Sunday, 4 November 2007

Lazy, yes, but Lousie too?

Mostly sunny, high 7 degrees celcius

Michael, my husband, has pointed out it's too bad I didn't think to start the blog before our world book tour, which took us to Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, the US midwest, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto over the past seven weeks. But we're back, and all we're really doing now is mountains of laundry and paying bills - and discussing whether we should go to Weight Watchers, between mouthfuls of mini-O'Henry bars we tell people we bought by the truckload for trick-0r-treaters who've never, ever come to our home, since we're in the middle of nowhere.

Now there's a long sentence. It reminds me of one of my favorite Groucho Marx quotes: I'm descended from a long line my mother once fell for.

I drove to Quebec City yesterday and it never fails to take my breath away. The city is sublime. It's an old walled city, celebrating it's 400th birthday next year. Inside the walls are narrow cobblestone lanes and fieldstone homes right on the sidewalk. There's an ancient tree with a cannonball still stuck in it and the long wooden Dufferin Terrasse which winds it's graceful way along the cliff, looking out over the St. Lawrence river. It's gentle and genteel, quiet and secure, but with a great joie de vivre.

The drive was uneventful. No speeding tickets. But it's hunting season and every few kilometres there'd be a pickup truck parked on the side of the road. I felt like honking the whole way to scare the deer. We have friends who are hunters and we've stopped talking about that since it just leads to grief. But I can't even begin to understand how someone can look through the sites of a rifle and shoot a deer, or moose or even a partridge. I understand that it's a tradition passed often from father to son, and there's a rich and very beautiful bond developed from one generation to another as they do this shared experience. It gives them something to talk about, to discuss and remember. It's fresh air. The kids are taught about tracking and nature. Not all hunters of drunken louts.

But finally, why does a father need to teach a son to kill? And enjoy it? Make a sport of it? Can't they take pictures? I know that sounds lame to hunters, but if the 'great white hutners' of Africa could learn to stop killing and start doing safari's with cameras, surely our hunters can too? I must be missing something. I honestly don't understand. It sickens me.

The Quebec City event at La Maison Anglaise was great. Lots of people (thank God - I've done events where no one shows up and it's very hard to stand there like a lump trying to pretend it doesn't matter - and wishing a hunter would come along and put me out of my misery.)

The funniest thing was an article in the local paper, the Chronicale-Telegraph - which is North America's oldest newspaper! It's been going since 1764. I tell you, Quebec City is a treasure. Anyway they very kindly did a story in advance of my arrival - the banner headline?

LOUSIE PENNY DOES IT AGAIN

Be well, and I'll see you tomorrow.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another fantastic day, well done Louise
Best wishes
Linda

Hilary said...

Just found your blog, via your newsletter (didn't know it was the first -- will check out MacLean's and Quill and Quite.) Understand your reservations about committing to a blog, but it does seem like a good way to keep a journal (In the absence of one? That you don't mind others reading?) I share your love of Quebec City. It is my first memory of Canada-- we landed there by ship when I was 5 and, though living away, I was there at the stroke of midnight in the shadow of the Chateau Laurier on the eve of the last referendum. Am familiar with the 20 and hunters -- once shook my finger and head at a Quebecer with a moose splayed out inelegantly on the roof of his vehicle as we passed him on the highway. Fortunately for us it was before the invention of road rage.
As for trick or treaters who never come to the middle of nowhere, it's one of life's immutable laws that you have to buy the chocolate for them anyway, and you have to eat it after -- if only in preparation for Christmas. (Unfortunately your comments have sent me to the candy jar for a Reese's peanut butter cup. Make that two. Apologies if this is a non-commercial blog!)
If Groucho Marx had thought about this phenomenon, I'm sure he'd have something to say about it.
Cheers,
Hilary

Hilary said...

Sorry...meant Chateau Frontenac!

Hilary

Anonymous said...

Better a gift urinal than an accidental ashes urn. It could happen.