Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Happy New Year, dear Readers.
We came home from Canada to face an Australian heatwave...

The only selfie I took on our trip is but a distant memory -
face and hands frozen in -18c, in glaring white snow against a stunning blue sky.
You can even see the snow reflected in my sunglasses.

After Christmas we had a few more adventures...

One night we bundled up and went to a drive-through Christmas light show.
It was set up in a Summer camp ground, with a winding road through the snow and trees, taking 30 minutes to drive slowly past it all (no leaving the car permitted!)

Various themes unfolded, to the delight of all, including the complete song, Twelve Days of Christmas.

Our organised daughter brought chocolate treats and drinks to enjoy during the spectacle - and the boys were spellbound by it all.

Eventually we came to the Nativity scenes, and then exited through this:

When the 'Big Freeze' hit the area, we were undeterred and drove to Brockville on the St Lawrence Seaway.  That is New York state across the water.

We visited a Maritime Museum, which is particularly well set up for children.
It kept the boys entertained for several hours.
Here is young M mounting the guns of a full-size Pirate Ship.

Here is H, at the Otter acquarium.  Those otters were the biggest I have ever seen...huge!

I never tired of trying to photograph the snowy vistas from the car, just trying to preserve the beautiful memories.

A very special treat awaited us on New Year's Day.

We drove two hours north and into Quebec, where we visited Escapade Eskimo, at Otter Lake.  

This was the coldest weather we experienced.
Despite my fur-lined snow boots and two pair of thick wool socks, in a heated car, my feet became frozen from the cold which seeped in via the crack around the car door!

barn en route, not our lodge!

We were warmly greeted by the owner of a large wooden lodge, our accommodation for the night.

We were here for the adventure of Dog Sledding -
it was so cold I could only stay outside about 5-10 minutes at a time.
We all had a ride, about five minutes going very fast through the woodland, inches from the snowy forest floor.

Reader, I did it!

It was too fast and too cold to take photos during the ride, but I did take the shot of my feet at the end.  Those boots certainly had some adventures.

Previous three photos from Escapade Eskimo website

Mr C and young H

That night there was another heavy snow fall, and it continued next morning as we left, having trouble getting the car up a slope of snow drifts to the main road.   Which was also covered in snow - the snow plough had not reached us in the wilderness.  To we Australians, it was like another planet...

Driving through snow

Frozen Lake Otter

We are so grateful to our daughter and her family, for arranging many wonderful White Christmas experiences, and looking after us so well.

It was so sad to leave, not knowing when we will see them again.

I can still here those dear little voices, singing 'Oh Canada' to us in French, as we drove to the airport...


Friday, December 29, 2017


Christmas Eve Mass-in-the-snow was wonderful..
the local children performed the most magical Nativity play..

and later, stockings were hung..

So pleased to see DD is still using the patchwork stockings I made years ago..

Christmas Day dawned with all the enchantment of glittering white snow

Dear daughter gave me a cute Canada tray and a book about The Crown.
As we do not have Netflix at home, I have been binge watching it since arrival, and loving it.  Soooo interesting, but of course I have my own ideas about the authenticity of some of the scenes.
I know, you have all seen it long since, but I have to say how wonderfully Claire Foy portrays the Queen..and to also say Princess Margaret was a very petite woman, and I find the idea of a tall, angular actress in the part completely unconvincing.  But there you go...

What do you think?

We had such a lovely day, I forgot to take many pictures.
Daughter's enormous turkey was succulent and superb, her family recipe plum pudding boiled in a traditional cloth was wonderful, and we have enjoyed it all so very much.

Two little boys have been building the Lego Simpsons house, complete in every detail...furniture, utensils, appliances - they are all in there...

And now, a few snow scenes from the countryside, for those who rarely see it:

Ottawa is having a record-breaking cold snap.
Last night -26c, the same as the North Pole, and for the moment, the coldest Capital City on earth.

With Frost Bite warnings..

Well, that is something we did not expect...

Undaunted, dear daughter drove us out into the countryside where I took these snaps.  Next time I will pack a balaclava...