Saturday, 16 April 2011
overcast, really quite cold, minus 4
And we feel every degree! Windy as well, coming from the arctic. A damp, ugly cold. But even that can't blight this magnificent city. The publishers - Flammarion Quebec - has put us up at the Hotel Le Germain-dominion, in the basse ville. The lower town. I took this photo when Susan and I went for a walk this morning. Along a narrow cobbled stone street, suddenly it opens up and there's Place Royale. The Church is one I mention briefly in Bury Your Dead...Notre Dame des Victoires...our lady of victories....built to commemorate a victory over the English.
We took the Funicular up the side of the cliff, to the Chateau Frontenac, then walked around, stopped for a croissant and some mushroom soup at Le Paillard, on rue St Jean. Then we had to scoot to the Convention Centre for the Book Fair. Susan continued to shop - and I went to work.
Two hours of signing at the fair. Loads of fun - packed with people. Fun for me to speak in french, and everyone so patient with me. It's a little tiring...not necessarily speaking and concentrating in a second language, but really it's being "on" all the time. But the people really give at least as much energy as they get, so it's a great deal.
Hopped a cab back to the hotel - then taking Susan out for her birthday dinner....to one of the best restaurants in Canada. Called Panache. Luckily it's just around the corner. Lucky in so many ways....there's a SNOW warning out for tonight. Up to 15 cm of snow. And a Rainfall warning. Up to 20 mm of rain.
Fortunately the worst will be over by the time we drive home tomorrow afternoon.
We're having a blast. Have to keep a close eye on Susan otherwise she'd wander off with any Quebecois man who said, 'merci'. (I put that in because I know some of her family read this...and she dared me).
The hotel is wonderful too. They gave Susan a box of chocolates in her room when they heard it was her birthday. Small things make such a difference. I realize that that's something big companies often don't realize. It doesn't take much to make people feel terrific, and gain their loyalty - whether they be emplyees or customers. Equally, it doesn't take much to make people feel like merde.
Off to reply to a pile of emails. Not sure there's time for a nap, but at least a quiet time...back to the Salon du Livres tomorrow.
Hope you're well!