sides are clapping each other's shoulders and shaking hands, exchanging smiles of "well done! bien fait!" Even if not sincere, and especially after a match that has been especially rough and brutal, this "it's only a game, bro" always delights me. What a great bunchaguys, I say to myself... And must wait until tomorrow for the Ireland-England match which is bound to be brilliant.And I even look forward to the hyperbole of the commentators' analyses...

In the meantime, cleaning email files, and discover the new blog by Laura Rock (one of my former Humber School of Writers correspondence students)  who has just begun an entertaining look at life as she knows it... Her last postings have dealt with peanut butter, and finding perfect taste at the same time as avoiding extra sugar and additives. (That's how I knew beth kaplan (of was going to be a true friend, when she arrived last March to stay in the writer's retreat  bringing me a large container of the BEST organic peanut butter that did me for a long time after.)

Have a look at Laura's blog, I'm finding it entirely enjoyable, never know what topic she's going to tackle next.