In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

West wind

A few times each winter low temperatures and westerly winds converge upon this house. Then we remember that for all its bright paint and fresh shingles the house is a leaky old thing, and that there are gaps around the doors and odd corners where a cold imp lurks, and huffs and puffs at our ankles as we walk past. We wear eccentric get-ups, including clothes more likely to be worn outdoors. I have discovered the charming wool cap an old friend knitted for our daughter twenty five years ago: it covers my ears and ties beneath my chin and I have taken to wearing it night and day.

But Greg got us a pile of good books at the library last week, just in time for this. Best of all was Sarah Water's fantastically creepy The Little Stranger (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2009). I pulled my chair close to the wood stove and covered myself with a quilt and read about down-on-their-fortunes English gentry huddled around a fireplace in their ancient dilapidated mansion.

It is the west wind that makes the difference for us between comfort and discomfort. No matter how cold it is outside, the wood stove keeps the living room perfectly warm unless that particular wind is blowing. But the west wind also sets the turbine spinning, so that adage about an ill wind that blows nobody any good comes to life. Anyway, today the wind has finally stopped, and we will go on about our business, both indoors and out.

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