Thursday, 28 October 2010
The Scene of the Crime
mainly sunny, mild, 13
Do you notice how our perception and definition of 'mild' is shifting? In a month 'mild' will be minus 5. Today, though, it's mild at 13. yesterday, when we arrived in QC, it was about 16 and a pastel day. An Impressionist day. Glorious. Soft light, soft, still air. Michael and I checked into the Chateau, into a room looking over the St. Lawrence river and even the statue of Champlain (seen in the BG of the photo a above - I mention this statue in Bury Your Dead) - then went for a walk.
We both commented on how different it is to walk through the old city when it is a gorgeous autumn day than when the wind is howling and nesting in our marrow and it's not at all 'mild' at minus 20. Brrrr.
But yesterday was picture perfect. We strolled and chatted and visited old haunts - like Chez Temporel...which I also mention in Bury Your Dead. Gamache and Emile go there for breakfast. We once again had the table with the three leaf clover scored into it, and a dimple where we rub the tip of our fingers. Hard not to. So inviting. Michael had a bowl of hot chocolate, I had a double strength bowl of cafe au lait. We both had a warm croissant aux amandes. Yummy.
the photo above is me looking slightly impatient (Michael knows this look...it's impatience tinged with the promise of croissant but feet away.) just outside Chez Temporel. It's well off the beaten path, down a small street off rue St-Jean.
From there we returned to the Chateau Frontenac....the other photo above is Michael at the foot of the park leading to the Chateau...and the bar St-Laurent. There we met My Assistant Lise and her husband Del for drinks before dinner. Then we all walked back down, through the old city, past the basillica and the tiny old streets, to rue St-Jean and the restaurant - Les Freres de la Cote. Very relaxed bistro.
Then home to bed...to be woken up at 6:50 by a construction crane right outside our room!!! Ugh. I called down and they agreed this might not be the best experience. So now they've moved our room. Not sure where - and don't really care....as long as it's quiet.
The only unfortunate thing is that they're doing major excavation work on the famed Dufferine Terrace that runs the length of the chateau on the river side. Wide and gracious, it's a magnificent place to walk and enjoy the views. But they found the original fortress hidden below the terrasse! Imagine that. So the archeologists are digging. Waited for the low season (and before the grip of winter) to dig...which means, now.
Still, it's fascinating to look down into it and see the stone walls emerging.
Busy day. Have a 10:30 interview with an academic who flew in from Halifax to speak with me for her research into Canadian literature. Then a 12:30 french interview. Then meeting Donna who is arriving from Toronto today, and Lise, at the Literary and Historical Society to go over plans for tonight. Then meeting Jacquie, the host of the CBC Radio show Breakaway....they'll be broadcasting live from the launch from 4 to 6. So we need to go over the scripts and interviews and music etc. Jacquie is doing all the work, but she's kind enough to include me in some of the planning.
Then I hope to have time to scoot back to the chateau to change - otherwise I'll be at the broadcast and launch in jeans and a turtleneck.
The broadcast is from 4 to 6, at the Morrin Centre - the lit and his building in Old Quebec. Everyone is welcome!!! Then the cocktail party to celebrate Bury Your Dead at the place the 'murder' happens. You're all invited to that too....either in person or 'virtually'. I'll blog about it tomorrow.
We're driving back to Montreal tomorrow. Have an interview on CJAD with the fantastic Sharman Yarnell tomorrow between noon and 1pm.
Then sleep for two days before the next event in North Conway, New Hampshire.
Hope to see you tonight - and if not, I'll tell you all about it later!